Prayers for the Week: Studying Proverbs

Hello everyone, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Starting today, we’re going to delve into the book of Proverbs.  Studying Proverbs is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but haven’t committed to doing so before now.  I don’t know how many weeks this particular study will go, but for the next several weeks I think we’ll explore some of the incredible testimony that can be learned from this book.  For today, we’re going to focus on the beginning verses, listed below:

1The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:1-7 (ESV)

In many ways, these first seven verses can sum up a lifetime of knowledge for us, if we just take the time to learn these verses.  Intelligence can be learned in many ways.  You can learn it in school, in reading, in study, and just by living in the world.  But true knowledge to me comes from wisdom, from knowing what is smart and what isn’t, from understanding those words of insight.  In particular, I like the final verse, verse 7.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I think sometimes we all play the role of the fool.  We want it our way, we don’t want to do things the way they should be done, we want to do them the way we want them done.  We play the role of the fool, and in times like that, we turn away from wisdom, from instruction, from listening to what might be the best course of action and instead sail directly into the path of the storm.  The key, I think, is that we not play the fool too often; if we do, we need to recognize the outcome of our course of action, and learn from it.  If we can do that, then we’ll start living verse 5: Let the wise hear and increase in learning…

What is your take on the book of Proverbs? Tell us below in the comments, and thanks!  Will you commit to studying Proverbs with us?  Now, please pray with us the prayer requests and praises we have lifted up this week.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Mikel starts us off with a prayer request for her sister, Saundra: I would like to ask prayers for my sister Saundra who is having knee replacement surgery this week.
    • The surgery had to be postponed a bit because of some tests, so please pray for those tests to stabilize so this can get taken care of.
  • Lori has a prayer request: I may have an interview this week. They wanted me to come on Thursday but my boss’s wife is having surgery that day, so I have to be in the office all day. I emailed them back asking if they could see me either tomorrow or Friday (with the reason I could not meet them Thursday). That was late in the day today…..no word back….keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
  • Kipp has a prayer request: Guys I have a childhood friend that needs prayer. His name is Len. He is having his kidney removed tomorrow morning. That kidney is so full of cancer. Can we pray for no complications, a rapid recovery, complete containment for the cancer to just that kidney, and wisdom/clarity for those giving him care!!
    • UPDATE: Just literally walked back in from hospital! They are saying ….he is cancer free…. it was confined to the kidney….praise God!!
  • Linda has a prayer request for her husband: My husband has been receiving treatment for years for a-fib (irregular heartbeat). He had open heart surgery and a valve replacement 11 years ago which helped tremendously. Today, his heart began beating extremely fast and he is now scheduled for a cardioversion (electrical shock to the heart) on Thursday to restore its natural rhythm. Prayers that all goes well or even that his heart regains its normal rhythm on its own before then would be greatly appreciated.
    • Update: My husband Dan came through the procedure just fine this morning and is back to being himself. (He even cut the grass this evening)! Now our prayers are that it will “hold”. The doctor said that sometimes this fixes the situation for several years … or it could be for just a few days. Naturally our prayers are that the “correction” will last. Thank you all so very much for your prayers.
  • Jodi has a big praise! My brother Ken is scheduled to go home on Monday afternoon! Will have oxygen and nebulizer as he works on strengthening lungs. He’s been so bored at the hospital & rehab. He’ll be so glad to be home!!! Thanks you for and please continue the prayers!
  • Lastly, thank you to those that prayed for the Raleigh, NC area during their huge rainfall totals last week.  Things have settled back down after over 8″ of rain in some areas.

Do you have any prayer requests you want us to pray over?  If so, please leave a comment below and we’ll pray for you!  Now, please pray 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.

Memorial Day

Prayers for the Week – Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Correction: This is actually Isaiah 60:20, not 60:18.

“Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.” ~ Isaiah 60:20 NIV.

To all of my fellow countrymen and women that serve or have served in our armed forces, I thank you.  To all of your families that have sacrificed just as much as our soldiers have so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do as Americans, I thank you.  For all of you that have lost loved ones in their service to our country, my heart breaks for you for all the pain, grief, and sorrow that you went through, and I lift my prayers up to God today for all of you.  On this Memorial Day weekend, I remember that it is because of all of you that have served our country that my family is safe and has the freedoms that it enjoys to this day.  That dedication is not forgotten by my family, nor will it ever be.  Thank You.  Now, please lift up our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Amanda has an update on her husband Daniel and his cancer treatments. Here is what she wrote:Are you all tired of the updates yet?! This has been a long week but we are trudging forward. School has ended for the year, softball season is over and we’ve passed another checkpoint in our journey towards Daniel’s liver resection. Now, hopefully, we can have time to take a deep breath and reset!Daniel was able to have the embolization on Friday. YAY! It went well and the radiologist was happy with the embolization he was able to get. We started cycle 2 of chemo this past Monday. It was rough but not as rough as the first round. Daniel is very tired and it seems he gets chemo hiccups as one of the lovely side effects. For those that have never heard of chemo hiccups, they are caused by the steriods they give the patients prior to administration of the chemo regimen. He will have them off and on (mostly on) for the second through fourth days of the cycle and they are not a nice calm hiccup but a move your whole body hiccup. The chemo nurses are working to get them under control for next round. Otherwise, he had limited vomiting but still had nausea and the fatigue that comes with treatment. He will get fluids Friday through Tuesday to help with dehydration and neupogen shots on Friday and Tuesday to try to keep that white blood cell count up. Since we only have 4 cycles, the oncologist is kind of throwing everything at him to help get that healthy liver to grow.As for the resection, we will re-image in the next 6 weeks or so (the 4th of July holiday will affect the scheduling) to see if the healthy liver has grown and the tumor has shrunk enough to move forward with the resection. There needs to be enough healthy liver for the surgeon to take the tumor and good margins and him still have 20-25% liver left. If we have the results we want, the resection will be scheduled for 2-3 weeks after the imaging so mid- July to early August. If we don’t have the results we want, we will likely have more chemo and work with the doctors on next steps.So specific prayers, beyond total healing, is that the embolization and chemo work together successfully to get us enough healthy liver to move forward with the resection this summer (I’m praying for at least 45% healthly liver but that’s just a number I came up with – not medical guidance), that Daniel continue to have the strength to fight the fight he needs and that we can continue to support each other and keep perspective.Once again, thank you for all the love, support and prayers! We love our prayer warriors and pray for each of you daily! If you have anything specific need us to pray for, please let me know!

    Also, several people have asked if there is something they can send Daniel for encouragement. Before I go into this idea, please do not feel any obligation! In my frantic and scattered state, I can’t remember who has asked so I have to include it here. As one of the side effects of chemo, Daniel’s hair is thinning and he must always where a hat. He mentioned he won’t wear any of his ball caps he is currently wearing after the chemo has stopped because of the chemical smell and general emotional stress. So if you would like you, feel free to send a baseball cap. He doesn’t like the fitted or elastic banded caps because it hurts his hair follicles and the trucker hats don’t protect his scalp from the sun so just your general run of the mill baseball cap would be perfect. Again, no obligation!

  • Please pray for my friend Linda. She is having the first of two eye surgeries on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, to repair cataracts. The second surgery is scheduled for the following week. Please pray for her doctors as they repair her eyes, for her strength, peace, and comfort during this time, and for a quick turnaround on her healing.
  • I want to give a big praise for my sister Robin and her husband Jim.  Today is their 29th Wedding Anniversary!  Happy Anniversary you two!  It has been an honor to see you two grow in your love together and to watch you raise your children to be fantastic adults!  I love you both!
  • Lastly, I want to give a big praise to God for all of you that so readily pray for all of these requests week in and week out.  It means a lot to me, and I know that it means a lot to those that we are praying for.  Thank you for doing so, and may God Bless each and every one of you for doing this for those that we’ve never even met.

Do you have any prayer requests that you want to share with us?  If you do, please leave them in the comments, and we’ll pray for you!  Until next week, let’s close like we always do by 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 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.

 

When the World Grieves

A Tearful Mickey Mouse – hand drawn by 11 year old Sophie.

On Friday, December 14th, 2012, the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, was struck with a grief so intense, it has shaken a nation — even a world — to it’s core.  On that morning, as you all likely know by now, a gunman came into Sandy Hook Elementary School and ended the lives of innocent lives.

As a parent of an eleven year old, that news hit home.  Part of me was thinking “How could this happen?” while another part of me was thinking “This was a movie scene, right?  It didn’t really happen, did it?”  Well, you all know that it did happen, and it is in the aftermath of such a tragedy that we struggle mightily to deal with the grief, and to try to explain to our children when they hear about it why such a thing could happen.  When the world grieves, what, as a parent, can you do?

I thought long and hard this weekend about whether or not to write a post — so much so that I haven’t posted anything since Friday to the site.  In the end, though, I decided that, perhaps, if I did write about it, someone, somewhere that is grieving right now might take comfort in knowing that this little blogger and his family are thinking of them.

When tragedy strikes such as this, more then anything it brings me back to my Bible, and it is a reaffirmation of what Jesus tells us in John 16:33:

“I have told 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.”

No one right now is going through as much hurt as those families who have lost loved ones.  But they have one thing going for them, as sad as it is for them to comprehend right now — their loved ones are in the arms of Jesus right now, and while they are left behind, Jesus has not forgotten them, and He is giving them the strength they need right now to get through this, as well as bringing his Peace upon them.

it is far too easy to ask why in cases like this. It is really easy to be angry with God for allowing this to happen, and that is probably happening right now.  I don’t pretend to have the answers about why this has happened, and I don’t think that we will ever really know why this happened.  What I do know, though, is that our God is a loving God, that Jesus has won, even though it may not seem like it is so right now.  It is really easy to let our grief lead us down a road that takes us into sin through anger, and if this is happening to you right now, please, PLEASE, get down on your knees right now, clasp your hands together, and pray to God to give you the Peace you need — the Peace that only Jesus can provide — so that you won’t give in to your anger and do something that could cause more grief.  If you have sinned as a result of your anger, do the same thing — but first ask God to forgive you for your sin.  He will forgive you.  He always forgives those who ask forgiveness with a humble heart.

The grief won’t go away anytime soon, I’m afraid.  I know that it may seem like you want it to go away, that you want to just forget what has happened, but that isn’t what you should be doing, I believe.  Forgetting the grief, blocking it away, will not allow you to heal, and that wouldn’t help.  It is tough, but love always is, and saying goodbye, especially to your children, spouses, or other loved ones is never easy.  Life will go on, though, although I won’t claim that it will be any better for a while, if ever.  Your loved one is still gone, after all.

I doubt that this has been helpful to any of you, but maybe I’m wrong.  If this has helped you deal with your grief, then my objective was met.  At the very least, please know that the entire nation, but especially Newtown, Connecticut, is in my prayers, and in the prayers of my family.  God Bless Us, and God Bless the USA.