Fighting the Good Fight of Faith


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Shortly after my mother died thirteen years ago, my husband told me he was going out of town for three days.

Seeking to know God more intimately and the consolation of His Peace, I chose to take off work for three days in order to sing and pray, fast and study God's Word. I needed additional strength. For by that time, I had been praying for my sons--and then my sons and their wives--and then my sons and their wives and families for thirty-two years.

But while I was doing that I also knew my mom was involved in my life-long quest of faithful prayer for those I love most. When she died, some of my strength seemed to die with her. I say "seemed" for it really didn't--that was just my perception, my weakness, my grief and mourning taking hold robbing me of faith and spiritual stamina.

Over the course of three days, I kept praying for a "Word from God." At the end of that time, the Words that kept coming to my mind, to my heart, to my Spirit were "take up the mantle."

The only thing I could interpret that to mean was to "take up the mantle of prayer" that my mom had lain down upon her earthly passing.

It is seldom that I miss a day praying for my family, but it seems for quite sometime--months I will guess--I haven't been as fervent in my prayers for them--I knew I was letting up on my "watch." The nights can grow cold and long for watchman. If they are not prepared, sleep can descend when they are least expecting it. I did not and do not want to "go to sleep on the job."

 Saturday night my husband and I went to a Chili Cook-Off to benefit Renewal Ranch, the new FREE ministry my husband and I are involved in, to benefit men with addictions.

I did not know I was going to be working, but I ended up working the T-shirt sales booth. There I met a man who was looking for a t-shirt for his son. We didn't have his size in stock but the man would not give up on finding one to fit him.

 In the course of our conversation, he told me all about his son, a very sad situation. He got tears in his eyes as he talked and made this statement, "Don't ever give up praying for your family."

I took that, and told my new friend so, as a direct Word from God. Not that I didn't already know it, for in fact God had hammered home this point to me years before. But, it was a fresh Word, a new Word, validating what He had placed upon my heart many, many years before.

"Do not grow weary in your well-doing, for in due time you will reap a reward if you faint not." Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9 

In this month of thanksgiving, I want to share a note I found today. I haven't seen or read this in many years, probably about ten because that is how old the sweet daughter is to whom my son is referring.



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When God promises us reward, I think something like this could be part of what He is alluding to. He knows we need tangible results to our labor and chooses to reward us with those at times. I would not trade this card and sentiment for anything in the world.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b (Our righteousness comes by exchanging garments with Christ--His spotless snow-white robe for our garments of sin, sorrow and despair)

But more than these tangible, earthly rewards, we have eternal rewards stored up in Heaven for us that angels are singing about at this very moment. Someday we will have the privilege of laying them all at the feet of Jesus, for He deserves all the glory.

He is the ONLY reason I have been faithful in even the smallest areas of my life. I can take no credit. The fact that I was close to fainting in my well-doing was no news to God. He used a man at a Chili Cook-Off to speak encouraging words to me. He meets us right where we are when we are serious about His Kingdom.

It is my prayer that God will meet you right where you are today, that your heart will be encouraged and your will renewed to fight the good fight of faith and prayer for your family.

edited repost from past pages

Comments

Debbie said…
There's a comment box so I'm leaving this here instead of the other page. I hope that's OK.
I loved this, and believe me I NEEDED this encouragement this morning.

I have a friend who has often spoken of vivid memories of her mom, kneeling by a chair in the dining room, praying aloud. What she remembers most is the way she fought for her family. She's a very old woman now, and she lives with her daughter (this friend). The other night at a pot luck supper, I noticed her sitting alone at a table waiting for her daughter to bring her a plate. I went over to her, and she literally clung to me after I hugged her and said that she felt a calling from the Spirit to pray for me and my family. She said that when my husband touches her as he is helping her on Sundays, she can feel that they share the same Spirit so strongly and that she felt very called to pray for him.

She prayed right then and there over him, me, and our family. I know that I don't have to tell you how I felt being prayed over by her. Being a prayer warrior is one of the greatest gifts, I think.

Well done, Dianne. Through you, God richly blessed your family.
Dianne said…
Thank you so much, Debbie--

I left the comment box on by mistake and now I am so glad I did because I feel as though other readers need to read about this precious, older, faithful woman who has definitely fought the good fight of faith.

God always has the power to overrule anything I do here on this blog and I feel like He did it today.

Love you dear friend. You are a true blessing to me.
Kathleen said…
I know what you mean about the power of prayer and taking up the mantle... My mom is a "way out there on a broken limb type of Christian" - So when my Dad died my sisters and I took up the mantle to pray for my mom and the rest of the family.

Your ministry sounds interesting... Love to learn mor about it! God Bless!
Traci Hogue said…
Let me add that it's never too early to begin praying for your family. Even though I didn't join this family until 19 years ago (this Sunday), I KNOW that I received protection and stayed out of a lot of trouble as a teenager because Dianne was praying for her sons' future wives. I pray for those 3 little boys out there that will one day marry my daughters and I thank you Dianne for the example. I truly believe it did and does make a difference in my life!! I can never thank you enough!
Dianne said…
To my loyal and faithful readers, may I ask for prayer for my beautiful daughter-in-law, Traci, who commented right above. Her mom, Marty, is fighting a horrible battle with cancer. She has been fighting this battle for several years with fairly good results--findings lately have been on the negative side and we really need a miracle from God. I humbly ask for your prayers.

And can you believe I got trumped by God--again!!!!!!

I wouldn't trade Traci's comment for anything in the world.

Debbie, be sure and take note--smile again, ha ha
Dianne said…
Oh and those tangible, earthly rewards I spoke of in today's post, I had no idea God would choose to give me one today--in the form of Traci's comment--He continues to just blow me away. Thank you Lord.
Debbie said…
I'm so glad you gave me the head's up to come back. It was definitely a God thing. He never EVER ceases to amaze me.

Please tell your Traci that I have put her mom on my list... and when I say that I pray, I really and truly do.

And I loved what she said. I've been praying for my sons-in-law for years now. I still haven't met either one, but they are out there somewhere in need of a warrior.

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