Tag Archives: Prayer

A Conversation With My God



On a Friday we learned that Howard had multiple masses in his abdomen.   At that time the doctors in Denver, where we were visiting, thought he had a primary kidney cancer that had spread throughout his abdomen and pelvis.  We flew home on Saturday.   I worked on being brave for my beloved.  On Sunday I sat by the lake alone and cried.  With tears and words I cried out to my God.  “If I could have been the one to write this story, Father,  I certainly wouldn’t have saved him from a massive heart attack 6 years ago to let him suffer now.  Nevertheless, I know your thoughts are higher than mine and your ways higher than mine.  I know you love my husband.  I know your plans are for good and not for evil.  I know you numbered Howard’s days before he was born.  I know good comes out of suffering for your children, but this is so hard.  Please help.”

When I told our son Jim about my conversation with the Lord, he replied, “Oh, Mom, if Dad had died 6 years ago, we wouldn’t have had the last 6 years of memories!”   Jim’s daughter Miah, who is nine, had just been baptized and in her testimony shared that the person who had most helped her believe in Jesus was her Papa Stone.   The last 6 years were about leaving a godly heritage.

Yesterday, a friend at church gently reminded me that the way Howard and I walk this journey will be the blazing of a trail  for others who might also have to follow after us – for others who are watching how we cope with this.  I am reminded that whatever time is left on planet earth for my husband and for me, we have a responsibility to set the bar, to leave an example of what faith looks like in the valley of the shadow of death.   I know and believe the God we love with give us grace and strength.

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One Christmas I bought a set of classy looking, heavy weight ceramic bookends that were shaped like a couple of volumes of books and painted beautifully.  I wrapped them carefully and put them under the tree.  It was a joy to watch my husband, who has always loved to read, open his gift.   These bookends, chipped after multiple moves, have been used for more than 40 years.

I recently learned that Johann Sebastian Bach used two phrases as bookends.   In a devotion from the Prayer Devotional Bible, Ben Patterson wrote,” In a very real way Bach’s works were bathed in prayer.  He often penned the letters JJ near the beginning of a score and SDG at the end.  JJ stands for Jesu Juva, Latin for “Help me, O Jesus”; SDG stands for another Latin phrase, Soli Deo Gloria,  “To God Alone Be the Glory.”

Bookends for life.  JJ at the beginning of every endeavor and SDG at each completion.  JJ for each morning and SDG for each evening.   SDG at the end of each year, and JJ at the beginning of each new one.  “Help me, O Jesus” was at the beginning of my life of faith, and “to God alone be the Glory” will be my final breath.

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Spiritual Conflict

In chapter 13 of Beginning Again*,  I wrote about the spiritual conflict that existed in the heavenly realm over my marriage.  I shared how an intercessor battled in prayer for the preservation and restoration of the relationship between me and my husband.  Yahweh Nissi, The Lord My Banner, answered that prayer and saved my marriage.

In Praying the Names of God,  Ann Spangler said.  “When you pray to Yahweh Nissi you are praying to the God who is powerful enough to overcome any foe.”  She included this prayer: “Lord, I thank you for raising your standard over me.  Today, as I face spiritual battles of many kinds, help me to be confident of your protection, to fight with your power, to prevail in your strength.  Yahweh Nissi, may your victory be total and complete, destroying whatever stands in the way of your plans and purposes. Amen”

If you are praying for your own marriage or the marriage of someone else, be encouraged and keep praying the name of Yahweh Nissi.

*See the book page of this website

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