As most of you know, we, (your Pastors and Pastoral Care Team) pray for those of you that have requests every Monday morning. Our intern compiles all the requests that were submitted through connect cards after our time together, so we can see at a glance all that we prayed over.
As I looked at what Adam sent this week I was once again struck by the magnitude of the suffering that some of our church family is experiencing right now. Here are a few examples…

Please pray for my loneliness.

Please pray for my best friend who is dealing with major health issues and for her husband who just lost his job this last Friday.

Please pray for my granddaughter who is dealing with depression brought on by her chronic pain which the doctors have not been able to diagnose.

I have skin cancer. There is concern that it might affect my eyesight. Please pray for this.

Please pray for my husband’s salvation and his many physical difficulties. He is in a lot of pain in many areas. He has an appointment on Tuesday with a Rheumatologist.

Please pray for my son. He deals with alcohol and drug addiction. He lives out of state. I need a miracle and guidance. Praying about going to see him.

My husband is leaving me. I would like to ask for prayer that God would give me the strength to go through this hard time.

In addition to these requests, we also know multiple people in our church who are dealing with cancer. I hate this for our dear brothers Bill and Larry dear sister Linda, and many others of you. We are praying for healing… which is beginning to happen. (More to come on this later).

I just got a call from a friend yesterday who described the fear he is dealing with about the possibility of losing his job. In addition to that, his child is dealing with major health issues that doctors are saying will require surgery more than likely.

We also received a call on Monday that one of our dear friends in Oelwein had a severe stroke and is on a ventilator.

This is tough stuff! It breaks my heart. I am recognizing more and more as I continue to grow in my faith that we are in a battle. There is crisis around us all the time… in our own lives, in the lives of our moms, dads, kids, grandkids, spouses, and friends. The enemy is looking around for those he can devour. He is on a mission to steal, kill and destroy.

It can be overwhelming but I’m so thankful that we are in relationship with a God that loves us so much and cares for all of our needs. We have victory over death and the works of the enemy as a child of God. We are under His protection!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
I love that verse! I love the word “exalt” which means “to lift high.” God cares for us and desires to lift us out of our circumstances as we humble ourselves under his mighty hand.

I was also reading in Philippians last week. It’s a verse many of us know and recite often… Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I caught a piece of that verse that I’ve overlooked in the past. “…WITH THANKSGIVING.” Bring your requests with Thanksgiving? What? Yeah… that’s powerful. Read it for yourself and then read it again and again and experience God wash over you in a powerful way.

Our God can be trusted! Our savior desires that we live a life where we are fully reliant on him. He never promised that our lives would be perfect and easy but he does say that He will never leave us or forsake us. He calls us His children, His Beloved, The Righteous. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Thank you Jesus! We put our hope in you! We trust you and thank you for the life that we have in you! We thank you that the victory is won and that your desire is for us to live an abundant and blessed life.

We must together stand firm in the promises of God. It’s all about Him and what He has done for us! I hope you are experiencing this in your life. If you’re not, I encourage you to slow down a bit and begin spending time in His presence. He has so much for us if we’ll surrender our lives to him and recognize who we are in Him.

God is good… ALL THE TIME! And all the time… God is good!