Friday, February 20, 2009

The Power of Prayer

by Bethany Lashbrook

This Week’s Verse: James 5:15-17, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."(NIV)

A little over one year ago after I got the devastating news of my uncle’s rare cancer, I did what most people do – I tried to find out as much as I could about his condition. One thing I learned was that in all cases like his, life after contraction is short and there hadn't yet been a documented remission for his type of cancer. It was so rare and so tough to beat, that a treatment hadn’t been found sufficient enough to destroy the cancer.

After receiving the news, I asked my Sunday school group to pray for my uncle. Each week, I would bring up his name. My daughters started praying for him during their bedtime prayers, and lifting him up at the dinner table. My mama’s prayer group started praying for him. Prayers were prayed for healing. Cards were sent for encouragement. Gifts were sent to pass the time. Food was sent for long days at the doctor’s office. But most importantly, week after week, for one year, my uncle’s name was lifted up to our Lord to HEAL HIM.

Yesterday, I received the news of healing. My uncle’s cancer is in remission! This happens often in the world of cancer, I know…but not with my uncle’s type of cancer. Remember, only a year before there was no known remission for it! But, all those prayers led him to the newest treatment still being tested at a university hospital just hours from his house. He was treated for six weeks, day in and day out. He was lifted up in prayer from friends and family and my church family for every day of those six weeks.

My uncle doesn’t have a church family. Thankfully, we became his church. We became his prayer warriors. We fought for him to survive through prayer. We believed in the power of prayer and in the strength of our Lord to heal.

My uncle is still sick. He cannot feel his hands and feet. He is still on drugs to fight his pain. His cancer has left him looking older and thinner. Bones in his body are destroyed. But, what he wanted to do was watch his oldest grandson graduate high school this May. He wanted to see his other grandchildren play ball this summer. He wanted one more Christmas to tell those close to him that he loves them. He wanted to come and visit my mom once more, and see her newly remodeled home. And because of the power of prayer, all of these desires will be met.

Dear Lord, forgive me for not fully believing some days in your power to heal. Help me to remember that you are the God of all living things, the creator of life, our shield, our protection, and our hope. Thank you for listening to each and every prayer sent up to You. Let each and every one of my friends, church family, and family know how grateful I am to them for praying for Uncle Curt.

1) Do you believe in the power of prayer? Scripture invites us to pray regarding every situation of our life, big or small.
2) If you don’t feel satisfied in your prayer life, use the bible to pray. Many psalms can be used in any situation you face in life.
3) Grab a friend or two to pray. Scripture reminds us that where two or more are gathered, our Lord will be there.

Power Verses:
Luke 6:19,
"And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all." (NIV)
Nehemiah 1:10, "Well, there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your servant's prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want from the king." (The Message)
1 Kings 8:28, "Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today." (NLT)


Marsha said...

Wow! That's amazing! I sound surprised, don't I? I shouldn't be. I'm not amazed, I'm awed, as usual, by God and His power and presence in our daily lives... Thank you for sharing that in such a beautiful and uplifting way. Much love to ya, Sista!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this devotion! Kathy Lay is a friend of mine and has been praying for me in the "healing" department. She emailed me today and shared with me how you came about writing this devotion....God really placed this on your heart and I am so thankful for that. I am waiting for a doctor appointment for an MRI and MRA. They found a spot/blood in the center of my brain and I now see a neurosurgen to try to figure out what it is. He didn't know and now I will undergo more testing. I will be going on Tuesday. This month has been a roller coaster ride. I actually feel good/positive most of the time, but I have my days. Today was one of those days. I woke up and just felt heavy hearted. I tried to read the scriptures but I couldn't get my mind into them. Kathy then(out of the blue)emailed me and I read this devotion. You can imagine how perfect and encouraging it was for me to read. Thank you!! God is so good and continues to reach me through those who are obedient to Him. I am so appreciative for Christians who are serving our great God and how He is using us to lift up each other. Thank you again. God bless you!!

Tammy Schermann

Debby C said...

Bethany girl, that makes 2 Uncle Curt and Uncle Jerry (Jack's brother) who have recently been healed. Yeah God! and Bethany, thank you so much for sharing. When we pray for someone we have never met and God heals them, He is blessing us also!
Debby C.

Anonymous said...

It's me....Annonymous. :) I left a comment on Feb. 20th. God is so good! I wanted to leave the message that God answered my prayers for good news today. The spot on my brain is some veins that have gathered and appear is called Cavernous Malformation. It appears non-life threatening. Praise God! I will still need to go back and continue to get it checked out, but today was good news for me. I don't love that I have a malformation, but I am so thankful it isn't a tumor! Thank you to anyone who prayed....Bethany your devotion really helped me in my time of need.....Kathy, as always you lifted me up and helped me get through this and allowed me to be blessed by your friends through emails, songs, and prayers. Thank you Stephanie for your email which really boosted me up and Missy, for a beautiful and touching song that helped me today in more ways than I can express.

God answers prayers and is with us always! To Him be the glory!