Spending a few minutes with the news headlines lets me know that there is plenty for which we need to pray. I had just seen a story about a Missouri man who had attempted to drown his six month old child in a pond. Thankfully, he immediately turned himself into law enforcement authorities. The police went to the pond where the child was found floating face-up and still alive. The child was revived and appears to be okay. That was certainly an unexpected ending to the story. How can we as human beings treat one another so violently?
The colors of the trees reflecting off of the water (in the photo above) certainly brought a sense of tranquility as I walked. I had to pause (to take a photo of course) and just soak in the beauty of God's creation. In the midst of a depraved and hurting world, it is good to remember that God is still God. We just need to turn back toward Him in love with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength.
What issues particularly touch your heart? Would you spend some time praying for that specific intention today? I am going to pray specifically for two intentions. First, I am going to lift up those who are seriously ill. Facing serious illness is always tough, but it seems to be even worse when we are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Secondly, I am going to pray for those who are grieving the death of a loved one, especially those who will be celebrating their first Christmas without that particular individual in their midst. I know the heartache that goes along with that.
If you don't know what to pray for, I would offer a few possible suggestions. This list is far from exhaustive, but I just want to jump-start your thinking. Once again, I encourage you to choose something that really touches you personally so that your prayer is filled with zeal.
Teachers and school administrators
Children who are being bullied at school
Children living in abusive homes
Children in foster care
All people living in poverty
The mentally ill
All of the sick in hospitals
All those under the care of hospice
People in nursing homes
All who are lonely
All who are grieving
Those addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex, etc.
Those who are imprisoned
Those suffering from broken relationships and violated trust
Those struggling with infertility
Those who have had a miscarriage
Those who have had an abortion
Religious brothers and sisters
Police, fire, and ambulance personnel
Doctors, nurses, and all healthcare personnel
Pray for those without faith in God
Pray for those without hope
Pray for those without love
As I said, this is not an exhaustive list. I simply provide this to get you thinking about a very specific intention. Then I ask you to pour out your heart before God for that intention in deep faith and trust. We need to pray with great faith. Let's do that today in a powerful way.