New Living Translation (NLT)
25 Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Did you know that there are some people in the world who fear Friday the 13th so much that they won't dare to get out of bed? Worry about all the unlucky things that could happen weigh those people down to the point that they are paralyzed by their fear. So rather than taking the opportunity to choose to see the good that is out there, they do nothing. I have to admit that there have been days when I've felt the same way, too. Not because of superstition, but a variety of other fears. Finances, parenting, health concerns, there are so many things to worry about. The people we support have fears about all of things and more. And that is why it is so important that we continue to send cards, take their phone calls, respond to e-mails and Facebook posts. It is important for us to remember to share encouraging words with those around us. It is important for us to remember to lift those people up in prayer. Not only can we cheer them up, but our words can also help to calm those fears.
We received a letter this week from Nancy in Ohio, she writes: "You have been there every week with letters, scriptures, and cute children's cards which have meant so much to my healing and my spiritual life." Because Nancy felt that the encouragement she's received is so important to those who have cancer, she also requested a care package and cards for Marcia, a friend she made at radiation treatments. It is awesome to see patients reaching out to share that hope and encouragement with others, too.
Heavenly Father, Help us to remember not to let worry weigh us down. When we see others who are struggling, allow us to recognize it and give us encouraging words to share to help them see their way out of being paralyzed by fear. When we are the ones who are struggling with worry, remind us to cast our burdens on You. We know of so many who are struggling this week. We pray for the families of Joann and Dale. We ask for comfort for their spouses who are feeling empty and alone. Fill that void with wonderful memories from their marriages and with friends and family to lean on as they grieve. We pray for Deb who is recovering from surgery. We pray for Michael who is in the ICU. We pray for Nancy, Brandy, Marcia, Barbara, Scott, Kathy, Baby Matthew and all of the other patients (over 1,000 per week now) who are receiving cards as they undergo cancer treatments. We give You thanks for patients who have received word of healing/remission. We ask that You continue to restore their health as they resume "normal" life. Lord, we know of patients who have been healed and are now wondering if parenthood is next on Your agenda for their lives. If it is Your will, we ask that those families are blessed with the gift of children. We ask for Your protection over the marriages (whether long standing or soon-to-be) of all of patients, staff, and their extended families. Bring those families closer together and closer to You. We pray for the safety of those who are traveling this week, including Nancy and Phil. And finally Lord, we ask for Your continued protection over this outreach. We're in another growth spurt. Bring us volunteers who are willing to serve and the resources to reach out to others. You know our needs. But most of all, keep us focused on our mission and focused on You in all we say and do. In Jesus' name. Amen.