Living A Life Of Thanksgiving, Prayer & Worship
Living A Life Of Thanksgiving, Prayer & Worship
Most of our friends and family members are aware of the incredible journey travelled by Velveta and I, along with our daughters and son-in-law. This was a very unusual journey where we had no time to ‘pack, prepare and get ready’ for a journey and route along the darkest lanes, lonely roads and what at times presented itself as cul-de-sacs.
From feeling sick after attending a birthday celebration (ministering in song by request), within 24 hours Velveta’s body was attacked with what eventually became meningitis, pneumonia on both lungs and micro haemorrhages on the brain. We would not have believed it if a prophetic word had alerted us to the fight of our lives we were about to face. Within a few days of being admitted to the hospital, Velveta was in a coma. (Very specific details leading up to the coma will be available in book form – more details to follow).
As Vel laid motionless on the hospital bed, like with many others in this situation, the enemy threw everything at us, mainly attacking our
inner thoughts and faith. For me, the worst moments were the first few nights when I would come home from the hospital. However, within a few days, after sending out a few more prayer request to friends all over the world, I along with the family moved into ‘Intercessory praise, prayer and worship’. In particular, we are thankful to a prayer group based in our local church, ‘The Watchtower‘. They swiftly organised a ’round the clock’ prayer vigil for Velveta. To be honest, I thought I understood the principles of ‘Intercessory worship’ having ministered on many occasions at meetings facilitated by powerful intercessors. But, there is something different about ‘fighting a personal fight‘ on behalf of your wife or someone close. It’s interesting how during these moments and seasons, the Holy Spirit reminds you of particular scriptures that are poignant for the time.
At the risk of looking foolish and strange, I requested if I could bring my guitar into the Critical Care Unit (CCU) where I could play, sing, worship and pray over Velveta. To our surprise, the medical staff agreed we could do this, so along with my girls, we worshipped and worshipped, at times with great passion and zeal. As I tell friends now, ‘We did what we do’ 🙂 I am reminded of a saying, ‘He who loves the life of thanksgiving is a noble person, he acknowledges and does not forget and good offered to him and expresses his thanks’ ~ H.H. Pope Shenounda III.
Even whilst the medical team gave us their daily report and prognosis, we continued praying and worshipping over Velveta. On the second day in the CCU, I already started planning a Thanksgiving Service believing that God would wake Vel out of the coma.
There is so much more I would like to say, but will save this for another time (or even a book :), but as we began to speak prophetically over the situation and remember the prophetic words spoken over our lives,
I remembered once hearing that your life does not reach its end until the prophecies spoken over you have been realised. So, in faith we planned towards what we could ‘see’ with our spiritual eyes. A Thanksgiving service. Praise God!
There in the hospital, I was also reminded of the very familiar story of Jesus blessing the Samaritan. Along came ten lepers. As Jesus healed the ten lepers who were indeed cleansed, only one returned to Jesus falling down on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks.
Thank God for His words which not only trains and prepares us for battle but coaches us how to respond instead of reacting negatively in really difficult and challenging times. This was our challenging time! BUT, as we worshipped and gave God thanks, I still remember one of the darkest night (or should I say, really early morning) when I received particular words to pray over Velveta, ‘Velveta, daughter of Zion wake up‘. This moment will be forever, etched in my memory. A prophetic moment translated by a good friend of ours, Helen Yousaf who portrayed this moment through a beautiful painting. (Painting on left)
This Christmas celebration of 2017, as you can imagine, has been a really special festive season as we celebrate life with my dear wife, Velveta. I love this woman so much and know that God has plans for our lives as he does yours. But, we simply must wake each morning with Thanksgiving in our hearts. Each day, we enter His courts with praise. We declare this is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice for He has made us glad. My heart is filled with much gratitude, praise, love and thankfulness.
Whatever you may be facing today, remember the encouragement from the Apostle Paul, ‘Giving thanks always for all things – Ephesians 5:20′ All Glory to God! At the end of the trial, the long night, perseverance, Jesus will be glorified.
May God help us to go beyond the formal rituals of thanksgiving. Every waking hour, I find myself pausing simply to pray and say to Abba Father ‘Thank you for Velveta, thank you for my family, thank you for LIFE‘.
So, this is how we intend to move into 2018 and throughout – giving God praise, worship and thanks for ALL things, even those arduous journeys of life we may not understand, for He truly does turn all things around for His glory. Would I want to go down those dark lanes again, no, who would chose that aspect of life, but should we have to face those lanes again, we will be reminded by the Holy Spirit, we will never be forsaken, as he walks with us along every dark road, circumstances or life-threatening situation as the one we had to face.
Velveta, you are my priceless jewel and I honour you as the Father honours us and our prayers. Forever grateful. Here we go!