Prayers for the Week – Fruits of the Spirit

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Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today we’re taking a look at all of the Fruits of the Spirit that Paul talks to us about in his letter to the Galatians, and I’m here to say that far too often I fail in remembering these fruits.  I think that I am better than I used to be, particularly in the matter of patience and self-control, but I still convict myself on too regular a basis.  I don’t really have any advice to share with you if you fail in this as well, except I guess to strive each day to think about these fruits and take stock of how the day went, whether you failed in any of the fruits, and to get back up and try harder the next day.  Certainly none of us is perfect — just Jesus — but by training our focus towards the fruits, we will be more cognizant of them and live by them more and more each day.

Now, my friends, let’s get to the real heart of the matter, the prayer requests and praises that so many of you have.  Thank you for praying for each and every one of these, and remember, if you have a prayer request, please do not hesitate to add it to our list so we can pray or give praise for you too!

Prayer Requests…and Praises too!

  • My sister Robin writes, to start us off:
    There are too many praises to count, and that makes me sad to think of what I am missing yet very thankful!
    Leslie and Matt’s wedding plans are coming along nicely. Jim’s procedure went well, and I made it to class and back without any problem. We may even have a full week of school!There have been times in the recent past that I have lost my focus, but I hope that I can “stay the course” and remember that the Lord is good.
  • Becky writes something that is both a blessing, a prayer request, and a praise all rolled up in one.  Here is what she wrote:
    Have you ever noticed that when you start complaining to God he has a way of humbling you. This morning as I shoveled through snowdrifts above my knees to get from my apt. door around the side of the building to the parking lot where my car was, I was complaining up a storm. Well it was already storming pretty hard, which made me complain more. “God if you want me to go to church than this weather needs to stop or someone besides me needs to shovel these sidewalks.” “I’m to old, I hurt to much”, “I’ll probably get there and they will cancel while I’m out here shoveling” etc. I go to church at 7:30 a.m. on Sundays because we serve a free breakfast to anyone in need. When I got to church it was open and there were people there wanting to get warm and get something hot to eat. Not as many as usual but still quite a few. These people were so happy that we were there to feed them that some were practically in tears thanking us. Here I was complaining because I had to get out of my warm bed and shovel a little to get to my car, and these people were beyond grateful to just get in somewhere warm for a little while and get something to eat. Thank you God for setting my attitude straight!
  • My friend Tanya left this comment in Facebook. Prayers for her classroom family, and prayers for the family of this angel:I have taught many children in my long teaching career. I remember them all for different reasons, but one sweet boy has taught me more than any student I’ve ever been blessed to teach, far more than I could have dreamed to teach him. My classroom was graced with his presence and my life was blessed with his smile. He will be missed but there is an angel in heaven with a big smile and a Vikings baseball cap looking over us all. You will be missed sweet boy. You will be missed.My response to her was this:Oh Tanya, please tell the family if you see this that they’ve got prayers coming for them from all over the world, prayers for their peace, comfort, and strength; prayers of jubilation that their little angel is in Jesus’ loving arms, and has no more pain, but also tears at the thought of losing someone so young. My heart breaks for them right now.
  • Please pray for the nephew of my friend. He was just born and is sick and needs healing prayers for him, as well as prayers for peace and strength for his family! Please lift him up to God that he would be healed. In Jesus’ wonderful name we pray! Amen, and thank you everyone!
  • Please pray for my brother-in-law who is having knee replacement surgery. Jerry will be having a knee replacement surgery tomorrow at JMH in Smithfield. Please keep him your prayers for a speedy recovery as he may lose his job if he isn’t back to work with in 12 weeks.UPDATE: Jerry has been released from the hospital, is home, and we went to see him yesterday.  He is doing really well, so Praise God for a successful surgery!
  • Prayers please for my friend Lori. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    This morning I go under the knife once again. This time more skin cancer. For those keeping score, I have lost count but Lori Hope 6 cancer still has 2. Thyroid , parathyroid , breast, skin all 3 forms, lymph node and the newest salivary gland. Participating in relay for life has taught me to celebrate, remember and fight back! #1 celebrate. Every birthday is a victory. Remember- those who are fighting, and those we have lost the battle. And fight back!! Together we can end the fight against cancer. I need your help.

My friends, in closing I would like to remember those that do not believe that they can share their problems with us, of those that are afraid of being judged for the words they write on this post.  Lord, please open up their hearts so that they know that we do not judge here, that we simply pray for them, and that they don’t even need to leave all the details, just ask for prayers.  None of us that pray for these posts need to know the whole story, we know that our God knows all the details that matter, and that we are simply drawing His attention to those that are hurting.  To close, Lord, I ask that we all remember the unknown souls that suffer needlessly, that we lift them all up to You, Lord, and that we end by praying the prayer that Your Son 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 trespassers,
As we forgive those that 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 – Epiphany!

Image ©stlukescatholic.com

Image ©stlukescatholic.com

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayer for the Week post.  Today is Epiphany Sunday in the life of my church, so as such I thought the picture shown above was appropriate for today.  I don’t really have a lot to say for today, except that the words listed in the image “The wise still seek Him” are as appropriate today as they have ever been.

I guess, in the end, I’m left with one question — one that I hope I know the answer to for all of us — “Whom do you seek?”  Or, perhaps more telling, “What do you seek?”  If the answer is not Jesus, well, I believe you are looking for the wrong thing.  If you think differently, well, that’s your choice.

Prayer Requests

Please take the time and pray for all of these requests.  It does a world of good for those that are suffering, and I truly appreciate each and every prayer that you lift up for those that need them.  If you have your own prayer requests you need us to pray for, please leave them in the comments.  If you don’t, we won’t know to pray for you.

  • My friend Kuleen has some need of prayers for her friends. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:A friend of mine is in desperate need of prayers. Her 12 year old son has what is believed to be some form of pneumonia. His condition continues to get worse while the doctors try to figure out what he has and how to treat him. He is now intubated and the ICU. Please pray for Ben and his family.Please pray with me:Father God, we know that You are in control of all situations, even ones that scare us to know end such as this one with Kuleen’s friends. Please shower Your love and care upon Ben and his family — show them that You are there for all of us, if we just ask for You, and please also give Ben’s family Your Peace that they so desperately need so that they may be able to help Ben in whatever way he needs. Please also grant them the strength to deal with this, both now and in the future, for as long as is needed until Ben is better. I ask these things in the name of Your wonderful Son Jesus with Thanksgiving. Amen!
  • You may remember we have been praying for Baby Ryan here — if you don’t remember, you can read about him here:http://www.mydreamsofdisney.com/2013/10/prayers-week-praises-midst-trials/(His is the last prayer request for that week).Anyway, we’ve got the potential for a big praise! Here is the latest on this fighter’s plight:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that baby Ryan is being released from the hospital in 10 days if everything goes as planned! Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate each and every one of them.

    Please pray with me:

    Heavenly Father, the wonders of Your miracles know no boundaries, and we are so close to seeing evidence of Your Healing Touch in Baby Ryan. Please keep his progression moving forward so that he may be released from the hospital when he is supposed to be, and please continue to shower Your Love, Peace, Comfort, and Strength on Ryan and all of his family so that they know that You are with them. Thank You for continuing to show Your love to all of us, no matter what the circumstances are, in all of our lives, and thank You for reminding us all that we are able to move mountains if we just remember to call on You for help. It is in the wonderful name of Your Son Jesus that we pray this with abundant joy and Thanksgiving. Amen!

  • A friend of mine has prayer requests for a family that is going through a lot right now. Here is what she wrote:Feel bad but right now it’s looking like my time tomorrow is needed for a friend. Her husband in horrible accident Nov. 5th when 15 yo son pulled out in front of transfer truck….he had surgeries on shoulder, bowel, and knee……b/c of horrific wreck, testing showed that he had mass in chest which was confirmed 3 weeks ago with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma……was suppose to start chemo Jan 7 but just 5 days ago he was admitted back into the hospital for an infection in his knee, well infectious disease drs came in and said its a bone infection and that he will need a pic line and antibiotics to clear infection. Well, now yesterday, her best friends husband died, and she needs to go see her, get hubby home from hospital. She needs me to go to her house, take her son to baseball, gym, clean her house……I don’t imagine I’ll be home by 4:30…..but I feel that her house helping her is where I need to be!Sometimes the struggles we face are daunting, and seem to pile up on us all at once. However, remember that nothing is impossible for God, so please lift all of this up to Him, and ask Him to sort it all out so that all of the tribulations may be dealt with and handled. The biggest thing I can pray for is healing and Peace, and I will do that. Thank you for praying for these families.

Praises!

In addition to our prayer requests, we certainly have some praises too!  Let’s shower God with all of His Glory as we celebrate all that He has done for us!

  • Right off the bat I’ve got two great praises! Here is the first praise, as it involves my friend Deb and her husband. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Hubbly is home from the hospital! Hoozah! He’s feeling good and his spirits are up! One thing was really reinforced by this and that is to continue to live a healthy lifestyle. We’re celebrating every day!
  • Right after that I saw this praise, from my Brother-in-Christ Chris. Here is what he wrote on Facebook:

    Visited a little church in Gretna VA this morning. The preacher knew Early from back when she was a child and hadn’t seen her in about 25yrs, He started the day talking about how prayers do get answered and then asked Early and Viktoria to stand up and explained that the church had been praying for us while we were in Poland during the adoption. Total strangers knew us and about the difficult process we went through. What an amazing group of people!

My friends, the power of God is incredible, and He is working miracles that we don’t ever know about.  I urge you all to put your trust, put your faith, in Him, and Believe that it will be okay, because if you believe that with all your heart, it will be okay.  As always, thank you to each and every one of you for taking time to read over these prayer requests, and for praying faithfully over them.  It means more than you will ever know, and I know I speak for everyone that has ever left a request when I say that.

If you ever feel like there is nothing you can do for some situation, or somebody, please remember that you can always pray for them.  That, more than anything, will help them more than anything else.  Never forget that.

Until next time, my friends, may God grant you all His Peace on your lives so that you may have a safe, productful, joyous week, and return safely to us next week.  Amen.

Prayers for the Week – Faith

On this Sunday before Christmas, let's take a moment to remember the most important part of the season.

On this Sunday before Christmas, let’s take a moment to remember the most important part of the season.

Merry Christmas, my friends!  Today is the Sunday before Christmas, and like you, I’ve been spending some time looking for and buying presents for the loved ones in my life.  However, one thing I’m trying really hard to make sure I don’t do is putting the secular celebration of Christmas, with Santa and all of that, before the true reason that I and my family celebrate Christmas — the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

His birth is the ultimate expression of love that God has for us.  God sent His Son Jesus to earth in the form of man to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins — and Jesus did so willingly because He loves us.  For us in the 21st century, it truly is an act of faith to believe that this happened.  I believe, and I think you believe also — and it is because of that belief that you and I are saved on this day.

So, my friends, while it is perfectly okay to celebrate Christmas with the exchanging of gifts, and seeing what Santa brings us, and all of that, it’s equally important that we not forget exactly why we have Christmas to begin with — to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Praises!

Luke 1: 31-33 (ESV) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

  • Lord, first and foremost, we have You and the birth of Your Son Jesus to give praise for — without Jesus we all would still be slaves to our sin — and even if we struggle with it, we know that through Jesus we are saved, and our sins are forgiven when we ask You to forgive us.
  • Cindy’s Uncle Ted is doing quite well, and he was able to have his treatment on this past Monday and now won’t need a treatment until after Christmas!  Thank you God for all that healing that you are giving to Uncle Ted, and please keep Uncle Ted and Aunt Connie safe and continue to heal them as they need it.
  • Lord, we were able to celebrate with family twice this past week, and it was a great, joyous time both times.  Thank you Lord for giving us family that we can visit and love and laugh and cry with, and please keep them all safe this Christmas season.
  • Lord, thank you for putting it on all of our hearts — Christian and non-Christian — to be caring of our fellow human beings.
  • Lastly, Lord, thank you for the wonderful gift of music that you have given Sophie — our Christmas concert this past Tuesday was a blessing to listen to.  Lord, also, thank you for making Sophie’s transition to braces fairly easy.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for my friend Vickie.  Here is what she wrote:  Mike I have been having severe pain in my jaw for a week now. Both the my dentist and doctor have failed to stop the pain. It has kept me from work as it becomes so severe I can not concentrate on driving. I drive a semi so being able to keep my mind on the road is important. A change of careers may also be needed. I pray that God will lead me to the solution of my pain and open up a door if getting off the road is what I need to do.
  • Lord, please be with those people in this world that, through no fault of their own, find themselves falling on hard times.  One such person is a man who was a manager, but the owner was stealing money, and as a result, the manager came into a lot of trouble as a result, and ended up being homeless.  Please remind him that although he is facing tribulation at this time, there is a beautiful verse that You have given us that will help him if he but listens to it:
    Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) 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.”
  • God, thank you for putting services such as Facebook to work for good instead of evil.  It was through Facebook that I learned of a senseless death and accident at the hands of a drunk driver.  The blessing is that it didn’t result in more deaths, although it certainly could have, but at this point, please pray for all the victims, but especially for the salvation of Cynthia Kirk, the 64 year old lady who died that night.  Here is what I wrote as a comment to Jeffrey Sherman, who, along with his wife, were eye-witnesses to the death from about a foot away.
    “Jeffrey, even though we have never met before, I am very glad that you and your wife were all right physically. Unfortunately, I worry that the emotional scars may take a little more healing. My prayer for the victim is for his salvation, and for you all, Peace and comfort and also the realization that there is something great in store for you — a bigger legacy than you may even know or have realized. It is truly sad that people do things like this, and I am angry that it happens, but I’m also sad, because so much hurt has now been caused because of some totally senseless acts by the driver.”
    If you haven’t heard about this, you can click on this link to read all about it.  A word of caution, you will be able to visualize it all because of the poignant writing of Mr. Sherman.
  • Lord, I know that there are a lot of other prayer requests out there that I don’t know about.  Lord, please hear those prayers — those calls for mercy — and lift up the afflicted and grant them Your Peace.  It is in the name of Your Son Jesus that we pray. Amen.

And now, Lord, just to be sure that we are praying for Your Will, we will close with the Lord’s Prayer as Your Son 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 the Power, and the Glory,
Forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayers for the Week – Conversational Prayer

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Hello, my friends and fellow prayer warriors, and thank you for coming to this week’s Prayer for the Week Post.  Today, I thought I would discuss with you how hard I sometimes find it to pray, and how I am looking at two different styles of prayer that might help you if you find praying hard also.

The first style of prayer is called conversational prayer, and the way I understand it, it is the process of praying by just having a conversation with God.  Just tell Him you are here, what’s on your mind — almost as if you are talking on the phone with your best friend — which, you are, if you think about it.

I think I sometimes get too caught up in the formality of prayer, using phrases like Heavenly Father, and so forth.  Instead of saying Heavenly Father, sometimes I just say Dear God — doesn’t that work just as well?

Another form of prayer that I am trying to adopt — but, I’ll admit, I’m struggling with it some — is called the ACTSs method of prayer.  ACTSs is an acronym that stands for the following words:

  • Adoration — telling God how much you love Him.
  • Confession — Confessing your sins to God and asking for His forgiveness.
  • Thanksgiving — Thanking God for all of your blessings that He has given to you.
  • Supplications — Praying for the things that you need and also the things that others need.
  • surrender — Surrendering to God’s Will — usually I close with the Lord’s Prayer at this time.

Both of these styles are effective, I think — especially if you are finding yourself having trouble in your prayer life.  Give it a shot!  Now, let’s lift up all of the prayer requests and praises we have for this week.

Prayer Requests

  • My friend Dawn left a prayer request on Facebook. Here is what she wrote:Prayers for my Dad. His cancer moved to his spinal cord. UC Davis is starting him on a clinical trial and a new round of chemo on Monday. He did well during the summer with the chemo but just not sure how well he is going to do with this round. Trying to remain positive.

    Lord, please hear the Healing Prayers directed towards your Servant so that he may beat this cancer. Please provide your Peace, Comfort, and Strength to him and his family as they struggle with what the future might bring, and please remind them that You are there for them and will take care of them in the good times and in the bad times. We ask these things in the name of Your Son Jesus with Thanksgiving. Amen.

  • Please pray for my friend Bambi. She has a surgical procedure tomorrow at 5:30AM (Friday, December 6, 2013). Please pray for God to look after the skillful hands of her team, and heal her of her afflictions, and speed her recovery. Please also pray for peace for her husband Ricci and their two children and all their other family and friends.Thanks, everyone!

    Mike

    • I’ve had an update on Bambi from her husband! Thank you all for praying for her, here is what he wrote on Facebook:Well bam is outta surgery and in recovery now, just got off the phone with dr, they saved 70-80% of her kidney. Will be about another 2 hours before we go back to see her.
    • All in all, the recovery for Bambi is going pretty well — she is in some pain, but she is making strides each day.
  • My friend Elisha’s uncle passed away over Thanksgiving break. Please lift up his family as they remember their loved one who has been called home to Jesus. We all know that, while we celebrate with our loved ones his ascension to Heaven, it is still hard for those of us left behind to deal with. This is Elisha’s Mom’s last surviving sibling, so please especially lift her up.Thanks,
    Mike
  • My friend Teresa has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Such a sad night for me. A very special and dear friend passed away tonight. If there are angels in heaven she truly is one now. Rest in peace Margie Pooh… you will always have a piece of my heart.

    Please pray with me, Christian Prayer Warriors!

    Lord, we don’t know Margie, but what we do know is that Teresa is struggling right now. Please show her how You take care of those that need help by granting your Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon Teresa and all of the other friends and family of Margie. I am worried that Teresa may be having a crisis of faith, Lord, so please, lift her up, and let her see that she can lean on You when tribulations such as this strike our lives. Lord, we don’t know what happened to Margie, but Lord, please be with those left behind. Remind Teresa of Your beautiful Word, as spoken in the Gospel of St. John, 16:33, when Jesus said:

    “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.”

    Lord, we pray this in the name of Your Son Jesus, who died for us, so that we might live, with Thanksgiving each and every day — even today. Amen.

Praises!

  • We have many blessings in our lives, and one of them is the love we have for Stephanie and Shane.  They were able to hang out with us for a brief moment on Friday before they drove home, and it was a good time.
  • I am blessed with the love of my wife Cindy, and my daughter Sophie.  Thank you Lord for these incredible blessings!
  • Today I am blessed in that I am helping coordinate the Ordinary Houses of Prayer that I talked about previously.  Today we are having a training with the families that have agreed to open their homes for our Ordinary Houses of Prayer, and I am blessed to be able to help these couples pray for God’s Will for our campaign!

Thank you all for stopping by today and during the week and praying for our requests.  It is a big deal, and I thank you all for doing so.

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe this week!  Amen.