Saturday, October 11, 2008

Answered Prayers

I want to encourage everyone to keep praying. I know this sounds repetitive and I keep asking everyone to keep praying but I know God hears our prayers. I know He does. Want to know how I know? Because I prayed for this. Sound crazy? Here are just some of my recent prayers within the past few months before finding out my son has cancer. These are specific prayers and intimate conversations I had with the Lord. They are also known well by my husband and close friends who I pray with and discuss my life with.

-I prayed for a deeper prayer life. I prayed for any barrier or hindrance of my faith to be removed and that I would be able to have a more intimate knowing and dialogue with God.
-I prayed for a closer relationship to my son CJ. Not to my children in general... To CJ! I prayed for a greater understanding of his pain and anxiety and to have a greater love and compassion for him. I prayed for a closeness to him I was afraid was lacking on my part.
-I prayed for confirmation that I would stand faithfully before my Lord when faced with trial. That I would not fall away when the storm comes. I wanted unshakable faith realizing I can not have unshakable faith without first being be shaken.
-I prayed for an estranged friend and I to have peace and reconciliation so that I may live at peace among everyone as much as it depends on me. Romans 12:18
- I said prayers for certain extended family members who I wanted to see grow closer to the Lord. I asked God to use me and my family in leading them closer to Himself.
-I prayed for God to use my son CJ to lead many to intimacy and knowledge of Christ. I prayed that.
-I prayed for God to give my family a deeper compassion for others struggles. To soften our hearts. I even asked him to give us some type of ministry we could all be involved in together.
-And believe it or not, I prayed that I would not have the 'easy life'. Yes, I said those exact words. I said, "God, I don't want to live the easy Christian life where everything is great and it is easy to love and serve and worship you. I want to really do the thing." I wanted to make every moment count and to know my family brought glory to Him.

Why would I ask for that? Why would I ask for troubles. Does God actually send trouble or just allow it? I believe God sends trouble into our lives to strengthen us. David sees this and cries out in Psalm 71:20 "Who, O God is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again."

Did God give CJ cancer? No, I don't believe so. Did He allow it? Yes. Is He using it to answer all those prayers I mentioned above. Yes and Amen. Romans 8:28 has come alive to me like never before. "And we know in all things, God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose. " I do not believe God answered those prayers by giving CJ cancer but I believe God has used Cancer to answer each and every one of those prayers all in this one circumstance. God hears our prayers. And He answers them according to His sovereign will.

Therefore, I boldly ask for God to hear my prayer for healing for my son CJ. God has already used His very own blood to heal him of the most deadly disease there is. The disease of our own sin. Isaiah 53:5 says "..by his wounds we are healed." CJ is healed for all eternity from that. I would not trade that healing for the healing of cancer for one minute but I will boldly ask God to heal my son of this disease within his body as well.

1John 5:14 "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him. "

As you know I have implored with you all to persevere with us in prayer. I want to share what God showed me in devotions this week and why I believe this is so heavy on my heart and in no way offensive to God for us to beseech Him again and again and again for healing for CJ. And why I won't stop asking for prayer and pleading with you to continue to pray with us.

It is taken from 1Kings 18:43 when Elijah continually tells his servant to "go back".

Charles Spurgeon says...
"...We must not dream of unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with God. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for, as well as wait upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation. The greater danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. Plead the precious blood with unceasing insistent request and it shall be with you according to your desire!"
Amen and Amen!
Plead with us with unceasing request for CJ's healing and sustainment. Your prayers are powerful and effective. Just how effective? CJ's blood counts are good. They are staying strong. His hair has not fallen out. He is not sick. God is listening. Keep praying. CJ will be getting scans at the end of the first month of the chemo. We are praying for a miraculous act of God and clear scans that reveal the tumors completely gone.

More importantly than CJ's physical health, God is doing an amazing work in his heart. We are in awe of what we see God doing. And we want to share some of that with all of you. As I type this the family is cuddled in his room watching a movie.....but he is out in the living room reading his Bible and copying down verses. God has given him some amazing verses this week. Matthew 8:1-4 in particular!


When asked by his dad why he is spending all his time writing letters and emails and cards and not relaxing and playing his new video games CJ said, "I was thinking that five years from now the video games will be forgotten but my letters and cards will still be remembered." Then, he came to us one night and said he 'felt great' and we asked him why and what happened. He said he had just finished praying on his knees and when he got up he just felt really great, really good! Sounds like healing to me!
I share all this with you not because we are in complete humble awe at what God is allowing us to witness between this boy and Himself. We are mostly as stunned as you all are at what God is doing in and through him. As a Christian who has been under Gods mighty hand a time or two and His gentle hand more than I can count, I am thrilled for what CJ is experiencing with His God right in front of my eyes. But in all honesty, I can't help but wonder why God is building his faith up and taking him to the mountain tops for refreshment. Is it to prepare him for the valleys to come? Is this a season of preparation for the long hard road ahead? Oh I know, don't question, don't question.......just obediently follow!

Note: I typed this last week and left it in my drafts not sure of whether it was for me or I was meant to to share it. Last night in meeting with my Pastor and his wife, God made it clear that it was to share. He confirmed it with Isaish 53. CJ is already healed where it counts. I pray it blesses you!



CJ praying on Easter morning.


11 comments:

Heather said...

I have to tell you that I am doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free bible study. It is based on Isaiah. She just talked about Isaiah 53and I thought I would share some of what she talked about.

Christ was like a root out of dry ground so we could be a planting of the Lord.

Christ beauty was veiled so ours could be reveled.

Christ was despised and rejected so we could be favored and accepted.

Christ became a man of sorrows so we could become people of gladness.

Christ was crushed by iniquities so we could become His righteousness. (In order to receive this He who had NO sin, had to become sin for us. Every single sin was heaped on Him)

Christ suffered so that God could be satisfied and we could be saved.

Christ remained silent so WE could proclaim His great salvation.

How amazing is that? He loves us so much and endured all that for us!
I would also like to share two verses in the study that I love.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
Isaiah 61:1

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed" says the Lord, who has copassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10
I love you all so much
(sorry for writing a book)
Heather

The Ingram Family said...

CJ:
Hi once again we are so filled with admiration for the love you are showing to everyone that just keeps reminding us how much Jesus Christ loves us and all of His people. We are also still praying for you to feel well through your treatment and for you to trust God through this experience. Thank you so much for showing us that is important to love each other and to show each other love each and every day!!!

Chris, Dawn and family: Thank you for your unwavering faith and for conducting your selves in the same way by starting out in faith and believing God for for what you are asking Him. Your worship, service, and praise as our heavenly Father continues to give you insight reveals to us what God says about us, that we are more than conquerors(Romans 8:37). Your perserverance in this trial and the lives being touched confirms for us in this day that Jesus is alive and doing wonderful works! We have seen God do things that totally amaze us and we are grateful that we are blessed and privileged to see God this time as He moves in your lives. We are asking God to help us not to become complacent in our prayer life and commit to continue to pray and join with you in all your prayer requests for CJ.
Ephesians 3:20-21: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Tammi said...

Dear CJ & Dawn:
I am over at my friend's house watching the Gators battle the National Championns, LSU. We are all screaming and yelling and rooting for the Gators like fools!! Our Quarterback, #15, Tim Tebow has 4:13 written in the black ink on his left cheek below his eye. I know that - that is Phillipians 4:13 which reads, "In Him who strengthens me, I can do all things!!" I know that the "Him" in whom Tim Tebow is speaking about whom strengthens him on that football field, in front of all of those Gator fans on television and at that stadium(the very same stadium that your whole family stood upon when you came to visit me last June) . . . is the very same Jesus Christ whom died for us and loves you all so much and is strengthening you all now to endure this trial and whom even allowed this to happen to us all . . . "In Him . . . who endured all things for us . . . already . . . who knew our trials . . . our weaknessess . . . and our heartaches, intimately, we can do all things, With Grace." Amen.
I Love You and I am Here
Aunt Tammi

Iliana said...

Oh, the valleys are sooooo good for us. God always gives us what we need at the exact time. He is perfect in all His plans and His ways are so way different than ours. May you be amazed when you look back that God did more than you ever asked for or dreamed of. I know for sure, for He has already shown us glimpses of His grace in our lives. May the Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and keep you running the race in perseverance. And when it gets hard, run, run to the Cross, it's the only Hope and He is the only one that satisfies and comforts us. To Him be all the Glory forever! Amen!

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

Thank you for sharing those intimate details of your life. Yes, I knew many of those prayers because I am one of your bible study partners and your sister. It is absolutely amazing what God is doing in your life as well as so many of us. But, what is also amazing is your FAITH. You are keeping your eyes and heart on the Lord and not turning from Him. You are definetly an amazing example. I understand your writing, as I feel God is showing me so much through this trial as well.
Love,
Your Sis, Jacks

By the way, we just got home from the walk! Allie was one of the last to leave! Literally!

Enzo said...

Dawn,

As usual I read your blog in the morning and by the time the entire thing settles on me in the night I wake up so many times with it on my heart, with the Holy Spirit nudging me.
I can't imagine in my prayers asking God for trials. I can't imagine asking for the deep specific circumstances like you do. My prayers are usually a quick Our Father Who Art in Heaven and Hallowed be Thy Name, but I don't stop and really really praise him. I ask for my sins to be forgiven without outlining any of them, I say that I'll forgive any that have sinned against me without thinking about them or praying for them but when it comes to the Gimme Part -- I am very specific and very long, Give me this, Give me that, Help me this, Please that, Fix This. When I get to the part about lead us not into temptation I hurry because I definitely don't want to be specific there, Deliver us I'm big on. Wow! I look at your prayer and I look at mine and I think when God hears me he probably takes a little breath and shakes His head, God the Son is standing there and asking God the Father to forgive me, I'll get there and God the Holy Spirit is sad that I don't let him in to do His job. That is just how my brains thinks about it.
On the other hand when God hears your prayers He is pleased, very pleased and blesses you.
Also, the walk last night. Wow! Another thing that I was so honored to be there for all of you but I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone a little bit. Maybe because we are all just under 1 month into our new lives and it will take us awhile to catch up to all the survivors that were there last night and people that have helped this cause for so long. Again, it is so selfish of me but I didn't want to see my grandson in a blue shirt carrying a white balloon. I want him to be marching for others as he always has been. I don't want him asking and thinking about the people that are carrying gold balloons. Again, I know I'm selfish and I know you guys are doing an amazing Christian march right now and God is holding you up for an example of how to do it well and I praise Him that you can. Keep on marching.
Love Mom

Carmen said...

Dawn,
Our God is just so amazing! This is an incredible post! It is so mysterious yet so perfect how God answers our prayers. Thank you for making your heart and your struggles and your thoughts so transparent to all. It is bringing many lessons and blessings to my own heart and I'm sure to many others. For example when you confessed your struggle with CJ's continual complaints and how you prayed for more compassion and sympathy for him, I have had those thoughts and struggles as well with my children. Your words have helped me to soften my heart toward my children and to have more patience and compassion!

Also, to think of the needs of your unsaved family members or reconciliation with your estranged friend and how God would design this trial to bring all this about is beyond comprehension!

I feel that I am not bold enough to ask your kind of prayer: to bring trouble in my life though I know I need more intimacy with God...I am fearful. Seeing your faith through this trial is inspirational and seeing the salvation of your son and all the GOOD that God is bringing through all of this should want me to ask that same prayer!

GOD CONTINUE BLESSING ALL OF YOU and CJ...and we will not cease to pray for total healing...spiritual and physical..we know He is listening to all of us and His heart overflows with mercies, compassion and lovingkindness!

Love ya sis,
Carmen

Anonymous said...

hi cj,im glad that i went to the light the night walk for you i am very happy i saw you there i am going to pray for you every night i hope you are better i want to see you very soon from,the loftus family

Anonymous said...

C.j, I just wanted to write to you to tell you that I love you and miss you so so so so much. I wish I could have stayed longer to talk to you at the cancer walk, but I was still happy to see you and talk a picture with you! I will be praying for you every single day. I have something I want to show you, it's not ready yet, but it will be soon!!

Joseph

Brendan said...

Dawn,
What you shared about God answering your requests with trials is music to my soul. Such a strange kind of love... I'm going through a small trial right now and after reading your words, I'm reminded of what I asked God for before as well: Nearness, and to bring me back to the way things were before when I loved him without reserve or hindrance. The pain is bringing me to the prayer closet more than ever, and though I don't see the light yet, I have confidence He is working to give me more of Himself. Thanks for not giving up so you could receive your blessing. He is pretty cool, isn't He? :D

Hey CJ,
Don't know if you remember me but I've been thinking about you lately. At first I was praying like mad for God to heal you right away, but when I saw all the good that's come out of your trial, I had to repent because God didn't want instant healing. He wanted to use pain to answer your mom's prayer, bring your family closer, get you closer to him, and so much more amazing stuff. If He would've healed you right away, all the good He did through your pain wouldn't have happened. I'm so happy for you. God's doing this amazing work in your life. I miss you at church, man. You give great high fives.

CeCe said...

Gosh.... I MISS YOU!!!!

Celeste