Today’s Reading: 1 KINGS 17:8-20:22
As I was stopped at a stop light on the way home from work today I checked my email on my BlackBerry. The email I read hit hard. How can it be? I can’t comprehend why this is happening. I turned off my audio book and began to pray.
In the last 90 days I have found out that four people I know have cancer.
- Two people are people I have worshipped with in church.
- Two of the people are friends of my wife
- Two people are spouses of my close coworkers.
- Two of the people know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
- Two of the people live in a spiritual vacuum
- Between the four of them, they have brain, ovarian, lymphoid and breast cancer.
- Two are going through treatment right now.
- One had massive surgery last week.
- One will have surgery next week.
- They all are within 10 years of age of my wife and I.
- They all have children from 6 years of age to 20 something’s.
- They all want to survive.
- They all have people who love them.
- They will all be missed if they don’t make it.
How I prayed:
How do you pray for something like this? I was stuck when the news came – How should I pray?
As each case of cancer became known to me I had been praying for comfort and peace for the patient. I had been praying for wisdom for the doctors. I had been praying that each person would find comfort in knowing God. I had prayed that God would give them strength to get through this time. I prayed reasoned prayers. I prayed what my faith told me was OK to pray. I prayed small prayers.
What I didn’t pray:
I didn’t pray that God would remove the cancer. I didn’t pray that God would instantly heal them. I didn’t pray for a miracle. I didn’t pray that it would all go away over night.
I think I don’t pray big because I don’t believe big. I pray practical because I believe practical. I pray with my earthly reason, because I use reason to support my faith. I pray small.
What to write about today:
I wanted to write about the four cancer ridden people. Instead I decided to read today’s reading and see what God had for me there. So I ready the story of Elijah. The story of Elijah and the widow and her bottomless jar of oil and bag of flour. The story of Elijah and the boy raised from the dead. The story of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Ball and the altar drenched in water and consumed by fire. The story of The Living God coming to speak to Elijah to encourage him
The story of Elijah is the story of a big God. A God that performs miracles. A God that defies reason. A God that raises people from the dead.
Why don’t I pray to Elijah’s God? Why can’t I pray like Elijah prayed? Why can’t I have the faith of Elijah?
His God is a big God. His God is my God.
Jesus is the Great Physician
Mark 5:21 – 43 (NIV)
A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman
21When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." 24So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ "
32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"
36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don’t be afraid; just believe."
37He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." 40But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" ). 42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Will you pray with me for my four friends with cancer? Will you pray that I grasp the faith of Elijah and apply it my prayer life? Will you pray big or small?