Category Archives: prayer

His Shouts of Deliverance

A while back I was working with one of my students, and in the middle of the lesson he said to me, “Ms. Terri, did you know that we are made of more nothing than something?” He proceeded to tell me how science has proven that cells have more empty space, than filled space. More nothing than something. At first I laughed at him, and then I got excited because in Colossians 1:17 it says, “In Him all things hold together.” And in Ephesians 1:23 it says Jesus, “Fills all and is in all.” Made me think maybe there is more of Him in me than me, which opens up all kinds of possibilities.

The invisible is becoming more real; especially since what I see is often overwhelming and out of my control. Talking to an invisible God, Who holds everything together, is a faith walk into the invisible. So, reading Psalm 32:7, I say His words out loud to Him, “You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble, and surround me with shouts of deliverance.”

I want to hear His “shouts of deliverance.”
How do I do that?
I have to quiet my heart to hear.

He says they are “shouts.” Listen to these shouts.
*Nails pounded into His hands and feet (delivering me from punishment for my sin).
*Thorns placed
on His head (a reminder that He bears the thorns we deal with everyday).
*The vinegar He drank (drinking the comfort He gives in the middle of letting go of all my dreams).
*His tears
of blood (bearing the anxieties, worries and fears of future trials). 
*Dragging His own cross
(so that we could benefit from His Resurrection Life today).
*Then finally His last shout, “IT IS FINISHED.”

That invisible Resurrected Life keeps shouting to me to “see” His deliverance in the midst of the visible.
“You are complete in me” (Colossians 2:10).
“I will never leave you” (John 14:18).
“You are righteous in Me” (Romans 4:8).
“You are completely forgiven” (1 John 2:9).
“Enter My rest” (Hebrews 4:3).
“There is no condemnation for those who are In Me” (Romans 8:1).
“Take My Peace, it’s not like the world’s peace” (John 14:19).
“Abide in My unconditional Love” (1 John 2:28).
“Cast your cares on me, for I care for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“I will help you overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:13).
“Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

That Changed My Life

You know the saying, “That changed my life.”
Only once in my life was I ever able to say it, the day Jesus came into my heart to live.

Until Joe’s cancer.
That changed my life too… mainly in the area of battling thoughts.
I now have days I am assaulted with fears. I realize my life could change in a day with some unforeseen tragedy. I had thought my life was pretty much under control… but that was before.

I’m having to face God with the real “faith” I have, or don’t have. It has been humbling. But I can cast myself on His abundant grace while I am trying to set my feet on solid ground. His grace is my safe place right now.

I had thought my faith was about trusting Him to answer my prayers, hear my worries and help me be a “good” Christian. Now…
I’m hearing Him say He wants my friendship. He wants to tell me how He is thinking and feeling about stuff.

I think of what was said of Moses in Exodus 33:11, “The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.” Do I want that type of friendship? I realize it won’t be all about me.
It will mean more listening. It will be His voice I long for — His presence.

There might be long bouts of silence, where He is just with me, with no entertainment, or big mission to accomplish. He might share with me His heart and His perspective on suffering… which makes me wait for His timing to rescue, because He has a bigger plan.

Prayer changes for me… It comes from His point of view, and I know He hears me because He is sharing His heart and I am asking the things that delight Him.

This has changed my life… I have a Friend I’m learning to know and love, because He has loved me first and has chosen me to be His friend.

John 15.13-16: “Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

Long May You Run

Many trials are marathons, not sprints. Fighting cancer can be lengthy and extremely draining; it was for me. During the marathon journeys of Elijah the prophet, you might say he was “all over the map,” both physically and emotionally (1 Kings 17-19). He visited many places including Mt. Carmel, Jezreel, Beersheba, Mt. Sinai (Mt. Horeb) and somewhere in an Israeli desert.

Emotionally, Elijah “visited” many places as well. From supreme confidence, he moved to sheer panic; from exhilaration, he flopped at utter exhaustion; from incredible boldness, he slinked off to cowardly surrender. No wonder James said in his epistle that Elijah was just like us (James 5:17). The Greek word he used of us and Elijah is a compound word from “like” and “feelings.” In other words, Elijah rode the same emotional roller coaster that we ride today. Yet the Lord “followed” Elijah everywhere he went, to all of these physical and emotional places. At one point, Elijah received supernatural strength from the Lord for a long journey (1 Kings 18:46). God’s strengthening hand was so heavy upon him that he was able to outrun Ahab’s chariot over a distance of 25 miles during a torrential rainstorm! Later, after Elijah had exhausted his own strength running from Jezebel, the Lord gave him food that strengthened him for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness!

So what is the point for us? James is simply encouraging us that God grants extraordinary answers to prayer. He wants to work great endurance and miraculous energy into our lives. So during the long grind of an up and down battle with cancer, we can continually ask for that supernatural infusion of His mighty strength. God’s strength will meet us at every place we find ourselves.

He’s In Your Corner

One of the huge benefits of receiving Christ as our personal Savior* is that we have the perfect Advocate before God the Father. We have the absolute best representation. The Bible says in the book of Hebrews that Jesus Christ is our eternal High Priest. His work as an advocate/intercessor is described in Hebrews 7:5, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” This is fantastic news when we are in a crisis, such as being diagnosed with cancer. He LIVES to make intercession for us!
Not only does His intercession constantly cover our sins because of His saving work on the cross, but in John 14:12-14, Jesus makes bold promises as a result of Him being at the Father’s right hand. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” He is basically saying that He “has the ear” of the Lord of the universe, and that He will pull some strings for us! This, my friends, is the wonderful advocacy that Jesus Christ has for us – right now. Don’t be afraid; boldly ask Him for great things. Yes, ask Him to totally heal you. We may not know exactly how He will answer, but we definitely know how He tells us to pray. He’s in your corner now.
*For more on how to make Him your personal Savior – go here.

Feeling Alone

Where would we be without feelings? How boring. Feelings make life richer, but they can also cause trouble. The Bible is full of stories of people who felt alone, but weren’t. If you are a believer in Christ, one of the most powerful truths that we can grip in a crisis, is that we have two advocates who constantly cry out to God on our behalf. You may feel, but misinterpret, the activity of one of these advocates. Not all of that groaning inside of you is indigestion or upset, it’s the Third Person of the Trinity connecting your spirit with the Father.
Paul says about The Holy Spirit in Romans 8:27-28, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
We may FEEL confused and uncertain, but the Spirit is not. He knows exactly what God’s will is in any situation. He knows exactly what to pray and what to ask. Earlier I mentioned two advocates. The second one is Jesus Himself. Next week, I’ll talk about His prayers on your behalf. In the meantime, let the groanings rise up. We are so not alone.