Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Dare You to Pray...

My mother and I were best friends.  God allowed me to witness her strong testimony of faith and persevering love for 27 years before she died in 1992.  Mom taught me everything about Godly wisdom and faith, and it was her example of tenacity and strength in Him that got me saved.

I watched her remain steadfast before God in the face of horrible, heartbreaking circumstances of unbelief as three of her four children and her husband (my earthly father) rejected Jesus.  She was used prophetically by God and deeply relished intimacy with Him.  She was my parent, teacher, and pastor.

Three years after her passing, I found myself living alone in our family home, with a long winter rapidly approaching.  My nephew Reuben had lived with me from the time of Ma's death until Nov. 1, 1995 when he joined the US Marine Corps.  The family home was a huge, 130-year-old Colonial in only marginal condition.  We'd already survived two harsh winters, with furnace and oil tank problems spawning a true dread within me as autumn's cool, colorful breezes succumbed to winter's frosty grip.

The Best of
Times were hard, but my perceptions back then were greatly skewed by grief.  The previous three years were a blur to my emotions and seemed instead like three ticks of the clock.  Reuben was a grown man and followed the course God allowed by joining the military; I know that now but, back then, all I saw was that he was "leaving me".  A spirit of abandonment had my perceptions by the throat.  I was flustered, hurting, grieving - and now my nephew wouldn't be around to help me.

But I still had faith in God.

Life-changing Word


One night while reading the Bible, God caused this passage to literally jump out at me:
"The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  Elijah was a man of like passions as we are, and he earnestly prayed that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months."  (James 5:16b-17)
Suddenly, my heart filled with desperate faith.  I knew this was God's lifeline thrown out to me.

Winters in upstate New York weren't pretty, with several feet of snow falling consistently throughout the season translating into back-breaking shoveling and untold furnace repair and oil bills, the cost of which I'd bear alone.  Emotionally, I couldn't take it.  It was too soon or too much or something; I just knew I couldn't cope.  So I stretched out on that scripture verse with everything in me; I dropped to my knees on the spot - in tears, and in prayer.

Merciful God, please help me... was all it seemed I could say.  But through my tears Holy Spirit helped me to just repeat the scripture passage - again and again - and I declared my stance in faith.  I stood on that scripture, friends, and proclaimed my trust in God, relating to His truth about Elijah being a regular human just like me, but earnestly praying for an answer from God and receiving what he declared.  Hope burst from my heart like kindled flame...

In Jesus' Name, I can't have it snow this winter, God.  By faith in this word You've given me, I declare that it shall not snow heavily on this land all winter!  Amen.

By God's power I closed my Bible, dried my tears, and went my way in faith.  I fastened that passage to my heart each day, as the season settled around me.

Victory!


I bear witness to all who read this in the Name of the Lord Jesus the Christ - it did NOT snow heavily even once in my area of New York all winter long!  I remember a dusting of snow one evening during the season, which melted under the sun's rays the following morning... and that was the sum total of winter precip recorded in our area!

Hallelujah!

Saints, that heavily impacted my faith.  It said so much to me in the way of God not only hearing me, but caring about my condition.  It let my emotions know that God was still there, and it did my heart the joyous good needed to carry on in the face of "unknowns".  God had mercy on me, strengthened me, and empowered me all in the same season.  With death all around me, He brought new life!  He sent His word and gave me hope... a literal lifeline in the midst of a storm; and I survived.  I was strengthened and had JOY, which added fervor to my pledge to stand in Him no matter what.  Friends, He is the Source of all Life and Faith.  He was my Rock and my Fortress then, as He is and continues to be.

Bless His Mighty Name!

Set your heart to stand upon Daddy's word in every way you can, beloved.  If you truly mean business, He will never let you down.  Remember that heartfelt prayer moves the Hand that moves the world.  Indeed - the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous is able to conquer altogether, through the merciful hand of God!

Blessing and Thanking Him Always,
Daddy's Girl



"...fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)