Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bread for the Journey

Photo courtesy of Marg

~Pray with out ceasing~
What does that really mean?
Does it mean we are in a quiet room all day praying for specific things as we fast, or is it spending a weekend at a silent prayer retreat surrounded by God's beauty and peace all around us?
As wonderful as that may seem, that is not the reality of our every day busy lives.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 the Bible tells us to-
Rejoice always...pray continually.....give thanks in all circumstances...for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

For me, it means having an attitude of prayer, where my thoughts become my prayers, with a combination of gratitude and concern, in my everyday life. When someone comes to mind, I pray for them, right then and there.  I don't wait for my personal quiet time with God to pray. I might be in the kitchen, driving or sorting through the mail.  What does prayer look like for you? How do you pray?

We all need to know that we can turn to God at any time for any reason and bring our joys and sorrows to him for he truly does care. But it is also good to have a community of trusted friends and family around us that we can go to and ask to pray for us, especially when we hardly know how to pray for ourselves because of difficult circumstances. I feel extremely blessed to have this kind of community, in my church, my trusted friends, and with my Mennonite Girls, who are my spiritual sisters.

Do you need that kind of supportive community? Tell us, how can we pray for you? You don't need to leave your name if you are not comfortable doing that, the Lord knows who you are. Let us know, if are you hurting today, what are you thankful for today? We are committed to praying for you. Lifting your concerns up to the Lord, and laying them at his feet, and also rejoicing with you in the good times of your life.
In closing I would like offer a prayer for you paraphrased from Ephesians 3 

......I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator, of everything in heaven and earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources that he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your heart as you trust in him. May your roots grow deep into God's love and keep you strong. May you be able to fully understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is for you. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to fully comprehend. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Glory to God who is able, through his mighty power at work with in you to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or dare dream of. Glory to him in Christ Jesus......forever and ever, Amen.



58 comments:

  1. Today I miss my Mom. I think of her often, sometimes more than others. A few days before she passed, she told my sister to pack her bag, she was going on a trip. I asked her who she was going with. She said Mother and dad were waiting. I asked her where was she going. She said to Paradise. It's been 6 years and at times the hole in my heart feels huge, today is one of them. I am grateful for the time I had with her, and am grateful for my wonderful children. They showed that in a crisis, even through their own pain, they came through and stood together with me after their father passed away 16 years ago this month. Two gentle people who gave unconditional love. thank you for your prayers.
    Sylvia

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    1. Sylvia, Thank you for sharing your heartache and your longing. To lose a parent is so hard no matter how old we are. I find that I miss my parents especially on days where there is something I would love to share with them. That hole never seems to quite go away.
      Praying for you today that you will sense God's nearness in the midst of your loneliness for your mom.
      Blessings...
      Lovella

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    2. Thank you Lovella.
      Sylvia

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  2. Today I have joys and concerns in my heart. First the joys- my husband and I have finally found a house in a wonderful neighborhood and our current house is in contract to sell. We have tried to sell it for over three years, so this is a tremendous blessing. Our family has been incredibly supportive and has been there for us every second of this up and down adventure. Now the concerns - our current home is being appraised tomorrow and I am terrified it will not appraise for the selling price. I know this sounds like a trivial concern in the grand scheme of things, but we have waited so long for this move. My emotions are all over the board everyday and I just want this whole process of buying and selling to be over. I ask for prayers to help my husband, children and myself through this stressful time and that we are finally able to move. Thank you for your prayers.

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    1. Heather, What an exciting time in your home. Moving house is a time filled with anticipation and yet is still so stressful. I will pray that your current homes appraisal will be such that it will sell. God knows all this and you can be sure that he has a plan for you life.
      Praying for you and your husband and your children that you will find joy even during this process.
      Blessings...
      Lovella

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    1. Thank you Cheryl. I pray that your day will be filled with gentle reminders of God's love for you.

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  4. I really appreciate reading your posts, they are always full of such wisdom.
    My family would appreciate your prayers. My husband is a Methodist Minister in the UK and on Thursday we will find out where our new posting will be. In July we will probably be moving a considerable distance from where we live and by then both daughters will be away at University. It will be a time of great change and therefore quite daunting.
    Please pray for:
    the church leaders making the decisions this week,
    our family during the period of uncertainty,
    and an open mind to what God has in store for us.
    Many thanks
    Sheridan (UK)

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    1. Devonmade, Moving at the best of times is stressful, but the unknown certainly adds more stress, and understandably be a daunting task. I will pray for you and your husband that the church leaders, lead with wisdom for this new direction and that he is lead exactly where God needs him to be. As a mother, my heart understands your deep desire not wanting to be far from your children. I pray that distance won't separate the love and closeness that you share. Could you please come back to this comment and let us know what happens? I would appreciate that, but in the meantime, I will pray for your request daily.

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  5. For devonmade - I am a Methodist praying at present for several people I know who are awaiting their first stationing, so I will add you and your family to my prayers.

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    1. Thank you Morgan...God's people everywhere standing together in prayer. What a beautiful community!

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    2. Thankyou all, I will keep you posted.

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    3. Thankyou so much for all your prayers- we have felt them so keenly over the last few days. We were matched with a Church in Liskeard, Cornwall on Thursday, visited yesterday, and confirmed this morning. What a blessing it is to be part of God's worldwide family.

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    4. Devonmade, is that close to your family? Thank you for letting us know, and I pray that you will be happy ministering in that community.

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    5. We will be around an hour away from our parents - just right.

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  6. Lovella, Our churches are hurting, we have made the decision to transition from a three-point charge into one congregation. We have many open and loving hearts, but there is also suffering... One couple is adamantly opposed to this amalgamation, and the wife, in particular, has been very mean and nasty, striking out with her words to be hurtful to our minister and to the oldest congregation of the charge. I have prayed for their hearts to soften, and for their eyes to be opened to the love that surrounds all of us as we embark on the next step of our journey together. Our minister has tearfully expressed her grief, and the lack of support she feels, as she is invested wholly with our congregations. The woman I mentioned is, unfortunately, the chair of the Ministry & Personnel committee (among other roles)- so our dear minister is faced with this hostility at every turn. Please pray for Anja- that she may feel the sure foundation of our faith, and the love of her congregants, and that we may all open our hearts and join together in unity.
    Thank you, and may He richly bless all of you who are reading this post. God is good, and His wisdom endures forever.
    Brenda
    Please add

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    1. Dear Brenda, My heart goes out to you and your hurting churches. The enemy works so hard to bring strife into congregations where God's Word is being proclaimed.
      Father, I lift up Brenda and her hurting churches to you. You are sovereign and there is nothing there that you do not see. I ask that you speak into the hearts of those that are causing this hurt. I pray for unity and for insight in the committee.
      Psalm 31:7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

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  7. I am thankful for everything that I have, my faith in God, my family, friends and a job I enjoy. My family is suffering though, my children are all going through tough times and my brother in law has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I have constantly been praying for my brother in law and it seems things are getting better slowly. I would appreciate any prayers for my children and brother in law. Thank you God for this site and for all you have done for me in my life. Amen.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. You have a thankful heart that is precious to God. He hears your thanks and praise along with the cries of your heart for those you love and care for. I pray that God will protect your children day by day and that they will choose the pathway that God has for them. I also pray for your brother in law who has cancer. May he feel the nearness of God's tender care and love for him in these difficult days. You are a wonderful support to your family. I pray too that God will give you all you need for each day and each circumstance. I will continue to pray for you this week. The family of God is a gift. Kathy

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  8. Please pray for my family-my husband in particular. He has been a farmer for all of his life and is now facing a career change at age 51. We have recently had numerous things happen in our life that have made things very difficult financially. We are currently in a desperate situation. He has to look for a new job and so far nothing is coming our way. We have two small children and a teenager and things are taking its toll on us. I appreciate in advance, being uplifted in prayer.

    Yours truly,

    Lori

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    1. Lori, My heart goes out to you in your situation. It is so hard to face uncertainty when we really don't know what God's plans are for us. God is able to do much more than we could ask or think. I think of the verse found in John14:27 that speaks of peace while you wait. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
      Praying that God will guide you this coming week.
      Lovella

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  9. I pray that you keep up with your daily messages--they always give me a warm feeling & reasons to continue to believe!!! Thank you!!!

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    1. Anonymous, thank you for encouragement.
      I pray that the Son shine on you warming each day, even when the shadows appear.

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  10. Please pray for our upcoming special needs adoption from China. We are so excited to have this little one coming into our home. We have very little support from our extended family and the words they have said often sting. I am also recovering from knee surgery but am struggling with straightening my leg to walk in correct form.

    Thank You
    Lisa S.

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    1. Lisa, my heart yearns for you to hold this special little one close to your heart ! I pray that God open all the doors wide, provide all you need and give you grace, flavour and support from your extended family! I pray this little one will humble their hesitancy when they see the gift he/she is !

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  11. I am thankful for my gift, family and life. I pray for God's direction for my purpose and to feel true happiness.

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    1. Dear Anonymous ...

      He sees your heart and will surely guide you in the way you should go. Prayer is the most important first . . . and ongoing step to knowing or finding the place He has for you. Thank you for sharing such a genuine prayer that many can probably relate to.

      I pray Numbers 6: 24-26 for you:
      "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenancec upon you and give you peace."

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    2. Anonymous, I sense that you are a person who is grateful for God's goodness in your life and for your family But you are not alone in having a desire that we all have. It is the desire to have true joy as we fulfill the purpose in our life that God has for us. Life my dear is a journey, (ya ya I know. How many times have we heard that line, me included? But it is true). I will pray that you will have that ability to FEEL true joy, as you take life one step at a time, with God by your side,living with purpose for a purpose being mindful and thankful in each day. I would like to leave you this verse for the week it comes from Habakkuk 3:18
      New Living Translation (NLT)
      18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
      I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

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    3. I truly want to thank you for your encouragement and speaking words into my life. I trust God has a plan for me. I know that right now is hard but God is forming me into something. I pray for patience and understanding as I go through this journey. I also pray for God's blessing to allow me to stop being so hard on myself in the process. Thanks again!

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  12. Please pray for both my health (cancer survivor of 4 years, still having treatment), my husband's health (severe stroke) and for our son's safety while he works in Russia. We have no close family and sometimes feel 'adrift'. However, I praise GOD that we have options and he has provided them for us...and things could be so much worse. Just pray we will feel less stressed and anxious and cast all our cares upon HIM and that he will feel so close to us. Thank you for this opportunity.
    Dee

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    1. Dear Lord,
      Please cover Dee and her husband with your special care and provision. May they sense your loving hand on them and help them feel connected to you and your family. Help them to be anxious for nothing but to bring all their requests to your throne. Bless them with your peace, dear Lord. Please protect their son from evil while he works in Russia. Keep him safe.
      In Jesus name I pray...ellen b.

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    2. Dee, oh how I wish that I could sit with you, hold your hand, pray with you in person and give you a big hug. You indeed are facing difficult, difficult and trying circumstances, and there are no words that can take all that stress and anxiety away. You are a woman of faith and look to the Lord for comfort, that is clear. As I was sitting here and praying for you, I asked that the Lord give me direction on how to respond to this, all I could hear was his gentle voice saying...Be still and know that I am God....."Be" "still". Dee, what does that look like for you, To be still and know? It is difficult to be still when we feel anxious. It is difficult to know when the future is unknown to us.
      What we do know is that the bible tells us that we will never be forsaken or forgotten, and that asked to trust Him, the creator and giver of life...trust him. Not only for your own life but that of your husband and son as well. I am the first to admit that trust is not an easy task. I will keep you in my prayers daily all week. Come back to this comment and let us know how you are doing, please. God cares, and so do we.

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  13. I want to share a very grateful heart. I have been alone for many years now, flitting between several boyfriends (?) who used me and I allowed it due to the loneliness. I kept hearing God tell me to wait, be silent and know He is God. I finally followed in obedience. What a difference! Since then, God has sent a wonderful Christian man into my life, one who loves god and worships with me. He leads my small family (I am adopting my grandson who lives with me) and is kind and caring and loving. Our relationship is God-centered and God inspired. I love this man with all my heart and I am so grateful for God bringing him into my life and showing me His grace and Love for me. Thank you Lord Jesus
    I also want to say I am very thankful for your posts throughout the year. I have found such inspiration and wonderful ideas/recipes. I am so glad I found you and love following you! Thank you for all you do!

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    1. Lord, we join Carol in her gratefulness to you for your grace and love in her life. Thank you for leading her to obedience to you and thank you for this kind Christian man you have brought into her life. Lead and guide them in their relationship.
      Amen,

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  14. What a beautiful way to end my day....reading with tears in my eyes the posts and prayerful responses to the needs presented here. Charlotte, thank you for blessing us with your devotional today, and giving us the opportunity to share in the needs of others. May we continue to hold up these precious people in our prayers.

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    1. Thank you Elaine. This verse came to mind for you today....
      Zephaniah 3:17
      New Life Version (NLV)
      The Lord your God is with you, a Powerful One Who wins the battle. He will have much joy over you. With His love He will give you new life. He will have joy over you with loud singing.

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    2. Thank you for the last text. It brought tears to my eyes. I know that my life is full of spiritual battles. I have 5 kids from 17 yrs. down to 23 months. My only wish is for them to make the right choices to have a relationship with Jesus and eternal life. Their dad stands in direct opposition to everything I try to do and works very hard to pull them away. I have given my children to God from birth and now He is the one to fight the battle.

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    3. Anonymous, I can't imagine how painful that must be for you to have your children's father go against what you are teaching them. My heart goes out to you. I will pray for strength and courage for you to continue on in doing what you believe is right.(((((BIG HUG))))) to you.

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    4. Anonymous... know that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
      I want to encourage you to keep praying and loving your family. Pray for your husband. As hard as it is...keep on loving. They may choose the other side of the fence as it may look greener, but eventually they will see the truth. Don't give up. God loves your family even more than you do and is able to work in ways we cannot imagine.

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  15. I love your blog! I am a missionary in Africa, serving in Namibia with my husband and three children. It has been the desire of my heart to adopt a child for the past five years. I can't tell you the hours of prayer that have gone into this! It appears that we could be close to God opening that door, but we have thought that before. Please pray that God's will be done and that no power would stand in the way of the Lord bringing the right child into our family. Thank you!

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    1. In church today, Jeff Moore who works with Compassion Int'l, shared of how his wife wanted to adopt. She wnated him to pray about it and he said he would pray that she would change her mind. She prayed his heart would change. They adopted and he is so excited about the two girls they've adopted. There is so much to consider in this whole process, but if the Lord has given you the desire, He will also take care of the details as you commit them to Him. I pray that the child He brings into your family will be one that will allow you to have many "Aha" moments of realizing He brought you together. May God bless you in this decision. I have two verses for you ...
      Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

      Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

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  16. Thank you. Psalm 37:4 is perhaps the verse I have clung to more than any other through this LONG wait. Our prayer has always been that through this, God would be glorified and all would point back to His power and sovereignty. Thank you. Can't wait to see what He is going to do!

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  17. Thank you so very much for your ministry. The prayer is wonderful, and I will pray it for my children. I am so grateful for my husband and children. I have a daughter transitioning into her adult life, newly married and graduated from medical school. I also have a son who is sitting in jail right now after a series of crimes related to his addiction. The addiction has ruled his life for 4 years and we are so devastated. Our third child is with the Lord after a courageous battle with cancer. And our youngest keeps my husband and I from despair.
    I am so thankful for your blog and your inspiration. Please pray for my son, and family, major decisions will be made this week and we need the Lord to help us. And I will continue to pray for your ministry. Thank you.

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    1. Sorry - as I was trying to say, and bungled, my friend's son also did some time relating to his addiction, and is now a committed Christian with a good job and 'safe' friends. I pray for his continued commitment whenever I remember him. I'll pray for your son at the same time now, if that's okay.

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    2. Mom of a Dr., a child who is struggling and searching,now living the consequence of harmful choices, a child in heaven and a child that is a source of joy....you have had such a variety of experiences, both joyous and painful experiences.
      Lord I pray that you give her the strength she need to face each day.
      Enough joy to out weigh your sorrow, and most of all hope, in you, in new beginnings and restoration for her son, for the children that are doing well, that they may love and serve you in their own lives. Lord also for her hurting heart and grieving heart, bring her peace that passes all understanding. I pray this in your glorious name, Amen.

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    3. Thank you Student Mommy and Thank you Charlotte. Your prayers are so kind and so appreciated. May your work continue to bless us all, and you. In His name, DMS

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    1. Thank you for encouraging her. That is praise worthy news to share, Student Mommy. May your day also be filled with God's grace and mercy for that is fresh and new each day!

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  19. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I subscribe to this beautiful site. Thank you for not only such delicious sites but for your even more welcoming hearts. I am so grateful.

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    1. Preserving Beauty, thank you for your kind words. God bless you abundantly as you put your confidence in him.

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  20. Thank you for your offer to pray. My son, 22. has been making poor decisions since he was 15. He left school and works part time in a dead end job, lives at home and spends every free moment with video games. He does not believe in God or religion. We have offered him so many opportunities but he turns away or doesn't try or fails on purpose. In the course of his behavior, the church where he was raised (where his dad and I were very active), showed us their true colors. They did not support him or us, his family. Programs in the church were more important than one teenager in crisis. Our family moved 2 years ago and I have not found a new church that didn't seem as shallow as our original church. I have become jaded, I know. I miss the church but the sting of being abandoned when we really needed help has affected how I see the church at large. So as my son has turned away from participating in life and from the opportunities that we offer him, I have turned away from the church. I am still a Christian but I have become cynical about church, I do not want to be this way. Please help me pray for my son to have his eyes opened to God and this beautiful world and the opportunities my son can have if he participates in life. Please also pray that I can find a church home that is more about social events, and that I can learn to appreciate God's blessings again.

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    1. Dear Anonymous...Your concerns have indeed been heard, not only by me, but by the Lord as well. Your story is sadly a familiar story to many parents. I want to be very careful here, not to give you "advice" but encouragement. Christians can disappoint one another, I am so sorry that this was your experience. It is difficult to imagine that the Lord can work this all for good in our lives, but I believe this to be true, in his time and not our own. We believe in a God of hope, healing and restoration. Please don't give up, ask God what it is that he wants to teach you personally through all this, and I will pray for a new, supportive and loving Christian community for you in a church that even your son will feel welcome and wanted. May the God of hope be your source of strength and encouragement.

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  21. I'll also be praying for you - it is heartbreaking when a child chooses to turn his back on God and when you see them not using the talents and abilities God has blessed them with. I too know how a church can fail us - We may be God's people but we are all still vulnerable to sin and lack of zeal. I'll be praying that God brings people into your life and into your son's life who will guide you both in your search for Spiritual renewal.

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  22. Hi,
    Thank you for your offer of prayer. My request would be that my husband and I spend more time in prayer and just being with God. Also that we develop healthy, nurturing relationships. Thanks so much and God bless you.
    Jean

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    1. Happy to pray for that kind of family nurture. It is always so good to be spending time in prayer as a family. May you be blessed as a family spending time on what matters....relationships.

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  23. Thank you for your blog. I was drawn to it for the recipes, but have come to really enjoy your Bread for the Journey posts. Please pray for my daughter who is newly pregnant and has a bicornate, or heart-shaped, uterus. There may be some difficulties because of this. Please also pray for the baby, and for me, that I will have the strength and wisdom to support her with the right words and comfort. Thank you. God bless you!

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  24. Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry that your daughter has to go through such anxious times. This is one of those times that all we can do is lean on God's comfort, and guidance. May he grant you the words of wisdom and encouragement that you desire to help your daughter through this. Praying for God's peace in this time in your life.

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