As the pastor/shepherd of Graystone Church, I carry everyone’s burdens. I daily give them to God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Sometimes my prayer time can be a bit overwhelming, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I believe this is partly why I am so quick to shed a tear (Although, I am not a crier). The joy of getting to carry the weight of the church (the people) is seeing God move and answer prayers. One of the reasons my faith is so strong is that I’ve seen God answer hundreds of prayer and make the impossible possible.
Now, I’m not great at journaling. And over the years I’ve been sporadic. Organization and details are not my strengths. Anyway, yesterday in preparation for Sunday’s message I was having a hard time remembering some examples of God answering prayers at Graystone. So, I started thumbing through my old prayer journals, and I was blown away. If you are not in the habit of specifically writing down your prayers, let me encourage you to make an effort.
Here are just a few of the answered prayers from my prayer journal:
- Shannon Ayers- save her life (multiple answers to this one)
- Heal Julie Peterson from cancer (God has answered this one 3 times)
- Heal Maci Wilson- she was completely healed from “BPT” (benign paroxysmal torticollis) during a prayer service at Graystone that God led me to lead. And we haven’t had one since?
- Paula Conn – save her life, heal her, complete recovery
- Melinda Hollandsworth- pray for a healthy mom and baby (Will)
- Josh Clark- God, bless him with a son (Colt)
- A loan to build Graystone Church – Jimmy Gardner, private investor, loaned us $2.1 Million
- A Campus Pastor for Graystone Walton- Ken Sirmans
- A location for Graystone Walton – Loganville High School (and still praying here)
- $400,000 cash to finish the building on Ozora- Over $500,000 given in 6 months (All In campaign)
- Francis Hanley- save his life, heal him, salvation in Heaven (He was at Graystone in July to hear Mark preach.)
- Heal Jennifer Howes of Melanoma skin cancer- She is 100% cancer free.
- Purchase the 7 acres next the church property- a family at Graystone mortgaged their home to purchase/secure the house (intern house) and land. The church has since bought it from them.
- Provision for the Hope Center/Path Project- Jim is now full-time, and they have multiple staff and locations.
- $200,000 for 2012 Christmas Offering (school in Haiti, first expansion campus, bball court and new ball field)- YES!
- Ben Presten- Confirm his call to pastor and plant a church (Valley Town Church in Vermont)
- Student Pastor who is passionate about students – Alan and Allison Smith (double answer here)
- Eric and Mandy McKnight- provision and adoption of a child (Anna Faith)
- A wife for Heath Hollandsworth- Heath and Ashley just got married and are on their honeymoon. I also prayed for a husband for Ashley.
- $100,000 for Project Kids Space – cool God story here that I might tell Sunday
- Chris and Katie Landress – Bless them with a miracle child (Baby Anna is due around Jan 1)
The list could go on and on of the prayers God has answered at Graystone. I’m not even including all the home runs that my kids hit and the tennis matches that they’ve won (just kidding). God has answered some of my prayers through people who knew nothing about me even praying the prayers. I have a another cool story to tell on Sunday that happened last week.
I hope this encourages your faith and challenges you to pray. I’m going to close with posting an excerpt from my prayer journal from September 1, 2003…10 years ago. You probably cannot read my handwriting. Neither can I. At the time, we had not officially launched Graystone Church, and we had been living in Grayson for a little over 1 month. Our core group Bible Study was meeting in our living room. In the journal, I am praising God for providing Discovery Point Daycare on Rosebud Road for us to meet as a church core group on Sundays. In my journal, I wrote a prayer that “Graystone would overflow with kids.” I think God has answered this one and is continuing to answer it every day.
I can’t wait to see what God does through our 40 Days of Prayer. Thank you for stepping out in faith with me as we seek God together as a church family. The best is yet to come!