Hello, dear Prayer Warriors!
This has been a week filled with grief across the nation! Can you recall a time with so much tragedy striking from so many angles?? From bombings to manhunts, explosive fires to earthquakes, grenade attacks in Nigeria, shooting rampages in Russia and Washington state, threats of terror in Canda…each news headline is worse than the last! It is easy for me to want to turn off the TV and internet, retreat to my little haven, and ignore the reality of the world we live in. With little eyes and ears underfoot for most of my day, to some degree, I have to do that!
But we’ve been studying the story of Joseph in my Bible Study Fellowship class the past few weeks. Talk about unjust suffering! If it has been awhile, or if you’ve never studied this Biblical hero, review chapters 37, and 39-41 of Genesis. Joseph endures: being stripped of all dignity and everything familiar, being sold into slavery, being wrongly accused of adultery, years of false imprisonment, and, by the world’s standards, the appearance of having been completed abandoned by God!
But over and over we read, “The LORD was with Joseph.” (Genesis 39, verses 2, 3, 5, 21, and 23). The Lord had not abandoned Joseph at all. He was using these years of suffering to humble Joseph, to teach Joseph to trust him, and to prepare him with the skills and training needed to be elevated to the second-highest position in all of Egypt! Joseph did not allow his years of unjust suffering to fester into bitter resentment against those who had contributed to his grief, nor against God Himself! In Genesis 50:20, we read,
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Through the position of authority God gave Joseph, he was directly responsible for the saving of an entire nation – and even more importantly, for the rescue of God’s own people!
And that’s not even the half of it! Joseph was able to save his brother, Judah, though whom came Jesus – the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!!!
Let us keep Joseph in mind as we are tempted to get more and more discouraged with each tragic headline! Our God is Sovereign and He is with us. Instead, let’s seek to be used right where we are, in these trying times. On that note, on to this week’s prayers and praises…
• Let’s pray for the victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing aftermath. The trail of devastation is long! Pray for their healing and pray for them to be able to one day say, with Joseph, that God used it for good. I know it is counter-intuitive, but pray also for the remaining perpetrator of these horrific crimes. This man should, by all accounts, be dead, but God must have a purpose in keeping him alive! Pray that he would come to an understanding of his sins and his need for a Savior. Pray that his story could be one of redemption, like the apostle Saul, turned Paul. Let us all be alert for the opportunities God gives us in the coming weeks, as those in our communities discuss and grapple with these tragedies, to bring glory to God through it all.
• Ree would like to continue to ask for prayers of recovery from her hip-replacement surgery. She says this surgery typically requires many months before the full range of motion is restored, so she is needing to rely on her husband, Joe, quite a bit for things like putting on socks, underwear, slacks, etc. She cannot bend more than 90 degrees for several months so she fears this will get tiresome for Joe! Let’s pray for Joe as well! Ree would also like prayers that she might encourage others in their walk with the Lord.
• We’ve got a couple new prayer requests this week. Please pray for a young man in his late teens named Evan. Evan has entered rehab for drug addictions. Pray he would hear the Gospel and be drawn to Christ, the only one who can set him free from his bondage! Pray for Evan’s aunt, Kelly, as she spends time with Evan and shares the Truth.
• Along those lines, pray also for Charlie. Charlie is also struggling with many addictions and though he knows the Truth of the Gospel, he refuses to submit his life to the authority of Christ. He has a lot of anger and emptiness! Pray he would allow the Lord to fill those empty places and surrender his life completely to Christ.
• Lastly, I’d appreciate some prayer for myself and my daughter, Lucy. We are both suffering from eye issues! Lucy has been wearing glasses since she turned 5 last October when she was diagnosed with a “lazy eye”. We go back to the specialist tomorrow to have her vision rechecked. If her eye has not made progress, we will have to begin patching her good eye, in addition to the glasses. Please pray we will see improvement! Lucy has been so faithful to wear her glasses without complaining, so we are hoping for good results! For me, I continue to suffer from my eye allergies, severe dry eye, and various other eye ailments. After almost 6 months on a very expensive medication, I’ve seen no improvement, but have no direction on what to try next. Please pray for God to direct me to the right specialist and to have wisdom on how much to pursue healing and how much to endure patiently as I wait on the Lord.
Thank you for your faithful prayers! Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can be praying for YOU!