As many of you know, I’m in the habit of praying the Psalms. This is something I began doing when I became so sick with Lyme three years ago, and I still go through ten psalms each morning (although 119 takes a day in itself). At this rate, I’ve gone through the Psalms many, many times. I turn the Psalms into personal prayers using the BPV—Brandilyn’s Prayer Version. There are Psalms of praise and those of petition—all relevant today. A few days ago I read Psalm 90, which ends with this verse (BPV): God, confirm for me the work of my hands. Yes, confirm the work of my hands. I thought I was praying about my writing as my work. God had other ideas.
Since then, I’ve received three “confirming” letters. Two came in yesterday. These e-mails were not about my writing. They had to do with my praying for others and my words of encouragement at the ACFW Conference.
These letters didn’t have to be sent. I had no expectations of receiving them. This is why they are such true and wonderful gifts. These people took time to tell me that something I did or said has helped them. God nudged them—and they listened. Through their obedience, God was able to send me a wonderful message: I confirm the work of your hands.
Each of these letters made me all teary-eyed. First, because it’s so incredible to see what God is doing in the lives of others. At such reminders of His mercy and gentle love, I feel overwhelmed. Second, because I felt so humbled and touched by these folks’ gestures toward me. That they would take time out of their day to write me letters—two of them very long—and pour our their hearts. They thought they were saying “Thank you.” Well, yes, they were. But I was the one who felt like I’d been given a gift.
Some necessary backstory (there’s that “B” word again!) for those who weren’t at the ACFW conference. After the Sunday morning worship service, Kim Sawyer gave her testimony of healing. After that I’d been asked if I would pray a healing prayer in closing. Little did I know what I was getting into when I agreed to do this.
Our God is a very efficient God. He uses our experiences—and the mercy He has shown us—to help us reach out to others. After my own healing 2 1/2 years ago, God saw fit to allow me to participate in the gifts of healing and word of knowledge. Those of you who’ve read my Never-Ending Saga on this blog will remember that I’ve mentioned this. Other than telling a few stories along these lines in blog posts, I really haven’t talked about this publicly, and I’ve certainly never prayed publicly in this way. Good grief, I never know what God’s going to do. Sometimes He gives me special words for people, sometimes not. If they come, I know the prayers are straight from Him. If they don’t, I pray as best I know for the person in a general way.
If I had known God expected me to pray in front of everybody at the ACFW conference through hearing His words of knowledge, I’d have wanted to hide in my hotel room.
But that’s just what happened. After Kim’s incredible testimony, I stepped up to the mic, expecting to pray a general prayer—and something happened. God just took over. I can’t even tell you how long the prayers went. I can’t tell you what I prayed for. I simply don’t remember. Well, that’s not true. I remember one comical thing. Just the night before I’d prayed with someone about her hand. Then on Sunday morning, God gave me a word about someone’s hand being healed. I have this vague memory of saying, “It’s not so-and-so’s hand, it’s someone else’s.” Later, I thought, how funny. It must have sounded to people like I was telling that person her hand would not be healed, but someone else’s would. But no—God was simply saying, “This is a second person, someone you don’t know about.”
God is so merciful. He absolutely took control of my mind and helped me just listen to Him. There was no room for Satan to get in there with the thought—Hey, girl, what are you doing? Don’t you know you sound like an idiot? Or even worse, a charlatan? One little thought like that coming through, and I’d have clammed up. I’m too weak, too frail as God’s servant. But He had plans for that service. And by gum, He was gonna carry them out.
Two days after the conference, I heard about the person (someone I didn’t know) whose hand was healed. As the days went by, I heard of other answers to prayer. Some immediate, some the beginning of a journey toward healing.
Fast forward to these e-mails I recently received after I’d prayed Psalm 90:17–-Confirm for me the work of my hands. God, again in His mercy, prompted some dear folks to write me. Not because He had to. Just to give me a gift—a special answer to that Psalm prayer.
Even as I write this post, I’ve been tempted numerous times to nix it and write another topic. I’m still shy and wary of talking about this kind of thing in public. But God really spoke to me through these people’s letters. I’m thinking perhaps some of you will benefit from what He impressed upon me.
1. When we take the time to write someone and tell that person what he/she has done to help us, we are giving a tremendous gift. If someone has helped you—take the time to tell that person so. God can use you to encourage this person, who may be in special need of it that very day.
2. I urge you to pray Psalm 90:17 for yourselves. Pray it often, and see what God does to encourage you in your walk. He may answer in ways you’d never have guessed.
God, confirm for us the work of our hands. Yes, confirm the work of our hands.