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Monday, June 27, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Abandonment)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

People often divorce because they feel abandoned. Their spouse is either not  present emotionally, physically, spiritually, or all of the above.  Their connectedness wanes. The pain is real, intense, deep, and devastating, permeated by a deep loneliness.

It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Fortunately, we are blessed by the promise of God to never abandon us.  He stands in the gap to hold us, calm us, love us, soothe us, and heal us.  He wants to heal each marital union, because marriage is meant to be a foretaste of a heavenly union with Him.   He can make all things new.

And I will give them another heart and a new spirit I will put within them. From their bodies I will remove the hearts of stone, and give them hearts of flesh. Ezekial 11:19

Let us pray for all married couples, especially those in the midst of heartache,  that they can look beyond their disappointments and continue to trust in you. 

Lord, bless them abundantly. Imbue them with amazing graces to overcome the most difficult circumstances.  Heal their wounds.  Expand their capacity to love.  Give them the gift of extraordinary faith, so that by trusting in your plan, they will have the courage to persevere.  Jesus we trust in You!  Amen.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Share His promise with the lonely and heartbroken.  Pass it on!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pray for Families (Faith in Adversity)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

My heart sinks when I hear about families who face different types of adversity.  Some lose their homes; some have never had a home.  Some face the death of a loved one; some have isolated themselves to a point where they have no one to love. Some struggle with poverty, abusive relationships, mental health issues, and so on.

However the real tragedy for these individuals or families isn’t in the hardships in and of themselves, but occurs when they don’t know that the Lord is walking beside them.  He carries them when they are weak, he catches every tear they shed, and He awaits their recognition of His presence.  He longs to hear them call out to Him for He wants to sooth their pain.  He often sends His angels (the heavenly or earthly kind) to minister to them.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain.  Revelation 21:4

How different the experience when one knows the Lord is with them!  He longs to give everyone His peace.   Consider those who gather in prayer during adversity versus those who suffer together in despair.  Don’t you long for everyone to know the Lord as the Divine Comforter?

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you. Isaiah 66:13

Let us pray that everyone, especially those facing adversity, comes to have faith in the Lord, and thus are flooded with his peace, comforted by His love, and restored through His joy.  Lord, when you are looking for someone to send on your behalf, may you not hear silence but our collective, “send me!”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”  Isaiah 6:8

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Comfort the afflicted.  Respond to His call and pass it on! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pray for Marriages (A Future Plan)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As the weather improves, we head into the marriage season, where untold time, energy, and finances are spent on the perfect day.  Some are lucky enough to have a wedding planner, while others scurry about looking for venues, shopping for dresses and tuxes, tasting a variety of cakes, listening to bands, and searching out exotic honeymoon destinations. And that’s just for starters.

 As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.  Isaiah 62:5

How wonderful it would be if equal time was spent discussing marital expectations, the couples finances and how they were going to be handled, the desire for children and one’s disciplinary philosophy, how the holidays would be spent, what faith would be practiced, and so on.  Simply put, how many couples plan for a lifetime versus just a day?

For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

Marriage is one of the hardest vocations in the world, yet the preparation for it is akin to free falling.   While there is little we can do to change this, we can at least encourage engaged couples to invite the Lord to their wedding. In life He can be an unexpected parachute.  We can keep them in prayer, as it will be a wind that keeps them airborne. We can witness to them what the unconditional love of Jesus looks like, so that they land on solid ground.

Pray that the vocation of marriage be one of unity, joy, and love.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Help marriage take flight and soar to new heights.  Pass it on!  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pray for Families (Embracing Fatherhood)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

In honor of Father’s Day, spend the weekend praying for fathers and fatherhood. 

The statistics aren’t good.  One out of every three children live in biological father-absent homes.  Let’s look at the impact of an absent father.

These youth are more likely to commit suicide, run away from home, drop out of school, become homeless, exhibit behavior disorders, become incarcerated, and be the victim of abuse or neglect.

“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

There is hope though, so let us pray!

For men who are married to their child’s mother and embrace the role of fatherhood, Lord abundantly bless them!

For men who are divorced from the mother of their children, but stay present in their children’s lives to model the importance of fatherhood, Lord abundantly bless them!

For those men who lack the courage to marry the mother of their children, Lord bless and fortify them, help them to grow into fatherhood as you intended.  Heavenly Father, show them the way!*

For men who have fathered children, but are absent from their lives, Lord, help them hear your call to arise!  Until them, send strong male role models into the lives of these children, and give their mother the strength and fortitude to power ahead.

Whoever has ears ought to hear.  Revelation 3:6

Lord, meet each father where they are at, and bless them for the amazing journey of fatherhood that you set before them.  Teach them to listen, to be present, and to love unconditionally. Give them the gifts of kindness, fortitude, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Make them beacons of your Fatherly love, so that all may come to understand by experiencing their father’s love, just how deep and pure Your love for them must be.

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:48

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Pray that all fathers will embrace the gift of fatherhood.  Pass it on! 

* Compared to children born within marriage, children born to cohabiting parents are three times as likely to experience father absence, and children born to unmarried, non-cohabiting parents are four times as likely to live in a father-absent home.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pray for Marriages (All Weather Protection)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As the weather changes, we always seek a shield.  If it’s rainy we grab an umbrella, if it’s sunny we need a hat or visor, if it’s gray and cloudy we seek a brighter light indoors.  We are clear on what we need to help us adjust to unpredictable changes.

However, when the climate of one’s marriage changes, one is not so clear on what their shield should be. Food? Alcohol? Sleep? Infidelity? Friends? Other? 

All who trust in you will be glad and forever shout for joy. You will protect them and those will rejoice in you who love your name. Psalm 5:12

There is no better shield, shelter, or protection than the Lord.  He will not eliminate the storms in your marriage, but he will prevent their destruction.  He wants you to call out His name, ask for His help, and flee to His comforting embrace.   

On the day I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit. 
Psalm 138:3

Pray for marriages, that they will not self-destruct as each turns to self-medicate their pain.  Instead may each spouse humble them selves, kneel in prayer recognizing that they have no real power against the storm, and ask the Lord to be their hope, their peace, their strength, and their unshakeable bond.

God’s way is unerring; the LORD’s promise is refined; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him. Deuteronomy 18:31

Peace, Joy, and Love,

His love for us is incomprehensible.  Accept it and pass it on!  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pray for Families (Prayer of Peace)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Peace.  It is longed for in our lives and in our families.  So it’s seems fitting that we pray The Peace Prayer, aka the Prayer of St. Francis to help us begin to sow the seeds of peace in families.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Sow for yourselves justice, reap the reward of loyalty; Break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the LORD, till he comes and rains justice upon you.”
Hosea 10:12

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Peace. Pass it on!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Choose Life!)

Greetings Prayer Warriors!

Marital oneness can often feel like an unachievable goal.

God in the beginning created human beings and made them subject to their own free choice. Sirach 15:14

In marriage, often the free choice is, do I think about me or us or some combination of the two?

If you choose, you can keep the commandments; loyalty is doing the will of God. Sirach 15:15

Reactive choices aren’t always the best.  Are we taking into consideration God's will for our marriage?

Set before you are fire and water; to whatever you choose, stretch out your hand.  Sirach 15:16

Sometimes the choice feels like it's one between burning or drowning, a lose-lose situation. But rather the choices are between our enflamed will (death) or His sustaining will (life), the water of rebirth through Jesus Christ.                                                                      

I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life! Deuteronomy 30:19

Let us pray for marriages, that each one be strengthened in courage and perseverance to choose life.  May each spouse be infused with His grace, so that they have no doubt that his grace will renew and sustain their marriage.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Doing the will of God is actually the easier path; it just has more blind intersections.  Trust and believe in his protection! Pass it on!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pray for Families (The Gift of Family)

06 03 16

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Being totally present to a family celebration is more important than writing a blog on time.  Such was yesterday as I celebrated my son’s high school graduation with extended family and friends.  As we are in the midst of graduation season and soon to be Father’s Day, pause and say a special prayer for the gift of family. Celebrate the memories, the joys, the dramas, and even the difficulties that you can at least laugh about now. Think about what your life would be like without family. Let yourself rest in the specialness of this heavenly gift.

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. Ephesians 3:14-17

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Perpetuate the love of family.  Pass it on!