God of Hope

Prayers for the Week: the God of Hope

God of Hope

The God of Hope

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us today for our Prayers for the Week post. Today we are sharing with you a special passage of Scripture, Romans 15:13. Here is the Word of God for you:

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’

Romans 15:13

Today, we send these words out to the friends and family of Amie Miller, a young child of God who was called home to Jesus sooner than we wanted her to be. I never had the pleasure to meet her, but my friend Kristin told us about her in our prayer group, and we joined her and countless others in praying for Amie and her family. While we grieve with her parents, family, and friends over her passing, we also celebrate with them in knowing that Jesus has her in His arms, and that He has taken away her illness and healed her body from all sickness.

My friends, while I don’t know Amie’s parents, I can relate in some ways with them. You see, Amie passed away on Sophie’s 18th birthday. While Sophie has had a healthy upbringing aside from her Asperger’s and her ADHD, Sophie was born 7 weeks early, and when she was born, neither Cindy nor I knew what the outcome would be. However, I had God’s Peace — that Peace that transcends understanding — upon my heart while she was being born, and I knew that she would be okay. That was a very powerful reminder that our God is the God of Hope.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let me remind you that our God is the God of Hope, and we find that in Romans 15:13 and throughout the Bible. It’s important that we remember that, because if we forget it, then it becomes that much easier for Satan to infiltrate our lives and distract us from our true calling. Remember, our true calling is to praise God and His Son, Jesus, and to spread His message of salvation for all of those that need to hear it. If we don’t do that, we are ignoring Jesus’ commandment to us in the Great Commission. We must always be ready to share that wonderful news, especially in today’s world.

Now, please join us in praying with us in our Prayer Requests and Praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Cindy’s friend Linda is traveling to Ohio to visit with her Mom, who is in a skilled nursing facility and is fading quickly. Please pray for Linda and her husband as they travel and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength to surround them all in these final days before she is called Home. She is a Christian so she knows where she is going. Thanks everyone!
  • This was the prayer request from Kristin that shared the wonder of Amie with us: “I need prayers for a friend’s family. Their daughter has a rare chromosome condition like my son. She has heart surgery two days ago and it did not go well. Last night they told her mom that they would have to amputate both legs. Then this morning, they told her that the arythmias that her heart was having damaged every organ in her body. They are having to let her go. The surgery was supposed to allow her to be a normal 12 year old girl again. Please pray for her parents.”
  • Hey Everyone, Cindy’s cousin Debbie has a prayer request. Her boyfriend Mark is having back surgery today, it’s his second surgery for his back. Please pray for God’s Healing Touch on him, as well as for God to guide the medical team, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for Mark and for all of them. Thanks everyone!
  • Remember to pray for our list of prayer requests from last week’s post.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayers for the Week: Pray Without Ceasing

pray without ceasing
Image ©DailyVerses.net

1Thessalonians 5:16-22 (ESV)

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.’

Bible.com

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today we are talking about prayer — specifically, the commands given to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. As you can see, we are commanded to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in all circumstances, and so on.

How are we to pray without ceasing?

As you all know, there are many things wrong with this world. This week, we learned of a gunman killing twelve people in Virginia Beach. We have the never ending saga of politics weighing us down. We’ve got anger, hatred, bitterness, apathy, and a whole host of other things happening on a daily basis. So how are we to pray without ceasing?

To me, the command to pray without ceasing should be an easy one to fulfill, especially in the midst of all of the chaos that is this world. As our world spirals more and more out of control, there comes a time when all that is left to us in my opinion is our relationship with God. The worse it is, the easier it is for me to turn to Him for Comfort, for Peace, for Strength, because I know that He has our backs. Remember Jeremiah 29:11.

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.’

Bible.com

If you have studied that chapter, you know that God told His chosen people that they were going to be in exile for 70 years; so while God knows the plans He has for us, and they are good plans — scratch that, they are great plans — they are not going to be fulfilled on our timeline, they are going to be fulfilled on His.

So, how do we pray without ceasing? We do so gladly because we know that God is there for us, and that He wants what is best for us. Praying may seem like a small thing, and many say that praying isn’t enough, that you need to have action with it — and maybe that’s true, and maybe that’s not. I’m not smart enough to know for certain the answer to that. What I do know, though, is that God tells us to pray without ceasing, and to rejoice always, and to abstain from all forms of evil, so that’s what I’m going to do. Please join me in doing the same thing, starting with praying for our prayer requests and celebrating our praises below.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Sheila has an update on her co-worker who is battling breast cancer. Here is what she wrote: “Update: my coworker and friend did not end up having surgery because they found cancer in her nodules by her breast. Instead they have started a plan of chemotherapy first then surgery then radiation. She had her first chemo on Wednesday and was back at work on Thursday. She said she thinks it’s because all of her prayer warriors. So please keep praying!
  • Jason’s sister-in-law had surgery on the 29th for colon cancer. Here’s an update on her status, please keep praying! “Update: there was more in there than they thought.
    She said they took out the cancerous lymphnodes and took a bunch of scans and samples to see if they can find anymore but the chemo should get rid of anything else in there. Liver and kidneys are clear and they took a scan of her lungs to check as well. Chemo in about a month for maybe 6 months depending on what the samples show.
  • Vickie has a prayer request: “Asking for prayer for me. I came home yesterday with a rash covering me. Took an antihistamine and it is stuck in my throat. I have a haital hernia and nothing is going down, not even spit. No insurance so just hoping it will dislodge. Been 12 hours and I’m tired. Rash is gone.
  • Richard has a prayer request for a friend of his: “I have a friend of mine that I have known for 29 years that has cancer. It has really hit him fast and hard. He needs all the prayers he can get. Please pray for healing.
  • Pat asks for prayers for the family of Mark “TJ” Phongsavanh. Mark was involved in a pool accident over the Memorial Day weekend and passed away. He was 6 years old. Please pray for his family, for God’s Comfort, Strength, Peace, and Love to surround them all in their time of grief.
  • Please pray for the families of the twelve employees that were killed in Virginia Beach on Friday. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to surround them all, to hold them tight, to help them in their grief. I don’t even begin to understand why someone would or could do that, and I know that there are all sorts of voices clamoring for gun control laws and so forth. I don’t see another law in a nation of thousands of laws making a bit of difference here, but what do I know. What I know is that things like this tragedy, really make me believe all that the Bible tells us is true. Look at 1Peter5:8 and tell me that this wasn’t the case in Virginia Beach: “8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, asks us all to pray for President Trump today. Please lift him up in prayer. Pray for him regardless of whether you voted for him or not. Our government is put in place by God, and we are called to pray for our leaders, regardless of which side of the polical isle they are on. So pray for him today and every day, and I’ll join you in praying for all of our leaders in government as well.
  • Lastly, I leave you with a bit of hope to all believers. In the end, despite all of the trouble, all the turmoil, all the tribulation, despite it all, in the end, God wins. Remember that, and take comfort in that.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As always, we welcome your prayer requests, your praises, and your comments. Do you have a prayer request for us? You can leave it below in the comments and we will be sure and pray for you. Thank you for stopping by and praying with us today. May the Lord give you His Peace in our troubled world, today and every day.

Remember this: God Loves You!

God Loves You
Image ©ibelieve.com

God Loves You

Last week, I wrote some hard words for us to hear and accept; the words found in Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32. You can read my post on God’s Wrath by clicking the link. At the end of that message, though, I reminded you of some important words of hope. Even though we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, He still loves us. That’s right: God Loves You, and God Loves me, despite all that we do and say. Today, I am going to remind us all that He really does love us, using His words as proof.

Jeremiah 29:11

‘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 (ESV)

Some of my most peaceful times have come in reading this verse. It is important that we remember that despite the troubles we are going through, God is for us, and He is with us, if we but call on Him.

Isaiah 41:10

‘ fear 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)

Romans 8:38-39

‘For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ‘

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

John 3:16-17

‘”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ‘

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

The ultimate reminder of God’s love for us is found in John 3:16-17. If you ever feel that God doesn’t love you, please, reach out to us, or talk to your minister if you have one. These are just some of the verses that show just how much God loves you, and how much God loves all of us. Now, please join us in praying with us in our Prayer Requests and Praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Dana has a prayer request for us: “Asking for prayers today for two very special people who are having surgery. One is for colon cancer. Praying for the medical team and that they are able to remove all of the cancer in the least invasive manner. Thank you!”
  • Pat has a very special praise: “Proof that God works miracles. A few months ago I brought you a prayer request for this young lady. She had a brain aneurism and her outlook was bleak. I got to watch her walk up onto our church platform Sunday morning to be recognized as a senior graduating with honors. God isn’t through with her yet.”
  • My wife Cindy and I have a special praise for our daughter Sophie, who graduated from high school this week. Please pray for all of the graduates in the coming weeks, and pray for their transition into the next phase of their lives.
  • Please pray for all of those that paid the ultimate price for us so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have in our country. Never forget their ultimate sacrifice.
  • Lastly, please continue your prayers for those on our prayer lists from last week and the week before.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Thank you for joining us today in our prayers for the week post. Please don’t forget to pray, and leave your prayer requests for us as well so we can pray for you. Thanks, have a great day and week!

God's Wrath

Prayers for the Week – God’s Wrath

Image ©Mission Venture Ministries

Romans 1:18-32 (ESV)

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Bible.com

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today we are starting a hard lesson, understanding how we are under God’s Wrath and what we can do to change that. This world is so full of chaos, clutter, confusion, anger, and hatred, and until we know why that is, we will never have the opportunity to change it.

My prayer for this post is that God would use these words I’m writing to drill down deep into all of our souls and see where we are lacking, with the aim of improving ourselves, and by extension, improving the world around us.

The opening chapter in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the people of Rome is a hard word for us all to hear. The sad fact is that our world we live in is fallen; we have girls being killed and left in the woods; we have people battling cancer; we have sorrow and sadness all around, no matter where we turn. So much of this is because we have turned away from God. Now, this is not to say that if we were 100% focused on God, that our lives would be perfect and that we wouldn’t be going through these things. That is not necessarily the case.

However, a big key for us to remember is this: When we turn our attention to God, and call on His Guidance, His Peace, His Love, and His Strength, He will see us through the trials and tribulations, and we will be better off than we would otherwise be.

The beauty of the Bible is that God’s Hope for us all is found throughout. Even though we have the hard truth of Romans 1:18-32, we also have the incredible words of John 3:16. 16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Our world is in upheaval. The only one that can change that is God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We may not be able to change the world on our own, but we can pray to God that He would use us to help bring that change to the world. Change that transcends politics, that transcends all of the normal things that we complain about in our day to day lives. Change that brings more and more people to God as His adopted children. That is the change that our world needs to see.

For now, you can start that process by praying along with our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Scarlett has a prayer request for a friend of theirs: “Please pray for our young friend, Mike! He is at the Anderson Clinic for a trial therapy! Pray it is successful!
  • Pam asks for prayers and remembrances for her friend. “Hey Mike. I’m asking my fellow prayer partners to remember my dear friend, Debbie, today. She lost her mom this morning and that is always hard, especially on Mother’s Day. Thank you!
  • My Aunt Kitty asks for prayers for her cousin Linda: “Mike our family n friends need to pray for my cousin Linda who fell last night n broke her pelvis in three places. I’ll let you know of any updates I get. Please pray for her.
  • My cousin Deb has a prayer request for housing: “Please pray that we find a home to rent asap, been packing by faith not by sight.
  • My friend Joe has a prayer request for a friend in need of housing: “Needing prayer for friend. Him & his family just got evicted. Doesn’t have ANY family in NC.
  • Connie has a prayer request for her cousin’s husband: “Cousins husband has cancer around the vena cava, a large blood vessel in the chest. He has had chemo and radiation, now a very tricky surgery tmrw to remove the rest. Prayers greatly appreciated!!
    • Update from Connie: “Surgery went well and recovery is going smoothly, thank you for prayers, they are working. God is good.
  • Please pray for the family and friends of Riley Crossman, the 15 year old that was abducted and killed in West Virginia. Please pray for her Mother, for her Friends, and all of the rest of her family. Also please pray for justice, and if it was her mother’s boyfriend that did this, that he would be punished for his crimes.
  • Sheila has a prayer request for her co-worker Liz: “Please pray for my co worker Liz , she was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is scheduled for surgery on May 24,2019. Please keep her in your prayers.
  • Please pray for Kyle and Steph, a married couple that is facing infertility issues. Please pray that God would use their situation for His Glory, either through a miraculous pregnancy or adoption of some wonderful children.
  • Lastly, please pray for all of the Christians in the world; pray that they would rely on God in all circumstances, and that they would avoid the persecutions that we hear about. Pray that we would be the change that the world needs to see happen, and that God’s Kingdom can continue to gain more and more co-heirs with Christ!

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

Thank you for joining us today in prayer. We’ll see you next week, please add your prayers below so we can pray for you and your family and friends!

faithfulness

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Faithfulness

faithfulness

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post. Last week we looked at goodness, the sixth word that was mentioned as a fruit of the Spirit by the Apostle Paul.  Today, we look at faithfulness.  But first, let’s look at our Bible verses again to refresh them in our minds:

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

The concept of faithfulness to many people is a hard thing to have.  Basically, to exhibit the traits of faithfulness is to have your complete and total belief in knowing that God is looking out for you, and that He will take care of those problems that come up in our lives.  It’s so very easy in this fallen world we live in to be jaded by the events that surround us, whether they be political, economical, or whatever, that to exude that feeling of faithfulness can be kind of hard.

For me, being more faithful to God has become easier the older I’ve gotten.  This time in my life is by no means an easy road to hoe, we’re still battling with me losing my job nearly two years ago, trying to make my businesses work and thrive, and so forth — and the stress is not easily laid aside.  But throughout it all, in fact, because of it all, I think my relationship with God has grown in leaps and bounds beyond what I could ever imagine, and each day I see myself praying to God more and more each day, not just about big things, but about small, often what I would call “mundane” things.  Such as, Lord, help me get the weight loss I want this week, and so forth.

My latest challenge spiritually is that I have started the OWNit365 Whole Bible Plan on August 1st.  The challenge is to read through the entire Bible in one year, and this is something I’ve attempted before, but have never succeeded at.  So this is a big deal for me.  Please pray for me to continue to develop and maintain the discipline needed to read each day, and to complete this challenge.

Now, please join us as we pray over our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Shannan starts us off with a praise and continued prayers for her friend Darleen: Hey guys, I heard from Darleen today!!! She’s doing so much better. The plan, as of now is for her to go home sometime this coming week. She’s in good spirits but is still in some pain and can’t stand for long periods of time. Also, due to the length of time that she has been off, she also lost her job. I am in the process of researching restaurants nearby her address that deliver because she can’t drive right now either. I’m going to send a few gift cards to help with expenses when she gets home.
  • Amanda asks for continued prayers for her husband Daniel.  Here’s the latest update from his tests: We had our appointment yesterday to see about a clinical trial. It was good and bad news. Over the past week, Daniel has become jaundice and had all the signs of liver issues. They are doing a scan on Monday at 3 to see if it is something simple like a blocked bile duct or if the cancer is causing it. Please pray that this is something simple that we can take care of quickly and get back on the path to getting him in remission. Also, please pray he doesn’t spike a fever – that is really bad. The good news is he isn’t a candidate for an immunotherapy clinical trial but instead off label use of a drug already very successful at treating breast cancer. We just need to get there!
  • Jodi has a heartbreaking prayer request for a friend’s nephew: My friend’s 17-yr-old nephew unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. Don’t know cause. Please pray for the Dokken family!
  • We have an update from Robin on this prayer request from earlier: Little man is back in the hospital his heart rate keeps going too low so he will be at the hospital for a while. This is from my high school classmate Carla regarding her grandson Dyrell. He has many medical needs and this baby needs prayer. His mama is Hilary and needs prayer as well as daddy.
    • Please keep praying: DJ is still in pediatric ICU. Carla appreciates our prayers.
  • Robin also had a prayer request for Macie: Please add Macie to the list. She had her tonsils removed but wasn’t healing. They had to go in and cauterize the surgical site and her pain is needing to be managed. Macie is early teens so this is more difficult as children get older. Thanks
    • The good news, we’ve been praying for her in our Facebook prayer group and she is much better! From Robin: Macie is recovering beautifully. She can start volleyball practice Wednesday!
  • Shannan also has a prayer request for Joshua: Please pray for my son’s girlfriend’s little brother, Joshua. He’s 12 and weighs 60lbs. They have done a ton of blood work and finally found he was anemic. He was admitted to the hospital after going to the ER this weekend and they have diagnosed him with Crohn’s disease. They did an endoscopy today but don’t have the results of the severity yet. We have a friend (same age as my son) that’s had the majority of her intestines removed already and is on humera injections for probably the rest of her life, but right now in remission. It’s a long and scary road for this little guy and his family.
  • Tabitha has a prayer request for a friend: To my prayer warriors……I have a friend whose father can use some prayers right now. Please pray for him. God knows what he needs.
  • Jodi also has a prayer request for Shannah: Please pray for a friend’s best friend named Shannah. She was hospitalized on the 21st with sepsis, liver failure, and kidney failure, in critical condition. Idk if she had prior problems or if this was a sudden onset. She’s still in the hospital, and they finally were able to start dialysis today. She’s only in her early 30s & has a 3-yr-old son.
  • Stephanie has a prayer request for baby Wesley and his family: My stomach just dropped… two people I knew fairly well from college just posted this: “On Wednesday Riley Judy and Wesley Ellis were delivered. They were 14 weeks early. Last night our Riley girl passed and is no longer in any pain. Wesley is still fighting he has a long way to go. Please pray for Wesley.” I can only imagine what the new mommy and daddy are feeling so pray hard guys for them. God has a plan and I’m sure for them that plan seems so unclear….
  • Lori has a prayer request for her friend Barb: God surely puts more on some people’s plates than others. Please add my friend Barb & her family, from MN to your prayers this week. Barb & her husband (who has cystic fibrosis himself) many years ago adopted and have cared for 3 special-needs boys – their oldest (wheel chair bound) is now just one badge away from Eagle Scout!Oh, yes. When Barb had difficulty finding a Scout Troop willing to take up the challenge of accommodating her boys, by gosh, she stepped up and started a new Troop! None who want to be a Scout are left out of her Troop!Barb is a full-time nurse supporting their family and is now tasked with caring for her quite elderly father with esophageal cancer as well.Please hold their family in your prayers – God has given my friend amazing Strength over the years!
  • Please pray for the sign up dinner for the Men’s Study in Raleigh, NC that is happening this Tuesday, August 8th. If there are any men in the Raleigh/Durham area that want to come for a free BBQ dinner, and to hear my mentor Russ Andrews talk about the bible study, please come to Edenton Street UMC, 228 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC, at 5:45PM on Tuesday the 8th.  If you sign up for this study and put your whole heart into it, it literally will change your life.
  • Please pray for those that have no faith, for those that don’t know Jesus, for the lost, for those that are out to hurt others, for all that don’t know Jesus but desperately need to meet Him and know Him.
  • Please pray for the world, for the leaders on all sides of government, and pray for those that are in need and not getting the help they need.

The prayers listed on this page each week do work — the answered prayers we have been a witness to over the years speak to how God hears us, hears our prayers, and answers our petitions. The strangers that pray for all of these prayer requests each and every week — most of whom I have never met before — speak to how faithful they are in their belief, their expectation, and their confidence that God will and does hear our prayers.  There is a peace that comes from prayer, my friends.  Do you know that Peace, that Peace that surpasses all understanding, yet brings a calmness to you like nothing else can? That Peace, my friends, is among the greatest of gifts that I will ever receive, and that Peace can only come from God.

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.