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A Night on the Battlefield

October 4th, 2018 proved to be one of the longest nights of my life.  The night was spent on the battlefield where my private war against an enemy who existed in the heavenly realm-like the one Paul warns us about in Ephesians 6:12 -- was a bloody one.  I struggled to fall asleep, and once asleep staying there was impossible.  Hourly I awoke and then I prayed.



What was this battle about?  Tomorrow, October 5th, 2018 at 8:45 a.m., my husband had an appointment with a judge in the 9th District Court in the State of Florida.  This judge was going to decide the auction date of my home of twenty (20) years and my husband’s for thirty (30).  He built our home and moved in in 1988.  We had requested the court to give us six months to move for various reasons the most important one being my elderly mother.  She had a heart stent three weeks ago and is due to have another one put in at the end of November. Still, there were no guarantees and we knew the balance of our home on this earth now rested with the judge’s decision. Would he/she allow us to stay? By law, they only had to give us 30 days.  Thirty days to leave our home.    



As the night wore on my prayers varied.  Sometimes they were the begging kind. The kind where your heart aches so much it makes you sick.  The kind where tears streamed down my cheeks as I silently begged God for His grace.  I asked for Him to give me understanding as to why He would allow this to happen.  I desperately needed know why my Heavenly Father, whom I know loves me so much, allowed my family and I to endure an eight year battle that ultimately ended in defeat. 



We had to close our business of ten years due to the housing crisis created by the banks in 2008.  After twenty two years of always paying on time, and with the bank advising us to do so, we missed our first house payment on February 2010.  This began our playing the cat and mouse game with the bank as we applied for loan modification after loan modifications.  We were constantly supplying the bank, practically every month, with yet more paperwork—which they were notorious for losing.  It was a fruitless process and we later learned those promised “loan modifications” were far and few between for Florida homeowners.  After 2 years of intense stress and struggle—and no loan modification in sight-- we depleted our savings as we continued to struggle to make payments to creditors.  Foreclosure began in 2012.



Year after year I have watched in horror as our home slowly deteriorated because there is no money to repair things as they began to break down.  The once green, lush manicured lawn now overgrown with weeds as vines crept their way up and infiltrated the planters; bushes and trees now in desperate need of trimming.  The pool, once filled with crystal blue water and the laughter of children, family and friends as they splashed about in the afternoon sun, now a holding tank of black water and rotting leaves.  Every time I look out the window I am more and more in despair. 

 

“We believed we were in your will Lord?  Why God, why have you allowed this to happen,” I was wounded to the very core of my beliefs.  

 

We could have left at the beginning of the battle.  We could have just walked away and never looked back; however my husband and I had prayed together long hours and felt strongly we needed to fight.  He had built our home with plans of selling once we reached retirement age.  We were sure God would not allow us to lose. Yet, here we are, years later, after countless court dates, delays, and appeals.  The stress of it all had not only worn down our strength and resolve but we both began to have heart-health issues from all the stress.  All the struggles, tears and countless prayers had led us to this moment.  In the blink of an eye, our home would be taken away and we were powerless.  We were so sure God would rescue us yet here we were again, going before another judge only this time it was not on the battlefield.  This time it was a sentencing of an eviction.  He would determine the auction date of our home.  We had lost.



Sometimes my prayers that night were humble and accepting.  It was so overwhelming I could not possibly cope with it on my own. There were no tears left in me and the burden was so heavy on my chest.  I felt if I surrendered it all again to God, I would feel better.   “God, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  This is where you have led us.  I don’t understand Lord, but here we are.  I pray we have done everything in honor to you.  I pray we have shown your love as we have dealt with evil people.  People who lie and deceive.  They falsify records, cheat and steal but it is not for me to judge, Lord.  You are the ultimate true and just judge.  Help me to have forgiveness in my heart and mind for those who have sinned against me, oh Lord.  I pray they would come to know salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ.  I ask Your Holy Spirit to draw them to you so they too may experience the salvation you have given to me and my family.  Let us be a testimony to your Word which says, ‘“you work all things for good to those who love the Lord…”’.  My trust is in you Lord. I trust you.”  And I did.

Other times, I asked God to give my husband favor as he appeared before the judge just like He did for Nehemiah and Esther when appearing before the kings.  I asked God for a judge who was a believer.  A person who could see the unfairness of the broken down judicial system which now allows robo-signed documents and falsely notarized signatures as evidence.  I asked if God would give us the allotted time we asked for.  I asked for the judge to be merciful and compassionate. “The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.”   “Direct this judge’s heart in our favor oh Lord,” I prayed.

The hardest prayers this night were the ones I prayed against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

This battle ground was brutal.  It was bloody.  It was one I knew I could not defeat without help. How do we pray against the spiritual forces of evil?  We use what Jesus used; God’s Holy Word.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword,…” 

 

We bring our thoughts into captivity.  When the enemy says, “God does not care about this” we respond with:

The Word of God says, “casting all your cares on him, for He cares for you.” 

 

When the enemy asks, “Where is your God now?  Has He forsaken you?” we respond,

 “be strong and courageous…He (God) will never leave nor forsake you”. 

 

And when the enemy says, “Why are you wasting your time praying? He won’t answer you. He doesn’t hear you.” we respond,

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” 

 

It was one of the longest nights of my life but then I remembered God says,

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

 

The night, October 4th, 2018 was a night of weeping but on the morning of October 5th, 2018 God did bring joy.  He moved on the heart of the judge who ruled in our favor and gave us the maximum allotted time by law—4 months.  The judge then gave my husband a helpful hint after the short hearing adjourned and said we can always ask for another extension for time.  The judge was the most compassionate judge my husband said he had dealt with since this fiasco began. 

So here is the twist which is proof positive to me God hears our prayers and moves on behalf of His children. The original judge, the one who was supposed to reside over our case, was unexpectedly not there on October 5th.   The judge we got was one who was taking the case load of our judge.  Just think on that for a few moments….

 

Always loving our Lord,

L. H. Robbins  

 

 

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