Prayers for the Week – June 30, 2013

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Today I’m opening up this week’s Prayers for the Week post to all of you!  Please continue to add your prayer requests and praises to the comments section of this post so I can post them for next week, when we will be back in the swing of our Prayer request post.  For last week, we had these requests, please know that, while I didn’t comment on all of them, I was thinking of all of you that commented, and praying for you also, and will continue to do so.  I hope that this week has been a good one for all of us, today we take our daughter to her first sleep away camp for the week!

Prayer Requests…

  • My friend Stacey needs some prayers, please. Here is what she wrote:I need some prayers too, Mike. Please pray for my family. My uncle has been on life support for over a month and they have given up. Please help pray that they let him go home so he can be surrounded by his family and he can go peacefully. He is one of the best men I have ever met in my entire life!
  • Alecia has a prayer request and a praise!  Here is what she wrote:I love reading your posts, all of them. Mine is a prayer request and a praise. I have cancer and am going through chemo. I’ve been fighting since April of 2012. Please pray that God continues to give me the strength to get through each and every day.Now the praise. Thank you God for my life! Thank you for my cancer. I have gotten so much closer to my parents and family because of it. I also made a new friend through my trials. A pure and Godly woman. God, I don’t know what you have planned for me but I bet it’s awesome. Thank you for everything.
  • Another set of prayer requests comes to us from Linda.  Linda wrote that she didn’t think her requests were all that much, but Lord, it certainly sounds like they are for me.  We all know that God puts in our path only things that He knows we can handle.  Here is what Linda wrote:Prayers to you and your family. Praying for the first 2 replies as well.In comparison to the first two, my prayers seem to be less needy, but prayers are needed still. I am a single mother to a teenager and have been disabled due to a rare orphan disease that took about 5 years and 25 doctors to diagnose properly–CIDP. It is similar to MS but attacks the peripheral and autonomic nervous systems instead of the central nervous system. It leaves me with severe chronic nerve pain 24/7 all over my body. It also causes spasms of my muscles, pretty much all over my body 24/7 as well. I recently has a flare that caused more damage due to a bout of the flu. So, I am in morepain as a result too.

    Additionally, I have arthritis in my back, hips, knees, ankles–most joints on my lower body due to long term undiagnosed Lyme Disease. It took 8 yrs to find out that I had a probable positive test from one of those 25 doctors to re-test and find that I had a severe long term case which left many other issues that contribute to my disability and cannot be cured at this point, but only put into remission. I pray that the remission remains as it has for the last 2 yrs. We were afraid that it had re-activated during my recent CIDP flare as my arthritis has become more painful since the flare of CIDP. Thankfully, the tests came back negative!

    I have 2 surgical procedures on my spine in the upcoming month to help reduce the pain of both. I have had these surgeries many times before. But, I have a new doctor in the practice performing these surgeries as the doctor who typically performs them is unavailable. I pray for wisdom and steady hands for the doctor performing these surgeries as they are directly in my spine and have major risks is something were to go wrong.

    Additionally, I have been waiting for 3 weeks for my Dept of Social Services case worker to process my paper work for Medical Assistance. I qualify for Medical Assistance every 6 months based on showing proof that a large percentage–probably close to half of it–of my income is spent on medical expenses. Once they deduct my medical expenses from my income of SSDI and Child Support, I then qualify for Medical Assistance coverage. I need this to finally be processed. I need prayers that it gets done this week.

    Without approval of my Medical Assistance, I cannot have my Personal Care Aide who typically comes for 2 hrs M-F to help me shower safely, blow drys my hair for me, cooks for me and assists with light housekeeping. I paid for her out of my own income for 3 weeks figuring that I would get the money back once she was paid by Medical Assistance since once it is finally approved, it is approve back to the date it lapsed – May 1st. I cannot pay her any further. Also as a result of paying her for the 3 weeks, I cannot pay my rent for this July.

    Please keep me in your prayers that my pain will reduce and my surgeries will be safe and successful, that my Medical Assistance will finally be approved so i can get my aide back and some of my major medical bills will be covered too. Finally, that somehow, the funds will come to me that I can pay my rent for July.

    Blessings to all.

Praises!

  • Lord, quite simply, the biggest praise I have is for You!  Thank you for all that you have given to me and my family, and thank you for allowing me to be of service to you!  May my life be used even more for you and your will, and less for mine.  Thank you Lord!

Prayers for the Week – Praising God!

mdod-prayers of the week

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week!  This week, my family and I are enjoying our vacation at Disneyland, so I don’t have a whole lot for you.  Instead, my friends, I’m lifting this post up to all of you — please comment here or on our Facebook page with all of the Praises that you have in your life, and give thanks to God for all of our Blessings! Try to remember that Praising God is a very important thing to do; so many times we give all of our concerns to God without remembering to thank Him for all of the Blessings that he has given to us.  As my Church sings in the Doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”  In fact, enjoy this rendition of the Doxology that I found on YouTube:

I know that, unfortunately, we all have as many problems as we have praises.  God wants to hear all of our concerns, as it is written in 1Peter 5:7:

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Write your concerns here, my friends.  I implore you to do so!  If you do, others will pray for you, I will pray for you, and God will hear us. In fact, it is my belief that just typing the words on your computer is, in itself, your prayer, and God hears that prayer also!

My friends, I do not pretend to know what this world has in store for us; I know that many of us suffer daily, and pray to God to free us from some of that suffering.  I do know, however, that God sent His Son Jesus to us to save us from ourselves, if we but ask Him to save us.  Have you asked Jesus into your life?  Have you confessed to Him that you are a sinner, that you see that you are, and that you need Him to forgive you so that you may be closer to Him?  If you do that, Scripture tells us that your sins will be forgiven as far as the east is from the west.  I am reminded of the wonderful words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as written by the Apostle John in John 16:33:

“I tell you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I would like to close, my friends, by sharing with you one of my favorite songs of all time, sung for us by one of my favorite musical groups — Celtic Woman.  This song, You Raise Me Up, may be performed by these musicians, but my friends, let me tell you, the words, the melody, and the beauty of this song is given to us by God Himself.  Listen to it for what it is — God reaching out to us, reminding us that He will take care of us, that He will raise us up when we are down, if we but ask Him for help.  That, my friends, is my closing prayer.  Please pray along with me:

Lord, please lift us up, for all of us in some way, some form, are struggling and falling short of Your Glory.  Lord, in times of struggle, give us the thoughts, the words, even, to call out to You for help, and allow us to give ourselves over fully to You so that You would take care of us.  Starting today, Lord, please instill new hearts in all of us, hearts that are fully dependent on You.  It is in the name of Your wonderful Son Jesus that we pray with Thanksgiving, today and everyday!  Amen!

Prayers for the Week – The Bible IS the Word of God

Proverbs 30:5-6

A friend and I were talking the other day; we discussed how different the world is now from when we were kids.  My friend told me that the world is actually safer now than it was when we were kids — but what had changed was that we are so connected to everything that happens everywhere that we are, in many respects, being bombarded by information overload.  When you think about it, the old adage, “Ignorance is bliss,” can truly be counted as a blessing.

What does that have to do with the Bible verse that I shared with you today as the opening for Prayers for the Week post?  Well, the way I see it, Proverbs 30: 5-6 shares a warning for us all — to remember that the Bible is the Word of God, and that we should accept it in it’s entirety, and not to read anything extra into it.

At times, I need to remember that we live in a fallen world, and that the god of this world is none other than Satan, the Prince of Darkness.  His goal is to turn as many of us from God as he can, and the best way he does this is by introducing doubt and uncertainty into the world, and by getting us to doubt the things that we need to rely upon everyday of our lives.  In my life, I try really hard to focus on five crucial things:

  1. To remember that the Bible is the inherent Word of God.
  2. To remember that Jesus gave Himself up on the Cross for me, to save me from my sin.
  3. To remember to give Jesus thanks for dying on the cross for me, and every day I pray to God to take care of us all.
  4. To try to get in some reading in the Bible to arm and equip me throughout the day.
  5. To strive very hard to share my faith with others and witness for my Lord.  Too often I fail in this endeavour, but I keep trying.

The world is so much smaller now, so much more connected, and yes, there are a lot of problems, but it seems to me that far too often we are trying to remake the world as we want it to be, and not asking God to make the world the way He would have it.

We are flawed, my friends; we sin, we are far from perfect, and we rely far too much upon ourselves and not nearly enough on God.  I am the perfect example of this — far too often I sow my own road — often without even knowing where that road leads!

It is my belief that the Bible IS the Word of God, and that nothing needs to be changed in that regard.  If we keep our eyes on the Lord, and ask Him for guidance in the path we should take, He will lead us down the path that we should be walking, and head straight towards the Promised Land.  It really comes down to trusting and obeying God, doesn’t it?

Well, my friends, I hope you think about your relationship with God, and how strong it is.  Do you tell God what to do, or do you ask Him to lead you the way you should be led?  I think for me, the answer is both — but I am striving to allow myself to be led by my Lord.  I urge you to do the same if you aren’t already.

Praises!

  • Lord, I would like to thank you for all the fathers that you have put on the earth.  Thank you in particular for my Dad, for his health, love, praise, and discipline when I needed it.  Thank you for allowing me to learn so much more from him than I ever thought he had to teach me — and for being able to recognize the truth in so many of his teachings now that I am a dad.  Lastly, Lord, please allow my Dad to be with us for many more years, so that I could continue to learn from him and pass that wisdom on to Sophie.
  • Lord, I would also like to thank you for keeping us safe this week, and for prayers answered, for worries displaced, and for helping us to raise our daughter to be a Child of God.  Please keep her safe during the summer, and help us to help her develop good habits during the summer so that she can continue those habits for years to come.
  • Lord, I would also like to thank you for my summer Bible study group of men.  We are going strong through the summer, which is new to me, and I ask that you keep us focused on our study so that we could continue all the way until the Mens Study continues in the fall.  Thank you for all that you have given to us each week, and please keep all of our men and their families safe during the weeks ahead.
  • Lord, I would like to give Highest praise to you for my friend Tabitha, whose son was baptized last Sunday! Praise the Lord for another Brother in Christ to celebrate!  One more Brother in Christ is one less soul that could belong to Satan!
  • Prayers and Praise for the sister of my friend Kuleen! She gave birth to her baby during the week! Congratulations for them all, may they all be safe from harm!
  • Lord, thank you for the gift you have given to my friends Chris and Early — the gift of loving and adopting a beautiful little girl from Poland. We have prayed for her and them before, and You answered our prayers. She recently celebrated her 2nd birthday, and she has adapted to her new lift very well, so thank you Lord!
  • Lastly, Lord, I thank you for the gifts that you have given to me — particularly, this gift of writing that allows me to reach out to people all over the world and share my hopes and fears with them, to pray for them, and to invite them to share their prayers and praises with me.  It is out of this gift that I have been able to initiate my own small ministry to help those (through prayer) that have no voice of their own.  Lord, please allow this to expand and spread throughout the world even more.  Thank you God!

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for my friend Scarlett. She posted this on Facebook:“There is a celebration in heaven as my aunt passed away a few minutes ago. She is reunited with her ten brothers and sisters and her Mother and Father. Yes, the sting of death is for those left behind.”Please pray for her and her family, and celebrate her Aunt and her life at the same time. Thanks!
  • Please continue to pray for my cousin Kelly, who is undergoing a procedure on Monday and is nervous about it. She has been battling for several months now, so this is the next step in that treatment plan, but it is a big step. Also, please keep my Aunt Ginny and my Aunt Carol in your prayers as well as they continue to battle their own diseases. Also, please keep my cousin Barb’s husband Tim in your prayers as well. Healing prayers for all of these people, please, and thank you!
  • Please keep my friend Melissa in your prayers — and also prayers for her dog Lucy. Lucy has a disease and needs to have one of her legs amputated, so please pray for her healing and for her family as well. I know it may seem odd to be praying for a dog to some of you, but it is important because dogs, cats, and other animals that we have in our lives are part of our families, a very important part, and when they are ill, it affects the whole family as well, so please lift them up as well. We are all God’s creations, and Lucy is no exception. Thanks everyone!
  • Continued prayers for my cousin Barb’s husband Tim. He is almost finished with his cancer treatments, only 2 more treatments to go and then they see the doctor again to see how things look. He’s in a bunch of pain, though, so please continue the prayers for his healing and comfort. Thanks!
  • As always, Lord, please look at the lost, those that don’t have the courage or voice to share their needs and concerns.  Please keep them close, all of them, and allow us to work through you to bring those that don’t know you into the family of believers.

Lord, please remind us throughout the week that You are near, and that You are in control of our lives.  Allow us to be receptive to what you would have us do, and to act on your will when You call on us.  It is in your name that we pray with Thanksgiving, Amen!

 

Prayers for the Week – RIP Martin Harris

Image ©ourdailyblossom.com

Image ©ourdailyblossom.com

Thank you for joining us in this week’s prayers for the week post! The Pixie Family learned of the passing of the husband of one of our own this past Monday.  Martin Harris, the husband of our dear sister Leslie, passed away, leaving behind a grieving wife of 14 years and three young boys, aged 4, 8, and 11.

I have not met Leslie yet, but the Pixie family is just that — a family, and I have shed many tears this week thinking about the grief and sorrow that she and her family is going through.  At times such as these, I turn to the Bible for answers, and while we will never know why God called his Servant Martin home so soon, we do know that he is in a much better place, where there is no sorrow, no sadness, no pain, no sickness.  Looking through my Bible this week, I keep coming back to John 14 for inspiration.  Verses 1-4, in particular:

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”

My friends, I do not know why Martin was called home so soon; but I do believe that he is where we all strive to be one day — at home, with our Heavenly Father, looking down at his loving family and waiting for the day that he is reunited with them once again.

Prayer Requests

  • In addition to the obvious prayer request for Leslie and her three boys, as well as for all of their other family that are grieving, we have other prayer requests as well.  Starting us off, though, please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend up on Leslie and her family as they continue dealing with the loss of their husband/father/son.  Please, Lord, be with them constantly during their time of grief, lifting them up, giving them the comfort they so desperately need, and helping them to find the strength to carry on, even though they don’t want to.  Lord, we lift them up to you — please comfort them as only You can do so.
  • Please pray for my friend Karen.  Here is what she passed along to me for her prayer requests and praises: “Thank you Mike! I do have a few praise and prayer requests. First I’d like to praise the fact that both my sister in law and myself have both lost 10lbs on our diet so far. We both have medical problems and weight loss is recommended. One prayer request is for my older brother who has PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from the Navy. The other is for my sister in law. She has MS and the summer heat is her worst nemesis. We also live in Phoenix, AZ so it’s that much worse. God bless you and your loved ones.”
  • Please pray for my friend Elisha and his mom. She had surgery on June 3rd, she is in recovery. Please pray for her healing, Peace, and comfort at this time, and for strength for the family to get through these days.Thanks!
  • Christa is still in need of prayers for her husband — he is looking for a job, and has been for quite some time.  Please pray that he would be able to find a job quickly and end this struggle that they have been going through.  Here original prayer request came through on March 24th, and they have been looking for quite a while before then, so please continue to lift them up until we hear the great news that her husband has found a job, and we can give Praise to God for that blessing!  Thanks, everyone.
  • Please pray for my friend David and his family. David’s mom passed away, so please pray for the Peace and Strength that the family will need in the days and weeks ahead. Thanks.
  • Please continue to pray for my Cousin’s husband Tim as he goes through his colon cancer treatments.  Please also continue to pray for my other family members Aunt Ginny, Aunt Carol, and my cousin Kelly as they also go through their cancer treatments.  Please pray for their strength and comfort to beat these diseases!

Praises!

  • Lord, we give thanks to you in all of our things, but most of all, we give thanks to you for your son, Jesus!  Thank you for bringing Him into our lives, and help us to lead the kind of life that would be reminiscent of Jesus.
  • Lord, thank you for our health, for my job and Cindy’s job, and for the blessings that you have given to us.  Please remind us daily to remember to thank you for all that you have given to us, especially Sophie.
  • Lord, thank you for Sophie’s teachers, for another school year completed, and for all that she has learned.  Lord, help her during the summer months to remember and expand on what she has learned, and keep her mind active for the things that we would have her do to improve her knowledge.
  • Lord, thank you for my niece Stephanie and the rest of my family.  Stephanie has been struggling, and she successfully went through some tests yesterday, so hopefully what they came up with is all that it is.  Whatever the outcome of the tests, please be with her as you always are, and lift her up and deliver healing and comfort to her at this time.

At the end of the day, my friends, we find ourselves continuing to be in a battle with the darkness.  On the one hand, there are so many prayer requests — more than I know about, certainly, and the Devil besets us at every opportunity.  However, God is always there for us if we just ask Him for help, and we thankfully give Him praise every chance we get.  The true blessings, my friends, as I see it, anyway, is in the little things. The sunlight that returns after torrential rains; the wonderful companionship of friends and family; the wonderful smell of the roses in bloom.

The beauty of the world is in the gifts that God provides us every day, if we just open our eyes a little bit more and see them.  Take time each day to observe what’s around us, and to appreciate it for what it is — a miracle from God.  Thank you for reading and praying all week with us, and please, include any prayer requests and praises you have in the comments below!

Prayers for the Week – June 2nd, 2013

mdod-prayers of the week

Desktop-Bible-Verse-Wallpaper-Jeremiah-29-11 Hello everyone, and welcome back to our weekly series Prayers for the Week.  For those that may not know, this weekly post is a list of prayer requests that you have supplied to me — oro that I have asked you to pray about.  Starting with this week, I’m going to focus on a specific Bible verse that I would like to leave with you — for this week, I’m sharing Jeremiah 29:11, which states:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In the wake of the continue natural disasters that we are seeing in Oklahoma and throughout the midwest, I felt that it was important to share with you all that God has planned for us.  If you read this and have been affected by the tornadoes or other storms, please know that you have millions of people across the world praying for you, and know that God is looking out for you if you but ask Him to help you.  I know for many of you that isn’t something you want to hear right now — you have lost loved ones, or property, or any number of other things — but know that God is there for you, and the sooner you put your trust in Him, I believe the sooner you will see that things will get better.  It won’t be overnight, and it may not take the form that you want it to take, but it will get better.

Prayer Requests…

  • In a follow up to one of our prayer requests from last week, here is an update:My Friend was diagnosed with colon cancer on Friday. It appears from the CT scan and the EGD and Colonoscopy that the cancer is contained. There is a small concern over some swelling by his appendix and kidney but no one is too concerned. The care team down here has been great. Within 2 hours of diagnosis, we had seen the oncologist twice, the cardiologist 3 times, the GI 4 times and the endocrinologist once. The surgeon – who was in the ER all weekend – came into to see My Friend 3 times between 9 pm Friday and 7 am Saturday. They are all collaborating very well and want to move fast. We have follow up appointments to schedule with the oncologist and cardiologist and possibly with the GI or urologist for the area of swelling. Because he had a stent put in on 5/8, they want him to stay on the plavix through 6/8, be readmitted on the 8th for 3 days of IV antiplatelet. The colon resection is scheduled for the 12th with a 4-8 day hospital stay after that. They aren’t sure if he will need chemo afterwards or not. So far, all very good news and we know God is working and present through all of this (I can fill you in on all the signs later – including the doctor scheduling the discharge this time for 5/26 and the next admission on 6/8 so we fall into the readmission window!). Thank you for all of your prayers and support! We will continue to need them. Especially for his job since he hasn’t been there a year so is not protected by FMLA and will likely be terminated when he asks for a 3-4 week leave of absence and for the fact that he will be at a slightly higher risk for a heart attack during and after surgery due to the short timeframe between the stent placement and the colon resection!

    I will add that I am 110% convinced that the good CT results were a result of all of your prayers when I only gave you a small piece of information. Thanks for being there! When this is all over, we’ll throw a huge party to celebrate!!!

  • Please pray for my friend Denise — her mother passed away May 23rd. They are having the service for her on Saturday, please lift up Denise and her family as they deal with the loss of their loved one. Please pray for God to give His Peace upon them, that they would have comfort and strength, and joy in knowing that she is in a better place.
  • Please pray for my friend Susan — her mother passed away on Saturday the 25th. Please pray for God’s Peace to descend upon them, pray for their strength in the days and weeks ahead, and pray for them to have comfort and joy in knowing that she is in a much better place now with our Lord.
  • My friend Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse would like some healing prayers for a stomach bug that she has developed. She’s had it a couple of days and it’s not getting better at the moment. Please lift her up, and thanks!
  • Also, please pray for the people in Oklahoma City and throughout Oklahoma tonight as they get hammered again by tornadoes. May God hold them close and keep them safe. In addition to Oklahoma City, please pray for all of Oklahoma, and include the entire Midwest in your prayers. St. Louis is also under alert, so please pray for all of the people in the midwest to be safe.Thanks!
  • My friends, please pray for the families of those heroes lost in the fire in Houston. Every day people put their lives on the line, and today, God called four of them home. May God give their families Peace, Strength, and Comfort in their time of grief.  From the Local 341 in the International Association of Firefighters Union:“Houston firefighters mourn the loss of our three brothers and our sister and will forever honor their sacrifices. Our association and the International Association of Fire Fighters are monitoring the conditions of the six injured firefighters and will be assisting them and their families in every way possible. This tragedy underscores the inherent dangers of our profession. Please keep Houston firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.”

    I have had several members of my family serve in volunteer firefighter (and rescue squad) organizations throughout the country, and everyone knows that this is a risk to anyone that puts on that uniform.  Please be with their families who, while proud of the service their loved ones did, still mourn their loss. Thanks!

Praises!

  • The biggest praise I can give is the same one that I give everytime that there is a big natural (or other) disaster.  The love and compassion that we feel towards our fellow men and women at times such as this is heartwarming, and it truly makes one feel like there is still good in this world.  The prayer I have to go along with it is that we would remember this when things go back to “normal” and that we would continue our good wave of humanity.

Thank you all for your prayers and praises this week!  It truly does help all of us out when we become the prayer warriors that God wants us to be!  We all should strive to be more like Epaphras, as he is described in Colossians 4:12:

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Have a blessed day, my friends, and may the Peace of God be with you, today and forever. Amen.