Prayer for the World – Prayercast

eatwriterunrepeat.com || isaiah 56_7

The speaker at my Perspectives course posed a very interesting question in class on Sunday. He asked:

If God answers all of your prayers from last week, would YOUR world change? Or would THE world change?”

Wow, right? Did anyone else feel that? It was the feel of conviction breathing down my neck. And it made me realize how largely selfish my prayers are. Up until recently my prayers have been focused on mine and my husbands circumstances – I’ve been praying for God to help US, and bless US, and take away OUR pain and OUR struggles and OUR anxieties. And while I’ve started to pray for my family as well, it’s still all very selfish of me. Very rarely do I pray for people or things outside of my own personal bubble.

One thing we’ve done in Perspectives that I’ve really enjoyed, however, is that each week we pray for a different country via Prayercast. From the website, “Prayercast exists to fuel a global movement of prayer for the sake of the lost.” The Bible tells us a few things about praying for the nations. For example:

Isaiah 56:7 “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2 “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgiving, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in godliness and dignity.”

And not only are we to be praying for the nations, but we are to be spreading the Gospel to all nations: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 (emphasis mine), and making disciples of all nations in The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Our sole purpose in life is to spread the gospel of the Lord to all the nations – and a huge part of this should include praying for a spiritual revival throughout the world – which brings us back to Prayercast. For each country featured on the website you find a summary of the country, some prayer points, and a short video. They’re pretty powerful – and it’s a sobering reminder that our world is in dire need of prayer. It’s also a visual reminder, which for me puts things in perspective and makes it easier for me to pray. I’d like to get better at praying for others instead of focusing on myself – I’d like to get to the point where if God answers all my prayers from last week, THE world will change.

My challenge to you today is this: will you join me? Will you take a few minutes, check out the prayercast website, and pick a country – any country. Then, take some time to review the facts and watch the video, then spend some time in prayer for that country.

Imagine what a difference it could make in the world.

I’ll close by sharing a video that really struck me when we watched it. In addition to nation videos, Prayercast also has a series of “Special videos” that don’t necessarily focus on a country. This one is for the Muslim nations – primarily the Middle East and North Africa. Having spent several years living in the Middle East, this video spoke to my heart.

(If the above video doesn’t work, watch it on the Prayercast website here)

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Weekend Recap

Happy Tuesday! I’m back, after a much-needed little blogging hiatus. It was really nice to not worry about staying up late to write a post, or figure out what recipe I wanted to make, or make said recipe only to have it fail miserably. It was a refreshing change, and like I said last week, I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting in the future, but I don’t want the blog to end up being a stressor in my life.

That being said, let’s talk about the weekend! On Friday afternoon Kevin and I packed up the car and headed north to Pennsylvania for the wedding of a close college friend of mine. We arrived at the hotel with just enough time to shower and change before heading off to the rehearsal dinner. The wedding was held at Stoudts Brewery, which is pretty much perfect for the bride and groom – and the rehearsal took all of ten minutes. I loved how casual everything was – to quote the bride at one point (when we were trying to decide how we’d line up for the ceremony): “I should probably care more…but I don’t.” Everything was relaxed and low-key…just like the bride and groom. It was exactly the kind of wedding I would have wanted, had we decided not to elope. Saturday dawned gorgeous for November – clear skies and a temperature in the upper fifties – we could not have asked for a better day. After a stop at Dunkin Donuts in the morning I kissed Kevin goodbye and met the girls for hair and makeup, and after a long couple of hours of getting ready, it was time to head to the Brewery for pictures and the ceremony!

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Check out my wristlet – the flower matches my dress perfectly! Each of the bridesmaids wore the same dress in a different shade of blue, and the bride gave us each a wristlet with a flower that matches our dress, as well as the shawl and the necklace I’m wearing.

We had a blast – Kevin and I ended up at a table with some college friends that I hadn’t seen…since college…and it was great catching up on the past ten years. We also had a blast at the photo booth…as you can see!

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It was a great day for a wedding and I couldn’t be happier for my girlfriend and her new husband. Congratulations, Christina and Jonny! (The only reason I’m not posting pictures of the happy couple is because I don’t want to post pictures of people without their permission. Suffice to say they were beautiful!)

Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel and ended up taking an impromptu trip to my alma mater – Millersville University. The campus is only about 30 minutes from Stoudts Brewery and partially on the way back down to Virginia, so I couldn’t resist showing Kevin all my old haunts.

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We ended up taking the scenic route home, making an unscheduled stop in the adorable little town of New Oxford, PA, where we came across the New Oxford Coffee Co., the New Oxford Bakery, and Holey Joe’s Cafe – a non-profit set of business (all three are owned by the same person!) owned by a Christian family who sends all the proceeds from the bakery to Haiti. How great is that?

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We may have stopped to purchase some gluten free desserts while there…

We also stopped at a roadside farmers market for some staples for the week. One thing I love about Kevin is that he loves taking back roads and scenic routes and stopping in random places to see what we can find. It’s one the things we love to do together, and it has produced some of our best memories!

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We ended up back in Virginia early enough to make an easy dinner of chicken lettuce wraps, unpack, and relax a bit before it was time to head to bed for the start of another week!

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How was your weekend?

Weekend Recap

This weekend was full of ups and downs, which is why I’m starting this post with a prayer request. On Friday, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital – I don’t want to go into detail on the blog, but although she’s stable now she’ll be in the hospital for at least a few more days while the doctors monitor her condition. Kevin and I had already planned on driving home to Pennsylvania for the weekend, so we were able to spend some time with my Nana in the hospital on Saturday and Sunday, which was nice – I was so glad I was able to see her and keep her company for a while. And although she’s doing better than she was, our family could use your prayers!

In other news, the reason Kevin and I drove home for the weekend was to attend my aunt’s annual Halloween party. I missed the past couple of years because of my overseas travel, so I was really looking forward to it. The party isn’t anything wild and crazy – it’s extended family and a few of my aunt’s close friends, but it IS a costume party, and this year we really got into it!

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Funny story about Kevin’s and my costumes. Kevin’s “costume” is actually just a beanie with eyeholes cut out of it and a pair of winter gloves. We bought them at the grocery store for $2.99! He wanted to have something to wear for when trick-or-treaters stopped by the house and this definitely fits the bill! My costume isn’t so much a formal “costume” – I grabbed a princess dress from our stash of random Halloween stuff and added a Grecian wig from a previous costume and went as some weird Greek version of Cinderella. Mostly I just wanted to wear the wig, though, because it was fun.

And you can’t tell, but I’m totally wearing my UGG boots under the dress. Hey – they kept my feet warm!

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(my sister the pirate! Arrrrgh!)

On Sunday the whole family went to church and afterwards my Dad made Philly cheesesteaks. No offense to Pat or Geno but my Dad’s cheesesteaks are WAY better! I would have taken a picture but I was too busy stuffing my face. #sorryimnotsorry

We stopped by the hospital on our way back to Virginia, so we ended up on the road later than we planned. This worked in our favor as it meant an unscheduled stop for dinner – at Chubby’s BBQ in Maryland.

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(source)

We’ve driven past this place hundreds of times but never stopped. Now I’m kicking myself for not going sooner, because while it may not look like much on the outside it is hands down the best barbeque we’ve eaten – and we’ve been around the barbeque block a time or two!

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Kevin ordered ribs with fried potatoes and collard greens, and I got their pit beef (available on weekends only) with coleslaw and pork and sauerkraut. Holy. Yum. The beef was incredibly tender and juicy, and Kevin’s ribs were literally falling off the bone. They had several sauces to choose from – my favorite was the Private Reserve, with the Old-Fashioned coming in a close second. Kevin really liked the Hot, but I found the spice of it overpowered my food. (There were two others – Volcano (um no thanks) and “Cold Remedy”, but we didn’t try either of those)

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How cute is that mason jar full of beer??

If you ever get the chance to eat at Chubby’s BBQ, DO IT. The portions were huge, the food was out of this world, and the service was exceptional – our server was fantastic.

Oh…and we may also have ordered their vanilla butter cake dessert, which came served with caramel sauce and ice cream and almost made me cry with happiness.

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Chubby’s BBQ in Emmitsburg, MD. GO THERE NOW.

(I did not get paid for this post – Chubby’s does not know I’m writing this post. I just want to share this incredible food with all of my invisible internet friends! And for those of you on the East Coast – what are you still doing reading this?! Go get some BBQ!!)