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Archive for the ‘prayer for the world’ Category

The latest in the “I Pray for the World” series is up at Kouya Chronicle.

Do you have four areas of concern from your part of the world, for which you’d like us to join you in prayer? See Lingamish for how you can contribute to this series.

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This week’s prayer focus is up at Kouya Chronicle. The focus is French-speaking Africa.

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The most recent prayer is for Madagascar and has been posted at Kouya Chronicle.

Last week’s post, which I missed linking to at the time, is here.

Lingamish has a really neat Flickr sidebar for the I pray for the world series. I, however, cannot figure out how to do this yet.

And, finally, there is now a website where all the prayer posts can be found.

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forget me not 1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses….
Hebrews 12:1

This week I am thanking the Lord for elderly believers, whose lives testify to the faithfulness of God, every single day, no matter what. To be able to come to the end of your life, still trusting and giving glory to God, in spite of hardship, abuse, poverty, hunger, death of a child, chronic pain or any other combination of hurt from the reservoir of suffering in this world–that gives me the courage to go on. I am also praying for those who are living the end of their lives alone. Without God. Without family. Without the Body of Christ.

I live in a part of the country with many retirees. Attending a church service filled with elderly brothers and sisters is an awesome experience to me. As I listen to them share their stories and hear them join in worship, I am deeply moved in realizing that together and cumulatively they stand as a testament to thousands of years of God’s faithfulness. Every day. No matter what.

Thank you, Lord, for the elderly whose lives complement the lives and stories in Hebrews 11–examples of faith in spite of everything. They stand as witnesses to me, that even if You never make my life any easier, that even if it gets harder–harder than I want to imagine–that I can trust You and fix my eyes on You. Thank You for how these sisters and brothers live out Your joy in suffering and Your hope in times of regret and despair.

I also pray for the elderly who have come to their final years, and after everything has been said and done, are faced with emptiness and meaninglessness–lives lived without You in the picture. God, I pray that in their sadness in looking back and fear in looking forward, that they would find You and know Your peace.

I pray for the elderly who are living out the end of their lives in poverty, abandonment, confusion and pain. Without You and without Your body being the hands and feet of Your love to them.

God, help me not to forget the elderly. Do not let my family be mindless and careless in ignoring the gifts and the needs of those who are older than us. Show me how to make a difference in the lives of lonely and suffering senior citizens in my community.

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Lord, we are blessed to live in a country where the mortality rate for children from birth to five is relatively low. I cannot thank you for that without also feeling  heaviness and lament that the opposite is true in many other countries.

Even without death being a looming possibility for most American children, I still want to ask Your protection for them in these vulnerable years.

I pray especially for young children who are separated from one or bothdaycare of their parents for extended amounts of time, whatever the reason–divorce, death, illness, job travel ( e.g. military) or daycare. 

I am crying for the reality and for the price that our children pay in these situations. Asking God to make a difference. Somehow. In ways I can’t imagine.  In family scenarios that are far from the way we want them to be.

I wish God would protect every young child from the pain and negative effects of  separation from one or both parents.

But God, where I do not see Your  protection, I ask and trust that You transform and redeem and make Your glory known, in the pain and through the pain, in very real ways.

I also pray for adults who are loving, caring for, bonding with little ones not their own–the daycare workers, foster parents and grandparents raising someone else’s child. I pray that believers in these positions can make a difference:
(1) no matter for how short a time they care for a child or
(2) how limited their influence seems or
(3) how many other problems a child has, which seem to drown out the love being given.
Lord, help these caregivers not give up when they don’t see results. I pray that Your light still shines through them and makes a difference, no matter how futile their efforts sometimes seem.  

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Your words are what sustain me. They bring me joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty! (Jeremiah 15:16, NLT)

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This photo represents the information overload we experience in the United States. Just what is available in my relatively small (by American standards) library is enough to keep me reading and learning for a very long time. And that is only the beginning. Going out from the library, I am repeatedly drawn to acquiring more information and learning more–on the radio, television and internet.

My heart’s prayer focus for the United States this week is that we would be drawn to the simplicity and complexity of the Word of God. The Living Word of God. The book and the person.

My heart is heavy for those around the world who do not even have the option of reading the Bible in their language (because they can’t read or it’s not in their language). That reality, however, does not make me less concerned for the famine for hearing the Word of the Lord in my own country. Even in my own life.

MY PRAYER: Sometimes I have such a smorgasbord of words and information at my fingertips that Scripture seems boring and unappealing. In comparison to the riches of Your Word, I fill up and am satisfied with intellectual, spiritual and emotional junk food. Forgive me, Lord, and draw me back to the delights of Your Word. 

I cannot defend the Word of God to skeptics. I do not understand how it is living and active. I cannot explain the courage and joy and comfort and peace and fear and challenge and discomfort I receive from this book. And it seems silly to pray for that the Bible would do those things for people here in the U.S. Those things are already there for readers of Your Word to receive.

I guess what I’m saying is, “Lord, bring people to Your book, so they can know You. Even though there are so many books and others sources of information to distract us, help individual people and groups of people discover and rediscover the Bible.”

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1. Father, forgive me for taking food too lightly and forgetting that every bite
(a) is a gift from you, and
(b) is a gift which not everyone in the world or even in my town has received today.

I pray for young children in poor parts of the United States, who during this summer break are losing weight, because free school breakfast and lunch are the only dependable meals they ever get.

I pray for homeless shelters and soup kitchens, where people demonstrate your love with  literal bread and meat. I pray that as empty stomachs are filled, the emptiness of the heart will be able to be heard, and people will want and find the Bread of Life.

2.   Forgive me when I elevate food too highly and use it to ease my pain or to forget how much I hurt. Forgive me for being too satisfied with the temporary numbing of food, rather than letting my desperate pain cause me to seek you more and wait patiently for you. I demand relief now rather than waiting on you. I am sorry, Lord.

I pray for other Americans who are hurting today, and who are desperately trying to soothe that hurt with food. For those trying to lose their pain in comfort foods. For those trying to make themselves more attractive, acceptable, loved by starving themselves. For those battling addiction to eating and the guilt and pain that results from eating too much–again and again. To those hurting  their bodies by using food in ways that you never intended, Lord, make yourself  known, in those places of guilt, hurt and shame. Help us not be obsessed with weight gain or weight lost as the goal. Willpower won’t fix our problems. Lord, we need you.

Use our polarized obsessions with food–desperately trying to get enough to live on or desperately trying to eat less–to draw us to you. If  lack of food or struggle with food addiction draws us to know and depend on you more, Lord, thank you.

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