Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday prayer

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On a very personal note, today we bury my sister, who died suddenly and unexpectedly one week ago today. It brings me great comfort to mark her passing on Good Friday, the day we remember our Savior's sacrifice for us. Please join me in thanking Jesus for the price He paid: 

Jesus, today the skies are gray in our hearts as we consider the sacrifice you made. If we take even a moment to ponder your horrific death at our hands, we must acknowledge the wickedness of our hearts and flesh. Yet you submitted to our demands. You received the punishment intended for us. You experienced your first-ever separation from your Heavenly Father. And you died. We thank you with all our hearts. We thank you by offering our lives to your service in response. And we say on this "Good" Friday that you are the One who is good. You are the One who let your goodness overflow into our lives, paying for our sins, changing our hearts. And we say with resounding jubilation that we celebrate the victory that is to come! Your death took the bite out of sin, the power from the enemy. Now we can all have HOPE! Thank you for the cross. Amen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Prayer for the loved ones of heroic Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame after the terror attack in Trebes, France

Lord, today we take a moment to celebrate the life of Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, who gave his life in exchange for a stranger during a terrorist attack in France Friday. As Beltrame's wife, his loved ones, and the nation of France honor him through his commemoration service in Paris today, we pray for comfort, peace, and courage. We pray for citizens to be inspired by Beltrame's bravery and his heroic willingness to give his life in place of a woman he did not know. Lord, we pray for this woman who had been taken hostage and then witnessed this man laying down his life for her. Please grant her full healing in your perfect timing. And may she move forward in the confidence that you have great plans for her life, and that she is of great worth. Heavenly Father, we also pray for those wounded by the attacker. Bring healing to both their physical and their psychological wounds. We pray for the others who lost loved ones, that they move forward step by step, day by day, as they experience life with this gaping wound of losing a loved one in such an unjust and despicable way. Bring them great comfort through your Spirit. May we each be inspired by Beltrame to live with courage, integrity and honor. May we bring light to those around us. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Prayer about shopping mall fire in Siberia

Lord, today we pray about the tragic shopping mall fire that claimed over 60 lives in the Siberian city of Kemerovo. First, Lord, we pray for the firefighters as they continue to search the complex, still limited by the high temperatures. We pray for their safety and effectiveness as they search for both survivors and remains. Heavenly Father, we also pray for the loved ones of the missing, as they await word of whether their precious friend or family member has survived. Give them comfort and strength as they wait. Lord, we pray for all who grieve. Words fail in the face of such pain. Be near these hurting hearts. Give them strength to move forward moment by moment, day by day. Finally, we pray that the source of the inferno be uncovered. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Praise for return of Dapchi girls and prayer for Leah Sharibu

Heavenly Father, today we absolutely celebrate the return of all but one of the kidnapped Dapchi girls! We are so thankful that they are on their way to being returned to their families! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Bring healing on every level, not only for these young women, but for their families. Now, Lord, we pray for 15-year-old Leah Sharibu, who remains with Boko Haram, allegedly because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. We are absolutely moved and amazed that this young lady is taking such a strong stand for you. We rejoice in her courage. Almighty God, we ask you to sustain that courage and uphold this young lady as she now goes on without the support of her friends. Please protect her. We pray that the government will be successful in negotiating her return. Bless Leah for her tremendous testimony. Grant her family the peace that passes understanding. And may the world know that the only true freedom is found in relationship with you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Prayer about package bombs in Austin, Texas

Lord, today we pray about the package bombs that are killing and injuring people in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding area. Not only are they causing great physical harm, but they are also instilling fear in this community. Heavenly Father, we ask for the truth to come out about these terroristic actions. We pray that the source of these bombs can be tracked down and the perpetrator(s) captured. Lord, we also ask for protection—that no more explosives may be successful. We pray for the person(s) behind this madness, that s/he would be convicted of his/her depravity and cease this violence. We pray for those close to this person (geographically and/or relationally) to observe suspicious behavior and immediately report it to authorities. Finally, Lord we pray for the wounded and grieving. May they sense your presence and comfort in a very real way as they recover from these sad crimes. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Update several hours after posting prayer: Austin bombing suspect kills self with explosive as police close in: report - Fox News

Friday, March 16, 2018

Prayer for Puerto Rico as the island territory continues to struggle

Heavenly Father, today we pray for Puerto Rico. These many months after Hurricane Maria, we know Puerto Ricans are still suffering in many ways. First, Lord, we ask that you draw them close to you. Let them feel your love in powerful ways. May they remember the inherent value you have given each and every person whom you have created. May the citizens of this US territory feel valued not only by you, but by others: their own friends and neighbors, their island territory, and their nation. May they have hope even as they continue to struggle post-Hurricane Maria. Lord, we do pray about the intensely complicated logistics of rebuilding and repairing an island community. We pray for FEMA and other helpful agencies to have great wisdom, initiative, resourcefulness and determination as they seek to restore power to those who still lack it these many months after the hurricane. We pray for influential people to advocate on behalf of the territory, so recovery efforts can move forward without ceasing until the territory is restored to normal operations. We do also pray for Puerto Ricans to guard their hearts, channeling their distress into perseverance and hope, rather than dismay or bitterness. We know your help is needed to do this, because the spirit of discouragement is so difficult to cast off. We ask your Holy Spirit to work in the territory of Puerto Rico so that hope, generosity and creativity will become hallmarks as people band together to recover together. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Prayer about burning blockade situation in Michoacan, Mexico

Lord, we pray about today’s gang activity, specifically the burning blockades, in the western Mexico state of Michoacan. Lord, we are against criminal gangs and their terroristic actions. We are thankful that a high-profile suspect was arrested, even though these gangs have responded by blocking roads with burning, stolen vehicles. Our concern at the moment, Lord, is for the police officers and soldiers who have been sent to patrol the area. Please protect them. Give them courage, wisdom, and heightened senses that will help them handle these blockades in the best way possible. Lord, we pray that those maintaining the blockades will choose to NOT physically harm anyone. We pray these blockades can be dismantled and that people can return to normal life as quickly as possible. We also pray for Michoacan’s law enforcement and government officials, that they will create helpful, realistic solutions to deter and take down gangs in their state. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Prayer about Kathmandu airplane crash
Photo credit: Narendra Shrestha / EPA

Lord, today we pray about the airplane crash in Kathmandu, Nepal, that claimed at least 50 lives. First, we pray for the 16 survivors who are being treated at Kathmandu Medical College. Give doctors and all caregivers great wisdom and compassion as they treat these patients. We pray that all would survive. Bring healing both physically and emotionally. Next we pray for those who await word of their loved ones. Give them the peace and endurance they need. Bring friends and family around them to support them in this hour of need. For those whose news is bad, we pray for friends who will walk the long road of grief and recovery with them. Heavenly Father, we also ask that truth come out about this tragedy, that people may learn and that similar accidents will be less likely to happen in the future. We specifically pray for the air traffic controller. We do not know whether s/he played a part in causing the accident, but we do know that s/he is in a dark place today after witnessing and participating in such a horrible incident. Please draw this person close to you during this devastating hour. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Prayer for Cameroon as the nation deals with violent conflict between Anglophones and Francophones

Lord, today we pray for Cameroon as this nation deals with violent conflicts between people of two different language groups: Francophones and Anglophones. Heavenly Father, we have seen that sinful nature so often causes us to treat others differently because of how we look, the language we speak, our tribe, where we were born, etc. We are disturbed to hear the allegations that the state forced thousands of villagers in the Anglophone southwest to leave their homes. We are dismayed that problems were bad enough that minority Anglophones felt the need to try to secede from their nation, and that this led to violent deaths for people on both sides of the conflict. We pray for the Cameroonian government to exercise wisdom, fairness, and diplomacy as they seek to resolve this conflict. And we pray for all people involved to examine their hearts for their own prejudices and behaviors toward those who are not like them. We ask for your help in resolving this conflict in Cameroon. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Prayer about Brazil's yellow fever outbreak

Lord, today we pray about the yellow fever outbreak in Brazil. We are discouraged that this year’s outbreak is even worse than last year’s, and that it is reaching areas that were not previously considered vulnerable. We pray for the families and friends of the hundreds who have died from the disease this season. Please comfort them. We pray for vaccination efforts, that they would be efficient and successful. We pray for numbers of cases to diminish drastically, representing the battle against this disease making great progress. Finally, we pray for those battling this disease right now. We pray their immune systems would rally, they would get the medical care they need in the right timing, and that they would overcome this disease! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Prayer for Sierra Leone as it approaches Election Day and

Heavenly Father, today we pray for Sierra Leone as this nation approaches Election Day on March 7. We pray for wisdom for all citizens as they head to the polls to determine their nation’s next President, Parliament and local councils. We pray against violence as supporters of a variety of parties clash. May all citizens choose constructive ways of sharing their frustrations and opinions. We are grateful that the majority are doing that. Lord, we are concerned about Sierra Leone. We know this nation is still struggling to recover after its civil war, Ebola crisis and massive flooding. We desire wise, selfless leaders with great integrity to lead this nation. We are dismayed by the signs of massive corruptions (including the missing $5 million+ that was intended to fight Ebola) and the accusations of candidates funding female genital mutilation in return for votes. Lord, reveal truth. And make clear to the people which leaders will help this nation recover from its crises and move toward fulfilling its immense potential. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Prayer about fatal fire at Azerbaijani drug rehab facility

Photo by Vugar Amrullayev/EPA-EFE

Lord, today we grieve over the news of a fire in Azerbaijan that killed at least 24 drug rehabilitation patients yesterday. Learning that the ward housed bedridden patients, we celebrate the courage and protection of those who managed to rescue 34 patients before the wind-fueled fire consumed the building. Heavenly Father, we pray for those who lost loved ones. Their journeys have been hard—having a loved one debilitated by drug addiction, bedridden, and now lost to them for the rest of their time on earth. Please give them the peace that passes understanding. We pray for the injured, that they might receive quality medical care, love and a quick recovery. We pray for any investigations into the fire, that truth would come out and that you would be glorified in how all aspects of the process are handled. And, Lord, we pray for the patients who were rescued from death. May they have hope, and may they be motivated to make the most of the lives they’ve been granted. Even while bedridden, may they recognize ways they can contribute to the world around them, and may they find healing of their souls and their addictions through you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.