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Monday, September 18, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Anger's Aftermath)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Anger may be a natural reaction to an injustice or injury, but when we hold on to it, it becomes our poison.  Think of what happens in a relationship, such as marriage, when one or both spouses hold on to anger.  While the angry one hopes to wield it as a sword of defense or even retaliation against the other, instead when clung to, it becomes their anchor to an internal dark abyss. 

Refrain from anger; abandon wrath; do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
Psalms 37:8 

Held anger has a paradoxical effect.  We hope that it will send a message to the intended, however instead it serves to deflect the love we desire, imprison us with raging thoughts, and immobilize us from reconciliation.

All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.  Ephesians 4:31-32

Lord, we tend to fail whenever we think, “we’ve got this”. Come to our assistance. Help us to forgive those who trespass against us as we meditate on the love you showed your detractors, persecutors, and even those closest to you whose betrayal caused the deepest hurt.  Infuse us with the grace we need each day. Come Lord and remake our hearts!

Be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15

Pray for all marriages. Believe in His promises. For when one witnesses or receives forgiveness, they are forever changed.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Change the world one person at a time. Forgive someone who has hurt you, then pass it on!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pray for Families (The Pain of our Crosses)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Come, all who pass by the way, pay attention and see: Is there any pain like my pain? Lamentations 1:12

Who hasn’t at some time felt that they are enduring a pain like no other?  Its source can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Fear and anxiety can result, leaving one feeling alone.  Yet, if we just close our eyes, we can visualize Jesus on the cross and know he understands pain.  Jesus endured humiliation torture, and abandonment.  He suffered out of love for us, redeeming our fallen nature.  If we unite our pain with His, our pain will have a renewed purpose.  If we offer our suffering to the Lord for a family member or friend, it becomes a thing of beauty.  Pain and suffering in our lives is inevitable, but it need not be without positive effect.

Next time you are experiencing pain, be it heartache, a physical ailment, or an emotional wound, unite that suffering with the Lord on behalf of a family member.  Such an act will be a most powerful prayer.

Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Christ’s suffering led to our salvation.  Who could have guessed the horror of the cross would result in the saving of all mankind?  Rejoice in the crosses you are gifted, for they unite you to Christ! Pass it on! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pray for Marriages (The Miracle of Conformity)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

Decades ago, when my marriage was less than ideal, I remember believing I knew what the best course of action was, for my will was telling me to leave. I was in a lot of misery, but blind to the fact that my misery was compounded by not following the will of God. As much as I thought I was seeking the Lord’s will in prayer, I think I spent most of my time trying to convince Him that my will was right.  Lucky for me, we have a very patient God who loves us beyond measure, and when we least expect it, He commands our attention. I hadn’t anticipated that the Lord was going to ask me whether I would follow Him or not, but He did. I wrestled with the fact that His question was too black and white, there was no room for a “let me think about it”, as there were only two possible answers. Although I was prideful, I wasn’t proud enough to say no to the Lord, thus it was yes. But then something unexpected happened. My misery lifted and a sense of peace enveloped me. I was able to re-enter my relationship with a new perspective… 

I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I had to focus one day at a time. 

If they listen and serve him, they spend their days in prosperity, their years in happiness. Job 36:11

With a stronger reliance on God, everything became easier. “My will, my way” apparently wasn’t the best road.  Imagine that! ;) Marriage will always have its crosses to bear, but through them the Lord seeks to perfect us. With time, I have found joy in each cross, because Jesus is right there holding it with me.

We even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Lord, when a marriage finds itself off course, meet each person where they are at. They may be fearful, angry, confused, lonely, frustrated, or despairing. When their fight or flight instinct kicks in, may they sense you before them with open arms ready to comfort and redirect them. Only you Lord know what we need before we need it. You are always standing in the gap, no matter how estranged one feels in their marriage or even from You. Infuse each marriage with the supernatural grace it needs to thrive. Then mold our wills to conform with your perfect plan for our marriages.  Jesus we trust in You!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Witness everyday miracles.  Conform your will to His.  Pass it on!  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pray for Families (Docility and Humility)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

We fret about many things, but why?

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 
 Romans 8:28-31

Since God “foreknew” all of us, it appears as if God will do the heavy lifting for us, bringing us to glory with Him, if only we will love Him, a.k.a. are docile to His will.  That sounds so easy in theory, no?  Just follow His commands.  For most of us though, our pride melts here, as we come to grips with how headstrong we are and how we often lack docility and humility.

Lord, you made each of us for a special purpose, and you formed us as your children, loving us with the tender heart of a Father. Help us to show our love and gratitude in return.  Loosen our grip on pride and help us to see your will for us, rather than our own bucket list of earthly desires.  Help us to say as your mother did,

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Lord, fill us with grace as you did your mother!  May we be the sparks that ignite the desire of all of our families to love you more dearly.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Practice humility.  It will put your pride to shame! Pass it on!  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Finding True Riches)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When I was first married, I thought once we got a house, life would be great. Once we both had better jobs, life would be great. Once we could afford a new car, life would be great. Once we could afford season tickets to see our favorite sports team, life would be great. And the list went on. It took years of marital ups and downs to realize that “things” don’t make your life great; they only make it more comfortable. True riches are not found in the material.

He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  Mark 6:8

Like the disciples, those preparing for marriage and those already married are called to a great level of trust in the Lord, who will provide for their every need. How little we trust in Him when we think we have to have every need met before we can be truly happy or sometimes even before we allow ourselves to get married!

A marriage becomes great when its foundation is firmly anchored in our Lord, the Rock. He who even the wind and sea obey can certainly calm any storm in our lives and navigate us back to tranquil waters.  Protected and guided by such unwavering Love, we are richly blessed.

Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19

Lord, bless everyone who reads this with the joy of knowing how much you love them. If they are married, may your grace give them renewed confidence in your fidelity to them in their journey. If they are not married, bless them for their faithful prayers for marriage and family. May our ongoing prayers be our gift of gratitude.  

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Lead someone to true riches.  Help them cast their anchor on the Rock.  Pass it on!  

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pray for Families (Houston, We Have a Problem)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Save me, God, for the waters have reached my neck. I have sunk into the mire of the deep, where there is no foothold. I have gone down to the watery depths; the flood overwhelms me. I am weary with crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, from looking for my God. Psalm 69:2-4

My heart goes out to all those who were displaced in both large and small ways in Houston and the Gulf Coast this week.  The flooding and loss of people’s homes, possessions, and livelihood is tragic. Some may ask, “Where was God in all this?”  He was right there with each person. Regardless of one’s relationship with Him or lack thereof, He still in His unfailing love dwells among us, His beloved children.  We are never alone.

“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]”. Revelation 21:3

As neighbors, first responders, and complete strangers rushed in to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, seeing Christ’s light shining forth from them was absolutely awe-inspiring. And while the waters may have been raging, it didn’t stop volunteers from flooding in to help. Humanitarian love was clearly present, for the God in us instinctively wants to protect life.

 In our own love for humanity, let us assure those affected by this hurricane of our prayers.

Lord, so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are reeling from the effects of the hurricane.  We pray that no one loses hope.  May each one be loved and renewed in the way that they uniquely need.  May they feel your love through the kindness of others and see your face in every reassuring smile. Take our prayers as a sacrifice of love and comfort those who’ve lost loved ones.   Then, touch the hearts and purse strings of this nation, so that all may respond generously with prayer, time, and/or donations.  Jesus, we trust in your merciful love!

More powerful than the roar of many waters, more powerful than the breakers of the sea, powerful in the heavens is the LORD. Psalm 93:4

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Take the time to pray and pay (donate!)  Pass it on!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Fruitful Prayer)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

Every day we work and hope we accomplish something.   Sometimes the fruits of our labors aren’t very apparent; lots of activity but what to show for it?  Prayer is the one activity that always bears fruit.  We may not know how or what, but we can be assured that the Lord honors every prayer. 

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  John 15:16

Honor a couple you love and pray for their marriage.  If it is a good marriage, ask the Lord to make it even better.  If it is a weak marriage ask the Lord to stand in the gap.  Prayer is always time well spent.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Help someone feel a sense of accomplishment.  Ask them to pray for a marriage and pass it on!