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Friday, June 29, 2018

Pray for Families (From Pity Party to Confident Prayer)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Do you ever feel sorry for yourself? Perhaps you are unhappy with what’s not going right at work or at home? Tried the pity party but it felt nothing like a party? We all have experienced this, but sometimes we have to stop looking inward and look beyond ourselves. I look for inspiration in the lives of the saints, mainly because most started a great sinners!

In today’s scripture, I reflected on Peter being imprisoned by Herod, doubly shackled, thrown in a cell with guards both outside the door and flanking him inside the cell! The thought of escaping would seem pointless and hopeless. However, my eyes kept returning to a line earlier in the passage:

Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf. Acts 12:5 (emphasis mine)

This is what we prayer warriors do weekly, pray for situations some may look at as hopeless. But are these prayers efficacious? Yes they are!!!!

Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. Acts 12:7

The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. James 5:16

So let us gird our weapon of prayer tightly, keeping it always on our lips. It is a weapon against evil that is powerfully efficacious. Today, use it for the benefit of families. Begin with prayer for your own family, and then the families of others. Let us pray for misguided children, teens, and adults.  

Lord, in your great mercy release all of us from the shackles of sin, for we trust in your merciful love! Keep us faithful to our daily prayer, for by it, we can crush the despondency and hopelessness in this world.

I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 
2 Timothy 4:7

May the Lord bless each of you abundantly!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer is the greatest gift we can give to each other and the world. It can bring about peace. Pass it on!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Pray for Marriages (A Special Encounter)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Let marriage be honored among all. Hebrews 13:4

“Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony.”* Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to “be subject to one another our of reverence for Christ” and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love.  In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb. (CCC 1642)

God encounters us through the sacrament of Matrimony. Are we cognizant of his presence?  He gives us strength to carry, rise, forgive, and bear. Anyone who has been married for more than a year understands the importance of that infused grace, for they indeed will need the Lord’s assistance to carry, rise, forgive, and bear throughout their marriage!

Let us encourage the engaged to seek a sacramental marriage. For what hope is there without such supernatural grace?

Lord, while marriages may be on the decline, so too are those couples inviting you to attend their wedding. Give us the courage to speak the truth and lovingly engage those couples who may not even understand what a sacramental marriage offers: YOU! Love, Mercy, Peace, Joy, & Fidelity! Hear our prayers offered for the engaged. May they be given a holy desire to invite you to their wedding.  Also hear our prayers for married couples lacking a sacramental marriage.  May they begin to hunger for this grace, and seek the special blessing you are awaiting to bestow on them.  Lord, thank you for your patience with all of us!

For as a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you. Isaiah 62:5

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Grace is there for the asking! Pass it on! 

* Gaudium et spes

Friday, June 22, 2018

Pray for Families (Walking by Faith)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Life can be confusing. What’s bad is called good and what’s good is called bad. Lord, may we look always to you, and we will know Good.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

It’s difficult sometimes to separate fact from fiction; truth from the distortion of truth. Lord, help us see with are hearts and minds what is true.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 

It’s painful to see a loved one walk away from their faith, but we must trust in His plan which is always rich in mercy.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 

It’s unsettling to see loved ones make bad life choice, but we must believe God will use it for good, for He sees that all roads lead back to Him.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 

Lord, we pray that you give us all the gift of faith, including our families. Reinvigorate a weak faith, warm up a tepid faith, and may those with the strongest faith be given a double portion of courage to share it boldly! Consecrate us in the truth. Your word is truth!

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. 1Timothy 6:18-19

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Faith begins by seeking Him.  Pass it on!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Pray for Marriages (Faith of the Fathers)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The research results are surprising and somewhat alarming. Yet, I wonder how often these conversations occur when a couple discusses marriage and family.

If children are part of the equation, do couples discuss whether or not they will raise them up in a faith tradition, especially since many couples now shun church weddings and instead opt for destination/event weddings? 

If they do baptize their child(ren), do they remember what they vowed as parents?

Should they actually marry, have children, and baptize them, do they discuss who will teach their children about God and whether they will regularly attend church?

Satan, the king of discouragement, sees fertile ground and loves to lull couples into complacency.  Without a thought to it’s far-reaching impact, faith is deserted or it becomes “personal,” just between them and God.

Perhaps you are feeling good, because while you are not the religious one in the family, your faith-filled wife is teaching your children how to live for God, and taking them to church on Sundays, because after all, that is your day to golf, watch sports, etc.

Think again. Ready for your wake up call?

A spiritual battle ensues, without you even being aware of Satan’s stealth plan for your souls.

…the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. 
Matthew 13:19

A large study* showed that if the wife practices her faith and her husband does not, there is only a 2% chance their children will grow up to be regular worshippers. 2%!! On the other hand, if the father is the churchgoer and spiritual head of the family, the odds increase to 75% that their children will regularly practice their faith as adults.

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the land …” Ezekiel 22:30

This week let us encourage fathers not only to marry, but to also practice their faith. Showing one’s children how to live for God, is the most powerful conversation of all.

Lord, open the eyes of husbands and fathers to the true value you have endowed them with.  Renew, empower and strengthen them.  Hear our prayers as we pray that their marriages be blessed and each father’s vocal and silent witness of your love brings the Word to their children’s hearts. Amen!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Live in imitation of Christ, and your children will be drawn to the Christ in you! Pass it on! 

*study was done by the Swiss government in 1994; published in 2000.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pray for Families (The Gift of a Father’s Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Father’s Day is almost here, so let’s pause to contemplate the importance of fathers. They bring stability to the family just by their presence. When they stand united with their wife, the mother of their children, their actions speak louder than any words or lectures could. When they are loving and merciful, their children will know and understand more fully what heavenly love and mercy are. Such a gift!

The LORD bless you and keep you! Numbers 6:24

We pray for all dads, that through the grace of God, if they are good fathers, that they become great fathers and if they are great fathers they persevere in imitating Christ so that they are a light for all.

Conversely, there are dads who desert fatherhood, men who don’t know they are fathers, and men who live in regret for not being there for their kids.

Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me according to your mercy, because of your goodness, LORD. Psalms 25:7

Let us pray fervently for absentee dads and encourage their fatherhood, for it is never to late to step up, step in, and glorify God by a conversion of heart.

The LORD, the LORD, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Exodus 34:6-7

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Encourage dads, and love the one you have! Pass it on! 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Pray for Marriages (The Right Temperature)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Marriage is like the weather.  Whatever the temperature, there is always something to complain about! 

One who pays heed to the wind will never sow, and one who watches the clouds will never reap. Just as you do not know how the life breath enters the human frame in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God.  Ecclesiastes 11:4-5

Perhaps when it comes to marriage, we all need an attitude adjustment.  Let’s start with gratitude.  What a blessing to have a partner and companion in life!  Is it not a blessing that you are challenged?  Contemplate its effect on your personal growth and that of your spouse.  Since opposites attract, consider the talents and gifts that your spouse uses which enhance your own life.  You may begin to appreciate the wisdom of the Lord and give praise!

Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Today let us pray that the Lord gifts marriages with wisdom, perseverance, and an attitude of gratitude no matter what the day’s marital climate brings.  May good things last and dark clouds pass!

Battle on in prayer you warriors! Be grateful, for you are in good company!

The Lord is a warrior, Lord is his name! Exodus 15:3

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Your prayer preserves marriages from difficult storms. Pass it on!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Pray for Families (Stay, Play, and Pray)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

A trifecta to keep a family united:
  • Stay - Always be present to your family. Avoid being around, but not engaged.
  • Play - Seek adventures, have fun, and laugh.  It will help you stay engaged.
  • Pray - It will bring peace into your life and always give you hope.  It will also bring you closer to the heart of Jesus.  He will show you how to love, for He IS Love.

Though the mountains fall away and the hills be shaken, my love shall never fall away from you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10

Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us and our families!

The LORD is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusts. I am helped, so my heart rejoices; with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Peace, Joy, and Love,

All you need is Love.  Pass it on! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pray for Marriages (Becoming Well Equipped)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

The school year is ending and vacation planning is in full swing. Perhaps a road trip is in your future.  In preparation for unforeseen adventures, you have your car serviced, map out your course (or make sure your have your favorite map apps loaded), pack your bags, and stock up sustenance for the journey. You’ve checked the boxes: cash, credit cards, health insurance cards, emergency numbers, mail stopped, lawn mowed, house plants watered, pets boarded, and automobile club membership renewed in case of car emergencies.

Getting married?  You spend extensive hours in wedding preparations. Time spent preparing for a lifetime of marriage? Not so much. Perhaps you short-changed yourself? Do you have a plan for marital distractions and a safety net for marital crises? If only there was an emergency line for marriages!

But of course, there is. It’s called prayer. When we stay close to the Lord, we have an internal GPS (God Positioning System), aka a conscience and moral compass. Through Scripture, the Lord gives us a roadmap to stay on course. Not surprisingly, it begins with faith.

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, your virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7

Since we are promised that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed, we all can do this! Keep praying for marriages, as our collective prayer powers the faith, which will help us with our navigation of life.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer is like a Bluetooth connection to our GPS.  Pass it on!  

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pray for Families (Foolishly Weak)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Listening to the news, talk shows and late night TV, it is very easy to get discouraged about all the evils being normalized, the truths being suppressed, and the un-truths being spouted off. Just recently, a court of appeals had to rule on a challenge that argued our national motto, “In God We Trust” on coins was unconstitutional. Our families are being saturated with a worldview that is not grounded in the one and only Truth, Jesus Christ.

Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 
1 Corinthians 1: 20

What is peddled by the so-called wise of the world IS truly foolishness, but sometimes it is hard to discern what is true, as a lie is just a distorted truth.

God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1: 27

So it is better to be considered the fools of the world who speak wisely than the wise of the world who speak foolishly. Lord, increase our families’ faith and help us discern the truth. For if we are weak, yet strong in faith, your wisdom will be visible in us fools! Help us be the counter sign in this culture and live in accordance with the Gospel.

Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Fools unite! Pray and pass it on!