Crystal Writes A Blog

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The Warrior’s Prayer


women praying at cowboy church on a friday

The prayer Janet (from my last post) gave me to pray over my mother is called The Warrior’s Prayer and subtitled, A Prayer for the Unrepentant. I prayed using her name but I’m typing it here with blanks so readers can copy it for their own use. I received this prayer in steps and found that praying each step in its written order made it easier to pray the next one. I’ll post the prayer and then a short commentary on the steps.

Here’s the prayer…

Dear Heavenly Father,

  1. I pray that ________________ will take one step closer to You today.

  2. If ________________ glories in her (or his) shame (sin, pride, etc.), I pray it will utterly frustrate her (or him) to the point of complete repentance.

  3. I pray that ________________ will come to fruition of the purpose for which you made and sent her (or him) to this earth.

  4. And, I pray that we will enjoy Your eternity in peace together. (I added… Beginning while we are still together on this earth—even right now.)

I knew I was short on time, so I prayed the entire prayer with Janet, and it brought me a breakthrough in my heart. Whether you pray all the steps at once or pray each one until it frees you to move on to the next step, I am certain you will find comfort in the words.

The first step is simple. It’s especially helpful to have a simple prayer when you need to pray for someone who has hurt you, even more if you find forgiveness difficult. It’s easy to pray for someone to step closer to God because, if you love and follow Him, you know how much He can change things. Everyone could be closer to the Lord and asking Him to draw someone even by a small step begins a process of hope.

Next, praying that a hurtful person’s sins will frustrate them can actually feel a little comforting. You’re not asking for punishment of the unrepentant person, so you’re not feeling revenge or bitterness in your heart. But you are asking for what you would hope punishment would accomplish, so you get a similar relief. When I prayed it, I felt free to pray the blessing in step three.

Step three reminds us that each person on this earth is here for a purpose designed by Our Lord and Creator. It acts on the hope started in step one. If you are praying this prayer for someone daily, you may need to spend days praying just the first two steps before you can speak this step from your heart.

Step four is the culmination of the first three steps. When you are dealing with someone who seems determined to continue walking in sin, envisioning them standing with you before God’s throne and praising Him together can free you to love that person from a deeper and more loving place. It covers the hurt and pain with mercy and grace you know only God can give and makes it easier to continue in prayer.

The recipient of your prayer does not even need to know you are praying. When the words begin to work and you witness a visible change, you can decide then if you want to share that you’ve been praying or keep this treasure to yourself.

January 4, 2019 Posted by | Nonfiction | 4 Comments

All Aboard the New Year Train


All Aboard--Amtrak Pic from 2018--No Frame

What a ride this life can be sometimes, huh? Four years ago today, I was riding a train headed west to Arizona where I would spend my mother’s last 10 days on this earth. Until this time, I never knew how much the death of a parent could change a life. I don’t think I would’ve understood even if someone tried to explain. It’s one of those “you had to be there” experiences.

Still, I promised after I posted her picture and funeral flier back in 2015 that I would share the miraculous events of those last days. So, I am using this New Year’s Day to keep my old promise.

Mom called me with the news of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis on December 27th, 2014. She said the doctors told her it was an aggressive mass that gave her less than three months to live. I was ready to go into prayer battle, but she told me she was ready to meet Jesus and that she was okay. I accepted her answer and talked with my husband about going out there after my writer‘s meeting on the second Saturday of January. Something inside told me I needed to go sooner, though, and on December 31st, I signed on to Amtrak.com to see what was available. I found a ticket I could purchase with points I’d saved, and it was available the next day at 6:00 AM.

It’s almost a two-day ride from Chicago to Arizona, and in that time, I received phone calls from my mother’s doctors who complained that she was being aggressive since they removed her IV and asking me how I wanted to handle hospice plans. I got the doctor to agree to put her back on fluids so she could be lucid when I arrived. But the stress of broken connections and tasks I’d never performed gave me an upset stomach, A caring attendant did what she could to comfort me in my distress. Finally, I arrived to my old home town of Kingman where I would spend one night with my sister before we headed to Tucson to see our mom.

Fast forward a few days to Mom’s apartment, a hospice team, and helpful members of her church. Mom was still asking for a little food and some crushed ice, so I tried to give her all she desired. On Thursday January 8th, I set up a laptop to allow her to say goodbye to her family members in Kingman and my husband back in Indiana via a Google Hangouts video. By Saturday, she was eating less and sleeping more, and I was sleeping far less but using my time to sing to my mom with all the love I could find inside my heart. It was a battle because of an abusive childhood and trouble in our lives up to that point, but that’s another story for a different post. It’s important for my readers to know there was a PTSD-worthy history involved, though.

On Sunday the 11th, I got a sitter and decided I needed a little break to attend my mom’s church. It’s always awkward for me to figure out where to sit when I visit new churches, but this time, I would soon see how much God was in control. A woman who sat in front of me stood to tell the church of her pain about her husband’s recent death. That was an open door for me to invite her when I invited the rest of the church to walk over to my mother’s house and bid her farewell. Janet, accepted the invitation.

Now, most of the church members had been in to see her, so I brought Janet in to introduce her. While we waited for a few others to pray, Janet grabbed me and said she needed me outside right away. Remember, I had never met this woman before that morning in church. And, it turns out, it was only her second visit to the church, so she had never met my mother. She got me outside and asked if there were spiritual and mental battles between me and my mom. Once I explained, she said she knew why we had the rocky relationship we did. In a nutshell, she informed me she didn’t want to scare me but wanted me to know she saw something demonic hovering around my mother and oppressing her. She immediately gave me a prayer to pray over my mom. We prayed it together and with a neighbor friend, and when we went back inside, there was a noticeable change in the atmosphere.

In the next two days, Janet interceded for my mother and counseled both her and me to take our authority as children of The Almighty God. We stood in prayer against the evil that had likely oppressed her for most of her life, and we received both deliverance and peace. My mother was still dying, but everything was different. She was so comfortable that it amazed even her hospice attendants. They said she should have been more miserable and in far more pain even with the high doses of painkillers they had given her to prepare her for death.

In my times alone with my mom, my singing to her seemed clearer and more melodic than I had ever heard my voice. In addition, some pleasant memories from childhood days returned to my thoughts when before I had only remembered the troublesome times. To me, it was evident God put this woman into that church, and at that specific time, especially for my mother and me. God used her as a blessing in both spiritual and emotional ways. Next, I would see He put her there to be a physical blessing, too.

Soon after meeting her, I found out Janet was a retired RN. She volunteered to drop most everything at her own home to stay and help me care for my mother. That was an answer to my mother’s prayer that her children would never need to bathe her or change her diapers. Janet took care of the “gross” things, like suppositories, and she stayed as my helper right up to my mother’s last breath. And that leads me to my conclusion for this part of the story.

Members of my mom’s church stopped by to visit my mom and let me rest for a few hours here and there. Janet took the last shift on Monday night. She told me she would wake me if my mother needed me. I dreaded the thought of seeing her struggle for her last breath, but Janet did not know that. Still, she woke me right after her final moment on this earth, and I did not have to witness that battle. Her death rattle was silenced, but my mother was still warm, so I knew Janet woke me just in time. And because of all the changes in my spirit, I received the blessing of grieving my mother and our good times instead of beating myself up over so many past days taunting me with the fact I could never change them. When put into the hands of The Almighty, even the old can change and be made new.

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Nonfiction, Slice of Life | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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