Friday, February 18, 2011

14 Days into the 40 Days of Prayer

14 days in and I can already see God moving and working in our lives and the lives of others. Some exciting news: 5 families from our agency got their TWIMC letter ("To whom it may concern" letter is given by the government saying they have been approved to adopt their child), which means they will be traveling to get their little ones in just a couple of months!! Our family is in the next batch of 5 families whose dossiers are currently in country waiting for processing.

We continue to ask, if it's God's will, that He see fit to give us our referral by March 15. We are not doing this to give Him an ultimatum, but rather because we are human and work on a time line, unlike God who is outside of time. So this is just a specific thing to pray for and we can look to a specific time to see if it's God's will. On March 15th we will be rejoicing and worshiping God for His greatness, whether it is for giving us a referral or teaching us more lessons of trust and dependence on Him while we continue to wait! Either way he is growing us and deepening our love and trust in Him as He works in our sanctification process.

Thank you for the many of you that have joined us in prayer. No time in prayer is in vain. God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts just like any father does.

We continue to be encouraged by all of you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Would you consider joining us for 40 days of prayer?.....

let me walk you through a few things that have happened the past couple weeks.

1. Those of you in our fellowship group know that we have been challenged to pray with our spouses at least 5 times a week. This has been such a neat and relationship-changing exercise as Tom and I have already seen some of the many benefits of praying daily with your partner.

2. Tom & I are both doing a study through Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. Two weeks ago we read a chapter on Prayer. It was, for me, a VERY convicting chapter that made me realize that my lack of prayer shows my lack of trust and dependence on God. I am also robbing Him of glory by not asking for things within His will. Furthermore, I prevent God from showing His power to us and others when He answers prayer.

3. Many of you lovingly ask us how our adoption is going and if we have any news. Unfortunately the answer is always "No, we haven't heard anything" This is definitely a case where "no news" is NOT good news. Yet we know that we are doing what God would have us do in regards to adopting from the country that He led us to. But I must admit that we have not consistently prayed for the timing of everything like we should.

4. In a recent conversation about our adoption with my dear friend Jennifer Herrmann, asked if I had ever considered asking a group of people to join with us in daily prayer for a specific amount of time. Shamefully I admitted that I had not considered this, but I needed to talk to Tom about it. Thanks to the ice storm, Tom and I got to stay home that night and talk and pray about the idea!

Which leads us to where we are today.......wanting you to join us in coming before God daily, in humble dependence, and praying for our adoption for the next 40 days.

Prayer changes the way God acts. James 4:2 says "You do not have, because you do not ask."
Grudem says "If we were really convinced that prayer changes the way God acts, and that God does bring about remarkable changes in the world in response to prayer, as Scripture repeatedly teaches that he does, then we would pray much more than we do. If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplishes much at all."

We are to pray in God's will. John 15:7 says "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you."
Grudem says "We should have great confidence that God will answer our prayer when we ask him for something that accords with a specific promise or command of Scripture (e.g. Care for the orphans)

Pray with Faith. Mark 11:24 says "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Grudem says "Several passages encourage us to exercise faith when we pray. "whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." - Matt 21:22 and James 1:6 "Ask in faith, with no doubting." "Prayer is never wishful thinking, for it springs from trust in a personal God who wants us to take him at his word."

Here are our requests: You don't need to pray for each of them every day (except for request number 1 - please do make that a daily request.) Maybe just take one request a week.

We'll start out with a praise. Thanks to God's provision - partly through many of you who attended our adoption fundraiser dinner in November, we have the funds to cover everything but our travel expenses, as outlined below.

1. That God would see fit to give us our referral for our little girl by March 15th, and that we would be able to travel to get her by the end of the summer. Because we know we are obeying His will to care for orphans, we also believe that our little girl would be better off with our family than in an orphanage for another year.

2. Safety and well being of our daughter as she might be living in conditions where she doesn't have optimal supervision.

3. Provision for travel expenses: We estimate that it will take about $14,000 for just Tom and I to go to for two weeks to pick up our daughter. However, we would love to also take our bio children with us. This would be a cultural experience that they may never have again. We estimate that to take them would add additional $6,000 to our travel costs.

4. Provision of a family van: Once our daughter gets here we have outgrown our vehicles.

5. Attachment and Bonding issues: smooth transitions into the home. Unless you've specifically read up on these issues or have personally dealt with them, you don't realize that adopted children can sometimes have difficulty fitting in with their new family. They typically understand that they were once part of a different family, but sometimes have trouble understanding why that family has seemingly abandoned them. That can cause problems with accepting the new family.

We are asking you to pray BIG with us. We know that God is capable of HUGE things. We have no doubt that He can and will answer our (and your) prayers!

If you decide to join us on this commitment of prayer, please respond back to us and let us know, so we know who we are partnering with and can be encouraged by you!

Thank you for wrapping around us in this way,