As I write this I am praying for and thinking of three friends going through difficult health battles:
- Lee is a good friend and accountant who for years has volunteered his talents to help our ministry. Lee is going through another round of chemotherapy for cancer that reoccurred last month.
- Ken is a gifted musician, Christian illusionist, and Santa Claus lookalike whose heart for God and people shines in everything he does. Ken was in the hospital two weeks ago for removal of a cancerous growth in his kidney.
- While Ken was in the hospital the doctors informed his wife Jody that she has stage-four breast cancer. She started chemotherapy treatment last week.
Even as my heart aches for these people, I am also in awe of their remarkable faith and positive outlook. They have made the choice to fix their gaze on Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith, rather than to focus solely on their present circumstances.
- In conversations and posts, Ken referred to “the journey” that he and his wife are embarked on with God.
- Lee and his wife Mary continue to live each day with thanks to God. They are pressing on with Jesus, hanging on to him with their very being
I’m sure they have moments where life is incredibly hard and overwhelming, but there is another force at work in their lives:
There are many, many people bathing them in prayer each day.
I believe in God who is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever ask or imagine. God is bigger than any disease, earthly power, or challenge that is thrown at us.
Christ followers truly worship God when they lift up others in prayer.
One of the most vivid descriptions of the power of prayer is found in Revelation Chapter 8. In this heavenly scene, a powerful angel of God approaches His altar (by the way, I’m convinced this angel comes to the altar at God’s own command, not on his own).
Read what happens when this angel stands at God’s heavenly altar:
“He held a cup made of gold full of special perfume. He was given much perfume so he could mix it in with the prayers of those who belonged to God. Their prayers were put on the altar made of gold before the throne. Smoke from burning the special perfume and the prayers of those who belong to God went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the cup of gold. He filled it with fire from the altar and threw it down on the earth. There was thunder and noise and lightning and the earth shook. (Revelation 8:3-5, NLV)
Did you catch what happens the perfume of real worship mixed with the prayers of Christ-followers reach God? They catch fire and reach God with a heavenly aroma. He responds, and all heaven and earth shake with the fire and power of God answering those prayers.
The lesson is this: God moves heaven and earth to answer the prayers of people who love Him!
PRAYER MATTERS TO GOD!
There are many other places in the Bible that affirm the necessity and power of prayer, way too many to list here. The challenge for us is to boldly ask, even when things seem hard. Why? Because our God is stronger than any challenge that comes His way—or ours.
I continue to pray for my friends, sometimes with tears that flow from the Holy Spirit. I will lift them up as I worship the One True God who who understands their suffering and is able to give them power, peace, and healing.
I invite you to join me in praying for Lee, Ken, and Jodie. I urge you to flavor your worship of God with prayers for the people in your life who stand in need of God’s earth-shaking power.