Daily Archives: February 26, 2012
|(Each Sunday, This Day’s Thought is blessed to share Eric Elder’s sermons from his wonderful ministry, “The Ranch“)|
Hit Your Knees!
By Eric Elder
In my message last week, I shared that I could use some encouragement, and thanks to your prayers and God‘s help, I got it! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your prayers and notes and words of encouragement.
In case you missed last week’s message, I shared that my wife Lana and I were surprised a few weeks ago to find out that she has breast cancer, and we were even more surprised to find it was not just one lump in her breast, but had already spread, with multiple tumors showing up on CT scans and MRI’s throughout her lungs, liver and spine.
This news was devastating, as you can imagine. But within hours of sending out our note asking for your encouragement, prayers started coming in from all over the world, from places like Kenya and Ghana, Malaysia and the Bahamas, Qatar and Dubai and all over the U.S. The prayers of the saints were spreading faster than any cancer ever could!
I heard from a chaplain of a prison in New Mexico who said that all of the inmates in his prison were going to be praying for my wife. I heard from another man in Uganda who said:
“I bet you or your husband has never been to Uganda. Yet you have. This Day’s Thought has been the highlight of my inbox since 2007. I feel like I know you, the picture is more complete with the family photo. Am surely praying for you.”
As the week went on, God continued to speak to us, reminding us that Jesus already drank the cup of death for us, and that He was holding out a cup of life to us instead! We feel that Jesus wants us to drink from His cup of life, and drink deeply. Whereas I wrote my message last week in part to comfort my own soul in the event that this cancer might take my wife’s life, this week I’m writing with full faith and confidence that God could heal her in a moment, completely and gloriously! And I’m thrilled to say that this miracle may have already begun!
The day after we sent our prayer request to you, Lana noticed that the tumor in her breast had shrunk suddenly and significantly. And by 4 o’clock in the morning, she wasn’t sure if she could even find it at all! We began to pray hard that this would be just an indicator of what’s going on in the rest of her body, that the cancer is being driven out by the power of God, and what was once in the darkness must now flee in the light!
We’ve been praying toward that for the rest of the week, and with that in mind, I’d like to ask you to consider praying and fasting along with me and hundreds of others who have already told us they’ll be praying with us during a special 24 hour prayer vigil for my wife. You don’t have to go anywhere special, just pray wherever you are starting tomorrow morning, Monday, February 27th at 7:00 a.m. Central Time (-6 GMT), through Tuesday morning, the 28th, at 7:00 a.m. We’re going to be praying and fasting that God would spare Lana’s life, confessing that her life and ministry isn’t at the end, but that it’s just at the beginning in a whole new way!
We believe that even one prayer, offered in faith, has tremendous power! As the Bible says:
“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:13-16).
One prayer, offered in faith, can make the sick person well. One prayer, offered in faith, can bring forgiveness. One prayer, offered in faith, can stop the rain or start it up again. One prayer, offered in faith, can lead us to eternal life. As the Apostle Paul said:
We’re praying and believing for Lana’s healing, not just because we’re afraid she’ll die, but because we believe that it pleases the heart of God whenever we pray a prayer offered in faith.
Whereas last week I felt like I needed a cheerleader to keep me up in my spirits, this week I’m feeling like being the cheerleader, cheering you all to stand up and clap and shout and make some noise for the Lord. I remember watching cheerleaders at a college football game stand in front of one section of a stadium full of people. The cheerleaders would raise their arms and shout to the people to do the same, calling on them to lift their hands, too, and to shout and clap and stomp their feet for the victory that they were hoping would soon come. Then the cheerleaders would move to the next section and call on them to stand up on their feet and do the same. Then they’d take off running around the stadium, going from section to section, until the whole stadium was on their feet, clapping and shouting and stomping! As this message goes around the world this week, I want to call upon all of you to stand to your feet in prayer and praise, shouting and clapping and making some noise for the Lord! (You don’t have to do it out loud, but you can do it in your spirit if you want!)
While it may seem selfish of me to call on so many of you to pray so intensely for my wife and myself and my family, after reading your notes and letters this week, I know for sure that this is not just about saving her life for my sake or the sake of the kids, but for God’s sake and what He is wanting to do through this to bring glory to His name. I pray this is yet another testimony that will bring hope and healing and salvation to people all over the world. So with that in mind, I want to encourage you to pray with us, and fast with us, for 24 hours this week. that Lana’s healing would be complete and glorious, and that God’s name would be glorified through it all!
There are times when fasting should be done in secret. But there are other times in the Bible where fasting is done in the light, in full view of everyone, like when Esther was about to make a special request of the king to save her people, but which could cost her her life. Esther said:
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
Esther declared her fast, publicly and widely, because she knew that God could use those prayers for the salvation of many, many souls. Esther was placed in a unique position to call this fast, and I believe Lana has been placed in a similar position. As Esther’s cousin said to her just before she declared her fast:
“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b).
If you’d like some ideas for how to fast and pray, here’s a link to some tips that I’ve found helpful. (7 Steps to Fasting)
If you’re thinking of joining us, I’d like to encourage you by sharing a note I received this week from a dear friend who had mistakenly, but thankfully, thought that the day of prayer and fasting was last Monday instead of this coming one. As she set out to fast and pray for 24 hours, she wrote to us and said:
“This morning, I pledge a day of fasting and hourly prayer for Lana’s healing. I pray for her recovery and the Lord granting her 50 more years of ministry at Eric’s side. I pray for the possibility of unbelievers hearing of Lana’s healing and following their curiosity to the Gospel. I pledge to pray each hour for Lana’s healing not only for the benefit of her family and friends, but for the benefit of the Body of Christ. May God hear my pleas.”
Then, when her fast was nearly complete, she wrote:
“Lana and Eric, Soon – as in fifteen minutes – my day of fasting and prayer will be over, so I wanted you to know how much it meant to me to carry you both in my heart and mind all day. During the day and night, I remembered many moments of laughter and friendship, but I thought mostly about how you express your faith. It is inspiring, yes, but also challenging, because your faith makes me – and those who listen to me share about your work – question if we are doing as much, being as faithful. While I know comparison is not the answer, I can’t help but think that the Lord uses those moments to nudge me, and others, along. Lana, you are so dearly loved and I am in your debt for thousands – yes thousands – of little ways you have encouraged my faith. P.S. While praying about whether or not I should commit to doing the fast and prayer day, I went to check the dates so that my prayers could be added to others. I believed I saw 20-21. I was convinced, in fact, so I was shocked to read, this morning, that the prayer vigil is set for next week. So, it is my hope that the Lord directed me to this day for His purposes, but I will add my prayers to the others on the 27th as well. “
I am fully convinced that God directed her to pray for us that day, and I would love for you to join us in prayer, too, whether it’s on the the 27th and 28th, or at any other time when you receive this note. I’m sure time zones and dates don’t mean nearly as much to an eternal God as they do to us here on earth!
But if you’d like to join us on this special day when hundreds of others will be praying, too, we’re starting as 7:00 a.m. Central Time (-6 GMT) on Monday, February 27th through 7:00 a.m. on the 28th. You don’t have to go anywhere special to pray, just pray wherever you are. And if you’d like to post your prayers on Lana’s blog, or read the prayers of others, you can do so anytime at lanaelder.com.
And at some point during your prayers, can I encourage you to “hit your knees,” by kneeling on the ground? As one of our friends said who is organizing this special day of fasting and prayer:
“Hit your knees when you pray, because we want Satan to feel the earth tremble as we pray for Lana.”
I know I’ll be hitting my knees several times tomorrow, and I’d love for you to do the same. If you need some words to pray for Lana throughout the day, here’s a Psalm I’ve been praying over her, line by line, for the past few days. I pray it encourages you in making your own requests to God as well!
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May He send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May He remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
May He give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
Thanks again so much! Your words and prayers are already glorifying God in ways that go beyond anything we could ask or imagine!
Will you pray with me?
Father, thank You for what you are already doing in this situation with Lana, both in the healing we believe is taking place in her body, and the glorifying of your name that is taking place around the world. Let this day of prayer and fasting be a testimony to Your power, Your might, and Your victory over darkness, once and for all. We pray for healing and more, that You would heal Lana’s body, completely and gloriously, and through it all, that Your name would be glorified in ways that go beyond anything we could ask or imagine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
P.S. Many of you have asked if there’s anything you can do for us during this time. Your prayers mean the most to us, and have helped us already so much. And while I’m extremely hesitant to say so, the gifts that some of you have been sending in to our ministry at this time have been extremely helpful and a tremendous blessing as well. I don’t want to use this situation in any way that looks like I’m trying to raise funds for the work we’re doing here. Yet I know that God has so much He wants to do in and through us and the financial pressure of running the ministry and dealing with all of this at the same time is sometimes almost more than I can bear. I’m trusting in God every step of the way, but I must also confess that the gifts you’re sending are going a long way towards helping us personally right now, and practically as we continue to try to use this ministry to reach out to people in the name of Christ throughout the world. Our same friend who has asked you to “hit your knees” in prayer has also donated some special T-Shirts she has made to remind you to pray for Lana. The shirt has a verse printed on it from Joshua 1:9 that says: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go.” Our friend would be glad to send you one of these special T-Shirts anywhere in the world for a donation of any size to our ministry. If you’d like to make a donation and get a T-Shirt as a reminder to pray for Lana and our family, just click the link below. Your gifts really do make a difference, and our friend is glad to send you this gift as her way of saying thanks!
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- This Day’s Thought for Monday (With a Note About Eric Elder From The Ranch Ministries) (terri0729.wordpress.com)
*image source: bing.com/images
Okay, I tried to avoid getting tagged but my cyber-son, Arjun (http://arjun1097.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/tag-youre-it/), just had to rope me into this, lol! I told him that I would play this one time, ’cause my MS brain won’t be able to keep track of a longer game.
1. You must post the rules
2. Answer the questions the taggers set for you in their post and then create eleven new
3. Tag eleven people and link them on your post
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!
Here are the questions he asked and my answers:
Describe yourself in one word. = leprechaun
Favorite childhood memory = going to the dump with my dad in his old pick-up
Best accomplishment/moment of triumph. = Where I used to work, we occasionally had “mini-events” within the facility. One time we had one of those portable inflated money rooms where a fan blows the money all around you and you have so many seconds to grab as much of it as you could. Every employees name went into a lottery and I was lucky enough to have my name drawn. When it came to my turn, I had already watched several other people do it and saw what NOT to do and hatched my own little approach that ended up working really well. So much so that I was the top winner. There was $500 put into the room and I grabbed almost $400 of it.
Ur current job and what u wanted to be while growing up = I am disabled due to MS. I wanted to be a rich man’s pampered wife when I was growing up, lol!
Something that you are good at skill wise = communication
Name one self invented superstition = I’m not superstitious but I do have one hard, fast motto “never say never”
A real life story that you would definitely tell ur kids someday. = One day when I was about 30 years old, I was over at my parent’s house. Mom and I were talking in the kitchen and dad was out in the garage. All of the sudden I heard this noise coming from the furnance room, which actually doubles as a pantry. I asked mom if she heard it and she said that she did not. After I heard it again, I walked over and opened the door only to find the fuse box was on fire. Flames were shooting out of it and I turned back around to see my mother grab a fire extinguisher and begin running around the kitchen table in circles while reading the directions. I said, “MOM! just pull the pin, point and shoot!” In response to me she just kept yelling, “Get your dad!! Get your dad!!” over and over again. So I walked to the back door and yelled outside “Dad!”, “What?”, “The fuse box is one fire!”, “RATS!” (dad’s substitute cuss word). A few seconds later, he walks in, extinguisher in hand, goes to the furnace room, sprays the fuse box, turns around and goes back outside muttering something like, “Guess I can’t avoid replacing that fuse box any longer!” lol! This is one of my examples to my kids of how not to panic in an emergency!
Name one regret that u have. = ever starting to smoke cigarettes
If you had to change one thing about yourself, what would it be? = my tendency to procrastinate
Something that scares you? = what the future holds for my children and grandchildren
An experience that changed your life. = my near-death experience 7 years ago
Okay, now I am supposed to ask 11 questions:
When did you start writing?
What do you enjoy doing the most?
Where did you grow up and are you still living there?
Are you an only child?
What is the worst thing that you can remember happening when you were a child?
What is your best memory ever?
Do you have children/grandchildren?
What is the best place that you have ever visited?
Who is your favorite author?
If you could be anything, what would that be?
Now I have to tag 11 people (my apologies beforehand):
Okay guys, it’s your turn!
To have to pick someone
that I miss the most
is impossible to do
But for this letter’s sake
and the prompt given
I will name you two
With whom I had spent
many of the summers
in my younger years
And have wonderful memories
of the days shared
with laughter and tears
Out of my mother’s
five brothers and seven sisters
would be my Aunt Eddie
Along with her husband
who was my Uncle Gale
that I have dearly missed
Who with love and joy
my heart and soul
was forever by them kissed!
And so it is
in the deepest of
I dedicate this poem
to these special two
who have blessed me!
Teresa Marie 2/26/12 ©
*image source: google.com/images
26-Feb-12: 1 Peter 3:18-22
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.