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Friday, July 31, 2015

Pray for Families (Future Generations)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The nightly news is something I don’t watch much of anymore, but rather I’ve turned to print or electronic media. However, even that has become very depressing, disheartening, heartbreaking, shocking, and frustrating. How have we strayed so far from God’s plan?  What will the future be like for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren?  Do we not see that the culture in America has shifted because Americans have distanced themselves from “one nation under God” to “my will” be done?  While those who have faith know they will be sustained through difficulties by the grace of God, what will become of an increasingly faithless society?  Will they despair during trials when THEY don’t see a way out?  Will they know of the Lord so that they might call upon Him who is mercy and love? Let’s hope so and pray so.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

Let us always begin by praising God for all that is precious in this world.  Focus on the good, and pray for those who don’t even know the darkness they are in. Let us pray today for future generations, so that when the Lord calls their name, their eyes may be opened and filled with His Light. May their hearts and our hearts continue to be transformed and conformed to His.  Lord, increase our faith, hope, and love, daily. May we rest in Your promises!

Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring back your offspring, from the west I will gather you.  Isaiah 43:5

Peace, Joy, and Love,

We praise your for your mercy endures forever! Share the good news by passing it on!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pray for Marriages (The Will to Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Driving along listening to the radio today, I was struck by what I heard.  “Love is an act of the will.”  Feelings come and feelings go, but love must be willful, in spite of the ebb and flow of our feelings.

It got me thinking, if I told my child to get ready for school and they said, “I don’t feel like it!”, would I say, “No problem, you can just stay home.  Perhaps you best drop out, because if you don’t feel like it, why bother?”    If a friend decided they didn’t feel like showing up for work on a continual basis, because they’d rather hang out with friends, would I support their “feelings”?  In both scenarios, I would insist they power through and honor their commitment.  Should it be any different if a married couple doesn’t feel in love anymore?

There is great difficulty in doing the right thing when one’s heart isn’t in it.  But sometimes actions precede feelings.  Consider the runner who goes for the jog, especially when not in the mood.  Often, euphoria follows.  

Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart. 1 Peter 1:22

Take some time to pray for marriages, that when the feelings ebb in the relationship, spouses still decide to willfully love. 

I have competed well; I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 
2 Timothy 4:7

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Willfully pass this on!  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pray for Families (Freedom from Depression and Despair)

Greetings Dearest Prayer Warriors!          

Each life has moments of joy and heartache.  When darkness obscures the Light, it opens the door to depression and despair.  Let us pray for those who are most at risk of entering that door.

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners.  Isaiah 61:1

Reaching, reaching, out for You,
Sinking, sinking, feeling blue.
Hoping you will grasp my hand,
As I tire in this sand.

In frustration, I may seem teary,
But hope sustains me, though I’m weary.
After darkness comes the light;
Help me see, restore my sight!

Afflicted, broken, downcast me
Forgive my sin and set me free,
Unlock the chains that pull me down,
For You conquered death, You gained the crown.

Faith, a gift that lifts me up,
From this deep and mucky rut,
Shine your light, help me to see,
Love eternal, rescue me.
JFL 2015

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer is the helium in one’s life.  Give someone a lift and pass it on! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Togetherness vs. Oneness)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As summer is in full swing, vacations bring about more togetherness.  Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on the oneness of marriage.

…A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Matthew 19:5-6

Are you one, or just together?

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

Be encouraged by prayers said on your behalf!

God does not withdraw his mercy, nor permit even one of his promises to fail.  Sirach 47:22

Thank you Lord for your continuous mercy, may we humbly accept it as frequently as we need it!

Together, let us all pray:  Lord, send us the grace we need to willingly live as one united through you.  May we stop defining our differences and begin seeing our similarities, a likeness and unity only found through you.  Do not look harshly upon our doubts, but strengthen us in faith for we know that everything is possible for one who believes. 

“I do believe, help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Peace, Joy, and Love,

While summer can alter your normal routines, please always make time to pray.  I will always remind you, even if my routine is off kilter! J  In turn, please multiply the prayer by reminding someone else to pray by passing it on!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pray for Families (The Perfect Family)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

Although I haven’t met anyone who claims that they came from a perfect family or now has the perfect family, that shouldn’t keep any one of us from striving to improve their family life. We know that family is the foundation of a strong society.  But what is the ideal? Perhaps the following captures a little bit of this ideal.

Yoked (in Christ)

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. John 13:34 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. Matthew 11:29

What would the actions be of such a family?

Faith as its foundation
Always seeking unity
Mercy toward one another
Imitating Christ
Loving unconditionally,

I will betroth you to me with fidelity, and you shall know the LORD. 
Hosea 2:22

Family as God intended it has been fraught with difficulties since the creation of Adam and Eve.  This is exactly why we need to pray for the family.  Its structure is continually being threatened and weakened.  More and more families are being built without a foundation.  Pray for your family.  Pray for other families.  Pray that the entire world may come to realize that they were born into the perfect family, God’s family.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Ask others to pray for the family.  Pass it on! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Positivity)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Don’t you love positive and optimistic people?  They attract people like a magnet.  Their life isn’t usually any better than anyone else’s, but they seem to find the beauty and goodness in everything.  Christ radiates through them. Their presence makes wherever they are a better place. We need more people like that, don’t you think? 

However, in adversity it is so easy for one to fall into negativity. 

One who is alienated seeks a pretext, with all persistence picks a quarrel. Fools take no delight in understanding, but only in displaying what they think. With wickedness comes contempt, and with disgrace, scorn. The words of one’s mouth are deep waters, the spring of wisdom, a running brook. Before disaster, the heart is haughty, but before honor is humility. Whoever answers before listening, theirs is folly and shame.  The heart of the intelligent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.  Proverbs 18 1-4, 12-13, 15

Spend some time meditating on this scripture and let it speak to you.

YOU are now being encouraged (actually challenged) to begin or to increase your positive behavior, starting within your marriage.  Day one: eliminate negativity.  Day two: add positivity.  Continue until it becomes a habit.  Before you begin each day though, start with a prayer seeking guidance and support.

Behold, you desire true sincerity; and secretly you teach me wisdom.  Lord, you will open my lips; and my mouth will proclaim your praise. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn. Psalm 51:8, 17, 19

With prayer and positivity, and by allowing Christ’s love to shine through you, your life will change, and thus other’s will too.

The song of joy, the song of gladness, the song of the bridegroom, the song of the bride, the song of those bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD: “Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good; God’s love endures forever.” Jeremiah 33:11

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Do something positive today.  Pray for marriages and pass it on! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pray for Families (Mourning into Joy)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Blessed are those who mourn, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  
Matthew 5:4

When a family member dies, it can be heart wrenching, especially when their death is untimely or unexpected.  These occurrences can either lead to a blame game, what-ifs, wish I would have’s, etc., or they can lead to a mobilization of family and community support.   Each is a choice.   Division or unity?

With weeping they shall come, but with compassion I will guide them. Jeremiah 31:9

Lord, we pray for all those who mourn, whose hearts ache with the pain of loss. Heal the broken-hearted and lift them from their sorrow.  Your ways are not our ways, and thus we are often left bewildered.  Heavenly Father, help us to understand that your master plan is always for our good.  Help all to be open to your grace, for your grace is sufficient for us, as your power is made perfect in our weakness. May your grace be the glue that keeps families unified, especially in the darkest of times.   Bless and protect the family, as it is through the family that your love is magnified.   Amen.

You changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, so that my glory may praise you and not be silent.  O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.  Psalm 30:12-13

Peace to your soul, Joy to your heart, and Love everlasting,

Love compassionately. Pray often. Pass it on!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Faith to Weather the Storms)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Marriage can be like a sojourn across the country. You experience breath-taking beauty and unimaginable joys as you marvel at what’s in front of you. Then you encounter numerous hills, valleys, and deserts.  You tire from the difficulty. Then unanticipated storms dampen your resolve and quakes frighten you.  You question whether you should keep going and think that perhaps this journey was all was a mistake.  But then you hear a voice, “I am with you, do not be afraid.”  You decide to go the distance, and you find that you have somehow changed.  Your focus is now more external than internal. A sense of pride, empowerment, strength, and optimism overcomes you.  Looking back over the journey, you now see how life changing it was, and you know that you will never be the same.  During the journey you only saw the tangled threads of life, but from the other side, you now see a beautiful tapestry. You are reminded of both the precious moments and the heartbreaking ones, but without each, your tapestry wouldn’t be so beautiful. 

So have faith, because with Christ, you are well equipped for the journey!

I am with you always, until the end of the age. Matthew 28:20 Be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 Be still, and know that I am God; Psalm 46:10 The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still. Exodus 14:14 Have faith in God. Mark 11:22 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Matthew 6:27 For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

We are praying for you, that you grow in faith, persevere in love, and feel His guidance, love, mercy, and compassion. May He lift you when you are tired, carry you when you are weak, and clothe you in his Spirit. Peace be to your soul!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Share a promise of prayer. Pass it on!  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pray for Families (True Freedom)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Freedom may mean different things to different people, but isn’t true freedom the unhampered ability to follow the will of God?

The early Church Fathers, fought by preaching the Gospel, that all might be freed from the shackles of sin by following the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so that we all might be united as one in Him.

Living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ. Ephesians 4:15

Similarly, the fathers of our nation built this country upon the same solid foundation, ensuring we were “One nation under God” for God is the ultimate protector and fount of blessings.  Understanding the power of unity, they included the word “indivisible”.

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." John 17:20-21

As God is banished from the classroom, the public square, the government, and even our homes, and God’s Law is no longer considered in our world and in our own personal lives, we allow our true freedom to slip away and the light of our nation to diminish. 

We must boldly proclaim the truth in love.  Pray that Love and Truth may burn in our hearts and that we may be His light in this darkening world.

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Psalm 94:16

We will stand Lord, united in prayer, like candles illuminating the night.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

United in prayer, we stand strong.  Pass it on!