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Prayers and Stories of Hope for America

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Prayers and Stories of Hope for America

Focus on the Family listeners have contacted our ministry to share their prayers and inspiring stories of how God has worked in their families and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, we feature some of those stories to encourage you to pray that God would continue to display His grace and love amidst the challenges we're all facing.
Original Air Date: May 7, 2020

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Focus on the Family listeners have contacted our ministry to share their prayers and inspiring stories of how God has worked in their families and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, we feature some of those stories to encourage you to pray that God would continue to display His grace and love amidst the challenges we're all facing.
Original Air Date: May 7, 2020

Episode Transcript

John Fuller: Welcome to a special National Day of Prayer broadcast. This is Focus on the Family with your host Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And during our nation’s shutdown, we’ve invited your prayers and your stories of hope to share with others. And we’re going to be hearing those today on the broadcast.

Jim Daly: John, for a number of weeks, our country has been going through an extraordinarily difficult time and we have much more work ahead of us. But in this time of hardship, God has been there with us. And on this National Day of Prayer, we want to bend our need to the Heavenly Father and acknowledge Him. And to do that we’ve asked you, our listeners, to call us over the last couple of weeks with encouragement. And we asked you either to pray it or say it and that’s what you’ve done. So, we’re going to bring you a dose of encouragement today, not from an expert or an author, but from you, the listeners.

John: Mm hmm. And it’s fitting on this National Day of Prayer to begin with a recorded prayer. Here’s Renee as we begin this special edition of Focus on the Family.

Renee: This is the day that the Lord has made. We shall rejoice and be glad in it. Oh, I’m just so delighted about how God has shown His faithfulness during this time of crisis for our nation. Psalms 51 verse 1 says, “Be merciful unto to me, Oh God. Be merciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in Thee. Yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be over passed.” God has so many rich and wonderful promises and the Bible says that all of His promises are, “Yes and amen.” And Father, we just thank You that we can hide in the safety, in the shadow of Your wings. God, that You will keep us and strengthen us, and we can trust in that covering. You are a faithful God. Father, we just pray for the listeners and those who are in the body of Christ who may be filled with some degree of fear. Oh God, that didn’t come from You for “You did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of love, power, and a sound mind.” And God we receive those gifts from You, and we walk in those gifts of Your blessed assurance in Jesus’ name. And we love You so much, Lord, and we continue to trust You that even in the midst of difficulty, You’re always there. No matter what it looks like, Father, You are always present. For You are our refuge and strength a very present help in the time of trouble. And for that reason, we say thank You and give You all the glory in Jesus’ name, amen.

Dan: Holy Father, great and awesome God, who keeps covenant love with those who love You and follow Your Word. Lord, we have sinned. We have done wrong. We’ve acted wickedly. We have rebelled. We have turned aside from Your commandments. And so, to you, oh Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us, open shame as it is on this day, because we have sinned against You. Nevertheless, with You there is mercy and forgiveness, so in hope we call on You in the name of our Savior requesting most of all your gift of repentance for Your church, for our nation. Grant us a heart that longs for more than just prosperity and security. Grant us a hunger and thirst for righteousness and a longing to provide our children with a better world and a spiritual foundation built upon Your truth and Your grace. You have humbled us mightily, Father. We feel that. But now, grant us the grace to humble ourselves and cry to heaven for cleansing, healing, and justice. Make Your face to shine upon us. Establish Your church as a city on a hill, as a beacon of clarity in a world of confusion. Pour Your grace upon our homes and heal the brokenness that is all around us. We need You now, good Father. Move in power for us. Move in power within us. Move in love toward this needy planet and lift up anew the name of Jesus by which we pray. Amen.

Falencia: Father God, we thank You so much for this time of prayer. Unto You, Lord, be glorified. Thank You so much for You being our Lord and Savior. This is the day You have made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it. And Lord, we worship You only in spirit and in truth, and we thank You for loving us in spite of. Lord, we just thank You for Your faithfulness, Your mercy, Your grace, and Your peace. And the joy of the Lord is our strength. Now to You, Father God, who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think, by the power that worketh in us throughout the world, through the ages to come. We love You, Lord Jesus. We thank You for loving us. Looking beyond all our faults and see our every need. To God be the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jessica: I am a mom of three boys married to a fire captain who is lovingly serving his community through this pandemic. I am also immune compromised with Lyme disease. I have been given all hope through Jesus and His Word. I would love to pray now. Father, we thank You that You are good, holy, and just. Praise You for being our Rock and Fortress in times of stress and uncertainty. We know we can always look to You for wisdom and guidance. Your Word is truth. Be with all in our nation. Turn hearts back to You. May we all grow closer and stronger in You. Give us courage and strength to speak and live the truth. We know this begins in our homes, so fill our homes now with Your presence and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen. Thank you, Focus on the Family.

Antoinette: Aloha from Honolulu, Hawaii. I’m Antionette Papa and I’m calling to praise our Lord. It was a Monday morning and I finished the last roll of the toilet paper. Then on Wednesday I opened my last package of spaghetti and due to the covid-19 outbreak they were not to be found on the shelves. And since I live alone, I was trying to determine how many meals I could get from the pound of pasta. I felt almost like the widow of Zarephath in the Bible. That afternoon, my good and dear friend, Marilyn, phoned and said that she wanted to stop by briefly. She dropped by, handed me a rather large shopping bag, and promptly drove off. Inside was the biggest role of toilet paper I have ever seen; two boxes of spaghetti; a large role of paper towels; two bags of coffee beans which I hadn’t yet run out of; chocolate and candy and so much more. The next day, James, the landlord’s gardener, brought me a bag of great, big oranges from his tree. I am truly blessed. Thank you, Focus on the Family, for letting me tell my story. And mahalo, Kaikoura. Thank you, God.

Rommie: This is a story of hope. I live in a neighborhood where there are re – mostly retired people. It’s about 28 homes in my area. I decided to reach out to them by buying greeting cards, giving them those greeting cards, writing them out and saying, “I don’t your name, but you are my neighbor, and I want you to know that God is with you during this time.” And see if they had any needs. Um, and I sent all of the cards out. Recently I started receiving cards back of thanks, and they needed that. And one lady said that her – she’s a home caregiver for her mom and her dad, and she’s there with them most of the time, so she really needed to hear, um, from someone else. You know, from the outside of the home, because she’s there mostly with them all the time. That’s a little part that I’ve done in my world, um, just to share the love of Jesus Christ. So, I want everybody to know that God loves you and you’re going to be okay. We’re going to make it through this storm.

Lois: In the midst of all the tragedies and sadness that’s caused by covid-19 and all the inconvenience and the loneliness as a result of this shelter-in-place order, I thought I’d call in a little bit of levity. A young mother in our community shared that she had explained to her little sons, ages 6 and 8, how others in our town were writing messages of cheer on the sidewalks or on driveways so that passersby could read them. And, uh, she asked if they’d like to participate so the little boys agreed. She gave them the sidewalk chalk and left them to their task and when she checked back with them later on, she was surprised to find that written in big letters that one of the messages was, “Do not enter!” And the other message was, “Stay off our property!” So, you can call that miscommunication, or you can call it misinterpretation, but these certainly weren’t the responses that the young mother thought she’d find. She and the others of us here in the community and her husband, we’ve all had a good laugh about that.

Dawn: I’m so thankful to be with our grandchildren, 10 and 11, during this time to help their single dad, so he can remain at work. And the Lord seems to provide the grandparent energy that’s needed. This homeschooling has been a blessing to have time to teach the Bible, often using the tools like Odyssey and “Superbook” that obviously were not a part of their long days in public school. Plus, we’re thankful that our family has drawn closer due to having more time together and the children not being so busy.

Rasheed: I recently worked at a company in Rosemead, California. And since I’ve been there, I’ve been reading my Word, and I’ve been sharing, you know, Scripture with other people and just listen to them and counsel them. I, um, share a bit of information about Christ. My hope for them is that I pray for them – everyone, every day. I get up every morning to pray for my fellow co-workers and their families. And I pray for mine every day. So, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to share this hope with all – millions of others. My prayer and hope is that everyone comes out of this covid-19 healthy, strong, and faithful to the Lord. May the Lord bless each and every person that listens. And may He cloak the – the nation, uh, with His mighty, mighty staff and mighty hand.

Pat: For several days, I have been isolated from what had once been common, everyday happenings. The house has stayed quiet, with the exception of listening to familiar hymns on Pandora. I am having longer visits with God. I hear Him more easily, as I read His word. Often, I praise God by reading aloud from the book of Psalms. I have stopped looking at the clock to see how long my visits with God have been. This prolonged isolation has refocused my attention to God’s command to live one day at a time. This helps me to instantly put up my guard when worry, fear, and anxiety try to invade my thoughts. And I have avowed that I will not allow them stay there. I have discovered a plan by which to stay strong as the virus continues. The plan isn’t new, but now I am experiencing how it works. It involves a choice. Instead of choosing to become anxious about this awful disease, I have chosen to fix my thoughts on what is true, good, right, pure, lovely, and thinking about the good in others. And here’s the clincher, as I fix my mind on these things, the peace of God will be mine. What more could I possibly need during these uncertain days?

John: Some comforting words from Pat on this special edition of Focus on the Family as we’re hearing stories of hope and prayers for America. We do have here at Focus a special covid-19 page which is rich with articles, resources and spiritual encouragement for your family. We’ll have the link for that at, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and continue now as we hear an encouraging prayer from Laura.

Laura: Good evening. I wanted to give real quick John 10:4, “He goes before them and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” Lord, tonight we just thank You so much for all You continue to do for our country and the world. Thank You for allowing us to listen and hear Your voice through Your Holy Word, as we’re all on a stand-still. Thank You for the neighbors being able to come together as one. And Lord, my prayers were answered. We used to pray for the schools being able to pray. Well, we know that’s come true and even more now as the little church families are home worshiping together. You have a funny way of answering prayer. We ask Your blessings on each and every household, each and every person still going through the storm of the corona. But we know with You all things are possible. Thank You so much and double blessings to You, Lord. Amen.

Maureen: I just want to thank the Lord for Who He is in our life. I’m going to pray for those who struggle with mental health, um, issues – depression, anxiety and all the things our world throws at us. I just lift them up and pray God would heal, restore, redeem, and bring hope to the people that are struggling with hopelessness. May He bring new hope in our lives and, um, give us vision and, um, peace. Most of all, may He just give us Himself. Just awaken our hearts to do His will as well as just be with Him in relationship. May He build up the body of Christ to become one body in fulfillment of God’s purpose for our lives. And I pray all of this in Jesus’ name. I also want to lift up our country, the United States of America; our President; and our government officials. I lift them up, including our military, that God would bless them and keep His hand upon our country, leading each and every one of us into His perfect victory. In Jesus’ name.

Steve: Father in heaven, I’m coming to You in Jesus’ name. You said, “The fervent, effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Let the availance of intervention with those that are wounded and hurt and damaged by this plague have the healing balm of Gilead in their lives. Remember Donald Trump. Remember believers in this country. Oh Lord, Your Son turned water into wine. Let this thing turn into another Great Awakening. For Your mercy’s sake, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Deter: My name is Deter Ghdliardi. I want to pray for all of my fellow cashiers and teammates. May the good Lord protect them and keep them healthy and strong and grant them eternal life. I also want to pray for my teammate Robbie who is in the hospital fighting the coronavirus. May the Lord heal him. Make him healthy again. Bring him back to work with us and, of course, give him eternal life. I’m also praying for all the cashiers and grocery store workers around the world. They are in the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus. Everyone must eat and stay strong to defeat the coronavirus, and grocery store workers and cashiers are making this happen while they serve God’s people. May the good Lord protect these workers. Keep them healthy and strong and grant them eternal life as they serve God’s people.

Mary: I’m a single mom, um, and, you know, all of my finances fell on me, or at least so I thought – all of my financial responsibilities. But God showed me just how much He is our Provider. He takes care of all of our needs. He’s in tomorrow and He already knows what we need and He’s a good Father and going to provide. When I was unemployed, my mortgage ended up paid with just pennies left over. My vehicle payment was just barely paid, but it got paid. People who didn’t even know my situation would come up to me and hand me money or food, or even laundry detergent. It was really remarkable. And it was just such a way that God was showing me that all of my worries and fears – that He’s bigger than that, and that He’s already got a plan for it. And what was really remarkable for me was that my mortgage was paid. My car payment was paid. I had food, but my utilities were not being paid, because they were just falling behind. And then when I got to about two or three months behind, I remember I was walking in faith, walking in faith, but then I broke, and I started crying. And I just broke down, having a nervous breakdown saying, “God, please help. Please help.” And you know what? A few days later, I got a check in the mail for the exact amount that I needed, plus $10 left over for gas in my tank. It was from an old 401k that I thought I closed out, but He knew, and it was growing all of that time over the course of six years to become the amount that I needed to cover my utility bill. He knows. He’s precise in how He works. He knows our need and He’s got this. God’s got our back. Just trust Him.

James: About over eight months ago, I suppose, the Lord moved me to travel to Tennessee to preach the gospel. A lot of good people. A lot of divine appointments. A lot of provisions of the Lord. I’ve also seen a lot of people healed right there on the spot. Those testimonies prepare us for a time such as this, I think. Where it’s really getting difficult and we’re going to find out whose soil is made of what. So, I’ve been going around during quarantine and lockdown time with a banner that has Hebrews 5:9 on one side and a megaphone. And I’ve – I was here to see the tornado and help out with that. You know, there’s a lot of lives being touched out here. A lot of scared folks. And we are to be the light in darkness. He’s helping us to be that light. And we all have oil bound in our lamps at the appointed time. God bless. In Jesus’ name.

Annette: Hello. I would just like to say thank you to Focus on the Family for their daily broadcast with local pastors praying for us, praying for our nation during this crisis. I would like to share a story about this time. Everything is great with my family. My husband and I are still working. We’re both in the essential services. But during this time, it’s been making my husband think about a lot of things. I’m not sure whether he’s a believer or not. I think he knows the words to say, and he went to church and all that, and he’s a good person, but he has been asking me a lot of questions. I’ve been a Christian since 1994, and I have grown in the Lord so much, especially through Focus on the Family. But my husband has been asking me very heartfelt questions, and the Holy Spirit has given me the right words to say to him. We are isolated right now. We just moved to a new place, and we are under quarantine, so we haven’t really been out and about that much. So, I just hope that those of you that are home with your families – maybe you’re married to a non-believer. Maybe you have not led your kids to the Lord. I pray that you will do that. It’s very, very important. While our hearts are wondering about life and death and wondering about just life in general and what we thought used to make us happy. Thank you very much.

Trina: My son is 26 and has been addicted to drugs for more than a decade. He has been in and out of several rehabs and the past two winters he lived on the streets of Philadelphia. I’ve been letting go and letting God have control when I start to worry and fear and often pray that God would get my son’s attention and bring him to his senses. Well, a little over two months ago, he developed a bad infection and had to go to a hospital for treatment. He was there for a week and instead of going back on the streets he decided to go to a rehab hospital. While he was there, he attended Bible study, read God’s Word, and journaled. Toward the end of his stay at rehab, everything began to shut down with the coronavirus. My husband and I prayed a lot and agreed to let him come home. Well, we never could have imagined the beautiful seeds of hope that started to grow this season. Our son has been home for one month and continues to be so grateful. Not only did God provide a job for him right away, but the love and support we’ve been able to show him has been nothing short of God’s mercy and grace working through us. Nothing and no one is too far gone that God isn’t able to redeem, restore, or revive. He gets all the glory, honor, and praise.

Gina: Mine is a – a snapshot of the many blessings God has poured in our lives during this trying time. My brother and my dad were not talking to each other for months. Dad got infected with the coronavirus and in his own words he went to hell and came back. We were praying for years for his salvation. He’s a survivor, and it is still tender to talk about the fullness of his faith right now. But it a blessing to see his relationship with my brother restored and to hear him giving thanks to God and to all who pray for him. My husband and my mom’s relationship had also been sour for the past years (emotion) and yet, God had a plan. Through Mom’s last visit to one of her six kid’s birthdays, the announcement of everything closing because of the pandemic came, and she got stuck with us. Ever since that day we have celebrated three more birthdays, including hers, and the victory of seeing her and my husband closing on all their differences and to come to an understanding and even to a new friendship. Many other blessings have come that have come to our family and our finances. Things that we could not understand then, but now we see He was preparing us for such a time as this. (emotion) The most profound for me has been – to put in a few words that how the love in our marriage has taken us out of our comfort zone. Especially for me, it has taught me lessons where I see this love, not so much as a blooming flower, but more like a resilient weed that grows in unexpected places, and when you look at it, it’s intricately beautiful. (emotion) Thank you, Focus on the Family, because you have contributed enormously to that marriage. Thank you. God bless you.

John: Mmm. What a moving call from Gina as she shared how God has used the pandemic and the shutdown to mend some broken family relationships, including her marriage. And I hope you’ve been inspired by these stories and prayers that we’ve been sharing with you so far. Stay with us, because in just a moment or two, we’ll have a closing prayer for our time together from Pastor Max Lucado.

Jim: John, it is encouraging to hear how something so difficult like this pandemic has turned in some places into very good things especially for Gina’s family as she described. We’re glad to hear that her dad recovered from the virus as well. But there are those that have lost loved ones. And I want to make sure we recognize that. That’s a heavy burden. And even though we’re being encouraging today, we know that there are some who have suffered greatly through this. However, these calls have been great calls. And the last few in particular have reminded us that what matters most is our eternal soul and knowing Jesus Christ. That’s our biggest prayer for you today. No matter what you’ve been through in this pandemic, we hope your trust is in Christ and we want to share a complimentary booklet called Coming Home: How to Know God. And that’s absolutely free. We just want to give you an idea of what it means to become a believer in Jesus. And finally, don’t give up hope. God loves you and Focus on the Family is here to serve you. So, give us a call. Together, we’ll get through this.

John: Yeah. Our phone number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Call and request your copy of that little booklet Coming Home. You can also find that and other spiritual encouragement online at fcousonthefamily.com/broadcast. And as we promised, here’s a special closing prayer for our time together today from Pastor Max Lucado.

Pastor Max Lucado: Lord Jesus. Oh, Lord. We know that these tragedies, these calamities have a way of bruising and wounding our souls. And I believe, dear Jesus, that You are the Healer. And sometimes You use a physician or a counselor. Sometimes You just show up. People are being wounded right now because of this pandemic. They are. Oh, my goodness. Young people – they’re being wounded. They’re growing fearful about the future. And Lord, I know that these – these calamities can create a trauma in our soul, deep in our spirit. Lord, please come and protect. Take what is intended as evil. Turn it into something good. We ask You, Lord Jesus, to stand up in the boat and speak to the storm. Speak to it. Because we know this pandemic will not last one day more or less than You desire. So be sovereign over it, dear Father. Until then, we’re in the boat with You even though it gets rocky. We’re with You and we thank You for being with us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks so much for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back tomorrow as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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