Thursday, May 15, 2008

13 Prayer Requests

As I started Thursday Thirteen today at lunch, the only thing that was sticking out in my mind was our lifegroup last night and the prayer requests that were shared. We counted our blessings and rejoiced in the work God has done in each of our lives but we turned to our requests and before long all 5 of us women were near tears over our prayer requests for the night. There is so much tragedy spanning from our local area to other areas of the U.S. and then to the hundreds of thousands overseas from natural disasters in the past week. We all declared it almost unbearable to watch the news as the devastation was grief we could hardly understand. We are praying fervently this week for God's hand to be with all the victims of these tragedies.

1. The victims of the cyclone in Myanmar. Death tolls are soaring higher everyday and the people are desperate for aid. The country is still confiscating the aid sent from around the world. We pray that God will be with these people and with all those who are trying to help in the wake of the disaster.

2. The earthquake victims in China. The death toll is rising as so many people are being found trapped under rubble from the quake. Please be with rescue efforts as they try to help those who are still surviving. Be with those who lost family members and be with the country as they try to find order amongst the chaos.

3. The pastor of our sister church in Brandon was killed in a plane crash along with his 13 year old son. A wife and 5 other children are left behind and a church grieves for their friend and leader. Please comfort this congregation and family as they adjust to this loss.

4. A mother and her two children were found murdered in their home in Tampa earlier this week. As they have found their suspect we just pray for peace for family members left behind as they grieve and struggle with this sudden loss.

5. Tornadoes tore through Oklahoma and Missouri this past weekend leaving destruction behind and 19 lost lives and many injuries. Prayer for courage and comfort as they rebuild their lives in the coming days and suffer the losses that happened so unexpectedly.

6. A member of our lifegroup has a family business that is suffering greatly. They fear that they will have to close down in the next few weeks if things do not turn around. We are praying for guidance and patience for those involved.

7. We are praying for our churches efforts as we begin the Providence Box drive that will take clothes and necessaties to people in need in Honduras.

8. Prayer for leadership in our country especially as we near an election for president.

9. Prayer for soldiers who are over seas in dangerous areas. We pray for protection for them and peace for their families at home.

10. Prayer for those in our lifegroup that are deeply struggling with recent events and hope that the Lord will show them his love and that their faith will be enriched and renewed and that doubt will be driven away.

11. Prayer for encouragment and comfort for all those suffering from loss and doubt and struggle that so easily overwhelms us day to day.

12. Prayer for the church who lost it's pastor that even now the Lord is preparing someone to step into the position and lead the church in a way that honors God.

13. Praise for all the blessings that we have received from God and a prayer for his protection and safety on us as we head into the weekend and another week.

Grief can overwhelm us. Sometimes there is too much and we just want to turn away especially if it doesnt strike us directly. My heart is aching for these many losses of life this week. I feel vulnerable and scared; and yet at times like these when so many people turn away from God wondering how he could allow these things to happen and as start to question their faith I find myself turning to the Lord for comfort I know only he can give and I pray desperately that his hand of grace and peace and healing would be on all those that suffer and that they would know that they can trust in him and that they are safe in his arms. It seems to me that that is indeed what faith in him is. Not just praise when good things happen but trust and coming to him like a child to his father when terrible things happen and grief overwhelms us. If you would, please remember these things in prayer as you go through your week.

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. " Phillippians 4:6-9

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