My faith has been challenged and stirred quite a bit these past few weeks.
I’ve been stirred by a few pieces of scripture, some good friends checking up on me, praying over me and prophesying over me, and an incredible sermon Sunday night.
So let’s start with one of the pieces of scripture God’s been using to stir my faith. It’s found in Mark 5, here’s what it says:
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse.She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked,“Who touched my robe?”
His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.And he said to her,“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
Some of the dancers from the college dance stream choreographed a dance with this passage as the message, and presented it at Team Night on Thursday. It was so powerful, it brought me to tears; I instantly thought of my dad, and my faith was stirred to dare to believe that Jesus still possess the same healing power today. In addition to that, I am challenged by this passage to consider the fact that God is not only able to heal, He wants to heal; and He cares about each one of His beloved children individually—My dad is one of His beloved children.
And then Sunday came a few days later—and man, can I say, my cup truly runneth over! The last few Sundays have been particularly incredible.
This last Sunday I served in Kids for the morning services. When we were done, one of the guys on my team that knows about my dad’s diagnosis asked me how he was doing. I started talking with him and another guy on our team. I told them there hasn’t been much news lately, but that I am just praying and believing for his healing. As I was talking, they were listening very intently (for some reason, that was surprising and extremely meaningful to me); and it became evident very quickly that they weren’t just listening intently to me but also to the Holy Spirit.
They listened with care and compassion and then spoke words over me that were so affirming and life giving—I’m still thinking about them.
And then Sunday night came and the message was more than a word in season, it was life changing. It was titled, The Relentless Prayer of Breakthrough. It was over the passage found in Luke 18:1-8.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.“There was a judge in a certain city,”he said,“who neither feared God nor cared about people.A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people,but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
Then the Lord said,“Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Manreturns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Here are some of the highlights from my notes:
Your first and highest calling is your relationship you have with Jesus.
There is power in your prayers and they are heard by Jesus- no matter how long and complex or simple and to the point.
Human nature tends to magnify life circumstances- we tend to get so consumed in them that we end up praying prayers that align with our circumstances rather than praying prayers that align with the heart of God.
We condition our prayers to our problems and we pray out of our moments and the problems we find ourselves in.
We need to pray prayers that live up to God’s character, ability, His heart for humanity, His power, His kindness. Prayers that unlock His power and ability to save and heal!!
Prayer changes your perspective!
What you receive from God begins with what we perceive from God.
Our perceptions of God are polluted by our past experiences.
Prayer is where man’s natural ability ends and where God’s supernatural ability begins!!
Billy Sunday says: “If you’re a stranger to prayer, you’re a stranger to power.”
3 observed actions of what the relentless prayer of break through looks like:
1) Relentless prayer does not give up. Luke 18:1
TIME is involved in the widow’s pursuit of justice.
In the court of law, if you’re going to win the case, you have to know what you’re rightfully entitled to.
The bible is FULL of promises that we are entitled to in the name of Jesus. If we’re going to stand on them, we have to know what they are.
The devil is a liar and deceiver and he will try to de-rail us and distract us to keep us from getting what is entitled to us.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
We’re not demanding God to give us something, we’re declaring his promises and blessings.
2) Relentless prayer is persistent.
Maybe we’re not persistent because of our past experiences- fear of being disappointed.
Or maybe because of the facts about the situation, there seems to be no hope.
Romans 4- Abraham stayed strong in his faith and faced the facts.
Faith doesn’t ask for the possible things, it asks for the impossible things.
STAY PERSISTENT IN YOUR Prayer FOR HEALING AND BREAKTHROUGH!!
3) Relentless prayer defeats the enemies’ evil forces!
Faith is doing what God tells us to do and expecting God will do what He says He’ll do!
It was truly an incredible message! I wish everyone I know could have been there to hear it!
So, in closing, here are a few ways these specific encounters have challenged me to pray for my dad and my family.
1) I am choosing to come to God, not as a needy, curious, timid being. But as a beloved daughter of the King of kings and the same Jesus that healed the sick, cast out demons and defeated death (Heb. 4:14-16; Eph. 1:19-23)
2) I am choosing to search out God’s promises and declare them over my dad and my family more than pleading with God for healing. (I won’t lie though, I do feel like I am desperately pleading with Him sometimes, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing all the time.)
3) I am choosing to stay persistent in my prayers. Sometimes my prayers are long and detailed and sometimes they’re quick and simple. Regardless of how or what I pray, I will pray every day for my dad’s healing, remembering that my hope lies ultimately in the full coming of God’s kingdom. As Christians, we have the hope of Salvation which will be given to us when we get to heaven regardless of whether we get there tomorrow, next week or when the Lord returns (Rom. 5:1-5; Col. 1:11-14). This hope WILL NOT DISSAPOINT!
4) And finally, the facts about my dad’s diagnosis may say that he can live life normally for a while before his body starts showing any significant symptoms of sickness. And the facts may say that there is no way to remove or kill the cancer. However, I don’t believe these facts leave any reason or excuse for becoming complacent or hopeless in my praying and seeking the heart of God. I am praying and believing that by the grace of God, the results from his check up in January will come back cancer free!!