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(September 8, 2003.)

I could not believe my ears. Just days before I had written September's prayer guide cover saying that my family and I had every reason to believe that my daughter was cured of her cancer. Now, we were sitting across from the desk of Dr. von Westarp and he was telling us that there was another suspicious growth, evident on the scan done after radiation treatment, and that more surgery might be required. Unbelievable. Later, I let my good friend in Minneapolis know this twisting wrench of events and he immediately asked if I would like an update put on the prayer request section of his web site. "Jeff," I replied, "There is nothing else to pray." On that day I stopped praying. Since then, however, I have also begun praying too.

That day I stopped praying and telling God what He is able to do and asking Him to do it in the situation before us. During my daughter's first two surgeries, a single radiation treatment, and the days before and after all three of those events, the peace of God guarded my life. Though at times I had touches and tinges of anxiousness, I found it quite easy to rest and trust, and pray again to God - extolling all that He knew was going on and that we were not lost from His sight.

However, weeks after that day, I began to pray again in a different way. Further diagnosis, the confirmation of more cancer, and the scheduling of a more radical and invasive surgery have smashed holes in the walls that guard the city of my life. The peace of Christ is still guarding my heart, but the markets of my mind and the city square of my being have been suffering marauding attacks of fear, anxiety, unsurety and dread of the unknown. My prayers have changed from those belonging to one resting in faith to those of one lifting to God a burden in faith.

I don't know which one of the above best describes you, but I do want you to know that it's OK to be either. For there are times when our past experiences with God are sufficient enough like the present to allow us an easily found rest in Him. Yet there are also times when we've not been this way before and don't have the comfort of seeing our footprints where God has previously walked with us. One time of life is no more spiritually elite than the other and God is the same hearer of prayers from both.

It's just that sometimes we have faith to rest from our praying, and other times we need to have faith to begin.

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