I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34: 1-4
Ever since my cancer diagnosis I’ve been a bit of a wreck. Fear, anxiety, doubt and more have often clouded my days. However, God has also taken me by the hand, and walked me to an amazing place of communion, awareness and intimacy with Him which, till now, I didn’t know existed.
All along this walk…all along this journey, a prayer has been forming within me, - which I have not been able to articulate. Up until today, this prayer has come out or lingered inside my mind in undecipherable groans and inaudible noises that only the Holy Spirit has been able to interpret. Today, however, after reading and hearing about Mark Hall, the lead singer of my all-time favorite Christian band, Casting Crowns, and his current battle with possible kidney cancer, I have finally found the words. Mark’s wife wrote four areas of prayer that the family would like people to pray for…one hit me quite strikingly…
She said: “pray that we will have strength and courage to represent Him well on this journey.”
That’s it! That’s exactly it!
That’s what I’ve been trying to pray for in my own journey too! That’s what I’ve been trying to say, but had not been able to articulate…
I want to have the strength and the courage to represent Him well in my journey.
Whatever the journey may look like…wherever it may take me/us, be it the journey of illness or of motherhood, of single life, of marriage, of unemployment, of being stuck in a job we dislike with a boss who is unfair and disrespectful, of infertility, of depression, of oppression, of loneliness, of loss…whatever the journey is for me/us, I pray we may represent Christ in a way that brings honor to Him and that points to His goodness and saving grace.
I pray that from our own darkness we can show His Light! I pray that from our own sickness, we can show others His healing power. I pray that from our own pit, we can show His children that He is the way out. I pray that from our own brokenness we can show the world He has the power to mend us, to pick up all our pieces and put us back together again for His glory. I pray that from our own death, we can communicate the message of Life.
Today I cling to the fact that to live is Christ and to die is gain…(Philippians 1: 21)
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Philippians 1: 20
These are the four specific prayers the family of Mark Hall is asking brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for as he undergoes kidney surgery today:
1. Please pray that God will watch over everything related to the surgery and that it goes well. Pray that we have favor with the hospital staff and doctors. (NOTE: surgery is over and it did go very well, “textbook,” the doctor said)
2. Please pray for complete healing and a quick recovery for Mark.
3. Please pray that God will give us opportunities and discernment to share Christ's Love. And pray that we will have strength and courage to represent Him well on this journey.
4. Please also pray that God will give YOU an opportunity to share His love through this. Many of you have said that friends, family members and co-workers are asking you questions about God because of what is happening to Mark.
Please please use these opportunities to point people to Jesus. It may even be one of the reasons God has allowed this.