Last night my husband Dan and I had attended a prayer meeting at our church. At the end of the prayer time when we were asked if we had anything we wanted prayer for, I said that I did. I shared with my group how it felt like I had something on me that I could not break free from as a result of having had cancer and surviving it. I was directed to a scripture that spoke of putting off the old and putting on the new. I personalized that passage and expressed my desires for freedom in a prayer. Then my husband Dan, as my spiritual authority, prayed for me.
Later that night I could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned; and thought and prayed. Finally at 1:00 am, I decided to get up and write down the thought that had come to mind: "I have taken off the grave clothes". I wanted to search the scriptures to see where there was any reference to grave clothes in the Bible.
The incident of Lazarus being raised from the dead and needing his grave clothes removed is recorded in John 11:44: "The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go'". (NIV)
I then searched the word 'grave' to see if there was a scripture that I could apply to my life regarding this word. In Psalm 49:15, the psalmist writes: "But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself". (NIV)
There was a cross reference to Psalm 56:13 which states: "For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before God in the light of life." (NIV)
I decided to look up the scripture references to the phrase "the light of life" which is translated "the land of the living" in the following two references.
"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 116:7-9 (NIV)
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord". Psalm 27:13, 14 (NIV)
I believe that the thought that came to mind in the middle of the night, "I have taken off the grave clothes" was a direct answer to those prayers for me.