Friday, April 19, 2024

Pray for Families (Mindful of the Lord)

 Greetings Prayer Warriors,


Families are busier than ever. Their schedules are packed whether they have 2 children or 12 children.  Whether carpooling or homeschooling, attending sports practice or games, band practice or concerts, working, cooking, cleaning, homework, shopping, or exercising, your obligations will take you over if you don’t take charge of them. Even empty nesters can be busier than ever. But never forget to take the Lord with you, regardless of what you are doing. You always have time to pray; to have conversations with God. 


When you drive, if you have time to yell at other drivers, you have time to converse with God. (Preferable to yelling). On the phone when driving? Call God instead. Do you have the television or radio on when working or doing chores? Use it as prayer time instead. Do you have conference calls and other distractions that keep you from prayer?  Play soft religious music or Gregorian Chant in the background to soothe your soul. Do you practice mindfulness? Be mindful of the Lord instead. 


“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20


Keep Jesus company. Remember that he is not only part of your family, he created it. He knows your worries and your frustrations, so talk to him about them. Ask for his help, his blessings, his assurances, his peace, and his love in your family. Thank him for your blessings. Every minute of the day he waits to hear your voice calling out to him.


When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me—oracle of the LORD  Jeremiah 29:12-14


Prayer really is the answer.


Peace, Joy, and Love,

Janet


Encourage another to open the door of their heart. Pass it on! 


Monday, April 15, 2024

Pray for Marriages (The Abundant Life)

 Greetings Prayer Warriors,


“I’m busy.” Isn’t that a common refrain? “I would read (more) scripture, but I’m busy”. “I’d spend more time praying, but I’m busy.” “I’d go to church more, but I have other obligations.” “I have to work long hours, I need to feed my family.”


“It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.” Luke 4:4


While the above sentiments all have some truth, the Lord calls us to always rely on him in ALL things, not just when we think things are out of our own control. In marriage, we are to give our struggles to him. Within our family, we are to trust in his loving care and accept that he loves our family members MORE than we do. It doesn’t mean he gives everyone an easy path, rather, he knows what hardships and obstacles will strengthen your trust in him.


He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna,  a food unknown to you and your ancestors, so you might know that it is not by bread alone that people live, but by all that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.  Deuteronomy 8:3


In other words, feasting on his Word is more important than working for bread.  Working to provide for the basics is essential.  Working to provide for all the luxuries in life at the expense of a relationship with the Lord, is not essential and can be harmful to the soul. 


Spend some time doing some self-evaluation and evaluation as a couple.  Is your focus on the Lord?  What gets in the way of that?  


Prayer is always the best beginning. Not many couples are equally yoked in this regard.  Make a commitment to pray for a deeper reliance on the Lord, even if you are left to pray alone.  Pray for the spouse that is in a different spiritual place than you.  While the Lord wants to give you an abundant life, it doesn’t necessarily mean physical abundance.  If he does bless you with wealth, you are called to glorify him with it.  If your belongings are meager, but spiritual blessings great, you have all the more reason to glorify him!


 I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10


Strive for the abundant life! Ask the Lord what that means for you and your spouse. Pray, pray, pray! 


Peace, Joy, and Love,

Janet


Pray for abundance and pass it on! 


Monday, April 8, 2024

Pray for Marriages (Love Replenished)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,


You all know that love is a journey. It’s easy to begin marriage by proclaiming to the Lord, 


“Behold, I come to do your will.” Hebrews 10:9


In your mind, you are thinking, “Yes Lord, I can love this person for the rest of my life! Thy will be done!” Loving is so easy in the beginning, especially before financial challenges, kids, carpools, competing schedules, etc.


Like any journey, trips are fun until you’ve been in the car too long together and the radiator isn’t the only thing overheating. Perhaps that’s why rest stops were created. Stopping, replenishing, and taking in some fresh air brings about a fresh perspective. So it is with marriage. While much of the journey is extremely enjoyable, without some rest stops, one can’t remain their best self. Nor, can one bring about the best side of the other.  


We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24


When we are at our best, we are loving and our actions mirror that. Small, kind gestures are often enough to disarm a spouse’s less than pleasant disposition, helping them to reverse course. Yet, when it doesn’t, discouragement can set in, weariness takes over, and leaving one’s effort to love, nil. With your newlywed exuberance a distant memory, your hope and confidence in “forever and ever” wanes.


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


And what will help boost your endurance? Prayer of course! Weekly at a minimum!


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


Catch that? We get replenished by God’s love!


Heavenly Father, you have gifted each of us with a unique journey that is just ours. May this journey begin and end with praise on our lips, for you know exactly what we need to grow in love, patience, hope, and endurance. Give us an outpouring of these gifts and virtues and an extra dollop of your love. Lord you ordained marriage as a special gift, one that helps us understand the depth of sacrificial love. Heal and reignite the marital unions of these dear prayer warriors and all the couples they hold dear, for Jesus we trust in you!


Peace, Joy, and Love,

Janet


Be love, and may your good work be in passing it on!


Friday, April 5, 2024

Pray for Families (Becoming a Merciful Me)

 Greetings Prayer Warriors,


Do you ever ask yourself, what should mercy look like within the family? Not our definition, but God’s? 


Is it overlooking everything, or being patient with another’s bad behavior knowing that we aren’t exactly perfect?  


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


Or is it loving someone through their missteps, but still encouraging change?


Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.” John 8:11-23


The last line of this scripture is the most telling: “from now on do not sin any more.” With complete love and compassion, the Lord tells Mary Magdalene to “sin no more”. This is a call to holiness!


God created each of us for a specific purpose and reason, in accordance with his perfect plan. He longs to see our cooperation in the fulfillment of that plan, which will lead us to holiness.


We are not our feelings, bad choices, or wrong decisions. That does NOT define us nor the members of our family. The Lord made that very clear. He sees each of us as he made us. He challenges us to become who he created us to be.  


Mercy is loving someone along their journey, not defining them by an action or deed nor allowing them to define themselves in that manner. It is calling them to be more, not affirming them in an identity not ordained by God. A person will never find true peace and joy, if they don’t first recognize the love God has for them. One experiences Divine Love through others. We are called to be the shining lamp of his love.  Peace and joy flow from finding one’s identity in God. Mercy is guiding a family member towards that fulfillment.


Mercy is not condemning someone, but praying for them. It’s asking the Lord for the grace to see them through God’s eyes, not ours.  


You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:13-14


Indeed you are. God doesn’t make mistakes. Be merciful and make that known!


Peace, Joy, and Love,

Janet


Increase your love and mercy wattage! Pass it on! 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Pray for Marriages (A Major Remodel)

 Greetings Prayer Warriors,


My heart aches when I hear of marriages fighting for survival. Those are times of intense loneliness, anger, despair, doubt, bewilderment, wavering faith, and feelings of abandonment. One’s entire being cries out:


My heart is withered, dried up like grass, too wasted to eat my food. 

Psalm 102:5


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. Psalm 22:2-3


My eyes! My eyes! They stream with tears! How far from me is anyone to comfort, anyone to restore my life. Lamentations 1:16


LORD, may you not withhold your compassion from me;  May your mercy and your faithfulness continually protect me. Psalm 40:12


How difficult are the crosses in life! While they seek to perfect us in the virtues and give birth to the fruit of the Spirit, that doesn’t mean we are ready for them! My prayers are with anyone who is struggling.  


If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23


Yet, while the Lord will not give you a life without crosses, he does promise to never let you walk alone. 


It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8  


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely.  Proverbs 3:5


Lord, we call upon your love, compassion, and mercy, and ask for a deluge of graces upon marriages. While the Evil One delights in destruction, you are our firm foundation.  Repair the cracks that threaten to crumble and destroy each marriage, heal their festering wounds, and fortify their union. Hear their cries for assistance and increase their faith in you. Adorn them with your virtues, thus remodeling the structure, fortifying them in love, and enabling them to withstand all future assaults. Jesus, we trust in you!


Peace, Joy, and Love,

Janet


Prayer is kryptonite against Satan’s weapons of marriage destruction. Pass it on! 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Pray for Marriages (Loving Through the Cross)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,


As humans, we like to fix things, restore order, and straighten the crooked. It can bring about peace and calm. However, things go awry when we try to fix, restore, and straighten people. We are to love people and fix things, not love things and fix people.


Perhaps you feel alone because you have a spouse that suffers from depression, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, other mental health challenges, or even Autism Spectrum Disorder. Conversely, maybe you have a spouse with physical limitations or disabilities. Whatever your challenge, you are not alone. All marriages experience highs and lows in their relationship, they just differ in type. But all come to a realization that they are not in control, and are quickly humbled. While one wants to grab the helm, the Lord asks rather that we trust in him and the path he has ordained for us. The only action he calls us to, is to remain steadfast in love.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely. Proverbs 3:5


Loving through difficulty is hard. One must draw close to the Lord and rely on Him to love through you while praying for the strength to imitate Christ.


Not by might, and not by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

Let us pray for husbands and wives, especially those most challenged. While you might think your cross is heavy, your spouse might think that you are their heavy cross!

Lord, we think we are strong, but you know we are weak! We think we have all the answers and lose sight that YOU are the answer. We think we have endurance, and then whimper at the first hardship. We believe we have the fortitude to persevere, yet allow our hope to weaken. Lord, we ask for healing graces for ALL marriages and a shower of graces to strengthen each unique marriage. May we not focus on our difficulties, but rather on perfecting our love in imitation of you. Thank you Jesus, for the customized crosses you’ve designed for each one of us, that our marital walk may lead to an eternity spent with you. Amen.

Peace, Joy, and Love, 

Janet

 

Be steadfast in love and pass it on! 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Pray for Families (Holy Week Perseverance)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

 

Holy Week is almost upon us, a time to meditate on the Passion of the Lord. Even if you haven’t succeeded in all of your Lenten practices, be sure to lean in here. There is such a large contrast between Palm Sunday, where Christ was loved and praised, to his crucifixion just 5 days later where he was mocked and killed for speaking Truth.  


 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”


Perhaps you have experienced the swing of being both loved and hated in your family. Place yourself with Jesus and meditate on the heavy emotion of feeling unloved by those you care about most. Then remember that Jesus never stopped loving those who ignored or hated him.  


“I do believe, help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24


Can you remember a time when you experienced a verbal or physical lashing? Contemplate that pain and experience Jesus’s cries during his scourging, remembering that he was making atonement for your sin.


‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ Luke 18:13

If you’ve ever been jeered at and humiliated, you will never forget it. Yet Christ allowed himself to have a crown of thorns pounded into his head, old cloth as a robe, and a stick as a scepter as he was mocked as a self-proclaimed king. Consider the times in your life when you rejected him as king. Draw close to console him, promising to make him the forever King of your life.


‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ Luke 18:13


Perhaps there was a time when you were saddled with family burdens, or had to carry the burden for your family. As you contemplate your exhaustion, meditate on the weight of Jesus’ cross and how crushing the sin of the world must have been. Consider that he would do it all over again for you, not because of your love, but because of his.


“I do believe, help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:24


During the Crucifixion, Jesus “appears” to be powerless as he is nailed to the cross. Think of a time you felt powerless, helpless, and all alone, but when you turned to Jesus, he intervened to assist you. 


LORD, your mercy endures forever.  Psalm 138:8


As we enter the final stretches of Lent, let us continue to pray for our families and each other, repeating, “Not my will but yours be done.”


Dear Lord, please bless and strengthen the prayer warriors and their families, as they push through this last week of Lent.  Give them the grace of perseverance needed to be a perfect reflection of your love!


Peace, Joy, and Love,
Janet


Share His love. Pass it on!