I suppose no one, however long he has lived a life of prayer, is immune to the enemy’s attack on his confidence that prayer “works.” Again and again we are tempted to feel that God is not paying attention, our prayers are futile, why should we keep on praying? Jesus told a story about a widow who made such a nuisance of herself that even a judge who cared nothing for her or for God was finally moved to action. He used this to teach us never to lose heart. “Will not God vindicate His chosen, who cry out to Him day and night, while He listens patiently to them?” (Luke 18:7). A note says that that last phrase may also be translated “While He delays to help them.” It is worth remembering, when the delays tempt us to quit praying, that He is listening patiently — paying attention when we feel He has forgotten all about our prayer, biding His time. And He Himself is the very One, remember, who commanded us to keep on praying and never lose heart. He is listening. He will act. Do not doubt His promise.Source: The Music of His promises: Listening to God with Love, Trust, and Obedience by Elisabeth Elliot
Their names are Stephanie, Abby, and Jody, and they need your prayers.
Stephanie and I know each other from middle school, high school, and youth group, but we were never really close (big schools, big church, different groups of friends). We haven’t kept in touch since then, as we moved in opposite directions for college, and then God built our lives in different cities. But, of course, we are Facebook friends, and this is how I know that she and her family very much need your prayers.
Their girl, Abby, is sick. And I’m a total wreck thinking about it. Really. After sending Stephanie a message telling her I’m praying for her, I went to do just that. And now I have a stuffy nose, a throbbing headache, and an aching heart. Here is what I thought and prayed (the small part I wrote down, anyway):
I don’t know how God can bear it. His love for His children is infinitely deeper than a mother’s love for her child, yet He must constantly watch them suffer… I’m totally wrecked right now thinking and praying for Stephanie and Jody Tettleton, whose little girl, Abby, needs a liver transplant. She’s in ICU right now. I don’t think she’s even two years old! Babies are not supposed to suffer like this; mamas and daddies shouldn’t have to watch their little ones in so much pain — bearing the weight of the Fall. It’s too heavy for us — how much more so for the tiny ones? It’s too much. Lord, heal this baby. You are the Great Physician — I lift Abigail Tettleton up to You begging for healing. I ask You also to pour into Stephanie and Jody supernatural peace, strength, and trust in You. You are good; You are so perectly good, even when we’re in the midst of pain. Show Stephanie and Jody, and all the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins how to praise and trust You in this storm. Move mightily, Lord. Do not let the enemy make them feel hopeless or alone, for they are far from it. Our God is the God of Heaven and Earth! Lord, pour out Your blessings on this Family!
Although I don’t really know this family, I wept all morning for their hurt. I simply can’t imagine watching your baby in so much physical need. But I do know that God is great, and I know that prayers are made stronger when others join in the chorus. So please, even though you may not know them either, lift them up to the great Healer, for He is more than able!
Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
I have decided to start a series on Proverbs 31 because I am a woman, I am a wife, and I am a mother. The 31st chapter of Proverbs has a lot to say about women in general, and wives and mothers in particular! It’s been a while since I looked at this chapter closely, and it has been never since I really savored each verse, meditating and evaluating my heart in light of them. What better time than now?
Although most Proverbs 31 studies seem to begin at the tenth verse — “An excellent wife, who can find?” — I am starting at the very beginning, with King Lemuel’s wise mother. You see, she had an oracle — a burden, a longing, a yearning — for her son. So much so that she taught it to him. And that word translated as “taught” in verse one carries with it the connotation of reproof, discipline, and careful instruction. She was very serious about it, and very serious about making sure he remembered her words. If she lived to see his kingship, then I’m sure she was pleased to learn that he had remembered (of course whether or not he heeded her advice is unknown).
Her words begin:
What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows?
I love that.
He was her son. He came from her body. She cherishes that physical connection right from the start, reminding little Lemuel of her tenderness and love for him because he is forever a part of her. Even more, she shares with him her commitment to the Lord concerning him. Lemuel’s mother had apparently made some sort of spiritual vows regarding him, perhaps reminiscent of sweet, barren Hannah‘s, who had been rewarded with a son after years of yearning. Maybe Lemuel’s mom had a similar story, but we’re not told here; we can only speculate. One cool thing I found out is that the name Lemuel means “to God” or “belonging to God,” so it seems that in addition to the wisdom imparted in Proverbs 31:1-9, she wanted his identity to be as one who serves the Lord and who knows well who his Heavenly Father is.
Oh, me too, Mother of King Lemuel. Me too! I prayed for years and years before we were ready to start having kids. I prayed for my children by name, and I begged God for their salvation. I asked that He deny me motherhood, making me barren, if my children would only be destined for wrath by refusing to choose Life. Time will only tell what His complete answer to that prayer will be, but I’m still praying!
I now pray constantly for my little, almost seven-month-old boy, and for his younger brother or sister who is yet to be conceived. (Hopefully, there’s a little egg in there somewhere just waiting for its time!) Lifting up all the normal things a momma lifts up in prayer, I also really harp on that salvation and faithfulness part. It’s part of my vow to God for my children.
Now that I’m a mother, so much of my purpose is wrapped up in my son. May he know well that he is deeply cherished, that he’s forever a part of me, that he is fervently and constantly prayed for, and that he has a purpose!
More on this oracle soon!
(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)
Some of you who are my Facebook friends may remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted this status:
All my frozen milk for Bennett is spoiled. Months and months of it. I’m SO UPSET! 😦
And I was. Due to a forgotten-about power outage days or weeks before in the middle of the night, the milk had apparently thawed and re-frozen, spoiling somewhere in that process. It was so heart-breaking, and I cried for about ten minutes and moped for about two hours! So many friends posted sweet and supportive comments because they knew what a loss it was to me and to Bennett. I had worked hard for that milk, and re-establishing that freezer stash was such a daunting task since I just don’t have a lot of “extra” milk supply anymore. I was bummed!
After doing some research about a natural supplement that’s supposed to help with milk supply (fenugreek), I headed out with Bubs to the Vitamin Shoppe to get it. On the way there, “At Your Name” (below) was playing in my car. I was immediately flooded with conviction about my pity-party. All of creation is subject our great God — He can handle something so very small as my milk supply, so I needed to quit worrying about it! Besides, regardless of the emotional attachment I have to nursing and my strong feelings about how much better it is for my baby, I was also forgetting how extremely blessed I am to live in America. There are women in the world who, if their supply was in serious trouble (which mine wasn’t at all!), would be legitimately worried for their baby’s survival. Obviously, that’s not the case with us. So, I got the supplement, God provided, and we’re well on our way to re-establishing that freezer supply. Such a weird way to be reminded of God’s sovereignty, right? (Hey Angela, just so you know, at My Name, the mountains shake and crumble, the oceans roar and tumble, and angels bow down. I can most definitely handle your little milk ducts.)
God was so good! Really. What a silly situation for God to be so kind to me (you know, compared to all the other issues on earth). It was just really crazy. Miraculous? I don’t know, but it sure felt like it! What a sweet way to experience God’s lovingkindness. He didn’t have to do that. Not that He ever has to do anything He does for us, but He just REALLY didn’t have to do that. Sure, you could try to attribute my experience to the vitamin supplement alone, but it’s important to note that I saw a difference before I even started taking it–so there. 😛
I just wanted to update you since my woe-is-me status update. God deserves all the praise!
Be a Blessing.
Well, I’m in the same situation I was in about a month or so ago, with a little time between scheduled Bible studies. I haven’t decided for sure whether I will be participating in Good Morning Girls’ Luke study, which begins on January 14, because I’m not sure what the ladies’ group at my church will be studying or what my husband and I may decide to study together. Regardless, I am faced with a few weeks with nothing scheduled for me, so I have decided to study Titus! I really enjoyed my earlier study on Jude, and I wanted to invite you to join me for a similar journey through Titus. I think it will be great!
I will be following the Good Morning Girls’ SOAP Bible study format, which I invite you to do as well! I’m still loving this approach to Bible study, so I’ll be continuing it. Here’s how it works:
S– The S stands for Scripture- you physically write out the scripture……you’ll be amazed that what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading!
O– The O stands for observation- what do you see in the verses that you’re reading. Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you?
A– The A stands for Application- this is when God’s Word becomes personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my own personal life? What changes do I need to make? Is there an action that I need to take?
P– And finally P stands for Prayer. Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life.
That’s it, once again! Simple, yet powerful. So grab a Bible, a journal, and a pen, and feel free to join me. Many blessings, and Merry Christmas! (Don’t let the holidays be an excuse to let your Bible study slip… If you’re not doing this, do something!)
Titus Reading Schedule:
December 24 – Titus 1:1-3
December 25 – Titus 1:4-6
December 26 – Titus 1:7-9
December 27 – Titus 1:10-11
December 28 – Titus 1:12-14
December 31 – Titus 1:15-16
January 1 – Titus 2:1-5
January 2 – Titus 2:6-8
January 3 – Titus 2:9-10
January 4 – Titus 2:11-14
January 7 – Titus 2:15 – 3:3
January 8 – Titus 3:4-7
January 9 – Titus 3:8-9
January 10 – Titus 3:10-11
January 11 – Titus 3:12-15
Be a Blessing,
Welcome back for the second and final week of Jude before we begin the Good Morning Girls’ Advent Study! Here’s a little intro video for this week, and then the schedule is posted below. Love!
This morning, I’m so thankful for:
- A heater! I knew the temperature was supposed to steadily drop all night, all the way down to the 30s, for the first time this season. What amazing gifts electricity and a thermostat are! It’s really magical, you know? You just set the mystical box to your desired temperature, and it will make sure your house doesn’t get colder than that. Even while you sleep. So, I knew that my little Bubs would sleep soundly and with warm toes.
- My house. I’m so thankful that we have a roof and walls and a safe place to call home. Not everyone in the world has that. I am so grateful that I can sleep in peace.