One of the dearest Christian men I know, a man filled with godly wisdom and love had part of his lung removed due to cancer about a month ago. Yesterday after walking quite a bit and eating lunch, having a really great day Ennis was rushed to the hospital with a collapsed lung which may have a tear it it. Since the phone call learning of his condition, I received other phone calls telling me Phillip could not begin chemo yesterday for the stage IV lung cancer discovered 2 weeks ago, his wife Bobbie is in the hospital as well with a drug resistant infection, another sister in Christ has esophageal cancer which has spread, a friend's son was diagnosed with cancer which has spread all over his body...might I just say part of me wanted to say I can't take another phone call today, the other part of me said yes I can because I am not to operate under my own strength. (The phone rang again, Mrs. Graves had a stroke, she is a beloved school teacher I had in high school.) Part of me wants to yell from the roof top I HATE CANCER but I know I need to pray - believing prayers will be answered for Mrs. Graves, Ennis, Phillip, Betty, Bobbie, and Andy. Prayers for peace, mental/spiritual/physical wholeness in Christ Jesus; prayers for physical/mental/spiritual comfort; prayers for my friends to be filled with faith, hop, love, not hopelessness, despair, and anxiety. I need to pray for their families.
I have to know and believe Scripture to pray for intense situations. You may be praying over a dire situation at this time, it may be a marriage which is on the death bed; it may be a child facing prison; your loved one may be in the grip of addiction. The enemy assaults us as well as our families and let's face it, we live in a fallen world. Earth is not the Garden of Eden. But the One Who prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane took care of it all for us. Rely on Him, press into Him, operate in His strength and when you've done all you can do - do some more:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
An update to this post, Phillip died last night. Thankfully his sister and children were with him. I am not sure about his wife Bobbie because she is hospitalized as well.