Prayers Needed

Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Matthew 18:20

For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11

 

Good morning Prayer Team!

For nearly two and a half years, by God’s grace, I’ve had inspiration to write something to you every morning.  There have been times that I have written several messages in a day, times when I have been a few weeks ahead, and yes, there have been times when I stayed up late at night writing the next day’s message. 

I love writing these messages.  The Lord has blessed me with a flock of Christians in Tampa, Florida (where I currently serve) and an extra flock of people who read these messages either through email or through the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN).  I appreciate the prayers you send my way.  They are felt.  I enjoy sharing not only whatever little knowledge I have, but also personal experiences from ministry and life.  I’m departing from the Fruits of the Spirit unit for one day just to ask for some prayers for two special families.

First, many of you have been praying for Presbytera Jenny Newlin, whom I’ve mentioned on the Prayer Team before and who was a member of the Prayer Team.  Presbytera bravely fought cancer for two years, supported by her husband, Fr. Thomas, and their daughter Marina, and the prayers of thousands around the world.  Her witness to her faith in her toughest hours, which she courageously shared through social media at times, was inspiring—to other cancer patients, to others who are struggling, and to everyone who’s faith gets tested, which is pretty much everyone.  She was faith personified.  Faith puts trust in the unknown and she did that, trusting God to be with her even as the outcome of her fight was unknown.  I will always admire her and remember her fighting spirit, her positive outlook and her great faith.  Just as I will always remember Fr. Thomas for not only continuing his priestly ministry and encouraging others in the faith while his wife was so sick, but for even being willing to give up a successful parish ministry to move with her to another state, to do whatever was necessary to give her the best chance of survival.  While she lost her battle for cancer last Friday, August 4, she entered into everlasting joy, falling asleep in the hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.  Please pause a moment today and remember Presbytera Jenny’s soul, and also to pray for Fr. Thomas and Marina, their daughter.  May her memory be eternal!

Yesterday morning started off like many others—going into the office with a whole slate of things to do including writing the daily Prayer Team Message.  It was actually my first day back since summer camp/vacation.  Yes, the last month, I’ve been writing from the road.  Only 30 minutes into my return, I received a phone call that a young boy in my parish had passed away suddenly.  He was a cute little boy named Nicholas, who had just turned two.  I did his parents’ wedding, baptized his older sister, Caroline, (age 4) and baptized him last year.  He died in his sleep, with no warning.  I want to ask you to say a special prayer for Alex and Kristen, his parents, and for Caroline, his sister.  I believe in the power of prayer.  Where two or three gather in His name, there Jesus tells us He is, in the midst of them.  Over two thousand people read these messages on a daily basis, so we are well over the two or three.  Let’s rain down thousands of prayers today for these people who really need some spiritual support.  It’s a gift we can all give.  That’s what this Prayer Team is about—not just reading messages, but offering prayers.  And today prayers are needed for a family grieving the loss of their child.

Hug your children today!

Tell those you care about that you love them!

Live today as if it was your last day!

Don’t forget to pray!

Help someone today!

Don’t argue about petty things!

Glorify God today!

Accept today as a gift—yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not guaranteed—and make the most of it!

Lord thank You that I’m alive to offer this prayer today.  Be with those who are in the most need of Your help and mercies.  Be with Fr. Thomas and Marina as they mourn the passing of Presbytera Jenny.  Give them peace, support, hope and strength.  Give rest to the soul of Presbytera Jenny, where all of Your saints abide.  Be with Alex and Kristen, and with their daughter Caroline, and their family, as they mourn the loss of their son, Nicholas.  Rain down Your blessings on them.  Surround them with Your holy angels.  Rest the soul of their baby boy with all of Your angels.  For You are the Resurrection, the life and the repose of Your departed servants, Presbytera Jenny and Nicholas, o Christ our God, and to You we give glory, with Your Father who is without beginning and Your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.  Amen.

May their memory be eternal!

 

+Fr. Stavros

         

With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

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Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John…
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