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Prayer Requests 6/14/2012
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
New International Version (NIV)
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Someone once said, "Getting over a painful experience is like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." I don't think this idea of "letting go in order to move forward" only applies to painful experiences. It also applies to situations where we don't want to give up our control. I've been thinking a lot lately of how things have changed since I was a kid. I used to play outside, basically unsupervised for hours on end. I used to walk to school or go other places by myself. But when I think about letting my kids do that, it scares me. I think about all of the "bad" things that could happen. They could be (insert list of "bad" things here) and that would be terrible if it happened. I don't think as much about the "bad" things I might be doing by not letting my kids go out and experience the world. Am I causing them to fear things unnecessarily? Am I taking away the opportunity for them to make decisions and gain a sense of responsibility? Are they overly dependent on me? Am I trying to control the situation when I should be trusting them to make the right choices? Am I trying to control the situation when I should be trusting God to take care of us all?
How can I (and how can they) move forward if I don't reach out for the next bar? Am I going to hang there forever? I suppose I could try, but eventually my arms would get tired and I'd have to let go. But stopping and letting go is different that letting go and reaching out to grab the bar that will move me forward.
Is there a situation in your life that's like this one? What are you holding on to that's keeping you from moving forward? It reminds me of the verse above. Let go of the fear. Trust in Lord. Move forward to the place He wants you to go.
Heavenly Father, So many of the prayer requests we've received in the last few weeks have to do with people who need to let go of something that it holding them back in some way. Whether it's bitterness over old wounds, test results, or fear over figuring out what You would have us do next, remind us to let go of those things that burden our hearts. Remind us to trust in You. Lord, this week we pray specifically for Camille, Lenora, Connie, Holly, Angie, Bob, Johnny, Mary, Evelyn, and Loretta. You know the things that are burdening them. Release them from any bitterness or anger. Allow the power of Your forgiveness to heal them both physically and spiritually. Reveal to them the direction You have for their lives. Give them the peace and strength to empower them to do whatever comes next. We ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
Prayer Requests - 5/17/2012
New International Version (NIV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
I read a Facebook post yesterday and I can't get it off my mind:
"For the record, I am not a small claims court. I am not a mediator. I don't care about your personal situation or sob story. If you want someone to help you collect something which you feel is owed to you--I am not your attorney, nor am I the court. When you make bad relationship and life choices, it is not my place to help you. Why do people think I'd have an interest in their drama? *block*"
(For those who are unfamiliar with Facebook, the *block* at the end of the above statement means that the author is going remove certain people from his "Friends" list so he won't have to read their drama-filled posts.)
When I read this, my heart was filled with a kind of sadness that I don't recall ever feeling before. Part of it is disappointment. I'm disappointed that the author isn't looking at this situation as opportunity to be a peacemaker. As Christians, shouldn't we be trying to help others we know to work out their differences? To help others learn what it means to ask for and receive forgiveness? But it's bigger and heavier than that. What would life be like if God treated our requests for help in this way? My mind keeps wandering to a scenario where I'm the one asking God for help, and the above words are His response to me.
I keep thinking about another statement I heard recently: "According to your faith, so be it unto you." When I think about that one, it scares me. It makes me think of all the times I've failed to live out the things I claim to believe. It makes me thankful for God's mercy and grace. Thankful that every day brings new opportunities to extend grace as it has been extended to me.
I'm going to try something different...I've never really prayed back scripture before. But there are some verses (from 1 Timothy 2 and Matthew 5 & 6) that really apply to the thoughts I've been having the last few days.
Heavenly Father, You are the only God. And there is only one mediator between You and mankind, Jesus Christ, who gave his life as a ransom for all people. Help us to live peaceful lives that reflect the faith we proclaim. Use our lives to bring others to know You as Savior and friend.
Today, we pray for Angie, Bob, and Amy, who need the gift of Your salvation. We pray for Johnny, Evelyn, and Sherry, who need the gift of Your peace. We pray for Gloria and Jessica, who need the gift of Your direction. Where should they go next? Reveal Your will to them. We thank You for the wonderful news of Gary's successful surgery and the fact that his cancer did not spread. "Our prayers were answered 'to the max'," Gary's family says. We thank You for his healing and continued recovery. We pray for all those who are undergoing treatments. You know their needs. Give those patients and their families the strength they need to get through each day. We thank You for the life of Chuck who is with You now in Paradise.
Lord, we know that nothing would please You more than our obedience. For us to worship and pray, without anger or disputing, but with our hands lifted high bringing Glory to Your name. And finally, remind us of Your words from Matthew 5 above. Remind us what it means to forgive as You forgive us. Help us to be peacemakers...the kind of children that You call us to be. Amen.
Prayer Requests - 5/10/2012
New Living Translation (NLT)
15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16 Better to have little, with fear for the Lord,
than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love
is better than steak with someone you hate.
Now here's a Proverb I can relate to. It's a classic case of the optimist vs. the pessimist. For much of my life, I have had a pessimistic view of the world. I believed in Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." I'd meet "morning" people and groan at their enthusiasm. Carpe diem? Ha! I still have a hard time seizing anything before 9am. I was just another rat in the race. Working a job I hated, trying to earn more money so I could have a new car, a big house, nice clothes, and for what? Even when I had many of those things, I found that I was more miserable than I'd even been.
It wasn't until I found out that I was pregnant that my perspective on life changed. I always knew that when the time came to have kids, that I wanted to stay home and take care of them. In order to figure out if we could "afford" to do that, we started managing our money differently. The pursuit of acquiring "stuff" became unimportant. We decided to simplify our lives. Now I won't say it's always been easy. And sure there have been times when I've wanted some big ticket item and thought, "If I was working full-time we could get that." But the fact that I can't just go out and make those kinds of impulse buys causes me to have to evaluate whether or not the item is worth the cost. Most of the time the answer is "No."
The funny thing is that when we set out on the quest to simplify, I thought life was going to be worse than ever. We wouldn't have enough money. We wouldn't have [insert name of latest gadget here] We wouldn't have... Turns out I was wrong about that. Way wrong. All of our needs have been provided for. We have food, clothing, shelter. But more important than any material thing...we gave ourselves and our kids the gift of time. Family time. Time to have dinner or go to church or play at the park or read together. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather eat a bowl of broccoli with my husband and my kids than be forced to schmooze clients at some fancy restaurant all in the name of earning the almighty buck.
If you're feeling like a rat in the race this week, maybe it's time to reevaluate what's important. Maybe it's time to trust that God will take care of your needs and let go of your dependence on treasures that you're going to have to leave here when it's time to go to Heaven.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for opening my eyes to the fact that true happiness is found through relationship with You and through relationship with those around us. Lord, You know all of our needs. But this day, we ask for healing for Gary and Louise who are recovery from surgery. We praise You for the news that Rita is cancer-free. We ask for Your comfort and peace for the families of Bill, Sharon and Velma as they mourn the loss of loved ones. Remind us of our need to focus on storing up treasures in Heaven rather than the race to keep up with Jones'. Remind us that your blessings come in so many forms, it's not just monetary, we're blessed with spiritual gifts as well as physical/mental talents. Remind us to use those gifts and talents to bless others and bring glory to Your name. Remind us to be thankful for what we have been given, not to dwell on what we have not. Make us optimists. Give us happy hearts despite the trials that are thrown our way. Remind us to put our trust in You. Amen.
Prayer Requests - 5/3/2012
New International Version (NIV)
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
2012 National Prayer
Written By: Dr. David Jeremiah – NDP Honorary Chairman
Every good gift and perfect gift comes from You. You are a faithful God and Your mercy endures forever. You have promised to bless the nation that trusts in You. Our currency proclaims “In God We Trust,” but in our culture we are far from You. In the words of the prophet Daniel, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.” We come before You once more, seeking Your forgiveness and mercy. You, O God, are our only hope… Hear our prayer and, for Your honor’s sake, shine Your face upon this nation. Give our leaders the desire to seek Your wisdom and the courage to follow Your guidance… and watch over the men and women of our armed forces as they sacrifice for the cause of freedom. We give You thanks for all You have done for us, and we earnestly pray that You will help us become, once again, a nation whose God is the Lord. In the name of Your Son, and our Savior, we pray this prayer. Amen
Today is the 2012 National Day of Prayer. If you’re wondering how this observance came to be, check out the Historical Time Line at the link below:
Sometimes we become so focused on our individual circumstances that we forget to pray for things larger than ourselves like the spiritual health of our nation. So as you pray for the individual concerns listed below, I’d also ask that you spend a few moments focused on larger issues, like all of the people in our nation and beyond who have yet to know Jesus as Savior and friend.
Prayer Requests – 5/3/2012
· Jennifer – Pray for God’s will to be done.
· Sherri – Pray for encouragement.
· Bob – Pray that he comes to salvation and knows Jesus in his heart, not his head.
· Trey – Pray for the Lord’s protection and that he stays in remission.
· Angie – Pray for her salvation and that she comes to know Jesus.
· Chloe – Pray that her mother would see that Chloe is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Pray that her mother would be able to let go of her anger about Chloe’s various medical conditions. Pray that Chloe would be strengthened and feel God’s love as she goes through her treatments.
· Vincenza – Pray that her body responds well to chemo. Give thanks and praise that she is off oxygen and the condition of her lungs is improving.
· Riley – Pray for healing and pain relief from the side effects of chemo.
· Mary Jane – Pray for stress relief as she is feeling overwhelmed as a single mother.
· Sal – Pray for comfort and pain relief as he has transitioned into hospice care. Pray for his daughter who is struggling with the stress of being a caregiver and also balance that with her other work and family responsibilities.
· Sharon – Pray for pain relief and peace for her family.
· Evelyn, Gloria, Shelita – Just pray. The Lord knows their needs.
· For the family of Michael – Pray for God’s love to poured out on this family as they mourn. Pray for peace.
Heavenly Father – As I look over this list, I’m saddened by the difficulties that so many we know are facing this week. It hurts to know that many of our friends are in pain, whether it be physical or emotional. Lord, You know what kind of healing is needed and I ask for Your abundant mercy on behalf of the people listed above. But more than that, I ask for those individuals to be made aware of the healing they receive, to be made aware that it was born from Your grace. When we hear reports of answered prayers, I ask that we are bold enough to share our experiences with others. Use our lives and our circumstances to bring others closer to You. And on this day, our National Day of Prayer, I ask that You open our eyes to see needs beyond our own and give us the courage to put our faith into action. Help us become people who are worthy of the precious gift you gave and use our lives to bring glory to Your name. Amen.
Prayer Requests - 4/26/2012
New Living Translation (NLT)
Jesus, the Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
New Living Translation (NLT)
5 The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man[a] must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
It's always nice to open up the mail and receive a card or letter from a patient that lets us know how they are doing. But today, we received something special. We have patients who are talented artists, too.
The attached photos were sent by James from Kansas. The first one is a picture of a lamb. It says that it was done on a scratch board. The second is a picture of a wooden cross. It has the word "Risen" etched into it with a wood burning tool and also pictures of two doves.
The verses above come to mind as I look at these pictures. Both pictures are beautiful reminders of the fulfillment of God's promises to us. A big "Thank You" to James for sharing his artwork with us.
Heavenly Father - We have a lot of people to pray for this week. So many who are going currently going through treatments and other who have procedures coming up soon. We ask for healing and protection for Larry, Jim, Carol, Evelyn, Camille, Vincenza, Holly, Charles, Jennifer, Gloria, Lynne, Corrine and Baby Matthew. We give You thanks and praise for Marci's recovery from brain surgery. She has asked for healing and strength for her upcoming chemo treatments. Lord, we know of families with loved ones who have received word that physical healing may not be possible anymore. Guide those families through the decisions that they have make regarding transitions to hospice care. It's hard, Lord, to watch as those we love suffer. So for those patients we ask for relief from pain. For those families we ask for patience as they wait for whatever is next to come. We've also heard from several families with loved ones who have been called to be with You in heaven. Comfort the families and friends of Otto and Kaitlyn as they grieve. Lord, we thank You for all of the doors that You continue to open. Continue to connect people to this outreach and allow us to bring the hope that can only be found in You to those affected by cancer. We pray for all of our patients, volunteers, staff members and all of their families. Strengthen our relationships. Make us aware of circumstances where forgiveness and reconciliation are needed. Give us the courage to ask for forgiveness when we make mistakes. Give us the grace to extend forgiveness to others. Remove our stubbornness so healing in those circumstances can begin. Remind us that we should seek forgiveness because of all You've done for us through Jesus Christ. Make us aware of Your presence. And may Your presence be magnified in our lives so that through our example others will see how we are different. Use us to draw others closer to You. Amen.