Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category


“Daddy, when it get’s scary, will you hold me?”
John M

My children and I enjoy watching superhero cartoons together.  Two of our favorite shows are Super Hero Squad and Justice League.  The kids like to mimic the characters and sing the song during the introduction sequences.  However, along with each superhero comes a super villain, and the battle against the super villain can often be scary.  My youngest child James wants to watch with his older sisters.  However, some parts may get scary for him.  Rather than go away and do something else, he asks “Daddy, when it gets scary, will you hold me?”

James’ question made me think of my life and my attitude to God.  Many times our life can be difficult causing fear and anxiety.  We can face trials and disappointments such as uncertainty with school or work, relationship issues, or health problems.  God does not promise a life without trials.  In fact, as Christians, He tells us to expect trials.  However, God also reminds us He has overcome the world.  When life gets tough and trials come my way, do I run away to somewhere I perceive that it is safe?  Or do I face my fears and run to God’s arms and ask Him, “Daddy, when it gets scary, will you hold me?”  God, our Father, welcomes us with open arms.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  [John 16:33]

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  [Deuteronomy 31:6]


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Happy birthday, Lincoln

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

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Wow, how uncanny the similarities between my friend’s and my own family:

In less than 24 hours I will be leaving with my family on my first trip to Asia!  I’m excited and feel so blessed to finally have the opportunity to meet my extended family, many of whom I’ve heard about but never seen. At the same time, I realize that this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to witness to them, since we don’t go back very often and the majority of my relatives who are overseas are not believers and are at least as old as my parents. It will also be the first significant amount of time I’ve spent with my brother since he decided to tell me he’d renounced God. So, I would really appreciate your prayers for God’s love to show through in our interactions, even though there might be language, age, cultural barriers, and the usual family tensions.

I also wanted to say that I’m thankful and would love to hear how you’re doing or pray for you if you’ve anything to share; but since I may not be able to communicate as frequently while I’m overseas, I want to go ahead and wish you a very Merry Christmas and send you wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

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Dear Friends,

Many have written after hearing about the deaths in our country following the recent earthquake and wondering if we were OK. We are fine. We are in the West and the earthquake was in the far, far East.

In addition to the national efforts to help, many believers in the country are also collecting clothing and other items to help out in the relief effort. Some are trying to find out how possible it is to travel there to help out in person. The area is a controlled area for many reasons but we hope all offers of help will be welcome.

This country’s leaders have refused aid from all countries, certain that the situation can be handled all by themselves. _Pray for wisdom for these leaders_.

Thank you so much for remembering us and praying for us. _Please pray that our Lord uses even bad natural events such as this for his ultimate glory and that there is relief from suffering and grief for those impacted_.

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Update to last update

After praying and talking things through, we decided that we have a responsibility to report incidents that may be serious. The government has worked very hard at keeping us safe, and it seemed to be the best path to let them know about what happened, and let them decide what they would do about it, but to try to do so in a way that would not make the situation worse.

Today I went to speak to the police, because we felt it would not be right to formally report something about them without having talked to them first. Their version of events (which they gave us without our having told them what we had already heard) was very similar to the one we were given by the village family. They did call __ and insist that they come give their statement, and they had said they would send a military police unit to bring them in if they did not come. When __ parked near the police station, he was seen and attacked by the family of the people on the other side of the conflict. The policemen said they were both a bit far away, and also few in comparison to the crowd, so were not able to act immediately, but did leave the station and seize __ and brought him into the station (while doing this, one of the policeman was also assaulted, and his assailant was arrested). This in some ways fits the rather muddled description of events that __ gave us that the police ‘did nothing’ and also ‘held his arms’ at one point. A little time while you are getting beaten can probably seem like a very long time…

The police did some research into the matter this week, and their conclusion is that it had nothing to do with religion at all, but was a personal matter between village families. I also talked to __ today, and as far as we can understand, that is the true situation.

After talking to the  police, we went to the other city’s police and told them that something had happened, and even though it seemed to be of a personal and not a church nature, we felt we had the responsibility to report it and let them decide. They took a report out of a drawer and read it to us, and it contained the same information as above, so the first city’s police had let them know. They agreed that we should let them know if there were incidents of this nature since it concerns them so directly.

We don’t know if there was something else under all of this, even though there does not seem to be. We felt that the act of openly going to the police would at least remind people who might be tempted to do something wrong in secrecy that the situation here is very different than before.

Thank you for praying with us in this matter, please continue praying for __ and his family. We now need to stand with him in prayer and with encouragement to learn to respond to the people who attacked him with Jesus’ love, and not to look for revenge. Please also pray that wrong information will not spread and cause harm to either this family, or the church, or the city/government where we live. God has placed them in this position, and we pray for their well-being.

God bless all there

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Prayer for Turkey

This Sunday is three years since three believers in Turkey were martyred. The Alliance of Protestant Churches in Turkey are asking each year that churches and Christians worldwide remember to pray for this nation on this day.  You can visit this special website which has a 3 minute video. The site is readable in several languages. http://www.prayforturkey.com/index.html  Please pray with us.

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[He]’s out of his surgery…but the doctor had less than stellar news to tell us.  ….it doesn’t seem like it can be controlled at this point from any human standpoint or intervention. 

I’m in a great deal of emotional pain right now.  Thankfully, somehow my thoughts are being protected from spiraling too deep into the what ifs and what coulds.  I still cry a lot though. I am comforted by God at this time and I’m trying to live minute to minute, day by day.  I know He’s crying with me and I know He’s guarding and protecting me as well as [him].  Whatever happens next is all part of the masterpiece of our lives. 

I’m tempted to shout out that it’s not fair, that we don’t deserve this, that we’re so young, and that we’re good people who deserve to be happy… but all of those phrases get cut off before I even finish thinking them.  They are replaced by phrases like: he is not mine to keep, this is all part of His plan, we’ve been happy, these 6 years have been the best gift I’ve ever received, and the Lord feels and He knows the pain of loss.  I really don’t think that all of these phrases come out of human rationalization, they are of God and are the fruit of your prayers for us.  Thank you. 

I am still comforted by the story of Gideon and the story of Job.  I’m not sure if our ending will be parallel to their story, but there is still hope.  It’s not over yet.

I will never be able to speak about all of this as much, as deeply, or as eloquently as I can write it.  Think of these emails as windows into my heart. 

I’m so tired.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

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