Monday, November 27, 2017

Somebody's Praying You Through

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16

I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!
I am so grateful to our dear and loving Lord for all of His many blessings.
He is a faithful God Who is absolutely worthy of our praise.
There is no method more effective in putting satan on the run than to begin praising God,
personally thanking Him for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He is going to do for us.

God dwells where praises flow.

Jesus came to offer an amazing exchange to those who are depressed.
As He taught in the synagogue one day, (recorded in Luke 4:16-21), He read aloud these words,

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
Isaiah 61:1-3

He told the worshipers that this Scripture was fulfilled that day, in their ears.

Jesus came to give the garment of praise in exchange for "the spirit of heaviness".

How many of you have ever experienced a heavy spirit?
Who among us has not experienced it?

I grew up in a household that was often overshadowed by "the spirit of heaviness".
Both of my dear parents struggled with depression, and it was a very real part of our daily lives.
I used to become so frustrated when I would find them crying.
One particular memory stands out more than others.
Mom, Dad, and I used to clean houses, apartments, and duplexes in the evenings after Dad got off work and I got home from school.
It was hard work, to say the least, and, now that I am older, I wonder how my dear Daddy was able to hold up to such, especially after working hard all day long.
It was during one such evening that I came upon him, working alone in a bathroom of the unit we were cleaning.
What I saw made me stop in my tracks and nearly fall to pieces.
In the midst of his cleaning, Dad had taken a pause, and he was crying, like his heart was broken.
Even though I pressed him hard to find out the cause for his tears, I never did totally get to the bottom of the reason for his distress, and I remember the deep sadness I felt, as I finally walked away from him, confused, afraid, and insecure.

I learned early on that the only refuge I could turn to in times of such distress was to go to my room and kneel beside my bed and pour out my little-girl heart straight into the arms of my Savior.
More times than I can count, I prayed Mom and Dad through.
The weight of feeling that responsibility was overwhelming and heavy for a child to carry.
But, carry it, I did.
While it left deep emotional scars, I don't regret it.

On the flip side, the times my dear parents prayed me through are also beyond counting.
I will probably never know how many of those tears were shed on my behalf,
as they prayed for me, my future, my health, and my spiritual well-being.

How I miss their prayers, now that both Mom and Dad are gone!

I take comfort in Revelation 14:13,
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."

I love the part that says, "their works do follow them".
I choose to believe that all of the prayers Mom and Dad prayed for and over me throughout life are still coming up before the ears of God, and He is still answering those prayers.
I just really, truly believe this is true.

Knowing this, makes me see, all the more, how important it is that I am faithful to pray for our own dear son and to intercede on his behalf.
In Jesus' name, may Zach's days be long upon the earth, and may the answers to the many prayers Kevin and I faithfully pray for and over him follow him all the days of his life.

How about you?
Do you see the results of prayers that have been prayed over you throughout life?
Has someone been faithful to pray you through the storms and trials you have faced?
And, you feel that same sense of responsibility to pray someone else through?
Who is in your prayer list?
Who is depending upon you to pray them through?

How I thank God for praying parents, a praying husband, a praying son, praying siblings,
and all of the other faithful friends, loved ones, and prayer warriors in my life who faithfully and consistently pray me through the turbulent times and hard places.
I know many of you, dear readers, have been so kind to pray for my family and me so many, many times.
I am so very grateful to each one of you, and I want you to know I am here to do the same for you.
Many of you are included in my regular prayer times with the Lord.
I call your names, individually, often, and with a sincere heart.
I am praying now, as I type these words, for the person behind every, single set of eyes who reads them.
I don't know exactly what many of you are going through.
I don't even know who most of you are.
Every now and then, I take a peek at the stats on my blog, and I wonder just who all it is who "clicks" on this site and takes the time to read what God has placed upon my heart.
I don't really need to know who all visits here or to be privy to the details of your inward, unique struggles, because, you and I, we have the same Father in Heaven, and He sees and knows all.
When I pray for you, whether you are someone I know personally or through the blog or someone I have never communicated with or even heard of, God hears...just as He hears you every time you pray.

He cares about you, my friend.
He loves you with an unconditional love.
And, the greatest thing is this.
Whether or not anyone else is faithful to pray for you, there is always, always, always someOne in your corner, who is faithfully praying you through the circumstances and trials in your life.

"We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
Hebrews 8:1,2

"It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Romans 8:34

Can you imagine?
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Advocate, is seated at the right hand of His Father, and He, Himself, is praying for you...and for me!
To think that He is that interested in the details of our lives,
to know that He sees, He knows, He cares,
and He prays and intercedes to His Father on our behalf makes me realize how very blessed and loved and cared for we truly are.

You may feel alone...unprayed you haven't a friend in the world.
Abandoned by God.
Forgotten and cast aside.

The truth is, you are none of these.
Jesus is ever on the job.
He is always alert and in tune with your needs.
He never takes His eyes off you, and He never sleeps.

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains-- where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-- He who watches over you will not slumber..."
Psalm 121:1-3

You are worth more to Him than you will ever be able to comprehend.
Don't ever forget it!

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."
Luke 12:6,7

I became familiar with this song during the time of one of Mom's extended stays in a nursing home that was located about 30 miles from our home.
Little Zach and I would travel the distance every, single day to be with her, and in the midst of the weariness, stress, worry, and upheaval, I remember listening to this song in the car and finding so much comfort in its words.
I hope it blesses you, too.

And, this one...oh, my, it is a precious song sung by my favorite singer of all time.

We all carry a cross, and we need one another's prayers.
In closing, I hope you enjoy the words of this song, too.
May we always remember to pray for one another and lift each other's needs to the throne of our Father.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2

While you are praying, my family and I would so appreciate your continued prayers for my brother-in-law, LD, who is battling stage 4 lung cancer.

My prayer for you today is that God will bless you and meet any needs you have at this time, also.