Friday, July 3, 2015

Prayers from the West Side - written by Ellie

Father God,
We praise you for your mighty deeds! You have continually revealed your faithfulness and power to us. You have worked so many miracles in our adoption process so far, and if You never gave us another blessing You would still be worthy to be praised with every breath we have. We remember many milestones:

  • The gift of having Igor (now Isaac) visit us over a year and a half ago and the joy and laughter he brought to our home and so many others
  • Igor being moved from his dangerous city, Lughansk, in eastern Ukraine to safety in Odessa
  • The miracle You worked in making it possible for our adoption to continue last summer despite being told that it would be impossible
  • Answering our prayers in making it possible for Mom and Dad to travel to Ukraine and giving them protection each time
  • Answered prayers: the referrals
  • Being faithful and sovereign when all of our paperwork was thrown out in January and we had to start over
  • Gotcha day

There are SO many more answered prayers that we have experienced over the last several years. And even when things didn’t work out the way we hoped and we experienced disappointment, You always led us back to a place of reliance on You, showing us that You are always faithful. You are always good. You have a plan in mind that is WAY better than anything we could ask for ourselves. You are always in control, even when from a human perspective things seem chaotic.

Today, Father, we lift up our sweet mother and brothers. Lord, you know the discouragement they are experiencing right now. I ask that You would revive their hearts with the reminders of your promises.

 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Romans 8:28-29

“Remember my affliction and my wandering in the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! “The LORD is my portion, “ says my soul, “therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and be silent since He has laid it on him. Let him put his mouth in the dust, perhaps there is hope. Let him give his cheek to the smiter, let him be filled with reproach. For the LORD will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men. To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the land, to deprive a man of justice in the presence of the Most High, to defraud a man in his lawsuit—of these things the Lord does not approve. Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the LORD has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth? Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of His sins? Let us examine and probe our ways and let us return to the LORD. We lift up our heart and hands toward God in heaven.”
Lamentations 3:19-41

“’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”
Isaiah 55:8-9

“Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

We cling to these promises, Heavenly Father. We ask that You bring our beloved family home soon so that we can celebrate Isaac as a gift to our family together. Help us to see ourselves in Isaac: undeserving children, who often can be quite wearisome, who are recipients of Your redeeming love and adoptive grace. Comfort Mom, Josiah, and Isaac with Your presence. We ask that You would be all that they need so that they can be satisfied when you are all that they have (-JD Greers). We ask that You remind them of all that You have done—that the same God who has answered all the prayers mentioned above and has moved so many mountains is continuing to work miracles and answer prayers every day. Remind them that You have a perfect purpose for what they are going through right now. There is purpose in meaning in their long stay, Isaac’s constant need for attention and affection, every delay…Father, You are sovereign. Nothing happens by accident. Help them to give You praise and thanks for ALL things; to rejoice ALWAYS. Encourage them with Your truth and promises. Help them “to declare You lovingkindness in the morning…” and to be empowered and strengthened by the depths of Your love every day “…and your faithfulness by night,” reflecting on all that You have done (Psalm 92:2). Help them to find their rest, peace, and home in You rather than in people or a zipcode. Give Josiah and Mom strength to wake up every day and view their care of Isaac as their joyful, God-given mission. Help them to shine Your light and love to Isaac and those around them. Revive their spirits. Comfort their souls. Encourage their hearts. You alone are able to do these things.

Finally, dear God, we pray these verses for our sweet family:

“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His gory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:14-19

We love you, Jesus. We are thankful for the grace you have lavished upon us. We thank You for the gift of Your Son, that we even have the privilege of coming before You! We praise You for Your faithfulness and for the encouragement of Your promises. We trust in You as You continue to complete this adoption in a way that brings You the most glory. Our lives are Yours, Heavenly Father.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21

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