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Opportunity to Share
national-day-of-prayer-day I recently had an opportunity to share about a few answered prayers.  My life is full of answered prayers, so my first challenges was to limit the number I spoke about.  I wanted to share those same stories with the online community.  Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer.

Complications
A few years ago I receive a call from my brother that his wife and he were at the hospital, getting ready for the birth of their first child.  This was extremely exciting, but just the beginning of the night, so my wife and I went to bed.  I told him to call me when things got closer.  We all know how long it can take for the arrival of someone’s first child.

A couple hours later, I received another phone call, with a trembling voice on the other end.  I could tell something was wrong, but could barely hear it what it was.  I was told that there was blood, and that some complications had risen.  All I could do was let them know that I was on my way for support.

Relief in Prayer
At the end of that brief call, I fell to my knees in prayer.  I then continued to pray while I got dress, and continued to pray in the car on the way to the hospital.  This was one of my most intense prayers, with tears running down my face.  About half way to the hospital, my tears dried up, and I was felt this wave of calmness come over me.  I knew that everything was ok.

My Niece is Born
emma-sitting Upon my arrival at the hospital I was greeted by my mom, and told that they had just finished an emergency c-section, and that mom and baby were healthy.  The nurses were just cleaning up and doing their first rounds of vitals.  My niece was born (pictured right) and sister-in-law were both doing well.

Instant Prayer
This prayer was answered instantly, and I was comforted by the answered prayer, but not all prayers get answered this quickly, or even the way that you want them to be.

Job Interviews
Every job interview that I have ever gone to has been a prayer drive before and after.  Often I pray in the car.  It is a great time to give praise and to talk with God.  So on my way to every job interview I pray.  And on the way home from every job interview, I pray.  After praying on my way home, I forget it about and trust that the opportunity is in God’s hands.  If he wants me to work there, he will open the door.

I have been blessed with many fantastic opportunities, all of which of toned by skills and provided new ones, but not all jobs have been great.  I have worked for companies that have bounced paychecks, missed payroll, been evicted from their buildings and one that went through a hostile take over while the owner was in Hawaii.  God has always put me where he wants me and provided amazing opportunities.

9153703052 These job prayers were often answered in unexpected ways.  I could see many people asking God why they would be in a situation where they were working hard and not getting rewarded.  Or worse, working hard and going into debt.  Add a family and kids into the mix and the stress can be overwhelming.  God will never give you too much to handle.  You need to just pray about the situation, and ask him to help guide you and to open the doors for you.  He wants the best for you, and those prayers will be answered.  Cast all of your cares on him, and relax.  He is in control.

Partial Prayers
Sometimes answered prayers may look like partially answered prayers, and sometimes we feel like giving up.  I spent my 10 birthday receiving my first chemotherapy treatment.  When I was 9 years old, I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone cancer.  The doctors told me and my family that I was going to have to go through 3 years of treatment and that the best way to make sure that the cancer is gone, is to have surgery to remove the bone.

boy-praying The cancer was on the back of my right shoulder blade and the size of a softball.  At 10 years old, that is about the size of the entire shoulder blade.  Removing that bone with the cancer would render my right arm useless.  I was right handed and not ready to lose my arm.  The doctors said that since my arm would just hang, and that it would be useless, that it would be best to remove the arm so that it wouldn’t get caught on things and wouldn’t get in the way.

Pray Without Ceasing
My entire family began to pray.  This was the start of tremendous prayer warfare.  Day after day, week after week, we prayed.  We prayed alone, we prayed with others, we prayed at home, on the road, at church, at other people’s homes.  Everywhere we went, we prayed.

One particular evening, we went to a prayer concert.  I remember being excited and nervous.  I was excited to pray as I felt myself getting closer to God, and nervous as there were hundreds of people there and I didn’t know what to expect.

Cancer Shrinking
paintball-shooting The following week, I had another doctors appointment, and the doctors were completely surprised.  That softball sized tumor was now the size of a golf ball.  God had shrunk that tumor.  He could have just as easily healed me, but instead he just shrunk it.  The doctors changed the 3 year plan to 1, and I had radiation therapy instead of surgery.  A year later I went into remission and still had my arm.  My right arm is about 4 inches shorter than my left, but I’m still right handed and can still play sports with the best of them.

God used that year to bring me closer to him.  I was able to share and encourage many other children at the hospital and at Oncology Camp, a camp dedicated to kids with cancer and their families.  This was one of the most amazing experiences in my life, and looking back, I don’t regret it.  I don’t wish that it hadn’t happened.

Cast ALL of Your Cares
real-men-pray Sometimes prayers are answered immediately, other times we need to pray without ceasing, entering into a prayer battle.  Sometimes we need to pray and forget, trusting in God, and other times we need to continue to pray.  Answered prayers are not always what we want, but God’s plan for us is far better than what we would want for ourselves.  It is important to trust in him, and that when you pray… ask that his will be done, and that you are able to see where he wants you, and remember, he will not give you more than you can handle.

 

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