Praying for our Wounded Warriors- a 7 Day Call to Prayer

With Veterans Day right around the corner, it was on my heart to lead others in a 7 day Call to Prayer for our Wounded Warriors. With Veterans committing suicide at a rate of 22 a day, our Veterans need our prayers now more than ever. Every Veteran is wounded. It’s impossible to go to war, to participate in the level of self-sacrifice and self-denial that is required of our military and to not be wounded in some way. A recent survey showed that almost 60% of our wounded warriors feel that there is little meaning in the things they do day to day. No warrior should feel unimportant, unappreciated, or unloved.

Please use the following prayer guide as just that – a simple guide that will steer your prayers in the direction that God lays on your heart. Our warriors deserve more than we can ever repay them. Let us start with our prayers.

mil 4

Day 1 (Nov 5)- Pray for restorative healing from the physical injuries of war.

The Wounded Warrior Project’s 2015 Alumni survey showed that among those with injuries, almost 78% of our wounded warriors suffered from 3-8 different injuries or health problems. Many suffer from amputated limbs (4%), significant burns (3%), and spinal cord injuries (15%), and 72% experience problems with their neck, back, and/or shoulders. For many, the physical pain they are experiencing today will never lessen. Please pray for God’s supernatural healing on their body, for comfort, for advancements in medicine and health technology, and for the care they receive at the VA and through other medical providers.

Psalm 41:2-3

The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.

Day 2 (Nov 6)- Pray for restorative healing from the mental injuries of war.

Over 76% of WWP’s alumni reported a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Since 2000, the DoD has recorded over 333,000 cases of Traumatic Brain Injuries, over 44% of our warriors. And over 66% of WWP’s alumni reported having had an experience “that was so frightening, horrible, or upsetting that they had not been able to escape from memories or the effects of it.”

Pray against haunting memories, flashbacks, and nightmares.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Day 3 (Nov 7)-Pray for restorative healing from the emotional injuries of war.

Civilians cannot possibly imagine the traumatic events that our warriors have witnessed and experienced in the war zone. This year, 80% of our wounded warriors reported having a close friend who was severely injured or killed in combat, 75% witnessed the death of non-combatants (women, children, civilians), 65% remember actually smelling decomposing bodies, and almost 20% still struggle daily with knowing that they are responsible for the death of a civilian.

It is hard to imagine how one might ever emotionally recover from such events. Our warriors need our prayers because our God can heal the most broken of hearts.

Psalm 134:17-20

17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are [a]crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones,
Not one of them is broken.

Day 4 (Nov 8)- Pray for restorative healing from the spiritual injuries of war.

They say there are no Athiests in foxholes, yet I’m sure God often seems millions of miles away from the battlefield. The evil of the terrorism our Veterans have fought has brought an entirely new component to the recovery process of war. Our warriors engaged in jihad…. a religious war with the darkest of enemies. They need spiritual healing, forgiveness (both offering and asking), and an understanding of the true enemy- the thief that seeks to steal and kill and destroy. Pray for peace in their hearts, their minds, and their souls.

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Day 5 (Nov 9) Pray for restorative healing from the relational injuries of war.

 Almost two-thirds of our wounded warriors are married and one-third of our wounded warriors require the assistance of a Caregiver. Many have spouses, children, parents, siblings, and civilian friends that do not understand the changed person that came home from war. Misguided anger, fear, and distrust creep their way into what were once solid relationships, creating division and destruction. Pray for our warriors’ marriages, families, friendships, and other relationships.

Ephesians 4:1-3

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

hospital feet

Day 6 (Nov 10)- Pray for restorative healing from the financial injuries of war.

Approximately 35% of WWP’s alumni are currently unemployed and another 7.5% are currently working only part-time. The median income per week is $760 or $39,520 per year. For those requiring a Caregiver (often a spouse) this equals the loss of a second income. Many families have gone from two solid incomes to living off of disability payments. The added financial stress of our warriors only adds to the list of struggles they already face. Pray for the financial stability of our warriors, for work-at-home opportunities for spouses, and for employers that will seek out the skills at talents of wounded warriors that still have so much to contribute to society.

Deuteronomy 28:12

12 The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

Day 7 (Nov 11, Veterans Day)- Pray for our wounded warriors’ pasts, presents, and futures.

Be thankful for the sacrifices they chose to make. Pray for ways to minister to our wounded warriors now. And ask God to bless their future. Most importantly, pray that each and every warrior would know God’s saving grace, unconditional love, and endless mercy.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

For a printable copy, please click here :Call to Prayer for Wounded Warriors

For more information regarding the 2015 WWP Survey, click here.

Advertisements

The Woman I Want To Be

I have a confession. I haven’t always enjoyed being Heather. In fact, I’ve never liked my name and I’ve spent most of my life wishing I was more like someone else.

In fact, in recent years, I really wanted to be Jayne.

My friend, Jayne photo cred: Radiant Images

My friend, Jayne
photo cred: Radiant Images

I met Jayne at our church in Wentzville, MO a few years ago and immediately attached myself to her. The thing is, I wasn’t the only one attaching myself to her. That’s the thing about people like Jayne… EVERYONE wants to be around her. I mean, EVERYONE. You just want to be in her presence. You want to hear her talk. You want to hear her talk about any one of the number of things she’s passionate about – the persecuted church, women’s ministry, reaching the lost, helping the homeless, raising our children to love the Lord, being real and vulnerable about life with one another…. I could go on and on. People who hear Jayne talk want to hear her more. And they want to hear Jayne pray. Because Jayne is a Jesus girl with a heart the size of Texas and a love for others like no other.

jayne 1

The few years that I lived near Jayne I tried to not be envious of the gifts and talents God had given her. I mean, she’s gorgeous. (HELLO!) And such a good speaker. She never struggles for words. God just flows through her mouth and into the ears of her listeners with such passion and excitement that you can’t help but be completely captivated. She’s asked to speak in so many different venues.

Here she is in Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital, at the prayer vigil held on the anniversary of the imprisonment of Saeed Abedini, a persecuted Christian being beaten and held as a prisoner in Iran. She organized the state rally and spoke in front of the crowd that had gathered. She has a God-given ability to organize and rally people together.

Jayne and her beautiful daughter

Jayne and her beautiful daughter

I could post pictures of her teaching Bible School or speaking at Faith Fest, but I think you get the idea. Jayne is an amazing speaker. And I really wanted to be Jayne. Or be like Jayne. So, I tried to remind myself that God has given me talents, too. Talents that are unique to me. For example, I was a pretty good baker and I taught myself how to make sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. And Jayne always said she wasn’t a very good cook. So, at least I had that.

Then one day Jayne tried her hand at baking and decorating cookies.

My Friends Cookies

My Friends Cookies

My Friends Cookies

And Jayne is obviously MUCH more talented in this area than I am.

Sigh….

But then I moved to Florida, out from under what I “perceived” to be Jayne’s “shadow”.

And I met Shannon.

Shannon

Shannon

Do you see the joy and love and compassion that just exudes out of this woman’s smile?? It’s no surprise that she’s the head of the Women’s Ministry of our church here in Florida.

Shannon and I became instant friends and I was THRILLED when she invited me to join the Women’s Ministry team at church. And it wasn’t long before I wanted to be Shannon. Or at least be LIKE Shannon.

I mean, she’s lived in Florida her whole life and she has been in this church for sooooooo long. She knows everyone. And everyone knows her. And everyone trusts her. She’s everyone’s friend. She makes everyone feel loved and welcomed. And she knows how things have been done, and they should be done, and who can get them done. And everyone knows that Shannon is the lady that can GET things done.

Shannon painting for a ministry project at church

Shannon painting for a ministry project at church

Unlike Jayne, Shannon possesses skills that God hasn’t even BEGAN to cultivate in me. For example, Shannon is an AMAZING artist.

She paints. She paints for fun. She paints by request. She paints things she sees in her mind’s eye. She paints things other people suggest she paints. She paints. And when the creation in her mind hits the canvas… well, it’s breathtaking. Shannon oozes with talents that I could never even imagine. She’s organized. She’s creative. She thinks out of the box. She’s just amazing.
Shannon 5

And she has a great eye for seeing and capturing beauty in nature with her camera.
Shannon 6

Yep. There are some days I wish I was Shannon.

And then there’s Megan. I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally want to be Megan.

Megan 2

Megan is my Team Manager with Jamberry. Her title keeps changing but it’s something like Executive or Elite Executive or Jamberry Goddess or something like that. She’s a big deal.

Megan and a fellow JAM rock star

Megan and a fellow JAM rock star

Not only do we allllllllll want to be Megan because she’s making over 6 figures a year selling nail stickers (WHAT!?!?!?!? I know, right!?) but the thing is…. she’s seriously like the nicest person on earth. She’s a mom of 3. She’s married to a hot lawyer (her words, not mine 😉 ). And oh yeah, she’s a NICU nurse. Nicest. Person. Ever. And she’s HYSTERICAL. Her personality is HUGE.

Megan @ Jam HQ

Megan @ Jam HQ

Ummm… and did I mention that she’s gorgeous? Here’s a pic she posted on FB when she called herself “a wreck” (again, her words, not mine).

Megan

Megan

I don’t look this hot at my BEST.

But mainly, I want to be Megan because she is really successful at the things she’s passionate about. So much so that her little Jamberry team of over 2,000 women have coined the phrase (and the picture) “What Would Megan Do?”

WWMMD?

WWMMD?

But this is me.

Just Me

Just Me

I’m not a gorgeous blonde. I don’t draw huge crowds. I don’t make $10,000 a month. I don’t know everyone in this town. I can’t paint. My cookies aren’t gorgeous. My husband’s not a lawyer. Nobody fights for time with me. And when I’m a wreck…. I am NOT a bombshell.

But fortunately, God reminds me of who I am. And who I SHOULD want to be.

I am the wife of a wounded warrior. I have a unique opportunity to minister to Veterans and their families.

Me and Bob photo cred: Dawn Wagner

Me and Bob
photo cred: Dawn Wagner

I am a full-time college student that is setting a standard of educational excellence for my children. I will graduate next month, Suma Cum Laude (3.87 GPA) from Arizona State University.

Graduating with my AA; on my way to my BS

Graduating with my AA; on my way to my BS

And I’m a homeschooling momma of these 5 beautiful gifts from God.

My babies

My babies

What God is showing me is that it doesn’t matter if I rise to the top of my business. It doesn’t matter if I rise to the top of my class. What matters is that I rise to do what He’s called me to do. What matters is that I do EVERYTHING that I do as if I’m doing it for Him…. because that’s what His Word says I should do.

I can hug a new woman in our church that Shannon won’t have a chance to see. I can reach Veterans on the street that Jayne will never meet. I can be successful in my ministry to one person that has more eternal value than all of Megan’s sales put together. Not because I’m better. Not because they’re better. But because God has completely different, unique, individual, specific plans for each of us.

I’m not Jayne. I’m not Shannon. I’m not Megan.

I’m Heather.

So, today, and everyday, I must purposefully and INTENTIONALLY choose not to be envious of the beautiful women in my life. I should emulate the things I see them do only if God’s calling me to do those same things. And I should look first and foremost to HIM to see the woman I want to be. The woman I am. The woman God has made me. The woman God has called me to be. The woman I want to be.