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    603 S. Valencia Ave. Brea, CA 92823

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Prayer Blog

March 20 Prayer Blog

Posted by Carol Gilbert on

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring you back from captivity.”
(Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
(Isaiah 43:18-19)

I recently visited the TLC house on Sycamore Street in Brea to discuss how we can be praying for the men in Calvary’s program for recovering addicts. TLC stands for Transitional Living into Community. It is not a namby-pamby program that treats addicts as victims or patients; rather, it calls addiction and its accompanying vices sin. TLC participants learn to submit to the authority of God by submitting to the authority of the program and its leaders. They are expected to be employed or seeking a job, pay program fees, attend AA or NA meetings several times per week, and attend church. They take turns cooking and are responsible for the upkeep of the house.

Alcohol has been the nemesis of most of the five TLC men I met last week. The wreckage caused by alcohol as it took over their lives included lost jobs, estrangement from family (including children), violence, jail, and homelessness. With the exception of Brian, a house leader, the men I met have been in the TLC program between one and nine months. Their sobriety is very young. The men consider their housemates family and clearly care about one another.
One of the guys called himself a “grateful alcoholic.” He is grateful because his sin was so public and obvious and deadly that, if he didn’t repent of it, he would die. He correctly observed that “good” people, whose lives look perfectly respectable, are sinners too but often don’t know it. As we worship together on Sunday mornings, let’s remember that none of us – addict or not – can stand in the presence of the Lord on our own merits. All of us need the grace of God expressed through the blood of Christ.
Here are suggestions from the TLC men for how to pray for them:
⦿  The Scripture passages in the sidebar come from two of the TLC men. When I asked for Bible verses that were particularly meaningful to them in their journey, they immediately quoted these verses from memory. Pull these verses apart and pray them for the TLC men.
⦿  Pray they will stay sober.
⦿  Pray for the transforming power of God to be at work in their lives.
⦿  One man is encouraged by the fact that he no longer thinks about alcohol all the time. Ask the Lord to fill the men’s minds with thoughts of Himself and with the satisfactions of a righteous life. Ask that their minds be filled with what is true, noble, pure. (Philippians 4:8)
⦿  Ask the Holy Spirit to make the Word of God come alive for the men and to use it to make Himself known to them. Pray they will search for the Lord and for His strength, seeking His face always. (Psalm 105:4)
⦿  Pray for the humility to completely surrender their lives and futures to the Lord.
⦿  Pray for success in their jobs. One man, who used to run his own business, is now employed digging trenches. Pray he will persevere in what seems like slave labor to him and patiently work toward a better job in the future.
⦿  One man asked for prayer for life after TLC. This is his second time in the TLC program, and he wants it to be the last.
⦿  Ask the Lord to develop in the men healthy ways to cope with conflict, depression, and other difficult emotions.
⦿  Pray for restoration of family relationships. 

Finally this week, here are a few prayer requests from other members of the Calvary family:
 Saundra Watson, a retired Calvary missionary, is having knee replacement surgery today. Saundra and her husband, Dick, served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for many years. Please pray for successful surgery and a smooth recovery.
 Shawna Piña has been battling fibromyalgia for two years. She has tried many treatments and pain medications but is still in pain and feeling sick. Shawna asks us to pray for God’s leading through this physical trial and for healing.

 Kathy and Charlie Tielrooy rushed to Carson City over the weekend to be with Kathy's mother, who was hospitalized for intestinal surgery and has experienced complications.  Please pray for the Tielrooy family.

In Christ,
Carol Gilbert
Calvary Community Church of Brea