This past week has been the most difficult season in my life; as you know our good, wise and sovereign God had very different plans that those we had for my precious niece, Erica Faith who died in labor with apparently no reason.
My friend Elizabeth has said it well,
"God needs no editor: the Author of Life has penned the preface, acknowledgments, introduction, setting, theme, characters, suspense, conflict, tragedies, triumphs, plot twists, and conflict resolution on first draft."
We have cried with our face to the ground, and in the midst of our tears and sobbing, we have quietly learned many things.
One of the many things I have learned, is how valuable it is the prayer of the saints. How comforting it is to know that saints are interceding for you when you are walking through the Valley of Death; when Dragons spout fire against you, and the Shadows of Darkness seem to be all around you.
I have cried, and thank God for each one of you, who have stand with us through this hard providence. Thank you with my whole heart.
But I have also asked the Lord forgiveness because so many times I have not stood in the gap with my fellow brothers and sisters who are walking through difficulties until they are able to see the light. Many times they have asked me to pray for them and I have certainly done so, three, four, maybe even more than five times... but then I move on. Now I see, that one or two hours of prayer are not enough; that when a sister asks you to keep her in your prayers, is because she needs a fellow Christian who is willing to help her carry the burden. O how we need to live a life of prayer! This is also part of what it means to live in the Sacred. We must live seeking God's face all day long, interceding with fervor for all the saints who are going through trials. The Valley of Death is dreadful indeed, and the prayers of the saints make it smoother.
"praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints..." Ephesians 6:18 ESVJames Smith said,
"A real Christian has sympathy with all true believers. They are taken up into his heart, and are included in his prayers. For them he praises God, and for them he pleads with God. As one with Christ, he is one with them. As interested in Christ, he feels interested in them. They may be poor and needy, they may be oppressed and despised, they may be weak and feeble—but they excite his admiration, and draw forth his love."
I pray that God will make me a woman who intercedes for others with perseverance. That I won't fall asleep while others are crying in a sleepless night.
Samuel once said these words that have been in my heart these days,
and J.R. Miller says concerning this verse,
"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you..." I Samuel 12: 23 (read the context here)
"Perhaps we are not accustomed to think of praying for others in just this way, as a duty, the omission of which is a sin against God. We think of it as a privilege—but scarcely as a part of love's solemn duty. We are in danger of narrowing our prayers to ourselves and our own wants. We think of our own sorrows and trials, our own duties, our own work, our own spiritual growth, and too often do not look out of the window upon our friend's rough path or sore struggle. But selfishness in praying is one of the worst forms of selfishness. If ever love reaches its best and purest, it ought to be when we are standing before God."
and if I want you to call me your friend, I must remember that,
"Friendship without prayer lacks a vital quality. There is no other duty of friendship which rests upon us with deeper obligation, than this of intercession. We know that we sin both against God and against our friend, when we cease to show him kindness in word and deed. No kindnesses shown in act are so important and so essential a part of friendship, as prayer for our friend." J.R. Miller
Under His sun and by His grace, longing that He will find me persevering in prayer,