Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is There Anything For Which I Can Pray For You?

Oakland Marathon 2012
"Flower man," "flower runner," "rose runner," were just a few of the names I was called during the Oakland Marathon last week. "Is that for me," a female runner asked me. "Don't worry, you'll find her," said a runner who passed me. "Are you selling roses," shouted somebody from the crowd. It definitely made for an interesting run.

But I was there to run and pray for 26 women with breast cancer (27 actually). I stopped at every mile marker to offer a rose for each of them. A lady runner asked, "Hey can I have one of your roses?" I said, "I'd like to but I have each of my roses already named, but I can offer to pray for your special intentions."

The last thing I wanted to happen was to draw attention to the roses, but I definitely wanted others to see the roses as a reminder that God listens to our prayers. That we can show caring for people through prayer.

Carrying a rose in my hand and 26 more
in my backpack
There were a few more cancer survivors' names I received after the race to be prayed for. There were also other special intentions that were requested be prayed for, before and after the run. Please be rest assured that I keep them in my thoughts and prayers, running or not running.

I think my praying and running refines me. Like Jesus' disciple, I am sent, perhaps to make God's love and mercy, more visible to you seeing a praying runner on the road or you seeing a rose on a mile marker. Or perhaps you who just happen to read this post and to which I ask you now, "Is there anything for which I can pray for you today?"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Actually 27 Pink Roses

The 27th rose is for the .2 miles in loving memory of my wife. I laid her rose down on the finish line. Soon after the race I drove to the cemetery to hang my medal around her, like she always liked it.

It was a fitting culmination to my race praying for the 26 women in my list and offering a rose and a mile of prayer for each of them. I felt blessed to carry the rose with each of their names on it and laying it down on every mile marker. It was a tough run, but it is nothing compared to what these courageous women have to go through to survive. It is truly my honor to run and pray for each of them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

26 Pink Rose Run

On March 25th, 2012 in the Oakland Marathon in California, I will run 26.2 miles in honor and in prayer for 26 women with breast cancer. I will bring with me 26 pink roses and offer a rose and a mile for each of them in prayer for strength, healing, and thanksgiving.

Show your support by pledging to run/walk and pray for these 26 women of courage. Keep them in your thoughts as you offer your walk or run in prayer. Start by thanking God for your own health, then go for your walk or run reflecting on God's healing compassion. You can also read their names in your prayer.

I am not raising funds; but I am raising prayers. The more people, the greater our voice will be in prayer. So you can also show your support by sharing this page or asking others to pray.

Post here, email me at, or post at Praying Runner Facebook Page your pledge to pray or praying run/walk. "Thus says the Lord...I have heard your prayers and seen your tears. I will heal you." (Isaiah 38:5).

Let Us Pray for 26 Women of Courage

Mile 1 - Remedios D.
Mile 2 - Betty
Mile 3 - Aunt Rose
Mile 4 - Mom of John's daughter
Mile 5 - SW
Mile 6 - Lorie
Mile 7 - Janet R.
Mile 8 - Eleanor R.
Mile 9 - Renee M.
Mile 10 - Cherry M.
Mile 11 - Kristin B.
Mile 12 - Mavel G.
Mile 13 - Lucybel A.
Mile 14 - Shanya S.
Mile 15 - Norma S.
Mile 16 - Diana B.
Mile 17 - Aunt Jaya
Mile 18 - Lovely D.
Mile 19 - Lourdes F.
Mile 20 - Lina T.
Mile 21 - Eleanor L.
Mile 22 - Ilda C.
Mile 23 - Becca A.
Mile 24 - Lourdes L.
Mile 25 - Nelia S.
Mile 26 - Suzette P.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Rest is a part of your training, believe it or not. Your rest day is just as important as your hard day in your training program. It's the time when your body builds new cells to prepare itself for the next level of training. If nothing else, you deserve to take a break from the rigors of running. Sleep in, put your feet up, or take the elevator and not the stairs.

Today is Day 20 of my 40-day Lenten Run. Never before have I directly realized the value of rest until now. After 20 days of consecutive running totalling 161 miles, my leg muscles are screaming to stop and take a rest day. For a running mortal like me, to break my 40-day pledge is such a tempting deal.

So why not listen to my body and take that day of rest?

When I pray as I run, I do not listen to my body as much as I listen to the voice of my heart. I listen to God who is the voice of my heart calling me to rest -- to rest in Him. When I pray as I run, I pray that I may rest in God and nothing else. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "You have have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until it rests in you."

Praying as you run can teach you to feel relaxed even when your body is agitated, to remain peaceful in the midst of chaos, to hear God's call in a noisy world, and to gain strength when you feel weary. Long may you run and pray and find rest in Him.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Praying Through Pain

I have a friend who quit teaching because he doesn't like dealing with difficult students in the classroom.  He said, "I just want want to come to work, to teach, and come home." Then I said, "Then, you really don't want to teach." Having difficult students in a classroom is part of teaching.

Likewise in running, I hear people say that they used to run but quit because their knees hurt too much. But I say that  feeling pain is part of running. When a new stress is exerted, your body fires up the pain sensor in your brain. But your body also actually adapts to the stress, eventually, making you able to withstand the activity.

To improve in running, be ready for pain. Pray not to take away the pain, but pray for strength to get through the pain. Here is a Bible verse, suggested by a runner friend of mine, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13). When pain sets in or the run gets really hard, repeat and ponder on the verse as you keep going. Praying through pain does not only improve your running, it also strengthens you spiritually.

Life has its impending difficulties, too. We face them, feel the pain and hardship, and eventually get through them. Then we find ourselves stronger than before. Let's take it from Bruce Lee, a Legend in Martial Arts, who said, "Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."

P.S. My caveat:  Please distinguish good pain from bad pain.  What I wrote above is the good kind of pain. Bad pain? Please see a health professional.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

40-day Lenten Run

What are you giving up for Lent? It's a pretty heavy duty question; but sometimes, it's taken very lightly as a conversation topic.

I think it's a very profound question that if we take our answer seriously, it could make a difference in our lives. "To give up" something could be interpreted in many different levels. One level could mean what are you willing "to stop doing" during Lent. This is where the answers of eating chocolates, swearing, drinking, come up. On another level, the question could be interpreted more profoundly as what are you willing "to devote" yourself completely during Lent.

I chose to answer the question in the second way. I am devoting myself to pray and run for 40 days and through the Holy Week up to Easter Sunday. I receive prayer requests from many people and I take them with me as I run, keeping your prayer intentions in my thoughts in prayer - like a pilgrimage.

I have not run this long in my life. I usually take 2-3 days of rest a week from running. The rest days are really prized time for runners. Like most runners, I look forward to my rest days. However, my first rest day will not  come until after 47 days to be exact.

Please keep sending me your prayer intentions and share my ministry to other people. I can use all the support of prayers and encouragement I can get. Likewise, I also ask for your prayers so I can successfully complete my Lenten Run.

To send your prayer intentions, you can (1) reply to this post  (2) email me at (3) post on my Facebook page (4) "like" me on Facebook to support my Lenten Run. Thank you and Godspeed!