September 05, 2010

Prayer: Your Forever Floatation Device

“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and His song will be with in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 (NASB)

Bobby and I have a very special friend. Actually we have many very special friends. But John is more than just a special friend. Today, John is a special friend with special needs. John has recently been diagnosed with cancer. He is also smart enough and in-tune enough with his Savior to know he needs prayers. Lots of prayers. So I am asking you to pray for John.

Now John is not the only special needs person out there. Maybe you too, are a cancer patient. Maybe you are a depression sufferer. Perhaps you are wearing the label of divorce or death of a loved one. Job loss. Financial struggler. Dare I say we are all people of special needs carrying the burden of some sort of “cancer?” If you are not today, then count yourself blessed and get ready – it could be your turn next.

I say this not to strike terror into anyone hearts, because God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear but of love and power and a sound mind. (Refer to II Tim. 1:7) It is more a call to prayer.

Now back to John. Our faithful friend has starting using a blog as an outlet for emotions and a way to communicate to all his friends. This is good because I know it can get tiresome to repeat details to everyone all day long. Writing as outlet for emotions is good as well. I highly recommend this method of therapy! (Can you guess why?)

But therapy for us often turns into therapy or encouragement for others. So I asked John for permission to share his website with you. He granted it not because John wishes to draw attention to him although I know he’ll gladly accept your prayers. But John wants to draw attention to God, in hopes this might help to someone else.

The site is: www.caringbridge.org/visit/johntalbert and you can set up a sign in and read John’s postings. Perhaps you want to share this with a friend going through a cancer in life. I have taken the liberty of copying his last post for you today. It will explain today’s message title:

• Thursday, September 2, 2010 8:04 AM, MDT by John Talbert, Denver CO

Today, I read Psalms 42 and 43. I love the way the Psalms show how prayer works in the gamut of human emotion—all the ups and downs of life. These two Psalms are tied together and reflect someone who is struggling with depression.

I am no professional counselor, so I am not up on technical definitions, but honestly, over the past several weeks I can say that I have not experienced depression. Now, I want to be clear: I have been down AT TIMES. I have been angry. I have been frustrated. I have cried out to God, “I just can’t do this.” But depression, I don’t think so.

Why? It is certainly nothing that I can take credit for because I am a prime candidate for it. I have struggled with depression in various forms throughout my life, but not now. Here is the reason why: the power of God at work through the prayers of God’s people.

And I have felt, literally and actually felt, the prayers of God’s people through all of this. It started in earnest before my first biopsy. I remember thinking, “This is scary. I could have cancer. My doctor and the surgeon are telling me I probably do. What if I do? Oh, no . . .” And I remember feeling that I was heading on a fast track down in the dumps, but Someone stopped me.

Here is the analogy that comes to mind: it feels as if I am floating on the top of water in a swimming pool on one of those inflatable cushions. When you lie on one of those, and one of your friends tries to push you down under the water level, they can do it, but only for a little while. Why? I believe you call it BUOYANCY.

The definition of buoyancy in Wikipedia (it is on the World Wide Web so it has to be accurate, right?): “an upward acting force, caused by fluid pressure, that opposes an object’s weight.” It goes on to say, “If the object is either less dense than the liquid or shaped appropriately (as in a boat) the force can keep the object afloat.”

OK, so there you go. Prayer is God’s UPWARD ACTING FORCE! As God’s people were praying for me, I simply did not, could not, and will not go under for good. He doesn’t allow it to happen.

When you add in the fact that as believers, we are less dense—Jesus lives in us—and we are shaped appropriately—we are in Christ--you can’t be in a better position! Right? Add those two huge things together and you get spiritual buoyancy.

Again, all of us are human. This doesn’t mean that you don’t go under. It just means that with prayer and Jesus, you don’t stay there.

And, in fact, the lower you go, the faster you shoot up because of upward acting forces. Try to push a beach ball far under the water and you will see what I mean. It shoots up out of the water with great force.

I am learning that this upward acting force is always more powerful than any weight—including cancer and all the scary unknowns that go with it--that tries to push me down.

This is reflected in the refrain of these two Psalms. It is repeated three times so it must be significant, “Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.” Psalm 43:5. I'm excited to see God's "upward acting forces" work today.  (end of John's entry.)

Me too John! We love you and are praying for you. – Barbara & Bob

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