This post is about how you our friends have made our world better by praying for my beloved wife, Cheryl. Last summer, when she was diagnosed with cancer, we weren’t sure what the future held. But we knew that God listens to the prayers of His children, and in our case God has blessed me by extending Cheryl’s life and giving her more opportunities to love Him and serve Him.
God’s promises in response to our prayers are incredible. They include healing, protection, the provision of our daily needs, and wisdom in our decision making. “The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick.” (James 5:15) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God…and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) “Ask and it will be given to you…(for) which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7:6-9) “I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
It’s important to remember that there are conditions attached many of these promises. To receive wisdom, we must ask in faith; to enjoy God’s miraculous provision, we may need to persist in prayer, continuing to knock until the door is opened; and to obtain mercy from the heart of God, we too must be merciful and forgive anyone who has hurt us. As you can imagine, we’ve learned a lot about prayer as we’ve for Cheryl’s healing this past year. We’ve learned what it means to forgive, we’ve learned what it means to trust God, and we’ve learned what Jesus meant when He said, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1) In fact, we continue to learn new things about prayer every day.
One of the biggest lessons is that there are some prayers too heavy to lift up alone. Paul uses a play on words to talk about this in Galatians chapter 6. He says in verse 2, “Bear one another’s burdens,” but then in verse 5 he seems to contradict himself adding, “Each man must bear his own burden.” What’s going on here? The explanation is that he uses two different words for “burden.” The word in verse 5 describes a small burden like a backpack perfectly suited for one person to carry. These are the daily tasks God has assigned each of us to handle without shifting the responsibility to others. But the word in verse 2 refers to a big burden that no one can carry alone without hurting himself. In our case these are the worries we’ve experienced about Cheryl’s health. Thank you that you’ve never left us to carry these alone. You’ve prayed for her healing, our faith, our finances, and many other crushing pressures. Like the paralytic’s friends in Mark chapter 2, when anxiety threatened to keep us from Jesus, you pulled the roof apart by your prayers and lowered us into His presence.
So what’s Cheryl’s status now? Her doctors assure us that she is cancer free with only 5% chance that it will return. But she continues to battle lymphedema in her right leg and the cellulitis it can lead to. Week before last, she spent 5 days in the hospital on IV antibiotics followed by a week of oral antibiotics. Thankfully, her medical appointment yesterday shows she is free of that infection. Thanks for praying for her! But please don’t stop. This may be a request for which we have to keep asking, seeking, and knocking for her to remain infection free.
Remember Israel’s battle against the Amalekites in Exodus 17? As long as Moses kept his arms raised in prayer, Israel prevailed. But when his arms grew heavy, the Amalekites prevailed. So Aaron and Hur held his arms up until the battle was won. Please do that for us. Sometimes our faith grows weak and we need others to pray for us. Right now her doctor is trying to decide if he will give Cheryl prophylactic injections of antibiotics twice a month to keep the infection away. We need prayer for this and all the other challenges she is facing as her body recovers from the trauma of radiation, chemo, and surgery. But we don’t want our prayers to be one-way only. We take joy in praying for you. So please take a moment to share with us those burdens for which you’d like someone else to pray, and we will faithfully add our prayers to yours. Just add a comment in the space below or send it to us on our “Contact Us” page.