flashthoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Praying for Joanne

How many people do you know that , as they get older, make comments such as “I’m not having a birthday this year” or “I’m not having anymore birthdays”? Really? I mean, seriously, do they even know what they’re saying when they speak those words? Oh sure, I know most people that say those things are ‘just kidding’ or trying to be funny, but, I am convinced that we need to be extremely careful with our words and what we speak over ourselves.

I am getting to know one lady (through Twitter, Facebook and some of her other friends) that I’d be willing to bet is more than excited to let you know that today is her birthday! Her name is Joanne Heim and she suffered a stroke on January 11 of this year. Oh the miracles that God has done in and through this woman! He is healing her in ways that are astounding the doctors and He is using her situation to bring others (including myself) even closer to Him and His plans for their lives. I haven’t personally heard of any yet, but I would not be surprised to find out that there are some who have come to know Him as their own, personal Savior because of what He has done in her life. Oh and her own testimony through it all is extraordinary! I can’t even begin to describe all the excitement that was felt in the “Twitterverse” on Feb. 22 when our sweet Joanne started tweeting to us!!! Yes, just a little over a month after what she’d been through, here she was sending out tweets to everyone! God is not only good, He is THE Physician and I love watching Him show off through her.

So, even though I’ve never personally met her, I just know that our sweet Joanne is more than happy to shout from the rooftops that today is her birthday and she is very happy to be here to celebrate! Also, she gets a very special present today – she will be moving from the hospital to rehab – one step closer to being home with her wonderful husband and girls!

If you have never heard of Joanne, you can check out her blog at http://www.thesimplewife.typepad.com – I guarantee you will be blessed beyond measure!

And, remember – when your birthday comes around this year – BE THANKFUL and CELEBRATE WITH JOY that God has given you another year 🙂

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Do you remember this hymn? Depending on how old you are, sadly, you may not have ever even heard it. Don’t get me wrong – I love the praise and worship songs as much as the next person. In fact, this song is one that I came to ‘not love’ so much when I was younger and, until last night, the thought of it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Why? Simply because as a young girl it was one of the first songs I had to learn to play on the piano. Isn’t that a silly reason? That’s why it seemed rather odd to me that it was the very song that came to my mind last night immediately after the group prayer for Joanne had ended. (More on prayer for Joanne later) I decided that I would look at the words as soon as I got up in the morning. Here are the words to the first verse…

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father’s throne make all my wants and wishes known!
In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare by Thy return, sweet hour of prayer.

So much truth in that one verse alone! No matter what went on during the day, no matter how you may have been hurting before, once you enter into prayer it just all seems to melt away. He gives us the freedom to come to Him and lay it all at His feet! Hebrews 4:16 says So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. there we will receive His mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it. (New Living Translation) and I love how Eugene Peterson put it in The Message: So let’s walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

How wonderful is that? Knowing that He is ready, willing and more than able to give us what we need, what He knows is best for us and all we have to do is ask for it!

As I was spending time with Him this morning, He led me to the following passage through a devotional that I’m reading and I immediately thought of Joanne. I will be sharing this on Monday, so if you are reading this and you are one that joins our prayer for Joanne on Mondays and Thursdays, then you will get to hear it twice. As for me, I know I need to hear it many times. It is from Philippians 1:3-6 and 12-14. Verses 3-6 (from The Message) Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

This made me think of Joanne because I am asking God to bring her to my mind continually so that I can stay in prayer for her. I do pray for her with a glad heart because of how far He has already brought her. I am pleased because I know that she is continuing in this with us, believing and proclaiming His Message. I know that He has started a great work in Joanne and that He still has plans for her.

While I know that this next passage (verses 12-14) was Paul speaking from his prison, it just hit me as I was reading it that it was Joanne speaking to us from her ‘prison’, as it were. She is able to communicate now but I imagine that she still may feel ‘imprisoned’ due to her left side still being paralyzed but listen to this and imagine that it is not Paul but Joanne that is speaking to us: (from The Message) I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity and now they’ve learned all about Him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.

Oh my word, Sisters (and Brothers that may be reading, too) that passage was really hard to type because as I was reading it to type, I was feeling so FILLED WITH GOD and, even though I’ve never met Joanne, I could just hear her saying these words and I just want to jump up and shout GLORY HALLELUJAH!!! PRAISE YOU JESUS!!!! Now, let me share with you what I hear Joanne saying through this passage to us: My ‘imprisonment’ in this body, not being able to move and speak as I’d like to, has had the opposite effect that the enemy, satan, wanted it to have. For he has not destroyed me, but is making me stronger! He has not squelched the Message of Jesus that I so gladly and willingly share with all. No! He has, indeed, made it even stronger! So many people (nurses, doctors, therapists, sisters and brothers in Christ that I haven’t ever even met) have heard about what happened to me and have rallied around in prayer and bombarded the Gates of Heaven for me for HIS Glory to be shown!!! I’m not sure but maybe even some people that didn’t know Him have come to know Him after hearing about me and the miracle that He is doing in and through me! Because of some of my Sisters in Christ hearing about me and joining in to pray for me, He has given them even more boldness or simply given them boldness where they had none before! Praise with me, sisters and brothers, because God isn’t finished with me yet!!! He still has work for me to do and, with your continued prayers, I know that He will give me everything I need to get it done.

Father, I want to stop and thank You right now, for letting me feel these things this morning. You know that I have never met Joanne, had never even heard of her until I started seeing all the prayer requests for her. I know she must be an amazing daughter of Yours and I thank You so much that this morning You have allowed me to get deep into Your Word and truly feel that friendship, that ‘sistership’ of Siestaville and now it is as if I do know Joanne personally. This has now become very personal for me and I praise You for that! In Your Most Precious and Holy Name, Amen.

I know this may have been a little long, but I had to share everything that was going on inside me this morning. Maybe it was just for me but maybe, just maybe, it will be of help to someone else that reads this. Maybe someone is struggling with prayer in general – don’t worry, God is there with you. Maybe you feel like you don’t know ‘how to’ pray, as I feel so many times – it doesn’t matter. Just speak what’s on your heart, that’s all He really wants to hear anyway. Share with Him all your wants and wishes, frustrations and problems and watch as He does miraculous things in your life. Ask Him to help you make His will for your life, your will for your life but when you do, get ready for things to happen. I know! He is changing me and challenging me but in so many good ways that I can’t even tell you about them all. He has brought me from someone that would never consider praying out loud with others to someone that, while I’m still not exactly comfortable doing it, knows that it gives Him glory and, therefore, is determined to press through – not for myself so much as for others. I want to be able to intercede for others and, yes, I know that involves a LOT and it scares me to death but I know for a fact that God has been calling me to prayer since 2006 and I’m tired of running from it! I want to learn to embrace what He has for me. I know He will not give me more than I can handle at once so I am trying to learn to trust Him with it all and if He can do this for someone like me, I KNOW He can do huge things in your life today – all He’s waiting for is for you to ask Him. Will you ask Him now? I hope so and, if you would like a friend to talk to about it, I’d be honored to be that friend. I promise you I won’t know all the answers but I know the One Who does 🙂

If you would like to learn more about Joanne and how to pray for her, please visit www.thesimplewife.typepad.com

I pray that you will leave a comment here, if any of this has touched you today in any way, and let me know you were here. I may not know you but I love you with the love of the Lord, Jesus Christ!

You know – a thought came to me after I posted this and went to get ready for work: Maybe God doesn’t want me to be ‘comfortable’ in praying for others. Because, maybe if I were comfortable, I might start thinking it was all about me instead of being all about Him. Hmmmmmmm – just sharing the thought that hit me as I started getting ready for work. Something to think about, I guess 🙂


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