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2018

 

 

February

*Feb. 7th - National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Test Your Knowledge & get testing site information - see NEWS

 

Black History Month

 

 

March

10th

National Women-Girls

HIV-AIDS Awareness Day

 

March 20th

National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

 

 

National Autism Awareness Month

 

April 1st - 30th, 2018

 

April 10th

National Youth HIV-AIDS Awareness Day

 

April 18th

National Transgender HIV Testing Day

 

May 18th

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

 

May 19th

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

 

June 8th

National Caribbean American HIV-AIDS Awareness Day

 

June 27th

National HIV Testing Day

 

September 18th

National HIV-AIDS & Aging Awareness Day

 

September 27th

National Gay Mens' HIV-AIDS Awareness Day

 

October 15th

National Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

 

December 1st

World AIDS Day

 

 

 

Find out what events we are currently planning and look back with us on past events.

Prayers & Words for Encouragement

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 

Prayer for Encouragement

 

Dear Lord, in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus Christ, I pray that your spirit rain down on the streets of this city. Your word Lord says that if your people shall humble themselves and pray you shall restore their city. Oh God, you know what's happening in our streets and in the lives of your people. Allow your spirit to be felt so strong that people run to seek you, for you are our saving grace.

 

If you don't know Jesus, just ask him to come and set up camp in your life for you desire to know him.

 

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

 

How can we experience Gods' Presence?

 

Psalm 145:18 

" The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely."

 

The Lord invites us to call on him without hesitation. He will reveal himself to us.

"Touch Point Bible Promises (2000). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

 

Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, thank you for the gift of today and your promises for tomorrow. Dear Lord, help those who don't know you feel your presence, and to visually see your miraculous works. Allow those who do know you as personal Lord & Savior, to know you even more. Lord, continue to guide us with you eyes and direct us with your light, in Jesus name, Amen.

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

 

"Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live."

2nd Timothy 3:16 CEV

 

  Monday, March 13, 2017

 

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away and all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

"God calls those things that are not as though they were. He calls you in the present what you're going to be in the future,and then makes you prove His Word to be true. Hence the Scripture says, "Let God be true and every man a liar" (Romans 3:4). It means you embrace what God has said about you, good or bad. When all has been said and done, God proves what He has said about you. It comes through His written Word and His personal revelation to you. His Word is right and everyone who speaks contrary to that word is a liar. Your life will witness the validity of God's Word if you continue to walk by faith and obey the Father. You will prove to this world that God is real and that He's able. There is nothing else in life that pleases God the Father more".

 

"Jakes, T.D. (1994). Why? Because You Are Anoited

Pneuma Life Publishing".

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

 

God creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

 

Ephesians 2:10

The Message

 

Daily Inspiration

for the Purpose Driven Life

Rick Warren

 

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for patience, mercy, and grace as you continually prepare us to do the work you've called us to do. Please continue to guide us, shape us, and use us in the lives of others, Amen.

 

 

PRAYER FOR ENCOURAGEMENT

 

Dear Lord,you are the author and finisher of our faith, teach us to be more like you in all that we do. You know none of us are perfect as your son, our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, but we desire to be. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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Previous Post

 

Thursday - January 26, 2012

 

The Dance Goes On

Read Mark 6:53-56

 

Set your minds on things that are above...for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3

 

Some years ago our sons, Tim and Fred, succumbed to the ravages of AIDS. Tim died on December 21, 1990. Fred went from this life to the next on September 20, 1991. A dark, empty feeling remains in our hearts. We suspect it will never go away. Even so, we experience God's gift of healing. Healing comes through faith in the power of Jesus Christ to overcome death. The risen Lord promises us that because Christ lives, Tim and Fred live also. After Tim and Fred died we wrote about our journey in a book titled, Dancing in a Wheelchair. We continue to tell that story to others who travel this hard journey. By sharing our story with students in India, pastors in Zimbabwe, parents in a small United States village, we bear each others burdens and find a way to keep dancing with trust and grace.

Prayer: God of love and peace, fill with hope all those who are living with HIV and AIDS. Surround each one with a company of supportive and caring persons who want to dance in faith. Amen.

Thought for the Day

Thanks be to God who surrounds us with continuing care.

Bishop Fritz and Etta Mae Mutti (Missouri, USA). 

 

The Upper Room...Prayers for Encouragement. Hope for Person Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

 

Prayers for Encouragement

The Upper Room

Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

 

Held Safe

Read John 10:1-18

He tends his flock like a shepard: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. (Isaiah 40:11 NIV)

 

I had been going through a difficult time and felt very despondent and afraid. I dreamed that I was a little child being held by an enormous giant of a man. He was holding me to his chest and running at great speed along a busy sidewalk. But I felt no fear, only a tremendous sense of safety and security. When I woke up, I heard these words very clearly in my heart: "Safe in the arms of Jesus." Jesus Christ - immense, powerful, and full of love-holds us strongly and surely as we go through the raging storms of life. Afraid, feeling there is no hope, we are held close by Jesus, who is shielding us with his very life. As we face uncertainty, pain, illness, and other trials, we can remember: "Jesus Christ, bigger than any problem, is holding me tightly to his heart. I am precious and safe in arms of Christ, who holds me throughout this life, safe, forever and ever".

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you love us so much that you will never let us go. When we are too weak to hold on, you hold us safely and securely. Thank you for your love, Amen.

Thought for the Day

Jesus Christ is bigger than anything we will ever face.

Elaine Richardson(South Africa).

 

 

Friday, January 27, 2012

 

The Good Day and the Bad

Read Psalm 23

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want....Though I walk through the valley of teh shadow of death, I will fear no evil.... Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Psalm 23, 1,4, 6 (KJV) 

 

Having lived with HIV for nearly two decades, I have had my share of struggles: a bout with pneumonia, loss weight and muscle mass, extreme fatigue, depression, and losing nearly 3,000 of my friends to HIV/AIDS. On my good days, I greet the morning with a smile, give thanks to God for another beautiful day, and go on living life to its fullest. But the bad days make it hard to accept living with AIDS. On those days I start with a simple prayer: "God, you know it's hard for me today. I need your help." As soon as I feel God's arms around me, I remember Psalm 23. Then I am able to climb out of bed singing my favorite hymn: "Then sings my soul, ... how great thou art!"* I may still hurt and it may be hard to get through my chores, but I can go through the day with a smile on my face and lightness in my heart.

Prayer: God, let me feel your loving arms holding me today. And make that so for all those who suffer. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God gives strength to meet each day

Dave Daniels (Tennessee, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement

Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases

 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

 

Living Water for the Thirsty

Read John 7:37-38

(Jesus said,)"Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, Out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living water."

 

A friend of my family was a very active and joyful woman. A mother of three, she led a life full of energy and work. In her 40s she suffered weaknesses, sudden dizziness, and disturbances of equilibrium. As her condition grew worse, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She had been a cheerful Christian all her life, encouraging people who felt weak and distressed. Suddenly, she was weak herself; and after a few years, she was confined to a bed and a wheelchair. Her physical strength was gone, but still she believed that Jesus could fulfill her thirst for life. And not only hers. Those who visited her at home or in the hospital saw in her a strong faith that overcame misery and weakness. They went away with renewed hope and courage. Likewise, persons living with HIV and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other serious diseases often bring renewed hope and courage to others.

Prayer: Dear God, let me give strength to others as you strengthen my weakness, Amen.

Thought for the Day

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Bishop Rudiger Minor (Germany)

 

Prayers for Encouragement

Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Sunday, January 29, 2010

 

Thus says the Lord, ... who created you. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. ... you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.

Isaiah 43: 1-2,4

 

Prayer

God of Hope, Your love makes possible the impossible. When we are facing seemingly impossible situations, remind us of your love and the possibilities it proclaims, Amen.

 

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement

Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Monday, January 30, 2012

 

Living Day by Day

Read 1 John 4:16-5:5

 

God is live, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

1 John 4:16

 

I give thanks for God's divine grace and endless, everlasting love. I have seen God as a divine healer since I learned that I was HIV positive. After my husband died and many people around me began to die, it was devastating to live alone with the stigma of being HIV positive. I was coping badly, day in and day out. But God revealed himself to me. And gradually, I learned to live day by day relying on God. I believe that God trusted me to be a role model in this situation just as Job was. I have never been bedridden as many others are. I have found that God's grace really is sufficient for me. God does not give as the world gives, and God's ways are not our ways. I pray continually, "Let your will, not mine, be done within me and in my life." What is important is doing God's will, day by day.

 

Prayer: Loving God, help us to want your will above all else. Open our eyes to see you. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God's grace stretches from forever to forever

Thandekile M. (South Africa)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

 

We Are Not Alone

Read Psalm 102

 

Hear my prayer, O Lord, let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress.

Psalm 102: 1-2

 

Walking through an AIDS and tuberculosis hospital, I was aware of many eyes watching me. I wondered what they were thinking. And what was I thinking and feeling as I met silently suffering women, men, and frail children? It was hard to see the pain and despair in their eyes. What could I do to take away their pain? to lighten their loads? I remembered a friend sharing with me her distress when neighbors did not come to visit after her husbands death.Not only did she lose her husband, but also she lost other relationships because people did not know what to say or do. We cannot bring back the person who has died, but we can be there to comfort the living. Frequently overwhelmed by the pain and suffering we see, we want to hide our faces from the distress around us. But that is the gift we have to offer: to see the suffering, to reach out our hand in friendship and concern, to raise our voices on behalf of those who cannot speak.

 

Prayer: Loving God, may each of us feel your love and the caring and compassion of others. We are not alone, for your loving spirit is with us. Help us be present in love others. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

When we show love, we embody Gods care for all of us.

Bonnie J. Messer (Colorado, USA).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

 

Jesus Holds Us Tenderly

Read John 1:1-14

The Word became flesh and lived among us.

-John 1:14

 

I love the passage proclaiming Jesus becoming human and living among us. Because Jesus became human, our humanity is changed. Jesus is now present to us in all ways. But what does it mean that Jesus is in me when I am waiting for test results or struggling with illness? I found myself asking that question years ago when dealing with illness. I asked Jesus: How did YOU deal with struggles? What I found was that Jesus often went to this Father to pray and share his life, concerns, and questions. Jesus knew his Father loved him and even called Jesus "my beloved" (Mt.17:5). Jesus also went to his friends. Even though they did not always understand him and sometimes disappointed him, Jesus shared his life with both old and new friends. This helped. I began praying and listening and slowly hearing God calling me by name, saying, "You are my beloved." I also opened myself to trusted old and new friends, for in those who accepted and cared for me, Jesus was bodily present to me. Finally, I found myself asking Jesus, who knew suffering, to hold me tenderly. He continues to hold me in more ways than I ever imagined.

 

Prayer: Jesus, you know our humanity. We ask you to hold us, heal us, and love us. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

I am God's beloved.

Maria Cimperman (Ohio, USA)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

 

Grace in Thorns

Read 2 Corinthians 12:5-10

 

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

 

My mother was taken up to Paradise after battling cancer. Despite strong, pain-killing drugs, her suffering was so unbearable that she could not stay conscious. Knowing that she would not survive her disease, I sensed her new life in heaven was imminent. The apostle Paul spoke of "A thorn ... given to me in the flesh" (2 Cor. 12:7). When he asked for the thorn to be removed, the reply was, "Power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul knew that Christ's power rested on his life, even within his greatest weakness. "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens" (Song of Solomon 2:2, NIV). This verse has been frequently interpreted as Christ's confession of love to his beloved saints. But as we delve further, we find the suffering love of the saints who are fully united with Christ, crowned with thorns. A terminally ill person is a lily among thorns, a child of Christ, spreading the pleasing fragrance of the lily. That person is a witness to God's power, made ever more perfect in the weakness of illness.

 

Prayer: God, by your grace transform our weakness into power, our thorns into the aroma of Christ. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

The grace of God is sufficient for all and in all.

J.C. Park (Korea)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

 

Friday, February 3, 2012

 

Consolation

Read Mark 4:35-41

 

"Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" (Jesus) woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!"

Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.

Mark 4:38-39

 

I have thought about the world's stuggle with AIDS and have asked myself, "Where does this disease come from? Why does it attack humans, who are God's creation?" I cannot find an answer. I can only meditate, pray, and ask God to bring salvation to humanity. I believe that just as Christ healed the sick, we will find a cure for this disease. We will have salvation, and the world will be free from AIDS. The disciples cried out for help when they thought their boat was lost, but Jesus calmed the sea and calmed the disciples. I have hope that as we face the turbulence of AIDS, Jesus Christ will calm the storms of HIV and AIDS. I am content and I rejoice when I read God's words of consolation. God will always be present with God's people.

 

Prayer: Omnipotent and omniscient God, help us overcome the pain that fills our hearts. Teach us how to live hopeful lives. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

Jesus Christ can calm the storms in our life, even when healing does not come.

Armindo Mapoissa (Mozambique)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

 

HIV - Positive

Read Psalm 42

 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

-Psalm 42:11

 

On December 4, 2001, I was diagnosed HIV positive. I felt dirty. I blamed myself for being careless and stupid. All I was thinking about was death. I was depressed and scared to tell my parents about my HIV status. I thought that I had become HIV positive as punishment for my sins. It was then that I realized I needed to make peace with myself and reconcile with God. Now I am happy. I am no longer scared to tell my parents about my HIV status. I regard myself a chosen one, chosen to stand up and show others that if you rely on God, nothing will stand in your way.

 

Prayer: Holy God, we give thanks that though we are all sinners, you want only good for us and do not punish us with illness. Thank you for Jesus, who showed that each of us is dearly loved and worth dying for. Help us to believe that good news. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God loves us and wants only good for us.

Vuyelwa M. (South Africa)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

 

Where Is God?

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-20

 

Paul wrote, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

-Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

 

In three short months I watched Bryan, my fun-loving and talented son, become helpless as a result of brain tumors caused by HIV. This son who knew and loved the Lord and often praised God with his gift of song, eventually lay still and died. The dreadful virus robbed Bryan of his speech, his mobility, his bodily functions, his smile. As I sat by Bryans' bedside, holding his hand, I cried, "Where are you God?" And the answer came. God was in the words of comfort and love offered by Sister Mary, the hospice chaplain. God touched me in the hugs of Fran, the social worker. God was in the tireless hands and feet of the nursing staff who so tenderly cared for Bryan and in the loving heart of Damon, Bryan's friend and a hospice volunteer. God spoke to me in the laughter and tears of family and friends who called and visited and in words of assurance from Denny, our pastor. As I looked into the face of each of these people, I saw Jesus! Each of these individuals met a unique need, but together they met all needs. What a beautiful example of the Body of Christ, these people were to me!

 

Prayer:  We praise you, O God, for all the ways you reveal yourself to us. Thank you for showing us your love and care, especially when our hearts are heavy. Amen.

 

Thought for The Day

We see God in every act of love and compassion that graces our lives.

Kathryn A Sutton (U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Monday, February 6, 2012

 

Tears of Joy

Read 2 Corinthians 2:3-7

 

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

-Psalm 126:5

 

I was raised with the belief that crying was bad or a sign of weakness. "Big boy don't cry." "Never let them see you cry." In 2001, while I was in a rehabilitation program for substance abuse, my favorite baseball cap disappeared. This very special hat had been stolen! Other patients helped search for the hat and by the end of the day, the culprit had been found and my hat returned. Some of the patients encouraged me to take revenge on the thief while others suggested that I forgive. Before I confronted him, I needed some time alone. I went to the chapel and, for the first time in my life, I felt compelled to pray. "Lord, what should I do?" That's when it happened-my spiritual awakening. In a burst of tears, the answer became clear. We were all in this facility to get help in overcoming addictions. I needed this man for help in my recovery, and I needed to offer him my help as well. Then another amazing thing happened. I realized that these were not tears of sorrow, but they were happy tears. I never knew such a wondrous feeling existed! It was a feeling of joy. I would never have known if I had continued to hold in my feelings.

 

Prayer: God, thank you for the gift of tears. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

Am I allowing myself to receive the gift of feeling my emotions today?

Claude Genzel*(Tennessee, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

 

Never Lose Heart

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

 

Do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

-2 Corinthians 4:16

 

The apostle Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians exhorts them never to lose heart. The same God who raised the Lord Jesus Christ will also raise us up no matter what afflictions we go through. Our sufferings in this world are great, but these cannot be compared with the glory that is waiting for us in heaven. Many times during mission encounters we prayed for sick people, some of them suffering from terminal illnesses. Some have been divinely healed while others have died, despite having faith that God could heal them. These experiences have taught me that our earthly troubles work to prepare us for eternal glory that far outweighs our suffering. We can focus our attention by faith and hope on the glory that is waiting for us in heaven, even if our physical body is overcome by sickness and disease.

 

Prayer: God our healer, help us to focus on hope. You have prepared for us eternal glory, even if we are overcome by disease and sickness. In Jesus' name we pray and believe. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

Christ Jesus offers us hope today.

Philip Polo (Kenya)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

 

Preventing New Infections

Read Isaiah 40:1-11

 

(Jesus said,) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came

 that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

-John 10:10

 

As a medical doctor and professor in India, I grieve every time a new person becomes infected with HIV. Last year almost 5 million persons were newly infected with the virus. I suspect God cries today, because HIV is a preventable disease. Global AIDS is the worst health crisis facing humanity in 700 years. Yet many people deny this; they will not speak openly and honestly about how infection can be prevented. Like Isaiah, sometimes it feels like we are "crying out in the wilderness" with no one listening about the urgent need for education, prevention, care, and treatment. The HIV virus is a thief that steals life. In our rural AIDS pediatric center, we focus on preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child during childbirth. We struggle to get anti-retroviral medicine to children who have been forgotten by the world. We also seek to educate people about how to avoid becoming infected and infecting others. Jesus never gave up trying to teach people about living abundantly. With God's help, each of us must find ways to promote prevention, so that all people "may have life, and have it abundantly."

 

Prayer: God, give us courage to speak openly about how to prevent HIV infections. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God wants all people to live abundantly

N.M. Samuel, M.D. (India)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

 

Jesus Draws Close

Read Matthew 11:28-30

 

If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.

-Psalm 27:10

 

Many people living with HIV and AIDS distance themselves from God because they think they are sinners, failures in life. But I take my HIV status as a sign of something I need to do or change. The cry of my heart is a cure for HIV and AIDS worldwide. The community, friends, and family sometimes discriminate against and discourage us who are HIV-positive. Friends may avoid us because they think that people will assume they are also HIV-positive if they are seen with us. Family members may push us away because they believe our HIV status lowers the family's dignity. Yet I have hope. God saved South Africa during apartheid and the time of bloodshed among our people. We prayed for peace during elections, and there was peace. God is with us, and God's presence can bring miracles. We who are HIV-positive can forgive, forget, stop pointing fingers, and refuse to retaliate in anger toward those who discriminate and belittle. This is the way of Christ.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, give us wisdom to follow your way and to be honest with others and ourselves. Teach us to love without counting the cost. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

The way of Christ is to draw close to those whom the world avoids.

Mathabo L. (South Africa)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Friday, February 10, 2012

 

Life Can Be Renewed

Read John 11:32-44

 

There was a rich man...who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich mans' table.

-Luke 16:19-21

 

No vaccines or cures exist yet to solve the crisis of HIV and AIDS. But we have good news. New anti-retroviral medicines exist and the disease need no longer be an automatic sentence of death. The New Testament reports stories of two men named Lazarus. One Lazarus is a poor, sick, hungry man, ignored by a selfish rich man. The other Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, dies, but Jesus raises him to life again. These Bible stories remind us that God is calling us to be advocates of universal access to free or low-cost, life-saving medicines and food for persons living with HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. In Eldoret, Kenya, doctors give people two prescriptions-one for food and one for medicine. Thanks to new anti-retroviral drugs, people who were once nearly dead are like Lazarus, walking and working again. Rose, for example, nearly died, but now is assistant manager of a farm, and her three children are not orphans. God calls the rich to share so we can end hunger and bring health and hope to sick people.

 

Prayer: God of life, help me be an advocate for food and medicine for all God's people. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

Write a letter today urging people and government to share food and medicine.

Donald E. Messer (Colorado, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

 

Anguish and Praise

Read Psalm 22

 

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help me...O Lord, be not far off; O mu Strength, come quickly to help me.

-Psalm 22:11, 19 (NIV)

 

I am helping a dear friend and member of my church as he struggles with AIDS. He is weak and needs assistance in caring for even his most basic needs. We often read Psalm 22 together. The psalm presents images of pain and joy, anguish and rejoicing, desperation and promise. In many ways, my friend's like is reflected in the psalm. He is rejected by people who mock him or shake their heads when they see him. He deals with pain and anguish, a terrible dryness in his mouth, weight loss so severe that he can count his bones, and a heart that "has turned to wax" and "melts away" within him. The psalm also sings of God's promises for my friend and for all of us: God knows us and is our strength. God is alwayswith us and does not overlook our suffering but responds to our cries when we call out for help. Whenever my friend and I read Psalms 22 together, God's peace fills our hearts. Our ocnfidence returns, and we can continue on the journey, knowing that God walks with us.

 

Prayer: God, you hear our cries for help and give us strength in times of trouble. Thank you for your presence that gives us light and hope in the darkest night. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God is never far away

Pascual P. Torres (Honduras)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS , Malaria, and other Serious dIsease.

 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

 

See, Listen, Touch

Read Mark 1:40-45

 

"If you are willing, you can make me clean."...

Jesus said, ""I am willing...Be clean!"

-Mark 1:40-41 (NIV)

 

In this scripture story, we get the feeling that Jesus is in charge and is out to defeat every enemy that threatens human wholeness. Jesus is taking authority through preaching and healing. Jesus heals a leper, one of the outcasts of Jesus' day. The leper shows up from nowhere, kneels before Jesus and says: "If you want to, you can make me clean." Then almost everything Jesus was about is packed into one beautiful sentence: "Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing, he said. Be clean!" (Mark 1:41, NIV). We dont know how, but somehow the leper knew that Jesus would see him, really see him, and respond to him as a person, not as an outcast. Jesus listened to him, looked at him, and touched him - three actions that no one else in that day would have made. We can count on it. Jesus will respond to us as he responded to the leper. And today, Christ's healing love is communicated through us. Our response to others must be that of Christ's compassion that leads us to see, listen, and touch.

 

Prayer: Healing God, see me, hear me, and touch me today. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

We are Christ's eyes, ears, and hands in the world today.

Maxie Dunnam (Kentucky, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Monday, February 13, 2012

 

Who Cares for the Caregivers?

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:5-8

 

I was sick and you took care of me

Matthew 25:36

 

We sat and talked with several women who shared similar stories. They had been faithful to their husbands, even caring for them when they began to experience the painful effects of AIDS. Their families gathered around and were supportive as well. But after their husbands died and the women were diagnosed with AIDS, they were shunned and driven from their homes. It is not uncommon that wives are blamed for the AIDS that killed their husbands, even if they were not the source of the infection. So these women came to the Buddhist Wat Phrabat Nampu temple in northern Thailand. Here they found support and comfort. Here they received loving care as they experienced the effects of AIDS. But they deeply missed their families. Too often those who are caregivers do not receive care when they are ill or in distress. The question remains: Who will care for the caregivers?

 

Prayer: O God, take into your healing presence those who give their lives in care of others. Give them strength in their ministry and give them comfort in their own affliction. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

Remember those who have been caregivers to you.

John Blinn (Colorado, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

 

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

 

Loving Our Neighbor

Read Galations 6:1-5

 

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

-Romans 13:10

 

Recently, I met a woman name Bertha, a Guatemalan woman with AIDS. She was talking about how people with HIV and AIDS are alienated from society. "Even the church can cause great damage to those struggling with AIDS," she said. She quietly told about a single mom in El Salvador who went to a church for comfort. Upon hearing of her situation, the priest warned the entire community to "beware" of this woman. Consequently, the women left the village. Bertha explained that some women who are stigmatized choose suicide. Bertha's story broke my heart. It caused me to question my own actions. How do I, as a believer in Jesus Christ, embrace those who are suffering with AIDS? How can I bring comfort and hope for those who are sick and in need of care? In Galatians, Paul calls us to bear one another's burdens, not to discriminate against those who are struggling or different from us. We are called to act with loving kindness, without judgment, showing the love of Christ in all we do.

 

Prayer:  Holy God, create in us a spirit of openness to all your children, embracing those in need. Help us care for them and show them your love. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God's light shines brightest in us when we love one another.

Linda Bales (Virginia, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

 

 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

 

God Weeps

Read Jeremiah 31:15-17

 

A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.

-Matthew 2:18

 

So many children-more than I can comprehend-are affected by HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Who weeps for them? A five year old girl in South Africa must leave the orphanage because she is too sick from AIDS to live there. Children become parents for their younger siblings. Who will parten these young parents? Who will comfort the children, teach them, protect them from this disase and the hardness of life? Who will weep for them when their family, their community, is gone? So many children-more than can be counted-have no one to weep for them because entire generations are no more. What can I say? How can I respond? I may never meet these little ones; they live different lives; some follow other faiths. But they are my sisters and brothers, my sons and daughters. They are children of the Most High, the God who must be weeping for all the children.

 

Prayer: God of Compassion, with you and all the worlrd family, we weep. Comfort all who are alone or afraid, who have no one to weep for them. Let us be your heart reaching out to those who grieve. Let us be your hands working to assist those who will live. For you are the God who stands with the least and the lost. Come by all the places that need your comforting and healing presence. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

We can join God in offering compassion and tears to all those who suffer today.

Beth A. Richardson (Tennessee, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

 

NO POSTING TODAY

WE APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR INCONVIENCE

Friday, February 17, 2012

 

Hope in the Day of Disaster

Read Lamentations 3

 

Do not become a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster.

-Jeremiah 17:17

 

When disaster struck and I was diagnosed HIV-positive, I already knew the value of clinging to the eternal hope that comes through faith in Christ Jesus. But soon I also knew that having eternal hope in times of earthly suffering is sometimes easier said than done. It became easy to identify with the prophet Jeremiah crying out: "Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable?(Jer.15:18). I even told God, with Jeremiah, "You are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail" (15:18). Only in time did it become clear that in Christ Jesus we indeed have a living hope and a refuge from the disasters that this life brings. I still "remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall" (Lam. 3:19, NIV). "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:21-23, NIV).

 

Prayer: Thank you, Father God, that although I am wearied by all my struggles, I still will not say: "It is hopeless." Thank you for the renewal of strength that we find in you. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

God is our hope in the day of disaster.

Frans H. Koekemoer (South Africa)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

 

Sharing Our Fears

Read Psalm 27

 

The is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

-Psalm 27:1

 

six years ago I had surgery to remove a non-maligant brain tumor. I was in the hospital three times because of the tumor. Because of my illness, I was not able to continue my active ministry as a pastor of a church. I was surrounded by a large "family", including my immediately family, my church family, friends in the community, and my hospital family. All of these were people who in different ways were able to hear my fears and help me deal with my grief. I discovered that sharing my fears and my grief with my "family" was therapeutic for me. Persons living with HIV and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other serious diseases also may have a need to share their fears and grief. I discovered that in sharing my feelings, I was able to help others deal with their own emotions. When I was courageous enough to share with others my fears and my grief, new hope and strength emerged for me and for those around me.

 

Prayer: Courageous God, thank you for the transforming power of your presence in my relationships today. May we see your face in those we meet. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

Sharing our fears and grief can encourage others and strengthen ourselves.

Gilbert H. Caldwell (New Jersey, U.S.A.)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

 

When All Is Lost

Read Matthew 27:45-50

 

I say to God, my rock, "Why have you forgotten me?Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?"

-Psalm 42:9

 

Event in my life made me feel as if I had been abandoned by people and by God. Usually when people fail me, I turn to God. But for several years when I have felt broken in heart and mind, I have also felt as if God has abandoned me. Then I read how Jesus was tested and what he overcame for our sake. Like me, Jesus felt abandoned by people and even by God. That made me realize that Jesus Christ is in my wilderness experience wth me. Even more remarkable is the fact that Jesus Christ chose to identify with us in the pain and loss of being human, when he could have remained in the bliss and joy of heaven. My wilderness experience helped me to realize the truth of another statement, this one in Ephesians 4:10: "He fill(s) the whole universe." "I'm not totally out of my wilderness yet, but I cling to this promise: "God is within her, she will not fail; God will help her at break of day" (Ps.46:5).

 

Prayer: Dear loving God, thank you for being with us in our darkest experiences. Thank you for being with us even when we feel abandoned and alone. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day

When we face the wilderness, we can take comfort in knowing that Christ understands and walks with us.

Sarah Chee (Singapore)

 

The Upper Room, Prayers for Encouragement, Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases.

Monday, February 20, 2012

 

Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is wth you wherever you go.

- Joshua 1:9

 

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 & Wednesday, February 22, 2012 & Thursday, February 23, 2012

 

NO POSTINGS

We apologize for your incovenience

Friday, February 24, 2012

 

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Romans 8:35, 37-39

 

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

 

You, God, created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist

and were created.

Revelation 4:11 NLT

 

The Lord take pleasure in his people.

Psalm 149:4 TEV

No Postings

Saturday, February 25, 2012 or Sunday, February 26, 2012

We apologize for your inconvenience

 

 

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