Pray for My Brother-In-Law

My father sent out the following email earlier today. Patrick pastors the Redeemer Church in Anderson, SC.

December 4, 2007

Patrick had a CT scan Fri. the 30th.  There was no change in the leg.  The blood clot is 18 in long and the vein is three times the size of normal.  That was very disappointing for all.
They will look at his lungs soon.  Yesterday he had a pro time and his INR was 4.0 which is +.5 more than they want it to be so they changed his dosage down a little.  The Dr. told him to do but not over do.  The problem is he needs to stay off his heel but he needs to move around not to get blood clots.

They are getting conflicting ideas about Patrick being in the hospital on bed rest or what he is doing now.  One of his doctors is going to talk to a vascular surgeon today for another opinion.

Patrick was very discouraged with everything yesterday with the not so good test results, other people telling him what their doctor’s thought about what he should be doing.
Patrick and Julie spent a lot of time talking about the situation praying and trusting God in this matter.  Julie said at their family devotions last night the kids were such a blessing with the reading of the Bible, singing, praying, laughing and having a good time with each other. A lady in their church suggested that maybe the church should have a specific time to FAST and pray.   

Here are some thoughts on fasting.

Prayer and Fasting – What Does it Accomplish?
Spending time in prayer and fasting is not automatically effective in accomplishing the desires of those who fast. Fasting or no fasting, God only promises to answer our prayers when we ask according to His will. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” In the prophet Isaiah’s time, the people grumbled that they had fasted, yet God did not answer in the way they wanted (Isaiah 58:3-4). Isaiah responded by proclaiming that the external show of fasting and prayer, without the proper heart attitude, was futile (Isaiah 58:5-9).

How can you know if you are praying and fasting according to God’s will? Are you praying and fasting for things that honor and glorify God? Does the Bible clearly reveal that it is God’s will for you? If we are asking for something that is not honoring to God or not God’s will for our lives, God will not give what we ask for, whether we fast or not. How can we know God’s will? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask. James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Prayer and Fasting – What the Bible Says
The Old Testament law specifically required prayer and fasting for only one occasion, which was the Day of Atonement. This custom became known as “the day of fasting” (Jeremiah 36:6) or “the Fast” (Acts 27:9). Moses fasted during the 40 days and 40 nights he was on Mount Sinai receiving the law from God (Exodus 34:28). King Jehoshaphat called for a fast in all Israel when they were about to be attacked by the Moabites and Ammonites (2 Chronicles 20:3). In response to Jonah’s preaching, the men of Nineveh fasted and put on sackcloth (Jonah 3:5). Prayer and fasting was often done in times of distress or trouble. David fasted when he learned that Saul and Jonathan had been killed (2 Samuel 1:12). Nehemiah had a time of prayer and fasting upon learning that Jerusalem was still in ruins (Nehemiah 1:4). Darius, the king of Persia, fasted all night after he was forced to put Daniel in the den of lions (Daniel 6:18).

Prayer and fasting also occurs in the New Testament. Anna “worshipped night and day, fasting and praying” at the Temple (Luke 2:37). John the Baptist taught his disciples to fast (Mark 2:18). Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before His temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:2). The church of Antioch fasted (Acts 13:2) and sent Paul and Barnabas off on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:3). Paul and Barnabas spent time in prayer and fasting for the appointment of elders in the churches (Acts 14:23).

Mark 9:27-29
  27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
  28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
  29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

James 5:13-16 
  13  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him
  	sing psalms.
  14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church;
  	and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the
  	Lord: 
  15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall
  	raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
  16  Confess /your/ faults one to another, and pray one for another,
  	that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man
  	availeth much.

In His hands,

Allen & Elaine

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