Prayers for the Week – Jesus Knocks

Jesus-Knocking-At-The-Door-Picture-Revelation-3-20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. ~ Revelation 3:20

The events in our country of the past several weeks have been very distressing.  I’m not smart enough to know the truth with regards to Ferguson, MO or New York City, so I’m not even going to attempt to weigh in either way.  What I’m going to focus on today, though, are the words of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as He relayed to us in Revelation 3:20.  The problem, as I see it, is that for far to many of us, the wrong person is knocking, and we are letting the evil one in more and more often each day.

It is extremely important to me that I try and make my point to you that Jesus knocks on the doors of our lives every day, wanting to be let into our hearts.  Is your heart receptive to Him?  Do you hear His knock?  Or, have you already opened the door to the evil one?  If you are like me, you have opened the door to Jesus’ knock, and you have let Him in.  However, I know also that I have answered the door when someone other than Jesus has knocked also — and I have let the wrong person in far too often.

There is only room for one — room for Jesus or room for Satan, but not both.  When you let one in, you evict the other.  Every day I pray a simple prayer to Jesus, it is so simple that I ask you to pray it with me right now:

“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today” ~ Father Tim, in the Mitford Series “At Home In Mitford”

It is such a simple prayer, but it packs quite a punch.  By making yourself a blessing to someone each and every day, you are showing that the love of Jesus resides right in your heart.  Now, please read and pray for our prayer requests and praises.  Thanks everyone for doing so each and every week!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Rebecca has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook, please pray for her family:My father has cancer again & will be in surgery today. He’s already been through lymphoma, lung, & kidney cancer, so I’m not too worried. He still has not seen the surgeons for the brain tumor, which worries me a little more. If you have a moment, could you please say a prayer for him to get through this surgery & have the strength & perseverance to see the other surgeons afterwards? I would greatly appreciate it. All my love to you all …
  • I have a prayer request for my friend Melissa. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:I have never met a dog who could charm anyone quite like Lucy could. Sadly, last night Lucy left us. We got 18 extra amazing months with her after her original osteosarcoma diagnosis. This beautiful girl was courageous, loving, and strong. She left us with Eliza, myself, and her oncologist all wrapped around her in hugs telling her how much we love her. An entire medical practice took time yesterday to come into the room to spend time with her, give her treats and say goodbye. She touched a lot of lives, and none more than mine. She has been my companion, my snuggle bug (she insists on being the inside spoon), and my confidante for almost 6 years to the day. She listened to me cry, she nuzzled against me and she always tried to make me feel better. Please say a quick prayer for our family and our beloved Lucy – we will see her again at the Rainbow Bridge. And until then, Run free sweet pooch.
  • My friend Pam has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:FB friends please keep Ronnie in your prayers as he has surgery in the morning. Thank you as always from both of us!
  • One of my good friends, Wendy, is in need of prayers. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:PRAYERS PLEASE::: Dear friends, I’m not one to put every personal detail on FB so please forgive the vagueness of this post… But I do believe in Facebook when it comes to the power of prayer, and our family is in GREAT need of it right now for this amazing little guy, Owen. PLEASE join us in lifting him up in prayer for the next several days. Thank you all!!!!
    (BTW in case you can’t tell in this picture, he is showing off his firetruck shoes!)Please pray with me:Heavenly Father, Your Servant Wendy needs prayers for her little guy, Owen. We don’t know the details, and we know that we don’t need to know them, that You know exactly what is wrong, and that You will take care of it. Please be with your Servant Wendy and her family, and take care of everything that Owen needs. We ask these things in the wonderful name of Your Son Jesus with thanksgiving this and every day. Amen!
  • Praying for my friend Maria and her family tonight — here is what she wrote on Facebook:Feeling the loss of my dear mother-in-law, Eleanor Lundberg Milnes, who passed away yesterday. She welcomed me into her family 42 years ago and always treated me like another daughter. We were blessed to have her for 93 years. She will be greatly missed, but I have no doubt that she’s organizing an amazing choir in Heaven, and singing like a true angel. Love you, Mom!Please pray for Maria and her family, but also give Praise to God for His Servant Eleanor.
  • December 7th is my Uncle Phil’s birthday — unfortunately, we lost him far too early. On this day, I ask you to remember the wonderful legacy Uncle Phil left behind — his wonderful wife, my Aunt Claire, and their three wonderful daughters, my cousins Cathy, Ann, and Beth.Ladies, I’m remembering you all, and Uncle Phil also, giving Praise to God for his life, and the wonderful women that you all are. I love you all.
  • December 7th is also the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. That is so long ago that many of us that know of that date didn’t experience it, and only know about it from the history books. Please remember, though, the sacrifices that our ancestors went through so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today, and never forget.

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.

Holy Spirit

Prayers for the Week – the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. ~ Romans 8:26 (ESV)

Sometimes my friends, I have trouble forming the words in my heart to speak with my lips in my prayers to God.  Sometimes they come very easily, but sometimes they don’t.  The beauty of being a Christian, though, is that the Holy Spirit lives within me, and when I lack the words I need to speak, the Holy Spirit is able to translates the feelings I have for the prayers I need to pray, and He does this for me.  That is the message for today’s Prayers for the Week post.  As you will see, in many of our prayers you may see that the words are hard to frame, but rest assured, the Holy Spirit knows what our heart is saying to us, and the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf.  Please remember that the Holy Spirit is our link to God, to Jesus, and that it is one part of the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Ask the Holy Spirit for direction, for the path to take, and you will not be let down.  Now, please pray with us our prayer requests and give God praise for the praises you see as well!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for friends of my friend Torri. Here is what Torri wrote on Facebook:Asking all of my friends to remember in prayer Jerry and Brittany in the loss of their sweet, angel daughter Leila. Leila passed away this morning just 6 weeks after her precious brother Hudson passed away. Please pray for this family that they would be comforted beyond all measure.Please pray with me:Heavenly Father, we turn to you in anguish, in grief, in sorry over the passing of Leila and her brother Hudson. Lord, we don’t know Your ways, and we will never fully understand Your ways, but Lord, we know that Your way is perfect, so we turn to You with our grief. Lord, please be with Leila and Hudson’s family, comfort them, strengthen them, give them Peace, Your Peace, which is the greatest gift in times like this. Lord, reassure them that they would know that their sweet Angels are now with Jesus, and that He is taking good care of them now. Lord, remind them that their children are in no pain, no sorrow, no anguish, and Lord, place in Jerry and Brittany’s minds great memories, the memories that they will carry with them the rest of their lives.

    Lord, we don’t know why Leila and Hudson were called home so soon, we only know the hole that is left with their passing. Please be with Jerry and Brittany and all of their family, now and forevermore. It is in Jesus loving name that we pray. Amen.

  • I wish to give God praise for the wonderful news that we heard — my friend Torri is engaged, and getting married!  Please pray for God to be with Torri and Michael, to lead them in their steps, and to remind them to turn to Him together so that their marriage will be built on God’s solid foundation.  Thank you for praying!
  • Please pray for Ann Marie, the friend of my niece Stephanie.  Ann Marie is having some health issues, so please pray for healing for her, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for her and all of her family and friends.  Thank you everyone!
  • Please continue to pray for Jim, the father-in-law of our friend Dee.  The news is not good for him on the medical front, so please continue praying for healing, but in addition, please pray for his Peace, his Comfort, his Strength, and that of his family and friends.  My friends, in Jim’s case, this may be a time where Dee, her husband Robert, and all of their family and friends may be having trouble forming the words to pray, but the Holy Spirit knows what is needed, and is interceding on their behalf.  Please be with them in this hard time of tribulation in their lives.
  • Please continue praying for my friend Sheila’s friend Kitty.  Her health is slowly improving, so please keep that going with strong prayers for healing for her.
  • My friend Heidi had a prayer request.  Here is what she wrote:Can I ask a few friends to commit to praying for an unspoken request (aka a decision that needs to be made) today?
  • Lastly, please continue praying for my wife Cindy’s cousin Lori, who is recovering from a stroke.

Thank you everyone for praying each and every week.  I lift you all up in my prayers each night, and hope that you are feeling the Peace that comes from being prayed for.  Now, let’s 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.

Running for Sami

Prayers for the Week- Running for Sami

Running for Sami

Yesterday we were running for Sami!

9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9 (ESV)

Yesterday Sophie, Cindy and I participated in an event at school to raise funds for Sami, a classmate of Sophie’s that is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma.  For Sophie and I, it was a chance to see how far along we were on our training for our 5K, while at the same time, supporting a friend who is in a life and death struggle.  The verse we are sharing today, Joshua 1:9, is Sami’s favorite Bible Verse, and is prominently featured on our runner t-shirts.

Simply put, today was an incredible day, a day for hope, a day for love, a day for all of us to celebrate a friend, for us to rejoice.  Perhaps no one put it better than the Psalmist, who wrote:

24This is the day that the Lord has made;let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

Today, we were glad in our day.  Sophie finished the 5K just before I did, but my time wasn’t too bad for this guy: 44:32.  We weren’t able to run the whole time, but we ran quite a bit.  It was a great challenge for us, and I think we did great with it — but today wasn’t about running or walking, not about the t-shirts, not about the water.  It was about Carroll Magnet Middle School, it’s administrators, teachers, and students bonding together in a time of need and giving their all for their friend and classmate.

The Renaissance writer Thomas à Kempis wrote this with regards to the blessings of God:

Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest and simple graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most high God.

Today, my friends, we valued the smallest blessings, and saw them multiply into far greater.  Praise be to God.  Now, please pray for our prayer requests and praises, and thank you!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for Sami — she is up against the fight of her life.  In addition to Ewing’s Sarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer, she lost her father over the summer to a different form of cancer.  She got sick not soon after he passed away, so Sami and her Mom have hardly been able to grieve for the loss of their Dad/Husband.  Please pray for God’s Grace and Glory to lift them up, and for Sami to have a great appointment to find the results of her scan later this month.
  • Please pray for my friend Chris — he is home now, but earlier this week had to have a quadruple bypass heart surgery!  Everything seems to be going well, but please keep praying healing thoughts for him and prayers for peace for his wife and family.
  • Please pray for Mfundokazi Temela’s business to grow.
  • Please pray for Will and Amanda Hasley, who have travelled to South Africa to adopt a girl.  Please pray for safe travels and for God to bring their girl into their lives safely.
  • Continue to pray for my friend Sheila’s friend Kitty.  She is walking more, still in a nursing home, but walking more, so that is improvement.  Thanks everyone for your prayers.
  • Please continue to pray for Lori as she recovers from her stroke.

Thank you everyone for your prayers.  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.

Old Salem

Prayers for the Week – God’s Acre at Old Salem

Old Salem

One of the entrances to God’s Acre in Old Salem.

Yesterday my wife, daughter and I took one of our trips to Old Salem, located in Winston-Salem.  One of my favorite parts about Old Salem is the incredible beauty that exists at God’s Acre, which is the Moravian Cemetery that is used to this day for burying those that have been called home.  The Bible verse at the entrance to the cemetery says it all, in my opinion.

For I know that my redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. ~ Job 19:25 (ESV)

If those words don’t speak hope, especially when you, as a family, are grieving the loss of a loved one, then I don’t know what words will.  In case you didn’t know it, God’s Acre is divided out by choir.  Men are buried in one area, women in another, and children in another.  There is more of a breakdown than that, but I don’t remember them all exactly.  All of the tombstones are the same design.  The tombstone of a wealthy member is the same as the one of a poor member — there is nothing distinguishing them in any way to be different in their stature — they are equal in the eyes of the church.

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous fall day.  A light breeze was blowing, the sky was a brilliant blue, and the sun was shining.  It also happened to be the day that George Hamilton IV was laid to rest at the cemetery.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Old Salem

A view of God’s Acre.

One last thought about God’s Acre before we move on to our prayer requests and praises.  In my mind, the beauty of God’s Acre at Old Salem is in the solitude.  The rustling of the wind through the trees, the silence, the stillness.  Deep down inside, I know that God is here, that He is everywhere, and God’s Acre reminds me that if I am still, I will hear Him in my heart. Remember what Psalm 46 tells us:

10“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” ~ Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Nancy has an update on her Mom — give Praise to God!Thank you for prayers my friends ! Mommy is home resting comfortably. Scar tissue from surgeries are causing the pain. Blood work and ct scan showed she’s healthy as a momma bear. Thank you Lord !!!
  • Prayers for my friend Joyce and her husband Milton. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:prayer warriors needed. my husband Milton is fighting high blood pressure and can not get it down. he is currently on 2 meds and it is not working. he can not sleep, little appetite and he feels so bad. also my cousin Jennifer
    Hodges Blythe needs prayer for her husband Dale who is suffering from heart problems. touch our men Lord and heal them. if it will be your will Lord let us spend many more years together with our husbands.thanksLord, please be with Milton and Joyce — comfort them, heal them, take away their stress, their fear, their worry. Please grant them many more days together. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
  • A reminder from my sister-in-law Sandy. Thanks Sandy for sharing via Facebook:God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God’s yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance.
  • My friend Chris shares urgent prayer requests for a young man named Hudson. Here is what he wrote on Facebook today, 9/21:HUDSON FOUND A HEART!! Surgery is tonight. Please pray throughout the night for the Drs, nurses, Hudson, his family and the family who lost their baby.Please pray for all involved. God’s Will will see this through, but our prayers will help also! Thanks everyone!
    • Then, a followup post: Hudson is off bypass, heart is beating on its own. God is Good!
  • Please pray for the family of David Swisher, a former co-worker of my wife Cindy. David passed away very recently unexpectedly. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon David’s family, and please pray for his salvation, as we don’t know if he knew Jesus. His family has a tough road ahead, so please keep them in your prayers for a while.Thanks, everyone.
  • My friend Rebecca has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:I talked with my parents last night & was told that my father has a brain tumor. He seemed in good spirits & assured me it’s nothing to worry about. Dad is seeing the surgeons on Tuesday to find out what exactly the procedure entails & to schedule it. Please keep my dad in your prayers for an easy procedure, a quick recovery, & good health. Thank you.Please pray healing prayers for her dad, and prayers for Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love for all of the family. Thanks everyone!

Thank you for praying for all of these requests and lifting up all of these praises!  Now, please pray with us 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.

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.