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Friday, December 30, 2016

Pray for Families (Inspired by the Holy Family)

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Greetings Prayer Warriors!

How fitting that we are ending this year of prayer on the feast of the Holy Family!  

By contemplating the life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph we can learn all we need to know about what family should look like and what our role is.  One’s dignity does not come from where they were born, but from the self-knowledge that they are, a child of God.  One’s holiness does not come from one’s achievements, but from choosing to love every day, through every circumstance.  A good husband and father is one who is obedient to the will of God and does whatever possible to protect and provide for the ever-changing needs of his family. A godly wife surrenders to the will of God, even when it doesn’t make sense.   A child honors their father and mother through obedience and respect.

Children, listen to me, your father; act accordingly, that you may be safe. Sirach 3:1

Those who respect their father will live a long life; those who obey the Lord honor their mother. Those who fear the Lord honor their father, and serve their parents as masters. My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find mercy in the sight of God. For great is the power of the Lord; by the humble he is glorified. Sirach 3:6-7, 17-20

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another [in] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Ephesians 5:15-20

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we ask your intercession, that we may have the courage and strength to amend our lives each day and conform them to the will of God.

May each of you and your families, plus others you hold in your heart, be encouraged, blessed, and empowered to live your lives each day for the glory and honor of the Lord!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Sing a song of thanksgiving and praise as 2016 comes to a close.  Pass it on! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pray for Marriages (The Gift of His Love and Light)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.   John 1:1-4

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:1, 5

Sweet Baby Jesus, in your innocence and helplessness, you draw us near.  Let us not forget that you need our love as much as we need your Light.  Shine your Light into our lives and illuminate our marriages.  Help us to realize that in loving our spouses, we are also loving You.  Give all the grace to persist in prayer, grow in love, and praise your Holy Name.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be his Holy Name
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus!

“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.”  Revelation 5:13

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Love is an action and so is prayer.  Together they are a beautiful love letter to the Lord. Encourage more people to compose such love letters.  Pass it on!  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Pray for Families (Peace for all)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Christmas is almost here!

Peace! Peace to those who are far and near!  Isaiah 57:19

“Peace be with you.” For the sake of the house of the LORD, our God, I pray for your good. Psalm 122: 8-9

Praying for you as we enter into Christmas.  Take a moment to pray for each other, to pray for families, and to pray that nothing may disturb your peace. 

Lord, give us an everlasting gift of your peace!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Share you peace.  Pass it on! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pray for Marriages (A Prayer for You)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Lord, I pray for three Christmas gifts for my prayer warriors, including those they pray for. 

Lord, bless their marriages with an extraordinary peace.

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.  2 Thessalonians 3:16

Lord, bless their marriages with abundant joy.

You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. Psalm 16:11

Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. John 16:24

Lord, fill their hearts with unimaginable love.

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. 
Ezekiel 36:26

[May] their hearts may be encouraged as they are brought together in love. Colossians 2:2

You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God. 1 Peter 22-23

Open the gifts of His peace, joy, and love,

Share the gifts.  Pass them on! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Pray for Families (Transform Me First)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As Advent winds down and Christmas draws near, schools and many employers close for a holiday break and people begin their travels home to family.  The anticipation of family homecomings is delightful, but often as Christmas arrives ideas may vary among family members on how the day should be spent and who it should be spent with.  Spiritual differences may become more evident.  Rather than use it as a base of contention within your family, instead focus on being a shining light, mirroring Christ’s love, mercy, and generosity.  Transformation rarely occurs because one was convinced by an argument but rather hearts change when they are disarmed by unanticipated love, mercy, and generosity.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:14-16

Lord, send your Spirit upon us that we may boldly bear witness to You through our words, actions, and deeds.  Help us love when we don’t feel like it, be merciful when we desire to be harsh, and generous when we want to be stingy with our kindness and resources.  We open are hearts to you Lord, that you may transform us first!

May Christ’s light shine through each of you! 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Pray for your own transformation, and that each family member may experience the love of God in a new way. Then pass it on! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pray for Marriages (The Perfect Marriage)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

“Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you shepherd, where you give rest at midday?” Song of Songs 1:7

Do you hear the soft voice reply to you?

 “Arise, my friend, my beautiful one, and come! Let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.  
Song of Songs 2:10, 14

You are loved.  No matter the state of your marriage-good, bad, or neither-the Lord wants you to experience His love.  He will love you and teach you the mysteries of love.  He showed us all that love does not seek self-gratification, but rather love gives all for the beloved.  Love is the best teacher, even to difficult student.

My lover belongs to me and I to him. Song of Songs 2:16

Lord, when couples are weary and their path is rocky, may your love help them to persevere. When they become apathetic, warm their hearts with the fire of your love.  When they are united in heart and mind, may heavenly praise be forever on their lips!  Thank you Lord for always loving us, lifting us, and carrying us, each according to our need.  Disarm us with your, tenderness, kindness, and compassion. Conform us to your most Sacred Heart.  Transform us with your unwavering love.  All things are perfected through you.  We pray that you perfect all marriages for the glory of your name.  Jesus we trust in You!!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

The perfect marriage is only possible through Him, so invite him in!  Pass it on!  

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pray for Families (The Present in the Presence)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you find yourself a little crazed this time of year or are you calm?  I have to admit that I always feel a bit overwhelmed with all I have to accomplish and wish I were one of those people ready for Christmas by September.  (Not the decorating part though!)   However, I never will be, so I have to find the proper balance.  Experience has taught me that if I focus too much on the “to-do list”, I miss all the joy of the family time.

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  Luke 10:38-42

Are you a Martha or Mary?  Martha focused on the need to serve and her joy was lost as she separated herself from the “guest” and let herself get frustrated that Mary wasn’t helping.  (Sound familiar?)  Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, being totally present to Him and thus he was to her.  If we aren’t present to others, how will they see the Jesus in us and how will we experience the Jesus in them?

This Christmas Season, let’s pray that all are able to be present in the presence of others. 

Lord, we thank you for the gift of family and ask you to bless them; the ones you blessed us with and the ones we have chosen.  Help us to focus on the necessary and not the unnecessary so that we don’t miss out on time with loved ones. May the only high bar of expectation be one of opening our hearts completely and unreservedly to You for You are the reason for the season. Please give us the grace to always be present to your presence in and around us.  You are our Joy!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Spread the Christmas spirit.  Pass it on! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pray for Marriages (Bless our Role Model)

 Greetings Prayer Warriors,

What a gift role models are in our lives.  I am most inspired by those couples that have surfed the waves of marriage and have learned that large waves although scary and difficult to ride, will eventually bring you back to the sandy shores.  Exhilaration and newly found confidence comes from conquering them!  

This week I would like to pray for those couples who have been married for decades, that they continue to inspire us by their steadfastness and teach us about love, faithfulness, and trust in God’s plan.

Caught off guard, the waves they rose,
I wanted to run free, but then I froze.
Is my faith like Peter, who soon would sink?
To ride a wave, I’d be crushed in a blink!
But Jesus assured me as He reached out his hand,
Stay close to me and you’ll always find land.  –JFL

More powerful than the roar of many waters, more powerful than the breakers of the sea, powerful in the heavens is the LORD.  Psalm 93:4

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. Let them thank the LORD for his mercy. Psalm 107:29-31

Lord, thank you for the witness of all those couples who show us the fruit of faithfulness in marriage.  Protect and bless their unions, for even their silent witness strikes awe in us.  May we each be blessed to have at least one couple like this in our lives.  If they happen to be our parents or grandparents, then we are twice blessed!  Lord, calm the storms in our marriages, and until then, teach us to surf!  Increase our faith and trust in You!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Encourage a married couple overwhelmed by the crashing waves. Pass it on!  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pray for Families (True Christmas Preparation)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you feel it…all the pressure to be ready for the “holidays”?  Perhaps you heap certain expectations upon yourself? Upon your family? Do you become consumed with what you need to do, buy, bake, decorate, ship, and complete to be ready for Christmas? Are you exhausted by Christmas and end up feeling anything but joyful?

Extricate yourself from the cultural rapids of endless Christmas preparation and securely place yourself into the calm waters of Advent through reading, meditation, and contemplation, for Advent is a time of anticipation of what’s to come and the self-preparation of our soul to receive the ultimate Gift.

Delay the hanging of Christmas lights, until you first take time to meditate on the Light that came into the world at Christ’s birth. 

I am the light of the world.  John 8:12

Rather than consuming yourself with Christmas preparations, contemplate the Blessed Mother’s preparation for the birth of Jesus. Then read the gospel of Luke, Chapters 1 & 2.

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

Rather than buying endless gifts, reflect on the true gift of Christ’s birth. 

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”  Luke 2:10

Praise God for the amazing gift of His Son and the gift of family.

“Glory to God in the highest!”  Luke 2:14

As a family, find ways to imitate Christ: adopt a person or family that you can provide gifts, food, or companionship to over the holidays.

He has… lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.  Luke 1:52-53

Rather than fretting about the perfect gift for each family member, give them the gift of your prayers.

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Propagate the peace found only in Him. Pass it on!