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Friday, October 30, 2015

Pray for Families (Child-like Perfection)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Have you ever pondered this scripture? All week long it has consumed my mind. Why does the Lord want us to be like children to enter the kingdom of heaven? Am I to imitate them?!

Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. In respect to evil be like infants, but in your thinking be mature. 1 Corinthians 14:20

To stay on course, I reminded myself the Lord said child-like, not childish. So I closed my eyes and imagined a young child.
  • Trusting
  • Forgiving
  • Loving without conditions
  • Humble
  • Dependent on the parents
  • Seeks security in the father
  • Seeks comfort in the mother
  • Seeks unity and abhors division
  • Find joy in their surroundings.
  • Sees and delights in the wonder of God’s creation
This child reminds me of somebody!

We all were made in God’s image and likeness.  This similarity is most strikingly seen in a young child whose sweet innocence is so endearing.  They radiate Christ!  The child-like are Christ-like!  We are called to generously love and forgive one another as easily as a child does.  As Christ showed us, this builds unity.  We are to humble ourselves by realizing that we are nothing without the Father who provides for all of our needs.  This heavenly Father also provided us a mother (the Blessed Virgin Mary) who seeks to comfort us and bring us closer to Christ.

“Behold, your mother.” John 19:27

As we draw closer to Christ, we somehow see the world through new eyes, delighting in the beauty and marvel of all that the Lord has created.

As we pray for families today, let us petition God on behalf of our entire family, that He restore us to our original child-like innocence.  Lord, we seek a new heart; give us a heart that loves as purely as a child.  Lord, we seek a renewed trust in you.  Help us see our nothingness, so that we may rejoice in the fact that you are our everything.   Lord, purge from our minds all of the grudges and memories that prevent us from forgiving others.  Sweet adorable Jesus, hear our prayer on behalf of our families!  We trust in You!

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Share like a child.  Sharing is an act of love that leads to unity. Pass it on!  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Daily Recharging)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

At one point in time I needed to come up with a quick acronym for love.   Almost immediately, “living our vocation everyday” popped into my mind.  Whether we are in the mood or not, L.O.V.E. is the answer, for it is the only way to keep a marriage empowered.  While we don’t think twice about recharging our electronics every day, how often do we intentionally recharge our marriage?  For if we don’t make a daily commitment to what we vowed to uphold before God, family, and friends, what will we commit to? 

Marriage is unique, complicated, beautiful, and at times, very difficult.  Our first commitment is to love one another, but perhaps during times of difficulty the only action that seems possible, is prayer. Pray for your spouse and your marriage. Prayer is like incense before the Lord; fragrant, captivating, and heartwarming.  Plus it reawakens us!

Let my prayer be incense before you; my uplifted hands an evening offering. Psalm 141:2

My Lord, my deepest yearning is before you; my groaning is not hidden from you. My heart shudders, my strength forsakes me; the very light of my eyes has failed. Psalm 38:10-11

Listen to my prayer, LORD, hear my cry; do not be deaf to my weeping! Psalm 39:13

If you are not married, pray for a couple in need. Be a voice of encouragement to other couples. Offer support in the way of friendship, compassion, and truth. Provide hope by offering to pray for them or with them.

So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. Hebrews 4:16

Lord, hear our collective prayers and know that we stand in the gap for marriages.  Hear the splintering of marriages and the moans of hearts in pain.  You teach us that what you have joined, man is not to separate. Help us live our vocation every day! When marriage feels like a cross too heavy to bear, come and support us. Transform our hearts, turn up the voltage of our love, and unite us like never before. Reenergize all marriages! God of mercy and love, hear and answer us!  Amen.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Has your marriage lost its charge and needs to be reenergized?  Plug into Him! Pass it on!  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pray for Families (Captive to Sexual Sin)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Desensitization - I am both fascinated and horrified by how insidious it is.  We live in a culture where what is good is bad and what is bad is good.  I marvel at how what wasn’t even allowed on television when I was growing up is now programmed during the family hour.  What would have been an X-rating in the movie theaters back then is now standard programming after 9:00 pm.  While sex outside of marriage and shacking up was more experimental back then, it is now commonplace, almost a prerequisite or even a substitution for marriage. Perpetrators of random campus shootings are often distraught over their virginity. In light of these reflections, the following scripture strikes me.

What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Roman 7:15-2

If you struggle with sexual sin, do not despair, for Christ can conquer all...if you acknowledge your helplessness and surrender your will to Him. 

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Please pray for all who struggle with sexual sin: of the body, of the mind, of the heart.   Lord, open their eyes to the shallowness and artificial high of their behavior.  Break the chains that hold them captive.  True exhilaration and joy is only found in You! Praise be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Show your love by giving hope to someone held captive by sexual sin.  Pass in on! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Crushed by the Deviant or Addicted)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

A good marriage is a beautiful thing to behold and we should praise God for every one of them.  However, it is the horrendous marriages that need our help the most.  Our prayer is that they one day become great!

Many factors can make a marriage difficult, but when one of the spouses struggles with deviant behaviors or addictions such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, adultery, pathological lying, and fill-in-the-blank), the other spouse suffers greatly. 

Let us pray for those spouses feeling trapped, alone, lost, hopeless, afraid, crushed, angry, burdened, abandoned, bewildered, and betrayed.

The righteous cry out, the LORD hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. Psalm 34:18-19

Lord, we come before you pleading for your mercy upon the difficult marriages facing so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Hold them close, lift their spirits, guide their feet, renew their voices, strengthen their resolve, and calm their fears.  Bind the wounds inflicted upon their marriage and cure the addictions and destructive behaviors of their spouses.  O Divine Physician, pour your Spirit upon them and heal the memories that seek to prevent reunification.  Raise them up, renewed by the gift of your love.  As each of our prayers rise up to the heavens, know that we will forever trust in your mercy and compassion.  Amen.

“Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Send the gift of prayer. Pass it on.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pray for Families (Life Exposed)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Privacy is something highly prized.  What we do, what we say, how much we spend, how we behave, what we think--whose business is it anyway?  (Persuasive self-talk.)  Although we can guard our privacy and hide our secrets, everything is visible to God.  One day will be standing before Him, bound by the chains of our own making.

There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. Luke 12:2-3

We stand exposed.  Those acts of self-indulgence, that idle gossip, the cursing, the jealously, the bad decisions, the lack of charity; oh how long that list will seem!  But instead, we see loving eyes, ready to forgive anyone who humbly asks for His mercy.

How blessed we are to have a God who is Love and Mercy Himself!

Lord, hear our prayers for each other and for our families.  Help each of us to grow in the virtue of humility.  Strip us of all that we have kept hidden or even shamelessly flaunted. Help us to examine our hearts each day, amend our lives, and seek the grace to grow in our love for others.  Break our chains and set us free, so that with heartfelt gratitude we may proclaim your love and mercy to the whole world!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Know someone who needs to hear of Christ’s love and mercy?  Pass it on!  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Always and Forever)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Years ago, I seemed to be at the receiving end of a steady stream of stories about people separating and/or divorcing.  Having experienced ups and downs in my own marriage prior to that, I found all these stories very unsettling and quite heart-breaking. Inside, something urged and encouraged me to recruit people to pray.  Not having a clue where to begin, I hijacked a prayer list (my apologies if you can’t figure out how you ever got on my list) and then I started sending out prayer requests for marriage.  “Pray for M.O.M” (Marriages on Mondays) was the early subject line.  I assumed that after a few months of reminders, people would just automatically pray each Monday. Perhaps you do remember to pray without the reminder, but I just haven’t been able to stop reminding you.  Not because of me, but because of His abundant grace.  J  Your marriage and/or that of your family or friends is just too important to Him.

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. 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. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:5, 8-10, 12-15

I am deeply thankful for each of you, as today marks the 6-year anniversary of that first email.  My heart leaps with joy when I contemplate that one day, the Lord will reveal to each of you the fruit of your prayers.   I will pray for your endurance in this marathon of prayer that encompasses both marriage and family.  Pray for me as well, that I persevere in praying and prodding.  United in spirit and with the Spirit, our collective prayer for each other will make a difference.  Pray always and forever. May He abundantly bless all of you!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Change marriages over time, one prayer at a time.  Pass it on!  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pray for Families (Get moving toward a truly Good Life!)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

It is so easy to float through life, going where the cultural winds blow you and then changing directions when the mood strikes.  We spend our time seeking pleasures, catering to our passions, and living the “good” life.   Most of us would also describe ourselves as good people.   In both cases, “good” is a matter of perspective, and for most, is descriptive of how they feel about their lives or themselves.

What jolts me from such self-adulation is reading the following words of Christ:

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Luke 11:23

If I am not consciously walking toward Him, am I walking from Him? If I am apathetic in my desire to know, serve and love Him, can I truly say I am with Him or am I really against Him?

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17

Lord, help save me from complacency. Help me to hear you as you call my name. Give me the courage to open the door of my heart to you, for you are gentle and humble of heart.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”

Let us pray for each other and our families, that all may be filled with a holy desire, to know, love, and serve the Lord. Only them will we know the Good Life! Come Holy Spirit and set us ablaze with your love!

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! Luke 12:49

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Encourage others to move toward true goodness, which is God! Pass it on! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Who Will Reign?)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The desires of this world are so enticing.  Television, movies, and internet present us with abundant eye candy, while radio, podcasts, and print media also beckon the mind and the will to strive to obtain and be more… more rich, more powerful, more attractive.  Is it any wonder that couples so easily become dissatisfied with themselves and each other?

Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires.  And do not present the parts of your body to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your body to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14

Carnal pleasures, material gain, power, and fame do not follow us into the next life, so choose wisely in this one.    What does follow us is the fruit of the love we show to others.  In marriage, the Lord sees our sacrifices, our perseverance, and our fidelity to the relationship.  The Spirit helps us grow in patience, faithfulness, and kindness so that we may be most pleasing to the Father.

Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38

Luckily, all things are possible with grace.  Lord, should you desire hurricanes, may they be hurricanes of grace, raining down upon us until we acknowledge your reign in our marriages and your eternal and everlasting reign over heaven and earth. Hear our prayers and strengthen and bless every marriage that each one may weather the unpredictable storms of life.. 

Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Redirect the hurricane of grace. Pass it on!  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pray for Families (Torch the World with Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As we hear of violence happening locally, nationally and throughout the world, I am always curious as to the why.  How many of the perpetrators claim loneliness, isolation, and rejection?  How long did it take for hate to claim their heart, which then produced a desire for power and revenge?  Will the cycle ever end?  Can it be reversed?

But God being compassionate forgave their sin; he did not utterly destroy them. Time and again he turned back his anger, unwilling to unleash all his rage. He remembered that they were flesh, a breath that passes on and does not return.  Psalm 78:38-39

All must know Love, that is, He who is Love.  We were created for Love and by Love. This Love was to enter our lives through the family, but as the family unit breaks down or is never even formed to begin with, many no longer are introduced to the power, faithfulness, and tenderness of Divine Love.

Luckily, the Lord also gave us a spiritual family.  Thus heart-softening love can be experienced through others; by their smile, their words, their assistance, and their compassionate listening.  Let us resolve to torch the world with His Love!

Lord, we pray for those who feel isolated from their family and from the world at large.  May our love for one another spread like wildfire, and may hardened hearts soften like marshmallows to the flame.   May our prayers weaken the grasp of Satan on those who are enticed by his call to selfishness, hate, and destruction.  Send your angels to guide and protect us, especially when we are the most vulnerable.  Hear and receive our humble prayers!

Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world. You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 
1 John 4:3-4

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Create a torch relay of love.  Say a prayer for someone, show them your love, and pass it on!