I was in Psalm 111. Look at verses 3 – 4. God’s works are described a splendid and majestic. There are times, and the last week has been one of them, that I find it difficult to agree. But that is what the text says. Psalm 139:3 tells us that the Lord scrutinizes our path and our lying down (click on this sentence in this post: He analyzes our path as closely as a civil engineer would use a nested sieve to analyze aggregate in a concrete mix.). So when someone we love is struggling with a disease or another situation, it is not something that took God by surprise. He knows and knows in detail, further, He has a reason, a splendid and majestic reason. We may not see it. I certainly do not in the things that are facing my family.
Praying through that this morning I was taken to Philippians 4:6 – 7. You probably have that passage memorized. There are two instrumental statements in the passage:
- by prayer and supplication
- with thanksgiving
The two phrases are structurally connected. The implications seem to be that our prayer and supplication needs to be supported by our thanksgiving for God’s involvement in all of the things that we are facing in our lives. Including cancer.
That led me to ask – and I am struggling with the answer – do I have to get to the place where I am thankful for what I am praying for God to remove for my prayer to be effective.