Archives For Prayer

New Videos

February 11, 2017

I’ve been having a lot of fun developing videos to help people who might be considering getting Time with God for themselves or to give as a gift.  I wanted to share these here.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you do, please Like and Share.  Thank you.

I can still remember like it was yesterday.  As a young child growing up, whenever we would hear a police siren go by, my mom would immediately say a  brief prayer.

I don’t remember what she prayed.  I’m not even sure she prayed out loud. But, she made sure to pass on the reminder to pray for whatever situation they were heading into.

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Now, more than ever, we need to support those who risk their lives on a daily basis to serve and protect us.  To be sure there are a few that make tarnish the reputation of the many.  To be clear, that happens in any field.  Unfortunately, those are the ones who make the headlines and viral videos that we see over and over. Continue Reading…

It is so easy to get out of balance in one direction or another. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. For example, we are commanded to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Normally, that would be a great pursuit.  However, some people get so caught up with loving God that they lose sight of the second half of Jesus command to love our neighbor.  Other people are so focused on loving their neighbor that they forget their first love and leave God out of their lives.

On one hand, prayer is so simple even the youngest child can pray.

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On the other hand, we can overcomplicate things so much that we get confused, intimidated, bored, or distracted. Prayer can be particularly challenging to balance.  We can get so focused on our laundry list of prayer requests that we forget to thank God for the blessings he’s already provided.  We can get so focused on praising or thanking God that we never get around to asking for forgiveness for our sins.

There are many prayer methods, systems, and tools. The ACTS pattern has been a tremendous help for me. Continue Reading…

A lot of people find spending time in prayer particularly challenging. They carve out some time. They muster up all their self-discipline and courage, get on their knees, and then say, “OK, what do I do now?!”

Personally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer. I share this not because I am a spiritual giant. Rather, I often find it such a struggle to stay focused in prayer that I have had to discover or develop tools to help.

I have found three resources, or methods, immensely helpful in developing confidence and consistency in my own prayer life. In this book. I weave all three of those methods together for a powerful combination in Time with God: Develop Confidence and Consistency in Your Personal Prayer Life.

This book is designed to serve as a resource to help us grow closer to God and to build confidence and consistency in our personal prayer lives. Primarily, we need to remember that prayer is simply spending time with God. Unfortunately, we can complicate it so much that we get confused, insecure, bored, or distracted. Continue Reading…

(Note: Today’s post is written by Kelly O’Dell Stanley, the author of Praying Upside Down, which releases today, May 1, published by Tyndale Hose Publishers.)

I don’t know about you, but my favorite way to pray is upside down.

I’m in good company. Jesus constantly surprised his followers—and critics—with His unexpected answers. Jesus always challenged the status quo. He looked beyond the surface and wasn’t afraid to flip things around.

One Sunday morning when my son, Bobby, was six, he left our pew and walked straight to the front of the church, up the steps onto the platform, right in the middle of our worship. Pastor Nathan was sitting in a chair off to the side, putting the finishing touches on his sermon notes. Bobby circled around the worship leader, ignored the musicians, and climbed into the seat next to Nathan. With a sigh, he leaned back and then scooted to the edge of the chair. The big smile and hug Nathan gave him weren’t a surprise—Nathan had taught all the children that they were always welcome to come up front. That day, as I watched through tears, I finally understood the beauty of having direct access to God. Knowing that He welcomes me, and you, with joy. No matter who’s watching.

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This must be what Jesus meant when He spoke to the adults who tried to shoo the children out of the way. Continue Reading…

I really enjoyed yesterday.  It was Easter Sunday–a day that can embody all the best of faith and family. Plus, the weather was great. Two of my three kids were able to come back home and enjoy a great dinner together with an extra friend.  It was just a really good day.   Church was very nice.  Somehow songs about the resurrection took on a whole new significance.

He didn't stay on the cross.  Because He Lives, I can...

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The pastor referred to Dr. Tony Campolo and his, now classic, sermon.  My daughter wasn’t aware of the message so it gave me an excuse to look it up so I could send her a link.  It is truly a great message. Toward the end, Tony shared his memories of preaching at a “preach off” at an African-American church.  One of the preachers did a 90 minutes focused on one phrase.  He would describe the followers of Christ in various stages of despair seeing Jesus on the cross.  Then the pastor would say, but they didn’t know.  “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a comin'”.

It also made me remember the opening line of a sermon I heard about this time over thirty years ago.  “The problem with many Christians is that they are living on the wrong side of Easter.”

You see, before the resurrection, it’s a little easier to understand how some people can tend to give up hope. I can’t really imagine what that first Good Friday must have felt like.  Not knowing what would occur in two short days, it’s understandable that they would feel that all was lost.

However, the sadder truth, is that so often knowing what already did happen on the first Resurrection Day, we can fall into old patterns of despair and disillusionment or just distraction and drifting through life.

I woke up this morning thinking about both of those older sermons and reminded myself that even though it is Monday, Sunday’s not coming.  It already came.  I don’t need to wait for the power of the resurrection in my life, I need to live in it. Continue Reading…

This is part 3 in a series on helps for personal prayer. In Part 1, we looked at a helpful pattern for prayer and at turning our Bible reading into prayers. In Part 2 the focus was on praying for our roles and relationships. In Part 3, we will focus on how to pray for missionaries and your pastor. A fuller version is available in the document designed for you to print out and put in your Bible, Prayer journal or even your purse or jacket pocket. Download the pdf Personal Prayer Helps.PDF or the Microsoft Word doc Personal Prayer Helps,DOC.

Pray for your pastor

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Brothers and sisters, pray for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:25)

Sunday: Power in the pulpit

Pray that your pastor would be “filled with the Holy Spirit and continue to speak the word of God with boldness” Acts 4:31

Continue Reading…

This is part 2 in a series on helps for personal prayer.  In Part 1, we looked at a helpful pattern for prayer and at turning our Bible reading into prayers.  Today’s focus is on praying for other people.  Let’s look at suggestions for praying the roles and relationships in our lives.  Let’s face it, when most of us pray for other people, we usually tell God what”s wrong with someone else (just in case God didn’t already know) and then ask God to fix THEM.

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Somewhere, I read something that encouraged me to think a little differently when I pray for other people.  Instead of complaining about somebody to God, it might be better to thank God for putting that person in my life in the first place.  Then I pray for me to be a good ____ (whatever my role is in the other person’s life). Continue Reading…

Along with words to encourage you or help you to encourage others, I hope to provide resources or training to help us live out our faith.  This is the first in a series on helps for your personal prayer life.  Coming tomorrow, helpful resources to pray for all the relationships in your life, for missionaries and your pastor.  Today’s focus will be on a helpful pattern for prayer and using the Bible to help pray for friends who already know God and for friends who need to know God better.

Many people have found prayer particularly challenging.  They muster up all their self-discipline and courage.  They get on their knees and then say, “What do I do now?!”  Personally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer.  I share this not because I am a spiritual giant with much to offer.  I share these because I often find it such a struggle to get started in prayer and even after getting started to then stay focused.

Perhaps the most helpful resource I have ever found for prayer is God’s Word itself.  Sometimes we pray way too mildly because we may not be sure that something is God’s will.  When we turn Bible verses that we are reading into actual prayers for ourselves and others, we can be pretty sure we are praying in God’s will.  Keep reading for some helpful examples.

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I may be a little unusual, but I have often found a countdown timer extremely helpful.  If I have set aside a certain span of time for prayer, I found that I would be checking the clock way too often to make sure I didn’t go overtime—like that’s a real worry!  I found that if I set a countdown timer, my mind is no longer distracted by the clock.

Finally, I have often found a pattern of prayer has helped me to stay focused and balanced in my prayers. Continue Reading…