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Anxiety Series: #3 Activating God's Promises Through Prayer - Part 2

Cancer. Truly a hard word to hear and even harder when it's directed at you. I went through chemo and all that fun it brought (hard to write heavily dripping sarcasm), I went through surgery and all I wanted was for it to be gone, taken from me, some miracle. Instead? I had my oils that I had done for years, those supported this amazing body God gave that heals.


Through oils I supported my body and they helped as I got ready for surgery, using oils and supplements I was able to fully decrease my pain so that I was able to function until I had surgery. After, I kept with that regimen and the next things that came. Then chemo, prior to chemo I found out I went from a CA125 (ovarian cancer antigen) of 136 to 14. My nurse was floored (and didn't believe that number) because that was DEFINITELY not the norm, especially since that antigen is effected by inflammation and I was still post surgical.



From there I watched week after week my CA125 (please know I'm giving you the very short and sweet version of this) go from 14 to 7, yes 7, to 5 and at my 5 year check I was at a 2. Know that people without stage 3 ovarian cancer can have a CA125 higher than any of those lower numbers. Also, even though I joke I am going for a "0", you can't have zero, my 2 was INCREDIBLE. By the way, anything under 80 is considered cancer free. I was that even before I started chemo. GOD is good all the time, and I'm here to tell you that ALL THE TIME God is good.


Through all that I talked to HUNDREDS of people about my story and about that it wasn't about the oils or the docs, God had them in his plan also, it was about God and what he brought me to. Before ANY of that I sat, a Christian and lover of God for YEARS and literally for the first time EVER handed everything over to God and walked out solely to do his will and not mine. NONE of that looked like what I initially prayed for, and yet here I am almost 9 years later and I am living the "10%" survival every day. My story has touched SO many and it's ALL because God had a plan. My motto through all that "never underestimate the power of a girl with a prayer and a plan", that plan? Trust and walk out on the path God laid ahead of me.


You don't need a cancer story to see God work like that in your life, in fact I pray you never need to. Time and time again though I see people worrying, anxious, making themselves crazy unable to trust that "God has it". God calls us to faith over and over in the Bible. like these;

  • "and yet because we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus. This was so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified." Gal 2:16

  • "By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." Heb 11:7

Jesus stated in a parable "20 Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursedc has withered.”22 Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for — believe that you have received it and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing."


FAITH AND PRAYER

So simple, and yet so difficult


Some things to remember prayer is not: (Mind you the world, and even some Christians tend to claim these)


Prayer is not;

  • bargaining

  • putting your demands on God

  • asking God for things

  • a therapeutic, meditation-type exercise (not to say people call sitting quietly in prayer "meditation", the definition of meditation is expressing your thoughts on a subject, that is not what prayer is. This is communication with and from God during prayer.)

  • bugging God and/or taking up his time (remember he CALLS you to prayer)

  • a way to exert control over God and the way you would like to see things go (he isn't a genie in a bottle)

  • showing off your spirituality to others. This isn't a way to "flex" your Christianity at others.

A. W. Tozer warned, “Prayer among evangelical Christians is always in danger of degenerating into a glorified ‘gold rush’”


Prayer is, and this isn't exhaustive;

  • praise and worship of God (Matt 6:9)(2 Kings 19:15)(1 Chron 17:20)(Ps. 86:12-13)(John 12:28)(Rom 11:33-36)

  • God's will to be done (Matt 6:10)

  • supplication for ourselves and others (Matt 6:11-12)(Phil 4:6)

  • strength to deal with temptation (Matt. 6:13)

  • communing with God (John 17)

  • submission (Matt. 26:39)

  • glorifying God/belief (John 17:20)

  • used while "wearing" the armor of God (Eph 6:18)


Author Warren Wiersbe sums up the purpose of prayer well: “The immediate purpose of prayer is the accomplishing of God’s will on earth; the ultimate purpose of prayer is the eternal glory of God”


Ephesians 6:18 states "18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints". While putting on that "armor of God" talked about in Ephesians 6 God calls on you to also be in prayer at the same time...


PRAYER IS ACTION


Ephesians, Philippians and other places calls on us to pray as action for promises/things given by God to us. Prayer puts into practice faith. Faith is belief and prayer places that into an action of faith outwardly. Yet how often do we ever see people outside the church praying?


I would think if we truly lived out what we are promised through prayer we would see people praying all over the place at work, where stresses are at their highest. Home, where decisions and issues create anxiety and stress. ALL places where we run into things we could use support in what we are facing at that moment. Yet I would guess, if polled, most of us would admit we don't pray like we should or even when we should. We box it into those areas of life we have time for, or "MAKE" time for.


PRAYER DOESN'T CARRY THE WEIGHT IN OUR LIVES LIKE IT SHOULD, AND OUR LIVES SHOW IT


I will just leave you with some questions to ponder, these are for just you, be honest, really honest, look at this as not stating the negative but helping to apply a positive from here forward;

  • How often are you praying in a day?

  • What things do you bring to God and which do you handle on your own? Why?

  • What habits can be made that would bring prayer into more and more decisions you make in a day?

  • How willing are you to REALLY hand things over to God to handle?

  • Do you believe God has a plan and that it is far greater than any plan you can make?

  • What are your goals from here forward in regards to prayer?

One last thing, I know, and have studied prayer, and worked on it in my life, ALOT, and the one thing I REALLY could use continued work on is prayer. It's crazy, I should be a rockstar at this, and while I'm getting better, I am no where near where I should be. These "talks" are just as much a call to action for myself as those I share it with. I have talked with many on this and we are ALL in good company as far as those seeing this need to add more prayer to our lives. Honestly, I love that we are willing to look at this and see this and make it a priority. We are all broken, Christ came for ALL of us.


Check out the resources page for some good books to help build your prayer life and get it to a healthier state in your life!


Sources:


(Mornings with Tozer: Daily Devotional Readings, compiled by Gerald Smith, Moody Publishers, 2008, entry for Feb. 26).


(from On Earth as It Is in Heaven: How the Lord’s Prayer Teaches Us to Pray More Effectively, Baker Books, 2010, p. 78).






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