Who Hears Prayer

The Psalms are filled with praise and encouragement.  This one starts with praising God and recognizing that He is worthy of worship.  Then we are reminded that God is the one Who hears prayer.  For Almighty God to be willing to listen to us is an amazing thing.  God is in charge of the universe, but He still wants us to come to Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I can come to You and bring my requests. Thank You for your leading in my prayers.  I ask that You would be at work in hearts so more would cling to You and bring their requests to You. Thank You that You listen to all who come to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Take Time to Praise

I have often caught myself spending more time in prayer asking God for things than thanking Him.  I also know how easy it can be to complain instead of praise.  God tells us multiple times in His Word to be thankful and give praise to Him.  I appreciate verses like Psalm 100:4-5 that not only remind us to praise, but also give us an easy reason to give praise.  God’s steadfast love (Hebrew word hesed) and faithfulness are readily evident (when we are paying attention).

I need to pay attention for the many ways to thank and praise God, but I know when I get stuck that God’s Word will give me the help to get started.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your steadfast love.  You are unchanging and Your love is always available to me.  I praise Your faithfulness.  I am in awe of the endurance Your love and faithfulness has.  You are worthy of praise and honor and glory.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Complete and Total Trust

This last week I have been fighting a different battle.  The company that manages my employer’s disability policy does not have the information they want to process my claim.  I have been confused and felt hassled trying to be the go-between to get this situation resolved.  I have needed the reminder to pray and trust the Lord completely.  God has this situation in hand, just as He had my surgery and recovery taken care of.

Life is full of various challenges.  God has the ability to take care of us through anything He allows in our lives.  I need to rely completely and totally on God to be able to make it through those situations.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing secure footing when I rely completely on You.  Please help me when I struggle to trust You completely.  I know You are trustworthy. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Being Equipped

I was at CTCA for my one month post-surgery follow up this week.  God has sent many blessings along the way, despite the challenges of surgery.  At this point, I have been “released” and do not need any more treatment.

I still can’t say specifically why God chose this journey for me, but I know God has a plan to bring honor to Himself.  He will equip me to do His will.  There is nothing better in life than living for God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all of the blessings and for giving me strength to endure the challenges.  Please help me to live the purpose You have for me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Willing to Receive

Lord,
I am willing to receive what You send,
lack what You withhold, 
relinquish what You take, 
suffer what You inflict;
To do what You command and
To be what You require.

Elizabeth Elliot

I know I much prefer receiving the “nice” things in life.  Something that warms my heart like a friendly greeting or good news.  I find it much harder to receive difficulties.  Going through appointments and surgery for a pre-cancerous tumor hit my introverted personality hard.  There were many difficult things along the way.  However, I spent so much more time praying.  I have also been convicted to watch for and write down the joy God sends throughout the difficulties.  I have found it fun to share the stories of the blessings.  I found it easier to make it through the tough times by looking for and enjoying the positive things.

I want to be willing to say what Elizabeth Elliot did – to be willing to have what God wants.  I know God’s gifts are always best.  Prayer and thanksgiving are two great ways to receive what God gives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many blessings You send my way.  Thank You that the difficulties are a gift to help me draw closer to You. I ask for help as I continue to navigate the challenges of life.  Please help me to share hope, love, and faith in You with those around me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wonderful Things from the Faithful One

While surgery brings many challenges, God did many wonderful things throughout the process.  I asked God to send me one Christian in the process of my medical care.  The person at the surgery check-in desk goes to a local Baptist church and has heard a speaker I know from Minnesota.  I also met the CTCA chaplain face to face when he stopped by the hospital after surgery (I had talked to him on the phone before).  I prayed for one, but God sent me two.  

God made it possible for my parents to meet me at CTCA and drive me home to help me for a time after surgery.  I have an employer and coworkers who have given me support throughout this time that I needed to be out.  I have a church family who has reached out to help with a variety of needs.  These are just a few of the wonderful things God has done for me.

I need plenty of reminders of the wonderful things that God has done.  Life is full of challenges and I can get stuck worrying about the difficulties.  Instead, I want to share the goodness of God in the midst of trials.  This doesn’t mean that I will downplay or ignore the difficulties, but I believe this will help me to face struggles with more of God’s strength rather than my own.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessings and strength that You provide.  I ask for continued guidance as I navigate the difficulties You have allowed.  Please help me to focus on the blessings and view the trials with a God honoring view.  Thank You for Your faithfulness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Grace Meeting My Needs

God brought me through surgery and a week and half recovery at this point.  I am so thankful for many things that happened.  I was definitely nervous, but God sent really nice people.  Everyone was gracious and caring.  One nurse was Anna from Poland.  She was fun to talk to and she did a great Minnesota accent imitation – she was spot on!  All of the medical professionals were amazing.  I hope to write down more stories.  I knew nurses were hard working, but seeing what the nurses and PCT (patient care technicians) had to go through just to get me up – wow!  They are amazing!

I know God is good, but I often need tangible reminders of His goodness.  It is my goal to pay attention and write down as many of those as I can.  Surgery was hard (the road to recovery has not ended yet), but these difficult things bring many opportunities to watch for God’s grace.  I pray that I always remember that thought.  Hard times are hard, but God is bigger and more gracious than the hard times.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me so much evidence of Your grace.  Please help me to remember the specifics of what You have done and dwell on them.  Please remind me of these stories when I struggle and doubt.  Thank You for Your goodness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Little Gifts, Big Rewards

“To the great mind, nothing is little.” – Sherlock Holmes

Every week since I shared my diagnosis of DCIS, I have received cards, text messages, and other encouragement from friends.  While the big gifts are very nice (I received a large gift basket from coworkers), I also enjoy the “little” things.  I have received several cards of encouragement from friends.  I am working on how to post them at home.  I am running out of room.

I think we focus too much on the bigger things.  When we are able to work together, we can come up with bigger gifts.  Not everyone is able to do that.  Each person who has put the time to send me a card has put effort into encouraging me.  I get to re-live the encouragement every time I see the cards. 

If you have the chance, please consider giving a “little gift” for someone who might be in need.  It might make their day.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many gifts You have sent my way. Thank You for the people who took time to encourage me.  Please help me to do the same for others.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Taking a Break

This week I hit the proverbial brick wall.  I had been to several appointments in 2 ½ weeks and while I had the blessings of many nice people, I think I just reached the point of exhaustion.  There was so much push to start with I felt I had to make a decision and get going.  While I don’t like crashing, it pushed me to seek a second opinion.  I will be heading to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in about 2 weeks.  I like their integrated approach including working with the patient to help them understand and feel comfortable with the decisions being made.

While it is important to work through medical issues without delay, it is nice to have a break.  Taking time to rest is important.  We tend to hurry through life, and it can take its toll.  I will thoroughly enjoy no appointments for a time.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a short time of rest from medical appointments.  Thank You for the encouragement from the staff at CTCA.  They have been a blessing.  Please help me to cling to You and show You to others as I face this journey.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Christmas Truth

I fear the concept of truth has been taking hits for many years.  We confuse opinion with truth.  We have to form opinions – it is in our nature, but I think we need to be careful about the basis for our opinions. 

One thing I know for sure is that Jesus, Who is God, came to earth to be born as a baby.  He grew up to die to save us from our sins.  Many in the world today do not know the truth of Jesus. This has caused us to be at war with each other.  If we were to focus on and cling to Jesus Christ, we could stop the warring.  Jesus is the only way to peace.

I enjoy Christmas songs that remind us of this truth.  One is the song “Glorious Light” by Keith & Kristyn Getty and Ian Hannah. 

Glorious light! see the dawn of Salvation:
Angels in white fill the skies with their wondrous song;
Awakening earth with news of His birth;
Join the hymn of the highest heavens!

Long has the world fought the song of the angels.
Heavenly music is drowned by a warring world;
Yet hope burns a light, that shatters the night;
Turn your heart to the call of glory!

Glory to God in the highest!
Peace to men on earth.
Come and adore Him with wonder –
Christ Lord of Heaven and earth.

Keith & Kristyn Getty and Ian Hannah

As I have said before, I pray you know Jesus.  He is the only way to have peace and joy.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus. Thank You for the beautiful music many have written about Your Son.  Please open eyes to the truth of Who Jesus truly is.  Please help me to be an instrument of that truth.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.