Strength of God

Prayers for the Week – The Strength of God

Strength of God

My friends, thank you for joining me today for our Prayers for the Week post.  Today I was reminded of the power of Scripture.  During my Bible Study, our speaker referred to Philippians 4:13 as one verse that got him through a tough challenge.  I’m sure that most of you know this by heart, but here it is for you once again:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

The Strength of God is something that we all need to depend on.  For so many of us, we try to do it all on our own, and inevitably we fail.  As I get older, and learn that this body is not as strong as it was when I was younger, I have learned that while my body may not be strong, my Faith is, and I am learning to rely on God more each day.  When I am weak, I call on the strength of God to lift me up.  When I get bad news, the strength of God is there to support me.  Whenever something happens to someone I love, I have learned through the years that I can do all things — I can get through all things, even grief — by turning to God.  He will give me the strength I need to endure.  Now, please pray for and lift up our praises this week.  Thank you.

Prayer Requests & Praises…

  • Here is the latest update from my friend Amanda about her husband Daniel:
    This will be a short update because it’s good news! We received Daniel’s PET results yesterday and they were clean. YAY! They saw nothing even start to light up and no masses that caused any concerns so the cancer is staying in the liver. Surgery is scheduled for 7/31. We have a preop appointment with the surgeon on 7/25 to learn more about the surgery and the risks and recovery. Because the tumor is covering so much of his liver it will be a long surgery increasing the risk of intraoperative hemorrhage. Post op the concern is liver failure because of the small amount of liver he will be left with. But God has given us a chance for a cure. We feel everyone’s prayers and God’s presence through all of this and know He will take care of us!
    Please pray that the tumor shrinks, the cancer does not spread during these next few weeks, Daniel’s healthy liver continues to grow (more than it did in the previous 6 weeks!). Please pray for God to guide the clinicians treating Daniel before, during and after surgery and that he comes through with no complications. And if you feel like praying for a miracle, please pray that Daniel be cured of this wretched disease!
    Thanks to all of you for your prayers, kind words, hats, calls, notes, and love and support during all of this! We could not do this without the fabulous support system we have in place!
  • We’ve also got a big praise to share too! My friend Bambi has this update to her medical condition. Here is what she wrote:
    Whew! After 6 hours of scans, tests, and a meeting with my Dr. I am healthy and remain cancer free! My kidney is working perfectly! What a long day, now I’m starving!!!!
  • More praise as my cousin’s daughter Julia continues to improve! Here is what was written:
    I am so thankful for all the prayers!! The infectious disease dr thinks Julia is doing good enough right now that we can try oral antibiotics, so hopefully we won’t ever need a picc line!! I’m on cloud nine with this news, please keep the prayers coming and I know she will bee 100% in no time!!Thank you everyone for your prayers!
  • On other medical fronts, though, the news is not as good. Please continue to pray for Jim, the father-in-law of my wife’s co-worker Dee. He has a brain tumor behind one of his eyes, and it has spread to his brain stem. Everyone is very concerned for him, so please pray healing prayers for him, as well as prayers for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon him and all of his family. The stress is causing short tempers at times, so please fervently pray for them. Thanks everyone for praying for this family.
  • I learned today of a family that is in need of your prayers. Their daughter was abused by a person they thought was a family friend, and she has had to go through a lot of counseling about this, as has her parents. Please pray for all of them, that God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, Healing, and Love would descend upon all of them, and that she would know that she is loved, that it wasn’t her fault, and that she would be able to recover from this emotional and physical trauma. Thank you everyone, your prayers always mean the world to me and those that you are praying for.
  • Sometimes the words are hard to come by when you are praying. There’s a little girl named Katy who has had so many afflictions ravage her poor body that it’s been hard to put your mind around it all. Well, today we have a huge praise! She has been in a medically induced coma, and today we have this report:
    From Katy’s Mom:
    Katy girl is in there! She opened her eyes… Squeezed the I love you code to daddy… Responded by moving her head no when asked if she was in pain. Huge! She is back to sleep now… Has lots of resting she needs to do.Please pray for this girl, for her family, for continued good news. Please pray.
  • Please pray for my friend Kuleen. She lost her Grandma this week, and while she knows that she is in Heaven, it is still hard for her. Here is what she wrote — her words say so much more than I ever could:
    My last Grandma Lucille passed away today at age 94. Widowed from her first husband, she married my Mom’s dad. She was widowed again when my Grandpa died when I was only 5 years old. For the past 41 years she has been my Grandma by choice.I will remember her for scratching my back, playing the piano and singing, and always signing her cards with XX OO. I always thought she looked like the Grandma in the Family Circus cartoons.She was a very faithful woman, and had been ready to be with her God for a while. She passed quietly without illness or pain, and is now with her savior.

    Please pray for Kuleen and her family as they learn what life is like without her. Please pray for their comfort and strength. Thank you.

My friends, I give thanks for you each and every day.  I don’t know if you know this, but I have received so many words of encouragement from people thank me for praying for them — and asking me to thank you for praying for them too — that I’ve lost count.  We have been doing our posts now for well over a year, and the response from all of you has been incredible.  Occasionally I receive a note asking why I’m asking people to pray for things on a Disney fan site, and occasionally I get people that tell me they aren’t going to follow us anymore because of this.  But that, my friends, is very few and far between — overwhelmingly, the response I get is thanks, thanks for listening, thanks for praying, thanks for sharing what is on their hearts, and thanks to all of you for taking the time to pray for them, a stranger, someone they don’t know, and yet, taking the time to lift them up.

My friends, it is my honor to put together this post every week, to facilitate it, and now, let’s give thanks to Him that stands head and shoulders above all of us.  Let’s pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be do e,
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.

2Timothy 4:7

Prayers for the Week – 2Timothy 4:7

Run the Good Race

The Apostle Paul is credited with writing a lot of the books of the Bible, but to me, perhaps his best words are left for 2Timothy, when he writes to Timothy about persevering even in the face of difficulties.  The letter from Paul to Timothy is full of depth, full of emotion, full of passion, and full of reminders of what Jesus will one day do.  For many of us, the words in 2nd Timothy can be truly uplifting, reminding us of why we are Christians, and what the ultimate reward is for our faith.  For Paul, near the end of his life, he had no doubts about what was to come, and what would happen, as we find out in 2Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV):

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. ~ The Apostle Paul to Timothy, 2Timothy 4:7-8

The prize Paul speaks of is not just for him, my friends, it is for all of us that follow and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior!  What a beautiful promise that is!  Take these words to heart, make them your story, live them to the fullest, and at the end, see the reward that is waiting for you.  Now, please pray for all of our prayer requests and praises this week, and remember, you can email your prayer requests to prayer@mydreamsofdisney.com.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friends Torri and Tia, and all of their family, are in need of prayer.  They lost their Grandmother Mary on the 19th, a Godly woman whose very life exemplified the words that the Apostle Paul wrote for all of us.  The prayers are not for Mary, for she is in the loving arms of Jesus right now — no, please pray for Torri, and for Tia, and for all of their family, prayers of Peace, prayers of Comfort, prayers of Strength, prayers of Love.  Pray for their memories of their Grandmother to never fade, and pray that they all would walk the walk that Mary did, even more so than they do already.
  • Here is the latest update from my friend Amanda about her husband Daniel:Let me start by apologizing for the lack of an update last week about Daniel’s discharge. Things have been a little crazy with everything that is going on!
    Daniel recovered from the surgery phenomenally! He was ready for discharge on day 6 but picked up a GI infection that caused us to have to stay for 1 more day to get fluids and antibiotic started. He was discharged Wednesday, 8/6. He is still having some pain and low energy levels but mostly it is the infection that isn’t behaving at this point! It’s one of those infections that can go away quickly or last for a while so it’s a day by day thing! We had a follow up appointment with the surgeon on 8/11. The staples came out and the incision looks great. They ended up leaving him with about 25% of his liver so I’m especially thankful his recovery went so well. We got great news about the tumor – negative margins and a large part of the tumor was necrotic (AKA dead!) from the chemo and embolization. So while it didn’t shrink like we wanted, it was working!
    We saw the oncologist last Friday to determine where we go from here. We will have 8 more rounds of chemo starting 9/2. It will be the same regimen and strength as before but they will also add Avastin into the mix on the 2nd or 3rd round. Avastin targets the cancer cells differently that the current regimen but with no additional side effects. So if everything were to stay on track, which we know won’t be the case because there are always delays with chemo, he would start his last round on 12/9.
    There is still some other procedures that need to happen as well. He still needs to get his EGD and Colonoscopy to double check his digestive/intestinal tract for any polyps/tumors – that will likely be scheduled in the next 6-8 weeks. He needs to get his incisional hernia from the colon resection fixed but that can’t occur until at least 6 weeks after chemo has ended. And there is the matter of the polyp in his sinus that they found on PET scan. It is not of concern but we probably want that handled at some point as it’s one less thing to worry about becoming cancerous.
    We want to let you know that we pray for each and everyone of you every single day – that God brings you what you need as well as peace, understanding, strength and seeing His presence in your lives. We are so thankful that He has put you in our lives to help us get through this journey. It is a little weird to say but I do thank Him for trusting our faith with this journey. If any of you EVER have a special prayer request, please use us as your prayer warriors!
    Now, for my usual prayer requests! Please pray that Daniel continues to heal, that the infection rights itself quickly so that he may have a few days of “normalcy” before starting chemo again, that he is completely cured with no relapse, and that we are able to easily “fix” any other thing that pops up during this final stage of treatment. I also ask that you pray for Cate, that she continue to be the amazing kid she is handling this all in stride but that she also seek someone to talk to if she needs. One of our main worries is she tries to deal with it all herself instead of letting it out! We’ll send another update after we have started chemo unless something changes before then. Have a great few weeks! God bless you all!He is doing really well, so please keep the prayers going for them! Thanks everyone!
  • Please pray for my friend Amy. Her cousin has had a series of strokes, and her lungs are filling up. Here is what was written on Facebook:Oh my gosh I really never thought it would get to this. Brooke was put on life support last night because her lungs filled with fluid. They did another MRI. SHOWED more strokes. Today I will be sending her on a journey of a life time. She will be going home to Jesus and my mom and dad. Robert had gone to get Heather and Makayla to say goodbye then they will turn her life support off. Please pray for a peaceful journey. I love you all and thank you for all the prayers and kind words through this sad journey we’ve had to travel. If I don’t respond to you for a few days forgive I just need some time to take this all in. God bless you all. Tell your children you love them today and everyday.Amy, I am so sorry for the loss and pain you all must be feeling. Know that my prayers go with you now and always for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon all of you. Rest in the knowledge that she is with Jesus and that there is no more pain and suffering for her.
  • My friend Kuleen has seen one of her friends face the unthinkable.  Katy, who we have been praying for, passed away last week.  She was 6.  It seems like God is taking so many children to Him these days.  Dustin, Katy, Ella, the list goes on and on.  In every case, the one thing that I’ve learned from the indescribable horror of facing the loss of a child is that the child has shown us, much like Torri’s Grandmother Mary, what it truly means to fight the good fight and finish the race. As was described of Katy, “Although her heart was fragile, her strength and courage was and will continue to be an inspiration to all who knew and loved this funny and sweet little girl. Katy’s illuminating smile and spirit will remain in the hearts of all those lives she was a part of. She was a Rock Star in every sense of the phrase.”  Please pray for Katy’s family, that they would know the Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love of God in their sorrow and grief.
  • Lastly, I learned last night yet another story of Robin Williams and his selfless giving towards others.  It seems that just before his passing, Robin left a message for a woman in New Zealand who has terminal cancer.  She is 20 years old, and has an 11 month old girl named Sophie.  Her name is Vivian, and she is in Hospice at this time.  Please pray for her, for her salvation, for her healing if it is God’s Will, for her daughter and new husband, and for all her family.  Continue your prayers for Robin and his family.

Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by 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.

James 5:16

Prayers for the Week – James 5:16

James 5:16

 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ~ James 5:16 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  This week I’m sharing with you a verse from the book of James that I came across this week.  In reading this verse, it struck me that this verse is very much what this prayer post is all about.  Believers praying for each other, confessing our sins, and asking for help in the battle against the evil one.  I am thankful to each and every one of you for your commitment to this ministry, and I include you all in my prayers each night.  Now, please read these requests, and pray for them.  Also, please include your own prayer requests so that we can pray for you!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My sister Robin has a prayer request, and also a comment regarding how many people leave the site because of my prayer posts.  Here is what she wrote:
    I wondered how many people would turn away because the “Cross is offensive to those who don’t believe.” (paraphrase mine) I can’t say I am surprised, only surprised it isn’t a higher number. That is God working through you and this ministry. You, my dear brother, are a missionary in every sense of the word and I am so proud of you.
    I will ask for prayers and guidance over the next few weeks regarding school and work, which is school too :-) and praying that God leads me to a position that He wants me in. I am also asking for the faith I need to stay in my current role if that is what He wants.
    I am going to leave you with this verse, because as you stated earlier sometimes we don’t have the words we want when we pray, but the Holy Spirit does. Hebrews 7:25 is my birth verse and it goes like this: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

    • Here is my reply, as well as a prayer request for my brother-in-Christ Glen:
      Thank you Robin for your words. I’ll pray for you always! Also, please lift up my brother Glen, who has had a recurrance of prostrate cancer. Please pray for healing. Thanks!
  • My friend Shannan lost one of her best friends yesterday. Her family is devastated, I don’t know all the details, but here is what she wrote:
    My family is heartbroken. We are in tears. My kids can’t stop crying. We will miss you so much. Tell me this is a bad dream.
    Please pray for them. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon them all, and on the family of their friend. Please help them come to grips with this and to realize that they may not get the “Why?” questions ever answered, but that God is there for them. Thank you for praying for them.
  • Here’s the latest update on Katy from my friend Kuleen. Here is what she wrote:
    Update from Katy’s Dad: Katy is still heavily sedated but making progress in her recovery. So far all of her organs are functioning as expected. Her transplanted heart is still very sick and may not recover. We are discussing the options that are available with her doctors. We’ll have more answers over the next few days. Please continue to pray for our little Rockstar.

    • Since this update, we have had a slew of updates on little Katy.  Please read and continue to pray:
      Update from Katy’s Mom:
      Keep praying… Still making BIG decisions … Never imagined we would ever need to be pick between option worse and worse. We need a miracle.Update on Katy from her Dad:
      Not a great update. It has been decided that Katy’s transplanted heart is too sick to recover. She needs a second transplant. The problem facing the team is to figure out a way for Katy to survive until that time without going into cardiac arrest again. There are no great options. We’ve decided that the only option that gives us the any hope is to implant a device called an LVAD in her chest. This pump would do the work of the weakened left side of her heart with the hope that the right side will continue to improve. The 12 hour surgery is scheduled for Friday. Please pray extra hard for our little girl.For anyone interested, a Go Fund Me site has been started to raise funds for little Katy’s medical expenses.

      http://www.gofundme.com/c1gx9w

      From Katy’s Mom:
      Headed to bed… Our girl has a big day tomorrow. I feel at peace knowing we are giving her the best chance possible and praying and hoping that it works. Mike and I feel so much comfort as we read through your kind words and messages. Seeing my smiling girl all over Facebook warms my heart. Thank you to all who donated to help get us over this bump and as we embark on a journey that is so different yet so familiar. Katy is tentatively scheduled for 2nd case tomorrow. Mike will update as he can… It is going to be a long, stressful day. Please do not be alarmed if the updates are few and far between… we expect that our updates from the OR will be sporadic. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Much Love, The Murphys Mike, Amiee Katy & Patrick

      Update from Katy’s Moms:
      Katy just went into the OR. Surgery should last about 12 hours.

      Update from Katy’s Mom:
      Ready to start putting in the LVAD hardware.

      Great update from Katy’s mom on surgery!
      Katy’s surgery is going great. The LVAD is in and pumping. Her right ventricle is working on its own as we hoped. She is now off of bypass and they should be finishing up within an hour or so. 4 hours ahead of schedule because they didn’t have any problems. Keep the prayers coming.

      Update from Katy’s mom:
      Katy is back in her room in the ICU. She’s stable after some post-op bleeding and very puffy from fluid.Her LVAD is working well and she will still be on the ventilater for at least a few days. Thanks for the prayers.

      Another Katy update- not as good as the last:
      Rough post surgery day for Katy. She’s very puffy from the surgery. They’re working to get all the fluid off of her over the next couple of days so they can close her chest up. Her heart rate continues to fluctuate up and down depending on the load on her heart. The next 12 to 24 hours is critical. Please keep those prayers coming.

  • Lastly, please pray healing prayers for our dog Regan.  He has come down with something that is causing vomiting, and we are worried about him.  Please allow the medication to work as it should, so that he can be better very soon.  Thanks!

Thank you for praying for all of our requests — please keep little Katy in your prayers over the next several days, and thank you.  Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be do e,
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.