UPDATE - PRAYER REQUESTS
Normally, I do not put out newsletters except every two weeks. But, I felt I needed to ask for prayer.
Allen, a friend of mine who has been a huge asset to CARM, is a man with a heart for the Lord. He has traveled to Africa to set up computer systems. He tithes in support of missionaries and he has a heart for evangelism. He is a good man. Allen has prostate cancer and is undergoing some rather invasive treatments. If I described them you'd think they were from the Saddam Hussein School of Medicine. Anyway, the goal is that he be healed. Can you please pray for Allen that the Lord would give the doctors wisdom, that his healing would be complete, and that he would continue to be used of the Lord to spread the Good News.
John is the husband of a co-worker who is anointed for bringing people to the Lord. He has witnessed to countless persons and has been privileged to lead many of them to the Lord. John has contracted Multiple Sclerosis. Unfortunately, one of the side effects seems to be the development of some serious mental difficulties -- please forgive me for not being specific. Please pray for his physical and mental healing. We know that the enemy wants this man out of commission. But if we pray, mighty things can happen. Also, my co-worker is not only under the stress and strain of this ordeal, but also of their son who also has cancer. He too is a Christian. The family needs prayer desperately.
Bob is a friend of mine who, I am sad to say, has left the faith. Oddly enough, cancer saved his life. Back in 1981 he had kidney cancer and while in the hospital a brain tumor was found. If he had not been in the hospital the tumor would have gone undetected and would have killed him in a matter of days. He was operated on. After the operation he "changed." He has sense left the Christian faith and adopted Judaism. Well, the kidney cancer is back and it looks like his pancreas is also affected. If that wasn't enough, his daughter Christina inherited the same brain tumor problem. Her operation left her with complications: a lost lung, tracheotomy, inability to swallow, and a feeding tube in her stomach. The whole family has turned their back on the Lord. They desperately need prayers for physical as well as spiritual healing.
My wife needs prayer for her physical ailments that are slowly getting worse. She has Marfan syndrome (loose connective tissue) which has many complications. I've mentioned this before but since this is a newsletter about prayer requests, please remember her as well.
Also, I need prayer as I work through intimacy issues with the Lord. Please pray that my fellowship with the Lord would increase.
I know there are so many of you out there who have desperate prayer requests. I wish I could list them all here. Perhaps the Lord will bless CARM with a way (and a person) who could head up a prayer ministry.
The CARM convention is happening this weekend, Lord willing. Please pray that the Lord is glorified and that the whole things goes well.
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of place where we touch the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.
The Bible speaks much of prayer. But, sometimes, too often, we ignore prayer and seek to accomplish in the strength of our own wills those things that we desire to have or happen. For those of us who are too often guilty of this, we need to bow our knees, confess our sin, receive God's forgiveness, and beg that the will of the Lord be done above our own. God is sovereign and loving and He knows what is best for us and others, even if it doesn't always seem to make the most sense.
We so often come to the Lord with legitimate requests for healing, conversions, and needs and yet the answers we hope for often do not come. We wonder and sometimes doubt. Yet, we preserver and praise God. We pray because we know that God hears us and because we desire to see results. We should pray by faith, trusting God. We should pray consistently, trusting God. We should pray for healing, trusting God. We should pray for others, trusting God. We should pray and when our prayers are answered or are not answered remember this: If we knew what the Lord knew, we wouldn't change a thing.
Prayer changes the one praying because in prayer, you are in the presence of God laying before Him your complete self in confession and dependence. There is nothing to hide when in quiet supplication we are reaching into the deepest part of our selves and admitting our needs and failures. In so doing, our hearts are quieted and pride is stripped and we enjoy the presence of God. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
I am reminded of another benefit of prayer: peace. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," (Phil. 4:6-7).
I suppose that we can test our prayer life and dependence upon God by the peace or lack of peace in our hearts. In all things we are to seek the Lord and in His continued presence peace will surely be our gain.
VERSE OF THE WEEK.
"I Love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. 2Because He has inclined His ear to me. Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live," (NASB).