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 – Love Never Fails

Love

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  This past Tuesday my wife Cindy and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, and I got to thinking a bit about all that has happened to us in the past several months.  In April, Cindy lost her Uncle Ted; in early June, her Uncle Sam left us; then, when we got home from that funeral, we lost our dog Regan; last month, Cindy’s Uncle Walter passed away.  It’s been one struggle after another, and it isn’t done yet, not by a long shot.  However, in the midst of all of that, the overwhelming emotion that we are experiencing in all of our trials and tribulations is Love.  The picture above is of a plaque on my wall in my office, a plaque that my friend Sally gave me several years back.  I think of her often as I look at it, but I realized that I’ve never taken a shot of it before now.  On this plaque, in sixteen simple words, is such promise, such hope.  The author of Corinthians is absolutely correct, Love never fails.  I hope you have the kind of love I have, the love I have for my wife, and the love I have for my Lord.  I am a blessed man, and today, I see that more and more.

Life is short, in the blink of an eye it is gone, and the overwhelming things that last with us are the things that revolve around our loved ones.  Tell them you love them, tell them you’re there for them, each and every day of your life.  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.

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.

Facing Your Fears

Prayers for the Week – Facing Your Fears

Facing Your Fears

Hello my friends, thank you for stopping by today for our weekly Prayers for the Week post.  Last month I wrote about Isaiah 41:10.  So why am I focusing on this Bible verse again in just a month?  Sometimes I don’t know why I pick a particular verse, but I am led to talk about it more.  In this case, I think one of the reasons is because there is so much fear and uncertainty in the world, so much doubt, so much evil, that people are walking around scared and afraid, even if you don’t think so by looking at them from the outside.  In case you don’t remember, here is the text from Isaiah 41:10:

10fear 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)

What ways do you incorporate to help you with facing your fears?  Do you tackle it on your own, do you call on your family for help, do you turn to God, or do you just ignore the fear and keep moving?  I would guess that for most of us, it is all of those answers and then some that we use to try and deal with the fears that we face in our lives.  I would love to hear how you deal with your fears.  Please let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!  Now, please pray for all of these requests, and add your prayer requests as well to our comments so we can pray for you!  God Bless You all, and thanks for stopping by today!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for my friend Linda. Her Granddaughter Tina is only 3 years old and recently had to have an appendectomy. She is still in the hospital. Please pray for her fast healing and safe journey home from Florida.Thank you!
  • My friend Sherry asked for prayers for her friend and mine Angie. Here is what she wrote:At Duke Ambulatory with Angie. Her surgery is scheduled at 7:15. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Love you kiddo. You will soon be free of pain and feeling great again.The great update is that she came through the surgery with flying colors, so please continue to pray healing prayers for her and peaceful prayers for Sherry. Thanks!
  • My friend Nancy needs some prayers for her Mom.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:
    Need prayers right now,mommy is in the hospital and not sure whats going on
    Please pray for Nancy’s mom, prayers for peace, for healing, for comfort, and for strength, for her and her family as well. Thank you.
  • Please also pray for my friend Sheila, for all of the concerns she has on her heart — prayers for Peace, for Healing, for Comfort, for Strength, and for Hope.  Thank you.
  • Lastly, please pray for all of the families out there that are struggling for whatever reason.  Pray for their Peace, pray for their Love, pray for their Understanding, pray for the parents, pray for the children, pray for them all.  There are so many families that are split up, so many families that have problems, pray for God to descend upon them all so that they can be the families that God calls us to be.

Thank you for praying with us, now, please pray 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. Amen.

1John 3:18

Prayers for the week – 1John 3:18

1John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ~ 1John 3:18 (NIV)

As Christians, I think it is extremely important that we show our best side as much as possible, so when I read this verse yesterday, I felt convicted.  Reading that verse reminded me that I have great strides to make.  While I try to do a good job at showing my Christian side of love to everyone, I certainly do fail at this more often than I would like.  Today my goal is to remember to show my Christian side — to show love to the unloved, to show compassion to those who don’t have any, and to have everyone that encounters me know that they are meeting a Christian.  As Christians, it is our task — a task that God has charged us with — to witness to others and to show them the love that Jesus has for them.  In many ways, the most powerful witness isn’t by quoting scripture to them — it is by showing them your Christian Spirit in your actions and deeds.

Now, please read our prayer requests, and pray for those that need our prayers.  If you have any prayer requests you want us to pray for you, please leave them as a comment and we’ll pray for you!  Thank you for all that you do for those that need our prayers.  It is because of you that this prayer post thrives each and every week.

Prayer Requests & Praises…

  • Continued prayer requests for my friend Amanda and her husband Daniel. Here is what she wrote:
    Just a quick update and prayer request! Daniel was able to start his 4th round of chemo on schedule. We have our reimaging scheduled for tomorrow morning to see if we can go forward with the surgery or if we have to go a different path. Please pray that we get a clear image and that the healthy liver has grown and the tumor has shrunk and we can move forward with surgery. I’ll send more of an update when we get the results – our appointment is schedule for late in the day next Wednesday. Thanks so much for your support and prayers!!
  • My friend Lin has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote:Hi Mike, I have a prayer request if you don’t mind. My Dad, who turns 56 tomorrow, found out today that he needs a quadruple bypass. He went in Monday at the request of my mom, and back today for more tests. The consensus was that he needed the surgery ASAP and was essentially a ticking time bomb waiting for a heart-attack, and with blockage that would have rendered it fatal. He is being kept at the hospital from now until his surgery on Friday afternoon and then until at least Tuesday of next week. I would very much appreciate any prayers you can offer. His name is Russ Pratt. Thank you in advance.
  • My friend Peter from church is having marriage difficulties.  Please pray for him and his wife Naomi that they work it out.
  • Please continue to lift up my niece Stephanie in prayer. She has undergone serious surgery, and the recovery is slow, and the news out of her most recent appointment wasn’t as good as it could have been. Please pray for her continued healing, for God’s Peace to descend upon her and all her family, for Strength to continue on, and for comfort from the discomfort of the procedures. Also, please pray for her husband Shane and all of her family at this time.
  • Lastly, please pray for all of the unknown prayer requests, those that we don’t know, or don’t know all the details of, that God would hear these anonymous prayers and keep them close to Him.

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 into Temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.