I am thankful that our faith walk is a process of building and accumulation. With each answer to prayer, our faith understanding is increased, and we become eager to believe God for greater miracles. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” Hebrews 1:3 (ESV).
I love celebrating answered prayers! It is such a joy to have celebratory moments when our hearts are overflowing with gratitude as we thank our Heavenly Father repeatedly for His love and goodness to us. But what do you do when you have been praying a long time for something and nothing seems to be happening? Discouragement is usually not far behind. When praying and standing on God’s promises, especially long-term, I like to have the prayers of those close to me; “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). One reason I do this is so that I can make inquiries about anything that an intercessor may be receiving from the Lord about the situation. Secondly, I can acknowledge and discuss discouragement with my prayer partners. I find that the light has a tendency to dissipate discouragement, because the Truth eradicates darkness.
I am grateful for the family of God, the Church. We are blessed to have such an amazing support system! I serve on the Care Team in our local fellowship, and I cannot begin to tell you how encouraging it is and what a boost it is to my faith just being with this group. This is a group of gifted, compassionate people who are willing to pray. Recently in a team meeting one member brought a prayer shawl for us to pray over which would then be given to a friend battling cancer. I was so moved by this moment that I made a request for a prayer shawl for a family member with cancer. This care team member just happened to have another prayer shawl, and gave it to me right then and prayed for healing as did the rest of the team. “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:2); this Scripture describes perfectly my experience.
I love those moments when the Holy Spirit ministers love in such tangible ways. God’s timing is amazing because not long after we prayed healing for my family member, I was able to bring the prayer shawl to his home, I could not wait to present him with this article that contained so many prayers. We all need reminders of God’s goodness and His promises to protect, heal, and provide what we need; “the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one” (II Thessalonians 3:3). His faithfulness causes our faith to grow as we witness Him performing His Word in our lives. I know of no one who does not want to be established and protected from the evil one. Jesus made all of this and more possible on the Cross.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and earth proclaim.
Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away,
but there’s just something about that name.
“There’s Just Something About That Name” by Bill & Gloria Gaither.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present[b] help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psalm 46:1-11 (Biblegateway.com).
(Image by Colleen Foy Gausman).