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Prayer, God’s grace leads to triumph through times of trouble

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POSTED: October 12, 2012 10:00 a.m.

There’s no place like home. I don’t know who first said that, but I can assure you it is absolutely true. It’s good to be back.

A few weeks back, I fell ill unexpectedly one evening. After being near the gates for many days, it was through God’s grace and love that I was saved, allowed to live and start my journey to a full recovery. I thank God and continuously lift up His name in heartfelt praise for my recovery.

It is by His grace that we are truly saved, and by that same grace we should try to live each day. There are times in our lives that truly humble us, changing our perspectives and actions while rejuvenating our worldly views. God, by His love and tender mercies, allows us to see His will in our lives more clearly, to uplift our faith and to continue to work in His service.

I want to thank everyone — many I know and many whom I have never met — for their prayers, support for my wife and family, cards, well wishes and uplifting visits during my worst times and recovery. There is strength in group and individual prayer, and those prayers were answered.

I have no words to adequately describe my love and admiration for my supportive wife, Judy, and my gratitude for the medical team in the intensive-care unit at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. I was saved by the grace of God’s hand resting on my physicians’ shoulders, helping to guide their treatment. My wife spent 45 days and nights by my side, taking care of me, praying continuously, reading and speaking to me and holding my hand. Her steadfast love and devotion truly are astounding.

The power of prayer and the fact that God truly is in control becomes evident when something unexpected and critical happens in our lives. It happens every day. Without warning, life takes a sudden turns. Maybe a tragic accident claims the life of a loved one. Maybe your doctor gives you bad news regarding the results of a recent biopsy or medical test. Suddenly, God steps into your life and gets your attention. It’s like hitting a brick wall after driving along smoothly for a long time. Amazingly, that sudden crash wakes us up and forces us to remember that God is in control.

In the course of our proud, self-sustaining lives, even as believers, we sometimes find ourselves desperately dependent. We often are so conditioned by our denominational backgrounds — our so-called religious traditions and prejudices — that we miss the point of God’s grace. There is a difference between being a Christian, being religious and being a person who lives by faith. Many people attend church once a week for an hour. Many attend Sunday school or scriptural classes. Many read scripture at home, but how many of us truly know and believe that constant prayer is important?

Think about it — we can actually speak directly to the man himself — the king of kings, almighty God — through His son Jesus Christ, the greatest person to ever walk this earth. There isn’t any letter, email, Facebook message or phone call that can equal that.

During my first career, I had an employee who I often overheard seemingly speaking to herself. One morning I walked by her office and heard her chattering. I couldn’t make out what she was saying, so I popped in to see who she was talking to. She told me that she was praying. She said she prayed all the time about things large and small. She maintained that speaking to God in such a way kept her focused on Him every day. What a wonderful idea for all of us.

And what about the nonbelievers? What about those who consider themselves atheists or agnostics, and those who rely on excuses and claim that all Christians are hypocrites? “Who really needs a savior?” they ask. “I’m doing just fine.” Sooner or later, God will get their attention.

I believe that many Christians come to know Christ by traveling a lengthy road, by realizing that something might be missing from their lives. Your may lead a squeaky-clean life. You may be a model citizen. You may never lie to your spouse. You may impress others with your success and morality. On the other hand, you may feel that you have let too much water pass under the bridge. Maybe you think you’ve made too many mistakes and that you are not worthy to receive Jesus as your personal savior. Others — even those who have been Christian for a long time — are intent on operating their own control panels and have become apathetic and complacent. No matter who you are, how you live or what you do, sooner or later, God will get your attention.

He’ll bring you to a place in life where you realize there’s no point in living with nagging feelings of unfulfillment or complacency. Please don’t wait for a storm in your life; it may be too late by then. Just pray now and accept Christ as your personal savior. He died on the cross to save us. Put your past behind you and try to live a life that pleases God. You will feel freedom and renewal as His grace, peace and joy fills you.

If you are struggling with your feelings about faith or if you need help with an empty spot in your life, a Stephen Minister can help by cultivating a confidential, one-on-one relationship with you.

We will walk with you and listen to what is in your heart. Appointments are free, so please call 912-320-7840 to set one up. The Stephen Ministry is a globally recognized and accredited program of professionally trained lay ministers.
Learn more at stephenministry.org.

Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.

 

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