View from the Ridge
Psa 6:9 You have answered my prayer and my plea for mercy.
2Sa 22:7 I was in terrible trouble when I (we) called out to you, but from your temple you heard me (us) and answered my (our) prayer.
This is a thank you note to all those who have prayed and continue to pray for the situation with my health and Melanoma. I was astounded by the numbers when I started thinking about it. Not only did my church and the care groups associated with it offer up prayers, but also the churches and care groups that many of our friends attend. There were literally thousands of prayers sent up on my behalf. I am truly grateful and humbled. I would hope that each of you would copy and print off this article and share it with your church, Sunday School class and care group that prayed on my behalf. I am eternally grateful to each and everyone.
Psa 39:12 “Listen, LORD, to my prayer! My eyes are flooded with tears, as I pray to you. I am merely a stranger visiting in your home as my ancestors did.
Psa 86:1 Please listen, LORD, and answer my prayer! I am poor and helpless.
Psa 86:6 Please listen, LORD! Answer my prayer for help.
In the days before the CT-PET scan and the results, I truly did not know how to pray. In my heart I knew what I and my family wanted, but I have lived long enough to have seen many of my friends go though similar trials, seen their prayers answered with a no and they are with Jesus today. While they may be enjoying Heaven, their spouses and family endured a time of suffering and have a huge area in their lives that is empty. I was reluctant to ask God for special favors, to grant me something that my friends were not granted. I am not a Bible scholar, do not consider myself a prayer warrior, struggle to find time to read my Bible, and do not consider my self worthy of any special favors. Yet God has blessed me with hope for the future. I am not out of the woods yet; this melanoma cancer could pop back up as it is known to do, but for now there is no sign of it.
So now I ask “Why me, God, why me and not those that I loved and cherished as friends?” There is no answer. God is who He is and chooses as He pleases. If I have nothing else going for me, I do know this: I know who I have trusted my life to; the same Jesus who gave His life for my sins and daily watches over me. I do not question His sovereignty or His will. I will gladly go wherever He chooses and endure whatever He allows in my life because I know what Jesus endured for me. I know that He walks with me in good times and bad. I try to be his faithful servant, warts and all!
The following prayer from Psalms says it all. I took some liberties and replaced the words I with we, me with us and my with ours.
Psa 66:16-20 All who worship God, come here and listen; we will tell you everything God has done for us. We prayed to the Lord, and we praised him. If our thoughts had been sinful, he would have refused to hear us. But God did listen and answered our prayers. Let's praise God! He listened when we prayed, and He is always kind.
As I write this and praise God for His blessings, my friends Dick Pogue and Jerry Street are battling the ravages of cancer. Please add them to your prayer list. They desperately need healing. We praise God for the good results of Heidi Routt, a young lady in her 20’s who suffered through breast cancer but appears to be cancer free now. But as many of you who know about cancer, you are never really free of it; it is an insidious disease that is just waiting to expose it’s self again. Pray for Brenda McGirr who is recovering from colon cancer surgery. Each of you reading this more than likely knows at least one person that is battling cancer. Pray for them. We know an awesome God who is the great physician. We need to seek His will.
Psa 118:5 When I was really hurting, I prayed to the LORD. He answered my prayer, and took my worries away.
Psa 119:169 Please, LORD, hear my prayer and give me the understanding that comes from your word.
Psa 138:3 When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage.
In the days ahead I will be undergoing surgery to clean out the area on my nasal septum to insure there are no microscopic cancer cells lingering around waiting to take root. Radiation therapy will most likely follow. And then, as always, it will be up to the Lord what my journey will be and how long He grants me to walk among you.
There is power in prayer. I went to http://miraclesofprayer.com/pages/research.htm and they list the results of 19 studies that show positive results in patients recovering from heart attacks, surgeries, and cancer compared to those who did not receive prayer. Some of the studies were done without the patients knowing and the people praying only had first names and no information as to the specific needs of the patient. They even did studies with the praying participants being in other countries and of other religions. Studies were done at places like Duke and Yale Universities, the Mayo Clinic and USC medical school. In every study patients that were prayed for required less medication, recovered faster, blood pressure was lower and they required fewer days in the hospital. We need to pray more for those that are hurting. We have a tremendous resource in the power of prayer and an almighty God. We need to be more diligent in tapping into that power.
Thank you all again, and may God richly bless you for your faithfulness in praying for Jeri and I.
Psa 30:1-12 I will praise you, LORD! You saved me from the grave and kept my enemies from celebrating my death. I prayed to you, LORD God, and you healed me, saving me from death and the grave. Your faithful people, LORD, will praise you with songs and honor your holy name. Your anger lasts a little while, but your kindness lasts for a lifetime. At night we may cry, but when morning comes we will celebrate. I was carefree and thought, "I'll never be shaken!" You, LORD, were my friend, and you made me strong as a mighty mountain. But when you hid your face, I was crushed. I prayed to you, LORD, and in my prayer I said, “What good will it do you if I am in the grave? Once I have turned to dust, how can I praise you or tell how loyal you are? Have pity, LORD! Help!" You have turned my sorrow into joyful dancing. No longer am I sad and wearing sackcloth. I thank you from my heart, and I will never stop singing your praises, my LORD and my God.