35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” ~ Mark 4:35-41 (ESV)
Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. The other day I was listening to my John Denver playlist, and heard one of my favorite songs of his — the song titled Matthew. In listening to the song, some of the words caught my attention. Here they are below:
They had a storm in ’47, twister came and stripped ’em clean.
He lost the farm, he lost his family, he lost the wheat, he lost his home.
But he found the family bible, his faith as solid as a stone.
Yes, and joy was just a thing that he was raised on,
love was just a way to live and die.
Gold was just a windy Kansas wheat field,
blue was just the Kansas summer sky.
In hearing these words again, and listening to what he is telling us, it reminded me that there is joy, even in the storms of life that are unleashed upon us. Listen to how Matthew kept things simple in the song: Gold wasn’t about money, or financial gain, or any of that — to Matthew, the wheat fields in Kansas, blowing in the wind, that was what gold looked like to him. Joy — now joy, pure joy — to Matthew, it wasn’t something he bought in a store, came in a video game, or in a movie, or anything like that — for Matthew, he was raised on joy, that was the lasting lesson that his parents left him — to find the joy in the every day, in the heat of the sun or the cold of the winter, in the satisfaction of a job well done; even finding joy in the midst of sorrow, in the losing of a loved one.
My friends, there’s a lesson for us all in those simple words. In short, faith, even faith in a storm, when you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, well, faith in a storm will bring incredible Peace to you, knowing that God is going to take care of things, if you just ask Him to do so. Faith and joy, in many ways they go hand in hand — on the one hand, having Faith means that you know that God is there for you, and that He will look after you — and just knowing this brings joy to my heart. Now, how about an incredible Praise to go along with a prayer request also. Read what my friend Amanda wrote about her husband Daniel, who has been fighting cancer for quite a while:
Just wanted to provide a quick update on Daniel’s health and a short prayer request. We had a check up a week ago and everything was cancer free! He has healed from his hernia repair surgery and is starting to seriously look for employment again. So if you know of any HR, Training or Retail regional manager positions out there, please let us know! The prayer request is that God brings him a full time permanent job that lifts him up (and that he stay cancer free!). Our next scan is at the end of July – assume no news is good news if you don’t hear from me! Thanks to you all once more!
So, if you know of any job positions in Georgia that might fit the bill for Daniel, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pass along your information to Amanda. By the way, did you know that Amanda and I have been praying for her husband for almost 2 years exactly? It was late May, 2013, when Amanda first asked me to add her and her husband to our prayer post, and now look at them. Their story is a true life example of what Faith in a Storm is all about!
Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.