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Friday, October 29, 2010

Pray for Families (Power of One)

Good Morning Prayer Warriors,

As I greet another Friday morning readying myself for prayer, I was ruminating on why families are struggling so much these days. It seems that the change in our culture has been so insidious. What stands out front, but is still hard to see, is how we don’t value children any more. I know the knee-jerk response is to say, “Yes we do!”, but let’s stop and reflect on the culture as a whole.

Children Then and Now
Then: treasures, blessings, gifts from God, investment in the future
Now: inconveniences, financial burdens, possessions (gotta have one!)

Then: Children died because medical technology and resources were limited. Parents did whatever they could to protect their children’s health.
Now: We have advanced medical technology and more resources. We pay to have children aborted or prevented, because we have busy full lives and need to protect our financial resources. When we do have children, we are often not around, but rather building our wealth and enjoying our material possessions.

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4

We do have the power to change the culture. Children ARE our future. It all starts with the behavior of one. Pray and fast. Because although it’s the day of the crucifixion, we always have the resurrection to look forward to.

“Hope does not mean that we ignore or minimize the evils around us. It means, rather, that we see the whole picture, which is that evil is conquered because of what happened one Sunday morning. We are called to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, waiting in joyful hope for Christ's return and the full flowering of the Culture of Life! Indeed, Sunday's comin'!” Fr. Frank Pavone

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pray for Marriages (Divine Healer)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Over time, our culture has shifted from thinking of marriage as a sacrament to seeing it as a legal contract. Many marriage ceremonies are shifting from churches to exotic locations. Removing God as the third person in a marriage has served to weaken the marriage commitment. Contracts can easily be broken. Commitments before God and covenants with God have a larger price to pay if broken.

Newlyweds rarely imagine the downside of “for better and for worse”, “for richer and for poorer”, “in good times and in bad”, and “in sickness and in health”? Over time, if marital strife sets in, is it really due to difficult times, lack of wealth, and sickness? Perhaps we are stumbling not because we are materially poor and physically sick, but because we are spiritually poor and spiritually sick. Turning to the Divine Healer is the only solution.

Lead us back to you, O LORD, that we may be restored: give us anew such days as we had of old. Lamentations 5:21

Let us re-invite the Lord back into our marriages and pray for others that they open their hearts to Him so that they may be the recipients of His divine healing.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pray for Families (Virtues)

Dear Prayer Angels,

Parenting. I’ve always wondered why children didn’t come with an instruction booklet. Perhaps that was God’s little joke. But then I realized that they are actually the instruction booklet. They lead us to a virtuous life. Throughout their growing years we find ourselves crying out to the Lord for the faith to keep going, the hope that this phase doesn’t last long, and the grace to love them, even when we don’t feel like it. Even as they reach adulthood we still cry out to the Lord, for patience as they exercise their independence, and for fortitude to self-sacrifice for their good.

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. 2 Peter 1:4-7

Today let us pray that we as members of a family, as parents and as children, continue to develop our virtues, and by practicing them, become a light to the rest of the world.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pray for Marriages (Trust in Him)

Good Morning Prayer Warriors,

Unfortunately, we all know someone whose marriage is faltering or even crumbling. Anger, fear, and resentment take hold. This can lead to despair and hopelessness.

So how do we help them? Pray. Pray for them, pray with them. Then encourage them to trust in the Lord to guide them in their journey. Fear = Lack of Trust in the Lord. No wonder Jesus so often said, “Do not be afraid.” For He is always with us, ready to bring us peace, and loving us beyond our comprehension.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

This week, pray with someone who has fallen into despair and hopelessness. May Christ pour out his love through you.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pray for Families (Outpouring of Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

You know how sometimes you hear things repeatedly, but then one day you actually HEAR it? I was listening to Mother Angelica on the radio when she said the following:

God is the Father
Christ is the Word
The Holy Spirit is Love

I hadn’t really thought of the Holy Spirit as Love before. But then it made perfect sense.

How are we fanning the flames of the Holy Spirit so that Love may live more fully in us? If we exude such love, what impact would that have on our families? Have you ever noticed how a positive person affects all those around them, while a negative person does the same?

Read this slowly, as if you are reading it for the first time:

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1Corinthians 1-8

Let us pray for an outpouring of Love in all families.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pray for Marriages (One Heart)

Greetings Prayer Angels,

Marriage is like no other relationship. Two individuals need not only to work as one, but to become one. The latter part of that sentence, which is so easy to overlook, is really the most important part. If we truly looked at our spouse as part of us, would it change the way we treat them? The way we talk to them? What if they were our heart? Would we be kinder and gentler in our ways?

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. Mark 10: 7-8

In all your interactions with your spouse this week, treat them as if they are the most vital part of you--your heart.

If you are not married, love your neighbor as yourself. See Christ in everyone. Make note of how your actions create new reactions.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pray for Families (Living Witnesses)

Good Morning Prayer Warriors!

I wanted to share something I read yesterday that I found very interesting. It was spoken by the now deceased Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. As many of you may know, from the Great Depression to the late 50’s, he was a charismatic Catholic evangelist on radio and eventually television, spreading the Gospel of Christ throughout America. He said,

“It is the home which deciders the nation. What happens in the family will happen later in Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court. Every country gets the kind of government it deserves. As we live in the home, so shall the nation live.”

So let us pray that families can become living witnesses to love, peace, harmony, and cooperation. May we respect the dignity of each person, and strive to see Christ in everyone.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins that he might rescue us from the present evil age in accord with the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Gal 1:3-5

Thank you for praying for families. I am confident that your prayers are being heard. Please continue to invite friends and family into our prayer battalion! Pass it on!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pray for Marriages (Instrument of Peace)

Good Morning Prayer Angels,

As we ready to pray for marriages today, I turn to the wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi. His prayer is both beautiful and powerful in its simplicity.

The Prayer of St Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

As we apply it to marriages, it really provides a roadmap. Let us pray that our good and gracious Lord pour down abundant grace upon us, so that we have the courage to live this prayer in our lives.

And 'to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself' is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." Mark 12:33

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pray for Families (Imitate a Saint)

Good Morning Prayer Warriors,

On this Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower), I thought it would be interesting to learn something from her that we could reflect upon as we pray for families today. Ironically, the quote I found from her marries beautifully with the bible verses I found this earlier this morning. As she talks about the love of her Sisters, think “family”.

I feel that when I am charitable it is Jesus alone who acts in me; the more I am united to Him the more do I love all my Sisters. If, when I desire to increase this love in my heart, the demon tries to set before my eyes the faults of one or other of the Sisters, I hasten to call to mind her virtues, her good desires; I say to myself that if I had seen her fall once, she may well have gained many victories which she conceals through humility; and that even what appears to me a fault may in truth be an act of virtue by reason of the intention. Story of A Soul, Chapter IX

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them. Rom 12:12-15

Thank you for your dedication to praying for the family. Invite a friend to join you in prayer today or send them a link to my blog.

Peace, Joy, and Love,