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At (in)courage, we empower women to be like Jesus. Our writers share what’s going on in their life and how God’s right in the middle of it. They bring their joys & struggles so that you can feel less alone and be empowered by the hope Jesus gives.

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  1. (in)courage sisters,

    On one hand I am joyous about celebrating this first Christmas with my husband…a very loving man that God blessed me with after 25 years of marriage to an abusive spouse. At the same time I feel my heart breaking…or it is broken…over my son who is so lost. I know I am to love my prodigal unconditionally but after putting my heart out there so many times only to have it stepped on over and over again, I am feeling very hurt and angry. Not quite sure how to reconcile all these feelings. Just being real…

    • im so there..that sounds like my life, I too have an adult son that wont speak to me for 4 years after he had abusive attitudes towards me and my family. I wait on the lord and just release all the anger too..its a hard hard road as a mom, even mary..mother of Jesus suffered watching what would happen to her family..her loved son.
      life isn’t perfect and so I move along happily doing the best God has for me, I cant be sad daily and miss my whole life because of my sons misery and choice to live in hate.
      may our Lord bring you peace and joy..we can still be happy and enjoy life,even while waiting on these prodigal sons..my heart goes out to you..i have learned much in these hard times about who I am and what I think..i know for sure I cant let hate creep in and age me. i chose the happiness i wish we had as a family and wait on the lord to help us..i do know God gives my son a choice and free will and i honor that even it is so heart breaking..

  2. I have been beyond blessed in 2014. This year has really tested my faith…but God got me through.
    I pray that we are blessed with another child in the coming year.
    And more specifically I asked that you pray for my grandmother. She is undergoing a serious surgery tomorrow. She has been sick since July. We are pray that God will heal her broken body.
    Thank you. God bless!

  3. Praying for you Bev and your son. My children are 2 and 3 and I hope and pray that in this dark world, they too will come to see the light of Jesus. It’s so hard for us to know what journey they each will take, but I pray that when they are big, they never loose sight of God. Praying that Bev’s son’s eyes, heart, mind and soul be transformed by God’s great power. Please pray for my children. That I can have the strength and be able to help guide them to a beautiful relationship with Christ that will hopefully live in them forever and leave a legacy for their children and their children’s children. Bev, I pray we both can never give up our hope that one day God will reveal himself to those who choose to walk alone. May God give you and I extra grace, strength and love this Christmas especially, but always and each day. Please pray for my children to know Him and never let go, as I will pray for your grown son to find Him again. Merry Christmas

  4. I just interviewed for two teaching jobs I didn’t get. I am discouraged and disappointed as well as weary.

  5. My boyfriend, Mark, is coming to church this evening with me for the first time. I see his need for Jesus, and I am praying his heart would be open to hearing the hope Jesus offers!

  6. Well it took a little over a year but I’m finally feeling like I fit in at my new church. I’m also working on a “book” which will be very hard for me to write, so definitely pray for that.

  7. This has been a very hard season of waiting for my family this year. My husband lost his job at the very start of this year and the wait for him to successfully find a new job has been certainly trying & difficult! And throughout all this difficulty, I am VERY grateful that God has continued to show us His mercy & love through precious family & close friends!
    Your prayers are deeply appreciated!!

  8. I pray that my mom health gets better and her boyfriend who is taking care of her and everything gets more hours from work so he won’t have a hard time anymore. Second prayer I my friend has a tumer on his Brian I pray his sugerey goes Well.

  9. I pray for healing in my body as God’s will be done..I ask for healing in the relationships in my small family..I pray for my daughter to be freed from heroin addiction..I as God to heal and fill my lonely heart that yearns for a God sent husband..thank you and God Bless you for your prayers

  10. Amber – praying that God would surround you with genuine people.to love and care for you and the needs of your family. Praying that as you enter relationships in Godly community you would feel.Gods love just for you, and you hope for a future would be secure in Him.

  11. Please pray that I have courage to.enter into.community with women. That My daughters would make lasting friendships.with girls who make them.laugh and
    share our values

  12. I’m so incredibly blessed. This past year I’ve been blessed with amazing friendships. I’m so thankful for each of them. But in the waiting, the hardest is waiting…waiting for my Mr Right and starting a family. Two things I yearn for so deeply!!!

  13. Just started my own Christian website and really praying it takes off. I have two kids, a husband, a full time job and I am about to move in my and my husbands mother because they can’t survive on their own (single moms). I am asking for prayers that this will generate enough income to not only feed the new mouths we can’t afford but help me stay home with my children. I do want to be a Proverbs 31 wife and be able to provide while staying home.

    Praying for all you ladies as well!

  14. Please pray for my son Justin. He is dealing with a difficult person at his job. Please pray that God puts peace in both their hearts. Thank you. I will be praying for that God blesses, heals, and helps each of you. In Jesus’ Name AMEN

  15. It takes courage to ask for this, but as a young woman (only 23) with a strong desire for Godly marriage and children one day, it’s been hard to wait for the Lord’s timing on this. I have hope, but after what feels like prolonged singleness (I know I’m only 23) my heart grows restless with this hope and at times, this hope turns into anxiety. I know the Lord is good and he himself is the root of every desire, but I still find myself desiring this good and precious gift within the coming year.

  16. (Praying for you, Stacy.)

    I have been married 5 years and have two kids. I am completely miserable in my marriage. After he cheated within a few months of our wedding, I haven’t been able to trust him since, and I’ve grown to strongly dislike him. We have nothing in common, and he’s not even a good father. However, I’m scared of what leaving would do to my kids (I’m a child of divorced parents), and things that are important to me for their lives (such as homeschooling, etc.) would be impossible as a single mom. Every anniversary gets more and more painful, and holidays are so hard. I want, more than anything, to be a happy family, but it feels like that won’t ever happen. I’m so very discouraged tonight.

    • may God really surround you and you feel his love, its amazing that God tells us that his angels walk the earth and that to me gives me hope that God isn’t just up in the sky but close by..i really pray for your heart to be healed, you deserve that and to have a happy life with the children you have been blessed with. May 2015 be a year you find great strength from the Lord, may he open your life to all good things and bless you.. ask him what he wants you to do, and most of all pray for your
      husband that he too finds God love and really feels it in your home..life is never easy and I really feel for you, I pray all good things come out of this marriage and that your home is one of love for your children.

  17. I am unemployed which has exhausted my savings. Please pray that I may find a good job. I have also struggled with health problems for the last two years. Please pray for my physical healing.

  18. I have had the worst several years of my life. I lost my dad suddenly in 2011, I became seriously ill in 2012 being unemployed and and uninsured and lost my home to an F-5 tornado in 2013, I lost my job in 2014 and spent the rest of the year helping my mom who almost lost her left leg and had a series of surgeries and is now recovering. I am on my own and my savings are exhausted. I am dealing with incredible stress.which has affected me physically. I am praying that I receive a good job, make new friends and possibly find a godly man I can share my life with in 2015.

  19. Karen, it breaks my heart to read your message. The irony is that mine is similar. In 2006 I lost my Dad very suddenly, I was devastated and I still can’t talk about him or go thru holidays without crying and missing him at the dining table. In 2006, I was told by a dentist that I needed $40,000. worth of dental work because I was in such pain. I had to take a huge (13 year) loan out to pay him and am paying the bank now. In 2009, literally overnight, in front of my eyes, my Mom became so sick with dementia, she did not know me. She became a total invalid. I was trying to work (for my brother)and run to see her every day and I was killing myself. God knew I was getting sicker with my Fibromyalgia, depression and panic attacks. In 2010, out of the blue, one day my brother fired me, after 31 years at his company. No severance, I had no savings, lost my home. Went home to Mom and took care of her until 4-1-14 when she went home to Jesus. I’m now being told I need another $40,000 worth of dental work, the other work is now all bad. I’m in pain every day, I can’t work, I am broke and I’m an adult orphan. Karen, if I were with you, I would hug you and tell you that I truly feel the heartache you’re feeling. I wish I could help you.
    I will pray for you that Jesus brings you His supernatural grace and strength to get you thru this horrific time you’ve been having. I’ll also pray for you’re Mom’s leg and her complete and full recovery. You are going to be alright. You’ve had the inner strength to make it thru all the tragedies you’ve gone thru and you are coming out on the other side. This is the season of HOPE, Jesus doesn’t ever want us to get to the point of despair. Don’t despair, Karen. Your job is coming, you’ll be able to start saving. Ask Jesus to send you the right God-loving man and He will. Try some meditating or reading of the Bible, especially the Psalms, that really helps my stress. Remember, God is close to the broken hearted and those crushed in spirit, He saves. I wish you the kind of Christmas that the Mother of God, Mary, had. That’s where they got the expression Merry Christmas. Have a Christmas as merry as Mary had. God bless, Karen. Expect miracles !!!!!!!!!! Pray constantly and never, never, never give up.
    Terri C December 23, 2014

  20. This year has been extremely rough for me also. I’ve been out of permanent work for 4 months since August 20th (God opened up a temporary 30-day work assignment for me from October 20th-November 14th), but with so many expenses, I have been praying and hoping so hard for a good, permanent job (or even two part-time jobs). My savings have been depleted, I have some left in my checking (along with help from my son’s income) to pay about one-month’s worth of bills.

    I’ve been in agony with worry day and night sometimes that I may lose my home, car and other necessities. My faith has become so tested and oftentimes has felt very unsteady. My biggest discouragement is why the Lord is allowing so much suffering for his children, when His word says that, “He would meet all of our needs if we just ask with thankfulness”.

    I believe He will because He has been there for me many times in the past, to which I am grateful. I’m just having a rough time now understanding His delay. This holiday period has been really rough for me due to the uncertainty I am facing each day and its overwhelming effect on my health and spirit. I am hoping that 2015 will bring answers for me and that God will bless me with answering my prayers for work.

    I will also keep everyone who has posted a need in my prayers that God will provide the help you need, and bless you with answering your prayer requests.

    • Dearest Tammy:

      I’ve been exactly where you are now and the Lord is Faithful. You will be carried through this ordeal. Although the details may not work out the way you wish or envision; in time you will see that all things worked out perfectly…in accordance with God’s good and glorious plan. My husband and I had to declare bankruptcy many years ago and today we have an abundance of financial resources. I don’t say that to gloat and the timing of our deliverance from financial ruin was not our timing; there were difficult years along the way. It was awful at holidays and birthdays not to be able to provide for our children the way we wanted to. But, guess what? Today our girls are completely joyful, unspoiled, unpampered and are satisfied with next to nothing when it comes to material goods. It’s almost comical because now we can provide for them if they just ask! I am praying for you right now, Tammy. Keep the faith and I know in time to come you will be responding to a prayer just like yours and hopefully will be an encouragement. God’s timing is a mysterious thing. Ours is to trust and obey.
      In Him,

      • Maryann,

        Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I too have experienced Gods faithfulness in the past many times over, even during a bankruptcy as well and the long over 10-year recovery period afterwards.

        I feel so bad about my state (unemployment) right now because I caused the loss of a 9-year long good job that God had given me, by allowing my mind and thoughts to become so bitterly negative due to the many changes taking place at this job after we were acquired by another company. I did not allow myself to accept the changes and displayed it openly against my new supervisor. I did not get fired, but I was so angry after a confrontation with him, that I resigned.

        I know that due to this action, that I burned a bridge and also feel it has hurt my reputation with potential employers, because I have to use my former employer as a reference. This is what I am facing right now and have been hoping that God would provide a job for me in spite of what I have caused.

        Right now I am trying each day not to fall into a spirit of fear and hopelessness because of my actions. Please pray for me that I will not allow myself to do this or give up and not even try anymore to apply for work. I believe that God has forgiven me for what I caused, but His delay in providing a new job for me, has caused me to feel as if He is angry at me still and has stopped listening to my pleas for help.

  21. Please pray for my husband. His team of doctors cannot seem to find out what is wrong with his health. He has several tests and procedures scheduled this week. Please pray for good health and a certain resolution to his symptoms. May The Great Physician, our merciful and kind Lord and Savior hear my prayer…..and all our prayers as we contemplate His Birth and Life.

    In Him,

    • Lord, please be with Maryann and her husband as they both face the scheduled tests and procedures to evaluate his health. Please allow for their prayers for resolution to be answered, and help them to always know that you are there and are The Great Healer as well as The Great Physician.

      In God’s Name I pray,

    • Lord, please comfort Judy, her husband and their family as her husband Keith is confined to receiving hospice care at home. Please heal and revive his health and strength Lord, if it is Your will to do so.

      Please breathe peace into their troubled minds Father about this situation and hold their hands as they go through this trial. Please provide for their needs, and help them to know that You are in complete control of everything, and that You will comfort them, and keep them always, no matter the outcome.

      In Your Holy Name I pray,


  22. Judy, I pray for you and your family as you are facing the terrible ordeal of your husband being in Hospice. I pray for comfort that only the Lord can give when grief threatens to consume every ounce of joy left. While I am not able to understand the why’s of your situation, I am confidently praying that the Lord will never leave or forsake you. He will give you the grace you need to face each day, no matter the situation. And I pray for your husband. He is in God’s hands and the outcome will be glorious.

  23. my heart goes out to all of you who are dealing with so many painful issues. I too have been struggling with despair, depression and anxiety this past year. Neither of my children are wLking with the Lord and I am so scared for them. My husband and mother can’t get along. And my newly married daughter of two years chose to divorce and is living out of state. Our relationship is estranged and it causes me great pain and loss. I raised my kids in the church but I’m afraid they saw many inconsistencies in me which I have guilt for. I pray and read scripture but I don’t feel God’s presence. Please pray for my faith to increase and for Gods peace. I will lift you all up to Lord and pray his hope, peace and love flood your hearts.

  24. Father, You are good
    Mary needs your help. Father increase her faith and her awareness so she can see You as she goes about her day. Lord rebuild the relationship between her mother and her husband and restore her relationship with her daughter. I prayer Father that You will grant them Your peace that is beyond human understanding. Father thank You being with Mary and the work You have begun in her children, You will bring to completion unto Christ Jesus. In Jesus Name.

    Please pray for me as I wait in quiet hope for help from God to redeem my situation with Mark. I’m trusting God but I go through times when my heart feels sad and I feel all alone. Please please, pray for Mark.
    Financially I need prayer.
    Father You are good. I need your help. They need Your help. In Jesus Name.

  25. Hello, I’ve never done this but we need prayer.
    My husband and i returned home from Haiti last night where we have an orphanage with 40 beautiful children. We have a beautiful staff of 25 who take care of them.
    While there this weekend our kids and staff were evicted from our beautiful new home.
    We are completely legal but because of a loophole we have 65 people now living in one small house.
    They have a very deep faith as do we. We are trusting God that this will all be resolved soon.
    We would love your prayers.
    Thanks so much and Merry Christmas.
    Debbie Harvey

    • Father,

      Please step into this situation facing Debbie, her husband, and their orphanage children and staff members. Please intervene on their behalf Father, and allow the loophole that has caused their displacement to be corrected, so that they may be able return back to their orphanage home. Thank you for providing the temporary shelter for them Lord and I know that you will continue to provide for all of their needs as well.

      Father, we ask this of You in your Holy Name,


  26. Dear Lord, bring peace to Debbie’s heart in this surprising situation. May your will be done so that everyone remains comforted and joyful during a difficult time. May the challenges bring healing for all involved. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Could y’all please pray for me. I battle with addiction and things that take my eyes off God. Pray that I may always put Him first in my life as he is saving me every day.

    Thank you…. Kat

  27. As I read all of your posts, it seems we all seem to have the same worries and concerns and fears. We’ve lost jobs (my own brother fired me after I helped build his business for 31 years) so
    Maryann, I know what it’s like to be negative about a job and be punished for either stating your feelings or stating the truth or both. Would it be possible to go back to your former boss or even write him a very sincere letter and tell him how truly sorry you are that your mind was thinking negatively at that time and you would appreciate his forgiveness, at least, you may get a decent referral from him ? It’s always hard for us to swallow our pride, however, I’ve admitted to my brother that although I did a lot of good to build his business, my two co-workers, at times, hurt me terribly and that threw off my work. Maybe your sincerity toward your former boss may touch his heart…..we can ask God to give him a change of heart, maybe he’ll even ask you back if that’s a possibility.

    As for Debbie and her husband and the children’s orphanage, I wish I knew Sean Penn or Ben Affleck. They both have spent a lot of time, effort and money there trying to help the horrible situation. Maybe if you could get a Senator or Congressman to help, that eviction could be stopped or reversed all together. I’ll pray that God sends you an idea of who to contact. I know there is someone who can help you, it’s a matter of figuring out just who.

    Judy, I’ll pray that your husband is either miraculously and totally healed by the Lord or if the Lord decides to take him home then He will give you the grace and strength to bear it. I know it for a fact. I just lost my Mom, I was alone with her when she took her last breath and I was not ready for it but Jesus gave me this sense of peace that I cannot explain and I swear to you, I saw Jesus standing over her in her bed when I felt that sense of peace and since she had suffered tremendously, I was happy for her to be at peace. I talk to her everyday, I don’t see her or hear her voice consciously, however, I do feel her with me. Yesterday I found a book in church that the sexton made me take home (nobody wanted it) and in the middle of the book was a picture of my patron Saint…..Saint Teresa who was my Mom’s favorite Saint also. The picture left in the book actually looked like my Mom when she was young. It was hurting me so much to be without both parents on Christmas, and my Mom came to me. Praise Jesus.

    Kat, I will pray for you to be able to resist your addiction. I know it’s so hard. They tell me that if you read a Gospel story when you feel that feeling come over you, it will help you overcome it.
    It’s worth a try.

    I wish I could buy us all the t-shirt I just found that says on it: DON’T BE DISCOURAGED. MOSES WAS A BASKETCASE, TOO. I will pray that Jesus comes to all of you in his quiet, silent way like a little baby. That He encourages all of you to keep praying, not to give up, not to despair and to know that with the Lord there will be answers. God bless all of you. I wish I could be more uplifting to all of you.
    “God can dream bigger dreams for us than we can ever dream for ourselves, just let HIM”.

    Expect a miracle !!!!!!!!


  28. I have a 3 hour interview today. Please pray that it will go well and that I can heal and let go of
    my previous job

  29. Please pray for me. I’ve become a nosy hypocondriatic neighbor and am not even liked by the one christian neighbor I had. Have been told to stay home and mind my own business. don’t even talk to me. I can’t stand living like this any more. I ‘d be better off dead.