“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord
delivers him out of them all.” – Psalm 34:18
By Elvira Bujanda
Last August I was diagnosed with cancer, and I had surgery the very next month.
But my recovery period became a very slow journey of When?
Through it all, by His grace and love, the Lord brought peace, joy, and a new admiration for His greatness that was beyond my former understanding.
I found new appreciation for the verse in 2 Peter 3:18: “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be all the glory both now and forever. Amen!”
I was declared cancer free, praise God! And I was excitedly planning my return to church and a normal life when I encountered another setback: lymphedema, which caused my legs to swell up.
In the midst of my treatment for this new ailment, I developed cellulitis in my left leg and had to be hospitalized on I.V. antibiotics at the end of November – and again at the beginning of December.
I had to stay in bed with my legs elevated to reduce the swelling.
But my pastors and congregation, my friends and family were all sending up intercessory prayer for me, and that reached our ultimate intercessor, Jesus Christ.
Needless to say, I was in prayer myself, diligently seeking the face of God and striving to draw closer to Him.
Psalm 26:3 says, “Your love is before my eyes; I walk guided by Your faithfulness.”
As I focused on Jesus and on His promises rather than on my problems, God's power, love, and grace became more evident to me.
Now my fears, doubts, and worries were overcome with faith, belief, and trust in the Great I Am.
Waiting in His presence transformed my lack of confidence into courage, as it says in Psalm 27:14: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”
Prayer is a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare.
Even Jesus, the Son of God, prayed to His Father in heaven while He was on earth, seeking guidance and direction.
From the beginning of His ministry, when He spent forty days in the desert alone, into the final nights of His ministry on the Mount of Olives, Jesus modeled for us how to do battle in prayer.
We're talking about a relational prayer that doesn't just seek God's will, but also seeks God's face.
In Isaiah 40:11 it says that our Shepherd wants to feed us and carry us in His arms; to hold us close to His heart and gently lead us. Prayer brings us into His presence where He will teach us how to be guided into His will with a deeper obedience and love.
Then our souls will become serene as we are remade into His likeness through interaction with the Spirit of God.
Our Father God tells us that He is eager to hear and to answer us.
In Jeremiah 29:12, He says, “Then you shall call upon Me... you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
He also says in Isaiah 65:24: “Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
These promises of His loving care and attentiveness should make us confident in coming before Him.
John 5:14 says we can be confident that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Let us then approach God's throne with grace, with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
You'll receive a fresh supply of strength that flows into you as you pray and wait before Him.
So with childlike trust and faith, go in quiet confidence before God and pray what's on your heart.
Then be still, so you can see what He has in mind.
To trust God's grace is to be at peace. He says “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
When Elisha was surrounded by the Syrian army, he told his servant that it was actually the Syrians who were outnumbered.
He prays in 2 Kings 6:17 for God to open his servant's eyes... “and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
The fear and agitation of Elisha's servant caused him to miss the fact that God was already on the job, fighting the battle for them.
In a world where we are under constant assault, we may be tempted to give in to fear, worries, and anxieties. But when troubles and trials come, we must be determined to replace fear with confidence in Almighty God, seeking Him in prayer and worship.
Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
This is the extreme importance of spending time alone with God.
As we concentrate on nourishing our spiritual life, the foundation of our faith will not become eroded.
On Sunday, January 29th, after a long four months, I returned to church with a deeper faith in the mighty power of prayer and worship, and with the realization that the prayerful way in which Christ lived His life here on earth was the reason that He could accomplish the will of His father in Heaven.
“Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).