|Esther Kruegar--before she went Home|
It has been a great discouragement of mine that people always pray for my "total and complete" healing. What if that is not God's plan? He DID heal some herniations in my spine recently and I praise him for that. However now, also I have a new diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy...a painful disease that take sensation out of my legs (and yet never the less, the pain remains). I know God can heal me, but I believe that it is more his desire to have me walk in total dependence on him....and if pain is the means that that is to happen, then I welcome the pain!!
I've said it before, I want people to pray for me in alliance with God's plan. I want them to pray for strength and that my faith not fail. I want them to pray for my family. I want them to pray for my doctors. Pray for endurance and that in my long lonely pain-filled nights, that God would be present and that I can continue to rejoice in him.
I had a friend named Esther Kruegar. Esther suffered a lot in her life. She had numerous illnesses and eventually lost both of her legs due to circulation problems. Esther was my hero. She always had a smile and a word of encouragement. However Esther sometimes questioned by God made her suffer. She asked him what it was she had done wrong that he should keep her in pain.
One day Esther called me and with excitement told me of a sermon she'd heard that had revolutionized her prayer life. She no longer asked God for things, she merely thanked him in advance for how he was going to meet her needs and then needs of those she prayed for.
Today I read a devotional by Open Doors--a ministry that assists the persecuted church. It said that the church overseas does not want us to pray for them or for the persecution to stop. They want us to pray with them. They want us to pray that God's Kingdom would advance through their suffering...and they wanted to have us pray for their strength and endurance and pretty much all the things I want people to pray for me.
Pastor Samuel Lamb from Guangzhou, China, has an interesting prayer for severe situations of persecution which expresses his trust in a great God. He prays: “Lord, I rejoice in how You are going to work this out.”
And as you see in this quote, they are using Esther's method of prayer. and it is one that I am going to adopt also.....I challenge you this November to begin to pray with thanks up front...not in the back seat.