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Monday, February 27, 2012

Pray for Marriages (Love Inventory)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

LOVE. One syllable, four letters. The primary message of all of the gospels. It doesn’t refer to a feeling, but an action. Easy to say, difficult to consistently live.

In saying the marriage vows, the promise to love is an ACTION. Yet so many marriages fail because once the feeling is gone, the action is stops. However, love in action, can bring back the feeling.

Lent is a great time to reflect on one’s own role as a loving spouse. While the desire would be to determine what we’d like to see in our spouse, we must first look into the mirror ourselves. What expectations do you have of yourself as a spouse? Here are just a few questions to begin your self-evaluation:

Who do I put first in this relationship?
Do I set aside quality time for my spouse?
Do I give them positive affirmations?
Do I have higher expectations for them than for myself?
Have I honored by marriage vows?
Do I lead with love as an action, even when the feelings of love aren’t there?

The shrewd man's wisdom gives him knowledge of his way, but the folly of fools is their deception. Guilt lodges in the tents of the arrogant, but favor in the house of the just. The heart knows its own bitterness, and in its joy no one else shares.
Proverbs 14:8-10

Pray for your spouse and all marriages, that they be sustained by grace, and renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray also for all priests and religious, that they too may stay true to their vows.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12

In the end, make a commitment with your spouse to L.O.V.E.:
“Live Our Vocation Everyday.”

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Challenge others to inventory their love. Pass it on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pray for Families (Ascent/Assent)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Everyone has highs and lows, but somehow the lows seem to sear into our memory, making us think that that’s where we are spending most of our time.

When we find ourselves walking through the bitter valley, searching, confused, tired, lonely, or in pain, sometimes it’s hard to imagine ever reaching the summit.

A Song of Ascents. In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. Psalm 120:1

To get there, we must trust that the Lord, will walk with us and carry us if necessary. He asks us to let go of our baggage so the journey will be easier, but somehow we only cling tighter to it, not Him. “I’ve had this baggage for a long time and I’ve kind of grown attached to it,“ we say. “It defines me.” Lent is a time to let go of old baggage. Surrendering it to the Lord allows us to continue the journey, climb the mountain, and be redefined by Him. He sees us as we truly are---beautiful.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Pray for your family, that they might let go of the useless baggage that inhibits their ascent/assent to the Lord. Then pray that they will see themselves as the Lord sees them, truly beautiful.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Help someone find their inner beauty. Pass it on.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pray for Marriages (Stand Firm)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Rise up in battle; kneel down in prayer; The attacks on marriage and marriages rage on. Your prayers are being heard and the evil one does not like it, and so the battle continues. Persevere in prayer.

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. Ephesians 6:10-18

Trust in the Lord and hold fast to the Truth.

If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Share the truth. Pass it on.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pray for Families (Prayer as a Lifeline)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As the 1980’s SNL character Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say, “It’s always something!” Does anyone ever have a day without a worry in the world? If it’s not something in your life it’s something in a family member’s or friend’s life: Illness, hurts, frustrations, shame, miseries, heartache, sinfulness, disappointment, brokenness. All these feelings can bring one down, but it is how you respond that makes the difference. When we are brought down, what happens? We fall to our knees and pray. It is in that position that we find our hope. An invisible lifeline to the Lord is created.

I like to think that when we pray and look to the heavens, that the Lord must see us at our most beautiful: Hopeful and trusting children, understanding His power while recognizing our weakness. How his heart must rejoice when we come close to Him and pour out all that troubles us!

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." Matthew 11:28-30

Pray with and for your family and don’t forget your spiritual family too.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Add a family member. Pass it on.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pray for Marriages (Oneness)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Over the years the roles of husbands and wives have changed dramatically. The boundaries for both roles have greatly expanded. Women now can work, men can stay home, or both can work. While it has created great freedom, it has also created great confusion about one’s role/purpose in marriage and family. Women can now do it all, and sometimes end up having to do it all. Alternatively, when both spouses work outside the home, there is the stress of deciding how the home duties are divided. When no decisions are made, duties often default to “traditional” roles. So even though husband and wives can do anything as individuals, becoming a “couple” and understanding their value in the marriage becomes the biggest challenge.

The two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. Mark 10:8

ONE flesh. If spouses truly realized this, would they be so quick to divorce--cut off their own flesh? Would one not instead instinctively move toward synergy and what’s best for the whole?

Help a struggling marriage. Pray this prayer for your marriage or that of a friend.

Lord, help us to understand marriage as you intended it. Help us to see marriage as a supernatural union, created by you for our good. May we each make decisions that are not about “me” but about “us”. May we always include YOU in the “us.” Lord I am weak, as is my spouse. Give us the grace to move from selfish to selfless. Grant us perseverance to love, even when we don’t feel like it. And, as we walk closer to each other and find our oneness, may our joy be overflowing when we discover that in each other we find You.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer keeps hope alive. Pass it on.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pray for Families (Nourish our Children)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Today I was asked by a priest to pray for the children of the world. I knew I had to pass on his request to all of you. I thought it interesting that depending on the part of the world, they are undernourished in some ways, and overfed in other ways.

For those who hunger due to malnutrition, may we be generous to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
For those who are physically infirmed, bring them healing through our intercessory prayer.
For those who hunger for love, may they be shown the face of Jesus Christ through others.
For those who are spiritually malnourished either by choice or circumstance, may their hearts and minds be open to His glory.
For those who've learned to love other idols, may they be rocked by the peace, joy, and love found only in the Lord.

They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water. Isaiah 49:10

My dearest Lord, hear these petitions that come from the depth of our hearts. Be merciful to all the children in need of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing. May we remember your love and tenderness toward children and imitate you in all ways. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John 14:14

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Save a child. Pray.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pray for Marriages (Stubbornness/Humility)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Stubbornness is a trait so ingrained in me. If I didn’t know better, I’d probably say it is part of my DNA. In disagreements with my husband, I’ve been known to say, “I wish I wasn’t right all the time!” (But I am!) Can any of you relate?? It’s a double whammy when your husband is stubborn too! It wouldn’t surprise me if many marriages are affected by each spouse’s unwillingness to compromise, admit they are wrong, or share in decision-making.

It’s not pretty to be on the receiving end of stubbornness, so I decided it’s time I try to counterbalance it by trying to grow in humility. Since stubbornness isn’t limited to just one relationship, there is ample opportunity to practice. Let’s all practice humility and see what happens! But first let us bow down, lift our voices in prayer to praise the Lord, ask for His grace to grow in humility, and look to His ministry on earth to see what humble looks like. Then pray that all marriages grow in humility.

And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: "God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble." So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 4:5-6

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Invite someone stubborn to pray. Pass it on.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dearest Prayer Warriors,

It is with such hope that I write these blog posts seeking prayer for families. All around me I see the family infrastructure crumbling. Although babies are being born, marriage is on the decline. Rather than building a nest, couples are just living in the same tree. Perhaps it’s because intricately woven nests bind two together. Without the nest, it's easier to fly out of the tree, but it's also easier for the eggs to fall.

I worry for our children both young and adult, who hear the voice of the culture more loudly than that of their parents. More worrisome is when the voice of their parents echoes that of the culture.

I am confident that with prayer, the infrastructure of the family can be rebuilt. I believe that although now the culture supports babies being born out of wedlock, hooking up, shacking up, and delaying or dismissing marriage, I believe with prayer, the culture can and will change.

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 5:5

Spend some quiet time in prayer today to ask for efficacious grace to be poured down upon families and families-to-be. May eyes be opened, hearts be filled with love, and the Voice of Truth be heard. Because we will always have hope of better things to come.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Share hope. Pass it on.