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Monday, April 29, 2019

Pray for Marriages (For us, who ARE NOT)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

How difficult it is to fathom the love and mercy of God.  His love is unconditional, unlike ours which easily flames out. His mercy is an ocean awaiting our plunge. Ours is more like a mud puddle. Our humanness, sometimes truly feels like a “condition”.

I am who I am. You are she who is not.  (God to St. Catherine of Siena.)

In marriage, our love can seem to follow the phases of the moon; sometimes bright and shining, other times completely invisible. Likewise, our mercy is about as minute as the tiniest star, yet we perceive it to be brightly twinkling. God however, beckons us instead to become like the sun/Son, shining with warmth, emitting a positive energy, and fearless of both darkness and gloom. For the Son never leaves us   Our love and mercy is meant to be like the presence of God in the burning bush, something that can’t be consumed or expended. The only way that is possible though, is to clothe ourselves with Christ and pray for His Spirit to move through us.

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept safe for Jesus Christ: may mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2

Holy Spirit, come fill us with your love, bathe us in your mercy.  May your Love cast out our fears, renew our peace, and move through us to our spouse.  May we imitate your love and mercy and continue to reflect what Pure Love looks like.  Lend us your heart, that our hearts might beat in union with yours.  Without you, we are nothing. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Love and mercy; pass it on! 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Pray for Marriages (Accepting His Invitation)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  He has risen and the chute to condemnation has become a parachute to safety! Who is this God who loves us that much that he desires to show us the path to life? Contemplating his love, it is easy to see how paltry our love is by comparison.

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

He invites us to the banquet, admission is free, yet the decision remains ours. (Free will is a double-edged sword!) Will we choose to attend? There are still requirements for entrance. He has given us each a cross to carry up our own Calvary. Will we choose to love, even when it is difficult? Will we respond in kindness to those who mistreat us?  Will we refrain from maliciousness, envy, and revenge?  His commandments (requests) are few yet mighty:
  • You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
  • You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Mark 12: 30-31
There is no pressure just a soft beckoning from he who is Love.   

Pray for your spouse, pray for yourself, and pray for your relationship, that you might pray each other into holiness, reflect His light, and embody His love. Do not lose heart if you are praying alone. May our prayers add leavening to yours!

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Prayer is an act of love. Pass it on!  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pray for Families (Eternal Hope)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

There is always someone to worry about in any family. Perhaps we need to worry less and meditate more on the depth of the love our Savior has for each one of us. He gave his life, so that the door to eternity would be forever open for us.

Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, but he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

Let us not be discouraged by set-backs, missteps, humiliations, failures, taunts, discouragement, or even abandonment by those we love. There is nothing any of us has endured that Jesus hasn’t already. He has conquered death and now stands at the door of our heart and knocks. The door is open on his side.  Will we accept his invitation and open our hearts to him?

I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:21

For each family member, let us pray that they will have the courage and faith to accept God’s loving invitation.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Victory is found in Him. Paradise awaits.  Pass it on!  

Monday, April 15, 2019

Pray for Marriages (Extravagant Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

When you contemplate your marriage, can you accuse yourself of extravagant love? I’m not referring to an over-the-top display of gift giving, but rather a boundless gift of self-giving.

There are many examples in scripture of extravagant love. Consider how Mary, Lazarus’ sister, focused on the cost of love versus the price of something, and anointed the feet of Christ, intuiting the necessity.

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair. John 12:3

The Blessed Mother lived a life of extravagant love beginning with her magnificat to her humble and unwavering love for Jesus, never leaving his side, even when it pierced her heart to stay and witness the torture of her son.

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

Gazing upon a crucifix, there before you is the definition of extravagant Love.  He loves you so much, no price was too much for your salvation.  He was and still is parched for your love.

Jesus said, “I thirst.” John 19:28

As you step forward into Holy Week, walk with Jesus and ask Him to help you be more extravagant in your marital love. What could be a more beautiful prayer for your marriage?

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Enter in to His Passion that you might be transformed. Pass it on! 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Pray for Families (Finding Unknown Joy)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials. 
James 1:2

Suffering, hardship, pain, humiliation-if this is a sign God loves you, perhaps you’ve begged for a little less love?!  Consider a loving father or mother.  Do they love you more when they allow you to struggle so that you may learn the value of hard work?  Or do they love you more when they rescue you from every struggle? Do they love you more when they let you live with the pain of your mistakes or when they make excuses for you so that you never have to pay the price for your missteps?  Does a charmed life make you more empathetic, sympathetic, and humble, or does a life of ups and downs more perfectly shape your character?  Which scenarios are going to make you more Christ-like?

Finding joy in trials is an aspiration. 
-Lord, help me praise you in the storm.

Embracing one’s cross is an act of the will.
-I will praise you in the storm.

Acknowledging that Jesus endured unspeakable suffering for me, changes everything.
-Praise you Lord, for your suffering on my behalf saved me from an eternal storm.

May I accept this gift in accord with your will.
-All praise and glory is yours both now and forever!

Lord, may I remember that You are my shield when venomous arrows fly toward me. May I be mindful that you are my comforter when my tears run freely. Make me cognizant that you love and protect my family members, even those who are far from me. May I not fear their trials nor mine, but find joy in the fact that your gaze is upon us.

Know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4

Peace, Joy, and Love,

No victory occurs without previous trials. Boldly carry your cross for the victorious crown! Pass it on! 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Pray for Marriages (Humility and Mercy)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Relationships of any type can be complicated, but when you commit to someone for life, as we do in marriage, complicated is too simple of a word! Who could have guessed that after the “I do” you would be led down roads and paths you never anticipated, suffer hardships that you never imagined, and experienced joys that would take you to new heights?  Most storms can be weathered, but the worst ones are when you hurt or are hurt by the one you love, the one you made a commitment to, and the one who made a commitment in return.

Perhaps you were the one hurt, or perhaps you are the one begging forgiveness.  This is where the hard work begins, for it calls us to be Christ-like; humble and merciful. Humble and contrite if we hurt our spouse with malicious words or actions; merciful if we were hurt by such words or deeds. Sometimes we prefer to nourish and justify our anger as we bathe in self-righteousness. Other times we stubbornly choose not to forgive for the wound is raw and deep.  Yet, Christ taught us that how we respond to others, is how He will treat us at the last judgement.

Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Luke 6:36-37

We are truly incapable of doing as Christ did if we do not open ourselves up to and accept His grace.  Thus, we pray:

Merciful Savior, you bore all of our hurts, pains, and offenses first, so that we could be redeemed in the bath of your Precious Blood. Open our eyes to the pain we have inflicted upon our spouse recently or in the past, intentionally or unintentionally. Help us to humble ourselves as we ask their forgiveness. In turn, give us the grace to let go of all old wounds inflicted by our spouse. May we voice our forgiveness to them, and with a contrite heart say before You now, I forgive (name of spouse). Be merciful to me Lord as I am merciful to others. Amen.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Wounds festers when we cling to unforgiveness. Let go and let God heal you! Pass it on!