It seems like each day I become more and more aware of people I know who are struggling. I often hear those around me say, "All we can do is pray," as though it is the very least we can do. Sometimes I wonder if God sees us shrug our shoulders and shake our heads and feels disappointed by our lack of faith. While we have no control over sickness, grief, war, persecution, injustice, or sometimes even the little things that happen in our day that bring on feelings of anxiety or despair, God certainly has control over all of these things. We can turn to God and appeal to Him for help. I want to encourage you today to consider that prayer is the very BEST thing you can do in ANY situation. It doesn't have to be a last-ditch effort to fix your problems or help someone in need. Prayer can be the very first thing you think to do with confidence and hope. Prayer is powerful!
On September 3, 2019, I fell into a scalding hot tub and within seconds, I was burned on over 80% of my body. I remember the moment I got out and was beside the hot tub on all fours gasping for breath. I looked down at my left arm and it was like a long clear glove slid down my arm and onto my hand. I knew in an instant this was bad...so very bad. I shut my eyes and stood up. There was this loud, ear-piercing scream and I opened my eyes to see my cat running off. It was me. All me. Screaming in agony as if I had fallen right into hell. My robe was stuck to me, burning into my skin. I tried to take it off, pealing my skin off as I did. I shut my eyes tight and screamed. It seemed as if I couldn't get away from the pain. It was so intense. I couldn't catch my breath.
"I was all alone and I just wanted God to be with me."
Eventually, I made my way into the house and forced myself into a tub, and began running cold water. I had my cell phone on a chair and a 911 operator on speakerphone. It was during that call that my prayer life was taken to the next level. The operator had been trying to pry information out of me as I was screaming, sobbing, and gasping for breath. The pain was just so intense. The scenes I saw were so disturbing. I was all alone and I just wanted God to be with me.
"I can't talk! I can't talk! I can't handle it. Just let me get off the phone. I can't think. I can't talk!"
But then, I began to pray, "Lord, just be with me. Lord, just be with me."
I calmed down a bit. I talked to the operator. Then I began to pray again,
"Lord, please be with me. Please Lord, hear me. Please help me!"
I talked to the operator some more. Then I went back to more praying.
"Oh God, please be with me. God, help me. Help me!"
"Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee."
And then something began to happen. I began saying over and over, "Thou will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee." I was quoting a verse from the Bible I had committed to memory. It was a scripture given to me during a difficult trial I had faced earlier in my life. And when I was saying this scripture over and over, I was able to calm down more. I spoke it as my plea for help and I felt peace. Perfect peace.
The day I was burned, my husband was the first to find me.
"How did you know where I was?" I asked him one day.
"You were screaming."
I don't remember that. In my mind, all was calm. I had gotten out of the tub and was standing at the mirror praying when he came in. My body was in torment but my soul was with God. I was remembering how God was with Joseph. God was with David. I prayed He would be with me too. I was repeating, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for He is with me." I used scripture in my prayer and had faith in its promises.
"There is power in prayer."
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever prayed to God for help and He allowed something very bad to happen to you or someone you love anyway? Whether you want to admit it or not, you may be keeping a record of how many times you feel God has disappointed you over the years. Maybe not literally, but maybe you feel like you can't be sure He will listen to you. After all, you've looked at all the problems in the world and have wondered how He can allow all of this bad stuff to go on? Have you ever considered that maybe He is doing what is best for you, your loved one or even the world spiritually? I have learned even in the midst of my most painful moments and anxiety, God cares for me and with many tears and prayers in faith, I have grown spiritually. Have faith.
In this world we live in, there is an evil force hard at work every single day whose number one goal is to ruin us, our family, our friends, and every soul that is still alive today. Sometimes I think Satan's master plan is the ABCs of keeping us Angry, Busy or, Crying. It's in moments like the one I shared with you, we can recognize that what we need most in this life is the God of this universe to be by our side. In the end, our spiritual life is all that really matters. All of the other stuff is just pulling us further and further from Him and the power of prayer. Get right with God.
I want to encourage you to grow in your faith. Decide to draw near to God more and more each day by choosing to read the Bible and search His holy scriptures to make changes as needed. As one person put it, "Get into the Bible until the Bible gets into you." Don't be afraid to question why you believe what you believe and if you are right with God. I highly recommend the podcast "Prayer and Fasting" on the Excel Still More Podcast. Kris Emerson uses a great acronym for prayer and brings out an important point that we must be in a restored relationship with God before we ask Him anything. Here's how to get power out of prayer:
P is for Praise. Are you praising God and connecting with Him before you ask for anything?
R is for Repent. Are you repenting of your sins and in a restored relationship with Him?
A is for Ask. Are you asking for things that will honor Him?
Y is for Yield. Are you yielding your will, spirit and steps to Him in faith?
There is power in prayer, but it's up to you to be right with God and full of faith.
Stay Prayerful Friends,
1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Bible KJV
Interesting side note: The picture for this blog is my journal entry on July 24, 2019.
"I feel like I've been on a walk and have just turned a corner. What I see ahead of me is a new life. The next chapter. I am ready for spiritual growth. I crave a purposeful life. I want to reach out and make a difference in someone's life. Why? Because I have been blessed. I have the very MIND OF GOD right at my fingertips...the Bible. I will READ it. Allow it to saturate my soul. If someone were to pierce me through, I would want scripture to pour forth."
Excel Still More "Prayer and Fasting"