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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Prayer's Encouragement

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength” (Psalm 138:3, NLT).

Where do we go when we are at our lowest? Whom do we seek when we need answers for our heart's pain? Jim Landingham lies in ICU in an induced coma on a respirator. Soon he will be moved to long term care at the hospital on that respirator. This has been a hard struggle for his wife, Joyce. Joyce knows that prayer is Jim's only answer. But the answers God has are not only for Jim. God's answers are meant to encourage Joyce. Two days ago the Lord heard the prayer of a spirit-filled hospital volunteer from the chaplain's office. Walter prayed on one side of Jim, and Joyce stood on the other. As Walter prayed Joyce felt three strong electric-like shocks travel from Jim's hand to hers. Walter felt it also from Jim's other hand. God came to encourage Joyce by giving her a sign that he is with Jim and with her through this hard ordeal in their lives. He also gave Joyce confirmation through the man who prayed. She received hope and grace of His peace through this experience.

God always hears our cries to Him. He misses nothing. Many pray fervently, but so few wait patiently to hear Him speak in return. He has so much to impart. His love. His truth. His encouragement. His strength. His direction. His deliverance. He wishes to speak to us in response, but we are so battered or torn or desperate, that we do not hear His words. We have prayed the pain in our hearts, but have not known the release from the pain that His answer brings. We have not left our burdens with Him, and in our pain-filled lives, His Words in return to our pleas have fallen on our deafened ears (Philippians 4:6-7).

His words speak life. His words are life. If I give my burden to Him and believe He not only hears my heart's cry but takes the cry into Himself, I will know a trust that springs from a greater faith. In that moment of amazing love and grace, I am safe anticipating His response. If I wait believing and trusting that He will answer, I will receive. He will impart His will and His heart through a Scripture, or through a circumstance, or through a friend, or through something perhaps unexpected. If I wait expectantly, I will hear and will receive His encouragement for my heart's cry.

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17, NLT). I will persevere. I will trustingly and patiently wait to hear from Him. He wants to encourage and give me His strength. He will show me and reveal His answer. My ears and eyes are open, and when He speaks, or directs, or reveals, it will be in power. My struggle will be as nothing. My mountain will be brought low. I will know that He is, and always will be, my God.

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