Lord is Close

Prayers for the Week: Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is Close

The Lord is Near

The Lord is Close

‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

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Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post. Today I’m writing from the Gatlinburg, TN area, where I’m enjoying the sites and sounds of the area for my travel agent business. Yesterday we took in Dollywood, and one of the highlights of that day for me was a show called Summer Feels. During that show, there was a song that one of the singers performed, but God spoke to me through her when she quoted Psalm 34:18, and I knew that this is what God wanted me to share with you.

Life takes us in many directions all the time, and far too often we find ourselves in times of tribulation. God reminded me in Psalm 34:18 that He is with us, He is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crused in spirit. That is something that all have needed to hear a lot this year as I look back on the first six months of 2019, and I am certain that He is reminding us of that each and every day for the rest of the year, and in fact, for the rest of our lives.

Take comfort, my brothers and sisters-in-Christ, and remember the words of the Psalmist — the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Now, my friends, please join me in praying for our prayer requests and lifting up our praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Hey everyone, we’ve been praying for Richard friend Chris, who is battling cancer. Please keep praying for him, his cancer is spreading and it doesn’t look good, so pray for miraculous healing if it’s God’s Will, as well as pray for Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love for Chris, his family, and all of their friends. Thanks everyone!
    • Update: Hospice has been called in for Chris, so keep praying but also make sure you are praying for his family and friends.
  • Hey everyone, Brenda had an outpatient procedure done tomorrow and is in need of prayers. Please pray for the skill of the medical team, for God to guide their hands, and for Peace, Comfort, Strength, a complete recovery, and Love to surround Brenda and all of her family. Thanks!
    • Update: the procedure went very well, now please keep praying for good results from the testing.
  • A few months back we were praying for my brother in Christ, John, as he led his family to New Orleans on a new job opportunity. One of the things we were praying for was that the job would be what he hoped and prayed it would be, and that prayer has been answered. However, please keep praying that John would be able to find the church that God is leading him to for John, his wife Prudence, and their two girls. This prayer request is very important, so please pray for John and his family.
  • Hiro has a prayer request: “Could you pray for my 4 year old son. He was in emergency last week and again today. We might have to bring him again soon.
  • Bridget has a prayer request: “Please pray for my children and their Dad. He is having lots of medical issues right now and is in the hospital.
  • Scarlett has a prayer request: “I am asking for prayers for my brother-in-law as he is in the final stages of Parkinson’s and in the hospital with pneumonia! Keep his sweet and faithful family in prayer. Also, my blind cousin is in the hospital with pneumonia! Keep he and his family in your prayers, please! May God’s blessings continue to shower upon all!
    • Update from Scarlett: “Bob’s brother died this am (Thursday, June 27th)! He was a great man who was faithful to God and family! Thank you for your prayers!
  • Bridget has another prayer request: “Asking for prayers for my friend Lisa and her husband. His cancer has returned and needs lots of prayers.
  • My sister Robin has an update from Larry Kincannon. We were praying for his wife Sandra this week: “From Larry KinCannon: With the heaviest of heart I regret to inform you that today my wife Sandra has left us to be with the Lord. Despite the best of medical care available, Sandra was not able recover from a severe brain aneurysm that burst on Wednesday after noon. Please keep our family in your prayers during this difficult time. We will provide memorial service detail when they become available. We are grateful to have such great friends who have provided so much support already. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Now, 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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

My friends, thank you for praying with us today. Now, have a listen to a song that speaks to my heart, and perhaps yours as well. May you have a wonderful day and week ahead.

Shepherd

Prayers for the Week: Who is Your Shepherd?

Shepherd
image ©Grace Lutheran Church

Who is your Shepherd?

14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:14-18 (NIV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post! For all of the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! Today I thought we would take a look at the role of our fathers as our shepherd, and compare them with our heavenly shepherd, Jesus.

Of course, if you have put your faith and belief in Jesus, then you know that He is the Good Shepherd, and that He is looking after us each and every day. But let me tell you about my dad, Joe, and show you how he was the shepherd for me and my sister and our family.

As I’ve gotten older, I have realized more each year that my Dad did not get the credit that he deserved, at least not from me. Dad, I’m very sorry about that. What I saw as a kid was life through the lens of what my classmates had, and how I didn’t always have those things, and I blamed you for that, Dad. I’m sorry. What I’ve learned over the years, though, is about all of the incredible things that I did and still do have. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

  1. We had a roof over our heads, and 3 square meals each and every day.
  2. We had presents under the tree at Christmas, and birthday presents as well.
  3. We had a Dad that didn’t like to discipline us, but would when we deserved it.
  4. We had a Dad that demanded respect for him and Mom, but he also earned that respect.
  5. We have a Dad that loves us, and isn’t afraid to cry and doesn’t think he’s less of a man when he does.

As you will see, we had a bit of a scare with my dad — the diagnosis of Lung Cancer — but the tests came back really good, and the treatment is going to be not nearly as big of a concern as we initially thought it would.

To all of the fathers out there, and to all of the children of those Dads — learn from me, and remember to take time to appreciate your Dad and tell him you love him, and learn from him — good or bad, there are things you can learn from your Dad.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • As I said, we were praying for my Dad and a diagnosis of lung cancer. Here’s the latest update: “Dad’s report: “Joe says no metastases, surgery, just a small chunk, in about two weeks, followed possibly by chemotherapy.” Thanks everyone for the prayers for my Dad!”
  • Jodi has some prayer requests. Here’s the first: “Please pray for my father-in-law, Gerald. If you recall, he had a severe head injury 2 years ago, and then he had a mild stroke about 2 months ago. He had memory testing done today, and he feels he didn’t do very well. On top of his having had a stroke, his sister passed from Alzheimer’s, and that runs in the family, so we’d really like to avoid that!”
  • Here is her second prayer request: “Please also pray for my brother-in-law’s father, Ted. His cancer has spread, and they have stopped treatment. Although he is currently doing alright, despite his condition, he is beginning hospice care. They are a very close family, and this will be a very difficult time for all of them. Thanks!”
  • And lastly, her third request: “Sorry to make a list, but lots of requests! My 13YO has returned to competitive baseball. The thing is, it is BIG business here in Florida, and we’re having difficulty determining where to place him. While he would get top-notch instruction from mostly former MLB players pretty much anywhere, what we’re running into is organizations that lack basic moral values. As I said, sadly, it is big business here, and kids and their families are too often treated as dollar signs, where winning is done at all costs, even at the devaluation of children’s self-worth. So-called “teaching” tactics include humiliation and neglect. We’ve really seen some ugly in the past few months. We know there’s good out there; we just need guidance where to find it. Thanks, again!”
  • Amanda has a prayer request for a friend of hers: “I’m asking for prayers for a friend. She has been losing muscle function since November and going to many different specialists for a diagnosis. They finally found something that points to ALS but could also be Lyme disease. They are awaiting the results for Lyme disease. Please pray that this Lyme disease or something easier than ALS. She has a 12 yo daughter.”
  • Lori has a prayer request: “Please add Jennifer to your prayers. She is the daughter and step-daughter of friends’ of mine. She was in renal failure, had emergency surgery on Saturday, now developed staph infection, and going back into surgery shortly to completely remove her kidneys.”
  • Carol has a prayer request: “My best friend – Brenda – was just told last night that her body is covered with Cancer. Of course I want prayer for healing – but more important I ask for SALVATION for this amazing woman.”
  • Lynn has a prayer request: “Prayer request for my dad. He had blood work done and it come back that he is diabetic and possibly has prostate cancer. He has an appointment this week and next week for further testing on cancer.”
  • Cheri has a prayer request that she asked me to post for her. Here’s what she texted me: “I am constantly blessed by your prayer group request and comments. And I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I have a need. I am awaiting a decision in a legal process I’ve been involved in for the past 31 months. This decision affects my retirement and thus our future financial planning. Could you please pray about this? Thank you! Have a blessed day! 🙏” Please be praying for God’s Will to be done in this legal matter, and for Cheri and her family to have Peace throughout this time, and for this to benefit her as well as to bring Glory to God. Thanks everyone!

Thank you for praying with us for all of these many prayer requests! Now, 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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayers for the Week: Standing in Faith

Standing in Faith

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. ~ Hebrews 11:1-3 (ESV)

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Standing in Faith

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us for our weekly prayers for the week post. Today we are standing in faith — remembering through the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, exactly how our Christian forefathers walked in faith with God.

In our fallen world, we all fall short. The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. All means all. It means you, it means me, it means we all have fallen short. The good news, though, is that Jesus died on the cross as payment for all of our sins, and the beauty is that our faith in believing that miraculous event is what saves us from our sin. Here’s the Gospel Truth for all of us:

If you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross after living a sinless life, and that He was resurrected from the dead after 3 days, and that He will come back to earth again to establish His Kingdom here, then you will be saved, and are granted Eternal Life.

Believing that miraculous truth is an act of faith, my brothers and sisters, and when we are standing in faith that God is in control, all of our difficulties are more easily managed.

If you find your faith lacking, take time to read Hebrews 11. I’ve linked to it for you. In this incredible chapter, we learn about so many incredible heros from the Bible, and how they acted out of faith in God. While you are reading that chapter, make sure and pray to God that He would give you greater faith, and He will do so. Turn to Him, draw on His Strength, and you will see a difference in your life. Now, please continue reading as we pray for our Prayer Requests and Praises below.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Stephanie has a prayer request: Please keep our fur baby, Chief, in your prayers!! He’s extremely sick, and we just had to leave him with the vet for observation. He’s older than Ava, so he was our youngest baby for a quite a while.
  • I’m asking for prayers for my Dad: Asking for prayers for my dad, Joe. We learned today that he has lung cancer. He is determined to beat it, and will be seeing the same oncologist that my Mom saw when she had breast cancer. The prayer requests are for Healing, of course, as well as for Peace, Comfort, and Strength. Thanks, everyone!
  • I’m also asking for prayers for my friend Michelle: Please pray for my friend Michelle and her family. Michelle’s mom passed away this morning. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to surround them all in their grief. Thanks everyone!
  • We’re praying for Paul’s daughter, Patricia: Hey everyone, today Paul’s daughter Patricia has her 8th surgery since she had her baby back in December. She has had severe complications, and we are praying for her complete healing with today’s surgery. Please pray for Patricia, her husband Michael, their child Cayden, and for the surgical team. Pray for God’s Complete Healing, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength today and moving forward for them. Thanks everyone!
  • Hey Everyone, please pray for some friends of mine. I can’t go into details but their daughter was the subject of an attempted kidnapping. All are safe, it was not successful, but it is definitely a scary world we live in. Please be observant in your day to day activities, pay attention to your surroundings, and focus on the people and vehicles around you as much as possible. Thanks everyone! Pray for Peace for them.
  • Hey everyone pray for Monica and her husband — they are moving to the Roanoke area so are selling their house in Ohio. Please pray that it sells quickly and that they find their next home easily. Thanks everyone!
  • Dawn has a prayer request as well: My hubby and I have been approached by Family Life leadership to be directors of the Indianapolis Weekend to Remember event. We have served with this group for five years just in a different capacity. This would be a pretty large commitment for us given this conference usually has over 800 attendees. Would like prayer as we go to the decision making process! Thank you!
  • Today I’m remembering all of the lives that were changed with the invasion of Normandy 75 years ago. The world was significantly different in the aftermath of that courageous battle, but there were countless families that lost someone on both sides that day. Remember all of those that lost someone, and thank God for them.
  • Lastly, a special praise for all of the kids graduating, and for those passing their end of year tests. Pray for those that have tests left to take, that they would be successful in them, and also pray for success for those taking summer courses as well.
  • Now, please pray the Lord’s Prayer with us. If you have a prayer request to leave with us, please leave us a comment, or connect with us on our Prayers for the Week group on Facebook.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayers for the Week: Pray Without Ceasing

pray without ceasing
Image ©DailyVerses.net

1Thessalonians 5:16-22 (ESV)

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.’

Bible.com

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today we are talking about prayer — specifically, the commands given to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. As you can see, we are commanded to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in all circumstances, and so on.

How are we to pray without ceasing?

As you all know, there are many things wrong with this world. This week, we learned of a gunman killing twelve people in Virginia Beach. We have the never ending saga of politics weighing us down. We’ve got anger, hatred, bitterness, apathy, and a whole host of other things happening on a daily basis. So how are we to pray without ceasing?

To me, the command to pray without ceasing should be an easy one to fulfill, especially in the midst of all of the chaos that is this world. As our world spirals more and more out of control, there comes a time when all that is left to us in my opinion is our relationship with God. The worse it is, the easier it is for me to turn to Him for Comfort, for Peace, for Strength, because I know that He has our backs. Remember 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.’

Bible.com

If you have studied that chapter, you know that God told His chosen people that they were going to be in exile for 70 years; so while God knows the plans He has for us, and they are good plans — scratch that, they are great plans — they are not going to be fulfilled on our timeline, they are going to be fulfilled on His.

So, how do we pray without ceasing? We do so gladly because we know that God is there for us, and that He wants what is best for us. Praying may seem like a small thing, and many say that praying isn’t enough, that you need to have action with it — and maybe that’s true, and maybe that’s not. I’m not smart enough to know for certain the answer to that. What I do know, though, is that God tells us to pray without ceasing, and to rejoice always, and to abstain from all forms of evil, so that’s what I’m going to do. Please join me in doing the same thing, starting with praying for our prayer requests and celebrating our praises below.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Sheila has an update on her co-worker who is battling breast cancer. Here is what she wrote: “Update: my coworker and friend did not end up having surgery because they found cancer in her nodules by her breast. Instead they have started a plan of chemotherapy first then surgery then radiation. She had her first chemo on Wednesday and was back at work on Thursday. She said she thinks it’s because all of her prayer warriors. So please keep praying!
  • Jason’s sister-in-law had surgery on the 29th for colon cancer. Here’s an update on her status, please keep praying! “Update: there was more in there than they thought.
    She said they took out the cancerous lymphnodes and took a bunch of scans and samples to see if they can find anymore but the chemo should get rid of anything else in there. Liver and kidneys are clear and they took a scan of her lungs to check as well. Chemo in about a month for maybe 6 months depending on what the samples show.
  • Vickie has a prayer request: “Asking for prayer for me. I came home yesterday with a rash covering me. Took an antihistamine and it is stuck in my throat. I have a haital hernia and nothing is going down, not even spit. No insurance so just hoping it will dislodge. Been 12 hours and I’m tired. Rash is gone.
  • Richard has a prayer request for a friend of his: “I have a friend of mine that I have known for 29 years that has cancer. It has really hit him fast and hard. He needs all the prayers he can get. Please pray for healing.
  • Pat asks for prayers for the family of Mark “TJ” Phongsavanh. Mark was involved in a pool accident over the Memorial Day weekend and passed away. He was 6 years old. Please pray for his family, for God’s Comfort, Strength, Peace, and Love to surround them all in their time of grief.
  • Please pray for the families of the twelve employees that were killed in Virginia Beach on Friday. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to surround them all, to hold them tight, to help them in their grief. I don’t even begin to understand why someone would or could do that, and I know that there are all sorts of voices clamoring for gun control laws and so forth. I don’t see another law in a nation of thousands of laws making a bit of difference here, but what do I know. What I know is that things like this tragedy, really make me believe all that the Bible tells us is true. Look at 1Peter5:8 and tell me that this wasn’t the case in Virginia Beach: “8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, asks us all to pray for President Trump today. Please lift him up in prayer. Pray for him regardless of whether you voted for him or not. Our government is put in place by God, and we are called to pray for our leaders, regardless of which side of the polical isle they are on. So pray for him today and every day, and I’ll join you in praying for all of our leaders in government as well.
  • Lastly, I leave you with a bit of hope to all believers. In the end, despite all of the trouble, all the turmoil, all the tribulation, despite it all, in the end, God wins. Remember that, and take comfort in that.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As always, we welcome your prayer requests, your praises, and your comments. Do you have a prayer request for us? You can leave it below in the comments and we will be sure and pray for you. Thank you for stopping by and praying with us today. May the Lord give you His Peace in our troubled world, today and every day.

Remember this: God Loves You!

God Loves You
Image ©ibelieve.com

God Loves You

Last week, I wrote some hard words for us to hear and accept; the words found in Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32. You can read my post on God’s Wrath by clicking the link. At the end of that message, though, I reminded you of some important words of hope. Even though we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, He still loves us. That’s right: God Loves You, and God Loves me, despite all that we do and say. Today, I am going to remind us all that He really does love us, using His words as proof.

Jeremiah 29:11

‘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. ‘

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Some of my most peaceful times have come in reading this verse. It is important that we remember that despite the troubles we are going through, God is for us, and He is with us, if we but call on Him.

Isaiah 41:10

‘ fear 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)

Romans 8:38-39

‘For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ‘

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

John 3:16-17

‘”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ‘

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

The ultimate reminder of God’s love for us is found in John 3:16-17. If you ever feel that God doesn’t love you, please, reach out to us, or talk to your minister if you have one. These are just some of the verses that show just how much God loves you, and how much God loves all of us. Now, please join us in praying with us in our Prayer Requests and Praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Dana has a prayer request for us: “Asking for prayers today for two very special people who are having surgery. One is for colon cancer. Praying for the medical team and that they are able to remove all of the cancer in the least invasive manner. Thank you!”
  • Pat has a very special praise: “Proof that God works miracles. A few months ago I brought you a prayer request for this young lady. She had a brain aneurism and her outlook was bleak. I got to watch her walk up onto our church platform Sunday morning to be recognized as a senior graduating with honors. God isn’t through with her yet.”
  • My wife Cindy and I have a special praise for our daughter Sophie, who graduated from high school this week. Please pray for all of the graduates in the coming weeks, and pray for their transition into the next phase of their lives.
  • Please pray for all of those that paid the ultimate price for us so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have in our country. Never forget their ultimate sacrifice.
  • Lastly, please continue your prayers for those on our prayer lists from last week and the week before.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Thank you for joining us today in our prayers for the week post. Please don’t forget to pray, and leave your prayer requests for us as well so we can pray for you. Thanks, have a great day and week!