Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

A Mama’s Prayers

prayerGod is so good! Although I am totally unworthy, He has listened to this mama’s prayers and actually answered them. I’ve been praying oh, so fervently, for Sam for quite a long time. Despite being raised in church and being inundated with the Bible, he chose to go his own way for a time. He is a person of extremes, all in or all out. So, while he was running from God, he was very far from Him. He said and did some things that made me fear for his safety and even his life. (For example, he once told me that he didn’t need God because he WAS God.) I have prayed and cried for this man-child of mine so hard at times that it felt like something was about to rupture, and I asked some of my friends to pray for him as well. I’m so happy to be able to say that God has answered our prayers. Last week, Sam got saved!

He made a profession of faith when he was about four years old, and he has known practically his whole life how to be saved and why he should get saved. Finally, one evening last week, while I was at work and he was alone in his room, he decided to stop resisting God, and he accepted Christ as his Savior. He told me that he knows FOR SURE now that he is truly saved. I know it, too. He is a totally different person! Old things are passed away, and all things have become new.

All he talks about now is God and the Bible. He is seeking to surround himself with people who will help him grow in his faith and serve God to the fullest. His dreams and goals for the future have drastically changed. He is even talking about going to a Christian college (maybe Milligan), which he would never even think about before. His number one goal right now is leading his best friend to Christ. He spent a few hours talking to him yesterday and has drawn up an outline of what he wants to say next time he gets a chance to talk him some more.

I am completely overcome with emotions, which is why it has taken me a week to write this blog post: I couldn’t get my ecstatic thoughts organized enough to write anything coherent before now. As elated as I am, I know that God did this in spite of me, rather than because of me. It has been a very humbling experience for me to see God work in our home despite my failings and unfaithfulness to Him. So, if you’re praying for someone, even if you’ve been praying for them for quite a while, don’t stop! He is not willing that any should perish, and He has promised to answer prayers that are according to His will.


I’d Love to Hear from You. – God

prayerBack in the old days, communication was slow. After writing a letter, you would send it by post; and it would take several days, if not weeks, to reach its destination. Then, it would be several more days, or weeks, before you would receive a response back. Now that we’ve grown so accustomed to modern technology which makes communication practically instantaneous, waiting like that would probably kill us.

I was thinking about that the last few days as I was in communication with a friend of mine. Since I’m a writer, I would write and write and then wait and wait to hear a response which was never as wordy or complete as my communique. Once I received a response, I didn’t mind the sparseness of it, or the long wait for it to arrive. I was just glad for the contact.

I wonder if that’s how God feels about us. He has written and written a whole Book to us, and He often has to wait and wait for a response. I read my Bible nearly every day (I confess I do miss a day every now and then), but for some reason, I never thought of prayer as quite as important…unless I needed something. This week, I realized that God just wants to hear from us, and not only as we thank Him for our food.

I already know how my friend feels about the things I wrote, but I’d still like to have a response to acknowledge me and confirm what I know. God knows everything about us, but He still wants communication…and not just one-way communication.

Answered Prayer

Are you ever surprised when God actually answers your prayers? If we have faith enough to pray about something in the first place, it should come as no surprise when the prayer is answered. I confess, though, that I have been guilty of that lately. Let me tell you about the latest incident.

We have a neighbor from Hell, whom I haven’t mentioned here before. His name is Walt, but we refer to him as “the creepy old man next-door”, making him sound sort of like a character from Friends or Seinfeld. In the building where we live, there are 4 apartments all in a row. We live in apartment #2, and when we moved in here, the creepy old man lived in apartment #4. The other two apartments were empty. He would always watch us in a creepy manner (hence the word “creepy” in our name for him), and he would curse at us for no reason and cause as much trouble for us as possible. For instance, he called the police to inform them that I was still driving with Tennessee driver’s license and tags even though we now live in Virginia. (I actually had already changed them to VA, but I hadn’t switched the tags on my car yet.) I also think he purposely punctured one of my tires. It was mysteriously deflated one morning, and the tech at the tire shop said there were 3 nails in it, and they looked suspicious, as though someone had driven them in.

A couple years ago, the creepy old man moved away, and Sam and I were overjoyed. Then, toward the end of last year, he moved back, after being kicked out of the place where he had moved when he left here. By this time, apartments #3 and #4 were occupied, so he ended up right beside us in #1. Sam and I were filled with dread as we saw him moving in, but we were determined to be good neighbors despite our past experience with the man.

Unfortunately, the old man has been worse than ever since he moved back, making our lives miserable. He has yelled at us, cursed at us, said filthy things to and about us, tried to intimidate us by standing in his doorway or stepping out on the porch and watching our every move whenever we go outside. On February 1, he was yelling at us through the adjoining wall, shouting threats and obscenities so bad that I called 911. That was the first (and hopefully, the last) time I’ve ever called the cops on anyone. I also called the landlord. After being talked to by both the cops and the landlord, he quit saying stuff to us, but he would still occasionally watch us in a threatening manner or play his radio very loudly to annoy us. (That is especially funny because Sam and I both like the music he plays, so it totally defeats the purpose.)

The situation has been so bad that I have felt frightened in my own home and desperate find another place to live. So, I’ve prayed…a lot. My primary prayer has been for us to be able to move. Instead, God has answered by changing the old man.

Last month, he was gone for about a week, and we wondered if maybe he was in the hospital. I think he probably was, although I have no confirmation of that. This afternoon, as I was going out to my car, he stopped me and said, “Ma’am, I want to apologize for the way I’ve acted toward you and talked to you and about you. I know I said some really bad things to you and about you, and I am genuinely sorry from the bottom of my heart, and I hope you will forgive me.” I thanked him and said I was sorry for not always responding in a totally Christian-like manner. He went on to say, “I’m an old man, and I’m not well. I have a bad liver and a bad heart, and I have diabetes. I keep drinking liquor even though I know I shouldn’t, and I probably won’t live much longer. I want to be a better person and a better neighbor.”

To say I shocked by his speech would be an understatement. I prayed for God to make the situation better, but I am still surprised that He did. I believe the old man was sincere. As I was driving away, it appeared that he wiped a tear from his eye. Well, maybe that’s going a bit far. It was probably just allergies. Anyway, I have high hopes that he will keep his word and be a more decent neighbor from now on.

Another Week Out Of School

Since this is Sam’s second bout with mono, I should be more prepared for its effects on him. Truth is, I’ve worried myself sick over this kid. I’ve heard that when someone gets mono a second time, it’s often worse than the first time. So far, that has been the case with Sam. It came on stronger, with higher temps which continued for a week and a half, a sore and swollen throat that prevented him from eating for about a week, and a higher degree of fatigue. Also, this time, the mono has affected his liver.

When he went back for a re-check last Friday, Dr. Makres ordered blood work to keep an eye on liver enzyme levels. After he told me the results Monday morning, I did some online research to find out what normal levels are. Although I don’t know what it all means, here is what I found out: The normal range for AST (SGOT) is from 5-40. The normal range for ALT (SGPT) is from 7-56. Sam’s levels were 170+ and 200+. (I don’t remember the exact values.) That doesn’t sound good to me.

Monday, Dr. Makres called in a prescription for a 6-day steroid pack, which Sam finished up today. He told me that it should kick in right away and expect to see some improvement within 24 hours. He was right! Tuesday Sam finally started feeling some better. His temp finally went back to normal for the first time in almost 2 weeks, the swelling in his throat went down enough to eat a little, and he had enough energy to play video games for the first time in over a week. (You know a boy is sick when he stops playing his video games!) I was hoping that he would get his strength back enough to go back to school next week.

Yesterday, Sam left the house for the first time since last Friday. He wanted to do a little shopping, but before we even got to the first store, he was already feeling tired. Although we weren’t there long, he wanted to come straight back home when we left. However, after drinking a Coke and resting up a bit in the car, he was able to go to one more store before coming home. When we got home, he admitted that it had been to much for him, and he slept the rest of the day.

Today, he went back for another re-check. I was a little disappointed when Dr. Hommel said he would have to miss another week of school, but I knew she was right. She also said no sports or marching band for at least four more weeks. He still has a sinus infection (which was how this all started in the first place), so she prescribed a Z-pack. I’m hoping it will get rid of the infection for good! When Sam asked her if he is still contagious, she replied, “Yes, so NO kissing!” I think that answer embarrassed him a little. 

I know, both from experience and research, that Sam is going to recover and everything is going to be okay. Still, I’m so worried about him. I don’t understand why he gets sick so often and why his illnesses tend to be so severe. 

Adult Issues

I miss being a child…not all the time, but sometimes, especially now. The greatest thing about being a child is not having to make decisions for yourself. I hate having to make decisions, because as an adult, I have learned that my decisions have consequences, causing me to over-think and over-analyze every choice I have to make to ensure the best outcome possible. This is exacerbated by having a child who is affected by my decisions.

In school, we all learned the poem by Robert Frost about two roads diverged in a wood. In the end, he chose the one less traveled by and reported that it made all the difference. I, too, am at a crossroad; but I can’t tell, by looking, which road is less traveled. They both appear to me to be equally worn and trampled. I have to make a decision about which way to go, but I just don’t know.

I have, of course, prayed and prayed and prayed about it. I have new understanding for the Bible verse “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). I have been doing that. I have also gotten advice from a few of my most trusted friends. Almost unanimously, they have said the same thing. Somehow, though, I’m just not sure they’re right. I just don’t know.

For now, I’m just continuing to stand in this one spot, looking first one direction, then the other. I feel like a child who has lost its mother in a crowded store. Speaking of which, I sure wish I had my mom here to talk with about this.

Fall On My Knees

The Browders are a family who form a Southern Gospel group which has become one of my favorites. I saw them for the first time a few weeks ago at my church, Charity Baptist Church in Blountville, TN. I think I had heard them on the radio before that, but I’m not sure. It’s neat that they live just up the road from me in Hiltons, VA. (On my way home every day, I see a sign saying “Hiltons 20 miles”.) They’re so close, yet I didn’t even know about them until a few weeks ago, and now I listen to their cd “The Message” all the time.

On that cd, the song titled “Fall On My Knees” has been a great blessing to me. Lately, I have been going through some of the toughest trials of my life, and my only recourse has been to “Fall On My Knees”. As I listen to this song, I can relate to every word. I know I have several friends and family members who are praying along with me, and I want all of you to know that I can feel your prayers and I appreciate them all. I hope this song will bless you as much as it blesses me every time I hear it.

I Asked The Lord

As I stated in my last post, I’m currently taking a hiatus from facebook and focusing my attention on things going on around here. Facebook tends to be too much of a distraction, and I decided that I needed to shut if off completely and spend more time seeking God so that I can gain wisdom on what I need to do and the decisions I need to make.

I have not taken a hiatus from the internet completely, just from facebook. On twitter, the people I follow tend to strengthen my faith, which is always something needed. So do the blogs I read. Yesterday, I came across a blog with a hymn I had never heard. The name of the hymn is “I Asked The Lord”. The words were written by John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace”. The words are powerful and, though over 130 years old, still relevant today. Here are some of the words:

I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request,
Andy by His love’s constraining pow’r
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry pow’rs of Hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more with His own hand He seemd
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low.

As the song goes on, he asks the Lord why this is happening, and if He is going to pursue Him to death. The Lord responds that this is how He answers prayers for grace and faith. The song ends with the Lord saying:

These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in Me.

The past couple weeks have been really rough ones, but I realized (partly, after hearing this song), that it was likely a tool God was using to get me to focus more on Him and less on people and things around me. There are several issues I have been praying about, and it seemed that everything was going the opposite way I thought they should. The past few days of intent prayer and seeking God’s guidance have made things a little clearer. The path ahead is looking a little brighter today than it was a week ago.