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Posts Tagged ‘unanswered prayer’

We couldn’t revive her limp body.

I’d rubbed the silken bottoms of her feet and called out her name in an attempt to awaken her-but I’d known. She wasn’t breathing.

Each second collapsed into eternity as my husband bent over our daughter’s tiny frame; his measured exhale filling her lungs and returning useless. Time expanded and hope grew dim as my baby lay unmoving and lifeless. Two minutes. Three minutes. Four.

Still, my husband continued. Puff. Puff. Compress. Puff. Puff. Compress. 

Five minutes and then a ragged, raspy inhale. The sickly, ashen color vanished from my daughter’s face vanished and was replaced by beautiful creams and pinks.

Revival.

After the darkest night? The most glorious morning. #revival #joycomesinthemorning Click To Tweet

After the darkest night? The most glorious morning.

The child I’d beheld before with such love and tenderness, I valued even more for she was the precious one God returned into my aching arms.

Perhaps I would have the same sort of longing for my faith if it were torn from me. But where I live, faith is still protected. Neither my livelihood nor my life is threatened because I’m a Christian. Instead, my faith is stealthily picked away at by ease and amusement. Busyness and bustling. Serving and seeking after.

I forget my appointment with God because my schedule is full–sometimes by activities meant to bring glory to Him. But in giving up God for the “good”, how much have I lost? I’m convinced my heart, the Church, the nation, and our world need a revival as much as my daughter’s unresponsive body did years ago.

Revival Comes at the Darkest of Times
God had been silent for four hundred years while the people of Israel were pawned from one ruler to the next. Now, Herod served as a Roman puppet and even many of the religious leaders of Israel were corrupt-hawking animals used in the sacrifices to the top bidders.

Suddenly, the Lord broke into the status quo. Descending into the midst of a priest’s worship, the angel of the Lord said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:13, 16-17 NIV)

Have you ever prayed for years and felt as though God refused to answer? Doubted He heard you? Friend, the people of Israel had prayed for their Messiah for four hundred years and life was grim. War, fear, unrest, and death were a familiar part of everyday life.

While God is the one to decide when He'll move, we must be prepared to respond. #letyourlightshine #eyestowardheaven Click To Tweet

In the same way, God’s people have been praying for a revival of the Holy Spirt in the Church. While God is the one to decide when He’ll move, we must be prepared to respond.

Walk With Integrity
If this is the time chosen, are we ready? Am I? Are you?

According to Luke 1:6, Zechariah and Elizabeth were used by the Lord because “They were good and just people in God’s sight, walking with integrity in the Lord’s ways and laws.” (The Voice) This doesn’t imply they were sinless, but that God noted the condition of their hearts. They were in step with Him; daily living with their Lord in mind.

I know the condition of my heart and I wouldn’t measure up, but for Christ. Still, I want to live for Him. I long for others to see Jesus in my life. To know they are seen and heard when they speak with me. To know there is a wonderful Someone who came and gave all to rescue them.

Scripture tells me to set aside the chaos and soak in the things of Christ.

I am to:
pray continually (Philippians 4:6)
remain in Christ (John 15:5)
ask for wisdom (James 1:5)
yield my life (Matthew 16:24)

so that I might

take hold of peace (Philippians 4:7)
bear much fruit (John 15:8)
live a life that is “overflowing with mercy and blessings” (James 3:18 MSG) and
lose my life only to rediscover it in Christ (Matthew 16:24-27 NIV)

and, ultimately, give Him the glory. (John 15:8)

Revival (or not) it is All About Him

...revival or not, it is all about Him. #allaboutHim #revivalornot Click To Tweet

Like a perfectly synchronized event, my daughter took her first shaky draught of air at the exact moment several burly firefighters burst into our home. I was shouting out a thank you to God and weeping while my husband gathered the baby into his arms and then handed her to me.My little one had no pulse. No heartbeat. No breath. Five minutes passed before her life revived before our eyes and I could do nothing except thank God for his mercy.

In the same way, when God decides to shower revival on the land and in the midst of our churches he will move in remarkable ways in the lives of ordinary people. But I don’t want to falter like Zacharias who doubted the words of God; I want to respond with Mary’s heart, “I am the Lord’s servant.” (Luke 1:38)

Whether or not the pandemic continues…
whether or not riots rage…
whether or not elections and leaders rise and fall…
whether or not economies falter or topple…
whether or not personal health is at risk…
whether or not ______________(fill in the blank)
whether or not revival comes…
Jesus is the Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and the Resurrected Lamb. Today, I choose to give Him the glory.

After all, revival or not, it is all about Him.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragements Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

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Allow love to drive you to your knees and cling to your cross.

Emotions ebb and flow like a mountain river rushing past my feet.

It’s that time I’ve set aside to lay my soul bare before the One who knows me best. One moment, I’m bent over in adoration, kneeling in a position of gratitude as my heart pours out thanks for sheltering the two young ones who travel in and out of my days almost as quickly as dew drying in the high desert sun.  The next, my heart fills with dark, unremitting sorrow.

Muttering, I ask “When, God? How long before you answer?” Frustration pours out hot and damp and I brush it impatiently aside.

I mourn the loss of what might have been and 
cry out to Him-longing for assurance.#faith Click To Tweet

These are the dog-eared prayers of more than a decade. Words written, wept over, and whispered. There are fresher requests uttered over soul-deep scars another loved one carries. I mourn the loss of what might have been and cry out to Him-wanting justice but longing more for assurance. Assurance of something better. Assurance of hope.

Have you ever grieved and wished you had the power to travel through time? To alter circumstances? Perhaps, even, to take matters into your own hands if it meant you could rescue the one you love?

While I can’t explain the path of suffering my dear ones are walking or rescue them from it, I know the Christ who stepped outside of time onto the cross to provide the way. The Rescuer has already come that life may be made new.

...bear the burdens of those who are wandering or wounded.
#loveothers #poweroflove Click To Tweet

This is the strange in-between of already but not yet when the Enemy takes advantage of the weak and vulnerable. He circles around the frail and unprotected, seeking to devour easy prey. But they are not defenseless. Instead, Christ calls us to be the modern-day equivalent of Simon of Cyrene as we bear the burdens of those who are wandering or wounded.

If your heart is broken and bleeding over someone you love, praise God.

Have I mistyped those words? No. Only deep, selfless love results in such sorrow. Allow that love to drive you to your knees and cling to your cross as you thank God for His continual presence.

I don’t know what your loved one is facing. It could be addiction or disease. Maybe he is walking the prodigal path or is trapped in the cage of mental illness.

The God who caused dead bones 
to rise triumphant will have the victory.#doyourpart#pray Click To Tweet

Whatever the cross you bear on the behalf of love, “Have faith in the Lord” and “give thanks…for his love endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20). The God who caused dead bones to rise triumphant will have the victory and you, Warrior, play a part.

James 5:16 (AMP) exhorts, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”

Why? Because God has provided us with heaven’s homework. If your spirit is burdened for a friend, family member, or someone you met in passing then pick up your cross. There is work to be done (Ephesians 2:10) and you were called “for such a time as this”. (Esther 4:14)

He hasn’t left you unequipped, Friend. You wield the sword of the Spirit, God’s powerful two-edged m’achaira-a deadly weapon worn by the common soldier and always at the ready for hand-to-hand combat. This God-breathed blade is razor-sharp, designed to protect you and those for whom you battle from the Enemy. In moments of weariness, you’ll discover strength between the pages of His word. Strength to praise. Strength to pray. Strength to stand.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

Mondays   Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragements

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday WelcomWednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,

 

 

 

 

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-Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go.-

I grimace at the deep gash above the young woman’s eye. It stands out angry in dark shades of green and purple against pale skin and her mother chokes on emotion as she pulls back the curtain on her soul. “I know He could make things right for her, but He doesn’t. I keep praying and hoping. Maybe I’m praying the wrong thing. I can’t afford to be bitter toward God.”

I hear the questions buried in her words and pull them forward, examining from every angle.  Doesn’t He hear me? Why do my pleadings go unanswered when others’ receive the gift of God’s grace?  And I understand. I’ve often shared these same thoughts.

One family rejoices at the renewed opportunity their depressed teenager has at living fully after a dance with death and proclaims, “God answered our prayers” while another weeps by the mound of fresh earth–uncertain how to experience joy again now that a child gone too soon lies six feet below in the dark and their hearts barely seem able to propel them ahead.

Did you disregard those dear ones? Is any one person more spiritually worthy than another? Are words of desperation only considered worthy of your throne when uttered by spiritual giants or the most penitent of saints?

Not at all, dear friends.

Christ came as the Lamb that He might return one day soon as the conquering King. On the day of His arrival–every vestige of pain, each remembrance of suffering, and all cries for justice will find their answer in the nail scarred hands and the power of One who could not be restrained by any of it.

And He’ll gather us close and these times will somehow make sense in the eternal landscape of His love and we’ll drink deeply of unmatched joy in His presence. Our prayers–once offered as a holy sacrifice–will find their answer in the restoration of life whole and eternal.

You are not left alone. You are not abandoned. Your prayers will not remain unanswered.  He is the unchanging One who eradicated death by His own and invited us into Life. Jesus has not brought us this far to leave us without hope, dear daughters of Christ.

Take the next step. Keep praying. Trust Him. He is walking with you to the end.

 

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