Life has curve balls. For me, For you. For our families. For our friends. Even for Christians. Things happen, shocking news comes that we weren’t expecting to receive. Times of pain, hurt, disappointment, unsettling times of trouble. It shakes us, throws us off track and then we remember that we serve a God who knows all things, is our Rock, our Fortress and an ever present help in times of need.
In such times, the Lord draws us to Him with love and reminds us of His faithfulness and goodness. That He is a good, good God and we can trust in Him.
Recently, the Lord gave these promises from His Word to sustain us in the difficult and painful times ahead. I hope that if you are experiencing such times yourself that you will also find hope and comfort in these verses. I have meditated and spoken them aloud especially at the start of the day. They have uplifted my soul.
Psalm 91:2. “ I will say of the Lord:He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in Him I will trust”
Nahum 1:7. “ The Lord is good; A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”
Psalm 25:5. “ Lead me in your truth and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation on you I wait all the day.”
Psalm 96 1-3. “ Oh sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name, Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”
John 3:16. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Lamentations 3: 22-23. “Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning:Great is your faithfulness”.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever He is the rock eternal”
My friend also gave this wise advice.
I believe the Lord wants us to stop fretting and to rest in his love and goodness for this season and also to look and see His beauty in nature all around us.
So yesterday I posted about my belief in a God that heals in God’s Healing Power and promised to share my Mum, Pam’s testimony of her recovery from Meningitis.
My mum married my Dad, Bill when she was young. He was a reservist in the army and was posted to Somerset in England for his basic training. Dad was Scottish and a long way from home. He decided to visit the local Pentecostal church which my Mum attended. It was love at first sight according to Mum and I don’t think she wanted to let him out of her sight from that time onwards. They married but then my Dad was posted overseas because of the Suez crisis. Mum stayed behind with my brother, Ian who was just a young baby.
Mum was still young herself, only 18 years old, a young mother when she was taken ill suddenly with Meningitis. She had been out for the day on a Church outing. On the way home on the coach she got a bad headache which she put down to tiredness . It got worse and worse though and eventually she became so ill that they took her to the hospital.
She was diagnosed with suspected Meningitis and put into the isolation hospital. All she can really remember of that time is having the lumber-punctures to drain the fluid from her spine which she said were terribly painful. She dreaded them. The Doctors told her family that it was not looking good and that my Dad needed to be sent for immediately from abroad as she was not likely to pull through.
My grandad contacted the army and Dad was brought home as quickly as they could from Cyprus. It still took him some time to get home though. It was the 1950s so communication wasn’t easy. Even travel on army planes took some time. The army wouldn’t tell him either what was wrong with his wife and he was naturally extremely worried and expecting the worst. Dad kept the newspaper cuttings from the time which we still have. They are a bit brown but you can still read them.
My mum’s parents were not churchgoers but her Aunt Mabel was and it was my Aunt who had taken my mum to church. Mum had become a Christian and been baptised. The church committed to praying for mum and they decided to have an all-night prayer vigil for her when they heard the news that she was not expected to survive the night. They sent prayer cloths in for her to the hospital and were faithful in praying for her recovery and healing. She made it through the night and the worst was over. There was a breakthrough. There is power in prayer and in corporate prayer when believers come together.
From that time on, Mum started to get better and better and the Doctors were amazed at her recovery. They told her though that in their opinion she would still not be able to walk again. Mum was convinced though that she had been healed and was determined to show the Doctors that she would walk. She recovered her strength and was soon up and about. The Doctors were so pleased that she was able to walk that they agreed that she could leave the hospital and continue her recovery at home. Mum is convinced that God healed her in answer to prayer. Without prayer she is sure that she would not have survived that night. I’m grateful for those faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who committed to pray through the night for her. I’m especially grateful that God answered prayer and she made it because otherwise I wouldn’t be here today. Thank the Lord for His mercies. If you need God to move in your situation then I hope this encourages you to pray to God and trust and believe that He will hear and answer your prayers.
The encouraging thing is that because Mum had experienced God’s healing touch, she had faith in God to heal. She always encouraged us to pray in all situations. I remember one occasion when Mum had broken her ankle. She had been playing on my daughters scooter (she’d forgotten her age) and fallen. She was in plaster but still insisted on going to church. That night there was a visiting preacher, Martin Scott who had a prophetic ministry. He picked Mum out of the crowd and said that he could tell she was a woman of strong faith. He believed God was going to heal her ankle. It was incredible because Mum felt a heat in her leg and her ankle soon recovered.
It’s good to share testimonies of God’s grace to us and the good things He does. God is with us in all times of life, the good but also the trials and times of difficulty. As a family we have also had those times too. I’ll share more about those times and how God has sustained us in times of sickness and tragedy in other posts. Have a blessed day.
I was encouraged to write this post by dear brother Alan Kearns’ recent post Evidence for prayer and his prompting to ask for God appointments in our day. I just wanted to cheer when I read it and say…..Yes, Amen. It really does work. I have found it opens the way for God to use me in all types of situations and even in my weaknesses and messes to bless others. God loves people. He really, really does and longs to show His care and compassion.
If you’re reading this thinking I can’t do that. It’s for those Super Spiritual, amazing Christians and that sounds way too scary for me, I won’t know what to say or do…then join the club. I was just like that too but then I realised that there aren’t many of those “super spiritual walking on water Christians” around and anyway this was not about me, it’s all about God wanting to show His love and care to His children and God’s just looking for someone to say “I’m here…little old me, nothing special but I’m available for an appointment God, so please use me and do your work through me”..that was it, my prayer and God brought those appointments along.
God showed me that we can be the answer to someone else’s need by sometimes doing something so simple…..like just holding someone’s hand. This is what happened to me in one of those God Appointments.
I was in our local cafe one afternoon with 2 friends. It was a regular meet up as once a month we would meet for a coffee, chat and prayer. The manager of the cafe was a Christian from another local church and knew us. I went up to order my coffee and he asked if he could introduce me to someone. It was an elderly lady who was a regular customer at the cafe. She had recently been widowed and was lonely. I asked her if she would like to join us at our table and she did.
We chatted for some time and had a lovely time with her. We listened as she talked about her husband and their times together. Towards the end of our chat, I explained that we were Christians and asked her if we could pray for her before we left, She agreed and as we prayed, I felt prompted to take her hand. I asked her if it was ok if I held her hand and she said yes and then started to cry. She explained that the one thing she missed more than anything was holding her husband’s hand. Every time they walked anywhere together they held hands. She told us that as she had walked to town that day, she really missed her husband and had wanted someone to just hold hands with again. That had been the desire of her heart. That just blew me away and we all started crying. God had known exactly what she needed to comfort her and so He set up that appointment for her.
That dear lady wasn’t a Christian when we met but from that first meeting and then subsequent chats around the coffee table, she started to go to her local church and got confirmed. Praise God. From little seeds that are planted it’s amazing what God can do.
Have a blessed day and I hope you feel encouraged to ask God for an appointment for Him today. I’m looking forward to hearing and sharing more testimonies of God at work through these divine appointments.
I don’t know whether you have ever been on a prayer walk or if not, have ever thought about doing one. If you haven’t and it’s new to you then I would encourage you to give it a go. I have found them a great opportunity to get out and about and see my local community where I live and work with fresh eyes. It’s an opportunity to ask God to show us what He sees so that our prayers can help to bring about transformation and change as He wants – His Kingdom to come.
It’s always amazing the things God shows us when we start to look with His eyes – I often have things drawn to my attention which I have never noticed before – I may have walked past them many times without even noticing them but then God draws my attention to them and I really see. Whilst, I may overlook things God never does – His eyes are even on the sparrow.
You can do a prayer walk on your own, in pairs or as part of a larger group. In my experience it is good to go in pairs because you can pray in agreement and also “bounce” things off each other as the Holy Spirit brings inspiration. However, I often prayer walk on my own and really enjoy it. Now that the lock down restrictions are easing at home, we will soon be able to go out and pray in groups again so perhaps, you might join a prayer walk around your local community or even start one. Spring is here – the season of new beginnings so perhaps this could be a new thing for you or you could be inspired to give it a go.
It’s not as daunting or difficult as it might sound and it’s not just for those we may consider the “prayer warriors” or the “super spiritual people” – it’s for us – the ordinary followers of Jesus, the everyday folk, that He enables by His power to do extraordinary things through Him. Most of us probably already go out regularly for walks and with a prayer walk you are just being purposeful. Before you set out simply ask God to show you things that He wants you to see and pray into them.
One way to help get you started, if you are a bit unsure of what to pray initially, is to simply ask God for His blessing and favour on your community. e.g if your walk takes you past your local school you can take a moment to ask God to bless the school, the children and the teachers. Thank God for the school and for the gift of education. If you already know of particular needs in that school or specific issues then you can bring them to God and ask for his help.
What changes would you like to see in your local community?- How would you like to shape it for God. Jesus went out and about doing good and one of the ways that we can do good is to pray. When we go out we take God’s presence with us. We can be instruments to bring about change for good.
I am convinced that God will use you in amazing ways in your prayer walks. I have always been encouraged when I experience and see God at work during these times. The Lord has been reminding me this week about prayer walks and prayer drives I have been on in the past. It’s good to testify about these things and so in due course, I will add a page to my site with some testimonies of the things we have seen and experienced on our walks.
I just want to finish by encouraging you with this quick story. On one of the first prayer walks that I went on with a friend, I asked the Lord before we went if there was someone he wanted us to meet. If so, could he put them in our path. As we were walking around our community and praying, we met two police officers. They stopped us and asked us what we were doing. We clearly looked like suspicious characters 🤣. We explained and they were amazed that we cared enough about the local estate that we were out walking and praying. We asked if there was anything that we could pray about and they told us about some general issues on that particular estate with drugs, robberies, violence etc.
We then asked if we could thank God and pray for them. They agreed and we just said a very quick simple prayer. We just thanked God for them and blessed them. They were genuinely surprised that we were thanking God for them and the work they did. They were more used to people avoiding them and at times hostility and abuse. I believe God will take those little acts and seeds of faith and do something incredible.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel that you could pray for someone you meet on the street. Don’t let that put you off or get you anxious. You don’t have to do that as part of prayer walking. Most of the time no-one will realise that you are even praying as you walk. You may even surprise yourself one day as God gives you a new boldness and takes you along new paths of His presence.
I hope you are encouraged today to step out on your local streets and into your local parks and pray as the Lord leads you x bless you in Jesus name.