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Friday, November 29, 2013

Pray for Families (Black Friday)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Black Friday--good or bad?

Thanksgiving Day traditionally has been a wonderful time for extended families to take a break, come together, and give thanks to God for all the many blessings received.  As retail madness bleeds into Thanksgiving Day however, the focus is shifting from a day of gratitude and glory to God to one focused on serving the god of greed, pride, envy and materialism.

Family members working retail are now forced to work on what previously was a holiday or at least an abbreviated workday.  Thanksgiving is being cut short as family members leave early or opt out of the Thanksgiving meal altogether, so they can shop for, acquire, and earn the bragging rights to the best deals ever. 

The attack on the family is in full swing and we don’t even see it.

‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” 
Luke 12:20-21

Perhaps we should redefine the meaning of Black Friday by viewing it in the pre-dawn shadow of Advent.  May we instead use Black Friday as a day of introspection, to place ourselves in the light of Christ and see how we have fallen short in the darkness of our lives.  Then we can boldly step into Advent and truly prepare our hearts and lives for the renewal of Christ in our hearts. 

In the morning let me hear of your mercy, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for I entrust my life to you. Rescue me, LORD, from my foes, for I seek refuge in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level. Psalm 143; 8-10

Start a new tradition and preserve the old.  Spend Advent in prayer for your family, asking that they may be renewed by a new life in Christ. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Keep prayer as your unchanging tradition.  Pass it on!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pray for Marriages (Choosing to love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors, 

One challenge in marriage is when spouses become verbally abusive and frankly, unloving.  Does that make the person evil?  In a society that loves to label people by their behavior, we may think them as evil.  However, evil is not a “thing” but a behavior, or the consequence of that behavior as result of making bad choices.  Perhaps we should instead view people as the Creator does. 

God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. 
Genesis 1:31 

Just as many good (wo)men have evil in their hearts as evil (wo)men have good in their hearts.

Let’s not judge, but pray and persevere in prayer on behalf of all married couples. 

Oh Lord who gave us the gift of free will, save us from our poor choices, bad behaviors, and hurtful words.   Help us to choose to love as you loved, with patience, kindness, and compassion. Lend us your eyes to see, that we may always look for the good in each other.  Lend us your heart, that we may be quick to forgive.  May we hear your voice as we seek your assistance in the quiet of prayer.    Oh Savior, save us!  Jesus we trust in You!

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Invite others to join us in amplifying the power of prayer!  Pass it on!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pray for Families (Rest in Him)

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Did you ever have one of those days where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves and you spend more time ranting than raving?  Then you feel yourself physically wind up tighter than a spring? I hate to admit it, but that was me today. 

Where words are many, sin is not wanting; but those who restrain their lips do well.  Proverbs 10:19

Searching for respite, I found it in the quiet of a chapel.  I found it in Him.  The tension left, the mood changed, and I smiled at His gentle ways.

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.  He will bring you peace.  Your friends, you coworkers, and your family will thank you.  Pray for restraint.  Pray too for your family members, that they too will seek Him out in times of need.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.  He will be your oasis!   Pass it on!  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pray for Marriages (Classroom of Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you ever wonder why God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply*”? We know they needed to “fill the earth” but don’t you wonder if there was more to it?

I do ponder such things, and I wonder if it has to do with the importance of marriage and family in understanding God as a loving, merciful Father.

Marriage takes our focus off of our self and on to another person.  Through parenthood we learn what it is to love someone even more than ourselves.  As a child, through our parents, we experience what unconditional love is and the difference between motherly and fatherly love.  As children, we learn from our nuclear and extended family what familial love and mercy is. 

God’s plan is always is beyond what we imagine.  Perhaps His design of marriage and family is meant as the path for us to come to understand and truly know God, as a loving and merciful Heavenly Father.  Everyone has parents, but the destruction of marriage and family has put unexpected obstacles along the path to God.   Is it any wonder that Satan is working hard to destroy the path?

This is why we pray for marriage and family!

In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” John 14:19-21

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to pray.   May God bless you abundantly!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Ask your friends and family to pray for Marriages on Mondays and Families on Fridays.  Pass it on!

*Genesis 1:28

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pray for Families (Hug a cross!)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When things aren't going well in our lives or in our families, it is so easy to think that The Lord must be mad at us and is therefore punishing us with many trials!  Not so!  The Heavenly Father loves us so deeply, so beyond our comprehension, that He could never stop loving us, His beautiful masterpieces.   But just as a parent disciplines a child out of love so that they will mature appropriately, so too does the Lord “prune” us to perfection.

At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

To avoid discouragement, meditate on how much the heavenly Father loves you.  Ask Him to walk with you in each trial, to carry your cross for you when you are overwhelmed by the weight, and to bring you peace and even joy as you grab hold of your unique cross.  Remember, the cross connects you to Him.

Bring levity to your situation by reading St. Teresa of Avila’s statement to the Lord after an unwelcome incident.  “Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!”

Then begin to embrace holiness. 

“Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” Mark 14:36

Most importantly, let's continue to pray for each other.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Help someone embrace their cross.  Pass it on. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pray for Marriages (Steadfast in love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors, 

I don’t consider myself wise, but I do know wisdom when I read it!  The following is a quote from the late, now Venerable,  Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.*  It’s simply right on point. 

Marriage is not a contract based on mood. Nothing permanent will ever be done on the basis of moods. On that basis a farmer could not plant potatoes, because—who knows?—maybe next week he will be in a tomato mood. Houses could never be constructed, nor bridges built, because the builder’s mood might change.  A man who marries a woman thinking he will divorce her when his mood changes is also capable marrying and thinking that he might murder her. No other contract in the world is subject to alteration when the mood changes. No businessman can ever have dealings with another businessman with the proviso that everything will be off if a wrong mood, created by a tweed coat or a mauve necktie, intervenes. Nobody will ever get anything right if everybody’s mood is to be equally wrong. The multiplication table does not depend on taste, nor income taxes on our feelings, nor bank trusts on our moods. Then why should marriage, which is the root and ground of all human institutions, even the State, be based on moods?

But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Colossians 3:8-10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Lord, bless all marriages, that all may grow in love, act in love (regardless of mood), remain steadfast, and abound in joy. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Regardless of your mood, pass it on!!

*Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen - The Whit & Wisdom of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen p.21