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.