"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
August 28, 2019
James 5:13-16 says, "Are any of you suffering? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."
Praying for one another is so very important. And most of us probably do pray for our family and friends. We want to see God intervene and answer in their situation, and we don't want to see them sick or suffering or struggling. So we pray.
But I daresay that most of us have a difficult time praying for complete strangers. I know that I do. It's hard to approach someone whom we don't know and ask if we can pray for them. We don't know their beliefs, their frame of mind, or if we will be accepted or rejected; and none of us want to be rejected. But still, we are commanded to pray for one another. Why? Because the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results!
Last week, Jon and I took his mom to the ER. Jon was in triage with her because his name was on the paperwork, so I was sitting out in the waiting room. There were only 8-10 people there. After sitting there for one-and-a-half to two hours, I was scrolling through social media on my phone. I was reading comments from a few individuals who had commented on a prayer page that I have recently created.
While doing so, I felt a nudge in my spirit and Jesus ask, "So who in the waiting room are you willing to pray for? You pray for those you know, but what about those whom you don't know?" I put my phone away in my purse, and was sitting there praying about who I needed to approach. Honestly, this was out of my comfort zone and I have a hard time starting conversations with people I don't know.
About that time, the lady sitting next to me adjusted herself in her chair and groaned. I asked if she was in pain. She shared that she had suddenly got a really sharp pain in her knee late that afternoon and was hardly able to walk. She had gone to her chiropractor, but he was concerned that it was a possible blood clot, so had sent her to ER. She had been there for 5 hours having tests and x-rays and was waiting for the results.
I asked if I could pray for her and her eyes lit up and she said, "I would absolutely love that! I've been sitting here praying for myself, but would love for your to pray for me." So I prayed for her knee to be completely healed and all pain be gone and never return. She had tears in her eyes when I finished praying, stood up, and told me that that was the easiest that she had been able to stand up since the incident had happened. She walked back and forth and her voice and eyes lit up as she said, "I think I'm healed!" I told her that I agreed, I believed that she had been healed.
We had a wonderful conversation and I felt a kinship as I visited with a sister in the Lord. She was 65 years old, was a believer and had a heart for Jesus. But she told me, "When I was praying for myself, it never even occurred to me to pray for healing!" She said that her mom and kids would be thrilled that someone had prayed for her. I could tell that her faith had been built up and she was encouraged and excited about what had happened. I hope that it encourages her to pray for someone next time that she has and opportunity to do so.
Had I sat there and quietly argued with myself about whether it was really God who was urging me to pray for someone... or had hesitated, due to feeling uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone... or had made excuses why I shouldn't do this.... I would have missed out on ministering to this lady and she would have missed out on being healed at that moment. Jon came out and was ready to leave within 5-10 minutes of me praying for this lady. Had he come out before I had prayed for her, I'm not so sure that I would have stayed and prayed. I likely would have gone ahead and left; after all, it was nearing midnight by this time and we were tired.
As we were leaving, the lady once again thanked me for praying for her and told me, "I'm going to go ahead and wait for the test results, but I know that I'm healed!"
That was so encouraging and built my faith up so much! I have prayed for others in waiting rooms and in the ER in the past, but not every time. But I want to be so sensitive to the Holy Spirit that when I feel that nudge to pray, I don't argue, but immediately obey every single time!
The truth is, we can all pray for others. Our prayers can be simple and don't have to be flowery or fancy. The only requirement is to pray in faith, believe that God will respond, and expect results.
I encourage you to begin praying for others; whether you know them or not. Pray out loud and let them hear you pray. Sometimes people don't need to hear, "I will pray for you," but they need to hear you actually praying for them. They need to hear the words. It can be faith-building and encouraging for them; then will encourage them to pray for others when they have the opportunity.
I wouldn't say that I can't go up to a stranger to pray for them. I don't mean that it would be easy for me to go up to a stranger; I just don't want to say that I couldn't. That's because I've noticed again and again that as soon as we say "I can't xyz", that is when God proves to us that we can. Of course, He proves it by making us do it.
Earthly parents do that, too. If a kid says, "I'll never learn to ride a bike", then his parents work with them till they learn how. If they say "I can't eat eggs, they're too gross!", then her parents sit with her till the eggs are cold, and wet with tears, and make her eat those eggs. Or if a kid says "I can't add double digits, it's too hard", his parents will show him again and again till he learns how.
God does that, too. He wants so much for us, and part of that is for us to be capable of anything. If we try to get out of something by claiming we can't, then He may just prove to us that we can.
King Ranch Chicken
1 can Rotel
1/2 pound shredded cheese (more, if desired)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
10 corn tortillas
salt and pepper, to taste
Boil chicken; cool; debone and cut into bite-sized pieces. (You could use a rotisserie chicken.)
Cut corn tortillas into bite-sized pieces.
Mix Rotel, soups, and chopped onion.
Layer tortillas, chicken, soup mixture and cheese in order; continue layering until all is used.
End with cheese on top.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Today would have been my mama's 87th birthday. Honestly, it's is difficult for me to even think of her being that old considering she was 48 when she made her permanent move to Heaven. I still miss her and there are times when I wish I could sit down beside her, have her put her arm around me, and have a conversation. Someday, that will become reality when I will get to join her for all eternity!
When storms come your way, just remember you know the Master of the wind.
When sickness finds you, remind yourself you know the Great Physician.
When your heart gets broken, just say, "I know the Potter."
It doesn't matter what we face or go through; Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
He is everything we need. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon