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Monday, October 16, 2017

Pray for Marriages (A Model to Follow)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. John 13:15

What a wonderful passage to meditate on.  Jesus engaged with everyone during his earthly ministry.  Whether interacting with saints or sinners, He loved each one and challenged them to “follow me.” It was a call to live a life of self-denial and sacrificial love. In the end, the Lord showed us the price of such love.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:13-14

In marriage, whether we are a saint or sinner, we vow to be true, in good times and in bad. While today’s culture would encourage divorce when things get bad, we must admit that everything Jesus did was counter-cultural. Nothing has changed. He still calls us to be counter-cultural; He asks us to live the Truth. We are to love, especially when it is most difficult. It is unlikely any of us will die on a cross, but we are called to die to ourselves by letting go of our self-will and seeking the good of another, especially our spouse. 

Lord, we ask for the grace to live a life of sacrificial love. Help us to let go of our self-absorption and teach us humility.  Help us to focus on the other. With loving patience, guide us in your ways, that we may be perfect models of Your love in our marriages.  Jesus we trust in You! Amen.

I kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted! Psalm 116:10

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Follow the model of Truth.  Be counter-cultural!  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pray for Families (Hidden Guilt)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Have you ever had a secret that ate away at you?  That consumed you with guilt?  Perhaps it was something you stole when you were younger. Maybe it was an illicit relationship. Or perhaps you had an abortion, paid for another’s, or encouraged one and you now have deep regret.  Maybe it was a minor hit and run. Do you blame yourself for a family member’s behavior?  Situation?  Hidden guilt can torture. 

God’s will is not that you suffer.  He awaits your contrition so that he may absolve you and grant you freedom from the demons of guilt that persecute you.

Though I say to the wicked that they shall die, if they turn away from sin and do what is just and right—returning pledges, restoring stolen goods, walking by statutes that bring life, doing nothing wrong—they shall surely live; they shall not die. None of the sins they committed shall be remembered against them. If they do what is right and just, they shall surely live.  Ezekiel 33:14-16

The Lord is merciful and loves you beyond your imagination. Hand your secrets over to the Lord and in the name of Jesus renounce their power over you and your family.

Then pray for your family and yourself:

LORD, you are my Father, my champion, my savior! Do not abandon me in time of trouble, in the midst of storms and dangers. I will always praise your name and remember you in prayer! Then the LORD heard my voice, and listened to my appeal.  Sirach 51:10-11

All praise to the Lord of Mercy!

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Imitate Christ. Forgive one another and show mercy.  Pass it on.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pray for Marriages (The Light to See)


Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Each person reacts differently when difficulties arise and stressors enter into their marriage.  Perhaps they are a communicator that needs to argue about or hash out every single issue. Conversely, maybe they are less verbal and emotionally or physically just check out.  Whether singular or frequent occurrences, neither arguing nor sleepwalking through a relationship is healthy. The Lord patiently awaits our call.  "I have lost my bearings in this darkness, and cannot find my way back.  I want to return to where I began. Come to my rescue!"

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14

Almighty God, flood our hearts and souls with the light of your presence!

We may secretly wonder why there is no instruction manual for marriage. His light makes it more understandable. Simply put, there doesn’t need to be a manual when just 8 words seem to summarize it all.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

What’s more difficult than imitating Christ?  Trying to do it without His assistance! 
  • When my spouse is in darkness, do I do my best to reflect His Light?
  • Do I seek to win arguments, or seek to understand a different point of view?
  • When I am offended, do I turn the other cheek?
  • Do I bear my crosses patiently for the good of my spouse and myself, or bemoan their weight?  

Come quickly to help me, LORD!  Psalms 40:14

Lord, thank you for never leaving us to our own devices. We join our prayers into a big bouquet of gratitude for your loving guidance and abundant blessings on marriage.  Help us to never lose hope when we feel the burden of our crosses.  May we instead rejoice in the fact that you invited us to walk right along side of you.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13; 7-8

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Help a marital sleepwalker find their way out of the darkness. Pass it on! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Pray for Families (Treasures in our Midst)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Pray today.  Pray tomorrow.  Pray always, for the spiritual health of your family depends upon it.  Treasure them as the special gift they are.

Store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. Matthew 6:20-21

May your family be the treasure that awaits you in heaven!

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

May you be delighted by the family treasures in your midst.  Pass it on! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Almighty GPS)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

A decade or so ago, I attended an event at a site that had games and human-sized mazes. As you entered the maze you were blindfolded and it required you to crawl, climb, or walk to get from one point in the maze to the next. It sounded like fun to me, however at some point, left in the darkness and not knowing where to go next, I felt an extreme anxiety and panic.  

The uncertainty reminds me of the different stages of marriage. Some times, when you feel you're at a dead end, in reality you just are not clear as to the next step. In the case of the maze, I was able to call for help. In marriage, crying out for help is a good idea too, yet so often our pride and stubbornness get in the way.

He humbled their hearts through hardship; they stumbled with no one to help. In their distress they cried to the LORD, who saved them in their peril; He brought them forth from darkness. Psalms 107:12-14

He will be most gracious to you when you cry out; as soon as he hears he will answer you. And your ears shall hear a word behind you: “This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or the left. Isaiah 30: 19-21

The Lord Almighty is our G.P.S., God Positioning System. We will never lose our way if we rely more on Him, less on ourselves. Let us cry out in prayer for marriages, that all may be open to listening for His voice and trusting in His guidance.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice, harden not your hearts!  
Hebrews 3:7-8

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Allow the Almighty GPS to show you the way. Pass it on! 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pray for Families (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

We are all born with an innocence and goodness.  When young, we believe everyone around us is good, until we find out otherwise.  Veering off this course isn’t very difficult, for the “Father of Lies” (Satan) is always trying to trip us up.  Not just us, but everyone, especially those clinging to truth and goodness. He makes us see worldliness, possessions, and evil as good.  We begin to believe his lies, as they are close cousins of the truth, but lies nonetheless.

Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.  Revelation 12:17

We are not without protection, for we each have a Guardian Angel; we have the Truth in the Word; we have the sacraments; we have the archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael; we have the power of prayer.  Let us utilize the tools the Lord has provided us and harness their efficaciousness. Pray for those seduced by the lies, especially family members and yourself.  May your guardian angel assist you as you battle temptations, the whispers in the garden of life.

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide. Amen.

They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11

Rejoice in the fact that you are never alone and that the Lord has equipped you for battle!

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

The prayers of others make a difference. Pass it on! 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Embracing the Word)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you feel close to God or distant from Him?  Does being either near or far from Him affect your outlook on marriage?  When things aren’t going well, do you withdraw from God, or move closer?  These are good questions to ask yourself.

Do you want to feel closer to Him, empowered by his love and strength? Then spend some time reading the Word. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1

Since the Word is God, spend some time with Him! He is Love! Embrace Him!

Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Converse with the Lord.  Share with Him your deepest desires and longings for your marriage.  If you are single, tell him what you want in a future spouse.  He knows our hearts, but wants to hear our voices.  And He wants to share His voice with you in the Word, so that He may encourage you and lift you up.

Let’s join together and pray for each other’s personal intentions for marriage.  May the Word penetrate your soul with joy as you hear the Master’s voice!

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Embrace the Word and never journey alone again,  Pass it on! 


Friday, September 22, 2017

Pray for Families (Hope Does Not Disappoint)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Tonight I was blessed to hear the witness of a friend’s son, who was an addict for 20 of his 33 years of life.   He is now clean and sober.  Of course he has been in and out of rehab programs for years, but this time, he’s different.  He shared that while God had been waiting for him with a helping hand all along, he had lived his life with his back to God.   Then he hit rock bottom.

Perhaps that is how God works sometimes.  It’s not until we’ve fallen with our back on the ground that we are finally facing in His direction and actually sense He’s there. While God acts in His time, not ours, this young man shared the importance of hope: Holding-Out-Past-Expectations.

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. 
Romans 5:5

This week, let us pray for those who suffer from any kind of addiction.  Let us also pray for their families, so that they don’t lose hope in the transformative power of God.  Please share this with someone who needs our prayers.  Perhaps it will be the ray of hope they need.

Bless the LORD, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name! Who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with mercy and compassion, who fills your days with good things, so your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalms 103: 1, 4-5

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Share the Good News of hope. Pass it on as a sign of compassion and love.   

Monday, September 18, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Anger's Aftermath)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Anger may be a natural reaction to an injustice or injury, but when we hold on to it, it becomes our poison.  Think of what happens in a relationship, such as marriage, when one or both spouses hold on to anger.  While the angry one hopes to wield it as a sword of defense or even retaliation against the other, instead when clung to, it becomes their anchor to an internal dark abyss. 

Refrain from anger; abandon wrath; do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
Psalms 37:8 

Held anger has a paradoxical effect.  We hope that it will send a message to the intended, however instead it serves to deflect the love we desire, imprison us with raging thoughts, and immobilize us from reconciliation.

All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.  Ephesians 4:31-32

Lord, we tend to fail whenever we think, “we’ve got this”. Come to our assistance. Help us to forgive those who trespass against us as we meditate on the love you showed your detractors, persecutors, and even those closest to you whose betrayal caused the deepest hurt.  Infuse us with the grace we need each day. Come Lord and remake our hearts!

Be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15

Pray for all marriages. Believe in His promises. For when one witnesses or receives forgiveness, they are forever changed.

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Change the world one person at a time. Forgive someone who has hurt you, then pass it on!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pray for Families (The Pain of our Crosses)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Come, all who pass by the way, pay attention and see: Is there any pain like my pain? Lamentations 1:12

Who hasn’t at some time felt that they are enduring a pain like no other?  Its source can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Fear and anxiety can result, leaving one feeling alone.  Yet, if we just close our eyes, we can visualize Jesus on the cross and know he understands pain.  Jesus endured humiliation torture, and abandonment.  He suffered out of love for us, redeeming our fallen nature.  If we unite our pain with His, our pain will have a renewed purpose.  If we offer our suffering to the Lord for a family member or friend, it becomes a thing of beauty.  Pain and suffering in our lives is inevitable, but it need not be without positive effect.

Next time you are experiencing pain, be it heartache, a physical ailment, or an emotional wound, unite that suffering with the Lord on behalf of a family member.  Such an act will be a most powerful prayer.

Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Christ’s suffering led to our salvation.  Who could have guessed the horror of the cross would result in the saving of all mankind?  Rejoice in the crosses you are gifted, for they unite you to Christ! Pass it on! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pray for Marriages (The Miracle of Conformity)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

Decades ago, when my marriage was less than ideal, I remember believing I knew what the best course of action was, for my will was telling me to leave. I was in a lot of misery, but blind to the fact that my misery was compounded by not following the will of God. As much as I thought I was seeking the Lord’s will in prayer, I think I spent most of my time trying to convince Him that my will was right.  Lucky for me, we have a very patient God who loves us beyond measure, and when we least expect it, He commands our attention. I hadn’t anticipated that the Lord was going to ask me whether I would follow Him or not, but He did. I wrestled with the fact that His question was too black and white, there was no room for a “let me think about it”, as there were only two possible answers. Although I was prideful, I wasn’t proud enough to say no to the Lord, thus it was yes. But then something unexpected happened. My misery lifted and a sense of peace enveloped me. I was able to re-enter my relationship with a new perspective… 

I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I had to focus one day at a time. 

If they listen and serve him, they spend their days in prosperity, their years in happiness. Job 36:11

With a stronger reliance on God, everything became easier. “My will, my way” apparently wasn’t the best road.  Imagine that! ;) Marriage will always have its crosses to bear, but through them the Lord seeks to perfect us. With time, I have found joy in each cross, because Jesus is right there holding it with me.

We even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Lord, when a marriage finds itself off course, meet each person where they are at. They may be fearful, angry, confused, lonely, frustrated, or despairing. When their fight or flight instinct kicks in, may they sense you before them with open arms ready to comfort and redirect them. Only you Lord know what we need before we need it. You are always standing in the gap, no matter how estranged one feels in their marriage or even from You. Infuse each marriage with the supernatural grace it needs to thrive. Then mold our wills to conform with your perfect plan for our marriages.  Jesus we trust in You!

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Witness everyday miracles.  Conform your will to His.  Pass it on!  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pray for Families (Docility and Humility)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

We fret about many things, but why?

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 
 Romans 8:28-31

Since God “foreknew” all of us, it appears as if God will do the heavy lifting for us, bringing us to glory with Him, if only we will love Him, a.k.a. are docile to His will.  That sounds so easy in theory, no?  Just follow His commands.  For most of us though, our pride melts here, as we come to grips with how headstrong we are and how we often lack docility and humility.

Lord, you made each of us for a special purpose, and you formed us as your children, loving us with the tender heart of a Father. Help us to show our love and gratitude in return.  Loosen our grip on pride and help us to see your will for us, rather than our own bucket list of earthly desires.  Help us to say as your mother did,

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

Lord, fill us with grace as you did your mother!  May we be the sparks that ignite the desire of all of our families to love you more dearly.

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Practice humility.  It will put your pride to shame! Pass it on!  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Finding True Riches)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When I was first married, I thought once we got a house, life would be great. Once we both had better jobs, life would be great. Once we could afford a new car, life would be great. Once we could afford season tickets to see our favorite sports team, life would be great. And the list went on. It took years of marital ups and downs to realize that “things” don’t make your life great; they only make it more comfortable. True riches are not found in the material.

He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  Mark 6:8

Like the disciples, those preparing for marriage and those already married are called to a great level of trust in the Lord, who will provide for their every need. How little we trust in Him when we think we have to have every need met before we can be truly happy or sometimes even before we allow ourselves to get married!

A marriage becomes great when its foundation is firmly anchored in our Lord, the Rock. He who even the wind and sea obey can certainly calm any storm in our lives and navigate us back to tranquil waters.  Protected and guided by such unwavering Love, we are richly blessed.

Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19

Lord, bless everyone who reads this with the joy of knowing how much you love them. If they are married, may your grace give them renewed confidence in your fidelity to them in their journey. If they are not married, bless them for their faithful prayers for marriage and family. May our ongoing prayers be our gift of gratitude.  

Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet

Lead someone to true riches.  Help them cast their anchor on the Rock.  Pass it on!