Monday, February 14, 2011

Reflections on Prayer

I have been reading Andrew Murray's The Ministry of Intercession, originally written in 1898. This book has blessed and encouraged me to focus more time and dedication to prayer. Prayer truly is our link to God and to believe we are too busy or too self-sufficient to need prayer time in our lives, is robbing ourself of a vital necessity.

Some of the quotes that I have highlighted thus far in the book include:

It is only in a life full of the Holy Spirit that the true power to ask in Christ's Name can be known.

Christ actually meant prayer to be the great power by which His Church should do its work, and that the neglect of prayer is the great reason the Church has not greater power over the masses in Christian and in heathen countries.

There must be more definite and persevering prayer.

The law of God is unchangeable: as on earth, so in our traffic with heaven, we only get as we give. Unless we are willing to pay the price, and sacrifice time and attention and what appear legitimate or necessary duties, for the sake of the heavenly gifts, we need not look for a large experience or power of the heavenly world in our work.

If we allow this one matter, unfaithfulness in prayer, to convict us of the lack in our Christian life which lies at the root of it, God will use the discovery to bring us not only the power to pray that we long for, but the joy of a new and healthy life, of which prayer is the spontaneous expression.

It was intense, continued prayer that prepared the disciples' hearts, that opened the windows of heaven, that brought down the promised gift.

Direct, definite, determined prayer is what we need.

Prayer was made of the Church, without ceasing to God for him. That prayer availed much; Peter was delivered.

How clear the two great truths stand out: where there is much prayer there will be much of the Spirit; where there is much of the Spirit there will be ever-increasing prayer. So clear is the living connection between the two, that when the Spirit is given in answer to prayer it ever wakens more prayer to prepare for the fuller revelation and communication.

God still seeks for men and women who will, with all their other work of ministering, to specially give themselves to persevering prayer.

To consider how many years have passed since Murray originally penned these reflections, illustrates how timeless and vital prayer is to each and every generation. May we commit anew today to a life of prayer.

Half Way Through February

Fourteen of February's days have passed and I have not been admitted to ICU or been to the cancer center. That is pretty amazing for me! After January's bumpy start to 2011, the break has been more than welcome. I truly needed a break from all things leukemia. That probably best explains my absence from the world of blogging - my apologies to those of you who have e-mailed with concerns about my absence.

My insurance and prescription card provider (Medco) have done their best to irritate me and have caused me much grief this month. Medco has decided to reject prescription after prescription. They rejected my antifungal and I was without it for three days, so I am battling a fungal sinus infection due to their negligence. Don't you just love it when the insurance "gods" try to outguess our doctors about what medications we need?

I did go to Indianapolis last week and saw my Infectious Disease doctor. He is concerned about the fungal infection in my sinuses since they can spread to the brain (and God knows my brain is about the only body part that still functions well). He said if I don't improve soon, I will have to resume IV antifungals everyday. So, please pray for the infection to improve and for Medco not to reject my antifungal tomorrow when I go to refill it. My Infectious Disease doctor, who was consulted throughout January's quandaries, commented on what a miracle it is that I survived all that I did in January.

I probably have never sensed such a debt of gratitude in my heart to God as I have this month. Time to reflect on all that I survived and conquered, with the help of Almighty God, has been humbling and awe-inspiring. Thanks, God! (And thanks to all of you for your prayers of intercession for me.)