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 – Serve the Lord

as-for-me

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV)

On this past Tuesday, during our summer Bible Study, we were talking about the terrible events that unfolded in Charleston, SC, involving the Dylann Roof and the 9 Martyrs that he killed inside of their church.  We talked about how hard it would be to forgive him of what he did, and yet, we found out that not only did the families of those wonderful people forgive Dylan Roof, they also told him that they would be praying for him, for his salvation.

Additionally, during all that happened in the aftermath of that horrible tragedy, not once did we hear of riots, of anger, of hatred, of retaliation killings, none of that.  Instead, we heard of prayer vigils, in Charleston and elsewhere, of sports personalities coming to Charleston to show their support, and to honor those that were lost and their families.  In the midst of our discussion, it occurred to me that the families of those taken so quickly from them, they told the world that day that they serve the Lord, not by the words out of their mouths, but rather, by their actions.

Fast forward to Friday, and the Supreme Court ruling regarding same-sex marriage.  When I heard the decision, I wasn’t surprised at all.  This is, after all, a fallen world, and every day the world is going to get worse and worse until that day when Jesus returns to set things straight.  Until that Glorious Appearance, when Jesus comes and places all things correctly in order, the world is going to get worse each day.

At the end, we are all going to be judged by God for our actions, both Christian and non-Christian.  We are all going to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior, and regardless of where you stand on the issue of same-sex marriage — and I believe you know where I stand — regardless of where you stand, your stance on that pales by comparison to whether you Believe that Jesus is Lord, and that He died for our sins, was resurrected from the dead, and now lives in Heaven with God the Father. Your decision to ask Him to forgive you of your sins (or not to ask) will determine where you go when you die.

The choice is simple, and the choice is yours to make.  Do you choose to go to Heaven, or do you choose to go to Hell?

In the end, the decision by the Supreme Court, while extremely disappointing to most of the Christian Community, does absolutely nothing to alter where we will be spending eternity after we die.  That decision, fortunately, is not between us and the government — that decision is made between us and God.

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 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.

As we said, this world is fallen.  It is in the control of Satan, who walks over the earth, spreading his evil lies wherever he goes.  This world is not going to get any better until Jesus comes again in final victory.  But take heart!  We have the words of Jesus to turn to for reassurance:

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.” ~ Jesus {as spoken in John 16:33 (ESV)}

Prayers for the Week – James 5:16

James 5:16

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. 19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. ~ James 5:13-20 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  I’ve got just a couple of prayer requests and praises today, but they both speak to the power of prayer and the verses we are sharing today.  Please read and pray with us, and please include your prayer requests in the comments so that we can pray for you too!

Prayer Requests and Praises!

  • Big Praises from my friend Amanda and her husband Daniel! Here is what she wrote:Hello again! I believe this may be the last update I will send for this particular journey we have been on!
    Daniel’s colonoscopy/EGD came back with no concerns. They took a few samples to biopsy and everything came back okay. So, his hernia repair surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. He will spend a few day in the hospital and then we will be home indefinitely! The only remaining planned surgery will be to remove his port if he has 2 more PET scans come back clean. The oncologist is monitoring him every month in case we get another recurrence and the scans will be done every 3 months for a while. I like to say we are doing the finishing work – like when you get new floors and it takes a bit for the baseboards to get installed! (unless the work is being done by a certain family flooring company up north!). So if you can pray that the hernia repair goes well, there are no infections or complications and it works, as well as Daniel remaining cancer free, we would much appreciate it!
    We want to also thank you for walking this journey with us. Without your support and prayers, we wouldn’t have gotten here. Almost a year ago, I hoped upon hope that we would make it to this point but I never allowed myself to dream that we would actually get here. We are here because of the miracles your faith and prayers helped happen. I thank you for having the deep faith, trust in God and love for God and Jesus to pray for us prayers that were answered. I thank all of you for being there for us – no matter if it was shuttling Cate around, listening to me go on and on about the what ifs, the notes and gifts to say you were there, or any just being out there rooting for us. These messages have been an outlet for me. A way to organize the chaos into something that seemed doable. Knowing we had a support network filled with so many wonderful people helped in ways you might never understand. Many of you we have never met, but you supported us and we thank you for that. Mostly, we thank you all for loving us enough to care and travel with us while we tackled this challenge God put in our lives. While we have made it through with the best possible outcome, we have also grown in our faith and perspective and, at least speaking for me, are better people for it. I hope that one day you will trust us to return the favor by supporting you when you need it. Maybe when our lives settle down, we can do a victory tour to thank you all in person! Hopefully, God won’t put this nasty obstacle in our paths again. But if He does, rest assured, I will come bother you again!
    Love and Thanks!
    Amanda, Daniel and Cate
  • Please pray for my Brother-In-Christ Elisha and his family. Elisha has been fighting back issues, and today it got worse to the point that he had to go to the hospital. Please pray for his healing, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength for him and his wife Cynthia. Elisha is as close a friend as I have at work, we’ve known each other for almost 20 years. Thank you for your prayers!

Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught his Disciples 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.

Prayers for the Week – Eternal Life

John 10:28-30

28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” ~ John 10:28-30 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  More and more often, we hear of tragic events that are happening in the world, and it’s important to me at times like this that we refocus and remember what our Lord said as recorded in the Book of John.

We are approaching the two year anniversary of when we started our prayer posts, and during that time, we have seen the tragedy that comes with the loss of a loved one. Ofttimes, that loss is of a child.  I think that this is why I was led to John this week — that, despite the loss, if we acknowledge that Jesus is our Savior, and that He died for our sins, and was resurrected, if we believe that, then we will have eternal life when we die, regardless of when that is.  If you are not sure how to be saved, please check out this post.  Now, please take a moment and read our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises…

  • My friend Jeff needs some prayers, please. Here is what he wrote on Facebook:Everyone please say a prayer for my Mamaw Davis this morning. She fell and broke her hip this morning and is currently headed into surgery. She’s 94 years old, but a very strong woman. Much stronger than I ever will be. There is always a risk involved of course, but she needs all of your prayers to pull through this.Please pray for his Mamaw’s healing as she goes through this. Thanks everyone!
  • My friend Natalie has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote:I am asking all my friends to remember my cousin when you pray. This is going to be a very hard surgery with a VERY long recovery. I plan to love her through it all and be by her side for the surgery. So, whisper a prayer for her family as well. She has been blessed with an amazing husband that loves her to the moon and back. She also has a 10 year old little girl that deserves to have a healthy mommy.The context of that prayer is her cousin, who wrote this on Facebook:

    With a bitersweet feeling I want to share a somewhat thankful yet somewhat scared announcement! Most of my closet friends and family know that I’ve battled severe debilitating bouts of pancreatitis that have escalated to the point of worrying whether I’m going to make it or not while still clinging to the faith My Lord and Savior holds me in the palm of his hands. … For those who are not familiar with pancreatitis it many cases it is not linked with alcohol abuse or chemical exposures, more times than known until so severe and investigated deeply pancreatitis is found to be genetically inherited. I found out just recently after extensive testing by a team of specialist that is the case with me also discovered that I as well have a pancreas birth defect that in itself puts my body in a struggle that keeps me very sick and that combined w the genetics is more than one can imagine to handle. … With years of high labs, near fatal lapses and close calls w the knowledge of the reasons and where it developed from they were able to determine my risk for pancreatic cancer is not only a risk but most definite. With all that being said a date has been set for my TP/AIT to remove my pancreas and to transplant the cells that will keep me alive. So within the next couple of months I will be having this surgery although very extensive and very scary, I am at peace that this will lengthen my time on earth. … I hope to be a voice of inspiration to some and to share my battle so that those who feel without hope may find some. Prayers are asked in advance for the days to come for me and my family and thanked for most indefinitely from the bottom of my heart…. Warmly, Tyra

    Please pray for her healing, and for all of their strength, comfort, love, support, and most importantly, peace. Thanks everyone!

  • The Brackbill family in Pennsylvania is in need of your prayers. They have recently learned that their daughter, Tori, has Infantile Krabbe’s Disease. The average life expectancy is 2 years, and there is no cure. Please pray boldly for a cure, for healing for Tori, for God to perform a miracle and show all of us that He is in charge, and that He can do anything!Most of all, though, pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon all of them. Thank you. If you want to read their post, click here.
  • Lastly, we give praise to You, God, for all that You do for us.  We know that we are not worthy of any of the blessings that You have given us, but we thank you for them anyway. Our prayer, Lord, is that You would lead us, guide us, to be the type of servants that You would have us be.

Now, please pray with us 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 – The Lord Bless You

Numbers6v24_27

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  On Friday, I saw a post about UNC Tar Heel basketball coach Dean Smith.  Normally I don’t get into sports, and I don’t know if you are a UNC fan or not, but I was saddened to read about the severe dementia that Coach Smith suffers under.  If you have a moment, I suggest you click over and read the article.

As I read the article, I started thinking about dementia, and Alzheimers, and all of those debilitating diseases that rob us of our most important thing — our memories.  I tried finding the perfect verse to share with you — something that would give you, if you have a loved one suffering from some form of memory loss, an encouragement, something to give you hope.  In the end, Numbers 6:24-27 was what I came upon:

24The Lord bless you and keep you; 25the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” ~ Numbers 6:24-27 (ESV)

The Lord give you peace.  In reading the article on Coach Smith, that’s the takeaway I was left with — despite the memory loss, despite the fact that Coach Smith is not the same man he was, despite all of that, there are still moments when you look upon him, and he does something like the old Coach Smith would have done — and if you are the recipient of that moment, then you see firsthand the moment of peace that God has granted to you.

If you have a moment, I urge you to read the story.  I think it will really touch you.  Now, please continue reading and pray with me for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Rest in Peace, Stuart Scott. He was a sports reporter for ESPN, and died at the age of 49 from cancer. He is survived by children, parents, his girlfriend, his ex-wife, and many others. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon all of them in their time of grief and sorrow.
  • My friend Heather had a prayer request for her son Taylor. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    Taylor Love is out of surgery and in recovery. It was his appendix and luckily had not ruptured!! He did great we are waiting for him to wake up more and then he will be moved into a room. He will be here tomorrow and possibly till Tuesday. Thanks so much for the prayers. God is good and He protected His child!!

    Thanks for Praying!

  • My friend Tracey has lost her mother-in-law. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    I was blessed to have had Nan as my mother-in-law for almost 28 years. I’ll miss this sweet woman, but will see her again. May she rest in peace.
    ” Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11 28-29

    Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon Tracey, her husband, and all of their family, as they mourn the loss of their loved one. Thanks!

  • My friend Emily is in need of prayers and praises. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    I need to share two things this morning. The good news first. I am the proud grandmother of Melissa’s little girl–Amapola Nava-born this morning at 3:22 am central and 4:22 eastern time. She has a healthy set of lungs. Marco called 20 minutes after she was born this morning.
    The other is a prayer need. My father, Walter Mohn, went into cardiac arrest yesterday afternoon at Walmart at Brier Creek. He was not breathing and had no pulse for over 20 minutes. The doctors induced a medical coma last night about 7:00 p.m. The will try to bring him out starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight. My father is 86 years old. I need your prayers. He is in critical care at Rex Hospital in Raleigh.

    Please pray for Emily’s Dad — for God’s Healing, Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon him and all of his family. Please also pray for and give praise to God for the blessing of a new Grandbaby, and for Emily’s Dad, one of God’s Children. Thank you all for praying!

  • My friend Maureen has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote:

    Hi Mike:) Thank you for your Sunday posts! I am hoping in this new year that I can develop a deeper relationship with our Lord, learning to be more like him everyday. Can I please send in a couple prayer requests? 1) for my marriage- that the Lord works within it to renew both myself and my husband and bringing us together in him and how he meant for marriage to be. 2) Very close friends (more like family) The husband (Bobby) found out New Year’s Eve that he has pancreatic cancer (stage4). We did get very hopeful news from the Dr. but without Christ there is no hope. Prayers of healing, glory to God, peace amongst family members and any other prayers you can think of :) Thank you again for your work in and through our Lord :) ~Maureen

    Here is my response:
    Maureen, my prayers for you are that you realize that deeper walk with God. Of course we’ll pray for your marriage, and for Bobby and his pancreatic cancer. My Grandfather, who died on his birthday at the age of 98, had stage 4 pancreatic cancer — and survived it and went on to live at least 10 more years after — so as cruel a cancer as pancreatic cancer can be, it can be beat. I’ll pray boldly for Healing, for Peace, for Strength, both for Bobby and for all of you and his family, and for Comfort as he undergoes treatment.

  • Lastly, please pray for Coach Smith and his family, and for all of the other families that suffer from such a debilitating disease.  Please pray for their Peace, that they still see the smile, still experience the man or woman that they knew before, and that they remember that person as they were and not as they now are.

Now, please pray with me the prayer that Jesus taught us 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.