The Power of Prayer and Surrender

God is always at work in our lives.  Do we see it…in good times and bad? Do we take time to thank our Creator for the blessings of each and every day?  Do we praise Him in all circumstances?  Do we surrender everything to Him?  A couple from Kernersville, NC knows a thing or two about surrender and the power of prayer.  May this beautiful story will be an encouragement to you today. 

By George L. Matthews

About 3 years ago, I developed a tremor in my right hand that was diagnosed as benign essential tremors.  

As the tremor worsened and other symptoms began to manifest, my wife, Dianne, asked her neurologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center for a neurology referral for me.  

He suggested Dr. Haq, in the neurology department there but told her he might be hard to see since his appointments were scheduled months in advance.  

When Dianne called to see about scheduling an appointment, she was told there had been a cancellation – the very next morning, at 8 am, “Could we be there?”  Is anything too hard for our God?   

Over the next few months, as I underwent numerous tests, my symptoms worsened.  Tests indicated polyneuropathy.  We thought I had spinocerebellar ataxia, but the tests were all negative.   Only one test was confirmed positive, that for paraneoplastic syndrome.  But we had no idea why this syndrome was present.  

In February, I began having difficulty walking.  In 3 weeks time, I was able to walk only with the assistance of lofstrand crutches. 

Every step was an effort.  

My entire body seemed to convulse when I tried to stand.  

The once self-sufficient, independent man that I had always been was reduced to needing help just getting out of bed.  

It was during this time God began dealing with me regarding my absolute surrender to Him as Lord of my life.  

I knew He was Savior, but did I trust Him to be Lord?  

It was easy to say yes to that question when all was well.  

But now, could I accept what He had allowed into my life with thanksgiving (I Thessalonians 5:18)?  When I finally realized that even in the darkest places, He was Lord, I felt that “peace that passes all understanding”.  

I knew that He had a purpose for this and I could trust Him.

Dr. Haq had decided that even though we still did not have a definitive diagnosis for my convulsive movements, he would admit me for a week of steroid treatments.  

I would enter the hospital on June 11.  Dianne had already booked a weekend seminar for us at The Cove for June 8-10 to hear Dr. Ken Boa. 

How amazing that God orchestrated our time at The Cove the weekend before my hospitalization!  

When we arrived for registration at The Cove, we signed up for the Interactive Sessions that were a part of the Seminar event.  

I was assigned with a fabulous group of men, and Dianne with a great group of women.  We were loved upon, encouraged, prayed for.  We were sought out by a couple who had used a recent hospitalization to witness to the hospital staff, and encouraged me to do the same. They shared Bible verses with us.  

We recognized that God had sent all these people to us this very weekend for a special purpose.  The staff at The Cove was so kind and helpful, and we knew they were also praying for us.  We were encouraged by Dr. Boa’s teaching.  

We left The Cove on Sunday knowing we were firmly secure in God’s hand, that He was in control, and we need not fear.  

On June 11, we arrived at the hospital to find out the treatment plan had changed over the weekend.  

One of the physicians Dr. Haq had conferred with had found an article that suggested IVIG treatments.  They started the first treatment Monday evening.  

By midweek, I began standing and taking steps without my crutches.  

By Thursday, I was making laps around the neurology department.  

As I walked, I shared with the staff of God’s goodness; I handed out tracts to those who asked how I could be so joyous.  God provided many opportunities for me to share His love during my stay.  

Then, on Friday I walked out of the hospital without my crutches.  

Am I cured?  We don’t know.  

The doctors were amazed at how well the treatment worked but can’t give a prognosis since they don’t have a definite diagnosis.  

But this we do know, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made” and the Creator God does know.  

It is in His hands and whatever He chooses to send, we accept.  He knows what is best for us.  He knew that until I was unable to manage on my own, I had reserved a part of me that was not completely surrendered to Him.  

I am grateful for this time of illness, for I saw not only physical healing, but spiritual healing as well. 

I felt the amazing power of prayer.  

I saw how God’s timing was woven throughout the events of the past months.  

I had great physicians, great medical staff to administer the treatment, all orchestrated by Him.  But more importantly, we had a lot of people praying for us…our church, our family, and our friends.  

How awesome is our God who walks with us, hears our cry for help, and sends people to walk through our valleys with us!!  

And answers prayer!

Great Opportunity for Ministry Teams

 

You and your ministry team are personally invited to one of our most exciting opportunities at The Cove this year.

August 9-10, Michael Catt, senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, will be leading a Church Staff Retreat titled You Can’t Have a Vision If Your Head
Is in a Box.  As you may know, Michael is the co-founder of Sherwood Pictures and has produced influential Christian movies such as Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.

This two-day retreat includes plenary sessions and Q&A with Michael as well as time to meet together with your team for planning, interaction, and reflection.  Join him as he shares insights on how to discover and unleash God-given, Spirit-inspired creativity that can transform your ministry and impact your community for Christ.

On behalf of the entire team at The Cove, we hope you will give us the opportunity to serve you here.  May God richly bless you.

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham
President
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

To register or for more information on this Church Staff Retreat, click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 10: 15-19

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where you can come together and share your journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1: Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 10:15-19

FACTS: What Does it Say?
15: Israel returned to camp at Gilgal
16: These 5 kings fled and hid in the cave at Makkedah
17: It was told Joshua these 5 kings were found hidden in the
cave
18: Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave and guard
them
19: do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack
in the rear, do not allow them to enter their cities for the LORD has delivered

LESSONS: What Does it Mean?

15. It’s good to gather together and asses the situation get feedback  and get back to  work
16. the “fearless” leaders of these cities, so  ready to destroy Israel off the face of the earth find themselves cowards  hiding in a cave.  In times of crises our true character comes out
17. You  can’t hide from God
18-19: Do not be distracted from the task at hand even if you  capture a high value target.  Stay focused on the task at hand.  Pursue those enemies.  Often times I give up the fight when God has called me to complete it.  I may say, “Ah, I have done most of it, I’m out” Do not allow the enemy to re-group, finish the task completely.

APPLICATION: What Does it Mean to me?

15. Do I realize we are in this fight together as Christians? Are we listening to one another  and getting back to work together with a common goal?
16. In  times of crises in my life, what was or is being revealed about my character?  Am I strong and courageous in the LORD, or weak and cowardly? Crises reveals my belief, what has crises revealed regarding my belief?  Has my belief and faith been proven or run from?
17. What causes me to question God sees me?
18-19: Am I living in disobedience because I have been distracted from what God has  called me to do? How have I been distracted from the task at hand?  Have I completed things “mostly” but I don’t want to put the finishing touch on it because…..? Too much
effort? Time? I’m not “feeling” it any longer?  I would rather……?  This distraction over here is more “me” and makes more sense?

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.

Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study? Please share this blog link with them.

Homework for July 3 discussion: Joshua 10: 20-27

A Tribute to Ruth Bell Graham from Her Grandson Will

Will Graham, Executive Director at The Cove, the son of Franklin and Jane Graham and the grandson of Ruth and Billy Graham, penned this tribute to the enduring love between his grandparents. Five years after Ruth’s passing on June 14, 2007, we join Will in remembering this godly woman’s legacy.

It’s such a gift to have grandparents who impart profound truth without even trying, living in such a way that the lessons are impossible to ignore.

by Will Graham

“I always thought it would get easier with time, but it hasn’t. I miss her more now than
ever,” my grandfather, Billy Graham, shared as he talked about my grandmother, Ruth, who passed away in 2007. His booming voice, heard by millions around the world on TV, radio, and in person, now escapes as little more than a whisper.

Daddy Bill loves Tai Tai (the affectionate nicknames that we grandkids have for them). I guess one should probably say “loved” since she is no longer living here on earth, but that wouldn’t be accurate. He loves her with a love that cannot be destroyed by the physical separation of mortal death.

For more than 60 years as he traveled the world sharing a message of hope to the masses, she was his strength and inspiration on the home front, a practical joker who could make a princess and a beggar feel equally comfortable in the same room. He would refer to her as the greatest Christian he had ever known and comment that she knew the Bible far better than he did. She helped to prepare and equip him to go out and accomplish what he was called to do.

In my grandparent’s home, my grandmother—who had suffered years of declining health—had a room where she spent much of her time. It was where she slept and where she  studied the Bible. Several translations were spread across a large desk, all featuring big margins for taking notes. This room was also where she ultimately slipped into eternity.

My grandfather still stops as he makes his way past to look into her room, as though he might find her sitting up in bed with the mischievous grin and quick-witted comments that she carried until her final day on earth.

As he looks into that room, my grandfather still sees a simple woven wreath of Jerusalem thorns hanging on the wall amidst family photos. Directly across from it is the bed where my grandmother courageously faced the debilitating pain that followed her for years.

She would never complain about the pain, though you would occasionally see her bright eyes wince and her teeth grit. Rather than lamenting, she would point up to those thorns, similar to the sharp, long blades that were formed into the crown that Jesus wore at His crucifixion. “If He endured so much for me,” she would say, “I have nothing to complain about.”

It’s such a gift to have grandparents who impart profound truth without even trying, living in such a way that the lessons are impossible to ignore. Daddy Bill and Tai Tai have taught me so much about life, love and even pain and death, and I will be forever thankful for both of them.

Will Graham will be speaking at The Cove on June 29-July 1 in a seminar titled, When The Shadows Speak.  You can register by calling 1-800-950-2092 or visit our website by clicking here.

Billy Graham on Prayer

Billy Graham

Prayer is not using God; it is more often to get us in a position where God can use us.

I watched the deckhands on the great liner United States as they docked that ship in New York Harbor.

First, they threw out a rope to the men on the dock.

Then, inside the boat the great motors went to work and pulled on the great cable.

But of course the pier wasn’t pulled out to the ship; the ship was moved snugly up to the pier.

Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together.

But it doesn’t pull God down to us; it pulls us up to Him.

Five Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is just around the corner…

It doesn’t matter if your Dad is 35 or 75, there are certain gifts that have timeless appeal and will always be remembered.

Here are five priceless Father’s Day gift ideas, where you can’t go wrong…

 

1. A hand-written card
2. Another tie.  Seriously. One day these can be made in to a tie quilt!
3. A golf club.  Can a man ever have enough golf clubs??
4. Breakfast in bed
5. A gift certificate to The Cove

Call The Cove today at 1-800-950-2092 to give a gift with eternal impact.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17

Will Graham Teaching on Leviticus

Will Graham, grandson of The Cove’s founders, Billy and Ruth Graham, will be teaching on Leviticus later this month.

Over the last 24 years at The Cove, The Book of Leviticus has yet to be taught, until now. Listen as Will explains why he chose to teach on this Old Testament Book.


To register for Will’s seminar titled, “When the Shadows Speak” on June 29-July 1 click here or call 1-800-950-2092 and reserve your spot today.

Kendra Bible Study…Joshua 10:12-14

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where people can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 10:12-14

FACTS: What Does it Say?

12.     Joshua spoke to the LORD and said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and oh moon in the valley of Aijalon.”

13.    So the sun stood still & the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.

14.    The LORD fought for Israel.

Lessons: What Does it Mean?

12.    Come boldly before the throne of grace….  Pray boldly for your needs.  God told Joshua back in verse 8 that he was not to have fear in this situation, and that God had “given them into his hand”, well then, God, if you have called me here, to do this, and not to have fear, and You said that You would give them into my hands, well then, this is what we need to accomplish that, and it is completely not possible for me to accomplish it, so I am completely, 100% relying on You.  “Do this LORD” was the prayer of Joshua.  Joshua’s faith didn’t waiver, he didn’t say, “Hmmmm maybe God really didn’t call me to this…” Joshua was firm in his faith and bold in his prayer.  When God calls me to do things, there always seems to be a gap between what I can do and what God must do…. this Gap, is filled with faith and obedience, and it is HARD….  God doesn’t call us to do do easy things…. where would the faith be in that?  I want to have the big faith of Joshua…. without being stretched… unfortunately, that is not how it works, and I have a better testimony at the end of things that only God can do anyway….

13.    God provided what His people needed to do that which He called them to do.  That is God’s character, He is faithful.

14.    God fights for His people.

Application. What Does it Mean to me?

12.    What has God called me to do?  What must God provide in order for it to happen? Am I praying for God to do it?

13.    Do I really believe God is who He says He is and will accomplish what He says He will?   Am I living my life proving my belief or unbelief?

14.    Do I believe God fights for me?  When has God fought for me?  How do I need God to fight for me now?

During the summer months, Kendra will be posting notes and new homework every two weeks (instead of weekly).  Feel free to break up your homework and continue to share with one another each week.  All of you are really building a beautiful Bible study community!

Homework for June 19th: Joshua 10: 15-19

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.