Prayers In Every State

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my lifetime, it’s that just when things seem to be going your way, they go a different way.  I was reminded of that for the umpteenth time just a couple of weeks ago when I found my dad was diagnosed with cancer (multiple myeloma).  I’m pretty sure no one saw this coming, and of course it’s not good news to receive.  But somehow, in some way, I feel confident that this new path we’re being taken down is what’s right for us in this moment.  Don’t get me wrong…it makes no sense to me at all, and it’s an understatement to say that I’m both sad and angry.  But if ever I hoped there was a God…a wisdom and strength much greater than our own… it would be now.

When I received the news, I packed my bags and headed home.  Dad underwent two 6-hour spinal surgeries and spent 10 days in the hospital before being released home.  My sister flew out a few days after me, and my brother joined us a few days later.  After receiving dozens of cards, meals being delivered to our home, and phonecall after phonecall of support, we told Dad that he must be getting prayers from so many states!  So, to take our minds off of things, we made a list of the states that are praying for Dad.  I think we’re up to about 25 or more!  My sister and I started joking about calling up random churches in the other states and asking for Paul Weber to be added to their prayer list.  And once we accomplish that…we’re going international!!  As with most “jokes” between my siblings and me, we laughed for a minute…and then dutifully began calling/Facebooking friends in the missing states to request prayers!  And so I pass this on to you!  I believe we are still missing Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and probably more.  Oh yeah, and if praying isn’t your style, we’ll take good thoughts… we don’t discriminate.  But only good thoughts will do.

People keep asking how my dad is, or how the family is doing.  I’m never quite sure how to answer that!  As my sister kindly put it, perhaps people didn’t get the memo that we’re dealing with cancer?!  This is not an easy road.  The good news is, dad is equipped with the Armor of God.  I’m not even kidding.  After his spinal surgeries, my dad was given a back brace to wear for the next 3 months.  The nurses call it a turtle shell.  Dad calls it the “breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6).  As if that weren’t enough, the physical therapists strapped a belt around him (the “belt of truth”) to help hold him up as he walks.  Now, cancer may damage a person in a lot of ways, but it certainly did not lessen the Rev. Dr.’s knowledge of scripture.  Dad said, lightheartedly: “Well, the scripture said this would happen:

‘Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”  After this [Jesus] said to him, “Follow me.”‘ (John 21:18-19)

Jesus was right (surprise!).  This is certainly not where we wished to go.  But dressed in the Armor of God, and with the direction to “Follow me,” as Jesus says, I think we’re set.  Now if only we could see where we’re following Jesus to!  I must say, it’s interesting timing to discuss Dad’s “breastplate” today.  One of my favorite prayers is the Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick.  Though not much is known about St. Patrick, he was a controversial spiritual leader in Ireland who taught people about the concept of the Trinity using 3-leaf clovers…so…it’s obvious he was cool.  Apparently, he wrote this prayer to strengthen himself with God’s protection.  I’d say we could all use a breastplate of righteousness, so let’s learn from the best (Dr. Paul Weber – aka – my daddy!), put on our armor, and follow… wherever it is that we are led.

I arise today through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength
of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength
of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength
of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength
of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun, Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

I summon today all these powers
between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power
that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells
of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge
that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me,
Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

(St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer)


16 thoughts on “Prayers In Every State

  1. My best friend lives in Texas.. I’ll have her praying in no time! And of course I am praying over here in California 🙂 God Bless!

  2. We’re living in Texas now. Prayers being sent from the Longhorn state!!! What can I possbily send your family? I don’t want to send the normal flowers, cards, etc., etc., etc. Would you guys like a fruit basket? Laugh if you like, but seriously. What would you guys use and enjoy? I lost my mother in a car accident and both my husband’s parents from cancer and a sudden heart attack within a 2-week period not too long ago. Seriously, call me or write me with any prayer requests. I love you all and send my best wishes. You WILL all get through this with the strength of God. Peace be with you, and God bless always.

    Anna Lehmans Waller

  3. Hi Amanda- thank you for the update on your dad. I have had him and all of you in my thoughts and prayers lately.

    We have a lake house in Alabama and so we can be your “Alabama pray-ers” 🙂

    Glenda and Dave

  4. Pastor Paul,

    We are all praying for you at Holy Trinity. Please let me know if I can do anything for you. May God’s healing power continue to bless you and your family!

  5. Manda,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your Dad, but I am sure God has a plan. I am of course praying for you, and guess what, I live in West Virginia (unfortunate for me, fortunate for your every state quest)… so that one is covered. One of my best friends lives in Rhode Island and she is praying for your family, so mark that one off. One of my other best friends lives in Colorado, so check that one off… I have friends in Nevada and Tennessee, so check those off as well!! Please let me know if I can do anything to help. I will certainly be praying for a speedy recovery!
    God bless.

  6. Hey, MANDER, have you thought about COUNTRIES? I mean, won’t you have Germany, Austria, France, and the US covered? Just a thought. Prayers from all over the world!!! God bless!!!

  7. Amanda:

    What a powerful piece about your Dad’s battle with cancer.
    Just want you to know that we are praying for him and for all of you in this unexpected journey.
    Love, Nancy Sheehan

  8. Thank you so much for your post Amanda. I was feeling a little down about receiving news that my life would not be taking quite the path I thought it would. Your post was quite helpful in reminding me that the Lord always has a plan even if it is hard to see or understand. Thank you and your dad for the encouragement. I am praying for you and your family from Florida 😉 May the Lord grant you and your family strength, courage, healing, and peace during this difficult time.
    ~Becky Mickelson

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  10. Hey Amanda,

    We’ve got Montana covered, beginning with the prayer list last week for Atonement Lutheran Church in Missoula.
    Tod Trimble (Grace’s dad and your parents’ friend)

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