Prayers for the Week – Love Never Fails

Love

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  This past Tuesday my wife Cindy and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, and I got to thinking a bit about all that has happened to us in the past several months.  In April, Cindy lost her Uncle Ted; in early June, her Uncle Sam left us; then, when we got home from that funeral, we lost our dog Regan; last month, Cindy’s Uncle Walter passed away.  It’s been one struggle after another, and it isn’t done yet, not by a long shot.  However, in the midst of all of that, the overwhelming emotion that we are experiencing in all of our trials and tribulations is Love.  The picture above is of a plaque on my wall in my office, a plaque that my friend Sally gave me several years back.  I think of her often as I look at it, but I realized that I’ve never taken a shot of it before now.  On this plaque, in sixteen simple words, is such promise, such hope.  The author of Corinthians is absolutely correct, Love never fails.  I hope you have the kind of love I have, the love I have for my wife, and the love I have for my Lord.  I am a blessed man, and today, I see that more and more.

Life is short, in the blink of an eye it is gone, and the overwhelming things that last with us are the things that revolve around our loved ones.  Tell them you love them, tell them you’re there for them, each and every day of your life.  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.

Prayers for the Week – Fathers

Proverbs 22-6

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there!  Today is a special day, a day when you are celebrated for the men you are, and for the job that you have done in raising your children.  Thank you for all that you do!  Today’s Bible verse comes from the book of Proverbs, the 22nd chapter, the 6th verse:

Train up a child in the way he should go: even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

There is so much complexity on days like this, more than might first meet the eye.  For starters, we are giving God thanks for the role that our father has played in our lives, both our earthly father and our Heavenly Father.  However, this isn’t just a day to celebrate and give thanks.  For many of you, this is a time of grief, of knowing that your father isn’t here anymore to celebrate with; for some, there is anger that your father isn’t here, either because he was taken already or because he never showed up at all.  For others, this is a day of celebration, whether your father is here or not, of remembering the man he is or the man he was, both in good times and bad.  The range of emotions goes on and on, so for all of us, I have this special pray I would like to pray over us all:

Our Heavenly Father, to You we give thanks…
Thanks for the love we have in our fathers…
Thanks for the joy we see in them when we come face to face…
Thanks for the men and women that we have become because of their guidance…

Our Heavenly Father, we also turn to you today…
In grief for those that have lost their fathers before they were ready…
For those that are angry because their father isn’t here, either in body or in spirit…
And for those that never knew the love of their father…

Lord, we pray this day…
For our fathers, those that are still with us; we pray that they will be here for many years to come…
For our fathers, those that are gone; we pray that their memory will live forever in our hearts…
For our fathers, those that we never knew; we pray that those children find (or found) You, and call You Abba, Father.
For their children, we pray that they remember that You are our Heavenly Father…
Both now, and forevermore. It is in the name of your Wonderful Son Jesus that we pray with Thanksgiving. Amen.

Now, please pray with me 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.

Prayers for the Week – Remembering


This past week my wife and I drove her aunt and uncle to Montana for her Uncle’s Memorial service. It was a long, 2,000 mile journey through 11 states, but it was a great trip nonetheless. It was a journey of remembering, of remembering the time Uncle Bud drove school buses from North Carolina to Montana with his brother Sam. It was a journey of remembering the trips that Cindy made in days gone by, and it was a trip of remembering all the trips that Uncle Sam and Aunt Saundra made back to North Carolina. In all, nine of Uncle Sam’s relatives made the trip by car or plane from North Carolina to Montana to be there for Aunt Saundra, Lori Jean, Tom, Allison, and the rest of the family. In each case Aunt Saundra remarked that she couldn’t believe that we came out for Sam. Well, Aunt Saundra, we didn’t come out for Uncle Sam. We came out for you.

In preparing for this message, I found myself drawn to 1 Corinthians 15:52-57:


Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭51-58‬ ESV)

The older I get, the more I draw comfort in the words that God leaves for us. They inspire me, the direct me, they are my hope in a crazy, chaotic world. They help me to sleep at night, knowing that whatever happens, God is with me. Aunt Saundra, Lori, Tom, and Allison, God is with you too. Draw comfort in that fact.

Now, please pray with me 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.