I feel like I've been bombarded with prayer requests lately...so many people are getting sick, dealing with diseases, fighting for life. "It's not the way it's supposed to be", I think to myself.
I was at a women's conference at my church this weekend and one of the speakers, Cynthia Brazelton brought light to this subject in my life. She was talking about how we are the apple of God's eye (Deut 32:10). It says that He found him (us, the people I'm praying for, etc) in the wilderness, in a wasteland (in a dry place where they don't have the healing they need). It says that He threw His arms around us, lavished His attention on us and guarded us as the apple of His eye. Well, praise the Lord!!! When we are struggling, he is wrapping his arms around us, giving us all the attention and love we need and guarding us as very precious to His heart.
Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praises of his people. We are to praise Him, and He simply can't help but be present when we do so. He longs to visit us when we are praising Him--what parent doesn't love to hear his or her kids say how much they love Mama or Daddy? I know when I'm putting Ella down for the night, I long to hear those words, "Wuv you, mommy" pass through her pacifier, especially when they're unsolicited.
So, I want to praise God for who He is, in light of a few people who are close to me and need to be wrapped up in His arms right now. In fact, they need Him to move in a mighty way, and I'm believing for them that He will. In Acts 16, we find Paul and Silas...they had been preaching the gospel through a town and casting out demons and healing people. Some people got mad at them and had them thrown into jail. They weren't just put in a holding cell. They were put in the deepest dungeon in the jail. No doubt there were rats and all sorts of nasty things down there, and it was dark and wet and....ewwwww! Then they were shackled and so their hands were bound and they couldn't do anything about those rats and creepy crawlies all over them. (Double ewwwww!) What did they do? They were praying and singing to God. And not just some woe is me kind of, "I praise you, God. (sniff, sniff)"...No, they praised and prayed so loudly that the other prisoners who were not underground heard them through the thick stone walls and dirt that separated them. This was a serious praise. And then do you know what happened? An earthquake came (I don't think it was a coincidence), the foundations of the jail shifted, and all the doors opened and everyone's chains were loosed.
What Paul and Silas did was praise. What God did was free everyone who even heard them praising. Everyone who was bound. Paul & Silas were in jail for no good reason, so maybe some of the other prisoners really were innocent, too. And they all were able to be free.
My three big prayer requests have been for:
1) My mom, who is battling the last stages of pulmonary hypertension, and has been for 4 years now. We are at the point where we have to have a miracle or lung transplant. She is #1 on the transplant list, but her antibodies are so that there is a very small percentage of people who would match her. I am praying for God's healing touch to touch her, heal her. OR...if He'd get more glory through a transplant process, then I am praying for the match, or a change in her antibodies...anything.
2) My friend and college roommate, Ashley. She and her husband are missionaries in Botswana, and she has always been someone who I've looked up to spiritually. This girl is a ball of fire for God. She recently gave birth to their second child, a boy named Caleb. Unfortunately, during the birthing process, his oxygen was diminished, and now there is significant damage to his brain which, barring a miracle, could mean a lifetime of round-the-clock care and almost no quality of life. Ashley and Percy have each felt God telling them to believe and ask for healing in this situation, though they were prepared to simply deal with the diagnosis and still give Him glory.
3) My "aunt" (she's related somehow through my marriage on my dad's side) Leslie who is in the last stages of cancer. She is fighting and battling, but has been dealing with it a long time, and I'm sure she's tired. I can't imagine how hard it must be to go through all that she's gone through, and as a mama, I can't imagine the torment that she deals with when thinking of her two sons and husband. I am praying for a miracle in this situation, too.
Overall, may God's will be done...He is worthy of praise even if things don't turn out as I have hoped and prayed. He's amazing and his ways are higher than my ways. I'm going to praise Him because of these situations. I am going to continually give Him the love and admiration He deserves, and He will inhabit these praises and the anointing that comes from it can be transferred into their lives, just as it happened with Paul and Silas.
Will you please take a minute and praise God with me? Thank Him for answering these prayers. Thank Him for wrapping these three people in His arms and lavishing His love of them and guarding them as the apple of His eye?