Friday, December 29, 2006

Does God hear the prayers of non-Christians?

I’M GLAD YOU ASKED…
Shared by Pastor Rande Wayne Smith

Does God hear the prayers of non-Christians?

Since God is omniscient, (He is aware of everything), I believe He “hears” every prayer. But, I suspect the real question is, “does God honor the prayers of non-Christians?” There are certainly indications in Scripture that God sometimes not only hears the prayers of unbelievers but responds to them. Scripture also makes it very clear that God is not at all pleased with insincere prayers. God tells us that He “will not reject a humble and repentant heart.” (The Psalms 51:17) Conversely, He hates arrogance and He hates the prayers of the proud, whether they are Christian or not. In numerous passages Scripture tells us that God is pleased by and honors only those prayers that come to Him out of a truly repentant heart. When we pray, as reconciled people, then we have the promise that God will hear us. The fact of the matter is, God commands every person to come to the cross for their redemption and for their reconciliation. This is not something we can negotiate. As Christians, we’re committed to the Son of God because we believe in Him and in Him alone. He is the only means of redemption God has provided for the human race. And God wants us to come through Christ if we are going to pray. Access to the Father is only through the Son.


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Friday, December 22, 2006

God uses children in prayer

God uses children in prayer

Lenny and Tracy LaGuardia have led thousands of children into a deeper walk with God through their work at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, USA. They help children to hear the voice of God and act based on that. The result is not just many children's prayer initiatives for cities and nations, but also an outpouring of miraculous healings. The children have seen answered prayers, miracles, and healings, and as a result developed a steady faith that God is listening to them and working through them.

Donna Edwards is the choir teacher of the IHOP kids, but post-polio syndrome forced her to walk on crutches for several years until the kids prayed over her for 45 minutes one night. Edwards said, "I was able to totally lay down my crutches." Thirty kids were marching around her, praying.

Jackson Bohlender suffered from so many food allergies, that he was really crippled in what he could eat. But after a solid year of the IHOP kids praying for him faithfully, he visited his doctor for new tests. He said, "About half my food allergies - the big ones - were non-existent. I could eat everything."

Dalton Burge of Christ Triumphant Church went up to pray for two visitors suffering with abscessed teeth, who thought it was kind of cute, but then they started feeling their mouths, and both of them had gotten healed.

Lenny LaGuardia says Christian parents need to expect that their children have real encounters with God. "I would say to parents, look beyond the external to the eternal. Don't just see them as children. See their destinies in hand."

CBN produced a video about the various children's prayer initiatives in the United States, which can be viewed online: www.cbn.com/cbnnews/72009.aspx.

Source: Paul Strand, CBN News


Joel News International is a leading e-zine on what God is doing worldwide in the area of prayer, church growth and revival. We offer a keen selection of encouraging news reports, challenging developments and quality resources from over 100 reliable sources in six continents. Joel News is a great help and time-saver for thousands of active Christians in over 120 nations.
Joel News is published weekly on the basis of an annual donation. For more information visit our donation page: http://www.joelnews.org/donation.htm.
Joel News partners with a wide range of international networks and ministries in the area of prayer, saturation church planting, revival and world missions. News reports (no regular mailing lists) can be sent to our editorial team at info@joelnews.org.
(c) JOEL NEWS, 2006

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Prayer Breakout Sessions @ National Conference


Breakout Sessions will help you implement what you learn from our speakers

Breakout Session Leader Bios

Strategic City Transformational Prayer
Jacquie Tyre, president, Kairos Transformation Ministries
In this session workplace leaders and pastors learn what is required to see a city impacted through the joint partnership of pastors and workplace leaders through strategic intercession. This practical, real life session will help you implement prayer in your city and learn from what has been done in other cities. Jacquie is also director of Global Day of Prayer in Atlanta.
Establishing Prayer in Your Workplace
Dr. Vanessa Battle, president, Women About God's Business Ministries

How can you effectively start a prayer focus in your workplace? What are models that you can learn from? Vanessa Battle is a workplace leader who has a track record in establishing prayer in her workplace. You will learn from practical and proven applications.

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RESOURCE ~ Forty Days to Ignighting Prayer

Inspiring and Igniting Prayer in Our Churches

Prayer in Us: "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7). "Were not our hearts burning within us?" (Luke 24:32).

Editor's note: Since this is the two-year anniversary edition of Wind & Fire, I asked David Muyskens, who has been writing the opening article of the newsletter every month, to share a brief history of the newsletter and of his involvement in prayer ministry in the RCA. Wind & Fire is a monthly newsletter that seeks to help start, spread, and sustain a church-wide prayer movement by ministering the Word in ways that inspire and ignite every RCA congregation to become a house of prayer for all peoples.

Dave

By J. David Muyskens

It was a physician's question, now over 20 years ago, that led me to establish a regular practice of prayer. After ascertaining that my symptoms were caused by stress, he asked, "Are you trying to do it all yourself?" The question made me realize that I was not depending on God and did not have a practice of prayer asking for God's guidance and power. So I began a habit of early morning prayer. I soon learned that prayer is more than talking to God--it is also listening to God and spending time in communion with God.

At the Mission 2000 festival I was one of the writers of the Pentecost Letter that grew out of the prayers of the participants. The letter was sent to churches, challenging them to become "houses of prayer." At that event I volunteered to be the coordinator of a prayer network in the RCA, a vision of Chuck and Jean Van Engen. I gathered the names of about 100 intercessors and sent them prayer requests and short writings about prayer. We called these communications Wind & Fire, the name which those who were praying for Mission 2000 had coined. When the Reformed Church named Jonathan Brownson to be our minister of prayer, he became the editor of the electronic continuation of Wind & Fire.

It has been thrilling to see the revival of intercessory prayer in the church. My prayer practice tells me that two other forms of prayer are also needed: listening to God and contemplative communion with God. I have felt called to make those forms of prayer better known. One of the ways I hope to do this is through a book that is just off the press of Upper Room Books. It is entitled Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God.

My hope is that it will introduce people of the Reformed tradition to contemplative prayer and a way of entering into it called "centering prayer." It makes use of the ancient way of listening to God through Scripture called lectio divina. In the book there are two or three pages of reading for each of 40 days with suggestions for prayer and Scripture meditation. It also contains directions for the weekly meeting of a group of people reading the book together. This can be for an adult education course or any group of people interested in exploring contemplative prayer. The book can be secured through a local bookstore or by calling Abingdon Press at (800) 251-3320. I hope you will find it helpful.


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Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Quote; Unquote"

"Why pray? Evidently, God likes to be asked."

>Extra Points:
A Human Imperative That Crosses Religious Lines

(Los Angeles Times) Communication with God -- whether written, spoken,
sung, or silent -- is considered 'universal and natural for all,' regardless of
religion. For years, surveys have shown that more than 80% of Americans
pray regularly. They pray in homes, houses of worship and on the Internet.
They pray behind the wheel, while walking the dog, standing in line at banks.
They pray alone and with others. Why?....

[Read the article]

>Timely resource for further reading & viewing:
Prayer Devotional Bible
Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey
The Book of Uncommon Prayer 2 (bonus music CD included)
by Steven Case
Confessions of a Prayer Wimp by Mary Pierce
Serenity: Reflections and Scripture on the Serenity Prayer
Into God's Presence by Liz Babbs
Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler
(listen to Ann's 1-minute devotional on Zondervan's homepage)


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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Train to Pray with Biblical Hope



Seek God for the City 2007 ~ Pray God's highest hopes for your city's deepest needs.

Prayer Guide for the 40 days leading up to Palm Sunday - Feb. 21st to April 1st

New prayers, different scriptures with a fresh look. Now more than ever, it is time to pray with solid biblical hope

Lead your people to step into a forty-day adventure of praying the desires of God with vivid, relevant prayers from the promises of scripture. This 64-page booklet is a proven tool that unites and guides whole churches in persistent prayer for spiritual awakening throughout their communities. Many say "Seek God" brings them to a greater maturity in their praying. Designed to guide prayer through the forty days leading to Palm Sunday, February 21 through April 1, 2007. A children's companion version and a Spanish translation are available free online. High hope, low hype, and centered on Christ's glory.

We are able to offer a complimentary review copy to anyone in a recognized position of pastoral or prayer leadership. Call our office at 800-264-5214.

It's affordable. For as little as $1.20 each, the significant quantity discounts make it possible to equip many in your church and community. ($3 single copy price.)

It is very convenient to view a sample page online. For more info please visit us: www.waymakers.org

or click here to place an order:

A children's companion version and a Spanish translation will be available online January 2007. These are both available in a PDF format designed to be printed and photocopied.

Take a look at your calendar. Seek God for the City comes earlier next year. It is not too soon to order copies now.

Invite others to join in. Please feel free to forward to anyone you think might be interested.

Steve Hawthorne, Director, WayMakers
P O Box 203131, Austin, TX 78720
512-419-7729

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Monday, December 11, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Make the Lord's Table a Place of Prayer

Has your Lord’s Supper observance become commonplace?

Claude King writes, "Have you ever gone to the Lord's Table to partake of the elements and left the service unmoved and unchanged? I have. When I partake of the supper in a casual way, I unintentionally say, 'Lord, Your death on the cross wasn't that important.' How grieved God must be when I care so little for the great sacrifice He made for my salvation."

Pastor, I wanted you to be the first to know about the new resource, Come to the Lord's Table. It's a 28-day devotional guide with a small group session each seven days. It also includes a pastor's guide with suggestions for church wide use of the resource in preparation for the Lord's Supper observance.

The free download includes Claude's explanation of how he believes this could help your church family fall back in love with Jesus.

Learn more and download the complimentary sample...

Craig Webb, Editor
Pastors Today & Proclaim Online

Pastor-Church Relations & Ministers' Wives Holiday Stress

How to Start a Pastor-Church Relations Team
The beginning of the new year would be an excellent time to pull this group together to enhance your relationship with your church family.

Ministers' Wives Dealing with Holiday Stress
The holiday season can be especially difficult for ministers' wives as they seek to be the perfect hostess, wife, gift-giver, friend, and mother. Inside LifeWay's Brooklyn Noel visits with ministers' wives specialist Chris Adams, licensed counselor Barney Self, and pastor's wife Shirley Cross. An audio interview and transcript is available.

Helps for Ministers' Wives
Did you know that LifeWay has a private community just for minister's wives. It's a great place to share joys and struggles of ministry.



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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Children's Prayer Movement Extends Globally

Children's prayer movement extends globally

In October, 170 representatives of children's prayer networks from 50 nations gathered in Malaysia for a unique global consultation. It was a time to hear corporately from God and share experiences and strategies in encouraging children to become agents of transformation through prayer for their communities, nations and the world.

There seems to be a true prayer revival among children in many countries in the world. A move of prayer in an Indian children's home came after the girls there were challenged to read and memorise Bible verses, and God showed them the truth and reality of his Word. Children see remarkable answers to prayer, as God 'chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong' (1 Corinthians 1:27), and He values children's humility, openness, eagerness and faith.

One of the organizers of the consultation said: "We were reminded of how strategic children's prayers can be, and that God uses their praises 'to silence the foe and the avenger' (Psalm 8:2). Children's prayer should not be limited to 'close-to-home' matters - we need to equip young people to pray for global issues such as politics, children at risk, HIV/AIDS and so on. As they take up the authority that God gives them, we will see amazing change. We were encouraged by stories of God raising up children regarded as the 'least' in society, turning their lives around as Christians support them, and using them powerfully in prayer."

Children themselves were an integral part of the consultation, and the organizers stress that children should not be segregated from adults, but be fully recognized as part of the Body of Christ. They want to develop the children's prayer movement hand in hand with the existing prayer movement in all regions of the world. There are many children's prayer websites, and we list a few of them.

http://www.kidspray.org.au
http://www.kidsprayer.com
http://www.childrensprayernet.net
http://www.godprayer.net
http://kidsinministry.com
http://www.viva.org/?page_id=92
http://livedigital.com/content/52110 (video)
http://www.navpress.com/Magazines/PrayKids/ (magazine)

Source: Jane Mackie, John Robb and others
(c) JOEL NEWS, 2006 | republication only with full creditline www.joelnews.org

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Advent Banner, One "Candle" at a Time


Each horizontal panel (Hope, Love, Joy, etc.) on the Advent banner is detachable.

Instead of lighting a candle on each Sunday of Advent, we suggest adding a candle panel to the banner. One panel per Sunday.

The handmade banner is predominately made of jewel-toned felt and has gold letters, glittery accents, and comes ready to hang on a satin cord and wooden rod. Size is 3' by 6'. Cost of each banner is $175.00.

There is no handling fee; shipping will be the actual USPS charge. As each banner is made to order, delivery time will vary.

Contact Garnett Evola (217)826-8479; email gevola@verizon.net or Marsha Duke (217)465-5665; email duke22@comwares.net


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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Uncommon Prayer ~ Hindrances to God's Presence

===>Note: Consider using the list of hindrances below as a format for an uncommon prayer adventure. Pray through each hindrance using a varied style of rpayer (personal, silence, written, partner, all-group, etc.)

Hindrances to God’s Presence

“Have you ever wondered if it is possible to get God’s attention or attract His presence? And if it is possible, then why don’t we spend more time doing those things that welcome His presence? God’s Word establishes clear principles regarding His presence. There are things that prepare for and welcome the presence of the Lord - things like prayer, unity, worship, and a broken and contrite spirit. There are also things that cause Him to withdraw or remain at a distance.” Rhonda Hughey

Jesus is knocking at the door of our cities. Can you hear His knock? Are you aware that Your King wants to visit your city, but He will not force His way in when there is no invitation. It is the responsibility of the church to welcome His presence into the city. He is the honored guest. We must open the door for our King, and invite His glorious entrance into our cities. We must do this together as the corporate church in the city. The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we desperate enough?” “Do we long enough for His presence?” “Can we live without Him in our city?” “Are we willing to seek Him together as the city church?

“It’s not possible to have a lasting corporate impact on a city as a single congregation. God hasn’t constructed the rules of life that way. It requires corporate unity and agreement to accomplish corporate results… God has ordained a corporate church in each city! There is something bigger than our local congregations! There should be one Shepherd and one king enthroned in our cities. We must start with a common vision and purpose and then build according to God’s blueprint, not our own. We can’t start with our own empire and then try to build up to who God is. He will step down to us in response to our desperate cry.” Rhonda Hughey

We are presently in an area of southern Spain where there is a big invitation for God’s presence. Many of the churches are seeking God’s face and are crying out for His presence. There is a non-stop prayer meeting where there are prayers asking God to come and dwell in this area of Spain, Gibraltar and North Africa. There is one prayer meeting after another - sometimes two churches meet at the same time, sometimes there are one or two praying in the early morning, and at other times there is loud praying and praise, and the room is filled with the fragrance of Christ. The expectation level is growing. The hunger is increasing, and God is changing all of our lives in the midst of it all. Would you join us in prayer that God would visit and make His presence known in this area of the world called Campo de Gibraltar? See www.campo247.com for details. Last night the pastors in this area spent the whole night in prayer together! There is the sense that prayer has reached a new level, and there is a magnetic attraction to the prayer room. I find it quite appealing and can’t wait to get to the prayer room. There seems to be an unusual grace at this time to pray long hours where it seems but a few moment.

Roadblocks to God’s Presence

“We haven’t yet realized the consequences of our lack of unity and refusal to contend for God’s presence. I want to encourage you to consider the condition of your city: Watch the news, read the newspaper, listen to conversations, and look at the people around you. Let the condition of your city break your heart and draw you into intercession for a breakthrough of God’s presence.” Rhonda Hughey

Just as there are roadblocks keeping you from reaching your destination when driving a car, there are roadblocks to God’s entrance into your city. There are many obstacles to God’s presence. The following are a few key barriers together with verses relating to these obstacles. I encourage you to pray that God removes these roadblocks that keep His presence from entering your city. Pray that God removes them from your own heart.

  • Pride - We are often self-righteous and think we are good, but Jesus is our example of humility. God hates pride, and He will not bring His manifest presence into our city when we are walking in pride. We often try to get to the highest position, but Jesus carried a towel and washed His disciple’s feet.

    “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)

  • Idolatry - Idolatry diminishes God’s glory. When the presence of God is not in a city, it is the fault of the churches. We are responsible. Whatever we substitute for our love for God becomes an idol. These idols may be sports, TV, material possessions, etc. Think about where you spend your time, and examine your own heart.

    ”Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3-4).

  • Immorality - The temptations towards sexual sin is everywhere. Every believer must guard against this. Pray for purity in the body of Christ. God is revealing sexual sin in his church. He will make His presence known when His church walks in holiness.

    ”Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (I Corinthians 6:18-20).
  • Unbelief - We must believe the promises of God and have faith to believe He will accomplish them. Unbelief denies his promises and power. It will prevent us from entering the promised land. God promises us that if we ask in His name, He will do it (John 14:13-14).

    “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

  • Distractions - Distractions are everywhere. We must give God unhurried time and undistracted hours. We can no longer get busy with secondary things when the King wants our attention. The amazing thing about this month of prayer is that we are learning to focus only on the Lord Himself. God desires that we seek one thing.

    ”One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

  • Luke-warm Hearts - So many in the church have left their first love, and their hearts no longer are passionate towards God. They have settled for a luke-warm life. God wants us to be on fire for Him. One of the recurring prayers during this month is for the fire (fuego) of God!

    “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other. So, because you are luke-warm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

  • Religious Spirit - This is a counterfeit form of life and Godliness. It may look good on the outside, but it is based on human wisdom and agendas. It may have many programs but it is a substitute for Jesus and is totally disconnected with real life.

    ”… having a form of godliness but denying its power” (II Timothy 3:5).

  • Disunity - God will not make His presence known to a disunified church. We must learn to value the other parts of the body of Christ. We must see that we fit together and cannot reach the city by ourselves. We desperately need each other. See Psalm 133.

    ”I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23).

One thing that God wants us to realize is how very desperately He cares for the lost in our cities. He is a compassionate God, and the pain and cries in the city have touched His heart deeply. He wants us to partner with Him in bringing hope to our cities, but He cannot do this if there are barriers preventing His presence from entering the place where we live. He is the answer to all the problems and pain. His presence in our cities will make all the difference.

Father, we pray that you would visit us, and make your presence known in our city. Remove the distractions in our churches that keep us from you. We want to seek only one thing - you and your presence. Take away our luke-warm hearts, and set us on fire for you. Forgive our disunity, and bring your church in our city together as one. We repent of any pride in our lives. Teach us to walk in humility. Remove all immorality and sexual sin from our city. Take away our idols. We want to worship only you. Give us faith to believe that you can change the situation in our city. Let your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We invite you as King into our city. We choose to partner with you for transformation in our city. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

(Pray the above prayer naming your specific city and repenting of any sins and barriers to God’s presence in your city or personal life. Be very specific.)

“When we see the ruined condition of our cities and communities, it should break our hearts and stir us to prayer. We have underestimated the pain in God’s heart over the devastation and brokenness of people who live in darkness. Isaiah 9:2 declares what the result would be when Jesus’ presence came to earth: ‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light’. God fully intends to continue to bring hope and restoration to forsaken, desolate communities, and He is looking for those who will partner with Him.” Rhonda Hughey

Together in the Harvest, Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise * deb@intercessorsarise.org

To subscribe to Intercessors Arise, click

intercessorsarise-international-subscribe@strategicnetwork.org

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Friday, December 01, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Warning! This is not your mommas prayer meeting

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON PRAYER
By Scott Pixler (Community Outreach Minister at First Christian Church, Phoenix, Arizona)

Harvest Prayer Ministries Editor's Note: First Christian Church in Phoenix, Arizona has begun a Wednesday night prayer gathering that is a worship based, powerful time of corporate prayer led by Derek Lauer, the senior minister, and David Freeman, the worship minister. This article was written to invite the congregation to come and try this awesome corporate prayer experience. You may wish to click on the link below to get more information about how one church is actively engaging its congregation in the experience of corporate prayer.

Imagine a team full of kids who are eager to learn to play baseball. They all show up to practice with their balls, gloves and bats, eager to start throwing, catching and hitting the ball around! They each have visions of someday scoring the winning run in the gib game in the bottom of the 9th. They can't wait to start!

But then the coach does a strange thing. He sends them all home and tells them to practice by themselves! Baseball is a sport best played by yourself at home," he tells them. For awhile, each kid tries to practice alone. They toss the ball straight up in the air and then catch it, pretending that it was a pop-up or a long fly ball. But the fact is, as the weeks go by, more and more of the players get discouraged, lose interest and give up on ever learning to play baseball at all.

Who would ever do that? But have we made just such a mistake when it comes to prayer? Have we unwittingly taken an important part of spiritual living that is best experienced in community and sent everyone home to practice by themselves? No wonder many people have become discouraged with their prayer lives!

I find it very interesting that as the church was being born in the book of Acts, most of the time when the word "prayer" pops up, you find the church gathering together to pray! No doubt there were private prayers going on as well, but the prayers that they prayed together were powerful and life changing. After one of them, Luke records that the place in which they were praying was shaken and all were supernaturally affected! (See Acts 4:21-31)

Invitation to PowerPoint prayer gathering: If you are a seasoned prayer, you will be so blessed to join together with like-minded Christians who understand the importance of prayer. If you are a beginner, you can come and learn by praying alongside others in a Spirit led atmosphere. No matter whom you are, you will sense God's manifest presence and power as we seek His face together and glorify His name===>Click headline to access website . . .

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Bulletin/Newsletter Prayer Moments

===>Click headline to access a growing list of one minute prayer thoughts - Perfect for bulletins and newsletters - May also be used to focus a prayer segment as you use the identified scripture as the foundation for the groups' prayers...

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Monday, November 27, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Mobilizing Your Church to Pray

Mobilizing Your Church to Pray

“As God’s house is a house of prayer, prayer should enter into and underlie everything that is done there. Prayer belongs to every sort of work relating to the church. As God’s house is a house where the business of praying is carried on, so is it a place where the business of making praying people out of prayerless people is done. The house of prayer is a divine workshop, and there the work of prayer goes on. Or the house of God is a divine schoolhouse, in which the lesson of prayer is taught, where men and women learn to pray, and where they graduate from the school of prayer.” E. M. Bounds

Mobilizing your church to pray does not happen instantly - It’s a process that you must keep cultivating. Never grow tired in this great endeavor, because you shall reap if you do not grow weary. The greatest things that God does in the church usually take much time and perseverance on our part. Cultivate prayer again and again, and never give up. God wants prayer to be at home in your church. Having a prayer mindset is key.

“Prayer is perfectly at home in the house of God. It is no stranger, no mere guest; it belongs there. It has a peculiar affinity for the place. It has a divine appointment to be there.” E. M. Bounds

There are so many wonderful testimonies of what God can do when a church has a prayer mindset. I will give you one example - Mt. Zion was an old church founded in 1873 that was facing major problems, was falling apart and dwindled down to 15 church members! The church was ready to close its doors for good, but the small group of church members decided to pray boldly that God would use their small country church in a great way in their community! As they prayed, God began to breathe new life into their old church. New enthusiasm is catching fire, and God is giving them a vision to reach their community. Attendance is growing and their outreach is expanding - a tent revival, community BBQ’s and hayrides are ways they are reaching out to the lost. “This little country church is ‘on fire with the Holy Spirit’ and people are continuing in prayer for God’s guidance, the needs of others, and renewal in each of their lives. And prayers are being answered.” This can happen when we mobilize our churches to pray.

“This little church is a lighthouse, spreading the light of God to the people next door and to surrounding communities. The people of this church have become a praying community, and Mt. Zion is living proof that God answers prayer.” William Sherry

How to Mobilize Your Church in This Process

“For prayer to become the center of church activity, the congregation must have a mindset that makes it so, and that mindset must be nurtured and fed.” (Ideas taken from Dutch Sheets)

* Prayer for prayer - Pray for a spirit of prayer to come upon your church. Keep on persevering and know that the enemy will try to hinder prayer in your church.

* Get support from your church leadership - Get support from your pastor and other leaders in your church. Start a prayer task force and choose 4-5 respected members of your church to be part of the group. This group will be responsible for promoting and planning prayer in your church.

* Evaluate the present prayer ministry - Look at the prayer meetings that exist in your church. Look at where organized prayer could be implemented. Are their finances available for the prayer ministries in your church?

* Teach about prayer - Provide teaching where you can give your church God’s perspective on prayer. Individuals will get God’s mindset about prayer as they learn more and more about the prayer ministry.

* Offer prayer opportunities - Provide variety so that everyone can get involved. This includes traditional prayer, authoritative prayer, structured prayer, visionary prayer, contemplative prayer, relational prayer, spontaneous prayer, and harp and bowl prayer.

* Train people to lead these prayer meetings - Provide materials for learning and practice team praying. This will make it easier for other church members to commit to praying with a particular prayer group.

* Maintain, report and give feedback - Report answers to prayer and give feedback about what is happening with the prayer ministries in your church. This should be done to the whole church. Short 2-3 minute testimonies about answered prayer is highly motivational.

“As God’s house is a house of prayer, the divine intention is that people should leave their homes and go to meet Him in His own house. The building is set apart for prayer. God has made a special promise to meet His people there. It is their duty to go there for that specific end. Prayer should be the chief attraction for all spiritually-minded churchgoers.” E. M. Bounds

“God rules the world and His church through the prayers of His people. That God should have made the expansion of His kingdom to such a large extent dependent on the faithfulness of His people in prayer is a stupendous mystery and yet an absolute certainty.” Andrew Murray

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Interview with NPPN/CPLN Prayer Leader Guy

The Expert on Prayer

Knowing my new online friend, Phil Miglioratti, I am sure he would probably object to being called the "expert on prayer," but since it is at the center of his life I have given him that title, at least for this interview.

I appreciate him taking the time to answer my questions.
----------------------
Tell us a little about your background.

Since a very young age, Christ has been central to my life; my ultimate purpose is to follow him though I often stumble. I have served as a pastor to youth, been on the staff of a mega-church (Willow Creek Community Church), pastored a small congregation for 19 years (The Woodfield Church, known as the Love One Another Church), and now my mission is to connect people to God through corporate prayer. I have a wife, Carol (married 36 years) and two married daughters each with a daughter of their own. Like David, a Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys fanatic===>Click headline to access complete interview . . .

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Scripture for Becoming A House of Prayer Champion



Becoming a Prayer Champion…

May we hear “an urgent call for spiritual and prophetic leadership toward
the new developments in our culture …

“The call is to unLearn - to break the rules of conventional wisdom in
order to translate God’s ancient purposes to today’s postmodern world …
visualizing and articulating alternative pathways of ministry based on who
you are and how God has uniquely gifted you.

“It’s time to go beyond knowing and believing God’s truth to
experiencing and demonstrating God’s presence.”
Michael Slaughter, unLearning Church (Group Books)


Isaiah 56

1 This is what the LORD says:
"Maintain justice and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

2 Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say,
"The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."
And let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree."

4 For this is what the LORD says:
"To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant-

5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.

6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD
to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant-

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."

8 The Sovereign LORD declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
"I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered."


John 2 – Early Minstry

11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. 13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

17 His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

18 Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

20 The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Long, McMurry: Prayer That Shapes The Future:

"Jesus was the ultimate Creator, building a New Creation, which is to grow and grow until it fills heaven and earth for all eternity. His methods for building this new reality include prayer...(especially) a certain type of prayer, based on the conviction that prayer is for builders and shapers. [not movers & shakers] If we want to build and shape the Kingdom of God, we must learn this type of prayer.

"This is not the meditative prayer that New Agers recommend as a way of dealing with stress in the workplace. It is not ritualistic prayer that Muslims pray five times a day as they face Mecca. It is not the flowery and poetic prayer of the pietistic movement of the past.


"It is bold and gutsy stuff, a tool for creative people, like the rough hammer-and-nails materials used by framers of buildings. This prayer builds new realities - spiritual homes, safe neighborhoods, new churches, missions outreach - where before, none existed. By prayer, we are challenging to envision realities in the midst of the world's devastation and emptiness. By
sharing in this work of prayer we will shape God's future.”

Matthew 21 – Later Ministry

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'"

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." 12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'"14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.


Mark 11
12 The next day (following the Triumphal Entry) as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: "'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"

The Court of the Pagans

One of the remarkable features of the temple Herod built in Jerusalem was the large plaza known as the Court of the Gentiles.


It developed from the outer court of Solomon’s design — little more than a ring of pavement surrounded by booths—but was expanded with each rebuilding until it took up a significant portion of the temple precincts. As it expanded, the outer court became the place for non-Jews to worship God. Although Scripture does not explicitly extend this function to the outer court, it may be inferred from passages like Isaiah 56:7. In this way, it represented God’s intention that salvation would come to the whole world through his people.


But it seems few among God’s people understood the purpose for which they were chosen (Is. 26:18: We have not brought salvation to the world). They became fascinated by their selection and absorbed with their personal routines. Consequently, the outer court was not filled with the number of gentiles it was designed for.


Far from understanding this as a testimony against their complacency, God’s people put the “wasted space” to other uses. It is this dimension that
we sometimes miss in reading about Jesus’ outrage when he visited the temple courts (Mark 11:15ff). Here the World’s Salvation finally visited the temple courts, but the nations that were supposed to be gathered there were missing.

I wonder if the design of the temple is meant as a template for our churches. Our mandate to reach outsiders is even clearer, so have we designed a larger place for them? Or do we rob them by using that space for ourselves? My experience is that our expectations are traumatized when we allow pagans in sacred places; it is all we can do to remind ourselves that we are not the One that owns them.
The question remains: when he next visits, will he find the Court of the Pagans full?

Luke 19
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

45 Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. 46 "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Jesus is not asking our permission
He is calling for our passionate participation!


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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Uncommon Prayer ~ The 12 Stations of Love

Pastor Ray Pritchard has provided a format for an Uncommon Prayer Adventure by identifying 12 components of love from Romans 12. Use his brief teaching notes to introduce the focus, then pray through each of the 12 components.

Options:
  1. Stay together as one group, focus on one of the components at a time, use a song or chorus as a transition from one component to the next. Vary the type of praying each time: partners, prayer circles, several pray aloud for the entire group, silence, brief testimony related to the verse.
  2. Arrange 12 stations (locations), each with one of the 12 components. Divide the group, assign each group one of the 12 stations as their starting point, give 3-4 minutes at each station, move by singing a transition song . You can give specific instructions at each station (written or from a guide who stays at the station). Regroup for a final prayer and debrief ("What was your experience like?")

1. Love Must be Sincere.

"Let love be Genuine" (v. 9a).

The word "genuine" literally means "without hypocrisy." It originally referred to an actor who played a certain role on stage. It came to mean anyone who acts contrary to his own true feelings. It particularly applies to those who put forth the appearance of virtue that they do not actually possess. Eugene Peterson (The Message) offers this paraphrase: "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it."

2. Love Must be Discerning.

"Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good" (v. 9b).

Love hates evil! Think about that for a second. Often we think of love as an ooey-gooey emotion that causes us to lose our sense of right and wrong, but that's far from true Christian love. We cannot love evil and love God at the same time any more than we can love money and love God at the same time. Here's another way to put it. Don't ever get over being shocked by evil. That's hard to do in a world where almost anything goes. Here's a good test. When was the last time you blushed? In the olden days, we blushed when something risqué appeared on television. Now we hardly notice it or we laugh at it. Alexander Pope, the 18th-century English poet, offered this warning:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Sometimes we say, “Love is blind.” God says, “No, love needs clear vision.” Our love needs discernment or else we will end up loving things we ought not to love—and entering into relationships that are not good for us. While love is supreme, it is never enough.

Not every relationship is a good relationship.
Not every choice is a good choice.
Not every friendship is good for us.
Not every job is a wise career move.
Not every roommate is a healthy choice.
Not every purchase is a wise use of our money.

There are really two parts to making wise choices: First, you must know===>Click headline to access complete article . . .


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Friday, November 17, 2006

Revival? Phil Interviewed by CBN

Phil Miglioratti

"I think there are signs of revival breaking out although the more I think about it the more I want to reserve that word for something that is unmistakably revival. I think God has broken out in many lives and in many congregations and situations, but I haven't seen a wide spread prairie fire of revival yet. That's something we still hope and pray for. Although I think the Lord's strategy is to light little fires, and one day they will connect, and we'll see that blaze of fire going."



"Prayer cannot produce revival. It promotes a heart for revival in the people and I think that's essential. We're not praying to convince God or to demand Him on our schedule but we are there…as we pray to Him for revival He pours more of His heart for revival into us and that changes us as people. It changes us as churches. It changes our agenda. It changes our goals. It's changed how we do business on a Sunday morning and hopefully it gets the church out of the pews and into the streets." -- Phil Miglioratti, National Pastors' Prayer Network

CBN.com

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Praying Together, Together

The Ministries of Francis Frangipane - Message of the Week

A Symphony to God's Heart

Francis Frangipane

During seasons of prayer, when congregations unite for intercession or groups meet in homes to appeal to God, it is important we stay united in Spirit, supportive and passionate with the goal of touching the heart of God. Even though we pray differently or come together with different styles or burdens, our unity plays an important dynamic in obtaining spiritual success.

For instance, when my wife and I pray together, I like to pack all the meaning I can into a couple sentences. I might pray a simple prayer, "Lord bless and fill my kids," What I mean, is Lord touch them, forgive them, provide for them, guide them, use them and protect them. My prayer is like a "zip file." It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It appears small, but when God opens it up, there's a lot of meaning in my prayer.

My wife's prayers are longer than mine. She tells the Lord everything He needs to know about the kids, as though He were just meeting them for the first time. She explains what they need in life and offers suggestions to the Lord on how to get them into their future. She touches God's heart because she is so compassionate about her children.

The main thing is, we agree with each other when we pray. We don't judge each other. We listen and appreciate our different approaches and styles. Usually, when we are finished praying together, she will continue interceding alone. I can hear her in the background: "Lord, remind the boys to wash their bed sheets and help them to get enough sleep, and don't let them eat junk food." It's okay, as their mother, she's consumed by her love for them.

When we get together in a group at church, the same principles apply: we all agree with each other. It doesn't matter if one person prays longer or with more detail than another. We pray for our nation along with other nations and their leaders. Some pray for the governmental leaders of nations; another might pray for gang leaders, while someone else will pray for business leaders. We'll stand in repentance for the sins of our nation, asking God to forgive our national sins of pride, injustice and murder (especially concerning the unborn); we ask for mercy concerning our greed and national arrogance, and we ask for forgiveness for the immoral nature of much of our entertainment industry. We each may have a different burden or focus, but with passion we agree with one another's prayer.

Jesus promised that whatever we agreed upon in prayer, it would be done for us by our heavenly Father (Matthew 18:19). Our agreement is as important as our prayer. It's okay that we have different styles: I pace. A dear friend of mine rocks back and forth. Another karate chops the air. Yet, even though our styles are different, our hearts burn together in strong agreement.

Interestingly, the word agree as used in the Gospels was the Greek word sumphoneo. From it we get the English word symphony. In other words, God hears our prayers of agreement not so much as a tolerance of one another's quirks, but as a symphony of passionate voices - each voice as a unique instrument, yet all participating in the same glorious song.

Beloved, let us stay in agreement when we pray. Avoid strife at all costs. Whether our expression is one of weeping or rejoicing, warring or worship, our prayer of agreement can be symphonic to the listening heart of God.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Uncommon Prayer ~ Illustration: The Workers Are Few


usa_map_missionaries.gifJesus Himself said it,

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” -Lu 10:2 NIV

Okay, you know that “It’s not God will that any should perrish,” and you know that 1/3 of the people on the planet have never heard the Good News about Jesus. That’s more than 2 Billion people. There are approximately 15,000 missionaries working among those 2 billion.

That would be the same as having 2 missionaries responsible for the entire United States. I think we can safely say that “the workers are few.” What are you doing about it?


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Inner~Views: Insights to Guide Praying for Revival

Firestorms of Revival: How Historic Moves of God Happened and Will Happen Again...


Dr. Bob Griffin
Rockford Renewal Ministries

*Bob, what prompted you to write Firestorms of Revival?

I became overwhelmed by the conditions in our city and by the limited impact of Christian congregations to do much about it. In a prayer meeting in our City Council Chambers, I made an effort to pray after a speaker had shared how bad things were in our city and those of America. I began to weep and couldn't continue praying. It was after this that God, in a rather dramatic way, called us to begin Rockford Renewal Ministries. Being mid-way in my doctoral studies, I felt compelled to write on revival so I could learn how it comes--what we must do and what God does. My study gave me what I wanted to know. My passion for prayer and revival continued to grow as I served our city full time with a vision for a sweeping revival of the Church and another Great Awakening. After graduation I set a goal to one day write about revival from my reseach and personal experience as a "city reacher." I wanted the Church to know how revivals have always happened and how they will happen again. By God's grace and help, "Firestorms of Revival" was published by Creation House and released in September of 2006.

*From my reading of the book, you present scholarly research in a way that is accessible to the average person who simply has a passion for prayer - Why does the average prayer leader or pastor need to know so much about revival?

When things become difficult in the Church and society and leaders and pastors wonder what to do, an understanding of God's ways in revival will provide the answers and give them direction.

*How will an understanding of biblical and historical revival help prayer leaders transform the way their congregation prays about revival?

They will modify their priorities to give prayer a greater place as they understand that prayer is how God gets his work done and the key to historic revival. They will better understand the level of passion and energy that revival leaders have had in prayer. The stories of revival prayer are thrilling and give patterns for prayer that will be helpful. Congregations learn to pray when they are well informed, and as the pray, they grow in prayer.

*How should a prayer leader introduce revival-focused praying in a way that is fresh; biblicaly rooted but forward looking?

I read or tell brief stories of revival and what great revival leaders have said about prayer. I also share biblical texts on prayer with the amazing promises of God. I do these things at our two prayer gatherings in our office each week and at our community-wide prayer gathering every month. Passionate revival prayer and intercession is very difficult to sustain over a period of time. The Scripture and the stories of revival help sustain it.

*What sections of your book can be used by a prayer leader as the basis or format for revival praying?

I would suggest that the social transformation described in Characteristic 10, beginning on page 221 would "light fire." On page 248, appendix III, I give some tips on prayer that have been helpful to me. Prayer gatherings must be fresh and alive. Often they drift into bordom. Chapter seven is my signiture chapter: "Prayer: Faning the Flames of Intimacy with God." This chapter would be very helpful...the stories and the instruction. Revival characteristic 3 is prayer. To read the secion beginning on page 121, the quotes on the power of prayer and the stories, will be very helpful.

*Bob, write a prayer that prayer leaders can pray, asking the Holy Spirit to release a fresh wind of revival praying in their ministry

. . .One has been written for us. When I speak to gatherings of Pastors on revival and prayer, I sometimes concluded by passionately praying Isaiah 64 from the New Living Translation of the Bible, paraphrasing as led. I leave you with this prayer:
O Holy Spirit, in these days of drift...from knowing you intimately and radical first century obedience and impact, in these days of growing secularism and sensuality, release a new passion for prayer and repentance in our ministry. Open our heart-eyes to see all you can and will do if we will repent and seek your face. Your word is so very clear in 2 Chronicles 7:14. If we will humble ourselves and pray and seek your face...that's energy and passion...and turn from our drift and sin, you will hear us, O Lord. You will forgive us and you will heal our land.
O God, we come in the name of Jesus our Savior, to seek your face in humility and repentance and we ask that again, as a Pentecost, you would break through the heavens and send the fire of revival to flame across our congregations, cities and nation as you did then. O Lord, send the mighty rushing wind again in our day...the sheer noise of it drawing many to the scene and to Jesus. Draw us back to first love and motivate and mobilize us in redemptive transformational service. O Father, let the winds blow; let the fire fall; come in your manifest presence and let your Glory fill our church and city. We are desparate for your presence and power to revive us personally, to revival the Church in our day and to transform our city and Nation. Pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Lord and soon coming King. AMEN!!



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