Prayer Ministry: A Personal Prayer

Claiming the Precious Blood of Jesus… casting out whatever is contrary to His Reign.  Pray this often.

Lord, almighty, merciful and omnipotent God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, drive out from me all influence of evil spirits. Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I plead You to break any chain that the devil has on me. Pour upon me the most Precious Blood of your Son. May His immaculate and redeeming blood break all bonds of my body and mind. I ask you through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Archangel Michael, intercede and come to my help. In the name of Jesus I command all demons that could have any influence over me to leave me forever. By his scouring, his crown of thorns, his cross, by his blood and resurrection, I command all evil spirits to leave me. By the true God, by the Holy God, by God who can do all, in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord leave me. Amen.

Immeasurable Inspiration

“The Word of God is alive and active” says the writer to the Hebrews (Heb 4:12).  Each word.  Each and every word of the Holy Bible is infinitely rich and measurelessly (yes, it’s ok to make up words when normal words don’t work!) marvelous!

I just read one verse from the Song of Songs… a passage that might not seem all that great at first glance:

“My Beloved for me is a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.” (Song 1:14)

Would you say that about your beloved?  Maybe not.  We might say something like: “My Beloved for me is the sunrise after the rain.”  That’s poetic, and kind of nice.  But this passage from the first chapter of the Song of Songs may not seem to do much for a person.  It’s not as bad as some of the genealogies of the Old Testament, or the laws of Leviticus, but there just isn’t much there, is there?  THERE IS!!!

I read the following simple exposition and my heart leaped.  My soul surged.  My mind was lifted to the Heavens.  My desire for God increased.  My love for Jesus blossomed.  But that verse didn’t mean that much… or did it?  Take a read.  Read it out loud, slowly, as one would speak of a great love in one’s life.  And this is of the greatest Love…

The enamored soul being purified
now forgets the bitterness of the myrrh
so as to think only of the beauty of the Spouse Who she now can see,
or in some way or other feel, and contemplate with ineffable pleasure;
thus she exclaims: My Beloved for me is a cluster of camphire
a flower extremely beautiful, sweet-smelling and valuable.
It is as though she were to say:
if in the mysteries of Your passion and death You were for me a bundle of very bitter myrrh,
this bitterness has been changed into ineffable sweetness
as You bring me to participate in the mysteries of Your Resurrection,
as You reveal Yourself to me in Your joys and triumphs,
in Your glorious Ascension,
in the communication of Your Holy Spirit with His inestimable graces and sweet scents of life,
and in the daily partaking of Your Chalice full of the mystical wine of Engedi
with which You delight our hearts,
and cleanse and beautify us with Your very blood.
“If you have already lamented your sins,” says St. Bernard,
“then taste the bitterness of myrrh;
but if you now feel within you the effects of a new life
it is a sign that bitterness has changed into sweetness for you…”
(Juan Arintero: The Song of Songs)

Every word of the Divine Text is filled with immeasurable inspiration.  Happy reading! Everyday!

Life & Death

Posted by: zealoussheep

Sometimes, I am tempted to think that the world, societies, and cultures are caught in a downward spiral toward darkness and destruction. I look around and wonder if my fellow human beings are taking care to cultivate Life in their souls or are they hurtling towards death. On a whim as I began to type this, I pulled up the Patheos Catholic Channel and clicked on one of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth Scalia, and one of her most recent posts confirmed that my temptation toward this line of thought is not held in isolation.

[We are in] a unique ‘time’ of global crisis: governments failing at every level, everywhere; churches are divided, their freedoms challenged; citizens are distracted, dissatisfied and distrustful, their election mechanisms in doubt; schools are losing sight of the primary mission of education; families are deconstructed and the whole concept ripe for dissolution; respect for human dignity is doled out in qualified measures; there is a lack of privacy; a lack of time to think, to process and to incarnate; a lack of silence… the ugly landscape [is] all around us; the one we have wanted to pretend was neither so vast nor so damaged and fragile.

Let me be clear, in no way do I disagree with The Anchoress. But concurrent to this line of thought, sometimes I carve out for myself silence, privacy and time to think. And I find that in those moments—especially if I’m in a hammock in the backyard—I am overwhelmed by how much LIFE is exploding around me. Untold numbers of crickets chirping, the insects are prolific, trees are taking root and climbing… Since the very beginning life has sprung forth from the earth, and continues even in the harshest conditions. At a much faster rate than the downward death spiral of my thoughts, life is bursting from every crevice.

Perspective is a funny thing.

It took living abroad and studying philosophy to jar my mind out of the doldrums of my previously monotonous life, characterized by the somewhat glazed staring that catches only the biggest action and has lost sight of all the details. Suddenly I was paying attention in great detail to the world around me, and it awakened in me a deeply buried sense of wonder. Since those days, I overwhelm my companions with loud exclamations of joy over the perfect iridescent rainbow of colors that reflects of the wings of insects or the soft bright green burst of brand new pine needles in the spring. I am amazed at creation and creatures.

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There are about 950,000 species of insects on earth.
300,000 species of plants.
1.2 million species of invertebrates.
We really have no idea how many species of animals exist on Earth and some 10,000 species of animals are discovered each year. Projections for the total number of species on Earth range from 2 million to 50 million.
Until very recently, our galaxy, the Milky Way was thought to be part of a cluster of 2,000 galaxies in Virgo. Recent research has shown that the Milky Way’s 100 billion stars are actually part of something 100 times bigger: a supercluster of galaxies astronomers have named Laniakea, which means “immense heavens” in Hawaiian. Laniakea is 520 million light-years across and astronomers say the supercluster is as massive as 100 million billion suns.

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It is a big, big world out there. And it is full of vibrancy and life.

A couple of years before I was born Mount St. Helen erupted in the most deadly volcanic explosion in U.S. history. The destruction was beyond comprehension and the President said the damaged landscape was more desolate than the surface of the moon. In all, Mount St. Helens released 24 megatons of thermal energy, 7 of which were a direct result of the blast. This is equivalent to 1,600 times the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A devastating death-blow.

More than 30 years have passed since the blast. Peter Frenzen is a scientist who studies the blast zone. He says,

“One of things that we’ve learned here at Mount St. Helens is that things that initially look dead are usually anything but dead. Those things that look messy to our eye are in fact the critical ingredients of the next thriving ecosystem.”

Out of the devastation has come incomprehensible richness and Mt. St. Helen is literally teeming with life.

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I think we can learn a lot from the world around us. As far as plants and animals go, we are literally immersed in life in vast and innumerable quantities. The soul of a Christian at baptism is drenched, immersed, inundated with divine life that cannot be compared to the 50 million possible species on earth or the 520 million light years’ wide supercluster of galaxies we live in. We are beyond soaked in life. And when darkness and death seem to crash in on every side, we know that we have the Death-Conquerer, Jesus himself dwelling in our souls. He is able even from the rocks to raise up children. And as centuries of Christianity have shown, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. And like Mount St. Helens and the Saints who have gone before, it still remains the case that life blooms in deserts and things that initially look dead are usually anything but dead. Those things that look messy and broken beyond repair to our finite eyes, can in fact be the very thing that tills and nourishes the soil for revival, restoration and renewal in the hearts of men longing for their God.

Be Accountable!

bible

Perhaps you’ve heard this story before:

John heard something good in the sermon on Sunday and it changed the way he looks at life. He gives his life to the Lord and commits to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. He’s going to spend time in prayer each day – he decides 20 minutes of silent prayer is a good place to start and he can build from there – and read at least one chapter of the Bible each day as well. He’s going to strive for the Kingdom of Heaven and so give up this sin or that. Everything is going to be different from now on. His friends wouldn’t really understand where he’s coming from, so he decides to keep it a secret between him and God, though he still plans to keep his friends – they’re not really bad guys anyways, but just unchurched. Maybe someday they’ll have a conversion moment like John did, and then they’ll be able to talk about things like this openly. Until then, John will stick to his private commitment and go from there.

A week later, things are going pretty well for John. He’s stuck to his 20 minutes of prayer and he even read two chapters of the Bible instead of one a couple times this week. Then one evening after work John sits down to watch his favorite TV show, but remembers that he hasn’t yet spent his time in prayer for the day. He was looking forward to this TV show all day, though, and really wants to watch it. Besides, he can pray after the show; it won’t make any difference. During the show, the advertisements for the next show are very enticing and pique John’s interest. He’s got to see what happens! Pretty soon one show turns into three. As he’s getting ready for bed John remembers that he still hasn’t prayed and read the Bible like he committed to. He thinks to himself, “It’s been a long day and I really need to get some sleep. Besides, God won’t mind if I miss one day of prayer. This is between him and me anyways, so it will be alright.” John makes sure to pray the next day and read his chapter of the Bible. The day after that, though, John and his friends decide they’re going to go out for a little entertainment. Again, John forgets to pray and decides not to pray when he remembers before bedtime. Pretty soon, John starts to forget more often and starts to lose the habit of prayer he had been trying to form. Everyday he justifies his actions: “I think of God all throughout the day. He doesn’t mind if I don’t sit down for 20 minutes to pray. If he wanted me to pray like that, he would remind me. I hear passages from the Bible at church on Sundays; I don’t need to hear any more than that. God would tell me if I needed to change the way I’m doing things.”

How easy it is to fall away from the Lord! Soon enough John won’t find it convenient enough to go to church on Sundays, so he’ll justify his absence by noting the Lord’s apparent desire that he get a little extra sleep on Sunday mornings. If only he would have told someone else about his commitment to be a disciple! We need to have other disciples in our lives to keep us accountable to our commitments to the Lord! Imagine what it would have been like if John would have told a fellow disciple about his commitment to follow Jesus. This other disciple would have asked him periodically whether he was holding strong to his commitment, and would have encouraged him to persevere on the way to Heaven. Instead he so easily slipped away from the narrow path and ended up on the broad path that leads to the wide gate, which leads to destruction:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14.

Narrow-Gate

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we must find other disciples who will keep us from slipping away from the narrow road. It’s so easy to slip away! We must find other disciples who will earnestly hold us accountable in our errors, not out of spite but out of love for us.

Resolutions usually only work if I tell someone (in addition to the Lord) what I’ve resolved to do or not do, and if he or she holds me accountable. I might resolve to cease complaining about the weather, but that won’t matter if no one else knows. I’ll start to see how hard it is and so allow exceptions. Pretty soon those exceptions become the norm and I’ll find myself back where I started. My will power increases if I know I’ve got to report to someone who will prick my conscience if I mess up, or who will genuinely encourage me after I’ve messed up. Sometimes the Lord feeds us through other people, especially when we would rather take the easier road.

Come to the Aid of Your Brothers and Sisters!

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Most of us have heard by now of the horrendous persecution of Christians in Iraq. We’ve seen recordings of murder and suffering. We’ve heard that the Christians are given this ultimatum: convert or be killed. Truly horrible things.

We might think to ourselves, “If this was happening in America, there’s no way it would last. If this was happening in America, I would do something about it! As it is, I can’t do anything because it’s halfway around the world from me. Besides, I’m just one person – I can’t do anything on my own anyways.” Then we go on watching our favorite TV shows and talk about how excited we are that it’s football season. I know this because I’ve done the same thing. We must avoid this mentality! We can actually help, even here and now!

We too often forget how powerful prayer can be! Beg the Lord for an end to the persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ! Beg him also for great graces of perseverance for those same brothers and sisters, that they might remain strong in their belief in Jesus Christ and not sway from the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

There is still yet a more powerful way we can help: solidarity. Now, before we go any further, let’s take a minute and consider the horrible conditions these Christians are going through: hiding throughout the land without enough food and water, without shelters and beds, never sure if they’ll live another day.

Solidarity: “a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to  the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all” (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). We can unite ourselves to our brothers and sisters in Iraq by joining with them in the struggle. Doing this will help us remember that Christ came to save all people and not only those of us living in America. Obviously, our lives are not being threatened as theirs are, but we can choose to suffer with them. We can choose to eat less food and hear our stomachs grumble, since their stomachs grumble constantly. We can avoid the luxury of hot water, since they have no hot water. We can sleep on the floor, since they can’t rest in the comforts of their own home. We can turn off our phones, radios, computers, or TVs for a day or two, since they have no forms of communication or entertainment beyond their own basic interaction among the people next to them. There are countless ways we can enter into the suffering with them and so turn that into our prayer for them. We choose to suffer with them and then unite that suffering with the suffering of Jesus. Our suffering, then, can redeem the world because it has become the suffering of Jesus.

Fellow disciples of Jesus Christ, come to the aid of your brothers and sisters, who are being persecuted because of their belief in Jesus! Do not let them suffer alone! Even halfway around the world, we must help them remain strong in their faith!

Prayer Ministry: Deliverance

Listen to this prayer for deliverance over and over.  Join your heart and voice to it in faith.  Jesus will do the rest.

PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE
My Lord, You are all powerful, You are God, You are Father. We beg You through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of heaven, come to our aid.
From anxiety, sadness, and obsessions, We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From hatred, fornication, envy, We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every thought of suicide and abortion. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every form of sinful sexuality. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship. We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult. We beg You: Free us, O Lord.

    Lord, You Who said, “I leave you peace, my peace I give you,” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy Your peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.” 

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