Those simple four words came from an email from church this past week.
On Wednesday, I emailed Ruth, the secretary at our church. Ruth maintains a list of prayer partners for FBC, and I am on the email list that goes out. Prayers for our missionaries' special needs, updates on the sick, updates on church ministries, and announcements such as births and deaths go out on an almost-daily basis. I told Ruth in my email to her about the results of Ryan's tests. Right before I typed out the message on my iPhone, I had just spent 10 minutes in a bathroom on the third floor at CTCA, creating a pool of tears on the floor and berating God for not answering our prayers. I wasn't praying, I was yelling. I was not asking for anything, I was just venting. I think that I used the word "raging" in my previous post.
Ruth received my email and quickly forwarded it out to the prayer list. Above my original message, she said those four words: "We must pray more!" That struck me. I was wallowing in self-pity and anger and denial, and Ruth called upon our church to pray more diligently and frequently. Almost instantly, my focus changed. I can't necessarily say that I'm not still peeved that God did not choose to heal Ryan yet during these last three cycles, but I have resolved to praying much, much more frequently than I have been.
And I'm going to ask you to as well. I humbly and passionately ask you, our blog followers, to pray more frequently for Ryan's healing. If you're praying for him once a day, please consider praying twice. If you're praying five times a day, try eight or ten. Ryan taught on prayer in Sunday school last week, and he has lots of tips on incorporating a more meaningful prayer time in your life - maybe I'll bug him to share his thoughts here. One of the things he said in our class was that it is okay for prayers to be even three words. Many times a day, he shoots up the simple prayer, "Lord, heal me". If you're like me and remembering to pray for people on a regular basis is hard, then please set up reminders - the "Cowboy Up" bracelet is a great one (we have a lot of them left over from the Rodeo - if you would like one, let me know), or maybe set a reminder on your phone or email. I have no doubt that God can heal Ryan, and if he chooses not to, then I don't want it to be for a lack of intercession.
Furthermore, I don't want this to be an all "take" situation and no "give". I can definitely say that my prayer life has been much more fruitful and all-encompassing in the last five months than it ever has been. Even though I don't always FEEL like God is listening, I KNOW that he is. If there is something that you are struggling with and it needs prayer, tell me. I would love to know. I would feel honored to pray for the same people that are praying for us.
We are all in this together. We need you so desperately right now.
Thank you for supporting us and continuing to read our blog. It still catches me by surprise when people tell me that they're reading it. It floors me when they say that they're being impacted by it. I am so glad. Sometimes I worry about how the world will think of me when they read my visceral reactions to this situation (since one of my top motivators in life is to have people approve of me), but if I can encourage at least a few people where they're at, then it's worth living this out in a public forum.
We love you all. Have we told you that recently? We are so, so thankful for God's people.