Last week I had a conversation with a dear friend who woke up at 3AM on Wednesday with a strong urge to pray for Pastor John Ettore—not Hope, his wife who has cancer—but John, for what he must be going through with Hope’s tragic news that she had more lumps. Her doctor said she might as well stop treatment, but was still scheduled to have another CT Scan last Friday and other tests this week. My friend said she “cried her heart out” as she prayed for him and Hope’s family. She had given up hope for Hope.
Something rose up in me and I stopped her right there. “Whose report are you going to believe?” I loudly exclaimed over the phone, “I am not giving up and I’m not giving in! The Lord gave Hope a word at the beginning of this journey. He said ‘plan for longevity’ period! He is not a man that He should lie. His words are true, and they are life!”
Almost immediately I realized that her disappointment for John was deeply rooted in the disappointment she is experiencing right now. Her weeping for John was connected to her own grief and hopelessness in her personal situation. Gently I pinpointed where that grief and sorrow for John was coming from—her own wounded soul. We can’t deny the battle. We can’t ignore the truth of the situation. But—and that’s a big BUT—we can pray, we can fast, we can declare the promises of the Word of God that will not return void and believe for miracles. We can believe that all things work for our good and for Hope’s good too. We can crush negativity and the power of negative words. We can declare truth, declare healing, declare His goodness—ALWAYS He is good! No matter the present circumstances. We have a future and a sure word. We have hope. And we have confidence in that hope and for our Hope Ettore. The devil is a liar—always was and always will be.
Take Charge of Your Thoughts
Our strongest enemy is named discouragement. The enemy of our souls (who Tim Sheets calls “the forever loser”) has a great weapon—messing with our thoughts. His best battle plan is to help them travel from our heads to our hearts and down to our souls. Once that doubt, fear and unbelief is there, the roots take hold and bring you down, down, down. But GOD—and that’s another BIG BUT—we who believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for us on that Cross at Calvary, can stand boldly before the Throne of Grace and appeal to heaven because His precious blood was shed in our place. His greatest Gift is found in Holy Spirit upon us and within us at our salvation. His gentle voice speaks to us when we read His Word. He helps us when we draw aside and ask for His peace, for His wisdom, for His compassion, and for His answers. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus and His “Other Brother”!
Sisters! Look up!! Not down!!! Look up to His perfect rule, His righteousness, His power, His mercy, and His judgment in all matters—including us. Don’t look down at your checkbook, your broken marriage, your prodigal son or daughter, your unsaved husband, your lost opportunities, your stresses, your challenges, your no-way-outs. He IS our Way Maker, our Promise Keeper, our Miracle Worker. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Always and Forever. PERIOD.
A Side Note
I happened to share my conversation with Shell Cowper-Smith. She wrote to me that she wanted me to write an article to the women at GPC as many of our women are really having some hard times. I thought about it. Slept on it. Got up to morning coffee with it and went back to get dressed for the day. It was this Monday, the day our youngest son was getting married to the perfect love of his life. As I looked in the mirror putting on my makeup, I heard the song “Heart and Soul”. I’m sure if you ever sat at the piano, you’re humming that song in your head right now. It’s a classic beginner duet on the piano. The “heart” carries the beat and the “soul” plays individual notes. The song is played separately, but comes into harmony until the very end when they are together as one sound. (YouTube Heart and Soul)
I think the Lord was confirming to me that when we pray, we need to be aware of what’s in our soul and not just what’s in our head. The greatest prayers we can pray are when our souls come into alignment with our hearts. And remember what the Word teaches us: out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
A Praise Report
My son and his bride-to-be announced their engagement in January and had planned on a May 23rd wedding. I was to host a bridal shower in April, but due to the Coronavirus shut-in order, we held a “virtual” shower on Zoom. They had desperately hoped for a lift on quarantine, but eventually changed the date to August 15th. And then the second wave hit. Not to be denied, this past Monday, July 27th, immediate family and closest friends met under camping canopies in a dirt parking lot wearing masks and sitting socially distanced to watch them exchange their vows. As his father adjusted his tux scarf and tie, I received a text that Hope’s lumps were cysts! Hallelujah! Thank You, Thank You, Lord!! As we drove to the wedding, I phoned my friend and started the conversation with, “WHOSE REPORT ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE?” You should have heard the excitement in her voice… “ Is it Hope? Is she okay?” You betcha! God came through! And He’ll come through for you too. Nothing is impossible for our God, Who loves each one of us like no one else can.
One Final Thought
I’m sitting outside at the umbrella table with pen and yellow pad and just reread what I wrote. Something struck me. If you are a student of the Word, you will find that a lot of what I’ve written here is scripturally based. I know that there is wisdom in what I have written—not because I am wise, but because I am a friend of Wisdom Himself. He greets me every day when I sit with His Word or share a YouVersion devotional with friends. This June 6th I celebrated my 30th year as a Christian. I regret that I didn’t know Him the 40 years prior, but He knew me before I was even born. [See Psalm 139] I can say with confidence as I approach my 70th year, our Lord will never, ever leave you or me. He will never forsake us. He is with us in and through every battle we face. Look up! Be positive! Confess the good and let go of the negative. Unite your heart and soul with Him at the center
If you are unfamiliar with our constant prayer for Hope Ettore’s miracle, please read “The 6:56 Movement” on my blog site nanalovenotes.com. Hope isn’t out of the woods as yet, but this was a significant answer to immediate prayer. Please join us as we pray for her and so many others who need at miracle at 6:56PM every night.