Friday, May 06, 2005

Weekly Word for May 6 - 13, 2005

Weekly Word -May 6, 2005

“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” (Mathew 7: 7)

Over the last few weeks, Ted and I have been asked to pray for a few friends who were facing sickness, surgery, or just tough times. It has been an amazing thing, learning to pray - to actually “talk” to God . . .

Pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
(James 5: 16)

My young friend had asked us all to pray. She had written to all her friends, everyone she could think of, hoping that God would hear our prayers - hoping He would help her, when she went for surgery. I understood her fears, remembering back to asking - and hoping - that everyone would pray for me . . .

And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
(1 John 5: 14)

I wanted to have a second baby, but things didn’t seem to be working out quite right. I loved being a mommy, and my little boy was a joy to me. But I wanted another baby - I wanted him to have a brother or a sister. Soon I was seeing doctors and having tests, worrying the whole time if I would ever get pregnant again. So when I did - - - I was overjoyed!

Everything about this pregnancy was different. I was so much sicker with her, and things didn’t seem to be going quite as well. As spring turned into summer, and Mikey turned 4, I tried to do all I could to take care of this new life growing inside of me. But six weeks before she was due, I went into labor. Terrified that I would lose her, I rushed to the hospital. They sent me home, telling me to stay in bed - and I did try! But I l also had a little boy to take care of. And so, three weeks later, she was born.

She seemed perfect, with her tiny hands and feet moving everywhere as they weighed and measured her. She was so beautiful, but so much smaller than Mikey had been. She was just over 6 pounds, and I took her home two days later. But she did have problems - problems that seem to show up with premature babies. Even though she wasn’t too small - - - her inside organs didn’t seem to have developed quite enough. She had trouble eating, and the doctors were monitoring her growth. By the time she was 6 months old, she still didn’t seem to tolerate much more than her formula - and even that would come back up - all the time! So the hospital date was set, and I was terrified . . .

But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
(1 John 3: 17)

The date for her procedure was set, it was the day after I had scheduled a “Tupperware party”! I wanted to cancel the party - all I could think about was my daughter, and what the doctors were going to be doing. But when I spoke to the girl from church, who was going to be doing the party, she convinced me that it would be a “good” thing, it would ease my worries. So as the guests arrived, and my little girl laughed and bounced in her baby chair, I knew the woman was wrong! All I wanted to do was cry, I wanted someone to promise me that my daughter was going to be alright . . .

Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer . . .
(Romans 12: 12)

As the party continued, my fears and worries were very obvious. Finally, I told them about the procedure being done the next day. I asked each one if they would keep my little daughter in prayer that night. Each made a promise to pray, hugging me and looking at my daughter and son playing on the floor, as they left. I believed them - and I believed in prayer! That night, I never slept - - - as I walked the floors, praying and hoping for the very best . . .

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, . . .
(Romans 15: 4)

A few months ago, my parents were facing some serious medical problems. For over two years, the family had noticed that my mother seemed to be having trouble with her memory. The symptoms seemed to be getting worse, and with my father sick as well, everyone felt that the doctors needed to be contacted. It was decided that “someone” should actually talk to my parents - to my mother - asking her to make an appointment to see the doctor. That someone - was me. As I prepared to confront her, I could feel my fears growing. I wasn’t sure how she would respond, and I knew that this was not going to be easy. So I called my friend, hoping to ask her to pray - hoping she could ease my fears and worries. When I heard her answering machine, my heart fell - but I left a message telling her my worries and hoping that she could pray for me - pray for my parents.

Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, . . .
Always seek after that which is good for one another . . .
Rejoice always; - - - Pray without ceasing; - - - in everything give thanks;
(1 Thessalonians 5: 11, 15 - 18)

I prayed the whole drive to their house. As we sat down, and I started to just talk to them, I told her how worried we were - that we wanted them both to be healthy and strong. As I continued to talk, my mother cried. Gently, I told her our fears, and asked her to make an appointment to see the doctor - hoping she would agree to let me go along. Just then, I heard my cell phone start to ring. As it did, I somehow knew my friend was calling me back. I also knew that she was praying - right then - and I knew that God would help us all . . .

Rejoice always; - - - Pray without ceasing; - - - in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5: 16 - 18)

Two weeks ago, a very close friend had surgery. She wouldn’t tell anyone about the surgery - or even that she was sick! But I knew, and I was worried . . . As the day for the surgery grew closer, so many things seemed to be going wrong, and we worried that the surgery would be postponed. My friend had called the night before, and together we had prayed. So when the phone rang the next morning, I wondered if it was her. But it wasn’t, it was her husband. He had promised her he would call - the minute she went into that surgery room. I thanked him for calling, and told him that Ted and I would be praying. After we hung up, I turned to Ted and told him she had gone in - and we said a quick prayer that God would be with her. It wasn’t anything special or difficult - it was just a simple prayer. And then I started breakfast . . .

“your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him. Pray then, in this way:”
“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in heaven.”
(Mathew 6: 8 - 10)

And then it happened - it was as if Heaven’s power filled the kitchen! We didn’t even know why . . . We only knew that our friend needed prayer - - - and she needed it right then! Putting aside our breakfast - we started to pray. We prayed until we knew that we didn’t need to pray any more. As I looked at Ted, I asked him if he knew what had happened. He told me he didn’t, only that it seemed very important - that maybe her life had been in the balance.

We finished our breakfast and headed to work. But every so often during the day, I would ask God to be with my friend, and then continue working. That evening, her husband called to say that everything went well with the surgery, and the doctor was pleased with how things had gone. I didn’t tell him about the prayer, and silently wondered about it . . .

“And I also say to you . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
(Mathew 16: 19)

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

A few days ago, I called my friend. She was still so tired, and the recovery was going very slowly. She had just gotten back from the doctor’s - and I wanted to know what he said.

She hesitated, and then started to tell me what the doctor said. The surgery had turned out to be more difficult than anyone had expected. She had a large tumor, that had surrounded many of her organs. But he was very pleased with the work - and everything had gone perfectly. If she had waited though, she could have died. And then she told me: I nearly died - on that operating table. . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

Heaven had come down that day in our kitchen - and God’s plans were prayed through. We had prayed for my friend - hoping - for her life . . .

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29: 12 & 13)

Praying - - - talking - asking and searching for God’s help and presence in our lives. It is lifting up our burdens and worries to Him - and believing that He can hear us.

He is waiting for you to call out to Him! He wants to walk with you - and talk with you - - - for the rest of your life . . .
God bless you in the coming week ahead!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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