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Monday, November 12, 2018

Pray for Marriages (Honoring Those Who Have Served)

Veterans Day

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

On this Veterans Day, I began reflecting on the service of our veterans and active duty military from all branches of the Armed Forces.  Like a fog clearing, I see how “Christ-like” their sacrifice is.  For the good of others, they commit to leaving their families for long periods, and unfortunately, sometimes forever. They endure hardship, pain, praise, and sometimes even ridicule, as well as emotional, physical, and mental stress. Whether on the front lines or in the supply chain, they work for the good of our nation and other nations.

For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand.  2 Timothy 4:6

Often forgotten are the spouses of these active duty soldiers and veterans. Their sacrifice is one that mirrors our Blessed Mother’s. They sacrifice their own comfort and security by “holding down the fort” while their loved one is absent. The spend time worrying and offering their sacrifice of prayer, loneliness, weariness, and emotional stress as they live through their own tour of duty at home.

Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Then there are the spouses that accompany a veteran post war/tour of duty. Often they too experience the after-effects of their spouse’s tour of duty. The more horrific the soldier’s experience, the more silent the veteran is about their tour. Often the spouse walks in tandem with their veteran, traveling the rocky path of PTSD, an alternate “via dolorosa”.

When in your own land you go to war against an enemy that is attacking you, you shall sound the alarm on the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before the LORD, your God, and be saved from your foes. Numbers 10:9

My gratitude is immense for our veterans, but our prayers need to reach even higher heights.  Spend some time this week in prayer for the marriages of our active duty military as well as all veterans. 

Lord, bless our active and retired military personnel, and as our Divine Physician, heal the festering wounds that seek to cripple their marriages.  Look with compassion on all they have sacrificed, and grant them extraordinary graces.  Protect their children, and sooth their souls.  In your great love, hear our prayers. Amen.

Peace, Joy and Love,

Pray for a veteran! Pass it on! 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Prayer for Families (Gift of Self)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Floods, tornados, fires, earthquakes, and mud slides are just a few signs that Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate by wealth, nationality, race, political party, gender, or religion.  Yet somehow, disasters bring out our humanity seem to unite us. 

If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. 1John 3:17-18

If you know of someone suffering the effects of a disaster or loss, offer them assistance of help, comfort, love, and prayer. We are all one family in Christ.  Act from a sincere heart, give what you can, and continue to pray without ceasing.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

You never walk alone. The Lord is with you and sends his advocates to help! Let us praise Him! Pass it on! 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Pray for Marriages. (Free Choice)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

God in the beginning created human beings and made them subject to their own free choice. If you choose, you can keep the commandments; loyalty is doing the will of God. Sirach 15:14-15

From the beginning the Lord gave each one of us the right to choose and make the choices we see fit. “Free choice” is a God-given right. However, in choosing we are also making a statement to the Lord; will we follow Him, or go our own way?

Consider the phrase, “subject to their own free choice.” For WE are the object of our choices! We are choosing life or death!

I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life! Deuteronomy 30:19

In marriage, when we say, “I do”, we are committing to letting go of “I” and becoming “we”. This new oneness should continue to inform our choice, for we are choosing for the whole, “us”.

One may think that true freedom is doing whatever they want whenever they want. This is a delusion, because true freedom is paradoxical. It involves dying to oneself, putting the other first, following the Lord’s will, and letting Jesus do the heaving lifting.

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Philippians 2:1-2

Prayer clears away what clouds the heart. Pray for the wisdom to make good choices for your marriage, or pray for a family member’s marriage that may benefit from the clarity that only results from sincere prayer.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Choose life! Pass it on! 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Pray for Families (Beloved Souls)

All Souls Day

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Years ago I heard someone retell the story of his near-death experience.  They met the Lord and saw some relatives awaiting them.  As his story continued, he said “I saw my aunt there and was so surprised, because she was mean!!” I chuckle at this memory.

When reflecting on deceased relatives there will be those you loved, those you liked, or those you may have loathed.  Regardless of your feelings, all are beloved children of God.

And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. John 6:39

Only the Lord knows the heart, thus he is the ultimate judge. For we do not know who needs our prayers and who doesn’t so we should pray for ALL souls.

If he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin. 2 Maccabees 12:44-46

Lord, hear our prayers for those who have gone before us. Help us not to judge the dead, for perhaps those we deemed most unlovable actually were the ones who suffered most out of love of You. We trust in your mercy.  Hear our prayers for souls, that all may one day be united with you.

Waste not a minute!

Pray with out ceasing!  1 Thessalonians 5:17

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Increase the decibel of prayer so that it rivals the prayers of the saints! Pass it on! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pray for Marriages (Hypocrites?)

 Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Reading today’s gospel, this word  jumps off of the page at me:

“Hypocrites!”  Luke 13:15

This was a reprimand from Jesus. Wow, that is a prickly word to digest!  It forces one to self-reflect (especially after immediate self-denial! While we intend to do right and lead a Christ-centered life, if we don’t execute on it, where does that leave us?

For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.  Romans 7:19

Consider this in the context of marriage.Are you hypocritical when it comes to your actions and words in your marital relationship?  Other than good intent, ask yourself how you are doing?  What can you do better? Are you praying to be a better spouse, to be reunited with your spouse, or to be able to forgive your spouse? Are you praying for the strength to do so?

Our prayers are united for one another, and for all of those for whom you pray, for perhaps it is not your own marriage you are concerned about.

Lord, bless this group of warriors and all those they hold in their hearts.  Give them the wisdom and fortitude to persevere in prayer and find peace in hope, for hope does not disappoint. You are the Good Shepherd; guide us. You are the light of the world; bring us out of darkness. You are the resurrection and the life; sanctify us. You are the bread of life; strengthen us in our ability to love. You are the way, the truth and the life; guide us into perfect union with our spouse, and ultimately You! Amen.

Be strong and take heart, all who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:25

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Praying is the path to all that is good. Pass it on! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pray for Families (The Christ in you)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

You, who have been given the gift of faith, have a special calling.  Be bold in your faith and live your Christianity out loud. This does not mean “in your face” preachy Christianity, but rather exhibiting joy in your trials. It means not reacting to others, but rather listening with understanding while reproving inappropriate behavior, and then loving when it feels impossible to do so.  This can only be accomplished by letting go, and letting God.  It is He who hears and acts upon your prayers for family.

Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4: 1-3

Preserve the bond of peace. Pray for the grace you need to grow in the virtues of humility, gentleness, patience, kindness, and charity so that your family will come to know Christ in a deeper way through you.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Encourage prayer, which increases grace, which increases virtue. Pass it on! 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Pray for Marriages (Newlyweds)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

One day when I had my wedding picture on display, someone commented, “Look at the joy in your faces!”  I narrowed my glance and indeed, there was radiant joy.  Being a newlywed is a time of expectant anticipation of all that lies ahead.  There is so much potential!  It is a time to unwrap the gift God has given to you, the bride and groom. It is one of unification as two become one, with a calling to live this new vocation and all that it entails. It is a call to die-to-self and live for the whole.  But you as a couple must unwrap the gift for it to be of use!

Letting go of “me” for “we” is always an adjustment and will demand a lifetime of re-adjustments. May witnessing healthy marriages be your inspiration! Thus, let us pray for newlyweds on their journey and all “older-weds” that they may remain or become beacons of light and love for all to see. 

How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride, how much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfumes than any spice! Your lips drip honey, my bride, honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. Song of Songs 4:10-11

Lord, we pray for a tsunami of grace to be bestowed on all those who make a commitment to marriage.  Since a loving marriage is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet, help couples to nourish their love. May all bitterness be put aside, so that the sweetness of your love can bind them and strengthen their bond.  All is possible when one walks with you!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

All are invited to the banquet!  Come ready!  Pass it on!