Prayers for the Week – Serve the Lord

as-for-me

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV)

On this past Tuesday, during our summer Bible Study, we were talking about the terrible events that unfolded in Charleston, SC, involving the Dylann Roof and the 9 Martyrs that he killed inside of their church.  We talked about how hard it would be to forgive him of what he did, and yet, we found out that not only did the families of those wonderful people forgive Dylan Roof, they also told him that they would be praying for him, for his salvation.

Additionally, during all that happened in the aftermath of that horrible tragedy, not once did we hear of riots, of anger, of hatred, of retaliation killings, none of that.  Instead, we heard of prayer vigils, in Charleston and elsewhere, of sports personalities coming to Charleston to show their support, and to honor those that were lost and their families.  In the midst of our discussion, it occurred to me that the families of those taken so quickly from them, they told the world that day that they serve the Lord, not by the words out of their mouths, but rather, by their actions.

Fast forward to Friday, and the Supreme Court ruling regarding same-sex marriage.  When I heard the decision, I wasn’t surprised at all.  This is, after all, a fallen world, and every day the world is going to get worse and worse until that day when Jesus returns to set things straight.  Until that Glorious Appearance, when Jesus comes and places all things correctly in order, the world is going to get worse each day.

At the end, we are all going to be judged by God for our actions, both Christian and non-Christian.  We are all going to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior, and regardless of where you stand on the issue of same-sex marriage — and I believe you know where I stand — regardless of where you stand, your stance on that pales by comparison to whether you Believe that Jesus is Lord, and that He died for our sins, was resurrected from the dead, and now lives in Heaven with God the Father. Your decision to ask Him to forgive you of your sins (or not to ask) will determine where you go when you die.

The choice is simple, and the choice is yours to make.  Do you choose to go to Heaven, or do you choose to go to Hell?

In the end, the decision by the Supreme Court, while extremely disappointing to most of the Christian Community, does absolutely nothing to alter where we will be spending eternity after we die.  That decision, fortunately, is not between us and the government — that decision is made between us and God.

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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.

As we said, this world is fallen.  It is in the control of Satan, who walks over the earth, spreading his evil lies wherever he goes.  This world is not going to get any better until Jesus comes again in final victory.  But take heart!  We have the words of Jesus to turn to for reassurance:

33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ Jesus {as spoken in John 16:33 (ESV)}

Merry Christmas

Prayers for the Week – Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post!  Since this is the last Sunday before Christmas, let me stop and say Merry Christmas to all of you!  The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year — it feels like the world is full of promise, of hope, and it’s all because of the birth of one little child…

Our Scripture verse this week comes from the book of Isaiah, Chapter 9, verse 6:

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

Christmas is a time of hope, a time of joy, a time for looking at all that we have been given.  For most of us, our blessings far outweigh our deficiencies, and I hope this is the case for you as well.  I don’t have much to write this week, mainly just a plea for you to take a moment, consider your life, and realize all of the things you have been given — all of the blessings you have received.  Now, please pray with me these prayer requests and praises, and once again, Merry Christmas!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Amanda has an update on her husband Daniel. Here is what she wrote:Merry Christmas! We had a lot of things happen in the past few weeks and needed to get an idea of direction before we could send an update. First, it looks like we are staying off the CPT-11 (irinotecan) indefinitely. Daniel’s liver enzymes came back into normal range after a few weeks off the CPT-11. His Alkaline Phosphatase is still high but is lower than it has been since it went up shortly after surgery. His platelets are still struggling to stay above the level to get chemo so we have had a delay and started round 6 last Wednesday. This round should have started last Monday but he has developed a spot of osteonecrosis of the jaw in his mouth. This is basically an area of trauma that has developed an infection and eaten at the gum so the bone is exposed. As horrible as that sounds, after a consult with an oral surgeon, they determined the infection hadn’t spread to the bone and we are treating with 2 types of antibiotics a total of 5 times a day for 30 days. We go back in a few weeks so they can check progress and determine if the antibiotics are working. We really need the antibiotics to work because as it spreads, the outcomes get worse.
    Because of the osteonecrosis, they have also taken him off of Avastin indefinitely. This means that he is only receiving the 5FU chemo drug. Because we are down to only 1 drug, they are thinking he will need to extend his chemotherapy through February. Not what we were hoping for but we can find the silver lining! Because he is off the Avastin, we can look at getting the hernia repair done as early and mid-January. We meet with the surgeon to discuss the fluctuation in liver enzymes and hernia repair on Wednesday. He should also get a PET Scan sometime the next few weeks to make sure there are no new areas of cancer developing.
    Specific prayers for the next few weeks are for the osteonecrosis to heal as or better than expected, any scans we have to come back with no issues or cancer, a clear plan for the hernia repair and for mental, physical and emotional strength to Daniel to help him weather this additional treatment.
    Thank you all so much for walking on this journey with us! May you all have a blessed and happy Christmas and a safe holiday season!Please continue to pray boldly for Daniel, Amanda, and all of their family. Thank you!
  • Please pray for the family of my friend Dee — we’ve been praying for Jim, her father-in-law.  Sadly, Jim was called home.  Please pray for them all, for their strength, courage, Peace, and comfort, and please also give Praise to God for Jim’s life.  The service is today, so particularly be prayerful for them this day.
  • Please also pray for the family of my friend Carey.  Carey’s Dad passed away last week.  Please be with them during their time of sorrow, but also give praise to God for his life as well.
  • One of my ministers at Edenton Street left this on Facebook.  Please pray for all involved in this:
    52 years old, alone and homeless, he started weeping there on the sidewalk when I asked if there’s anything I could pray for him this Christmas. He said, “I’d like to find my son and tell him I love him.” He spent years trying, to no avail. He was leaving town that day so after 50 minutes of talking I had him record what may be the most heartfelt 50 second message I’ve ever heard and told him I would try and get it to his son. I located his son today and ask for your prayers that I would be led by God in sharing this. His name is Michael.

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

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by 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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.

Prayers for the Week – Our Favorite Bible Word(s)

mdod-prayers of the week

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Prayers for the Week post.  This week, I decided to do something a little different, and I asked all of you what your favorite Bible verse is, if you have one.  I got some great responses from you, so let’s take a look at them.  If your favorite verse is on here, leave me a comment and let me know, and if it isn’t, leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite is!  Thanks everyone!

Jeremiah 29:11

jeremiah-29:11

This is one of my favorite verses, and it is also the favorite verse of my friends Lori and Heather!  In times of trouble, when you think that nothing is going to go your way now or ever again, read these words and reflect on the promise that God has for you:

“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.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

2Corinthians 1:3-4

For my sister Robin, this verse is her favorite. Not only does she give God glory when she remembers these words, but she also remembers God is the God of Mercy.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

My friend Julie knows that there is a time and a place for everything — she knows this because of Eccliesiastes 3:1-8.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)

Psalm 29:11

Psalm 29:11

For my friend Pam, she turns to the Psalms for her favorite verse:

11May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless[a] his people with peace! ~ Psalm 29:11

2 Corinthians 12:9

2 Corinthians 12:9

For my friend Tanya, she knows that her strength is not of her own — it is given to her in her weakness by God.  That’s why 2 Corinthians 12:9 is her favorite verse:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13

For my friends Loretta and Crystal, the best verse is the simplest, and can be found in Philippians 4:13:

13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Luke 18:1-8

Luke 18:1-8

For my friend Chris, he turns to Luke 18 for his favorite verse, the Parable of the Persistent Widow:

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” ~ Luke 18:1-8

Matthew 25:31-40

Matthew 25:31-40

For my friend Ted, his favorite verse comes from the book of Matthew, in which we are reminded that when we do things for our fellow men and women, we are also doing them for God:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’ ~ Matthew 25:31-40

Prayer Requests and Praises…

We only have one prayer request this week, but I hope that you’ll pray for Kelly!

  • Reader Kelly has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook, along with my prayer:I am having surgery this week and I am really nervous! Prayer would be appreciated!My prayer for her:I’ll pray right now, Kelly: “Heavenly Father, your daughter Kelly is going through some nervousness related to her medical condition. Please grant Your Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Healing to Kelly and her family and friends at this time. Lord, we also ask that you use her medical team to take care of the issue — be their hands for them, and use their eyes and skill to Your Glory, and for Kelly’s healing. We ask all of these things in the name of Your Wonderful Son, Jesus, with Thanksgiving! Amen.”

    Please continue the prayers for Kelly throughout the week. Thanks!

Now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by 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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.

Facing Your Fears

Prayers for the Week – Facing Your Fears

Facing Your Fears

Hello my friends, thank you for stopping by today for our weekly Prayers for the Week post.  Last month I wrote about Isaiah 41:10.  So why am I focusing on this Bible verse again in just a month?  Sometimes I don’t know why I pick a particular verse, but I am led to talk about it more.  In this case, I think one of the reasons is because there is so much fear and uncertainty in the world, so much doubt, so much evil, that people are walking around scared and afraid, even if you don’t think so by looking at them from the outside.  In case you don’t remember, here is the text from Isaiah 41:10:

10fear not, for I am with you;be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you,I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

What ways do you incorporate to help you with facing your fears?  Do you tackle it on your own, do you call on your family for help, do you turn to God, or do you just ignore the fear and keep moving?  I would guess that for most of us, it is all of those answers and then some that we use to try and deal with the fears that we face in our lives.  I would love to hear how you deal with your fears.  Please let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!  Now, please pray for all of these requests, and add your prayer requests as well to our comments so we can pray for you!  God Bless You all, and thanks for stopping by today!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for my friend Linda. Her Granddaughter Tina is only 3 years old and recently had to have an appendectomy. She is still in the hospital. Please pray for her fast healing and safe journey home from Florida.Thank you!
  • My friend Sherry asked for prayers for her friend and mine Angie. Here is what she wrote:At Duke Ambulatory with Angie. Her surgery is scheduled at 7:15. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Love you kiddo. You will soon be free of pain and feeling great again.The great update is that she came through the surgery with flying colors, so please continue to pray healing prayers for her and peaceful prayers for Sherry. Thanks!
  • My friend Nancy needs some prayers for her Mom.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    Need prayers right now,mommy is in the hospital and not sure whats going on
    Please pray for Nancy’s mom, prayers for peace, for healing, for comfort, and for strength, for her and her family as well. Thank you.
  • Please also pray for my friend Sheila, for all of the concerns she has on her heart — prayers for Peace, for Healing, for Comfort, for Strength, and for Hope.  Thank you.
  • Lastly, please pray for all of the families out there that are struggling for whatever reason.  Pray for their Peace, pray for their Love, pray for their Understanding, pray for the parents, pray for the children, pray for them all.  There are so many families that are split up, so many families that have problems, pray for God to descend upon them all so that they can be the families that God calls us to be.

Thank you for praying with us, now, please pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed by 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 who Trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Week – That Perfect Bible Verse

mdod-prayers of the week

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Prayers for the Week post.  Have you ever been thumbing through your Bible, with some problem or quandry or concern or whatever on your mind, and all of a sudden, you find a Bible verse and it just hits you that this is the exact verse that you needed to read?  Well, it happens to me every day!

This past Wednesday, I found that my daughter Sophie had been drawing when she shouldn’t have been; it is something that we are working on because it is taking away from her school studies.  Sophie is a very creative person, and she draws very well, at least, in this biased father’s opinion.  Well, we talked a bit about it, about how she needs to not do that during school, and all of that, and she told me that it is hard sometimes to not do it, even though she knows she ought not to do it.  We both agreed that she would try and prevent it in the future.

Well, later that same day, I was on the computer, checking my blog feeds that I look at, and some of them are Bible related sites that share a verse every day.  Well, that day, it just so happened that one of the verses was 1st Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

My friends, I wasn’t searching for a verse, I wasn’t in my Bible, I was online — and still God found the right verse for me to share with Sophie to help her in her struggles!  God is Great, my friends!

In short, I have one last thing to say before we get to the prayers and praises for this week, and this is it: Trust God, look in His Word, search for some inspiration; you will find it and then some in the Bible — all you need to do is open your eyes to it.

Praises!

  • Yesterday Cindy, Sophie and I went to our church to participate in the morning shift for Stop Hunger Now, an organization that gets people together to package the ingredients needed to make meals for people in challenged countries — for example, the Philippines.  Our shift was from 10A-Noon, and when we were done, we had packaged over 41,000 meals for the organization!  If you have never done this, look them up — it is a joy and a blessing, and it is fun too, and in the end, you will know that you made a difference in the world and that you did what Jesus describes in Matthew 25:31-46:
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
  • Huge praise for my friend Bambi! Thank you all for praying for her as she underwent treatment for cancer. Here is the best status update of the day! Praise God, to Him be the Glory — great things He has done, and continues to do!Hope Everyone had a great weekend.
    My wife had surgery and everything went great she is NOW CANCER FREE. PRAISE GOD!!!

Prayer Requests…

  • Please pray for my sister Robin — here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    Sweet Flash crossed the Rainbow Bridge tonight. He was an amazing dog who brought joy into our lives while stealing the couch!
    Flash was a Greyhound that they rescued. He is survived by Lotto, another Greyhound, and was 12 years old — the normal life expectancy for a Grey is 9-10 years. Thank you for praying for Robin and her family.
  • My friend Stephanie left a prayer request for Lilly, a little girl who is battling cancer. Here is what was written:
    Sometime today the phone will ring with the results from Lilly’s MRI . We will know if the spot they detected on her cat scan is cancer or not. I ask everyone to please pray harder than you ever have for my Lilly. I just want my daughter to be cancer free, to LIVE. To have a life outside those hospital walls. She’s had 4 months living a life outside the hospital, only 4 months in her whole life. We need a miracle, again. Please pray, share, think happy thoughts that our Lilly is cancer free!
    Please pray healing prayers for Lilly, lift her up to the Lord, and use the power of prayer to help her overcome her illness. Thank you everyone!
    UPDATE: I received this update later that day:Great news!! Lilly is cancer free!! Thank you so much for the prayers!! God is great!!
  • My friend Emily needs prayers for her Dad, who is in critical condition. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    Thank you so much for those of you who have checked on and prayed for our dad. His condition is very critical right now. His heart, which is normally the culprit, is actually a doing okay. The doctors told us he is “very critical” due to liver failure, which is now causing kidney failure. We just don’t know what is causing it.
    Right now, we covet your prayers for healing from our Heavenly Father. We ask that you pray for his speedy recovery, and that God would be glorified in it. Thank you so much for your calls, cards, prayers and support.
    Thank you everyone for praying!
  • Please pray for my friend Lori, who has battled cancer for far too long. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    Sometimes I want to wave a white flag. Yesterday my doctor called with the results from my biopsy. It came back positive for cancer. The extent of the lymph node cancer is still not known and this is separate. Thursday I will get shots to boost my white count and my surgery is Friday.
    Please pray with me:Father God, it is in times of tribulation such as what Your servant Lori is going through that we turn to You for help. You are the Great Healer, and if You are willing, Lori will be healed of her cancer. Lord, please carry Lori as long as You need to — grant her Your Peace, Your Comfort, and Your Strength to see her through all of this. Lord, please look after her medical team and guide their hands so that they may treat Lori the way You need her to be treated and so that she may be healed of this horrific disease. Despite all of the worry and heartache that Lori is going through, I find comfort in Your Word, specifically Jeremiah 29:11, which fills my heart with Your Peace every time I read it:

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

    Lord, please let Your Word remind Sister Lori of all the good that You will do for her, and let it help her to find the Peace that she needs.

    We ask all these things in the name of Your Son Jesus, with Thanksgiving. Amen.

In the end, my friends, what it comes down to is this question, at least for me:

“How much does God mean to you, and how far are you willing to go to be closer to Him?” If you are willing to make the effort, then I urge you to make the Bible your friend, carry it everywhere, whenever you have a moment, turn in the book to somewhere, anywhere, and read a few verses. You will be amazed to see how much you will get out of that little time investment, and how often God will point you right to a part of Scripture that you needed to hear!

Until next week, my friends, may God keep you safe from harm, may He take the sorrows and trials and tribulations of your life and turn them into beautiful Glories; and may He see you back here, next week, for our next Prayers for the Week post.  Until then, my friends, please pray over these requests and praises, and please add your prayer requests to our comments so that we can pray for you!