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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pray for Marriages (Finding the Reason)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

After hearing about the passion and excitement given to Black Friday, wouldn’t it be great if that same passion and excitement were focused on preparing for the birth of Christ on December 25? Would people stand in line for hours to make sure they got the best seat at Mass/Church? Would they give up sleep to start their praise and worship at 3:00 or even 6:00 am if need be? Would they seek out the best gifts of Peace, Joy, and Love?

As we enter the Advent Season, take a moment to focus on the reason for the season. If one keeps focused on the Reason, their Christmas will be filled with joy and depression will be non-existent. Focus less on presents and more on Christ. Spend the days from now until Christmas in preparation and anticipation of the Newborn King. Pray the prayers and light the candles on your Advent Wreath. Read the Infancy Narrative in scripture throughout Advent. (Luke 1:5–2:52.)

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1: 32-22

Pray that marriages find a deeper union through Christ this Advent, which culminates in a rebirth of their marriage with the best Gift of all.

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Share the joy. Share the love. Share the Peace. Pass it on.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pray for Families (Give thanks)

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks!

"It is right to give him thanks and praise!"

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Give continual thanks. Pass it on!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pray for Families (Gratitude and Harmony)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

In less than a week, most of you will be gathering with friends and/or families to celebrate Thanksgiving and reflect on the blessings of the year. For some, such family gatherings can be stressful due to the unpredictability of family dynamics. Here are a few suggestions to keep the day a positive one.

Have you been wanting to increase your virtue? Focus on your behavior and practice patience, kindness, and humility.

Put the "giving" back into “Thanksgiving”. Invite someone over who would otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving. If you are the guest, give of your time, your talent, or your treasure. Offer to help with the cooking or bring a dish to share. Offer to set the table, bring flowers, wash the dishes, or keep the guests entertained.

Be thankful for each family member. Look at them through the eyes of Christ. Reminisce about all the positive memories that you've shared together and let each one know how special they are to you.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:17

Lord, we thank you for the gift of family and friends. May we always be open to sharing the many gifts and blessings that you have bestowed upon us, as all that we have, and all that we are, is a gift from you to be shared. Bless this food that you have given us in abundance. May it sustain us physically, just as you sustain us spiritually. Continue to bless each one of us and may each act of generosity, service, and love be a testament to our gratitude and bring greater glory to your name. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray that all families have a loving and harmonious Thanksgiving. God bless you all!

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Be thankful and giving. Pass it on.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pray for Marriages (Hope in the midst of suffering)

Greetings Prayer Warriors!

I started this email/blog over 2 years ago as a result of hearing so many stories of marriages struggling or falling apart. Whether one’s pain was loneliness, poor communication, infidelity, differing viewpoints, indifference, or emotional suffering, it was usually the loss of hope and mutual purpose that finally tore the marriage apart. Since then, I know your prayers have helped sustain many marriages.

Every marriage has its challenges, and sometimes it’s how you frame something that helps you move forward versus standing still and giving up. With that in mind, I was really struck by the following reflection, which was written by an Auchwitz survivor, making it all the more profound. Whether one worries about their human life or the life of their marital union, personal suffering without hope is very painful.

“In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice…..In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end.” -Victor E. Frankel

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.” Revelation 21:4


Perhaps the Lord calls you to a deeper trust. Hope is in the Lord. We only need to turn to the Lord in our suffering to find meaning. He embraces us in our suffering, He walks the rocky roads with us and wipes away every tear. Just as suffering led to the resurrection, so too, He will lift us up in our need and heal what is broken. We have to have faith, and trust in Him.

Lord may we find comfort in your faithfulness to us. Strengthen us in our journey, wherever it may lead. Bring hope to marriages lacking in hope. Help spouses trust in your goodness and fidelity. Bring your love as a flame, so that marital love may be rekindled. May our prayers be like incense to the heavens, delightful in your sight.

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Share hope in the midst of suffering. Pass it on.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pray for Families (Especially those with a veteran)

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Some things are just worth knowing about and sharing. I hope you agree.

A couple years ago I attended the military retirement of a friend, during which there was a deeply moving flag folding ceremony. A beautiful script was read which ascribed a special meaning to all twelve folds of the flag. Due to the religious nature of this particular script, the U.S. Air Force Academy was pressured years ago into removing it from their website. So that this beautiful version is never lost, I decided to share it with you so that you in turn can share it with others. (Highlights are mine.)

The flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of blue containing the stars representing the states our veterans served in uniform. The canton field of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted when draped as a pall on a casket of a veteran who has served our country in uniform.

In the Armed Forces of the United States, at the ceremony of retreat the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation's honored dead. The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.


Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on!

I share this information with you, to encourage you to pray for our veterans, our military, and our country, Lord bless us and strengthen us as individuals, as families, and as a nation, so that we can remain in your service, “One nation, under God, indivisible.”

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Honor a veteran, pass it on.

Information taken from:
http://www.usflag.org/fold.flag.html

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pray for Marriages (Faithfulness)

Greetings Prayer Warriors.

Since one of two marriages end in divorce, perhaps our prayer needs to be focused on helping others see the Lord’s “big picture” view of marriage.
Consider this as one possibility.

"I, _______, take you, ________, for my lawful wife/husband,

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

to have and to hold, from this day forward,

Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

for better, for worse,

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

for richer, for poorer,

and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

in sickness and health,

and hope does not disappoint us,

until death do us part."

because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Romans 5: 1-5


Is it not surprising then, that as God is removed from more and more wedding ceremonies, and/or individuals chose to not remain faithful to their covenant with God, that marriages are more likely to fail?

Lord, continue to pour your love into our hearts. May those strongly united in marriage be a witness to your faithfulness. Strengthen the hearts of those struggling to honor their wedding vows, so that they too may know the hope that does not disappoint. For you will be their everlasting light, and God will be their glory.

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Invite couples to renew their commitment. Pass it on.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pray for Families (Unanticipated Joy)

Greetings Prayer Warriors!

Sometimes I wonder what "family" will look like in the next century. Will there still be kids? Pregnancy is often looked at as a disease that you need to prevent or get rid of.

While on a flight to Chicago today, I met a lovely young women who was sharing her life plans with me. She was married, employed as a middle manager, and looking into MBA programs. After completion of her MBA she would have kids. “Maybe. Maybe just one. My husband really is the one who wants kids,” she explained. “I’m kinda selfish.” Always the voice of reason, I said, “Kids cure that! You know, there never will be a perfect time to have kids. You'll get the MBA and want to delay kids until you find that great new job. Then you won't want to have kids until you've proven your worth in that new position. And the cycle will continue. That's because the timing is never ‘perfect’ to have kids."

Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth. Genesis 9:1

So how does one explain the joy of parenthood to young couples? Not verbally gifted, I thought perhaps it could be explained in a poem. Here’s my attempt!

Unanticipated

So afraid of what I'd lose, not thinking what I'd gain
The thought of children frightened me, the raising, not the pain.
I like my freedom, toys, and cash, and sleeping in too late.
I'd lose all this, become a bore, if kids became my fate!
But when I finally took the leap, my heart did then take flight
Each child became my constant joy and certainly not my plight!
The lessons learned were not just theirs, my selfishness abated.
My heart enlarged, my patience grew, parenthood was underrated!
And like the joy of His great light, filtering deep into my soul,
I stopped and thought just to myself, now why weren't kids my goal?


Please pray that couples say yes to the gift of life. Then pray for all families, that each family member grows in patience, love, and self-giving. May they become beautiful examples of the Lord’s handiwork.

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Share the unanticipated joy of parenthood. Pass it on.