Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Much Prayer; Much Power…Prayers for Elizabeth

In the last couple of days I have revisited some material about prayer in a book that I actually read several years ago.  I have always believed in the power of prayer, and my parents taught me to pray at a young age.  However, in my junior year of college, my mother-in-law, Sandra, really inspired me and helped me grow as I observed her faithfulness to pray.  There were several things and people in my life at that time that I really needed to pray about, and I can think of a couple of occasions where she got out her bible to show me stuff in the Word or other times that I would just show up to pray with her when I needed someone to stand in agreement with.

One of the most exciting (and rewarding) things we can do as believers is to pray and watch God work.  It can also be one of the most difficult things to do consistently. And it can also be frustrating when you feel like God has turned a deaf ear to you and that your prayers are not being heard. 

Several days ago, a dear and precious girl whom I have had the pleasure of knowing and even working with (up until this past May), was critically injured in a very bad automobile accident.  I know that people everywhere are praying, but the last few days have been very difficult with not near the progress we had all hoped for.  I am ready for some major progress.  Ready to see God move in a mighty way.  Ready to see our prayers answered.  And ready for Elizabeth to wake up and come home.  So, today I am posting some information about prayer that I have been looking over…and why it is a MUST as brothers and sisters in Christ that we lift one another up continuously and go to the Lord in prayer continuously!  The following words (in purple) are taken out of a book I have read and reread.

“Some prayer; some power.  More prayer; more power.  Much prayer; much power.”  I have talked with prime ministers and presidents.  To talk to one of these people, you must make an appointment way in advance, and your time is always strictly limited.  They have great power, but at the same time their power is limited because they are men controlled by other men.  But I can talk to God Almighty at any time, for as long as I want, and when I’m finished He doesn’t shrug His shoulders and say, “I  can’t help you, John.”  He says, “I will make a way where there seems to be no way.” (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.)  He says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know”  (Jeremiah 33:3).

Why pray?  Because prayerlessness is sin.  1 Samuel 12:23 says far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.  This particular part of the book addressed the faithfulness of the author’s mother to pray for his salvation.  Once he surrendered his life to Christ, he preached the gospel for over 45 years across the globe because his mother “went to war with the devil for her son’s soul in her prayer room—and the devil lost.  She prayed me out of the fires of hell and into the arms of God.”  Who should we be praying for?

A prayerless Christian is a weak Christian.  A prayerless church is a weak church.  A prayerless nation is a defeated nation.  A prayerless family is a divided family.

Why pray?  Because God answers prayer.  This section had a really touching story about a ten year daughter (Lizzy) of the music minister in his church that was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in the center of her brain.  The physicians, including one of the best oncologists in the nation gave absolutely no hope for her survival.  The church, grief stricken, got on their knees and went to war for Lizzy’s life.  In spite of their prayers over the next several weeks, she grew progressively worse.  The doctors said, “The last sign will be that she will have such severe headaches that she will be unable to attend school.  Once she comes home from school, she will not go back.”  He went on to write that he remembered it as if it was yesterday when Lizzy’s father came in to his office and said, “The school called and said, ‘Come get Lizzy.  She has a headache.’”  He put his arms around her father and they prayed together, yet again, for poor Lizzy.  The pastor felt a surge of faith like he had never felt in his life before that point in time.  After their prayer, he instructed him to “Go home and give Lizzy an aspirin like it was an ordinary headache, and see what God does.”  The next morning, Lizzy woke up without a headache.  Her left eye began to come back toward the center.  Her hand/eye coordination began to dramatically improve.  Her eyelids, which had been droopy, were back to normal. Her parents were fearful of being overly optimistic because of such negative pronouncement by the medical community.  They soon took Lizzy in for an MRI which revealed the tumor was completely gone.  HEALED in Jesus’ Name!  That was some thirteen years+ ago, but she has since been married to the love of her life and her future is as bright as ever because of the miracle-working power of God!

Why pray? Because we are commanded to pray.  The tragedy of our day is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.  Matthew 6 says “When you pray,” not “If you pray.”  The apostle Paul told the Thessalonians, “Pray without ceasing.”  Many Christians know the power of prayer, the priority of prayer, and the purpose of prayer—yet they do not purpose to pray.

Why pray? Because anointed prayer rises above.  The apostle Paul was stoned and left for dead.  Yet he didn’t ask the church to pray for the rheumatism that was caused by the stones that broke his bones.  When he was jailed, Paul didn’t say to the church, “Pray for me.  I’m in jail.  They have whipped me with a Roman cat-o’-nine-tails.  The blood is running down my back and onto the floor in puddles.  I’m going to be in the news again as a fanatic and in handcuffs.  Paul did say, “Pray that I might speak the Word of God with boldness” Act 4:29.  If there ever were a time in America’s history when Americans need to speak the Word of God with boldness, it’s right now!  An almighty and all-powerful God is sitting on His throne in heaven with His hand cuffed behind his ear to hear the petitions of His children.  He’s listening for us to ask Him to do “great and mighty things,” to show signs and wonders of the power of God.  He’s listening for us to pull down the strongholds of the addictions that enslave our children, our husbands, and our wives.  He’s looking for us to pray for a national revival that will turn this nation away from the moral sewer in which we find ourselves. 

When you get down to pray, remember that you’re talking to almighty God. ( I love this part!!)  The blast of His nostrils can split the cedars of Lebanon.  He holds the seven seas in the palm of His hand.  He weighs the mountains on a scale and the hills in the balance.  Ask Him for things so staggering, so big, that God slides to the edge of His holy throne and says to the angels, “Did you hear what that kid asked for?  “Do it, angels!  Faith like that excites me!  Get down there with the answer!  Move those mountains of impossibilities.  Heal that incurable disease.  Restore that dead marriage.  Set her addicted son free!”

Do you need supernatural wisdom to make a difficult decision? Do you need peace that surpasses understanding?  “Nothing is impossible to them that believe.” 

Do you need to experience the impossible?  Open your mouth in faith believing because you’re not talking to the president of the United States.  You’re not talking to a billionaire of limited means.  YOU’RE TALKING TO THE UNLIMITED CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.  HE HAS THE POWER TO DIVIDE THE SEAS, AND HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU. Ask Him for the impossible!  Ask Him to defeat the giants in your life because our God is a giant killer.  Ask Him to divide the Red Sea before you, which will bury Pharaoh and his army.  Ask Him to send fire from heaven as He did for Elijah.  Ask Him to walk you through the fiery furnace as He did with three Hebrew children.  Ask Him, for He’s the God who cannot fail, and He’s waiting to show you His mighty power!

If that doesn’t get you excited about who you’re praying to, what will????!!!!  I don’t know about you, but the God I serve is strong and mighty!  HE IS MOST HIGH!  Can I get an amen?!  :)

PRAY SCRIPTURE.  The author writes that his mother was the greatest prayer warrior he’s ever known.  As a child, she would pray the Scriptures because they are the promises of God and will not return void.  He gives several examples of how to do this…What is your problem? Your burden? Your crisis?  Find the verses in the bible that relate to what you’re going through and pray those verses.  (I have done this time and time again and it is powerful.)  Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know a lot of scripture.  Consult a concordance—for instance, look up the word worry, and then find passages that apply.  As you become more and more familiar with God’s Word, praying scripture will become automatic.  Here’s his example.  If you are going through a dark valley of sorrow, grief, and perhaps depression, praying scripture could sound like this:

Heavenly Father, I come to You in the mighty name of Your Son and my Savior Jesus Christ.  You know my heart is full of grief, and so, according to Your Word, I’ve come before Your throne to rejoice.  Father this is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.  I delight myself in You, Lord.  You are my shield and buckler, my fortress, my high tower.  You are the bright and morning star.  You are the Prince of Peace.  Happy am I because God is my refuge.  Father Your Word declares that You rejoice over me with joy and that everlasting joy is upon my head…Father, my mouth shall praise You in the day of trouble, for You are the strength of my life; in whom shall I be afraid?  Though a host should encamp against me, I shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.  For in the time of trouble You shall hide me in Your pavilion.  You shall set me upon a rock.  And now my head shall be lifted up above mine enemies; therefore will I offer sacrifices of joy unto You Lord.

(And this isn’t in the book, but I’m just saying…don’t worry if you don’t have the scriptures you are reading memorized before you pray.  You can be face flat to the floor with just enough room to slide your bible between your nose and the floor and enough room to read it out loud or sitting in your car in the parking lot with your bible open praying Scripture!)

Prayer is getting you prepared to do God’s will.  God never forces you to do His will, but He often places you in extreme adversity that drives you to your knees and prepares you to do His will.  Example here in Acts chapter 9 of Saul being blinded.  Three days in darkness saturated with soul-searching prayer, then God told Ananias, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.” Saul’s prayer was not getting God ready to do Saul’s will, which was to put Christians in prison.  Saul’s prayer, in the sanctuary of blindness and forced helplessness, prepared Saul to do God’s will.

Consider the power of two—Matthew 18:19 reads: Again I say unto you, that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  Paul and Silas demonstrated the power of two.  If you are wondering when God is going to do something about your situation, remember he has placed the responsibility of taking action squarely on your shoulders.  Find a believer that will stand in agreement with you in prayer…if you take initiative, the power of prayer will move the hand of God to bring the perfect answer.

Tonight, and in the days ahead, would you join me in prayer for this sweet child of God and sister in Christ?  She is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister.  She is a friend to many.  I assure you that she is even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the out.  Many people have known Elizabeth for much longer, I have only one had the privilege of knowing her just three short years, but one thing that has always been evident to me about her is that she loves the Lord. 

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Here are some of my favorite pictures of this sweet family.  I had to post the fish picture because it just shows how awesome she is :)  And her and her sis that was recently married…

The following is something that she had as a favorite quotation on facebook:  Your never too messed up, broken or far gone that your creator can't bring you back, heal you and put you back together again! ♥- liz boedeker

I believe with all of my heart that God is going to heal her and bring her home to her family.  I just know she has lots left to do in this life for Him!  PRAY. PRAY. PRAY!  

This has been the world’s longest post, but it is wonderful to see children seeking the Lord.  My babies have been praying a lot for Elizabeth too, and today when Mario picked J up from school she told him, “Today when I went to the bathroom at school, I wasn’t supposed to be talking, but I prayed out loud for Elizabeth in the bathroom.”  It was so precious to me.  I pray that your faith will be built up in this time and that God will do great and awesome things!

You can read the updates at:  http://www.prayingforliz.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your prayers.

8 comments:

Becke' said...

This blessed me so much...thanks for taking the time to type all that up! I saw on her blog today that they got some good news...still praying tho. I knew Elizabeth when she was in HS...she and Eric's brother were friends. Thanks for your witness...your light shines brightly. Have a gorgeous day!

His Doorkeeper said...

I had read about Elizabeth on FB.

Thanks, Micaela, for your reminder of praying. I pray off and on all day these days it seems. The needs out there (and here) are SO great.

In "Believing God" Beth Moore made this statement and I loved it. "When you have no idea what to believe Him for in a given situation, just believe Him to be HUGE!"

Praying for Elizabeth and for God to be HUGE in her life!

Jacquie said...

I've been using a sleep cycle program on my iPhone for the last couple weeks and the first thing I do now (after I turn off the alarm) is check my phone for what's happened since I set it down. Terrible. I know.

Your post was the first thing I read and it moved me more than words can say. Without getting into my life history, sometimes coming from a family of 11 you know you're loved but never really feel like you matter that much. I sometimes put God in the same category as I have my parents. (How much time can He have for little old me when He has so many others to tend to with much bigger concerns than mine??) You have really challenged me to see HIM in a different light. I'm praying for revival in my heart and in this nation and this post has really stirred me about my prayer life.

Bless you, Mic. You have the best heart!! (And I LOVED what you wrote about J praying in the bathroom. God love her!)

Leigh Ann said...

I'm blessed by this post, Micaela! Praying so much for Elizabeth to wake up and go home! Love all you wrote about her and all you wrote about the importance of prayer. Thank you for that!!!

Heather said...

I loved this post and it really prompted me to think about how I pray. We have been praying so much for Elizabeth. I would love, LOVE to get together again---it has been TOO long! Let me know what your schedule is like and we'll set up lunch, etc. You can e-mail me at kendrick1@conwaycorp.net if you want to! Talk to you soon!

Cathy's world said...

I have been following the blog on Elizabeth since I read your post. I have been praying for her. God is great! I am so happy to hear about the progress she is making. I am amazed at the people you come to know through the blog world. I tried to start one but when it comes to computers I fall short.
However. I do love your blog and I am so glad I read your post on prayer and Elizabeth.
Have a wonderful week.

Cathy's world said...

I followed her since the day you posted this. When I woke up in the morning I would check to see if there was a new post. It was so beautiful how I was moved by the constant work that God did with Elizabeth. What a miracle. I am so happy she is home now and even though she still has a journey ahead of her. I think God will show himself over and over in her life.
Thank you for sharing this story when it first happened. God is so good.
Cathy
glsfn@hotmail.com

Georges William Ntemi said...

As I was reDing this post today. The Lord put in my the desire to lift up my voice for Lizzy. I feel in my spirit that the miracle is on the way. Missy shall testify the goodness of our Lord in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Remember his love Lizzy we are family.