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Friday, April 28, 2017

Pray for Families (Simply Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Love your family even when it is difficult.  That is the most beautiful prayer of all.

This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

Simply love. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Athletes in Action)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When one has difficulties in their marriage, they often struggle to persevere and stay on course.  They are like an endurance runner, hitting the wall 5 miles before they get to the finish line.  Pushing through the pain is HARD, however getting to the finish line is exhilarating!  It brings with it a new self-confidence when one realizes it is possible to get to the place beyond the pain and back to a place of joy. However, the key to getting beyond the pain in marriage is to ask the Lord to help you run the race and persevere.  It is not about self-confidence in yourself but confidence in your reliance on Him.

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.  Hebrews 10:35-36

Responding to his call, we pray,

I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14

Lord, hear both our spoken prayers and those that sound like groaning (or moaning or complaining) in the depths of our hearts.  Your plan and your reward are beyond all imagination.  Help us to contemplate that. Fortify marriages with your grace, surprise them with the tenderness of your love, and wash them in the ocean of your mercy.  Jesus we trust in You!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

If you are married, you are an endurance athlete!!  Claim it and pass it on!  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pray for Families (Decluttering our Hearts)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

As the weather improves and the sun begins to shine (at least in some parts of the country!) our thoughts often move toward spring-cleaning. Perhaps it’s the garage or the attic or maybe the entire house that needs attention, but either way it feels so good to declutter!   

Similarly, we should consider a new springtime for our hearts.  What needs to be swept clean and thrown out for good? What is cluttering YOUR heart? 

Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. 1 Corinthians 5:7

Gather old family resentments, antiquated hurts, words that stung, memories that send you down a road you choose to no longer travel, and old negativity records that skip and repeat in your brain, thereby transmitting negative impulses.  As you gather the clutter, hand it over to the Lord and ask him to seal it away forever.  May any remnants be erased in the fire of His love and may your heart be renewed.

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

With this new heart, pray for the family and friends you have forgiven in this process.

Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Encourage someone to do some internal spring-cleaning.  Pass it on!  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Hope Does Not Disappoint)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

What’s interesting about the bible is that it isn’t filled with stories about saints, but rather riveting stories about sinners.   The fact of the matter is most of us have more in common with the sinners than the saints anyway.   But what is so mind-blowing in these stories is how the grace of God transforms some of the worst sinners into the biggest saints. Consider David who murdered the husband of the woman he lusted after, but later was not only made King, but Jesus descended from his line! We all know Peter who denied the Lord three times just after professing he would die for the Lord, yet was later given the “keys to the kingdom” and made head of His church (Pope), and  finally Saul (later Paul), who persecuted the followers of Jesus and consented to the stoning of Stephen (the first martyr) yet was later used by the Lord to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. Wow!  How transformative the love and mercy of God is!  There is hope for all of us! 

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.  Acts 2:28

No matter the state of your marriage or the marriage of a loved one, know that Christ can transform it starting with you!  Remain hopeful, immerse yourself in prayer, and rivers of transforming grace will flow.  He will take you to places unimagined!

I will rejoice heartily in the LORD, my being exults in my God; For he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and wrapped me in a robe of justice. Isaiah 61:10

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Hope does not disappoint. Pass it on!  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pray for Families (Sacrificial Love)

Good Friday

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

On this Good Friday, take some time to meditate on Christ’s Passion and all He has taught us.  Let Him speak directly to you.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish?
My God, I call by day, but you do not answer;
By night, but I have no relief.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted; they trusted and you rescued them.
To you they cried out and they escaped;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

“You who fear the LORD, give praise! All descendants of Jacob, give honor;
Show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
For he has not spurned or disdained the misery of this poor wretch,
Did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out.

And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.
The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim
to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.  
Psalm 22:2-6, 24-25, 31-32

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

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

Jesus displayed the Father's love for us by teaching us how to pray and what sacrificial love looks like. As Jesus did, show love for your family through prayer and sacrificial acts.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

There is no greater love than to die to self for another.  Pass it on! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Uniting with the Cross of Christ)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

We find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week.  Suddenly any marital annoyances, heartache, disappointments, etc., seem like nothing in the shadow of the cross.

How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?  My vows to the Lord I will fulfill before all his people.  Psalm 116:12, 14

Perhaps this week, you can offer all your little crosses to the Lord on behalf of your marriage or another marriage on your heart. If Christ broke the chains of death, do you not believe he can bless, strengthen, recharge, redirect, or resurrect your marriage?

Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14

Waiting in hard. Extended patience is difficult.  Meditate on the cross. Draw close to the Lord and he will keep you steadfast.

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.  2 Thessalonians 3:5

Lord, we prayerfully unite our crosses with yours.  Bring marriages to new life!  Jesus we trust in You!

We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.  Romans 6:4

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Every marriage has at least one cross to bear.  Invite others to unite their crosses to Christ’s on behalf of all marriages!  Pass it on!  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Pray for Families (The Way of the Cross)

Greeting Prayer Warriors,

When I was a very young and thought about Christ’s Passion, it was with a child’s perspective. When I first learned that Jesus fell several times as he walked up to Calvary, I thought, “That must be have been a very large and heavy cross!”  It never occurred to me that the weight of it was because he carried my/our sins.  Nor did I realize that his thirst was for my/our love.

I looked for compassion, but there was none, for comforters, but found none.  Psalms 69:21

Now my thoughts drift to those individuals Jesus encountered on the Way of the Cross.  I sense their role with fresh eyes too. Each of those who interacted with him mirror what we cross-bearers should be to one another.  Like Simon, we need to help those feeling crushed by the weight of their cross.  Like Veronica, we need to bring compassion and simple kindnesses to those struggling with each step.  Like the women who’s hearts cried out at witnessing such brutality, we must cry out in prayer to our God for injustices inflicted on others. And like the Blessed Mother and the faithful few standing at the foot of the cross with Jesus, we as a community must stand with those who give all for others, with the encouraging gift of our prayerful presence.

Compassion, consolation, comfort, community, carry, and cry out.  All are beautiful prayers of action. As we approach Holy Week, let’s begin to pray in action for our families.

In everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints … by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, 2 Corinthians 6: 4,6

Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Take action!  Pass it on!