Prayer Requests

Members of the Prayer Chain, a confidential ministry, seek to lift the prayer requests of the congregation to God throughout the week. If you are interested in joining the Prayer Chain, please email Donna Fenwick.

Send a prayer request by filling out the form.

Prayer Request Form

Send a prayer request by filling out the form.









Care Cards

We face many challenges in our spiritual walks. Below is information, scriptures, prayers, and resources for varying times of need.

If you would like to speak to someone, please call the main church number at 972-380-8001. For after-hours emergencies, please follow the prompts to reach the answering service. A pastor is on-call.

Abuse
Information

When you ask God the "Why" question, recognize that in God's giving human beings the power/freedom of choice, there is the great potential for good, but there is also the tragic and horrific possibility for evil.

Talk out loud with a trusted confidant about your feelings. Be honest about all your feelings. Working through how you will choose to respond to those feelings is important.

Scriptures

Luke 13:10-17 — Jesus heals woman who has suffered 18 years of pain.

Matthew 11:28-30 — Jesus will give rest to those who are weary.

Romans 8 — Life through the Spirit. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Isaiah 43:1-5 — Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you.

Matthew 6:9-15 — The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 18:21-35 — Forgiveness.

Prayer

Lord, give me the grace to be honest: honest about my pain, honest about my feelings, honest about my anger and honest about my questions. Will You lead me, God, to trusted friends, pastors and counselors who can help me to do this? God, give me a conscious awareness of your never-absent presence and remind me that I am a beloved child of yours. Help me to remember I am worthy of your love. In the name and by the love of Jesus Christ I pray this. Amen

Suggested Reading

Keeping the Faith: Guidance for Christian Women Facing Abuse by Rev. Marie Fortune (HarperCollins, 1995)

Violence in Families: What Every Christian Needs to Know by Rev. Al Miles (Augsburg Books, 2002)

Sexual Assault: Will I Ever Feel Okay Again? by Kay Scott (Bethany House, 1993)

How Then Shall We Live by Wayne Mueller (Bantam Books, 1996)

Helping Victims of Sexual Abuse by Lynn Heitritter & Jeanette Vought (Bethany House, 2006)

Disappointment with God by Phillip Yancey (Zondervan, 1988)

Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline — 1-800-799-SAFE, ndvh.org

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence — 1-800-537-2238, nrcdv.org

Faith Trust Institute — faithtrustinstitute.org

The RAVE Project (Religion and Violence e-Learning) — theraveproject.org

Addiction
Information

There is a need for the person to have the will to recover. The addict’s ownership of the problem and intention to begin to recover has to come first.

Acknowledge the dependence on alcohol or drugs.

The addiction has a purpose of protecting or taking care of wounding underneath. There are people to walk alongside on this journey.

You have the ability to have a new life.

Scriptures

Romans 7:15-20 — Struggling with sin while desiring to do good.

Romans 12:1 — Offer your body as a living sacrifice.

Lamentations 3:40 — Examine our ways and return to the Lord.

James 4:10 —God will lift you up.

1 John 1:9 — Forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 8:28 — God works for the good of those who love God.

Matthew 11:28-30 — Jesus will give rest to the weary.

1 John 5:14-15 — God hears us when we ask.

Philippians 3:12-16 — Forgetting what is behind and pressing on toward the goal.

Suggested Reading

Intervention: How to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help by Vernon Johnson (Hazelden, 1986)

Life’s Healing Choices: Freedom from Your Hurts, Hang-ups and Habits by John Baker (Howard, 2007)

Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope and Recovery by Beverly Conyers (Hazelden, 2003)

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie (Hazelden, 1986)

The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book [4th Edition] by AA Services (AA World Services, 2002)

Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous — aa.org

Narcotics Anonymous — na.org

Al Anon — Offering strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers. al-anon.alateen.org

Anger

Anger is a symptom that points to some hurt in your life.

To find healing for that anger:

Step 1: When you get angry, ask “Why does this of all things make me so angry?”

Step 2: Follow that question until you find the wound that you tend to lock up.

Step 3: Ask Jesus in prayer to heal that pain.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment with a pastor and possibly a therapist to talk about it.

Step 5: The goal is not to erase the hurt, but to recognize it and find better ways of finding healing for it than getting angry.

Counting to ten or giving space to oneself can be helpful when enraged.

Scriptures

James 1:19 — Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Ephesians 4:29-32 — Put away bitterness, wrath and anger. Forgive as Christ forgave you.

Hebrews 12:14-15 — Make every effort to live in peace with all, see that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble.

Prayer

Savior Jesus, my anger has not provided the healing, respect, and intimacy that I want. Forgive me for the ways that I have hurt others. I place the hurt that is causing my anger in your hands. Heal me Lord Jesus. I need you. Amen.

Suggested Reading

The Angry Book by Theodore Rubin (Touchstone, 1998)

Anger by Gary Chapman (Northfield, 2007)

The Art of Forgiving by Lewis Smedes (Ballantine, 1997)

Anxiety
Information

Listen to the anxiety — What is the root cause? What wisdom and instruction is important to me?

Fear differs from anxiety. Legitimate fears have an object, but obsessive worry can cause unhealthy anxiety.

Believe you are a child of God and that you are loved.

Scriptures

Philippians 4:4-6 — Peace passing understanding.

Matthew 6:25-34 — Do not worry.

Genesis 1:31 — God saw all that he had made and it was very good.

Isaiah 43:1-5 — Do not fear, for I have redeemed you: I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.

1 Peter 5:7-11 — Cast all your anxiety on God; God cares for you.

Ephesians 3:20 — God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.

1 John 4:16-21 — There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

Romans 8:26-28 — Nothing separates us from the love of God.

Proverbs 3:5-6 — Trust in the Lord and not on your own understanding

Prayer

The Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Embracing the Fear: Learning to Manage Anxiety and Panic Attacks by Judith Bemis and AMR Barrada (Hazelden, 1994)

Fearless Relationships: Simple Rules for Lifelong Contentment by Karen Casey (Hazelden, 2003)

Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God by Patricia D. Brown (Jossey-Bass, 2003)

Resources

National Anxiety Foundation — 859-281-0003

Tools for coping with life’s stressors — coping.org

Christian help for anxiety, panic and fear — overcomepanic.com

 

Caregiving
Information

At some point, each of us will be called upon to be involved in the care for an aging family member. Rosalynn Carter once said, “there are only four kinds of people in the world — those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.“ (From And Thou Shalt Honor).

It’s a very difficult job, yet is filled with joy in knowing that we are reaching out with love, mercy and compassion to others in need.

Scriptures

Colossians 3: 23-24 — Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart and you will receive an inheritance from the Lord.

Matthew 25: 31-40 — Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.

1 Corinthians 15:58 — Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.

Hebrews 6:10 — God will not forget your work as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Psalm 119:105 — Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Philippians 4:11 — Content with whatever the circumstances.

Deuteronomy 31:8 — The Lord goes before you and will be with you.

Psalm 121 — My help comes from the Lord.

John 16:33 — You may have peace in this world.

Psalm 46 — God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.

Psalm 27:4-5 — Dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Caregiving

Exodus 20:12 — Honor your mother and father.

Matthew 7:7-8 — Ask, seek, knock.

Psalm 55:22 — Cast your cares on the Lord.

Isaiah 35:3-4 — Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees; be strong and do not fear.

Prayer

Gracious, Holy God, you have called me to this task for such a time as this, to enter into this caregiving journey with my loved one. Lord, it’s not easy when the work of the day extends to all twenty four hours, when I wonder if I’ll ever rest again. Lord, strengthen me for what lies ahead. I’m often afraid it will never end, and at the same time I’m afraid it will. Give me peace and rest; courage and compassion. Lord, I pray for others who are helping me. May they feel blessed in this time and not feel burdened. I pray for my loved one who is experiencing this dependence on my care. May they know that you are with them, your Holy Spirit is surrounding them, and your peace that passes all understanding. In Christ I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

The Caregiver’s Survival Handbook by Alexis Abramson (Berkley, 2004).

124 Prayers for Caregivers by J. Guntzelman ( Ligouri, 2003)

The 36-Hour Day. By Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981)

Resources

The Alzheimer’s Association — alz.org

Area Agencies on Aging — Web search "Area Agency on Aging" along with your county.

Chronic Illness
Information

Focus on the treatment opportunities.

Find joy in the adversity when possible.

Love the physical part of me that carries the cancer or other chronic illness. Take care of it.

For supporters, be with them where they are — whether in pain or in encouragement.

Scriptures

James 5:13-15 — Anointing of oil.

Psalm 121 — My help comes from the Lord; the Lord will watch over you.

Isaiah 43:1-7 — I have called you by name and you are mine. When you walk through the waters, I will be with you.

Lamentations 3:32 — Great is God’s unfailing love.

Psalm 63:8 — Your right hand upholds me.

2 Corinthians 4:8 — Hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair.

Hebrews 12:2 — Fix your eyes upon Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 — I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

1 Peter 5:7 — Cast all your anxiety on God; God cares for you.

Prayer

Lord, you said that when we walk through the water, you will be with us; we are precious in your sight and you love us. In this time of health trial and adversity, I need your presence more than ever. Lord, some days I feel hard pressed on every side, but with you at my side I do not feel crushed. Struck down at times, but not destroyed. This disease makes me feel like I don’t have any control. Lord, give me strength and courage, hold me in the palm of your hand, and give me peace. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2004)

Jesus Lives by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2009)

Looking Up While Lying Down by J. E. Biegert (Pilgrim Press, 2004)

The Will of God by Leslie Weatherhead (Abingdon Press, 1999)

What About Divine Healing? by Susan Sonnenday Vogel (Abingdon Press, 2004)

dEath of a Child
Information

Recognize that you are experiencing pain and heartache that is unique. You have lost a child; but as traumatic as that is, you have also experienced the sudden shattering of hopes and dreams for a love that you have been anticipating for a long time.

Recognize that fathers and mothers may feel very similar pain and expressions of grief BUT they may also have very different and (seemingly) extreme variance of emotion and feelings—know that this is normal.

Talk out loud with a trusted confidant (or journal) the feelings you’re experiencing.

Know that you are not alone in this incredible trauma and seek all means to find those who have walked this road, who will listen and share openly with you about their own journey.

Recognize God’s heart breaks with yours and resist any notion or suggestion that the loss of your child—in any way—fits within the plan and will of God.

The message of Easter does directly speak to your pain. For in Easter—in Resurrection—God has forever overpowered death with eternal life. Death DOES NOT get the last word in your child’s life!

Scriptures

Psalm 23 — The Lord is my shepherd; when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Isaiah 43:1-3 — Do not fear for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are mine.

Romans 8 — Nothing separates us from the love of God.

1 Corinthians 15 — The Hope of the Resurrection.

John 14:1-7 — Jesus goes to prepare a place for you.

Revelation 21 — A vision of the new heaven and the new earth.

Prayer

Lord be to me what you promise in Psalm 23. I need your grace and strength in order to want to move forward; I need the faith to believe you. I am angry with you. But I also need the ability that you alone can give to know that my child is in your eternal care. Lord, help me be honest about my feelings and keep me from the tendency to choose bitterness and resentment. Give me the grace to take one day at a time and commit each feeling to you. Heal my pain and give me the grace, patience and faith to trust in you for however long that takes. Help me to choose forgiveness wherever it’s needed. Above all, own me with the promise of the Resurrection and salvation’s gift that one day I will hold and live with my child in you…eternally. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff (Eerdmans, 1987)

And Then Mark Died by Susan Sonnenday Vogel (Abingdon Press, 1999)

Life After the Death of My Son by Dennis Apple (Beacon Hill, 2008)

Healing after Loss: Daily Meditations for Working through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman (Harper, 1999)

The Will of God by Leslie Weatherhead (Abingdon Press, 1999)

Resources

Daily Emails — griefshare.org

Depression
Information

Listen to understand the message of the depression. It’s trying to tell you something.

It is very important to break the cycle of the negative rumination that is part of depression.

Helpful tools to combat depression: Exercise, Omega-3s, Sunshine, Social Activity, Sleep and Diet.

Scriptures

Jeremiah 29:11 — I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Proverbs 2:3-5 — Cry out for insight and for understanding.

Psalm 13:1-3 — How long will you hide your face? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and sorrow in my heart?

Psalm 34:18 — The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 56 — In God I trust, I will not be afraid.

Philippians 4:13-14 — I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

Job 19:7-10 — Job’s depression.

Luke 1:13 — Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard.

Isaiah 43:1-2, 5, 18-19 — When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; Do not be afraid for I am with you.

Suggested Reading

The Depression Cure by Dr. Steven Ilardi (De Capo Lifelong Books, 2010)

Reaching for the Invisible God by Philip Yancey (Zondervan, 2002)

The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Les Carter and Frank Minirth (Thomas Nelson, 1995)

The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression by Mary Ellen Copeland (New Harbinger, 2001)

I Don’t Want to Talk about It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real (Scribner, 1998)

When Someone You Love Suffers from Depression or Mental Illness: Daily Encouragement by Cecil Murphey (Beacon Hill, 2004)

Resources

Mental Health Questions — Godtest.com

The Burns Depression Checklist — suicideforum.com/bdc/index.html

Divorce
Information

Divorce is a painful split. Dating immediately following a divorce can stifle the healing you need as you try to find healing in another person.

You will need to eventually forgive, for your sake. Forgiveness blesses you as you release the control the ex-spouse has over your feelings.

Parents: During a divorce, do not parentify your kids of all ages, treating them as your caregiver (parent) or as your best buddy instead of your kids. Make space for your kids of all ages to share their pain even if their pain causes you hurt or guilt. They need you.

Scriptures

Philippians 3:12-15 — Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Genesis 1:31 — Your worth is not tied to your marital status. At your creation, God called you “very good.”

Luke 7: 36-50 — Jesus forgives a woman in the city.

Luke 13:10-17 — Jesus heals a bent over woman.

Luke 18:35-43 — Jesus heals a blind beggar.

Prayer

God of infinite love and understanding, pour out your healing. Where there is hurt or bitterness, grant healing of memories and the ability to put behind the things that are past. Where feelings of despair or worthlessness flood in, nurture the spirit of hope and confidence that by your grace tomorrow can be better than yesterday. Where I look within and discover faults that have contributed to the destruction of my marriage and have hurt other people, grant forgiveness for what is past and growth in all that makes for new life. In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Radical Recovery: Transforming the Despair of Your Divorce Into an Unexpected Good by Suzy Brown (Acu/Lefwood, 2007)

28 Days of Prayer by Mary Redding (Upper Room, 2014)

The Land Between by Jeff Manion (Zondervan, 2010)

Eating Disorder
Information

Explore the relationship of control in your life.

Admitting there is a problem is the first step. Treatment is the second step.

Who is your support system?

Scriptures

Psalm 55:22 — Cast your burden on the Lord.

Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Psalm 46:1-3, 10 — God is our refuge and strength.

Matthew 6:34 — Do not worry about tomorrow.

1 Corinthians 16:13 — Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

Romans 12:2 — Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.

Prayer

O God, help me to see myself the way you see me. Guide me on this journey so that I may have great healing and health all the days of my life. In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia by Harriet Brown (William Morrow, 2010)

Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won’t Tell You by Michelle Graham (IVP Books, 2005)

Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating by Gregory Jantz (WaterBrook Press, 2010)

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lysa TerKeurst (Zondervan, 2010)

For teens:

Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot by Annie F. Downs (Zondervan, 2012)

More than Skin Deep: A Guide to Self & Soul by Crystal Kirgiss (Zondervan, 2011)

Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better about Your Body by Jill Zimmerman Rutledge (Health Communications, 2007)

Made to Crave for Young Women: Satisfying Your Deepest Desires with God by Lysa TerKeurst (ZonderKidz, 2012)

For tweens (ages 9-12):

Body Talk by Nancy Rue (ZonderKidz, 2007)

Employment and Financial Support
Information

In today’s job market, many individuals find themselves underemployed or unemployed. Many experience low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, or feel lost with no direction. Several face the struggle of making ends meet financially.

Most need some type of emotional and spiritual support.

At. St. Andrew, we invite those seeking jobs or career change to attend our Career Care program [NEED ANCHORED LINK TO CAREER CARE ON SUPPORT PAGE].

Scriptures

Psalm 56 — In God I trust, I will not be afraid.

Proverbs 2:3-5 —Cry out for insight and for understanding.

Luke 1:13 —Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard.

Isaiah 43:1-2, 5, 18-19 —When you pass through these waters, I will be with you; Do not be afraid for I am with you.

Prayer

Gracious God, I turn to you seeking your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment. I need your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in this quest. I wish to use the gifts and talents you have given me, but I need to do so with gainful employment. Do not abandon me in this search, but rather grant me this favor I seek so that I may return to you with praise and thanksgiving for your gracious assistance. Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Resources

St. Andrew Career Care [NEED ANCHORED LINK TO CAREER CARE ON SUPPORT PAGE] offers free support, coaching, networking, and training toward finding employment or career change.

Facing Death: For Parents and Families
Scriptures

Psalm 23 — I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Psalm 62:8 — God is our refuge.

Matthew 11:28 — Come who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.

Psalm 130 — Psalm of Lament.

Isaiah 40:28-31 — Comfort my people.

Revelation 21:1-7 — Vision of life after death.

2 Corinthians 4:5-8 — Light shines out of darkness.

Ephesians 1:15-23; 2:1-10 — Hope to which God has called you.

John 14 — Promise of life after death

Prayer

Gracious God, in this time of change and challenge, fear and uncertainty, I ask that you be with me. Lord, I am assured that you prepare a place for me in heaven. Remain with me, surround me with your peace, and comfort me. Holy God, walk with me all the way through the dark valley into your glorious light. I pray for my family and friends, that you will comfort them and give them strength for this and every journey. May I be free of pain and anxiety, always lifting my eyes toward heaven where you will be waiting to welcome me home. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying by Maggie Callanan (Bantam Books, 2012)

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life by Maggie Callanan (Bantam Books, 2009)

Looking Up While Lying Down by J.E. Biegert (Pilgrim Press, 2004)

May I Walk You Home by Joyce Rupp (Ave Maria Press, 2009)

Grieving a Beginner’s Guide by Jerusha Hull McCormack (Paraclete Press, 2006)

When the One You Love is Gone by Rebekah Miles (Abingdon Press, 2012)

Lose, Love, Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change by Dan Moseley (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Resources

Caring Conversations — practicalbioethics.org

Grief
Information

Grief includes a sadness, which is unique and a natural response toward loss.

Talk out loud with a trusted confidant (or journal) the feelings you’re experiencing.

Above all, remember that through the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, we are Easter people and we are people of the Resurrection.

Scriptures

Psalm 23 — The Lord is my shepherd; when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Isaiah 43:1-3 — Do not fear for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are mine.

Romans 8 — Nothing separates us from the love of God.

1 Corinthians 15 — The Hope of the Resurrection.

John 14:1-7 — Jesus goes to prepare a place for you.

Revelation 21 — A vision of the new heaven and the new earth.

Prayer

Lord be to me what you promise in Psalm 23. I need Your grace and strength in order to want to move forward; I need the faith to believe you and I need the ability that you alone can give to release my loved one to your eternal care. Lord, help me be honest about my feelings and keep me from the tendency to choose bitterness and resentment. Give me the grace to take one day at a time and commit each feeling and memory to your eternal care. Help me to celebrate and live into the good memories without those causing me pain and help me to choose forgiveness wherever it’s needed. Above all, own me with the promise of the Resurrection and salvation’s gift of one day seeing my loved one again…eternally. Amen.

Suggested Reading

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing after the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair (Sourcebooks, 2008)

Healing after Loss: Daily Meditations for Working through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman (Harper, 1999)

The Will of God by Leslie Weatherhead Abingdon Press, 1999)

I’m Grieving As Fast As Fast As I Can: How Young Widows and Widowers Can Cope and Heal by Linda Feinberg (New Horizon, 1994)

Getting to the Other Side of Grief: Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse by Susan J. Zonnerbelt-Smeege and Robert C. De Vries (Baker, 1998)

Good Grief by Granger E. Westberg (Fortress, 2010)

When Grief Breaks Your Heart by James W. Moore (Abingdon Press, 1995)

Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff (Eerdmans, 1987)

And Then Mark Died by Susan Sonnenday Vogel (Abingdon Press, 1999)

Life After the Death of My Son by Dennis Apple (Beacon Hill, 2008)

For children:

Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia (Slack, 1982)

What’s Heaven? by Maria Shriver (St. Martin’s Press, 2007)

Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children by Doris Stickney (Pilgrim Press, 1997)

Resources

Daily Emails — griefshare.org

Grieving a Suicide
Information

The United Methodist Church believes that nothing, including suicide, can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-38).

Scriptures

John 10:28 — I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

Romans 8:38-39 — Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16 — Everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Psalm 34:18 — The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Prayer

Dear God, during this time of deep grief and bitter sorrow may I lift my eyes to you. God I pray that you may be near to me and not forsake me to feelings of despair. God of life, despite the anger that I feel because of such an unexpected loss, I desperately ask for your peace to fill my heart. I know that nothing can separate your love from us God, not even suicide. Lord, I pray that I may have a genuine confidence and hope in the promise of resurrection found in your word. Holy Spirit, come and bind up my broken heart. My hope is in you Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Why? — Adam Hamilton

Take the Dimness of My Soul Away: Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide — William A. Ritter

No Time to Say Goodbye — Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One —Carla Fine

Grieving a Suicide —Albert Y. Hsu

After Suicide — A Ray of Hope for Those Left Behind — Eleanora Betsy Ross

Infertility
Information

Today one in six couples (15%) are infertile.

Infertile women have depression scores that are basically indistinguishable from those of women with cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. The psychological toll of infertility cannot be underestimated.

Infertility is the inability to conceive after trying for 12 months.

Primary infertility is the inability to have a live birth of your first child. Secondary infertility is the inability to have a live birth of a child after having a child.

Scriptures

Romans 8:24-25 — Hope for what we do not yet have; wait with patience.

Isaiah 40:31 — Hope in the Lord, will renew your strength.

Matthew 5:4 — Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

1 Peter 5:7 — Cast your cares to God, God of all grace will restore you.

Romans 12:12 — Be joyful, patient and faithful.

Jeremiah 29:11 — Plans to give you hope and a future.

Philippians 4:6-7 — Present your requests to God, peace of God.

Prayer

Creator God, you are the giver of life. Help us to become parents. Guide us through this time. Give comfort to our hearts and hope to our souls. Help us to see you amid this time in our lives. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss by Jennifer Saake (NavPress, 2005)

When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden: Encouragement for Couples Facing Infertility by Sandra Glahn and William Cutrer (Kregel Publications, 2010)

The Infertility Companion: Hope and Help for Couples Facing Infertility by Sandra Glahn and William Cutrer (Zondervan, 2004)

Empty Womb, Aching Heart: Hope and Help for Those Struggling with Infertility by Marlo Schalesky (Bethany House, 2001)

Infidelity
Information

Stop all communication and contact with the person outside the marriage.

Be transparent with your spouse.

There is an opportunity for temptation, sin, repentance and grace.

There is a path to healing and forgiveness.

Create ground rules within the marriage.

Rebuilding trust takes time.

Scriptures

Psalm 51 — Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit.

Hebrews 12:11-12 — No discipline seems pleasant at the time.

John 8:3-11 — Go and sin no more.

Jeremiah 6:16 — Walk in the good path and find rest for your soul.

Prayer

God, with such uncertainty, it is hard to know what to believe and which way to turn. We want to trust, we want to heal, we want to move forward, but we need your guidance. Give us courage to seek after the truth, strength to endure the road ahead, and hope for the freedom that will one day come. May all of these things encourage us to be faithful, in our words, in our actions, and in our devotion to you. Amen.

Suggested Reading

After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring (Harper, 1997)

What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancey (Zondervan, 1998)

Marriage Building
Information

Examine my own “stuff” rather than focus on spouse’s contributions.

Write down all the things you love about your spouse.

View your spouse compassionately: “We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Helpful Practices: Come to church together. Pray before meals together. Honor each other by listening to the other. Plan date night. Bless your spouse one time per day without expectation.

Scriptures

Genesis 2:18, 21-25 — God created a helper, the origin of marriage.

Philippians 4:8-11 — Think about what is true, honorable and worthy of praise.

Colossians 3:12-17 — Bear with one another; forgive one another.

Hebrews 12:12-15 — Do not let a root of bitterness grow between you.

Prayer

Lord God, we very much desire to keep the vows we made before you to remain together until we are parted by death. But we are in a season when that doesn’t seem easy. We value the life we have made together and want it to be better than it is. Remind me to look for the good in my partner and to be honest about my shortcomings. We ask your help in making us better people and a better couple. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Love to Stay : Sex, Grace and Commitment by Adam Hamilton (Abingdon Press, 2013)

Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (Zondervan, 2002)

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Northfield Press, 2010)

His Needs, Her Needs By Willard F. Harley Jr. (Revell, 2001)

How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie Vernick (Water Brook, 2009)

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch, Ph.D. (Norton, 2009)

The Love Dare by Steven and Alex Kendrick (B& H Books, 2008)

Miscarriage
Information

Miscarriage is losing a fetus before it is able to survive independently, usually anytime prior to 28 weeks.

Recognize that fathers and mothers may feel very similar pain and expressions of grief BUT they may also have very different and (seemingly) extreme emotions.

Scriptures

Romans 8:24-25 — Hope for what we do not yet have.

Isaiah 40:31 — Hope in the Lord, will renew your strength.

Matthew 5:4 — Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

1 Peter 5:7 — Cast your cares to God, God of all grace will restore you.

Romans 12:12 — Be joyful, patient and faithful.

Jeremiah 29:11 — Plans to give you hope and a future.

Philippians 4:6-7 — Present your requests to God, peace of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 — God consoles us in our affliction.

Prayer

Lifegiving God, we do not understand why this life which we had hoped to bring into this world is now gone from us. We only know that where there was sweet expectation, now there is bitter disappointment; where there were hope and excitement, there was a sense of failure and loss. We have seen how fragile life is and nothing can replace this life, this child, whom we have loved before seeing, before feeling it stirring in the womb. In our pain and confusion we look to you O Lord in whom no life is without meaning. Give us your compassion. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss by Jennifer Saake (NavPress, 2005)

Parenting
Information

Spend time playing and talking with kids/teenagers. This allows the needed discipline for your child/teen to be based on a foundation of love.

You are the parent, not their buddy.

Boundaries set expectations for ways you will be treated as parent and they will be treated as child. Discipline is used best to enforce those boundaries.

Discipline is not about punishment (making son or daughter feel pain for their wrong). Discipline is about teaching consequences.

Consequences for actions should be RSVP. Reasonable and Related to Disobedience — i.e., Take cell phone away for month for talking at night when they should have been asleep. Simple — i.e., If you wreck the car, you can drive it again when you have paid for the repairs. Valuable — i.e., Ground them from something that they value. Practical — i.e., If they forget to set alarm, you don’t ground them from going to school that day. Instead, their bedtime is an hour earlier the next night.

Scriptures

1 Samuel 1 and 3 — Hannah and Samuel.

Proverbs 22:6 — Raise up a child in the way to go.

Luke 2:39-52 — Jesus lost in the Temple.

Hebrews 12:11 — No discipline seems pleasant at the time. PRAYER Parenting God, Thank you for your unconditional love and for the times you disciplined me out of that love. Help me to be that kind of parent for my kids. It is hard work, but I know that you are with me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Prayer

God, thank you for your unconditional love and for the times you disciplined me out of that love. Help me to be that kind of parent for my kids. It is hard work, but I know that you are with me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Boundaries with Kids by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (Zondervan 2001)

Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, ED. D. (Ballantine, 2006)

Parent Talk: How To Talk to Your Kids in Language That Builds Self Esteem and Encourages Responsibility by Chick Moorman (Fireside, 2003)

Emotionally Intelligent Parenting: How to Raise a Self-Disciplined, Responsible, Socially Skilled Child by Maurice Elias, et.al (Three Rivers Press, 2000)

Pornography
Information

The use of pornography is almost always an issue related to intimacy and how it has been impaired for a person. An inability to achieve genuine closeness leads to the artificial closeness offered by porn.

The argument that says, “What’s the problem? No one gets hurt!” is not true. It hurts the person who is viewing pornography.

Find accountability.

Scriptures

Genesis 1:27 — We are created in God’s image.

Matthew 22:39 — Love your neighbor as yourself.

Romans 12:1-2 — Renewing of your mind.

Romans 6:12-14 — Live under grace.

1 Corinthians 6:13 — The body meant for food.

1 Corinthians 6:19 — The body is a Temple.

Prayer

O God, who listens when I pray. Help me to cleanse myself from the use of pornography. Help me to not be ashamed but to receive the help I need. Help me to build meaningful relationships. Guide me in this time. In Christ’s Name. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes (Hazeldon, 2001)

Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey Through Sex Addiction by T.C. Ryan (IVP Books, 2012)

Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts by Stefanie Carnes (Gentle Path Press, 2001)

Resources

xxxchurch.com — (a person can sign up an accountability partner who will receive a report of all suspicious internet activity)

x3pure.com

saa-recovery.org — meetings and support

posarc.com — support for partners

sexhelp.com — resources for treatment and recovery

Rape
Information

It is not your fault.

You are made in the image of God.

You are not alone.

Scriptures

Psalm 30 — Joy comes with the morning. You have turned my mourning into dancing.

Psalm 23 — God is with you in the midst of the valley.

Isaiah 43:1-3 — Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.

Psalm 57:1 — I take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the storms pass by.

Psalm 71:20-21 — You will revive and comfort me once again.

Psalm 147:3 — God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 126:5-6 — May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

Prayer

Lord, give me the grace to be honest: honest about my pain, honest about my feelings, honest about my anger and honest about my questions. Will you lead me, God, to trusted friends, pastors and counselors who can help me get through this? God, give me a conscious awareness of your never-absent presence and remind me that I am a beloved child of yours. Help me to remember I am worthy of your love. In the name and by the love of Jesus Christ I pray this. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Little Girl Lost: One Woman’s Journey Beyond Rape by Leisha Joseph (Galilee, 1999)

Self Esteem
Information

You are made in the image of God.

Scriptures

Genesis 1:31 — God saw all that he had made and it was very good.

1 John 4 — You are from God, recognize the Spirit of truth and God’s love.

Luke 13:10-17 — Jesus heals the bent over woman.

Isaiah 43:1-7 — You are called by name and you are God’s.

Luke 12:6-7 — You are of more value than sparrows, yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight.

Psalm 139 — You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 94:19 — When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

Romans 15:13 — May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Lord, you have created me. Give me a conscious awareness of your never-absent presence and remind me that I am a beloved child of yours. Help me to remember I am worthy of your love. In the name and by the love of Jesus Christ I pray this. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri Nouwen (Crossroad, 2002)

Praying for Purpose for Women by Katie Brazelton (Zondervan, 2008)

Suicidal Thoughts
Information

Contemplating suicide can be the result of untreated depression, or untreated pain and suffering.

If you’re suicidal, by reading this card there is a part of you seeking help.

Scriptures

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 — Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him.

Deuteronomy 31:8 — It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.

Psalm 40:1-3 — I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

Psalm 139:14 — I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Romans 8:35 — Who will separate us from the love of Christ?

Psalm 23 — Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…you are with me.

John 10:10 — I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Prayer

Living God, open my heart so that your Spirit may be with me now. My God, I feel forsaken and alone. My heart is searching for a peace that I feel is unattainable in my life now. Lord pray that you may grant me your peace and that I may not lean on the world for happiness, acceptance, or healing, but that I may lean on you. Lord I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death. My God, do not forsake me. Give me your peace that in turn may set my life at peace. Christ came that I may have abundant life. Not only in the hereafter, but also in the here and now. Lord, build up in me a courageous spirit so that I may fight for life and seek the fellowship of others during this difficult time. I choose life, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Suggested Reading

Let Your Life Speak – Parker Palmer

Resources

Call 911

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE

suicidepreventionlifeline.com

musicforthesoul.org