Peace

Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Peace

Peace

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week Post.  This week we continue our look at the Fruits of the Spirit.  Today we have landed on the third listed in the book of Galatians — Peace!

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)

What is Peace?

So much has been written across the ages about the concept of peace.  There is peace between nations, peace that is broken when one is an aggressor against another.  There is lack of peace the likes of which we have seldom seen in this world as what we see today.  But what is peace?

For each of us, the concept of what peace is can be entirely different for each of us.  For my daughter Sophie, she described peace as the end result when things are taken care of.  She told us that she finds the summer vacation time to be a time of great peace for her because she doesn’t have school things to hassle over.  For my wife Cindy, to her, the concept of having peace is knowing that things are taken care of, that they are resolved, and you don’t need to worry about them anymore.

To me, the concept of peace isn’t so much about what I achieve within the world system.  To me, Peace is a capitalized word because it truly represents the Peace that only my God, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can provide to me.

27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ~ John 14:27 (ESV)

The day that Sophie was born was among the most stressful of my life.  Cindy was sick, life-threatening sick; Sophie had to be born 7 weeks early, and the doctors were preparing us for the realization that her lungs may not be developed enough, that she might be really tiny, and really really sick herself.  As for me, I was a 32 year old never before been a dad before, know idea of what was going to happen, or anything.  Yet despite my lack of knowledge, despite the uncertainty, despite the simple fact that I didn’t know what was going to end up happening, despite all of that, I felt an inner Peace inside of me that would not be vanquished, and I knew that Sophie and Cindy were going to be okay.  Better than okay, they were going to be great!

My brothers and sisters, while the world was preparing us for the worst, God was lifting us up, and preparing us for the best!  He had my back then, and He’s had my back every day ever since.  That, my friends, is what Peace really is.  Peace is knowing that despite all that the world throws at you, loss of job, loss of home, loss of family, loss of everything — despite all that, God’s Peace, the peace that passes all understanding by our finite brains — Peace will prevail if we let it in to our hearts.

Now, please continue reading and pray with us our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Jodi starts us off with a prayer request: I have another prayer request, please. I’ve applied to teach ESL online. My interview/demo teaching lesson is this Thursday at 9:00AM (Eastern US time). If I pass that, I’ll have to do 1 or possibly 2 mock teaching sessions before being offered a contract. Please pray all goes smoothly! Thanks!
    • UPDATE: OMGosh, that was soooo stressful I cried! LOL! I felt it went horribly, as the interviewer kept stopping me to advise me how to do it better (how to do it right), but in the end, she offered me a very good pay rate and passed me on to the Mock 1 phase. I have a ton of practicing and improving to do before that, which will probably be in a couple days, so please keep praying! Thank you so much!!!
  • Lori has a prayer request: Please keep Congressman Steve Scalise and his family & friends in your prayers. He is back in ICU after more surgery.
  • Jodi has a prayer request regarding her sister-in-law Sue: My sister-in-law, Sue, passed away last fall. Today (July 3rd) would have been her birthday. Please keep her daughter Cami, son Cody, and my brother Ken (and their families) in prayer today, as this is a hard day on all of them. Thank you!
  • Continued prayers for the following:
    • Genny and her family — her brother Mark’s service was this past Wednesday.
    • My cousins Janet and Susan and all of their family as they see how life is different without my Great Aunt Genette.
    • Continued prayers for Alan’s mom Phyllis and her treatment from Crohn’s Disease.
    • Continued prayers for my cousin Barb and her husband Tim in their cancer battle – specifically for the genetic testing for a clinical trial.
    • Continued prayers for my friend Amanda and her husband Daniel and daughter Cate as they fight the battle for Daniel against his own cancer.
    • Continued prayers for Clint, Christine, and all of their family.
    • Continued prayers for Karen’s brother Ben.
    • Continued prayers for Candice — she lost her Mom last week.

As always, if you have any prayer requests, please share them with us in the comment below!  We’ll add them to our list and pray with you and for you.

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 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.

Prayers for the Week – Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:14

14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. ~ Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  This week, we’re focusing on how God has created us.  Most of our prayer requests revolve around things that our Brothers and Sisters-in-Christ are going through, so it’s important to remember that God made us.  Also, I think it is important to remember that God knows us all, even if we aren’t taking the time to know Him in return, and that He has plans for us.  Let’s remember the wonderful verse to be found in Jeremiah 29:11 in both picture in text:

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. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

My friends, we are human, and many times we don’t know why things happen to those we love.  Why does my Mom have breast cancer?  Why does Cindy’s Aunt Carol have breast cancer?  Why do other people we know have such serious illnesses?  We don’t know why.  What I know, though, is that it is in times like this that we must turn to God for the support we need.  Our strength is nothing — the strength I have is all because of God.  If you are struggling, if you are hurting, if you are scared or lonely or afraid, I urge you to give your fears up to God.  He will care for you, He longs for you to turn to Him.  He will give you Peace, but you need to ask Him for it.  Now, please read along and pray with us for the rest of our Prayer Requests and Praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for my friend Janice. She has been undergoing a huge assortment of tests, and today found out that her illness is Graves Disease. Please pray for her recovery, treatment, Peace, Comfort, Strength, and her medical team as they work on beating this disease.
  • My friend Jodi has a prayer request for us. Here is what she wrote:Can you please add my friend Laura to your prayer list this week? Her brother Todd, to whom she’s always been extremely close, has been fighting cancer. They learned yesterday it has spread to his brain. He has been sent home with hospice care. Todd is Laura’s son’s favorite uncle, and this is very hard on him too (Sam, age 9). Thank you!Please pray with me:

    Heavenly Father, we hear daily of struggles that people are going through with that horrific disease — cancer. We really are at a loss to understand how these things invade the lives of Your people, but we also know that You have a plan for all of us. We take heart in Your Words from the book of Jeremiah: “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.” So we know that, despite the disease that Todd is fighting, we know that his life has a purpose, and it is a purpose that You have written for him. Please be with Todd, with his sister Laura, with her son Sam, and with all of their family. Please give Todd the Peace, the Strength, the Comfort, the Love that he needs. Please be with all of them and enfold them in Your Loving embrace so that they would know You are with them. Also, Lord, if it is Your Will, Lord, we pray for healing for Todd. Show us Your Power, Your Glory, and show us that all the medicine in the world means nothing when compared to what You can do. We ask all of these things in the wonderful name of Your Son Jesus with Thanksgiving. Amen

  • Please continue to pray for my Mom, Ellen, who has breast cancer.  She had some tests done, and it cleared up some things that they needed to know, so that was good news.  Thanks!
  • Please pray for Cindy’s Aunt Carol.  She has been fighting breast cancer for a long time now, and is doing well, but when she gets her treatments it wears her out for a day or two, so please pray for her strength during these treatments.
  • Please pray for my sister Robin — she starts her new job on Monday!  Please pray that she would be the light in her classroom that her students need, and that this experience is everything that she hopes it is and then some!
  • Please give great Praise to God for Nora, the newborn daughter of friends of mine.  She was born on the 5th, and all the family is doing well, so please give praise to God for all of that!
  • Please pray for the recovery of my friend Elise.  She had successful surgery and is now back home and is recovering.  Please pray that she would have great healing and that her family can rest easily from now on out!  Please pray for Elise, her husband Randy, and their two wonderful children.  Thanks!

If you have a prayer request, please do not hesitate to leave it with us as a comment.  We pray for all of you, and if you need prayers, we are here for you.  Thank you all for praying for these requests!  Now, please close with me by praying 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.

Prayers for the Week – Making Sense of it all

Proverbs 19:21

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today we’re going to talk about how hard it can be making sense of it all, all the bad that has happened in our lives, all the things that have gone wrong.  In some cases, even making sense of the good things that have happened too is necessary.  For today’s verse, I’m sharing with you a verse from the book of Proverbs:

21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. ~ Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

As you will see when you read our prayer requests, the list of people needing prayers has increased greatly over the last couple of weeks.  There are people all over the world that are suffering, and unfortunately, the suffering will continue until Jesus arrives back on earth in the 2nd coming.  The key, though, is that despite what is happening in our lives — whether it be good or bad — our focus needs to be fixed entirely on Jesus.  He is our rock, our salvation; He is our answer to prayer; He will lead us through trials; He is our Shepherd, and we are His sheep — where He leads, we should follow.  Do you remember two of my favorite Bible verses?  Well, in case you’ve forgotten, here they are again, with a third one thrown in that is becoming a favorite as well:

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. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

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.” ~ John 16:33 (ESV)

13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

In those three verses, we have the Promise of God, the Assurance of Jesus, and the reminder that we, as lowly and full of sin as we are, that nothing can stand in our way, as long as we call on God to help us through those days.  Such simple verses, yet so packed with love.

So, my friends, as you read our prayer requests, and lift up to God our praises, remember, nothing is to small for God, nothing is too trivial, and nothing is to great, either, for God; He wants us to give to him all of the cares, all of the worries, He wants us to turn them over to Him, turn them over and not pull them back to us.

Continued prayers for those we mentioned last week in our prayer post, along with these new requests:

Prayers for Health

  • For Elisha’s blood pressure and stress test
  • For Elisha’s sister Nora, who had neck surgery
  • For Rebecca, who has shoulder issues and likely needs surgery
  • For our old neighbor Anne, who had a stroke and is recuperating
  • For Erin’s friend, whose child is sick, prayers for healing as well as Peace
  • For Casey, who battles Lyme Disease and migraine headaches.
  • For Ginger’s Dad, who is fighting brain lesions.

Prayers for Jobs

  • For Josalynne, who has finished school and is now applying for jobs.
  • For Mitchell, who had a job with prospects for another, but was suddenly told he wasn’t needed with no notice, and now no jobs.

Prayers for Peace

  • For Elisha’s Mom and family — his Mom just lost her sister Mary.
  • For Jodi’s niece, who is being stalked.  She is 24 years old, please pray for her Peace, but also for this to stop.
  • For the family of Mary Alice Reason, who passed away suddenly without warning.
  • For the families of Alison and Adam, who were shot and killed on TV — and for the families of all of those that are lost that we don’t hear about on TV.

Prayers for the Enemy

  • Prayers for the shooter.  As hard as it is to pray for someone who commits evil on us, it is a sign of a true Christian to do so.  God will help you through these prayers.

Prayers for the Lost

  • For those that have passed away.
  • For those that do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Prayers for Finances

  • Continued prayers for those who are in financial difficulty, whomever they may be, and wherever they are.  Lord, please be with them.

Praises!

  • Glory to God for Don’s wife Vallery, who is approaching five years cancer free!
  • For Stephanie, who was offered a job!
  • For my friend Shirley, who thought of me even when she didn’t need to!
  • For Monica, who felt led by the Holy Spirit to reach out to me.
  • For Hardin, who called me about being an assistant leader in the Men’s Study.
  • For God, who put it on my heart to accept that calling
  • For all of you, who take time each week to read and pray with us!

Anonymous Prayers

  • For Frances
  • For Early

Please pray with me:

Heavenly Father, You hear our cries, You see our needs, and You listen to our Hearts.  Lord, thank you for being our God, for helping us day in and day out, for hearing us through thick and thin.  Thank you for Your promises, for Your Son Jesus, and for all that You have given to us, and all that You will do in the future.  Now, Lord, hear our prayer, as we 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 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.

Thank you all for reading with us this week, and remember to let us know what you need praying over, so we can lift you up as you lift us up.  Thank you, and God Bless You.

Prayers for the Week – God’s Timing, Part 2

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Last week, we spoke about God’s Timing, and how it is perfect in all things. If you missed that message, please click here to read it, and then come back and finish up this post.

As I said, last week we spoke of God’s Timing…and the next day, Satan continued his attacks on Christians around the world.  Outwardly, we are under attack.  My friends Amanda and Daniel are faced with a recurrence of cancer in Daniel’s body.  Here is what Amanda passed along to us:

Hello to all,
First and foremost, please let me thank you (somewhat belatedly!) for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and support you have graciously given to my family and to me. I wanted to personally write notes to everyone that had been part of my support group but, unfortunately, I am still challenged with hand-writing, so please accept this heartfelt but impersonal email “Thank You” instead. It has meant the world to our family to know just how many people care and love us. So many demonstrations as well, from calls, cards and letters, baseball caps from all points of the globe, support visits and other thoughtful and generous touches have made the journey bearable and have buoyed us. Thank you so very, very much.
Now for some tough news. Our 6-month scan this week has shown new developments, not just in my remaining liver but also in the lower lobes of my lungs. I am getting some more testing over the next few days, but this is not the best of news for us. My oncology and imaging team is going to put together a plan over the next few days after reviewing the images, and I (or Amanda) will share the plan of attack as it gets firmed up.
As difficult as this is, nothing can be stronger than the love shown to us by ALL of you, so I will continue to be motivated and move forward on the journey with your strength and prayers. I would ask that you please remember my dear family in the coming days and weeks as well as the many members of my extended family affected and afflicted by this disease. From my parents to my cousins to so many others, my prayers are with you as well, and to my loving wife Amanda, I want to thank you for everything you have done for us so far, and will continue to do as we move forward. You are simply the best, better than I deserve!
We should have more information soon, and we will share with you soonest possible. I know all of you will offer continued support in meaningful ways, but rest assured we will let you know if we are in need. For now, prayers are the priority.
I’ll let Amanda finish this off…I’m truly sorry that I am not sending a success story, but the book isn’t finished, yet! God bless and keep you, and my love to all of you as you have sent my way!
Warmest Regards,
Daniel
===============
Hey, it’s Amanda! As I said in my last update, I’d bother you again if something came up and obviously it has. That’s the bad news. Good news is they caught it early so we may have a fighting chance. We have an MRI tomorrow morning and I need my prayer warriors. I’m going big with these prayers and I’m asking you to do the same. The lesion on the liver has a slight chance of not being cancerous – which is what the scan tomorrow will tell us. I’m asking we all pray that God either take the lesions away completely with no medical intervention (or even just the one on the liver!) and, if that is not God’s will, that the lesion on the liver not be cancerous. The liver lesion is concern for 2 reasons: 1) Daniel doesn’t have much liver left so we don’t have a surgical option; and 2) if it is cancerous, that limits our treatment options to chemotherapy only. I will send another update after we have the results on Wednesday. Please pray and pray big! Thanks so much to each and every one of you!

After that message, we received a follow up later on:

Hello, all! We wanted to give an update on the MRI results. The results show the lesion on his liver is cancerous but not very active. The tumor is 2.3 cm X 1.9 cm. It is a positive that it is not very active and we have caught it early. There also 2 spots on the lower lobe of his left lung and 1 spot on the lower lobe of his right lung. Those spots are very small (millimeters). It is suspected these are cancerous but are so small it can’t be confirmed. Since the liver is cancerous, there is no need to check the lungs. We are going to start chemo on Monday – the same regimen as last time with the Avastin – and go for 6 rounds and then scan again. At this point, we are trying to get into complete remission. Because there is no surgical options, there is no “cure” so remission is the best we can hope for this go round.

Obviously, we has hoped the cancer wouldn’t come back but at least we caught it early and it doesn’t seem very active at this point. If you could, please pray that the 6 rounds of chemo works to put the cancer in remission. If you want to add a timeline, forever would be good! We also have several friends that have found they either have a recurrence or an initial bout of cancer so if you could pray for them and there families as well – Debbie and Pam – and one that has been accepted into a clinical trial – Barry. And, I have one more prayer request. Can you please pray that God lead the researchers and clinicians to find better treatment and/or cure for all cancer but colon cancer specifically? Every day our cancer survivors are here on this earth they are making it better but I’d love for God to give them a push over the hump to a cure! Thank you all for your love, prayers, positive thoughts and support! We are amazed at all the people we have pulling for us and pray for your all daily. Until next time!!!

2nd Corinthians has it perfectly worded, though: “even though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are renewed every day.”  Today, I learned of some horrible news regarding friends of our friend Bettie:

Please say prayers tonight for my friend Susan and her daughter Katherine. Katherine lost her husband this morning. He was only 32. They have a four year old son and a daughter who turned one today! So sad!

There are so many examples of the work of Satan in this world, many more than these two examples.  There is greed, there is corruption, there is hatred, there is malice, there are so many emotions at play, and at the end, it comes down to Jesus’ words in John 16:33

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.” ~ John 16:33 (ESV)

My friends, each day is only going to become harder and harder because of the world we are in.  That’s why, today, it’s more important than ever to remember to pray to God.  Please join us in 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.

Trust in the Lord

Prayers for the Week – Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

Trust.  That can be one of the hardest things to do.  How do you trust someone that turns against you?  How do you put your trust in a process, if you feel that the process is corrupted?  How do you trust a God that you often feel isn’t there for you?  These are incredibly hard questions to answer, and perhaps my answer isn’t the one you want to hear.  We’re going to explore this in more depth over at our Prayers for the Week site, I hope you take the time to click over and read the rest of this post.  Trust does exist in this world.  Trust can be found.  Not everyone will turn against you.  Find out where you can put your trust — and where you can not — over at our sister site.  It may be the most important thing you ever do.  If you do not click over, at the very least, pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray with us:

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.