All Things New: 21 Days of Prayer

It's been eleven years since I prayed like this. Don't get me wrong, I have dedicated significant prayer over major hurdles for our family. I've prayed through moves to a different state, transitions to a different ministry, and temporary separations of our family, in order that one of our children get emotionally and physically healthy again.


But not like this…

Sunday I will put out a challenge to our church to join together in 21 days of prayer. This is a way for us devote ourselves a little more fully to God, be a little more intentional with our spiritual disciplines, and give him this first part of our year to say: "Whatever happens in this year Lord, I dedicate myself to you. You alone can make all things new."

In light of recent events in our capital, and an active pandemic still creating its own chaos all across our nation, we must be reassured that our God is in control. Indeed, as the hymn goes: We serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today! Charles Spurgeon so eloquently put it: "He is with us in our solitude, he is with us in our public assemblies; but there is one place where he is not; and that is, in the empty tomb."

It's been eleven years since I prayed like this. Eleven years ago, our church plant decided to begin 2010 with 21 days of prayer. It was a pivotal time for the church, hoping to make the leap from portable to permanent. It was also a critical time for our family, hoping to finally see doctors initiate 3 stages of surgeries to re-plumb our 8-month old son's congenital heart defect. Our Josiah had been born with only three chambers in his heart, and his little life had been confined to a Pediatric ICU, 200 miles away from our home. 

We began to pray...

But 18 days in, January 24th 2010, Josiah suddenly passed away. 18 days in, after leaving his side only twice in 8 months, Josiah's life came to an end. 18 days in, while our church prayed, Josiah's heart stopped beating. 18 days in. But why? How could this be?

In the Gospels, we read John Mark's account of Jesus and his interactions with the liars, the frauds, the violently angry, and the unbelievably prideful. His ministry focused relief on those who were hungry, needy, sick and desiring of healing. In this context, we read an account in Mark 9 where his disciples struggle to facilitate a miracle, and a doubtful father, in turn, puts all the faith he could muster behind Christ's power to heal. What was the result? A miracle! 

Eleven years ago, we prayed desperately that our son would become miraculously strong enough to undergo surgery. As well as I knew how, I put all I could muster behind every petition. What was the result? Answered prayer. Eleven years removed, I can finally look back now and say that God unquestionably answered our prayers for healing. 

It really was a miracle… completed in God's timing, not mine. May God do a similar work of healing in our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation, and our world. May we find a living hope through the enabling of the Holy Spirit!

I trust that my son was eternally healed that fateful day, and that Josiah's damaged heart was finally made whole. Eleven years later, I'm finally ready to pray like this again… So for the next 21 days I trust that prayer will make my heart whole as well. Lord I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!

Pastor Milo


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