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Monday, August 29, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Purging the Me-Monster)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you remember as a child, or perhaps experienced with your own children, that your/their focus was all about "me".  "Mommy, daddy, look at me!" children scream in a nonstop loop.  While it’s somewhat endearing in the young child, it’s not so much with an adult. Unfortunately in today's culture some adults seem to have never outgrown the "look at me!" phase.  "Look at my cool car!  Look at my custom home! Look at my amazing vacation pictures! Look at my new title! Look at my new hot wife/husband!"

If we are hyper-focused on our material and professional success, seeking to glorify ourselves, how can we truly ever enter in to a marital relationship of self-giving with our spouse, let alone Jesus?  Jesus must be the one we glorify.  It should not be look at me, but rather, look at Him.  It is only by looking at the cross that one can understand what real love and who should be the focus of our love.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.  Ephesians 5:1-2

By imitating Christ’s sacrificial love, a complete giving of self for the beloved, your marriage will be transformed.

Lord, help us to let go of all the excesses that steal our love and attention from our spouse and from you.   Please fill us with your grace!  Help us to turn from our self-love and focus outward rather than inward. For in loving you, we will learn to love selflessly. May we glorify you by loving our spouse as you loved the church.  All glory and honor is yours, now and forever!

He must increase; I must decrease! John 3:30

All is possible when you begin and end with prayer! 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Help others purge the Me-Monster.  Pass it on!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Pray for Families (Peace during Separation)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

We live in a day and age where it is increasingly frequent that family members both nuclear and extended move away from each other.  It may be a temporary move such as leaving for  a camp or college, or a more permanent move like a relocation or retirement.  Knowing family members are far away and have less support, we tend to worry more about them or perhaps ourselves if we are the one left behind! 

To ease our minds, we need to trust and realize that the Lord loves them even more than we do!  In thanksgiving for the gift they are, prayerfully hand them over to the loving protection of our Lord.

Heavenly Father, You ask us to be as trusting as children, yet such vulnerability is scary not just for us, but as we think of our young children adult children, our aging parents, aunts and uncle, and grandparents. Lord, we place our family members under your loving gaze. Help us to trust in your care and protection as we are separated from those we love. Hear our prayer as we speak the words Jesus prayed to You on our behalf. … Keep them from the evil one. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. John 15, 17-19

For you are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead [them] and guide [them]. Psalm 31:4

Prayer will bring you and your family peace.  Remember to pray for other families too.

With compassion I will guide them; I will lead them to streams of water, on a level road, without stumbling.  Jeremiah 31:9

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer brings peace to the soul and peace to those you love.  So why not pray and pass it on?!  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pray for Marriages. (Lukewarm and Apathetic)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Good marriages are a joy to observe.  Bad marriages are in obvious need.  But it is the lukewarm apathetic marriage that is in the most danger because the need for counseling is less obvious and the spouses' apathy doesn't ever move it forward.  It is paralyzed by inaction and inattention. 

Lord, we gather our heartfelt prayers together as a spiritual bouquet and offer them on behalf of lukewarm marriages. Bless each of them! Ignite them with the fire of your love! Heal them with the balm of your mercy!

And I will espouse you for ever: I will espouse you in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and mercy; I will espouse you in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.  Hosea 2:19-20

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer brings hope; hope chases away despair. Invite someone to pray for marriages. Pass it on!        

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pray for Families (Feasting in Him)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Who doesn’t love a feast of delights?  The Lord has prepared a heavenly banquet for all of us.  Do we remain conscious of that?

Jesus...spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.   

Do you listen for his voice?  Do you pay heed to His desires for your life?

A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’

Or are you too preoccupied to listen?

Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.

Is work (too many emails) or play (lots of recreation) overshadowing or eclipsing your spiritual life?

The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.

Do you mistreat those who are trying to encourage your spiritual growth?

The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.

Our merciful Lord invites all to the heavenly feast. He died that we may have new life in Him. He gave us free will, so we have to accept His invitation.

But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.

He dines with sinners, but still calls them to repentance.  Only then can His merciful love clothe them with righteousness.

Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:1-14

Our “RSVP” is a choice.  Let us pray for our families and each other, that we may not be so distracted by worldly desires that we fail to accept His invitation.

May His merciful love transform your life by conforming your heart to His.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

RSVP to the best banquet of all.  Pass it on!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Stepping in to the Unknown)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

In the same way that there is no instruction manual that comes with a newborn, there is no manual that comes with the adult you are marrying. When I ponder that both parenting and marriage are designed to be a life-long commitments, I ruminate on what the Lord must have had in mind. What is He trying to teach us? The cynical side of me wants to say the Lord is just looking for a few (okay several) good laughs, but I know in my heart that would never be the case.  

Perhaps it makes some sense when we look to the example of the mother of Jesus and the spouse of Joseph.

“I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

The Blessed Mother was a virgin, impregnated by the Holy Spirit and married to Joseph, a man whom she never was to “know”.  There was no indication where she was to give birth nor who, if anyone, would be there to assist her.  Plus, she and Joseph were poor.  Very poor. Did she worry that he could support her?  Would he be able to sell his woodwork? Did he truly love her?

Her faith and trust in God were both unshakeable.  Thus looking again at parenting and marriage, the Lord must similarly want to help us grow in faith and trust through these relationships.  We must pray to be filled with grace just like Mary was.

“Blessed are you who believed  that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  Luke 1:45

Pray that all spouses are given the supernatural grace to trust in the Lord without reserve.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Every married couple’s faith needs the strength and clarity of grace.  Keep praying and pass it on!  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pray for Families (Purified by Grace)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Sin.  Sometimes it seems that ignorance is bliss, but like an unseen tumor, eventually it reveals itself.  Perhaps you’ve become indifferent to your sin.  Or maybe instead you worry about a family member’s. Maybe you worry about everyone’s as you are hoping for a wonderful reunion in the afterlife.  The good news is, we are blessed to have a very merciful God.

I will purify them of all the guilt they incurred by sinning against me; I will forgive all their offenses by which they sinned and rebelled against me. Jeremiah 33:8

If then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Pray for family; May we be open to the grace freely given by God to help us turn from sin and experience healing.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.  James 5:16

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Your prayers and the prayers of others make a difference.  Increase their power and pass it on!  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Finding Wisdom)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

If you love to listen, you will gain knowledge. If you incline your ear, you will become wise. Sirach 6:33


We don't become wise just by listening to all the babble and the constant cacophony of noise out there, but rather by seeking stillness and quiet so that we might hear the Lord speak softly to our hearts.

What is he saying to you? Who does He send your way that you might hear his voice? What does he desire for your marriage? Perhaps He desires that you might incline your ears to your spouse. What might you learn if you take some time to focus solely on them and listen?

Until you are old you will keep finding wisdom... Bend your shoulders and carry her and do not be irked at her bonds. Sirach 6:18, 25

Perhaps we find wisdom through our crosses....

With all your soul draw close to her; and with all your strength keep her ways. Inquire and search, seek and find; when you get hold of her, do not let her go. Thus at last you will find rest in her, and she will become your joy. Sirach 6:26-28

Pray. Embrace your cross, and it will one day be a source of joy. Embrace your spouse, and the Lord will bless you. Pray for wisdom, pray for marriages, and pray to find joy in each cross.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer can turn sadness into joy.  Pass it on! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pray for Families (Vessels of Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Families come in many forms; those we are born into and those we adopt; yet sometimes we are the ones adopted by others! What a gift! In any instance, the Lord reaches out to us reminding us that we were made for community. Family is our first training ground. He wants us to love and be loved, since that is why He created us. Slowly, we realize that all He wants from us is to accept his love and to share it with others.

Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth “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 17:17-21

Lord, your love is sweet, generous, and undeserved, so we praise you for unconditionally lavishing it upon us. Help us to be vessels of your love and truth, not so we can hoard it, but so that we can share it with others both in our family and in our community. 

And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” John 17:22-26

Lord, we pray for our extended family, both biologic and “adopted”. Make them docile to the movements of your love. Intoxicate their hearts so that they may spend a lifetime joyfully pouring out the love you have shared with them. Then all can be assured that this world with be a most heavenly kingdom.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Love is joyful, healing and intoxicating! So let’s continue to pass it on!