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Monday, March 30, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Invitation to Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

From the moment we are born, we seek love, that unconditional giving of one’s heart.  For most of us, this is first discovered through our parents as they selflessly cater to our every childhood need.  As we mature into adulthood, we continue to seek this same enduring love.  One hopes to find it in marriage, but often one finds they are not receiving it in the way they imagined.  If they are honest with themselves, they are not giving it in the way they imagined either.

Pope Benedict XVI discusses Christian love, as taught to us by Christ’s actions.

“Only when someone values love more highly than life, that is, only where someone is ready to put life second to love, for the sake of love, can love be stronger and more than death. If it is to be more than death it must first be more than mere life.”(Introduction to Christianity, p. 304)

Now that is a love to aspire to. Christ’s love.

We know however, that we are weak and powerless on our own, and that our love may spark now and then, but it is far from being a life-sustaining flame. So let us extend a personal invitation to Christ in prayer, that until we are mature enough in Him, that He love our spouse through us.

Lord, teach us your ways, teach us how to love so purely, so selflessly, so deeply. We understand why grace is so amazing, as there is no limit to what you can achieve in us if we cooperate with your grace!

Lord, help us one day to say of our life as you did,

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.” John 10:18

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Love is the answer.  Invite Him in!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pray for Families (M.E.R.C.Y.)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Have you ever meditated on the actions of Jesus during His three-year ministry? He must have come across as a total anomaly (aka lunatic) in that love and mercy was his verbal or non-verbal answer to all conflicts. He lived His "yes" to the Father, daily. Sometimes the easiest solutions are the hardest to grasp!

Since the LORD, your God, is a merciful God, he will not abandon or destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them. Deuteronomy 4:31

His mercy and love endures, as He never turns His back in anger to us, but mercifully beckons us to turn from our misguided ways and follow Him.

“Come follow me.” Mark 1:17

Are we following the example of Christ? Do you say yes to the will of the Father daily? Do you strive to reflect His love and mercy?

How might we show mercy and love on a daily basis, beginning within our own family?

Yes to Love!

Lord, help us with our “yes,” especially when it is most difficult.  Teach us your ways as we attempt to love our enemies: those who persecute us, disparage us, humiliate us, or despise us.  Jesus we trust in you!  Now and forever.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Let others know of His Love and Mercy. Pass it on!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pray for Marriages (The Illusion of Control)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The busier and crazier our lives, the more we try to control things.  The more we try to control things, the more we realize our powerlessness.  Yet we continually delude ourselves into thinking that if only we keep trying, we will regain control of our lives.   It is time to let go and let God; let go and let God.  He will do the work, if only we cooperate with Him by surrendering our will.
Today let’s pray for the wedded weary.  Those who are tired, frustrated, lonely, angry, over-burdened, and/or losing hope.  They may be a couple that struggles to find unity or conversely, are experimenting with a trial separation.  Perhaps they are a couple who feels uncoupled, when one spouse’s employment physically separates them for long periods.  Perhaps they have family member with medical issues which puts a strain on their relationship.  Whatever it be, may our prayers for each of them drift to the heavens like incense, seeking a renewal of their body, mind, and heart.  May they be sustained by grace so that their spirits may once again soar.
He gives power to the faint, abundant strength to the weak.  They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.  Isaiah 40: 29,31
Peace, Joy, and Love,
Take a rest.  Let the Lord do the heavy lifting.  Pass it on! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pray for Families (Carefree Obedience)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,


What emotional response did that word elicit in you?  Was it negative or positive?  Did you recoil from that word?  Embrace it? 

We first learn of obedience as children from our parents.  We connect it to rules and restrictions.  But if we look closer, didn’t obedience usually have positive results?  Were we more protected from harm and worry when we listened to our parents?  Did we thus become carefree without a worry in the world because they carried the burden? 

Similarly, our Heavenly Father wants us to obey him so that we may become unburdened.  What does He command us to do more than anything else?  Love.

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 11:29:30

Yet we resist, telling ourselves that by not doing things our way, we will remain in power and control of our lives.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Reflect on your life and your level of obedience. Then pray for yourself and your family that through faith, trust, and obedience, all will discover the freedom of obedience.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

True freedom lies in spiritual obedience. Pass it on!   

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Rejoice in His Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Today I was intrigued by a comment I read by St Bernard of Clairvaux.  He said that pilgrims on the spiritual journey face alternately in two directions: 
  • When we look at ourselves, we are saddened by our failings
  • When we look at God, we rejoice in His love

In marriage, I think we sometimes twist this.  Instead of looking inward, we look outward at our spouse and are saddened by their failings.  Then we look to God and rejoice that we have no failings!  When this happens, we have wandered off and usually don’t even know it until we find ourselves deep in the forest.  However, if we get lost in the darkness and call upon Him, as a loving Father, He will rush to us and illuminate us with light.  With new clarity, we discover and acknowledge our failings, bask in the mercy of God, and rejoice in His unconditional love.

His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, 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. 1 Peter 1:3-7

Pray for marriages that together, spouses may rejoice in God’s love; that together, they may pray for the grace to be healed from their sinful desires, bad choices, self-love, and failure to please God above all.  Lord hear us and teach us to love each other as you love us, for such pure love conquers all.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Our hope is in Him who always keeps His promises. Pass along some hope!  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pray for Families (Prayer for our Homeland)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When we look at any group in Scripture, whether it be the apostles, a family, a tribe, an army, a nation, or kingdom, their true power depends not on its numbers or its armament, but in it’s faith in God. Without faith and a trust in God, foolish decisions are made stemming from pride, greed, and a desire for worldly power.

Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk exactly in the way I command you, so that you may prosper.  
Jeremiah 7:23

As our nation teeters in faith, seeks an independent spirit, and its roots in and under God weaken, our nation unknowingly loses its true strength.

But they did not listen to me, nor did they pay attention. They walked in the stubbornness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.  Jeremiah 7:24; 28

We must pray for our nation, our homeland.   We are a pilgrim people, many seeking our eternal homeland.  Let’s pray for an increase in our faithfulness and a strengthening of our country as one nation under God.  May we one day proudly recognize that our strength lies in Him.  May we then become a bright  light for all nations. Faithfulness begins in the family.  Lift up your voices in prayer and pray for America and it’s leaders.   Then pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world, especially those being persecuted for their faith.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Be a warrior of prayer.  Build His army.  Pass it on!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Cleansing the Temple)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The gospels paint such a vivid picture of Christ “cleansing” the temple in Jerusalem. Imagine Christ’s “zeal” as he drove the vendors and moneychangers out of the temple for turning something holy, the dwelling place of God, into a marketplace. Who would treat something so holy with such disrespect? Well, we would.

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Do you take care of your body? Are you treating it as His special dwelling place? Does it need purifying? What needs to be chased out? Evil thoughts? Disordered desires? Earthly attachments? Greed? Anger? Envy? Vanity? What needs to be brought in? Love? Peace? Joy? Patience? He awaits you with those gifts.

For all who are married, consider the aforementioned. Do you show mutual respect for one another? Are you helping each other fumigate your union?

“I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.   2 Corinthians 6:18-7:1

Lent is a wonderful time to reassess our lives, and look deeper into our hearts. Christ does not want to whip us into submission with His holy zeal but rather, with gentle love he approaches us asking that we reflect and repent. He made you His special dwelling place and is simply awaiting an invitation from you. He wants to give you His gifts and dwell with you forever.

Let us prepare ourselves for Him. Pray for one another and especially married couples, that the scales fall from our eyes and we see whatever is marring the beauty of our temple.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Lent is the perfect time for personal spring-cleaning. Look interiorly and start tossing! Pass it on!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pray for Families (Love is the Answer)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

While reading scripture today, I was struck in a new way about the saving power of love.  Love is so transformative!  Love really is the answer, I thought, and my heart concurred.   Love disarms.  Love changes hearts. Love is a balm to many wounds.  Love fosters peace: Peace in our hearts, peace in our household, peace in our community, and peace in our world.

“Love is the answer” kept dancing in my mind and I then realized I once knew a song with those lyrics.  Although I couldn’t name the source, I quickly found it, a song from my youth.  Little did I know then what the lyrics were about, but to my joy it could have been a gospel song!

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer.*

The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, who will sing joyfully because of you. Zephaniah 3:17

Love will eradicate hate, and it starts with each one of us. We in this world are one family.  His Love in us will allow us to love others.  It’s time to heal the world through love, beginning in our own family.

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Love is always the answer. Pass it on! 

*Lyrics by Todd Rundgren; Performed by England Dan and John Ford Coley.