Tag Archives: Prayer Requests

Emails to God – Prayer Requests (Colossians 1:9)

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

Dear God, this verse is appropriate for today because I have some friends who need special prayer. To protect their privacy, I will use initials, but you know who they are.

  • For CS, he told me last night that he is going in for testing on a possible tumor in his ear. A tumor anywhere in the head would be in my top five of places I wouldn’t want a tumor—maybe even the top of the list. Please be with him today. Be with the ENT who is seeing him as well. Father, even now, please miraculously touch him and remove any danger from his body, if you are willing. I know you can do this father. I ask it on my friend’s behalf. Please, give him healing and a story to tell that will help him to glorify you and draw others into your presence.
  • I pray for GD and his wife, CD. Please be with them as they look for GD’s healing. Work in his body. Please touch it and move it into the next phase of recovery. This doesn’t seem life-threatening, but it is scary and hard. These people love you. Please strongly support them. Give CD strength as well. She has her own health issues, and she needs your strength to be able to care for her husband and support him through this. At the same time, raise up hands, arms and feet around them to do your work in their lives. Help them to see that it is you and recognize you as being the author of all things good in their lives.
  • I pray for BB and EB. They have to be so fatigued. Their health battles have been long and wearying. Please help them to feel your touch and hope. Help them to live with your power and joy. I don’t know that I could do it if I was them, but I have more faith in their ability to find you in the midst of these struggles than I do in my own. Please help and encourage them.
  • I lift up PO to you. He has going through an important procedure last week and I pray that you will help his body to adopt its new pieces and help him heal. Use this as a special opportunity to reveal yourself to him and those around him. Help him to feel your touch and your presence.

Father, in all of these cases and more, please do not let the pain and stress of these events go in vain. Please help each person whose name is flowing through my heart right now, including myself, to turn loose of the world and grasp on to you. Help us to pray without ceasing. Help us to submit our wills to you. Please forgive our sins. Forgive our selfishness and idiocy. Give us each the strength we need to do your will and give you glory in our families, in our work, in our churches and with our friends. Help us to decrease as you increase and make us your royal ambassadors.

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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Miscellaneous


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Emails to God – Teach Me to Pray (My Utmost for His Highest, August 28 – By Oswald Chambers)

“Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer.”

Dear God, there is a fine line between my life and your life. Mr. Chambers makes an interesting distinction here in this regard. He is positing that the life of John Willome will be just fine without prayer. My own selfishness will flourish. My ability to indulge my own whims will be unchecked. In fact, the only checks on my life at all will be in how my life ends up relating to those around me—my wife, children, coworkers, etc. What will suffer is your life in me.

I think I am learning more and more that our lives, yours and mine, are mutually exclusive. I cannot embrace my selfishness and embrace you at the same time, so when I embrace you in times of prayer like this (and I mean truly submit myself to you and embrace you—not just praying without thought or emotion) then I have to let go of myself, at least for that time period. So the more I pray the more I let go of myself. The more I let go of myself then the more your life will replace mine. The more your life replaces mine the more Christ-like I become. The more Christ-like I become the more I will be at peace and you will receive glory.

Father, help me to be a more continual prayer. Help me to pray in the middle of conversations. Help me to pray while I drive, while I work, while I think in the middle of the day. Help me to pray as I husband my wife. Help me to pray as I parent my children. Help me to pray as I work in my office, or directly with patients, staff, volunteers, and donors. Help me to continuously turn loose of my own life so that yours might flourish within me.


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Emails to God – What’s With All Of The Suffering Verses? (1 Peter 4:12-19)

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Dear God, I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I seem to keep coming across verses that remind me that suffering is not outside of your plan for me. It’s funny because I think I know that, but then you apparently keep bringing these passages to me so it makes me wonder if I still haven’t gotten it.

So, yes, I’ve been going through some trials lately, both at home and at work. Compared to what other people experience in life, however, I am hard-pressed to classify it as real suffering. And I’m certainly not suffering for your name or anything like that—I’m just going through normal life stuff. But I guess the question is, do I feel sorry for myself and angry with you for my suffering, or do I just accept it as part of the journey and move forward. I thought I was doing the latter, but perhaps I am doing the former more than I know.

Father, all I ask for myself is that you give me your wisdom, discernment, and peace. Whatever else you need to do to or through me to accomplish your will, so be it. You are my God. I am your servant. I already have it better than I deserve.


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Emails to God – Praying In Jesus’ Name (John 16:25-28)

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Dear God, I assume this day is still here. I assume that I have direct access to you through my prayers. But the key is to ask in Jesus name. But what does it mean to ask something in Jesus’ name? Does it mean to actually declare Jesus’ name as I pray, or is it more subtle than that? If I say my own selfish prayer, but I throw in Jesus’ name at the end, is that the same thing as blaspheming Jesus’ name? Can I pray my own selfish prayer, add Jesus’ name to the end, and not offend you?

Being raised Baptist, one of the things I learned to do as a child was add on the phrase, “in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen,” to the end of all of my prayers. In fact, I am careful to always put that little phrase at the end of each of these prayers in my journal (although the people on the blog don’t see it because I normally leave the end of my prayers out of the blog). But do I mean it, or is it just something I say on the end because I think I am supposed to? Am I truly taking each prayer and considering what Jesus would think of it and then submitting it through His name, or am I just throwing some words up toward heaven and putting a Jesus bow on them?

Father, help me to take the times I am speaking to you as the beautiful, powerful moments that they are. This is an opportunity for me to get a glimpse of your glory and your presence. It is a chance for me to lay my life before you and humbly ask for your provision in whatever ways you see as appropriate. Thank you for the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection delivered to me the power of prayer.


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Emails to God – The Power of Prayer? (Luke 18:1-8)

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Dear God, I have to admit that sometimes I question the power of prayer. I suppose, at some level, it is a matter of believing in predestination or not. If I believe in predestination, then what is the point in praying for my children, the sick, or anything else that comes to mind? I heard a quote one time where someone said, “I don’t pray because it changes God. I pray because it changes me.” That sounds really good and cool, but is it accurate? Do my prayers change you.

The Bible is full of examples of people changing your mind. Abraham got you spare Lot and his family instead of just destroying the whole city. Moses got you to relent before destroying the Israelites. I think there’s a story about either Elijah or Elisha getting you to change course. There’s the story of the king who got a few years added on to his life. So that leaves me with the question, what exactly is the power I have in prayer? Can I, a speck of dust, really change the mind of God?

All of this came to mind because I have noticed a shift happening in my life lately where I am feeling your power. I can feel a tangible difference. I also know that there are at least a couple of people who are praying specifically for me about a couple of areas of my life. Am I feeling the power of their prayers? Does their time spent petitioning you really increase your involvement in my situation?

I remember the book This Present Darkness. I read it over twenty years ago, but I remember that, at the time, it gave me an entirely different perspective on prayer and your power as it strengthens the power that flows into the spiritual warfare that is happening all around me at any given time.

Father, first, thank you for reminding me about the power and importance of prayer. Yes, I pray for my wife and kids. I pray for my marriage. I pray for my work and my friends. But how much am I really expecting to come from it? Well, I want to expect a lot because you are an awfully big God and I have a lot of things that need your help. Finally, I want to thank you for the power I am currently feeling in my life. The way is hard right now, and that path is murky, but I do, truly, feel your power. Help me to stay in the center of your heart and bask in your presence. And remind me of those around me who need my prayers so that I might lift them up to you and be a part of releasing your power in their given situation.

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Luke


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Emails to God – Jesus did what?!? (Matthew 21:18-22)

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Dear God, other Gospels mention that this tree was out of season and that is why it didn’t have any fruit. Just the fact that a couple of different Gospels include this story is interesting. There must be something about it that they want to make sure we understand about Jesus. Frankly, if I were Jesus’ follower and biographer, I might have left out this story. It seems too selfish and harsh. Curse a tree? Really?

I guess there are two things that they wanted us to see: Jesus had the power to curse a tree and we do too, and… well, I’m having trouble coming up with the second one. I doubt they were trying to say it was okay to get angry with a tree over its lack of fruit (especially if it was out of season).

So let’s focus on the power of faith. I think that I have seen you work in wild and wondrous ways during the course of my life. I have seen you protect me from the wrong jobs and help me get the right ones. I have seen you help me raise money for an organization when none was to be found. I have seen you miraculously heal people who needed your touch. At the same time, I have seen you choose not to heal. I have heard your silence when I have cried out to you for an answer or direction. Each time, you were acting out your will, but it was hard to experience.

Father, I submit myself to your will. If you feel like cursing a fig tree on my behalf, then go for it, although it’s hard for me to imagine asking you for that. If you want to allow me to be pressed so that I might come out the other side stronger in my faith in you, then press me. If you want to do anything in my life, I submit to it. You are my God, I am not yours. I am your servant, you are not mine.

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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Matthew


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Emails to God – The Courage to be Bold (Matthew 20:29-34)

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Dear God, I’ve never understood why the crowd rebuked the two men. Were they embarrassed by them? Isn’t that why they were there—to have Jesus do something special for them too? Why try to shut these men up?

What these men realized is that they had hit the lottery and they were going to cash in their tickets. Of all the blind people born in all of the world in all of history, these two were in the right place at the right time. They are part of a select group that actually saw you, incarnate, walk by. They had a chance to talk to you and ask for your mercy in person. They were not going to let it pass.

Sometimes life takes courage. There are opportunities that come up that I am too often too intimidated or reluctant to take advantage of. One of my biggest weaknesses as a manager is that I avoid confrontation when an employee is doing something wrong. I try to coax and maneuver them into the behavior I desire, but sometimes there is a place for bluntness. I almost fired someone yesterday because something got to the point with them where their behavior was crossing a line. I had talked to them about it before, and they said they understood, but yesterday I was in a position where I was able to leave no doubt  about what I expect. My regret is that I let it fester as long as I did. Frankly, it wasn’t fair to this employee that I hadn’t.

Father, there is an old hymn, “Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me,” that ask you to, “Break me, mold me, fill me, use me…” I think I am good at breaking myself through my mistakes and failures. I pray that you will take the broken parts, mold me into your image, fill me with your Spirit, and use me however you will.

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Matthew


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Emails to God – How Much do I Think God Can Do? (Matthew 17:24-27)

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Dear God, the first thing I thought when I heard this story was, “Wow, Jesus is really feeling it now.” What I mean by that is that, after the transfiguration he is seemingly really feeling how much power he really has. I like how he addresses Peter’s issue on taxes before Peter even says anything. Then he tells Peter where to find some gold, and it is in a most unlikely place. It doesn’t say what Peter found when he caught the fish, but I would venture to say that they wouldn’t have told the story if it didn’t work out.

I am thinking there is a lot of power that you have available to me, as your child, that I don’t even come close to scratching the surface of. There is power available for all of the challenges that I see around me. I just need to change my paradigm of what I expect from you. I have my nice little safe Christian version of what I expect from you, and I rarely really tap into your power. And I have to tell you, when I do I am always blown away by what you do.

Father, I want to spend this day focusing on a few issues that are in my life. I want to tap your power in these areas. One is our big issue at work. The other is my mother’s health. I have concerns about me as a parent. I have concerns about me as a husband. I also know we have some patients at work that really need your intervention. And there is my wife’s faith journey. I will dedicate this day to lifting all of these issues up to you. I need your power. I need you to move. And I want to be able to look at all of these things and see how you moved.


Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Matthew


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Emails to God – Why Don’t I Fast More? (Matthew 17:14-21)

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21]

Dear God, Mark’s telling of this story includes the line about this kind only coming out through prayer and fasting. Why don’t I fast more? I can tell you that every time I have fasted I have seen you move.

The most recent time was about two months ago. I was facing a funding crisis for a project on a Monday that would cost a lot of money. I was overwhelmed and distraught. So I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while and take a day to fast and pray about the situation. I did so the next day (Tuesday). The first thing that happened was that a large donor called me out of the blue on that very day and told me that he was thinking about us and the situation and to let him know if we need anything. Basically, he was good for a chunk of it. Then I contacted two different foundations who know us. They each told me that they would be willing to get us 1/3 of it. Then on Friday I talked to a fourth resource who told me that they would help. So, within four days I had nearly all of the money lined up. Why? Because I was so brilliant? No. I am convinced it is because I took the time to fast and pray, asking you to intervene in a big way—which you graciously did. I even emailed the first man and told him how you used him in my life.

Father, there are other things that I should fast and pray for. The leadoff hitter is probably my kids. They are teenagers and need your protection. I need to fast and pray for them. My marriage is approaching the 20-year mark, and I need to spend more time fasting for it. I have friends who are struggling. I need to fast and pray about that. Our organization at work is still facing formidable challenges. I need to fast and pray about that as well. So I commit to you that I will do that. I am going to pick a day that week to fast and pray to you so that you will be glorified in all of these areas of my life.

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Matthew


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Emails to God – When Life Just Feels Bigger Than You (Matthew 17:1-13)

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Dear God, it can be so hard to understand what is going on around us at any given time. The stories of two different people come to mind.

The first is a news story I watched this morning about a man who moved to The Sudan with Samaritan’s Purse nine years ago. Now, Samaritan’s Purse has evacuated and he resigned from the organization so that he can stay. He married a local woman and can’t stand the thought of abandoning these people to war while he retreats to the safety of the United States. I admire this man’s convictions, love, and loyalty. I wonder how much of what you are doing in his life he really understands. I’m not saying he isn’t doing your will. I’m sure he is. I’m just saying that life must seem so much bigger than he can handle sometimes.

Then there is a friend who is a missionary overseas. I received a newsletter from him and his wife last night. Frankly, his wife, in the article she wrote, seems depressed. I don’t think she likes the city where they live and I think that other aspects of her life are overwhelming her. Raising her children. Supporting her husband. Missing her family. A lack of ability to use her own gifts. It feels like it is too much. She is trying to make sense of it. In her article, she says that she is seeking you and what you have for her in this time. She doesn’t use these words, but, reading between the lines, she seems to be crying out to you and begging you to get her through this.

Verses 10-13 make me think of all of this because the disciples had a lot of stuff going on around them that they didn’t and couldn’t understand. There is no way they could grasp the scope of what was happening. They didn’t realize that they were part of a plan that would launch your plan for the whole world for thousands of years. They didn’t realize that I would be reading about them thousands of years later. They didn’t realize that there would be churches all over the world named after them. It was just too big for them to understand.

Father, I pray for both of the people I mentioned above. For this man that I do not know, use him to end the war in The Sudan. Love him and his family. Comfort them. Protect them. But please use him. Do not let his sacrifice be in vain. I also pray for my friend and his wife. I am sure that he feels as helpless to help his wife as she feels to help herself. Give them guidance and counsel. Help them to emerge from this in a way that makes them stronger with you and more fulfilled in their lives. Unite them together and protect their marriage. Give them hope.

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Matthew


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