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Monday, November 30, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Waiting Patiently)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

After the whirlwind of Black Friday and the enticing deals of Cyber-Monday, you may feel Christmas is in full swing. Are you feeling the pressure? Many forget or perhaps never learned that that there is a season prior to Christmas, Advent. From the Latin word adventus, it means “coming”. It is a looking forward to; a time of waiting in expectation. During this time we are to prepare our hearts for His coming, which we celebrate on Christmas day. We humans, however, are not good at waiting and are accustomed to instant gratification, so we begin celebrating early!

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7

Similarly, when we pray for marriages, we expect swift answers and quick resolutions. Waiting can be too painful. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately for us, the Lord makes us wait. He wants to draw us closer to Him so that we may know the depth of His love for us. His love perfects and changes us, which is necessary if He is to transform our spouse!

Truly, the LORD is waiting to be gracious to you, truly, he shall rise to show you mercy; For the LORD is a God of justice: happy are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

As we await the celebration of Christ’s coming, as we await answers to our prayers, let’s challenge ourselves to slow down and spiritually prepare, either through reading, prayer, meditation, or contemplation. Allow yourself to contemplate the conversations of Mary and Joseph as they prepared and awaited the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. Meditate on the scriptures pertaining to the Nativity Story. What was said and what were their dispositions? What can we learn from their marriage?

They must have prayed without ceasing.  Let us do the same, by praying for all marriages. May each heart be an open receptacle to the Love that came into the world just for us. 

And so, after patient waiting, he obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:15

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prepare to receive all that the Lord wants to give you!  Pass it on!  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pray for Families (Sharing of Stories)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

May you all be blessed by an ongoing attitude of gratitude!  Make a commitment to give and express thanks daily.

I will extol you, my God and king; I will bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you; I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD and worthy of much praise, whose grandeur is beyond understanding. One generation praises your deeds to the next and proclaims your mighty works. They speak of the splendor of your majestic glory, tell of your wonderful deeds. They speak of the power of your awesome acts and recount your great deeds. They celebrate your abounding goodness and joyfully sing of your justice. Psalm 145:1-7

Lord, help me to share the immensity of your love, sacrifice, and majesty so that the truth of your love continues on to each successive generation.  May my love for you embolden me as I share with others the joy of having you in my life.  I will forever praise your name!  Thank you my Lord and my God!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

How has the Lord touched your life? Your family’s?  Don’t be shy and pass it on!  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Thanks-living)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

The best way to show thanksgiving to God is in thanks-living, living our life as a gift of gratitude to God.  Granted, everyone could use some divine assistance, so here is a Thanksgiving prayer for marriages to get your heart back in rhythm.  If you are not married, please pray for a special couple.

Lord, plant in us new seeds of love. Rain down grace to help it grow. Prune the branches that detract from our beauty, such as anger, resentment, pride, jealously, vanity, and greed. King of the harvest, make a more beautiful love, flower and bloom within us.  Shine your light so that our hearts might mirror the Son.  Help us to see the good in one another.  May we count the wonderful traits and virtues of our spouse and then give you thanks and praise.  Reign forever in hearts, that we might bear fruit by being a faithful witness to others. All things are possible through you! Come Holy Spirit and reignite our love!

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him 1 John 4:16

May the Lord bless us and keep us. May the Lord let his face shine upon us and be gracious to us. May the Lord look upon us kindly and give us peace. Amen.  Numbers 6:24-26

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Lord of heaven and earth, we praise you and we thank you! May the whole world join us in chorus! Pass it on! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pray for Families (Recipe for Thanksgiving)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

In less than a week most of us will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. While we may anticipate warmth and love, lively conversation and laughter, large family gatherings can sometimes be like striking flint; you just never know if sparks will fly. 

Preparation is always important before a holiday, so before heading out, make sure you and your family are "dressed" as follows.

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. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:12-17

As you gather to give thanks, please take a moment to ask for a special blessing on your family and all of our families.  And if by chance your extended family is the non-praying type, silently call down His blessing upon all of them, that each of their hearts may feel His love striking them like flint, sparking a desire to know Him more.  May thanks and gratitude abound! 

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all of you!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

In praise and thanksgiving, be a flaming ember of His love and light the world on fire!  Pass it on! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Knock, Seek, Receive)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

“Lord, Son of David, have pity on us!” Matthew 20:31

Thus was the cry to the Lord for help from two who desperately wanted to be healed. This could easily be the cry of a couple, whose marriage is crumbling.

A request of such heartfelt desire must begin with faith. Faith that the Lord has the power to heal even that which may seem un-healable to others.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Matthew 20:3

Although the Lord knows our heart, he wants us to ask Him for what we need. It’s almost as if asking is necessary to show our faith and trust in Him as the Divine Physician. Also, when we ask for huge favors it deflates our pride and results in humility.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 
Matthew 7:7-8

Everyone knows of a marriage in need of healing grace. Perhaps it’s your own. Seek and knock on behalf of yourself or others. Knock loudly and repeatedly. Seek in prayer and petition what is needed. Be specific. Expect that the door of the Lord’s heart will open, and rivers of love and healing grace will flow out.

Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? Luke 18:7

God is good all the time!  Believe, trust, and rejoice!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Knock, seek, and be ready to accept His grace! Pass it on! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Pray for Families (Awe and Wonder!)

Greetings Pray Warriors,

God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. Genesis 1:29-31

What do you remember of childhood?  Did you chase butterflies, marvel at anthills, and dig for worms?  Perhaps you climbed trees, feeling you had the best view ever, and what a bonus if it was a fruit tree!  Free food!  Remember the adventure, the wonder, and the joy you felt?  Dandelions and wildflower bouquets were beautiful and free!  Did you love the night sky?  Stargazing, picking out constellations and scanning for shooting stars was wonderful entertainment and even cooler if you had binoculars!  Did you live near the ocean and love the crashing waves?  Or did you live near a creek, stream, waterfall, lake, or river and marvel at the beauty or life found within?
As children we instinctively knew there was something greater present, although we may not have been able to name it. What about today?  When you see the beauty and marvel of creation, are you mindful of the Creator?

Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these; for the original source of beauty fashioned them. Or if they were struck by their might and energy, let them realize from these things how much more powerful is the one who made them. For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen. Wisdom 13:3-5

Lord, give us back our childhood eyes that we may see you in everything.  Let us love not just the magnificence of your creation but help us discern in them, the Creator.  As we ponder nature, weather, the moon, and the sun, may our hearts perceive the depth of your love, realizing that you created it all for us!  Help us to protect and sustain all of creation so that future generations may also sense you in everything.   May we help our family members to appreciate the gifts of your love in all that we see and experience.  May we continually pause, if even for a second, to express our gratitude to you, our Creator.  We thank you, Heavenly Father, from whom all good things come. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Help a family member discern the Creator in the created and thus come to know Him more intimately. Say a prayer for them and pass it on!   

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Attacked from Within)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you remember your wedding?  Most likely it was filled with family friends, laughter, and joy, and seemed like a slice of heaven.  You fantasized about your future life together and all that would transpire.   Adam and Eve must have felt the same way---they were married, living in paradise, and with plenty of time to get to “know” each other. They were living the dream!   However Satan hates unity.  He despises happiness.  So his method of operation and strategic plan never changes: divide and conquer! 

It is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.’ ” But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! Genesis 3:3-4

Satan, the prince of lies, promised the attainment of knowledge and power outside of God, which created conflict between Adam and Eve.  Their promise of security as well as ours rests with God, but power and pleasure so often seem more enticing.  When Adam and Eve were caught in their sin, the blame game of transferring accountability began.  Sound familiar?

It’s little wonder Christ’s first miracle was at a wedding.  Satan was ready to create discord, even at the reception.  Christ’s miracle delayed their first argument at least until the honeymoon!

Lord, help us in our marriage to trust you more completely.  Where there is division, create unity.  Where there is discord, bring peace.  When we blame others, hold us accountable.  When we hold grudges, show us the healing power of forgiveness.  May we freely place our marriage under your guidance and protection, so that we may attain peace, joy, and love in our relationship.  Prevent us from cutting our ties with you and chasing vainglory, riches, and passionate pleasures.

I will lead the blind on a way they do not know; by paths they do not know I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight. Isaiah 42:16

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

For lifetime protection, trust in the Rock!  Pray and pass it on!  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pray for Families (Scarred by Abuse)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

We all have wounds, but it seems the ones that leave the biggest scars are those created by blows that crush our heart and unsettle our mind. The abuse could be physical, mental, or emotional, received as a child or an adult. We move along with injuries we sometimes no longer even perceive.  Yet our hearts softly whimper, hoping to be soothed. Our minds are unsettled, hoping to be stilled. 

I have been mortally afflicted since youth; Psalm 88:16

Yet when I looked for good, evil came; when I expected light, darkness came. My inward parts seethe and will not be stilled; days of affliction have overtaken me. Job 30:26-27

Hear, LORD, my plea for justice; pay heed to my cry; Listen to my prayer from lips without guile. From you let my vindication come; your eyes see what is right. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:1-2, 7-8

Lord, with humble hearts, we lift up one another in prayer, our family, friends, and acquaintances. We ask you, the Divine Physician, for the healing of all that interferes with us being everything that you created us to be.  May each of us be healed and renewed in body, mind, and spirit. In your merciful love, hear our prayers!

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

I will heal them and reveal to them an abundance of lasting peace. Jeremiah 33:6

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Everyone needs compassion.  Everyone needs healing. Pass it on! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pray for Marriages (Hit by Turbulence)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Have you ever been a passenger on an airplane cruising along smoothly and then out of nowhere turbulence hits and catches you totally off guard. A wave of panic crashes over you and suddenly you hold on and buckle tight.  You hope that the pilot will quickly bring you to calmer heights. You’ve lost your peace and anxiously wait to be firmly planted on the ground again.

Marriage can be a lot like flying. You plan on a smooth ride and don’t know how to handle unexpected turbulence since it was never part of your flight plan.  Nor did you ever consider how much baggage you were bringing into the marriage and how that might contribute to the overall lack of balance.  You are surprised that in no time, what seemed like a first class experience now seems like a middle seat in coach.  You feel squeezed in, uncomfortable, and irritated by a lack of interaction. You can’t seem to find your way back to first class and you just want off of this flight in distress. Mayday!

The question is whom did you choose to pilot your marriage?

In their distress they cried to the LORD, who brought them out of their peril; He hushed the storm to silence, the waves of the sea were stilled. They rejoiced that the sea grew calm, that God brought them to the harbor they longed for. Psalm 107:28-30

Let us pray for marriages hit by unexpected turbulence, which leave one or both spouses frightened, confused, and ill-prepared.

Lord, help them hear you calling out to them, even if they hadn’t thought to call out to you first.  Calm the storms in their marriage and pilot them into the safe harbor of your love. Teach them, heal them, and restore their love so that it may reach heights never even imagined.  Jesus, hear our prayers!

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

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Your fervent prayers are like a jet engine; they help marriages take flight! Pass it on!