Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

"Humor" that hurts.

Have you noticed that at times, things that are supposedly intended to be humorous are actually hurtful or harmful? Sometimes it seems that the main goal is to be offensive or insulting, and that the "humor" is interjected as an afterthought.

Here's a perfect example of that: an Italian advertisement for Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano. It depicts a pregnant nun eating their product, which is labeled as "immaculately conceived". The same company had a second advertisement showing two priests with their lips separated by mere inches as though about to kiss; the legend on that ad reads, "We believe in salivation".

It's hard for me to imagine that these advertisements were well-intentioned, especially after reading more about the advertising campaign and the other images being used in an article found here. The ad I've placed with this post is rather tame when compared to some of the others, which are inflammatory at best. I personally find these images to be distasteful and destructive. But it's also a good time for me to ask what I do to promote unity within the body of Christ. Do I live out the words of Ephesians 4:3-6 - Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Whatever your faith background, I hope that you will join me in echoing the prayer used to convene the 1983 assembly of the World Council of Churches:

You have called us to be one,
to live in unity and harmony, and yet we are divided:
race from race, faith from faith,
rich from poor, old from young,
neighbor from neighbor.
O Lord, by whose cross
all enmity is brought to an end,
break down the walls that separate us,
tear down the fences of indifference and hatred;
forgive us the sins that divide us,
free us from pride and self-seeking,
overcome our prejudices and fears,
give us courage to open ourselves to others;
by the power of your Spirit,
make us one.
Amen.



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A Prayer for My Friend

This morning I became aware of this news from Crownring, my friend and Daily Prayer reader.. here is what she wrote yesterday on her blog
Just to let you know, my father-in law passed away a little while ago. We'll be away for a few days. Please keep our family in your prayers.
Father we come to you today sympathizing with our friend and her family at this time of loss. We thank you for the comfort that they have knowing that their dad is now in the everlasting arms of Father God. We pray asking that the comfort and wisdom of the Holy Spirit be present in the coming days. We mourn with them for their loss. And we join with them celebrating his life.

Amen

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The Frailty of Life

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:14

Dear Lord,

Life is spinning by at an alarmingly fast pace. It seems just yesterday I was seventeen, getting married, and my mother was my age. Today she is fast approaching her twilight years and I am realizing how quickly we will all stand before the Your throne. At one point in life it was easy to believe that day was far off. How foolish I was and how grateful I am for Your steadfast patience and mercy. Thank you, Father, for removing those scales from my eyes and giving me sight. May I call to mind each day the frailty of life, the glory of my Eternal Father, and Your never ending love.

Amen
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prayers from the 'hood

Have not posted here in several months, but in that time did connect with many people in my neighborhood who long for your prayers today. Will you join me?

Jim is at odds with his wife on his next career. Prayers for wisdom and a process that strengthens the love they have for one another.

Kristine is worried about her daughter, who will be travelling extensively this semester. Prayers for protection and peace.

Lee Ann has just gone through her third back surgery and is optimistic about the results. May God's healing hand comfort her.

Dave is coming to the end of his "package" and no new work is on the horizon. Prayers for opportunities... and that this time of reflection brings him closer to God.

Neal is at a crossroads with his relationship with his wife and God. May he be filled with an abundance of peace, joy and grace that takes his relationships to new heights.

Bill's son is not returning to college this semester. Prayers that the path ahead come into focus.


We lift these prayers up to you God, as a community of believers who put our faith and trust in you.


Amen
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IN THE WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE~


One fact we know from Scripture, is in this world, we will have trouble. It's a given, but sometimes it feels like too much. Then, I read where he will not give us more than we can bear, and his grace is sufficient in all circumstances.

You have prayed for Neal, who had his foot amputated after a farm accident. His son from Washington State was in California visiting his Dad, when the call came that his wife Peggy, gardening in their back yard, put a bamboo stake in the ground, it broke, and a piece went into her eye. She is in a hospital in WA having surgery. Doesn't look good, may lose her eye. So Ron, left his Dad's bedside to fly home to his wife in the hospital.

These are the times, we cry out we are weak Father, You are strong... Lord I pray you will hold Ron and Peggy and their family members in your mighty strong arms. Give grace, comfort and healing. Lord if it is your will, please let Peggy not lose her sight or eye. We pray in the name of the Great Physician, Jesus. Amen.


Amen
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A morning prayer

Father God,

Today may my eyes be closed to anything but you.
May my ears be open only to hear your voice.
May my mouth be closed except to speak your love.

May all my senses seek you.
May all my actions reflect you.
May all my desire be only to do your will.

Amen

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The Countenance of Peace

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them." (Numbers 6:22-27 ESV)

I love the connection in this verse between the Lord's countenance and peace. Ever think about how God's countenance is a peaceful one. When He lifts up his countenance on us we have peace that can be seen by others. So often in my life I do not have peace within and people can see it in my words, actions and in my countenance. We desperately need the blessing of His countenance of peace in our lives.

I confess my lack of peace to You dear heavenly Father and repent of my anxious striving. Cause Your face to shine on me.. imprint your countenance on me.. and give me peace. All glory to Your beautiful name.

Amen


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Praying in the Midst

Today's prayer comes from my friend Lynne.

Quicken Your Spirit within me, my Father, that Your transforming power might be at work in me, even in this impossible situation.

In the midst of turmoil,
saturate me with Your peace
In the midst of my pain,
be a wellspring of joy within me
In the midst of rejection,
let me rest upon Your love
In the midst of injustice,
make me steadfast in longsuffering
In the midst of provocation,
keep me gentle
In the midst of change and confusion,
hold me in Your faithfulness
In the midst of evil, let me be a channel of Your goodness
In the midst of persecution, help me be glad in meekness
In the midst of passion and self-indulgence, temper me with the Spirit’s fruit of self-control.

I am not these things, but You are, and there is my sufficiency.
To look for fulfillment in any other place is frustration and futility.

Amen


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Teach Me to Pray

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
I Timothy 2:8

Dear Father God,

Teach me, Lord, and give me a quiet, gentle spirit; a heart that truly follows after You. I fall so far short and yet want so much to be a soldier in Your army. Teach me to pray without ceasing. May praise and supplication flow from my heart and lips. May I always intercede for others, especially my own children. They need You, Father.

Amen

mjt

My prayer today is very personal, as it includes two dear friends we've known for years from our ministry in Northern CA.


Ray will have his hand operated on August 24th for a rare cancer. They may have to amputate several fingers. He is a man of God and trusting him completely in this trial.


Neal, another dear friend and farmer, had a farm accident with a combine that crushed his foot. They have tried for several weeks to save it, but got word this morning the his foot will have to be amputated. He is another man of God, and praising the Lord it was only a foot and not his life.


Please join me in prayer for both of these godly men, that the Lord in his love, grace and mercy will bless and comfort these men with quick healing, and joy of spirit.


Thanks again to all the prayer warriors that read this prayer blog.



Amen
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Jesus, Help Me Prayer



In every need let me come to You with humble trust, saying:
Jesus, help me!

In all my doubts, perplexities and temptations:
Jesus, help me!

In hours of loneliness, weariness and trials:
Jesus, help me!

In the failure of my plans and hopes, in disappointments, troubles and sorrows:
Jesus, help me!

When others fail me, and Your grace alone can assist me:
Jesus, help me!

When I throw myself on Your tender Love as a Father and Savior:
Jesus, help me!

When my heart is cast down by failure, at seeing no good come from my efforts:
Jesus, help me!

When I feel impatient, and my cross irritates me:
Jesus, help me!

When I am ill, and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely:
Jesus, help me!

Always, always, in spite of weakness, falls and shortcomings of every kind:
Jesus, help me and never forsake me. - Amen


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Prayer as an Offering

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. (Jame 5:14-15)

This is one of my favorite prayer verses.. it begins with an invitation to pray and to have others pray for you.. it also speaks to prayers being answered. In the middle of the passage it says "the prayer offered in faith". Have you ever thought of prayer as an offering? The Old Testament is full of altar offerings but we seldom think of prayer as an offering. When we pray we offer our needs and indeed ourselves to the Lord in faith.. believing that He hears and answers.

We offer ourselves and our needs to you today dear Lord. Please answer according to your wisdom. Have mercy on us.

Amen


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UPDATE ON LYNN


Many of you have been praying for a gal named Lynn who had a terrible horse accident on vacation and was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City. They are from CA.


She laid in a comma for several weeks, but is now awake. Breathing tube removed, and they had her actually sitting in a chair by her bed for an hour.


They are now needing to make a decision if they should stay in Salt Lake City for rehab, or bring her back to CA for that. Of course she wants to come home.


Please pray for God will, and guidance as they make some very serious decisions in the next few days. Thanks you so much for adding Lynn to your prayer list.



Amen
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Lord, keep me ever faithful to you!

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have said
that you are the way, the truth and the life.
Do not allow us to stray from you,
who are the way,
not to distrust you, who are the truth,
nor to rest in anything other than you,
who are the life.

- Desiderius Erasmus


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Prayer for the Families of those Slain

My heart broke this morning as I heard of this story. Here is the way the NY Times reported it:
Their last meal was a picnic in the forest in the Sharrun Valley, high in the Hindu Kush mountains of northern Afghanistan. Returning home from a three-week trek on foot to deliver free medical care to the remotest regions of the country, the aid workers — six Americans, a Briton, a German and four Afghans — had just finished eating when they were accosted by gunmen with long dyed-red beards, the police said. The gunmen marched them into the forest, stood them in a line and shot 10 of them one by one.
Sadness cannot begin to describe how this atrocity will affect the families of, and those who knew, the victims of this heinous crime. Let us pray:
Dear Lord, the actions of others sometimes bewilder us.. we do not have words to describe the sadness.. we do not understand why some commit violence (and that in the name of religion) towards others who are trying to simply do good in your name. We ask you Lord to bring comfort to the families and friends of those slain. We ask that you would bring good from this situation.. we pray that good would overcome evil in Afghanistan and other places in the world where violence has become a way of life. We ask that you would protect those who do good in this world. We pray believing in your goodness and trusting in your love. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Amen


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Praying for Contentment

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances ... I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation ... I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

Contentment is such an essential part of living a productive life. Please join me in praying this prayer from author BJ Hoff:
Lord, grant us true contentment…
Acceptance of what each day brings,
Joy in you and not in things,
Tranquility in storm or strife,
Serenity in all of life;
That when you whisper, ‘Peace, be still,’
We’ll wait upon your perfect will,
Knowing we will soon be blessed
By love that only wants our best.
Help us see that we are meant
To rest in you… and be content.
Amen


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The Prayer List Grows....



Dear Lord, my email box is filled with new prayer requests every day. So many people hurting, sick, depressed, migraines, cancer, surgeries. Some of these people I know, and some I don't, but Oh Lord, you know each and everyone and you know what they need, so I bring to you and to all who will read this and pray, Lynn, Dick, Jim, Ray, LeLani, and Neal.


Lord, look down in grace and mercy and touch each of these with your healing grace according to your perfect will.


In the precious name of Jesus, I pray!
Amen

Amen
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A PRAYER FROM THE PAST ~ John Milton




"Holy Spirit of God, who prefers before all temples the upright heart and pure, instruct us in all truth; what is dark, illumine; what is low, raise and support; what is shallow, deepen; that every chapter in our lives may witness to your power and justify the ways of God to men. In the name of Jesus, giver of all grace. Amen."






The man who penned this prayer, John Milton, lived from 1608-1674. Truth is truth no matter who pens it or when it was penned.






Amen
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An Irish blessing



May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within.
May the blessed sunshine shine on you and warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire,
so that the stranger may come and warm himself at it, and also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the two windows of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm;
and may the blessings of the rain be on you – the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that all the little flowers may spring up and shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessings of the Great Rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clear,
and leave there many a shining pool where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the Earth be on you –
the great round earth,
may you ever have a kindly greeting for those you pass as you're going along the roads.
May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it,
tired at the end of a day,
and may it rest easy over you when at the last, you lay out under it,
may it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be off from under it quickly and up and off,
and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you all and bless you kindly.



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Jehovah-M'Kaddesh

You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you. -Leviticus 20:8

It is good to remember that God is called Jehovah-M'Kaddesh - the LORD who sanctifies. As we pray for ourselves it is important to understand that God's purpose in our lives is to sanctify us.. to make us like Jesus. This kind of prayer is one of submission.. we can pray it when things are the darkest.. asking God to help us flow in His purposes.. for His kingdom and will to come in our lives.

Open up our eyes today dear Father to see what you are accomplishing in our lives. We submit ourselves to you.. let Your kingdom come in us and Your will be done in our lives.

Amen


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Babbling Prayer

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:5-8)

I sometimes wonder how much of my prayer life is just repetitious babbling.. praying with my head but never really engaging my heart.. never really going deep.. just uttering superficial genie-in-a-bottle type of requests. Reminds me that the root of babbling is Babel.. that place where our language was confused.. maybe that is why we babble when we pray.. we are simply confused.

Give us clarity of heart Dear Lord.. help us to discern the thoughts of our hearts as well as the thoughts of Your heart. Give us single hearts of faith.. ones that engage with you in the deepest parts of our being.

Amen


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