Matt here. Erika is blogged out and wanted me to take the wheel on the blog tonight. Besides, she is sleeping and needs the rest and I'm all awake so here I am!!! I wanted to update you all on Asher's progress as well as some teaching on intercession that has been cooking in me for some time now. I feel peace to release it here as I know those that pray will be reading this and they are the very people that will be interested in this teaching material.
Asher is recovering well so far but is not out of the woods yet. He still needs to recover from the surgery and it's in the recovery phase that they expect the most amount of complications. His edema/swelling has come back (this is expected after major surgery) and his urine output has slowed down a bit. His blood pressure has been running a bit high. He is doing pretty good but still is in need of your prayers for him to fully recover. His calcium levels are low and they say that this is not only expected during this type of surgery but could also be attributed to the possible Chromosome Syndrome he has. We need to continue to pray that no infection would take place. They are talking about closing his chest tomorrow as long as he looses a bit more edema and everything is functioning right with his heart. The incision has been open since yesterday and looks really intense. It makes Erika and I woozy after a few minutes being around him. It's covered by a semi-see through material and you can see his little heart beating if you get close. If swelling goes down and his blood pressure stays normal he should be fine and continue on the road to recovery and hopefully be home in a few weeks ... or earlier. Please Jesus!!! So here are some prayer points for you all:
Pray that his blood pressure would normalize
Pray he pees A LOT!
Pray Edema/swelling would go down
Pray that his calcium absorption would be normal
Pray for quick recovery, that he would come off the ventilator soon and have no problems feeding.
Pray for total healing of the chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome ...that he be restored to normal.
Pray that his chest is successfully closed up without any incident or infection.
This is a heavy burden that has been easy for us to bear
(A teaching/encouragement on intercession)
Erika and I want to thank you all for the work in the area of prayer that you all have been doing. The Lord gave me language for what we have been experiencing in these last weeks with our son going through what he has been going through. This is a very heavy burden for us to bear but it has seemed so light due to the massive amounts of prayer that have been offered up on our behalf. It has been heavy to bear but you all have made it easy to carry by your prayers and intercessions. Your gifts and kindness have made this a much lighter burden than it would have been and though the battle is not yet over and has really just begun with Asher, we can feel the grace upon this. We thank you and encourage you to continue to go forth in prayer and intercession. Thank you to all of you that have helped us to shoulder this. I am confidant that it is unto the Glory of God. Your prayers are effective and powerful. Keep them coming!
Thank you all again,
And now for the teaching.
Intercession: Holistic Christianity
Prayer and intercession are not the same thing ...though related
To Intercede is to stand in the gap between God and man. It requires both prayer and action. There are two parts or legs of intercession. One is what we know as prayer - stand before God on behalf of man either as individuals or for whole nations and everything in between. The other is what we know as outreach or action - standing before man on behalf of God. This is seen when we show mercy to our brothers and sisters in Christ, minister to the poor or preach the gospel. Basically, all outward expressions of our walk with Christ. Either one on it's own is not intercession necessarily. Prayer is awesome and a necessity for the walk with Christ, but, on it's own is incomplete without then becoming the answer to the prayer.
Prayer is the place where we become like Christ, the place where we see what The Father is doing and hear what He is saying. Christ lived and breathed from hearing and seeing His Father in the place of prayer. The result is the other side of intercession which is us living on the earth as a representation of Christ. Action/outreach by itself is absolutely necessary to the holistic christian life. So is Prayer. Both are integral to the Christian walk just like both legs are necessary to walk properly.
The unbalanced life is what is on display in Matthew 7:21-23 when Jesus told men who had done great things in His name and called him Lord to depart from Him. Calling them workers of iniquity. They did the outward work without having the inward reality. Jesus calls this being a worker of iniquity. I believe that the pharisees and lawyers in Jesus' day were in this group. I for one do not want to hear those words when I stand before the judgment seat of Christ. What brings me encouragement from this text is that the opposite must be true of the one who goes forth doing the work of God from the place of prayer and relationship with God. Imagine the intense pleasure it would bring the father to see a generation that is living from the place of relationship with Him instead of dead religious rituals.
We see this displayed in the life of Christ before He preached the sermon on the mount in Luke 6:12-18. He prayed through the night, chose his disciples, worked some miracles, healed some people, drew a crowd and preached the most well known sermon in history. We see that a lifestyle of intercession is the source from which Christ drew from to accomplish what He did while on the earth. The gospels are full of times when Jesus would be found in some solitary place praying and having communion with His Father.
We know that Jesus' life was the most pleasing to His Father and that as those who call ourselves by His name we should seek to attain to the same type of lifestyle as Jesus lived (1st John 2:6). This is of course what the word "christian" means.