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Friday, April 29, 2016

Pray for Families (The Harassed and the Accused)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

With the Internet and all forms of social media at one’s fingertips, information can spread very quickly. This is wonderful when it is news that uplifts or informs.  But when it harasses, accuses, or shames, the results can be disastrous.  Often we hear of youth committing suicide based on the abuse received or continued through the Internet.  Unfortunately, the Internet does not control the truth or lies, but just spreads information that cannot be called back if it’s erroneous.

The start of strife is like the opening of a dam; check a quarrel before it bursts forth! Whoever acquits the wicked, whoever condemns the just—both are an abomination to the LORD. Of what use is money in the hands of fools when they have no heart to acquire wisdom? A friend is a friend at all times, and a brother is born for the time of adversity. The perverse in heart come to no good, and the double-tongued fall into trouble. 
Proverbs 17:14-17, 20

Perhaps you or a family member has experienced harassment or false accusations at work, in school, or in the community.  Let us pray that the Lord comforts those who have been persecuted and draws them extra close.  May the righteous persevere in love as a witness to Christ’s love.  Let us lift them up in prayer this week, that they do not allow anger or revenge take control.

He saves the afflicted through their affliction, and opens their ears through oppression. He entices you from distress, to a broad place without constraint; what rests on your table is rich food. Though you are full of the judgment of the wicked, judgment and justice will be maintained. Let not anger at abundance entice you.  Job 36:15-18

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Be joyful! Prayers waft to the heavens on your behalf! Pass it on!  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Prayer, the Automatic Weapon)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The exuberant and expectant joy of newlyweds is so charming.  If only it could be bottled and sold as a potion for the later years! But more powerful than any potion is the good news of the gospels and scripture heard with expectant faith.

Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. 1 Peter 5:5-9

Your fellow believers united in suffering are praying for you!  Prayers keep Satan at bay, as he thrives on bringing discord and despair into marriages. So let your voice be heard, first for your own marriage and then for one another’s.  Prayer is the ultimate weapon, so keep on praying for marriages and one day, we will see the increasing divorce trend in the world reverse.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer is like an automatic weapon.  Satan doesn’t have a chance when we pray with faith.  Pass it on!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pray for Families (Finding Happiness & Peace)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When visiting hospitalized patients and asking them what they’d like to pray about, I am struck by their loving reply.  It is usually not for themselves, but often a particular family member.  It appears that our hearts naturally think of those closest to us.  We want them to find happiness and at peace in their lives.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith in me.” John 14:1

Perhaps those with faith worry more about their family members who don’t have faith.  Let us lessen the worry through prayer, by bringing all those relatives to the foot of the cross.

Lord, you hear our innermost groanings before we even utter a sound.  You know the depth of our worry and all those we are unsettled about.  Hear our prayers and petitions on their behalf.  Help us grow in faith knowing that you lovingly are with them, calling to them daily, guiding and protecting them, and loving them unconditionally. Help us to trust that you love them even more than we do, and that you too want them to encounter you, their eternal source of joy, peace, and happiness. Take all those we bring to you now and immerse them in the ocean of your love and mercy.  Immerse us too Lord, as we need constant assurance.   Look kindly upon as we continue to pray for family.  Prepare a place for us so that we can all be together through eternity.

In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” John 14:2-3

You were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but the precious blood of Christ.  1Peter1:18-19


Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer is more precious than gold, silver or gemstones.  Pass it on!  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Weathering the Storms)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

“Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” Mark 4:40

In a stormy marriage, it is easy to doubt.  While maybe the word terrified is too big, weathering the bad times for an extended period can result in anything from doubt to despair. You may even cry out to the Lord as his disciples did,

“Do you not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38

Each person needs to discern whether to weather the storm, bail out the boat, or abandon ship. In such storms the Lord calls you to draw close and listen. Perhaps he will tell you, “I built the boat when you made a sacramental pledge before me. Do not fear storms.”   Maybe you got into a boat with a faulty motor, but he wants to encourage you that “I can teach you how to row”.   Or perhaps still, the captain jumped ship and free will left it adrift with you in it.

It is because most marriages experience many types of storms that we pray.  May the Lord sense the sincerity of our prayers for marriage and command the equilibrium disturbing turbulence,

“Quiet! Be still!” ….and there was great calm.  Mark 4:39

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Hope increases in direct proportion to prayer.  Pray for those too storm battered to pray.  Pass it on! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pray for Families (Amazing Grace for All)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

What do you think of when you hear the words “amazing grace”?  Perhaps it takes you to a time in your life where you were richly blessed and you knew it was due to His grace. Perhaps the words make you hear the song in your head, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”

My favorite visual of the Lord’s amazing grace is in scripture when Jesus strikes down and blinds the hateful, murderous, anti-Christian Saul. 

On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Acts 9:4

For three days Saul fasted and prayed. The Lord in his mercy, through one of his disciples, conferred the gift of the Holy Spirit upon him and “resurrected” him to new life, a life where he suddenly proclaimed the name of Jesus.

Saul conversion gives us all hope. No matter what bad choices we’ve made or horrible things we have done, and regardless of the ways we have persecuted the Lord in our behaviors, the Lord will seek us out too. Perhaps he calls each of us in more subtle ways. Dearest child why are you running from me? Perhaps He tries to keep us from stumbling or taking dangerous paths, yet in our stubbornness we forge ahead and get stuck in the thicket of life. At such times, we also will receive amazing grace, and in our surrender, He will bring us to a new life as well.

Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep. Luke 15:6

Pray for your family that no matter what path they are on, no matter what detours they have taken, no matter how many disappointments have pushed them down, that the Lord will send them one of His disciples too, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be lifted and guided safely back to Him.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Ask the Holy Spirit who in your life needs His grace and pass this on to each of them!  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Transitions)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Every married couple understands that anything that upsets the status quo of their relationship can cause turbulence.   Any life event can cause waves.  Perhaps it’s the addition of a child, or one leaving for college.  Maybe it’s the death of a parent or an extended illness in the family. Still yet it could be the delinquency of a child or grandchild, or an extramarital affair.  Marital happiness ebbs and flows on the sea of change.  Do you run when your sense a large wave or do you learn how to dive through them?  How do you survive the crashing waves?  Let us never forget who can calm every storm and save us from destruction!

They came and woke him saying, “Master, master, we are perishing!” He awakened, rebuked the wind and the waves, and they subsided and there was a calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” But they were filled with awe and amazed and said to one another, “Who then is this, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey him?”  Luke 8:24-25

Regardless of whether you feel your marriage is a yacht that never senses any waves and you are as safe as the Titanic or perhaps your marriage is more like a small rowboat constantly tossed to and fro, let us pray that no matter what storms batter you in your marriage, you will have the faith to trust in the Lord as your life raft. 

LORD, God of hosts, who is like you? Mighty LORD, your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves.  
Psalm 89:9-10

Heavenly Father, you look at each of us as your precious children.  How much more lovingly must you look at those who have committed to each other in the sacrament of marriage.  Lord, please be extra generous with your grace, your protection, and your Love.   Help us not to fear the large waves of life but to grab you as our surfboard, for you can turn our fear into joyful exhilaration.  Help us to understand that as a loving Father, you hear not only our cries but every labored breath.  We praise you and we thank you for your unfailing love. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Storms are inevitable.  Prayer helps you ride the waves.  Pass it on! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Pray for Families (The Gift of Parents & Grandparents)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

What would the world be like without the love of parents and grandparents?

As parents often look forward to an “empty nest” and grandparents look forward to the “golden years,” often the nest gets refilled with boomerang children and the golden years are spent helping adult children and raising grandchildren.  Let us praise God for the never-ending love of parents and grandparents who stand in the gap and mirror Christ’s love, mercy and compassion. They labor endlessly, pouring out what they have gleaned over a lifetime.  They are founts of faith and vessels of love.  Regardless of whether their personal style is warm and fuzzy or firm and unfailing, they reflect the sustaining love of God. 

Children’s children are the crown of the elderly, and the glory of children is their parentage. Proverbs 17:6

Lord, hear our prayers of praise for the gift of parents and grandparents. Immerse them in your unfathomable love, while blessing, fortifying, and strengthening them.  Lighten their load as they carry the crosses of old age.  Prepare for them the most glorious crowns, as they often fulfill a martyrdom of their dreams here on earth.   Help us to perpetuate their love in this world!

If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Loving actions speak loudly! Pass it on!  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Thrill Ride)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Are you someone who enjoys the thrill of life?  Do you like to be a daredevil, at least every now and then?  Do you like the endorphin rush?

If you are ready to step out on a ledge and let caution fly to the wind then here’s your challenge.  Let go of the artificial reins of life and surrender your will to God.  Surrender your marriage to Him.  Spend time listening to him in the silence, or through those you encounter throughout the day.  (Don’t misunderstand me.  I am not saying to quit your job and stop paying your bills.  J)  Rather just stop trying to control every detail of your life. Ask Him to carry your burdens, ask Him to keep you company in your loneliness, ask Him to help you love your spouse more, or perhaps at all. Seek His assistance in helping both you and your spouse to break bad habits or addictions.  Maybe it’s just a negative communication cycle that needs the ax.  Ask the Lord to give you a merciful heart or maybe just to heal your wounded one.  Rather than be overwhelmed with your demands, the Lord will enjoy the conversation.  Pour out your heart to Him.  Ask God to heal your marriage.  Healing happens over time, so ask for the gifts of patience and trust.

Behold, I come to do your will, O God. Hebrews 10:7

Lord, help us to understand your deep love for us so that we can learn to trust you more. Fill in the voids in our marriage and strengthen each of us so that with growing faith we may surrender our wills to you. Send your Spirit upon us and be our constant guide as you open the ears of our hearts to hear. Jesus we trust in you! Amen.

I am the LORD, there is no other, there is no God besides me. It is I who arm you, though you do not know me, so that all may know, from the rising of the sun to its setting, that there is none besides me. I am the LORD, there is no other. Isaiah 45:5-6

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Invite someone for a thrill ride.  Pass it on! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Pray for Families (Finding Your Place)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

Have you ever noticed how innate it is to seek out "our place"? Our place in the family, our place at school, our place at work, our place in the world and so on. We have a need to be part of something greater than ourselves and to be a contributing member. I was reminded of this as my son and I recently spent time visiting the colleges into which he was accepted so he could determine the best place for him. Ultimately, the right place is where one feels like they can be themselves. In other words, a place where you can be the person God created you to be.

We are not only part of something greater; we are part of Someone greater. Our true place is in God's family, as His beloved child, created to know, love and serve Him. He has an individual plan for each one of us, and when we act in accordance with His will for us, we are filled with peace. Our journey doesn’t end with the Lord, but begins there and continues throughout our life. We are then continually sent to be His witnesses, either in word or action.

Let us pray for all family members who are seeking their place in the world. Lord, open the ears of your beloved children, so that all may hear the Shepherd’s voice calling them,

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

May they feel blanketed in the security of Your love, may their hearts burn with a desire to serve you, and in You may they find their true place.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Build His family. Invite the relatives!