Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#prayertag: The Power of Prayer and "The Army of One"

Update: (October 20, 2014) I received an email on Sunday, October 19th:"This is Denise. Mom went to meet Jesus about 12:30 this afternoon. Dad came home from church and found her already gone.  She must have just died as the table was set and food was out ready to be warmed up for lunch.  We figure it was probably an instant thing. She left with such a peaceful look on her face.  I can only imagine the joy she is experiencing now!  Wow.  This is really hard - especially on Dad.  But, our prayers have been answered - she didn't have to go through the awful suffering that often accompanies such cancers.  It was Mom's desire to glorify God through her illness.  It is now our prayer that God will be glorified even more through her death.  Your continued prayers are appreciated.  Love to all, Denise

Update: (August 9, 2014):  There is an answer to prayer on this story. Denise emailed me to say:  "Could you please thank all the girlfriends for praying for Mom?  At the time  they were praying for her, her platelet count was way too low.  That Friday, when she was tested again, it had gone up - way up - by thousands!  God heard the prayers of his people!"

On my Muses of a Mom Facebook page, we are doing a daily #prayertag - tagging other girlfriends who are in need of prayer and coming together to pray for them.  For yesterday's #prayertag, I posted for everyone to pray for Gayle Taylor.  

Gayle was one of my "other mothers" growing up in middle school and high school.  Her daughter, Denise and I were in a group of four girls (including Vicki and Nancy) who hung out together every day at our Christian school.  Even though Denise and her family are in Michigan (along with Nancy), Vicki in Nebraska and me in Texas, with Facebook and email we can still reach out to each other, and that is how I found out about Gayle and her cancer.  

I asked Denise if she would retell the wonderful testimony of her mom and her journey since we are praying for others and seeing how prayers are being answered this month through the Facebook page.  This is what she sent to me:

"Our prayer team:  The Army of One (with apologies to the United States Army)
The name just fits.  It is our name for a loving group of people who have prayed our family through difficult times.   It is the Army of the ONE true God.  This Army unites their hearts as ONE before God the Father to ask for HIS perfect will. 

My best friend, who is also my Mother, Gayle Taylor, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January of 2011.  Today, over 3 ½ years later, there is no medical reason she should be alive.  But from God’s perspective, there is every reason for her to be alive. I do not know exactly what His reason is, but I know she is alive for this reason:  to be His willing servant all of her living days. I am confident it is the prayers of believers that have carried her through.

When the initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer came in, we reached out to a small group of friends, soliciting prayer for not only her healing, but even more that God would have his perfect will in her life – Thy will be done.  After all, everyone knows no one survives pancreatic cancer.  People passed on our e-mails to people they knew, and pretty soon, her prayer list grew far beyond what we had ever even hoped.  In fact, we don’t fully know the scope of how big the Army is.  People and churches all over the country have been praying for her.  She has received encouraging phone calls and letters from people she has never met.  But because she is a child of God, she is family to them.  And you know what?  Family is a good thing to have on your side.  We know the family of God is praying, because we feel it and we have seen great things happen in her life – miracle after miracle of healing and sustenance through very difficult times. 

The cancer has come and gone, and come and gone and come and gone….now it has metastasized to her brain.  It is also active in a couple of spots in her lungs again.  The doctor says she has this summer, but maybe not much more. That is his opinion, and I respect it and I am ready to be okay with that if that is what God wants.  More importantly, she is okay with that.  However, God KNOWS what the future holds, and thank God we know Who holds the future!  In the meantime, the Army of One is still holding her up.  She draws strength knowing they are praying!  We appreciate all the prayers that are lifted to the Father not only on her behalf, but for my Dad and me as we walk this journey with her. 

Mom cannot do many of the things that she used to do, so her new ministry is praying for those in her Army.  After all, prayer is the most powerful gift we can offer anyone.  She has been the recipient of that gift, and is grateful to be able to reciprocate.  I don’t know what we would have done without the Army.

As of this writing, Gayle is doing very well for all that she is going through - undergoing maintenance chemo once a week, serving her God, seven days a week.  She is planning on going on a five day vacation with the girls at the end of the month.  Again, we reached out to the Army on this one – to pray that she would feel good enough to enjoy fellowship with her family and friends.  Praise God!  It looks like everything is going to be okay."

Girlfriends -- thank you for praying.  You have just be included in her Army of One.  
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