Christian

Prayers for the Week – Why I’m a Christian

Christian

11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  Today I’m taking a moment to talk to you about why I’m a Christian.  It’s something that I feel strongly about, and pray that it may lead you to examine your own reasons for why you are a Christian — or if you aren’t one, to reach out to us and ask any questions you have about how you become one.

When I was a child, my family really didn’t go to church very often.  Most of the times we did go to church were for weddings or funerals, so not very often at all.  I don’t write that as a way of judging why my parents didn’t take us to church.  I write it because to me it shows all the more the plans God has for me, and how He is going to see them through to fulfillment regardless of me.

One of the reasons I’m a Christian is because God’s Word speaks to us today just as it did to others thousands of years ago. Jeremiah recorded the words of God to His people, the Israelites, when they were exiled to Babylon. Although those words were spoken thousands of years ago to a people that was disobedient and ended up in exile, still God tells His people that He hasn’t given up on them, that He will restore them, and it will be because they turned back to Him.

In the same vein, those words are written for us in today’s day. We are often just as disobedient as the Israelites were, and with the state of the world today, you can certainly make an argument that God has turned His back on us. But despite that, God’s promise from yesteryear is very much in evidence today.

When I lost my job at UNC-TV because management decided to outsource to an out of state company two years ago, I really had a sense of fear. How was I going to support my family? How were we going to be able to keep our home? What was going to happen with Sophie’s plans for school? Well, what I know is that the plans I had to accomplish those things really weren’t my plans at all, they were God’s plans. God knew and God knows what we need in our lives.

The short answer to this long-winded discussion is that the reason I’m a Christian is that God provides me and my family with the hope we need each and every day. God knows — and we have learned — that our time on this fallen world is short, and that our real home is Heaven. The hope we have in Jesus is a hope like none other, and it is in that hope that I am a Christian.

Now, please put your hope in Jesus as well, and please pray with me these prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • Mikel starts us off with a prayer request: I would ask for your prayers for my husband Bruce. He has some difficult decisions to make at work that not only affect him, but the people that he manages.
  • Dennis needs immediate prayers for a family member. Please lift up Dennis and his family today. Thanks!
  • Amanda has a prayer request for her husband’s aunt, Diane is her name: My husband’s aunt needs prayers. They have found a mass on her liver and are concerned it is advanced pancreatic cancer. They are currently awaiting a biopsy and further scans.
  • Hiro has a prayer request for her father-in-law: Please pray for my Father-in-Law. He is getting surgery on his eyes tomorrow morning. He is worried about losing his sight.
  • Lastly, Jo has a prayer request for financial blessings for her family.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Boat

Prayers for the Week: Step out of the Boat!

Boat

22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.
28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ~ Matthew 14:22-33 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  The powerful words above is a story that all of us that have opened a Bible have probably heard or read about, myself included, but there are times when you hear the story preached to you and you immediately see all sorts of things that you had missed before.  That happened to me this past Tuesday night, when the Rev. Neal Jeffrey gave the message at The Men’s Study Bible Study.

Friends, there are just twelve verses of Scripture in the tale of Jesus walking on water, but contained in those twelve verses is enough power to open the eyes of almost anyone.  Have a look with me at some of the important points that I re-learned, thanks to Rev. Jeffrey.

  1. Jesus gave the disciples instruction, and they did so immediately.
  2. After He was alone, Jesus did what comes so naturally to Him; He Prayed. If only we were as faithful in our prayers as Jesus is in His!
  3. The boat was assailed by the storm on the water, and was far away from shore.
  4. Jesus came to them on the water, walking on the surface.  It was a miracle!
  5. The disciples didn’t recognize Him; they thought He was a ghost. Jesus spoke to them, though, telling them that He was there.
  6. Peter then tested Jesus, telling Him to command he come to Him if it was really Jesus out there.
  7. Jesus commanded Peter to come to Him, and Peter did — he walked on water also! Another miracle!
  8. But then, Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and just like all of us when we take our eyes of Jesus — he ran into trouble, just as we do.
  9. But most importantly, though, Peter cried out for Jesus to help him — and Jesus immediately helped him!
  10. Afterwards, the wind died down, and those in the boat worshiped Jesus.

My takeaways from those verses can be summed up in just a couple of more sentences.  When Jesus gives me instruction, I should do so immediately. Don’t put it off until later. I should always make time to pray. I should ask God boldly for things — don’t be afraid to step out of the boat! I should keep my eyes focused on Jesus, but if I falter, I should ask Him for help, because He will help immediately! Lastly, I should always worship God and His Son, Jesus!

Thank you for reading along with me, now, please continue to pray for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Lynn starts us off with a prayer request for her family: If you could, please pray for me and my family. My grandmother passed away Wednesday night and today we would have been celebrating her 94th Birthday. She passed away only 3 hours before her birthday. I know she is having the best birthday celebration ever right now.
    I have always been so very close to her.
  • Lynn also has a prayer request for her friend: Please pray for my friend. We went to high school together. She is 40 years old and recently found out she has breast cancer. She is having surgery this morning. They will be taking her back between 7-8 this morning. And please pray for her family. She has a husband and two kids.
    • The praise is that the surgery went well, so keep praying for Lynn’s friend and her family.  Thank you!
  • Last week we prayed for Lynn’s uncle, who had fallen.  He had some serious complications which included being taken to ICU for a spell, but he is doing much better, so Praise be to God for that!  Please keep praying for Lynn’s uncle and his recovery!
  • Please pray for my friend Lindsey, recently was the one year anniversary of her sister passing away. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to walk forward but remember their loved one.
  • Please continue your prayers for Brandon, who was listed as a prayer request last week.  Also, please keep praying for all of the people that have been listed on here at some point or another, pray for their healing, for their families, pray for those that are lost, and for those that don’t know what to pray or how to pray.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

 

Prayers for the Week: Beware the Roaring Lion

8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-11 (ESV)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  This week has seen a lot of the roaring lion better known as Satan.  It is imperative to us all that we resist that roaring lion, that we resist Satan, and that we remember that with God by our side, no one can defeat us! Just remember, when you find yourself beset by tribulation on all sides, just pray to God and tell the roaring lion of Satan to get behind you in the name of Jesus! That will do the trick every time! Now, please continue reading and praying for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Rebecca and Sheila have a prayer request: I just got this message from Rebecca: Hey my prayer warriors! Please keep praying for Cordy’s Godfather Scott!! It has been a tumultuous week of highs and lows. Steps forward and backwards. He is not out of trouble yet. And I apologize if you haven’t heard much from us, we’ve been trying to balance everything else in our usually busy barely managed chaos of a life, and 2 trips a day to the hospital. And figure out a path forward. So please keep us all in your prayers!
    • This was the original prayer request for Scott from Sheila: I just added my friend Rebecca she needs our help ! Her husbands best friend & Godfather to her daughter, Scott, is in very critical condition. Scott is one of their families oldest and dearest friends. We would appreciate any and all love and prayers and positive thoughts sent his way. From what I understand he had a aortic dissection, which most people do not survive. After 9 hours of surgery. He now needs our help and prayers to recover.
  • Pam has a continued prayer request for her husband Ronnie: My husband Ronnie is in the hospital for the second time this week with his fourth anaphylactic reaction. Praying we get home today and have no more problems.
  • Jodi has a prayer request also: My friend Kimberly has had a mild stroke. Please keep her and her family in prayer! Thank you!
  • We met someone at dinner tonight, Deron, who has had a hard life.  Please pray for him, for God to watch over him.  Thank you!
  • A co-worker of Cindy lost a friend recently. His name is George. Please pray for them and for George’s family in their time of grief. Thanks!
  • Vonni has a prayer request for her friend Randy and more importantly for Randy’s son Brandon: PLEASE PRAY FOR MY SON BRANDON! He was involved in a near fatal car accident this morning on his way to work at Costco. He was run off the road on a blind curve. He lost control of his car and hit a tree. He is currently in Neuro ICU at Spartanburg Regional Hospital. He has extensive damage to his spinal cord. He is paralyzed from his chest down. He needs a miracle right now. Please help him receive one by keeping him in your Prayers and good thoughts. Bless you. A heartbroken Dad, –Randy
  • Lastly, please pray for the lost, for those that don’t know Jesus, for those that don’t know what to pray, and for those that are afraid to ask for prayers.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

God of Hope

Prayers for the Week: All about Hope

Hope

13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post, written on remote location from Stephens City, VA.  Yesterday my wife and I, our daughter, my niece and her husband (and our grand-niece), his Mom, and my sister and my Mom participated in the 10th Annual Step Sisters 5K.  The Step Sisters is an organization that helps out breast cancer survivors by helping them around their home when they get home from the hospital, cleaning, cooking, that sort of thing.  The Step Sisters helped out my mom when she had breast cancer, and yesterday, we were helping them out by participating in the annual 5K.

I asked Cindy for a verse that was speaking to her, and she came up with Romans 15:13.  The reason, she said, was simple — today was all about hope.  As soon as she said that, I knew exactly that Romans 15:13 was the verse to use.

I don’t have a long commentary today, so let’s go right into the real meat of the post, our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Shannon starts us off this week, with a prayer request for healing.  Here is what she wrote: I had been having some bad headaches and nothing was working. Monday I had some trigger point injections in my lower head, neck and shoulders. The past 2 days I’ve been in more pain that I was with the actual headache. Please pray that the pain and soreness goes away soon and the injections work for the headaches. Thanks
  • The other day I left this word of encouragement on the impact and power of prayer: So part of my morning routine as I’m walking our Golden Retriever River is to pray while we walk. It’s a great start to the day for me, and I lift up the group and all of the prayer requests we see while we’re walking. For me personally, I pray for Cindy, and I pray for our daughter Sophie — for the stresses that they see in their work/school life, and for Sophie to have the focus she needs to handle the tasks of the day. Additionally, I always pray for God to provide me with the wisdom needed to take care of my clients. For a while I wondered if remaining in the IT Industry was meant to be after my layoff, but through Bible study, I came to the realization that one of my gifts from God is the way I can tackle the challenges of IT work.Last week I spent the week wiring a new office space for one of my clients, and today I was there all day until about 4PM resolving the issues that came up from their move yesterday. While it was challenging, demanding work tackling the myriad of issues that they had (most self induced, I might add), we made it through, and I know it is in part because of the wisdom that God gave me that day.In the end, the thing I think I’m trying to say here is that prayer works, we have been witness to that in our lives, and even if the answered prayer isn’t forthcoming just yet, Believe and Expect God to handle it for you — because He will. I leave you with this verse as a reminder:

    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

  • We’ve got a big praise for Hayden’s Mom: Answered prayers for Hayden — his mom has been fighting cancer for a year now and is now in remission! Praise to God, the Great Physician!
  • Prayers for my friend Rebekah who is fighting cancer and has a treatment today. Rebekah, this is a prayer group we have, so anytime you need any prayers, please feel free to list them here and the prayer warriors will pray with you and for you!
  • Praise for my Dad’s cataract surgery, he had a great procedure and is doing great!  Thank you all for the prayers you lifted up for him!

Now, please join us in praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Easter Message

Prayers for the Week: The Easter Message

Easter Message

34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:34-35 (ESV)

My friends, Happy Easter to each and every one of you!  Today is the day when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was resurrected from the death after being arrested, tortured, and crucified on the cruel cross.  But while today is the day when we realize that He is Risen, and that Jesus has conquered death for Himself and for us that believe in Him, today I want to remember one of the greatest truths Jesus delivered to us.  This is what I believe the Easter Message is this year: Love one another, just as Jesus has loved us.

Love can be a hard thing for some of us.  Oh sure, it’s easy to love those that are close to you; your parents, your spouse, your children, and so forth.  But love can be a very hard thing when the focus of that love is someone that has done something to harm you.

Love like that can be very hard.  How do you love someone that was directly responsible for you losing your job?  How do you love someone that caused grave harm to your child?  How do you love someone that claims to be a Christian, but all they do is cause grief and heartache for your wife?  Those are just three examples.  How do you love someone that wrote a threatening letter describing all of the things that they would do to your family?  And how do you love someone that hurts you so deeply that all you want to do is withdraw from society and not have anything to do with anyone?

Quite simply, my friends, it is impossible to love — if left to our own will to do so.  What makes it possible to love when faced with those circumstances is to turn to Jesus, turn to God, and ask Him to help you love those that have caused you harm.  Look at Holy Week, the week where our Easter Message was composed from.  Look at all that happened to Jesus during this week:

  • He was betrayed by Judas.
  • He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • He was beaten.
  • He was tortured.
  • He was accused of things He didn’t do.
  • He was found innocent, yet He was sentenced to crucifixion anyway.
  • He was crucified.
  • He was given sour wine.
  • He was spit on.
  • He was stabbed.
  • He had a crown of thorns put on his head.
  • He had nails hammered in his hands and feet.
  • He died despite being innocent.

Despite all of that, and even more that I haven’t listed, despite all of that, what was it that Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Jesus would have us show that kind of love, but I think He knows that it is only possible to do when we have the Holy Spirit within us.  Then, and only then, can we love those that harm us.  That, my brothers and sisters, is what the Easter Message this year is for me.  Now, please pray with me our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Lori has a prayer request: I’d selfishly like to ask a prayer for myself tonight and over the weekend. I need to find job that can support me and fulfill me. I have an application in at a company that is about 10 minutes from my house. My girls, Thelma Louise, are about my whole life right now; this job would allow me time to come home to them during the day and at least let me let them out for a bit.I completed an application on-line and got a very positive response from their home office in NJ within 30 minutes & did an over the phone interview. God willing the local HR Manager will see me as good of a fit and call me in for a personal interview.Thank you in advance for your prayers.
  • Jodi has an update on her brother Ken: My brother Ken is moving to a rehab facility this afternoon! Hooray! Probably will be there about 3 weeks. Please continue prayers. Thank you!
  • Jodi also has another prayer request: My friend Amanda was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Please keep her & her family in prayer. Thank you!
  • Please continue praying for Kelly’s Godfather.  Here’s her original prayer request, I’ll post an update when we learn more: Please pray for my GodFather – Uncle Alan. Went to the doctor about a week ago and he will be having a quadruple bypass next Wednesday. Thank you.
  • Please pray for my Dad, Joe, he has cataract surgery on Tuesday the 18th. Thanks!
  • Please pray for those that are afraid to ask for prayers, pray that God would hear the prayers from their hearts.
  • Please also pray for those that don’t know God, please pray that they would find out what life with Jesus in their lives really is all about.

Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.