The memories of my mom came flooding back when I found this blanket in a closet. I was looking for something, I don’t remember what, when I saw what I thought was a blanket folded up. Then I remembered, Mom’s friend had knit this prayer shawl for her during her chemo treatments for lung cancer.
While I was at my mom’s house right after her death I spent maybe an hour or two going through a small amount of her stuff. This prayer shawl was handed to me by her husband, and I just added it to my little pile of keepsakes. I had not given it a second thought until the other day when I took it off the shelf.
Mom’s precious friend knit the prayer shawl and prayed over it while she was creating this sweet gesture of love. The three stitch pattern represents Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each time mom wrapped the prayer shawl around herself she was reminded that God’s love covered her.
The prayer shawl has no magic or special powers. It is just a beautiful symbolic picture of God’s love and the power of prayer. When I look at the prayer shawl I see kindness and compassion from a dear woman who cared about my mom. To make something with your hands for the sole purpose of encouraging a suffering human is an act of love.
I am grateful to have this lovely prayer shawl as a reminder of my mom’s suffering and the love of our Heavenly Father holding her in His mighty hands. She was covered in the best way possible, by the power of God. Mom still had pain and cancer never left her body, but God, carried her through all the way home.
The prayer shawl reminds me to pray for the hurting. To lift others up, and be an encouragement when surrounded by discouragement. To pray for God’s covering over the sick and suffering.
Christians are to be people of prayer, all the time. Now, more than ever we must be fervent in our prayers. Don’t stop praying. Pray all those big prayers that are absolutely impossible in our strength. Pray and ask God to heal, to save, comfort, convict, to seek and save the lost. Pray, and pray, and pray.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24, NIV
Love you all,
We praise and thank You for Your goodness, faithfulness, and love. There is none like You. We lift up all those who are sick. Heal them, comfort them, and draw them close to You. Cover them in Your love. Encourage all the sick and suffering. You are close to the brokenhearted. May they feel You closer than ever.
Sunday, November 7, 2021 is the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians.
According to Open Doors, in just the last year there have been:
Over 340 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination
4,761 Christians killed for their faith
4,488 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
4,277 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned
More from Open Doors:
309 Million: In the top 50 World Watch List countries alone, 309 million Christians in the world experience high levels of persecution and discrimination for their choice to follow Christ.
1 in 8: Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution
4,761: Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the top 50 WWL countries.
4,488: Christians detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in the top 50 WWL countries.
4,277: churches or Christian buildings attacked in the top 50 WWL countries.
2.7 times: the amount the number of Christians killed has risen in sub-Saharan Africa, year over year.
20:Consecutive years North Korea has ranked No. 1 as the world’s most dangerous place for Christians.
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats: do not be frightened. 1 Peter 3:14, NIV
Join me, and thousands of Christians around the globe, as we pray for the persecuted church this Sunday November 7th. It’s also encouraged to pray for the persecuted church the entire month of November.
One of the most powerful things we can do is pray.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16b, NIV
You can pray by country. You can pray for specific missionaries that you know of, or maybe missionaries that your church supports. Pray that our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ stay encouraged. Pray for their protection. Pray that the Gospel will be spread in these hostile countries. Pray that God is glorified. There are countless ways to pray for the persecuted church. Both The Voice of the Martyrs, and Open Doors have great resources of how to pray, and other ways you can help.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galations 6:2, NIV
Let’s lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ every day.
Love you all,
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV
Prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do as Christians. Sometimes we make it our last resort, which I’ve been guilty of. Prayer can be treated like a task on a to do list. We sigh and pray because all of our other efforts have failed.
Prayer should not be the last hopeless act for the Christian. Prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon. We are not praying to the air, or the clouds, or a mysterious god. We are coming to the Throne of Grace of Almighty God. He answers His children when we call.
Pray like Elijah.
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:17-18, NIV
Elijah was a prophet during a turbulent time in Israel’s history. God used him in an exceptional way. When he was sent into hiding by God the ravens fed him (1 Kings 17:2-6). God sent Elijah to stay with a widow, and her flour and oil miraculously never ran out. When the widow’s son was deathly ill, Elijah pleaded with God for the boy’s life, and God healed the child (1 Kings 17:7-24).
One of Elijah’s most famous moments is with the prophets of Baal. He called down fire from heaven which burned up the sacrifice and everything around it. All the people fell to the ground and cried, “The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God!” (1 Kings 18:39). Then Elijah slaughtered the 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40).
When Elijah prayed earnestly for rain. He climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. Elijah sent his servant six times to look toward the sea for signs of rain. On the seventh time the servant reported “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea” (1 Kings 18:44).
But Elijah was just a regular person like you and me. He got tired and discouraged, just like we all do at times. When Elijah fled in fear of Jezebel he begged God to take his life. That did not stop God from encouraging Elijah, and still using him greatly.
Elijah was a superstar prayer warrior who got to experience many miracles. Clearly he was gifted by God, but still just a human like us. Elijah was obedient and did what God asked of him time and time again.
Elijah prayed according to God’s will.
Elijah prayed for rain and it did not rain for three and a half years. He asked God to change the weather and God did. This was all according to God’s plan.
Elijah had to completely rely on God.
God sent Elijah to hide in a ravine with no food or water. He had to trust that God would do exactly as He told him by providing water from the brook and ravens to bring food.
Elijah asked God for miracles.
God healed the widow’s son after Elijah pleaded for the boy’s life. He called fire down from heaven. These are no small feats. Only God could perform such miracles.
Elijah prayed earnestly.
He continued to pray and sent his servant seven times to look for rain. Elijah kept praying until there was rain.
Elijah’s prayers resulted in God being glorified.
During the sacrifice he prayed to God. Elijah asked the Lord to answer him so the people will know that the Lord is God, and that they would turn their hearts back to Him.
Our prayers can be as powerful as Elijah’s.
What if we prayed bigger bolder prayers?
Not just prayers for our personal needs, which we should do. Prayers for salvation. Prayers for our country to turn to God. Prayers for the salvation of our unsaved friends and family. Prayers for healing, forgiveness, peace, miracles. Prayers for the impossible. What if?
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16b, NIV
When we pray we are calling on God Almighty. Our righteousness is from our faith in Jesus Christ. This means our prayers are powerful. This is an amazing gift from God. When we pray, God moves. We can pray just like Elijah did, and watch God do marvelous works that bring glory and honor to His name.
Help us Lord, to want what You want.
Let’s pray like Elijah.
Love you all,
Thank you for the amazing gift of prayer. We can come to you at any time, any place. You will never turn us away. Teach us to pray big faith-filled prayers. May we ask according to Your will. Help us to clearly hear the Holy Spirit as we pray. All glory, honor, and praise to You!
I have another praise report. I am so happy to share with you that my husband is doing much better. His catheter was removed earlier this week, after 10 weeks! He was in constant pain. Sometimes it was unbearable. No pain meds, and the few prescriptions the doctors gave him to alleviate pain did not work. So, my amazing husband endured. He is my hero.
Tom’s kidneys are slowly beginning to recover. His numbers keep improving. We are praising and thanking God. It is an answer to our prayers, and the prayers of so many friends, family, and strangers from all over the world. Countless people have been praying for Tom. We cannot thank you enough.
We are still believing for complete healing. We trust God to get Tom to the other side fully healed. We have not arrived yet, as he has another surgery soon. God has brought us this far, and He will finish what He started.
Our faith has been tried and tested. We have had some discouraging difficult days through all of this. God continues to care, comfort, carry, and provide for us. He is faithful even when we cannot see. That’s part of the faith test. Sometimes its dark, but you have to trust in what you cannot see. We trust God.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; and trust also in me.” John 14:1, NIV
Thank you so much for your many prayers! May God bless you abundantly for being a blessing to us.
If you need prayer please leave your request in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Love you all,
Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. Your love and faithfulness is overwhelming. You are our perfect Father. Praise your name! Bless each person who has prayed for us. Strengthen their faith, provide for their every need, and bring blessings to their homes and lives.
It all started last Tuesday, March 9th. My husband has needed hernia surgeries for some time now. The surgeries have already been rescheduled once, and Tom was finally getting prepped and cleared by his doctor to have the procedures. He left our house Tuesday morning to get an ultrasound. I went about my morning and headed to the grocery store.
After completing my errands, I was sitting at the traffic light to leave the shopping center. My light turned green and I proceeded through the intersection like I’ve done hundreds of times. In the corner of my left eye I could see something coming at me, and I quickly realized it was a vehicle, coming fast.
The vehicle came barreling through the red light and hit the front end of my car, slamming my head into the drivers side window. I barely got my car to the side of the road and started realizing what had happened. I called 911. Within minutes it was a blur of cops, and tow truck drivers. As this was all happening I received a text from Tom letting me know he was going to the hospital to receive blood transfusions because his hemoglobin was really low.
Tom was admitted Tuesday and has not left the hospital. I had to go the doctor on Wednesday to get checked after the car accident. Tom and I have the same doctor so I was able to get more details from him. Before my examine, the doctor updated me on Tom. The first thing out of his mouth was, “acute renal failure”. My heart sank, and my eyes got big. “Is Tom in the ICU?” I asked.
“No,” the doctor told me. He reassured me that Tom was receiving excellent care. He then proceeded to say a lot of things as he concluded and sent me off to get x-rays. I was in shock and was trying to process what exactly was happening to my husband. Up to that point Tom and I had not had much communication because of my accident.
I finally got to see Tom Wednesday evening. Thank God the hospital recently allowed one visitor per day. He was in pretty good spirits but writhing in pain. They had given him a catheter to drain the fluid on his kidneys. Catheters are incredibly painful. I have never had one, but my mom had to many times over the years.
It was too much to bear watching Tom in so much pain. They had been giving him morphine but it was pretty useless. I was asking the nurses for any help to relieve his suffering and they were doing the best they could do.
When I left the hospital that night I collapsed in the car and cried the ugly cry. I hadn’t had a chance to feel much of anything for two days. I had to go through the motions to deal with my totaled car, and the other drivers insurance, and getting a loaner car, and doctors, labs, and finally my husband’s very serious health crisis.
Tom has received 5 blood transfusions. The doctors do not know why he is losing so much blood. His kidneys have slowly improved each day but they are still really bad. There are still many questions as to what is happening in Tom’s body.
I was able to meet with the nephrologist over the weekend. He painted a very grim picture of the seriousness of Tom’s kidney failure, mentioning possible dialysis, and even worst case, kidney transplant. I let the doctor know I’m praying for full kidney function and healing. After my not enjoyable visit with the kidney doctor, we met the hematologist.
The blood doctor seems determined to get to the bottom of Tom’s anemia. The hematologist mentioned cancer and possibly doing a bone marrow draw. The hematologist wants to rule everything out to get to the cause of low hemoglobin.
I know this is a lot of information. There is a lot going on with Tom. More tests are being done today.
My husband is tough. His attitude is good. Tom is hopeful for a full recovery. He is tired, worn out from dealing with constant pain for days, and would love to not be in the hospital.
I am grateful to so many wonderful people throughout this entire crazy experience.
Thank God for good Samaratins. A man pulled over immediately after my car accident and checked on the other driver and myself. He did not have to stop. Everyone else drove right past us, but he chose to stop and offer help. God bless him, wherever he is.
Thank God for first responders. The 911 operator was amazing. She was kind, and patient, and walked me through everything. God bless her. The two cops on the scene were kind, helpful, and reassuring. God bless them. The tow truck driver took me home to drop off my groceries. God bless him.
Thank God for excellent doctors and nurses and all hospital caregivers. Tom has had great care with brilliant doctors determined to get him better. God bless them all.
Thank God for blood donors. They save lives, including my husband’s. God bless them.
Thank God for friends and family. We have had so much love and care poured out on us. We have no family living near us, but our church small group has blessed us greatly. They have helped us with dinners and are proving two meals per week since my two boys are still at home. God bless all our wonderful friends and family, and church family.
We trust God and know that we are in His mighty hands. This is not an easy place to be right now and is very difficult. We are in a faith walk, and are trusting Jesus to lead us out of this.
“Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23, NIV
I am asking for your prayers. Please pray for Tom to be completely healed.