Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today I’m writing about a very hard thing for some of us — the concept of trust, particularly when it comes to trusting God. I don’t know about you, but for my human self, I find it very hard to release control of a situation and trust that God will take care of it. Do you find the same problem to be the case for you? A short while ago, my daughter was subjected to a bullying attack, with criticism being directed at her by a person that very much needs our prayers. My daughter endured it as long as she could, then she reacted, first physically, and then with emotional tears of anguish. This post is dedicated to her, but also to her Mom and I and all of her family and friends that love her — and all of you, too, because we all are in a situation where we have to trust that God will take care of a situation for us. For my particular situation involving my daughter, there are certainly things that we as parents and friends can do for those that hurt, but there are also times when we need to try not to control the whole situation, and step back so that God can take over and work His healing touch on the situation. So, my friends, when I found this image and, more importantly, the powerful words of Isaiah 41:10, I knew that I had found my focus for this week’s post.
Trust…such a simple five letter word, not a $20 word by any stretch of the imagination at all — and yet, one of the most powerful words we know, particularly when it comes to trusting God. Do you have a situation in your life where you need to trust God, and are having a hard time doing that? Please leave it with us as a prayer comment, and we will faithfully pray for you to find that trust, so that you can let God work His Will on you and your situation. Now, please read through these prayer requests and praises, and pray over them throughout the week. Thank you for stopping by weekly — it means the world to me that you pray for all of our requests.
- My Sister-in-Christ Torri has a prayer request — her Grandma is in the hospital. Here is what Torri wrote:Say a little prayer that this precious gem feels better- she is definitely on the mend. We are currently listening to some Hymns and having us a little church service.Please pray with me:
Lord, please give Torri’s Grandma the love and comfort she needs, as well as Your healing to make her feel better. It certainly sounds like You have been with her already, as she is on the mend, but please also grant Your Peace to her family and friends as well. It is in the name of Your Son Jesus that I pray. Amen.Later, we had this update from Torri: Thank you so much for the prayers. She has been released from the hospital and sent to rehab to get her up and walking again. We definitely felt the prayers.
- Update on friend’s son Ben: The Good, The Bad, The Plan, Their Needs, Prayer RequestsI would like to personally thank the many people who are praying for Ben and who have asked me how he is doing. It means a lot to me and to his family.(This one is written by me rather than Ben’s mom Jenny)The Good: Ben finally has an accurate diagnosis.The Bad: The Kid has cancer. Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma to be exact. (his previous diagnosis of Epstein Barr and or pneumonia were inaccurate)The Plan: Ben will undergo several (hopefully under 7) rounds of treatment. Each round will consist of one week in the hospital getting chemo, one week at home recovering, and one week getting ready to do it all over again.At least the first two rounds of treatment will be done in the hospital, so Ben will not be going home until at least Valentine’s day.Their Needs: Prayers are still their number one need. Once Ben is settled into the pediatric oncology ward this will change. I will keep you posted. I do have an address if you wish to send Ben or his family a card. Send me a PM and I will get it to you.
*Their local church in MN will have a prayer vigil on Thurs 1/16 from 6-7 if you would like to join in from home.
*Ben is still very sick. He has skin lesions, and is retaining fluid due to the cancer. That includes fluid in his lungs which causes respiratory distress. Please pray that these symptoms are under control quickly so he will no longer need to be intubated and sedated.
*Ben is still sedated and is unaware of his diagnosis and the path ahead. Please pray for his strength as he learns what is going on and his parent’s strength as they tell him.
*Please pray for Ben’s parents. Pray for their strength, patience, health, and good humor. Someone will need to be with Ben at all times through this process.
*Please pray that Ben’s family stays healthy. Due to his compromised immune system, they will not be able to be around Ben if they are sick.
*Please pray for patience and understanding on the part of Ben’s extended family and friends. Ben’s visitors will be limited and there will be strict rules in place in order to keep him healthy.
- Here is the latest update for young Ben. Thank you Kuleen for sharing this so we can all lift him up to the Lord!
Update on Ben (My friend Jenny’s son): Things are finally looking up!**A prayer vigil will be held tonight at Ben’s church in Minnesota. If you would like to join in from home, the time is 6-7 central**Ben now has a caring bridge.com site under the name Ben Puzzo****Jenny will be taking a leave of absence from work in order to care for Ben. A fund has been established to help the family with expenses. Donations in the form of a check may be made to:Friends of Ben Puzzo Benefit Fund
c/o Associated Bank
4305 Peony Lane North
Plymouth, MN 55446**Update 1/15: Progress is Good
Sorry for not updating last night, we were exhausted.Ben is responding well to his chemo medications at this point. We are pleased with his progress. The skin lesions have gotten better, he does not look like a kid with raging chicken pox anymore. His neck and throat are still swollen, but they are not as bad as before. The physical therapist thought his range of motion in his arm and shoulder was a bit better today and they are eager to get him up and moving. His chest tube has been removed as well, that was fun to see. It drained a liter of fluid in a very short period of time and then it didn’t do anything after that.
Today was a day of testing his lungs and seeing what he can do on his own. He did a ventilator sprint this morning where they turned it off for two hours and made him exercise his lungs. He did well and the doctors were pleased. He is currently doing another one and he is again doing well. The goal is to get him extubated soon, so they want his lungs to show off. There is rumor of Thursday morning or Friday morning being the time, but we won’t know until it happens.
His chemo meds have not had any negative side effects yet. He takes Zofran to battle upset stomach and a patch behind his ear that I can’t spell to help as well. We have been told that future rounds will not be this easy, but so far things have gone well. Our oncologist, Dr. Chu, is pleased with his progress on the meds. When the oncologist is happy, we are happy.
We are still in the PICU and we will be until Ben can prove that he can breathe on his own without much support. The concern with this is that he still has significant coughing spells and I worry about his oxygen saturation at that point. We will cross that bridge when we get there. Eventually we will move to the 7th floor, which is where all of the hematology/oncology patients are located. We were able to take a quick tour tonight and it felt good to see what our next destination is going to look like. He will be able to have his own bed sheets and pillowcases, so if you are looking for something fun, I’m sure that he would love some new and fun pillowcases. And what he can’t use, we will share with others.
We will be cutting his hair in the next week or two. We ask that his friends don’t cut theirs yet, as some kids with cancer really don’t want to see it reflected back at them all the time. We will know more about that after he is able to talk with us. Teddy is ready to go, so we know he has at least one person joining him. Ellie has also volunteered to shave her head and donate her hair, I’m not nearly as excited about that one. Ben probably won’t appreciate it either.
We have heard that the kids at his school are going to wear blue on Friday to show that they are thinking about him. We hope that someone takes a few pictures to share with us. I know that he will enjoy them eventually.
We have so many people to thank already in this journey, we are humbled by your love. Please forgive us if we forget to thank you, but please know that we greatly appreciate your thoughts, love, and prayers.
We anticipate attending the prayer vigil at church on Thursday night. Depending on how things go here at the hospital and how the roads are, we will be there.
Daily prayers for healing, strength, Peace, and comfort for Ben and all of his family. If you can support them in a financial way, that will be greatly appreciated also, but at the least, please pray for them. Thank you for all the prayers you have lifted up for him already!
- I saw this tweet just a moment ago — pray for him and his wife please!
#WarrenWeinstein is 72 y/o and was abducted by Al Qaeda while in Pakistan. Pray that He’ll be able to see his wife before he dies. #Pray
- Please pray for the Rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. He had a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery. Please pray for his healing and for the Peace of God upon him and his family.
- Please pray for my friend Lesley, who has had a death in her family. Here is what she wrote on Facebook: Heaven gained an amazing angel tonight. Holly thank you for being the best aunt, playmate, friend and inspiration a girl could ask for! Enjoy your perfect body in heaven. We love you !!! Please pray for the Peace, Comfort, and Strength of God to descend upon them in their grief, and shower them with God’s Love in the days and weeks to come.
- Please pray for my friend Warren — here is what he wrote on Facebook:
For those that haven’t seen Janet’s post, we are headed to be with my mother. Hospice has started her on drugs to keep her comfortable. Unfortunately, it seems her end is near. Please keep her in your prayers.
- My friend Tanya needs some prayers this evening. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:I’m asking for prayers for a precious family that is needing peace and comfort to surround them as the enter a very difficult time.
- Lastly, please pray for my Brother Alex and his family. His Mom and oldest brother live in Iran, and are under persecution from non-Christians, so please pray for their safety and continued faith that God will see them through their struggles. It’s a hard place to be in, but from a Christian perspective, being in a persecuted nation shows a great love for God!
- Big praise this past week for the start of our Houses of Prayer to pray for Edenton Street UMC and it’s open doors campaign. We went to my friend Monica’s house and had a great fellowship and prayer session with fellow members as well as a great time praying with our Lord. We’ll continue for the next three weeks, so please pray for us as we submit these plans to God to see if it is His Will that they be followed through on. Thank you everyone!
- I give praise for God putting Cindy and Sophie in my life.
- I also praise God for my family and the love that we have for each other regardless of the distance between us.
- I give thanks for the Men’s Study and the effect it has had on my walk with God.
- I give praise for Steph and Shane and their love and marriage.
- I also give praise for Brett and Tara, and their love and plans going forward to get married.
- I also give praise for Leslie and Matt, who are getting married on Valentine’s Day!
- In the answered prayers department, I give big praise to God for putting the right job in my Sister-in-Christ Sheila’s hands. She has been looking for a long time, but she didn’t let that stop her from finding the job that is right for her.
- Lastly, I give highest praise to God, for loving me enough that He gave us His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.
My brothers and sisters, remember to trust God with the things that you can’t take care of yourself — and even for some of the things that you can take care of yourself! If you ever doubt that God is on your side, remember the words of Jeremiah 29:11 — it always brings me comfort and a renewed sense of peace when I read it:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”