Prayers for the Week – A New Year

 

2-Corinthians-5_17

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week! Happy New Year, everyone! 2014 is now gone, and 2015 has come on strong. I hope that you have a wonderful year, full of Peace, Love, Happiness, Joy, Success, but most of all, full of the Love that God has for us.

With the turning of the calendar, it is only right, at least in my mind, that we take stock of where we are in our lives.  For me, 2014 was a fairly good year, but there are many things I didn’t finish that I hope to accomplish in 2015.  More importantly, though, the turning of the year gives us a chance to take stock at where we are Spiritually in our walk with God.  Are we on the narrow road or the wide road, are with walking with God, or is God wondering where we are?  All of these questions are ones that we should look at now, and if we are traveling the wrong path, now is a great time to make a change so that we can enjoy a more meaningful, close relationship with our Lord and Savior.  The Bible verse I’ve selected today seems very appropriate for today:

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Are you in Christ, as Paul writes?  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation.  If you are in Christ, then your life has changed, your old self is gone, and the new you is totally different from the old you.  This does  not mean that you are now perfect, that you never make mistakes, that you never stray from the path that Jesus walks.  However, what it does mean is that you recognize when you stray, you recognize that you have sinned, and you ask God to forgive you when you do sin.  The longer you have been in Christ, the worse it feels when you do sin, at least for me.  When I sin, immediately I feel an overpowering emotion — guilt.  When I sin, I realize that I have just turned my back on God, that I have decided to walk my own path, that I have made a decision that God’s Sacrifice — His ultimate Sacrifice — just didn’t matter at this time.  When that happens, the guilt of my sin hits me, and I immediately ask God to forgive me.

If you are not sure you are in Christ, or if you know you are not in Christ — that is, if Christ doesn’t live on in your heart in the form of the Holy Spirit — there are things that you can do to change that.  First of all, you need to ask yourself, do I want Christ in my life?  Do I believe in God, and more importantly, do I believe that God sent His Son Jesus to earth, and that His Son died for my sins?  Do I even think that I sin, do I recognize it when I do?

Before I turned to God, I would be hard pressed to admit that I recognized when I did sin.  Sure, I knew that it was wrong to curse, wrong to swear, that sort of thing, but did I think of it as sinning when I did it?  I don’t remember, now, to be honest.  I expect that at some level, deep down, I did know that — because how many of us look around the room before we say a curse word to make sure a young child doesn’t hear it.  Our thought is, that child shouldn’t hear those words — well, my friends, I’ve got news for you — none of us should hear those words…

The Sinner’s Prayer

If you want to be saved, if you know that you have never been saved, there is a prayer that you can pray. It is known as the Sinner’s Prayer, or the Prayer of Salvation. This prayer is not the only prayer that you can pray to be saved, but it is a good one. If you want to pray this prayer, follow along with the words below:

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Amen.

That’s all there is to it.  If you prayed that prayer, and you believe it in your heart, and you prayed it with all of you heart and soul, then you are saved.  If you did this today for the very first time, please let us know.  Nothing gives a Christian more joy than knowing that a new Brother and Sister in Christ has joined our ranks, so let us know in the comments if you are.  Now, please read our prayer requests, and pray for those that need our prayers.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Chelsea had a prayer request for her husband’s Grandpa.  Here is what she wrote:Thank you all for your prayers for Wyatt’s Grandpa the surgery went well!
  • My friend Carrie had a prayer request and a praise.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:We made it home! Now pray for Kev as he drives to Plainview for the night shift! It is endless!
    His Dad made a turn-around, he is a living miracle! Thank you so much for the prayers.
  • Lastly, please pray with us as we lift up the families of those that were involved in the wreck of Air Asia.  Please pray for their Peace, their Strength, and their Love as they strive to deal with all of the grief and turmoil in their lives.  Please pray that God would be with them all in their time of need.

Now, please pray one last prayer — 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 – Ryan’s Joy

Image Courtesy Ryan's Aunt Kourtney

Image Courtesy Ryan’s Aunt Kourtney

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today I’m sharing with you a picture of beautiful Ryan, who, despite all of the tribulations he has been going through in his short life, still knows what it is like to Rejoice.  I titled this post Ryan’s Joy in honor of him.  Here he is smiling at some of his family.  My friends, that one picture alone is a sermon, but you know me — I’m going to add a little to it.  I think this Bible Verse sums it up perfectly, as I think this is what Ryan is doing in this picture:

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!

Those words come to us from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians.  When I saw that picture, what I saw was Ryan smiling at his family, but also smiling knowing that God is watching over him.  The children are so knowing, even at just over 4 months — Ryan knows he has God on his side!

My friends, looking at Ryan in that picture convicts me of all the times when I could be more Joyous than I am.  My prayer is that I will learn to love God more than ever, and be Joyous in all circumstances, good or bad.

Now, please read and pray for our prayer requests and praises, and thanks!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Kelly is having surgery — I don’t know the details of when, where, and how serious — but what I do know is that the surgery and recovery timetable is significant enough that it will force her to have to change her plans for her next Disney trip in June. Please pray for Kelly, for her successful surgery, for a great recovery, and for her light at the end of the tunnel being the day she steps through that tunnel into Town Square in the Magic Kingdom. God knows all the details, and will take it from there. Thanks everyone!
  • My friend Shannan asked for some prayer requests. Here is what she wrote:I’m having hip surgery this week and will be on crutches for 4 weeks and in therapy for 10. My childhood friends Jerry M. He just got diagnosed with an aggressive cancer (3rd time since childhood leukemia). He will be having a major surgery in April to remove his lymph nodes. He moved to Memphis after graduation to work at St. Jude as he wouldn’t be here today without them. He still works there. This doesn’t sound good but I know all things are possible through prayer.Please pray with me for them:

    “Heavenly Father, we know that with You all things are possible, and tonight, we share with you the health concerns of your children Shannan and Jerry. Please cloak them with your healing touch, and guide their doctors as they do what is needed to heal them of their illnesses. Please grant them Your Peace, Comfort, and Strength — both for them and for their families and friends as well. We ask these things in the name of Your beautiful Son Jesus with Thanksgiving. Amen.”

  • A prayer request as seen on my Twitter feed:Pray for those who are struggling against the demons of addiction, temptation, and depression. The devil takes these forms daily!
  • My friend Kourtney left me an update on her nephew Ryan that I’m sharing with you. Prayers are continued to be needed for that little guy, here is what she wrote me:Ryan got to go home for a couple of days at the end of January. Unfortunately, he went into respiratory distress and had to be airlifted back to Children’s Hospital. He still has his trach and NG tube so they’re not sure what the problem is. They decided to keep him until his next surgery (originally scheduled for March 6th) just in case there were any more problems.

    On Friday they decided that maybe he’s outgrown his shunt and that could be what’s wrong. He’ll be going in to the cath lab today with the assumption that he will have his 3rd open heart surgery tomorrow. The plan is a 3-4 week recovery time after this surgery and then home (hopefully without any machines)! However, we’ve learned that Ryan has his own plan and all we can do is hold our breath and wait.

    This poor little guy has been in the hospital since the day he was born at the end of September. All we want is for him to be home with his parents and brother.

    thank you again for your support and prayers and please be thinking of him tomorrow as he undergoes his 3rd open heart surgery!

    Please pray with me:

    Heavenly Father, the wonder and beauty of Ryan’s delightful smile shows us that You are keeping him close to You. Despite his struggles, still he is able to find joy in his life. Father, we know that You have Ryan and his family’s best interests in mind, and that Your Will will be done for Ryan. Please continue to shower him with Your love, keep healing him as we know You are, and keep close to his family as they struggle to keep strong in the face of everything that is going on. Please have your Peace descend upon Ryan, his family, and all of his many followers, and guide the skillful hands of Ryan’s surgical team during this latest trial for him. Ryan is a miracle baby, and every trial that he faces is one more miracle that You, Father, grant for him. We love you, and ask these things in the name of Your Son Jesus, the wonderful Healer, with Thanksgiving, today and every day. Amen!

  • My friend Tabitha has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:OK, I have a client that I have been helping that has cancer and now she needs prayers more than ever! She had a cruise scheduled for next month but I just got an e-mail from a friend of hers that she is in the hospital having trouble breathing with water on her brain. Please pray for her and her 17 year old daughter and her parents. I so wanted to make this a special trip for her!

    Please pray for her client, for her health, her family, her Peace, her comfort, her strength, and that for her family as well. Thank you everyone for praying!

  • Tabitha has an update on her client. Unfortunately, it is not looking good. Here is what she wrote:
    Update on my client. I talked to her dad and he said she is in bad shape and he doesn’t think she will make it out of the hospital.
    My comment to Tabitha was this:
    I’m sorry Tabitha — I’m praying for her salvation as well as for God’s Healing touch to come to her and her family. It is an absolutely terrible thing to go through. Please tell her Dad that there are people all over the world praying for his little girl and all of them. Thanks my friend, if you need anything at all please hit me up.
    Please pray for her salvation as well as for her healing, and please pray prayers of Peace, Comfort, and Strength for her and all of her family. We know that it is in God’s Hands and that He will do for her and her family what is best for them, but please keep the prayers coming. Thanks everyone.

     

  • My friend Chelsea would like prayers lifted up for her cousin. She requested these a while back, but we’re going to refresh the request now too. Here is what she wrote me:Also a few months ago I asked for prayer for my cousin who tore her ACL two weeks before her wedding… Not sure if you remember but just wanted to thank you again for praying… Her ACL is slowly healing… But her fiancé called the wedding off 10 days before the wedding…. She was crushed but is slowly healing.

    Please pray for Chelsea’s cousin — for her physical as well as her emotional healing. While we don’t know why this happened to her, we can certainly understand how hard it is for her. Please lift her up with prayers of love, Peace, comfort, and strength for all of her ailments, and help her to know that God is with her, always. Remind her of Jeremiah 29:11, in which the Lord tells us:

    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.

    Thank you everyone for your prayers!

    • Continued prayers for my friend Chelsea’s cousin — she’s experiencing complications from her ACL surgery, so please send up healing prayers for her. Thanks everyone!
  • Prayers for my friend Heidi, who is about to go under some arm surgery today. Here is what she wrote:I have to be at the surgery center at 11:15 this morning. I think I better go wake Ashley to run an intervention for me. I keep wanting to get up and make my morning coffee (but I’m not allowed to eat or drink). Please pray that this “Manipulation Under Anesthesia” is finally the first step in getting this arm healed!

    Thanks everyone!

  • Please pray for my niece Stephanie, who is going through some serious health concerns and needs to have surgery.  God knows all the details, so please pray for healing for Stephanie.
  • Praise goes to God for my Dad’s successful procedure on Wednesday!  Thank you God for seeing Dad through that safely!

My friends, I hope that you are as blessed when reading these posts as I am when I write them.  Please please please add your prayers and praises to our list so that our post can grow exponentially!  God is great, and He is hearing all of these prayers lifted up by us!  Now, to close, let’s recite 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 that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory,
Forever and Ever, Amen.