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Friday, August 29, 2014

Pray for Families (The Prayer Challenge)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Recently a charity fundraising phenomenon has been sweeping not just the nation, but the world.  It involves throwing ice water over your head to promote awareness and encourage research donations toward the cause.  Then you are to challenge others to do the same.

I have a much easier challenge that won’t cost you money, but instead will store up riches in heaven.  It will not chill your bones, but warm your heart. 

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.  Luke 12:34

I challenge each of you to challenge others to commit to praying for families. Challenge them to challenge others.  Prayers are greatly needed and they take less time than filling up a bucket with ice and water and dumping it .J   However, if your friends and family want to dump ice on themselves while praying, that’s their call.  ;)

You may challenge in person, by phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., or just pass this email/post along!  Wouldn’t it be great if we could get the world to crank up the volume by spiritually uniting in prayer for all families?

The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. James 5:16

Here are a few intentions to get you started:
  • For all those families in the Middle East and elsewhere who have been displaced and persecuted for being Christian. Lord hear our prayer!
  • For families torn apart by divorce. Lord, hear our prayer!
  • For families who have difficulty communicating with each other. Lord, hear our prayer!   
  • For family members who suffer abuse. Lord, hear our prayer!
  • For families torn apart by a member’s addiction. Lord, hear our prayer!
  • For orphans and foster children seeking a loving home. Lord, hear our prayer!

The need is endless, so say a prayer and pass it on.  Repeat at least weekly.  

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Challenge each other to pray.  Pass it on!!  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pray for Marriages (Saved by the Savior)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

I just love Saint Peter, probably because I totally identify with him.  Not the saintly part, but all his failings.  Words are easy, but living those words can be very difficult, especially during times of trial. 

Peter said to him, “Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be.” Then Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” But he vehemently replied, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all spoke similarly.  Mark 14:29-31

Shortly thereafter, Peter denies Him 3 times.

Similarly, saying the marriage vows “until death do us part” sounds easy when in the throes of love.  But with all the trials of married life, parenthood, and a spouse’s suddenly apparent flaws, it is all too easy to want to walk away or call for a “do-over!” (divorce).

However, one should be encouraged that through Peter, the Lord shows us an example of His unfathomable mercy.  He gives Peter another opportunity to prove His love and to right his wrong.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:15-19

So too with us.  Jesus calls us to follow Him.  He wants to bathe us with His mercy. He may not call us to martyrdom like Peter, but He does call all of us to surrender our will to His.  This movement of our souls allows Him to save us.  And when a couple jointly surrenders to Him, He will save their marriage too. 

We are all weak like Peter.  Let us raise our voices in prayer for marriages that all may be given the grace, especially when at a crossroads, to show the Lord how much they love Him. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Everyone needs a Savior. Pass it on!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pray for Families (Bringing holy back)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Just as the word “sin” seems to have fallen out of the vernacular, so has the word “holy”.  Whereas at one time parents would teach their children to strive for holiness, as the virtue slipped from their lives, so too it disappeared from their children’s. 

Out of curiosity, I wondered how the word currently existed in the dictionary.  I admit I was a bit shocked when on Merriam-Webster online the definition of “holy” was so sparse!
ho·ly  adjective \ˈhō-lē\ : connected to a god or a religion: religious and morally good—used in phrases that show surprise or excitement
Per their definition, if this country continues on its trajectory of trying to eliminate God, morality, and the free practice of religion, and society continues to embrace the antonym of holiness, will the word be purged from the dictionary?

Luckily, renewed my faith:

Holy [hoh-lee] adjective
1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground.
2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man.
3. saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
4. having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
5. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.
6. religious: holy rites
7. inspiring fear, awe, or grave distress: The director, when angry, is a holy terror.

Here’s your challenge.  Let’s bring holy back into focus.   Starting with ourselves, through prayer and fasting, let’s strive to be holy in thought, work, and action. Ask the Lord to make you the spark that ignites the same desire in your family and your friends.  Introduce the word into conversation.  Not by exclaiming, “Holy cow!” but perhaps asking a family member what it means to them.  Let’s change the trajectory of this nation, one person at a time.  I will pray for each of you.  Please pray for one another as well. 

The nations will know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.  Ezekial 23, 26-27

But as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15-16

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Holiness begins with prayer.  Pass it on!  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pray for Marriages (A New Chapter)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Perhaps God created the four seasons so that we could learn to not just adapt to but also to manage through constant change.  This ability is needed all through our lives. From adolescence to adulthood to marriage to parenthood, we must adapt to the unexpected and unplanned. 

Some are caught off-guard later in life, however, when they first become empty- nesters.  If their marriage was put second to the raising of their children, it can go into a tailspin when their children leave home. Their marriage may flounder or even disintegrate as they face issues that have been ignored or averted for years.

It is for these marriages, that are in what I’ll call “chapter 3” that I ask you to pray since divorces at this stage can be the most heartbreaking.

Jesus, you have a special place in your heart for the sacrament of marriage, for it was at a wedding feast that your chose to perform your first miracle lest the celebration end too soon!  We ask for your compassion now Lord, on all couples whose bonds are weakening.  With your tender love, seal away the past hurts and reawaken the love that brought them together.  Be the heartstring that weaves their hearts into one and bring them new life with each beat of their hearts.  Bless them with a deeper love which results in a new shared joy.  Lover of hearts, make haste! Amen.

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:22-24

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Show your love and support of marriage.  Pass it on!  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pray for Families (Victims of Evil)

Greetings Prayer Warriors, 

My heart aches and breaks as I hear more and more about how the Chaldean Christians in Iraq are being driven from their homeland, tortured, murdered, and forced to witness atrocities toward others, often their own family members.  Let us unite in prayer and lift our voices to the heavens, pleading for an end to ALL crimes against humanity.  While we pray for the families destroyed by such unfathomable evil, we must too, in imitation of Christ, pray for the perpetrators.

Lord, for all those affected by evil, protect their faith in You and grant them strength in the midst of their suffering.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

Lord, for those commanding and/or perpetrating evil upon any of Your children, give them eyes to see and a heart to feel the horror of their ways.  May they have a radical change of heart as result of Your grace. Bring them to conversion.

The LORD, your God, will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you will love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart and your whole being, in order that you may live. 
Deuteronomy 30:6 
Lord, I pray that perpetrators fall to their knees and repent of their evil ways. Help them understand that You are not a Master Sargent but a loving Father awaiting His children’s return.

You, LORD, are our father, our redeemer you are named from of old.     … Deliver us from the evil one.  Matthew 6:13; Isaiah 63:16

Heavenly Father, I pray that each one of us humbly examines our conscience and seeks Your forgiveness for our own transgressions.  May peace reign in our hearts and may all come to know the depths of Your mercy and love.

Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Psalm 25:6

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Increase the volume! Pass it on!