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Posts Tagged ‘prayers for others’

As I sat down this morning to work on the assignment for the Daily Bible Study series for the United Methodist Publishing House, I began as I always do – with prayer for clarity and wisdom in writing. I prayed that my words would be pleasing to God and glorify His name.

I also prayed (as I always do) for those who will be reading this series which will be out next summer. I always pray for the readers as individuals – but today as I prayed the image came to mind of hands reaching for the books for their daily devotional time. I “saw” – um – how should I say it? “Older hands”. Hands that were wrinkled and bent with arthritis; hands with thin and bruised skin. Hands that have worked hard and now are tired. I saw hands that often fold in prayer and yes, sometimes even wring with worry.

I pray that next year, when they pick up this book that they will find words that help them to stand strong and be faithful in spite of the world around them. Thank you God for this vision. Amen.

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Lord of Chalk and Eraser Dust

 

“Lord of all pots and pans and things…

Make me a saint by getting meals

and washing up the plates.”

 

Thus begins the little booklet, “The Practice of the Presence of God” by (or about) the Seventeenth-century French monk, Brother Lawrence.

He wrote, “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen… (where he worked) I possess God in a great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”

And so with that mindset, I pray…

To the “Lord of all pots and pans and things…” my Father, I add, “Lord of chalk and eraser dust (or is that ‘PowerPoint’ these days?); Lord of hammers and nails; Lord of computers and programs; Lord of journals and ledgers; Lord of cash registers and sales racks; Lord of all jobs and vocations…” make us Saints by doing what we do daily.

May we truly find that “the time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer…” May we find Your presence within our daily walk as strong as it is when we are on our knees in our prayer closets. Ingrain Yourself so deeply within our lives that prayer to prayer flows seamlessly throughout our days, and throughout our lives.

It seems Father, that in Jesus’ life, He didn’t “pray between daily life events” but indeed, “lived His daily life between prayers.” So may it be with us.

May we hear You at every turn; see You at every step; and feel You without failing.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Best friends and lovers…

When Joe (my husband) introduces me to anyone he always says, “This is my best friend. I married my best buddy!” And indeed we’re not only husband and wife, and lovers, but best friends as well.

He said this again to a good friend the other day who responded, “I can name on one hand, and not use all the fingers, all the couples I know who are truly happy in their marriage – and you all are one of them!”

Yes, we are very happy in our marriage. Why? I don’t really know. We’ve certainly been blessed, and it’s not because either of us is perfect – that’s for sure!

But the older I get, the more I realize that I have a responsibility to pray for young (and not so young) people – women especially – in their marriages. This is a hard world we live in – as you well know.

Father I pray for these young women in their marriages. I pray that they will see what an awesome responsibility and privilege God has given them. I pray that they will understand what a blessing being a “helpmeet” can truly be. And that they’ll come to realize that as the “two are one” that you can’t hurt your mate without hurting yourself, and likewise, when you help and support your mate, you are truly helping and supporting yourself.

Father, I pray for their patience as “things aren’t perfect” that they will seek Your face and wisdom in place of trying to “fix” things themselves. If their husbands aren’t the men their fathers are – well, they’re not meant to be. These young women didn’t know their fathers when they were young husbands. (Perhaps they should ask their mothers!)

I pray Lord, that they’ll come to understand that marriage is not a 50/50 proposition – it takes 100% from both sides, and sometimes even 101%… But, I pray most of all, that they will allow their husbands to be men – allow them to make mistakes, allow them to fail, and allow them to succeed without criticism – but instead be their “right arms” and their staunchest supporters – through everything. I believe (and I have found) that they will receive back, “pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing” everything they have given.

If he is not a “man of God” then may she realize that her responsibility is not to “make” him one, but to pray for him. And if he is a “man of God” then to thank You for him, and support him in his “ministry.” Even when she doesn’t understand his “calling;” You do.

Father, I thank you for these young women. Give me, I pray, more opportunities to witness – by word or example – what it means to be a “woman of God.” And lead me in a better understanding of that myself, every day.

In Jesus’ name – Amen.

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Although this prayer has some similarities with yesterday’s prayer – it goes to a different need.

 

Prayer Circle

Father, I lift up this child of Yours. I looked into her eyes and saw pain. She didn’t have to say a word, in fact when I saw her, it was in the midst of an ordinary occasion, but still, I saw the pain.

As we talked I found out, at least some of her angst and realized, “I’ve been there…” Oh, I realize Lord, that none of our situations are the same, but still, I’ve been very close to where she is. And so, I pray for her.

Prayer:

I pray Lord that she might be able to see some glimmer of hope in this situation; that others who’ve “been there and done that” will give her encouragement and support (and hopefully I did.)

I pray Lord, for strength in the midst of what seems like forever in her life. Give her good nights of sleep, give her good days often enough to ease her mind, and give her a good “ear” to stand by her. We all need these – these, Your other children who speak to and pray for us.

And then today Lord, I pray for me. I pray for someone who’s been where I am, to come to me and give me words of encouragement and support. I am in the midst of a situation that seems like forever in my own life, and I pray for good nights of sleep, and good days often enough to ease my mind. And I pray for an “ear” to stand by me.

Father it seems, that as we are Your children, we create a “circle.” As we go through situations, we’ve been through situations, and we have yet, situations to go through. We are all within one of those stages in our lives.

May we, Lord, pray for and help those “behind us” as we are prayed for and helped by those “in front of us.”

I ask this in the name of the One Who has gone before each of us, has paved the way and opened the door – even Jesus. Amen

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A Letter to My Friend

 

I know you are going through a very difficult time right now. I know there are times when you cry, “I just can’t do one – more – thing… I can’t worry about one – more – person, and I can’t carry one – more – burden…”

I know that you have said, “Oh Lord! What else?” And I also know that you’re almost afraid to even say that anymore, for fear that there could be something else – there could be more…

I know because I have been through that myself. Oh, not exactly the same circumstances, for all our lives are different, but enough so that I’ve prayed, “Oh Lord, when is it ever going to let up?”

I know there is a fear and despair in the pit of your stomach that even though quelled at times, never completely goes away. There are times of respite and times of peace, but still the anguish is there lurking in the background, in the back of your mind. You’re never really at rest.

Know this! As much as it helps to know that someone is praying for you (and I am) it is infinitely more comforting to know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for you to the Father.

Look up Romans 8:15-28. You’ll see that God is our Father! And not only that, but the word Paul uses for “father” is Abba, which is translated as “Daddy” – the most intimate and loving form of father. And then in verse 26, Paul tells us that because we don’t really know how to pray as we should, the Spirit “translates” for us to God, and then brings back to us what our “Daddy” wants us to know.

And if that is not comforting enough, know this. You (yes you) are on Jesus’ prayer list!

Read Hebrews 7:25. Jesus sits at God’s right hand “interceding” for you (and me) continually. In other words, Jesus, Himself, is praying for you. He is whispering in God’s ear, telling Him all about you and your needs. And He never takes a break!

I know that when I was going through the deepest valley of my life, the one thing that strengthened me daily was knowing that others were praying for me. I sensed God’s presence and care just through my own prayers, but at that time I didn’t know these two scriptures. I didn’t know that Jesus Christ, my salvation for eternity, was at that very moment, praying for me.

I wanted you to know that He’s praying for you… He’ll see you through this.

Love ya,

Betty

 

 

 

 

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A Prayer for Caregiver Decisions

“Oh, if I just knew what to do” a friend cried to me recently. And I thought, “Oh yeah… I’ve been there.”

We’ve been called “the sandwich generation” – taking care of parents as well as children. But, in reality, ever since Adam and Eve’s children, had children, there has been a “sandwich generation.”

Still, having a “title” doesn’t make it any easier. So – if you are there, just know – you are being prayed for…

Prayer:

O Heavenly Father of comfort, I lift up those with extremely difficult decisions to make today. Give them wisdom and peace. And, I pray Lord, for those about whom the decisions are being made. How difficult it must be to have to give up the freedom to make your own decisions about your own life. May we always be sensitive to that dilemma. (For, as we know – we will one day be there, too.)

I also pray Father, for those who are not making “big” decisions, but are instead, continuing in the struggle of a thousand daily decisions that never seem to let up. Comfort them too, Lord, and give them Your strength, because I know, they feel theirs is nearly gone.

For those of us who’ve been through it, give us a spirit of remembrance that we may offer our hand of help for we remember Paul’s words when he said that You comfort us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others*.

And for those who’ve yet to face it, give them a spirit of understanding and patience that they too may lend support. For we each, need each other, and we thank You for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and it is in His precious name we pray – Amen.

 

(*2 Corinthians 1:4)

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