Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to Pray for the McCarthy Family

Jean McCarthy was admitted to the hospital on Saturday, July 26th.  She has advanced stage liver cancer that has spread throughout her body.  It is very uncertain how long she has left.  Her husband Jim and daughters Elizabeth, Faith, and Grace are all caring for her at home now in her final days. 

Jean’s clear blue eyes radiate a peace that cannot be understood, and she is calm and happy as she prepares to see God.

Please pray for Jean, Jim, Elizabeth, Faith and Grace.  If words seem hard to come by in times like these, consider claiming these promises of scripture for their family.

God we thank you for Jean’s beautiful heart.  We pray that your presence would be close to her as she finishes her life the same way she lived it, with grace and peace.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
  • Jean is eager to see, love and encourage as many people as she can. She longs for her friends and extended family to understand the peace that she has and to experience the love of God themselves.
  • Pray that Jean would live to see someone she loves decide to explore faith. 
  • Pray that Jim, Elizabeth, Faith and Grace would be able to support their mom’s wishes to serve others while maintaining balance with her needs, her energy level, and their own family time.
Father, the family is torn between being present with Jean and taking care of chores, taking care of themselves, or getting rest.  Provide them with peaceful Sabbaths. Give them sweet, sustaining sleep that is rejuvenating.  Guard their dreams and speak peace over them as they sleep. 

Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Proverbs 3:24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Psalm 116:7 Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Lord, we lift up Jean, Jim, Elizabeth, Faith and Grace.  We pray for strength and comfort during this time of heavy burden. 

Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Psalms 46:1-2  God is our refuge and our strength, and ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way….

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

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is
made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly
about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is
why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in
hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then
I am strong.

Father God, We pray for your power to touch the McCarthy’s today and in the days ahead.  When they feels struck down, they are not destroyed.  Carry them during this difficult time.  Help them to not lose heart; to be renewed by your love and remember eternal glories and promises.

2 Cor 4:7-9  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Isaiah 43:1-2
…“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

Heavenly Father, we pray for peace for Jean’s family.  And we pray for physical peace for her.  Lift any pain or struggle from her, Lord. We pray for Jim, Elizabeth, Faith and Grace to feel your presence now, and to be able to find stillness and strength to be the nurturing caretakers Jean needs.  Give them strength to meet her needs, Lord, and to make these precious moments an anointed time together.

Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

Psalms 29:11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Psalm 112: 7-8   He will have no fear of bad news;
  his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear;

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Lord, we are thankful for all of the visitors and friends who have written or encouraged Jean.  Give her loved ones pleasant words full of love to speak over her. 

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Thank you, God for who you are and that you are good.  This goodbye has come very suddenly for us and feels too soon.  We know that from the time you created her gentle spirit, you have seen and planned exactly when you would bring your beautiful daughter Jean back home.

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Thank you, Lord, for the amazing love this family has shared with each other over the years.  Thank you for the sweet goodbyes they have been able to say.  May their last days together not only be covered in peace, but also sprinkled with hope and joy.

Thank you for praying, and encouraging, and loving. Your outpouring of support is dearly felt and deeply appreciated by Jim and the girls.  If would like to pray any other scripture or words of love over their family please email them or feel free to leave brief notes in the comments section below.

If you want more ideas on how to best love the McCarthy's (particularly Jim and the girls), Christianity Today has some excellent advice about secondhand grief.

*Many thanks to my friend Tasha who structured the majority of these verses for another hurting family during their time of grief.

90 Days to Awaken Joy

We belonged to each other but lived in a friendly, stale silence. Our paths had parted at some unknown crossroads and I found myself physically present but emotionally distant. Our conversations focused on logistics with a polite formality to them. I began lowering my expectations dangerously, assuming that what we had could simply be as good as it gets. No one but us may have ever noticed the fire was gone.

I could have gone on like this for quite some time, keeping up appearances in my stale relationship with God, but it just was not enough anymore. I needed the power and passion back.

Real life was happening.

I'm guest blogging over at my friend Bronwyn's corner. Head on over to her page to read the rest. While you're there, explore a bit! Bronwyn is a beautiful, down to earth writer and her blog is a favorite in my inbox. I think you'll love her :)