UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

July 2006 Monthly Letter

Dear Partner in Ministry,

"Hear my prayer, O God. In Your faithfulness answer me." Ps. 143:1 Ever wondered how God answers prayers? Here are two recent examples of God's faithfulness in answering the prayers even those of pastors' and their wives. Both through the Scriptures used during an UpBuilding Weekend sermon.

When away, I always stay in homes but rarely with a pastor. One exception turned out to be exceptional! Pastor Mike, his wife Lisa, and Shawn their 20 year old son hosted me. A shared bath room separated Shawn's room from mine. Unbeknown to me, Shawn struggles with alcohol addiction. Early Sunday morning he came home drunk and boisterous. Not wanting to disturb my sleep, Mike and Lisa hustled him to their bathroom and bedded him down on a blow-up mattress. Nothing was said about this episode at breakfast time.

God spoke to Mike and Lisa during the sermon Staying Up in Down Times. Its focus was to "set our hope on God to do what we can't do." At its end, I invited congregates to stand as an outward sign of an inward need for specific prayer. Both stood; Mike behind the lecturn; Lisa at her pew. Others did, too. Those seated were then asked to gather around those standing and lay their hands upon them as I led in prayer. Mike and Lisa specifically set Shawn and what to do with him on the Lord.

On Monday, Mike called and reported what God had done. First, he informed me about Shawn and their situation. "We were at our 'wits end' about what to do, having tried many things, many times. God was faithful in answering our prayers this weekend. Here's how: We believe He had you stay in our home and preach what you did for a purpose. He clearly spoke to us through the sermon. Called us to 'literally take a stand'. Empowered us through the prayers of people we know love us. And gave us the courage to confront our problem. Sunday afternoon we met with Shawn, had a family intervention, and with him made some definite decisions as to the future. What peace, confidence, and hope we are now experiencing. God is faithful! Only He could have orchestrated all of this at this time! Douglas Langerud has written a song that says

'We know that God may not heal our problem tomorrow, He may not choose to heal it today; but praise the Lord, our healing is on its way.' "

The following Sunday at a different church but with the same Scripture and the same Lord, Lori, a pastor's wife said, "Last night our model Christian first born daughter stayed out all night. She didn't call 'cause she didn't want to wake me up (as if I could sleep) and tomorrow at 8:00 am I go to court with our son on a DWI. Both of these while my husband is away! Today during the time of prayer, God gave me three things: a peace I can't explain, the fortitude to face both these situations without Bob (her husband), and the assurance that He will work something good in our family relationships because of them."

Thank you Partners in Ministry for your support AND for your prayers. God hears and answers them. May He bless you with other specific answers to ALL your prayers. He is Faithful!

PS Pray for your pastors and their families!

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