During our church’s 21 day fast, Ps Vicki Risby shared the following devotion and kindly allowed me to share it here. I hope you are blessed by it…
Yesterday I visited one of my dear friends who is very ill. In fact the Doctors actually have given her no hope of living, let alone coming out of the palliative care hospital. My friend is a mother, wife and daughter about my age. It is a hopeless situation. My friend cannot move her body and needs constant nursing care, her memory is vague at best and each day that I go in – it takes all of my faith to not burst into tears.
When she received the news that her condition was diagnosed as terminal, my friend rang me and instantly wanted to meet. Together through tears, prayer and hugs I asked her as her friend what was it that she would like me to do? Straight away she replied, when everything looks helpless I need you to keep believing, to have faith and to stand in the power of Jesus for my miracle no matter what.
Have you ever stood beside someone in this kind of condition and asked God for a miracle? To stand beside death and ask for life can be intimidating. It can also teach us a lot – about life, about death, about ourselves and about our God. Especially if we are standing beside that same person 100 times, for hours or more throughout the course of a year.
It hasn’t worked out quite the way I had planned. Life rarely does, does it? I expected the Lord to heal my friend through all our prayers in a dramatic, easy, quick way. After all, that’s how it happened with Jesus.
I didn’t expect to invest 5-6 hours of my life each week visiting, feeding, toileting, moving, reading, and praying with her for this year.
I didn’t expect that after writing 10 of the most powerful crafted prayers and declaring them that my friend’s condition worsened.
I didn’t expect that I would have to pray, weep and fast in my prayer closet for my friend and her family for this long.
I didn’t expect the feelings of humiliation, hopelessness, sadness and broken – heartedness from seeing her and all the other patients in their conditions.
I didn’t expect that I would cry so much.
I didn’t expect to be so bold at times.
I didn’t expect to be so challenged by my faith and what I believe so much.
I didn’t expect to be so intimidated at times.
I didn’t expect to learn so much.
I didn’t expect that I would care so much.
I didn’t expect that I would cling on to the promises of God expecting more and more and more.
I didn’t expect that when my medical knowledge said no hope, my faith knowledge rose up stronger with belief and power and perseverance!
I’ve learnt that the longer I live, the less I feel know and the more I trust and rely on God, because there is no other hope.
I’ve learnt that no one is born a prayer hero. We are shaped and refined on the practice of life, or more so the battlefield of life.
So are we prayer heroes? … and is my prayers effective and fruitful when praying for the life for my friend declaring for a complete and supernatural miracle?
Or … in this situations; does a sovereign, all powerful God need my involvement? Is prayer necessary?
My answer to this is Yes yes yes …. it certainly is necessary. Our prayers bring revival, they bring healing, We can change a nation. Strongholds can come down when and because we pray.
EM Bounds states this which I love ….”God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil …The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock of heaven by which God carries on His great work upon earth. God conditions the very life and prosperity of His cause on prayer.”
Psalm 115:16 says this …
16 The heavens belong to our God; they are his alone,
but he has given us[a] the earth and put us in charge.
God didn’t give away ownership of the earth, but He did assign us His believers the responsibility of governing it to humanity.
How things go on planet Earth, for better or worse depend on us and the generations before and after.
Here I believe is the reason that we should never give up, that prayer is vital to our lives and others around us. God chose, from the beginning of time of Creation, to work on the earth through humans, not independent of them. He always has and always will, even at the cost of becoming one (Jesus). Though God is sovereign and all powerful, Scripture clearly tells us that He limited Himself, concerning the affairs on Earth, to working THROUGH human beings.
Is this not the story of the Scriptures…
- God and humans, for better or worse doing it together.
- God needing faithful men and women.
- God needing a race through whom to work.
- God needing prophets.
- God needing judges.
- God sending a human Messiah.
- God needing human hands to heal, human voices to speak and humans feet to go?
Doesn’t He need us to ask for His kingdom to come, His will to be done. Why would He ask us to pray this if He was going to do it anyway?
When we receive a promise of revival, deliverance, healing, restoration etc… we tend to passively wait for its fulfilment – But God needs our involvement, He wants our attention, He wants us to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)
Finally Peter Wagner says …
We must understand that our Sovereign God has for His own reasons so designed this world that much of what is truly His will He makes contingent on the attitudes and actions of human beings. He allows humans to make decisions that can influence history … Human inaction does not nullify the atonement, but human inaction can make a difference for all people.
So with my friend, and all your friends and family … I want to speak hope on this 19th day of prayer and fasting. That we as God people rise to the occasion and embrace the incredible invitation to be co-labourers with God, to be carriers of His awesome Holy Spirit and ambassadors for His great kingdom!! So lets.. keep believing, never give up praying, life and life abundant in all those around us.
Let’s represent HIM …. Awaken us to our destiny and bring Heaven to Earth.