Thursday, July 27, 2006

As You Go To Prayer . . .


Being Before Doing
Our culture often defines us by what we do. But Scripture consistently places "being" before "doing." The story Luke tells is an example. We're tempted to give Martha high marks for her work ethic. But Jesus observed that she could have chosen a better option.

Luke 10:38:42 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

In business terms...
Phillips Brooks, a popular nineteenth-century preacher, said there are two kinds of explorers: One has to go over the mountains to take possession of the new frontier he's never seen before. The other kind of explorer becomes familiar with his or her own land and digs deeper and deeper into it. The higher ambition is entering into the deeper possession of what we already have rather than going out to acquire something new. Some Christians seem to need to go out and acquire more and more prestige or power. Others enter deeper into the character God has given them and pay more attention to the kind of people they're becoming. I wonder: shouldn't ambition for the latter be held with at least as much esteem as the former? We don't have to always go on to bigger and better enterprises. - Richard Nelson Bolles

Something to Think About
Character is that which can do without success. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

===>Click headline to access website . . .


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Feedback on Prayerwalking

I was glad to prayer-walk. I’d never done it before, and I thought it was valuable.

As I prayed, I felt my heart growing for those for whom I was praying and grieving for their separation from God, as well as being more and more disturbed at the effects of their lifestyle choices on the world around them in general, and individuals in their families in particular (especially little children that seemed to be around the [Gay] games – perhaps adopted by them).

Your guidelines were very helpful, and the season of prayer you led in our services communicated great vision for how to pray and set the tone for a significant week.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Are You A Prayer-Focused Missional Church?

Phil is leading a workshop at . . .

Seek Logo

Dear Phil,

The "Seek Him to Save Them" Conference is coming to Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, October 26-28, and the Early Bird registration has been extended until August 2!

This is a conference for the prayer-focused, missionary church. Through seeking the Lord in united prayer and leading your congregation into the harvest fields, your church can experience a renewed vision for Him and for taking His glory to the ends of the earth!


exclamation point
Early Bird - By August 2 - $140 (Includes meals)

By September 15 - $150 (Includes meals)

After September 15 - $160 (Includes meals)

One day only - $90 (Includes meals)



Groups of 10 or more registered at the same time receive 10% off!

Click here to register online now!



Seek Speakers
Featured speakers are Jim Cymbala, Bob Bakke, Daniel Henderson, Dave Gibson, and Ghassan Thomas.

To find out more about our speakers, click here.



Some of the conference highlights will include:

General Sessions: Authentic worship, dynamic speakers, relevant topics, and God-focused inspiration will provide you with encouragement and motivation to lead your church in truly becoming a House of Prayer for the Nations.

Fresh Encounter: Experience true worship-based prayer in a whole new way. A time fueled by His word and His character, declaring that He is worthy and we are needy.

Workshops: Gifted prayer and missions veterans will help you discover the new thing the Lord wants to do in you and your church for His glory and for the lost across the street and around the world.

To see more highlights, click here. We hope to see you at the conference!

Sincerely,


Lori Lane
Strategic Renewal




Strategic Renewal | P.O. Box 601404 | Sacramento | CA | 95860



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Monday, July 24, 2006

Diagnostic Tool to Assess the Prayer Life of a Congregation

Click headline and download an interactive guide to assist you in diagnosing the strength of your congregation's prayer life . . .


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Friday, July 21, 2006

Prayer Pilgrimages Are Booming

Just Pray?

By Leanne Dzubinski

Often, when North Americans visit Europe, they see beautiful scenery and magnificent architecture but not the deep spiritual needs. Participate in a prayer journey, though, and you’ll begin to see Europe differently.


Prayer pilgrimages are booming as Christians come to realize how the Holy SPirit intensifies cross-cultural missions engagements. North American who travel to Europe watch prayer overcome roadblocks and unit hearts and minds in such supernatural ways that they experience nothing short of faith on steroids. They return with a new set of assumptions. these spirit-filled journeys inspire local sending churches long after the trips are over.

“Prayer journeys are a way to join European workers with Greater Europe Mission’s (GEM) North American constituency,” says Mike Elwood, director of GEM’s IN STEP Initiative. “We long to give intercessors a taste of Europe. It is our fervent hope that those who come for prayer journeys will return to their home churches and communicate their passion for Europe.”

My husband, Paul, and I serve with GEM in Spain. We were so blessed when a prayer team recently came to Barcelona. We took the team to our church, and to strategic points in the city. We gave them information on churches, believers, cults, obstacles to evangelism, society in general—anything to help them understand the needs here. And in each case, we prayed.

They would meet a pastor, ask for prayer requests, and then spend time praying with and for him. They did the same with missionaries. Then, if time permitted, the team would take them to lunch or coffee and continue to get to know them. But the main focus was always prayer.

The impact on the national workers was tremendous. Too often visitors come and want to tell them what to do. This time, people asked about their lives and struggles and then prayed for them. It created goodwill and bonding like I have never seen in such short visits.

We can’t do it all ourselves; our job is to motivate, equip, and encourage national believers to reach those around them—people to whom we will never have access. Strengthening the believers here helps us toward that goal.

Those who participated have stayed in touch and continue to pray from home. One person wrote, “Thanks for making our trip to Spain a true blessing. It was very meaningful. Looking back, there was more to cover in prayer, but time d
Linkidn’t permit. Wish it could have been a few days more.”

This is a fabulous ministry and one I would like to see become more widespread! For more information about GEM prayer journeys, contact Richard Beckham at 1.800.436.4488 or rbeckham@GEMission.com.

{Article used by permission from Eurpoe Toady, (Vol. 2, Issue 1) }

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Q & R with Pastor Phil

Question . . .

Dear Phil,

Thanks very much for your quick response. I really appreciate it. I will be attending the Seek Him to Save Them Conference in October at Grace===>Click headline to access information. I'm really looking forward to it. Not sure that I'll be in your workshop but I would love to make a point to meet you.

Please keep us in prayer as we strive to become a prayer-driven church. We're nowhere near that goal yet, but we're just getting started on seeing this part of God's vision for us come to fruition. I believe the Lord wants to do some amazing things in our little church but He's waiting for us to come together in prayer and ask Him. I'm beginning to cast this vision to my congregation and need all the prayer I can get in this. I really want to see us become a church of prayer. I'll definitely keep you posted. Thanks for your interest.

Blessings to you, and thanks for your ministry,

Response . . .

Becoming prayer-driven takes time. Have patience for the step-by-step, week-upon-week process. Just yesterday I was in a meeting with a pastor who has a national reputation for leading prayer driven congregations (also an author of a book on how to do it!) and he told me that, if he had it to do over again, he would have done more preparatory teaching and mentoring of leadership before redesigning the church calendar around an all-congregation prayer meeting.

Blessings, Phil

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Holy Spirit & Prayer


The Holy Spirit and Prayer

“The Holy Spirit descending from Christ to us draws us up into the great stream of His ascending prayers. The Spirit prays for us without words in the depth of a heart where even thoughts are at times formless. He takes us up into the wonderful flow of the life of the triune God. Through the Spirit, Christ’s prayers become ours, and ours are made His. We ask for what we desire, and it is given to us.”

Dear Intercessors,

The power of the Holy Spirit is a vital necessity in our prayers. There is so much to say about the Holy Spirit. He is such an important part of all that we do, that I feel that I am treading upon holy ground just to make an attempt to say just how important and glorious He is. The Holy Spirit is key to your life of intercession. You cannot attempt to pray great prayers without acknowledging His vital presence in your life. You cannot write a crafted prayer without the wisdom and understanding of the Holy Spirit. In my experience in prayer, both personally and corporately, I have experienced the spirit of prayer released in a most powerful way when the Holy Spirit enters the prayer meeting. Let us welcome Him daily, and pray, “Come, Holy Spirit. Lead me and guide me in my prayer time. Pray through me. Have your way in my life.”

I encourage you to study with extreme care the following about the Holy Spirit. It is time that we grab hold of the reality of who the Holy Spirit is and what He means to our lives, specifically our prayer lives. It will not work to have a hurried, microwave approach to the Holy Spirit. He wants your time. He wants to really show you who He is for you and what He can do through you in prayer. As the body of Christ, we have caused division over issues regarding the Holy Spirit. As the Church worldwide, we have not fully understood the power of the Holy Spirit. One day we will, and it will change everything we do because we will really know what it means to have God living in us! Take time to meditate. Be still and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart the immense reality and beauty of these truths for you personally and for your life in prayer.

“The lack of reality, godliness, power, fruit in many Christian lives is due to the unbelief or improper understanding of the Holy Spirit.” Norman J. P.

The longer that I am a Christian, the more I am discovering the friendship of the Holy Spirit in my life and my desperate need of Him daily. Whenever I have been in deep distress or difficulty, I have cried out to God and have experienced the personal comfort of the Holy Spirit. I am sure you can agree. One of the first things we must acknowledge is that the Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity, who lives within us. He is referred to as a person in John 16:13-14. This alone is a powerful reality to dwell on. We are not alone in our prayers. The Spirit is not an impersonal force, but a real person living inside of you. Awesome! This is life-changing if we could only grasp its significance. And He is God. He is the Spirit (pnuema) that means “wind, breath, spirit, immaterial, powerful”. He is holy which means “set apart, righteous, pure”. The Holy Spirit can be like the wind that is invisible, immaterial and powerful. The Holy Spirit has personal characteristics. He searches, works, grieves, talks, teaches, helps, etc. He is divine; He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), everywhere present (Psalm 139:7-10), has foreknowledge (omniscience) (Acts 1:16), and was in creation (creator) (Genesis 1:2, Psalm 104:30).

“To overlook His personhood and divinity is to bypass God Himself and His great provision for the church on earth.” Norman J. P.

The Descriptions of the Holy Spirit

Credit for research into the truths of the above paragraph as well as the descriptions of the Holy Spirit goes to my husband Norman. Meditate on these wonderful descriptions of the Holy Spirit! Apply these descriptions personally to your own life. What does this mean to you? How should this affect your prayer life? Look at all He is for you.

· The Spirit of life - Revelation 11:11.

· The Spirit of holiness - Romans 1:4

· The Spirit of wisdom - Ephesians 1:17, Isaiah 11:2.

· The Spirit of faith - II Corinthians 4:13

· The Spirit of truth - John 14:17.

· The Spirit of grace - Hebrews 10:29.

· The Spirit of supplication - Zechariah 12:10.

· The Spirit of adoption - Romans 8:15.

· The Spirit of power, love and discipline - II Timothy 1:7.

The river that flows from the throne of God is the Spirit, and Jesus said that out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. In John 3:8 and Acts 2:2 the Spirit is described as the sound of a violent, rushing wind.

Sometimes as intercessors or believers that just want more of God, we may feel alone or even abandoned. Very few might show up to the prayer meeting, we wrestle with our own personal trials, and few may understand how we feel. But realize that you are never alone; this wonderful Holy Spirit cares and is living within you. He knows every single detail of your life. He will never abandon you. You may grieve or quench Him, but He will not let you go. He is for you and so interested in blessing your life and helping you. Can you believe that? Can you begin to grasp how deeply He wants to help you to grow as a Christian and use you in His Kingdom purposes? Can you begin to know how deeply He feels for you in every joy or sorrow you face? The Holy Spirit is personal, and He is always available to you.

This is the beginning of a three-part series about the Holy Spirit. I am going to write about the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit is working in those that do not know Christ. But for today, let me say that it is important for the Church worldwide to understand the person of the Holy Spirit. It is important for us personally to believe that He is alive within us and will help us in our prayer life. He will take hold of situations with us and add His strength to ours.

“In situations where we’re experiencing difficulty in obtaining results, the Holy Spirit wants to take hold of the situation with us, adding His strength to ours. He also wants to help or take hold with us by directing us how to pray ‘for we know not what we should pray for as we ought’ (Romans 8:26 KJV)… Realizing our weaknesses and our inability to produce results causes us to look to Him for help. If we allow Him to pray through us, He will take hold together with us. We just have to believe that when the Holy Spirit takes hold, something is going to move!” Dutch Sheets

A Prayer Regarding the Holy Spirit

“O my blessed Lord Jesus, teach me to understand this lesson: the indwelling Spirit streaming from You and uniting us to You is the Spirit of prayer. Teach me how, as an empty, wholly consecrated vessel, to yield myself to His being my life. Teach me to honor Him and to trust Him, as a living Person, to lead my life and my prayer. Teach me especially in prayer to wait in holy silence, giving Him time to breathe His unutterable intercession within me. And teach me that through Him it is possible to ‘pray without ceasing’ (I Thessalonians 5:17) and to pray without failing, because He makes me a partaker of the never-ceasing and never-failing intercession in which You appear before the Father.”

Opportunities for Prayer

  • The new Intercessors Arise International website and the International School of Prayer should be finished by the end of the summer - Please pray for creativity and wisdom with God’s anointing, presence, and power in every aspect of the development of this website and school of prayer. We have encountered very much spiritual warfare and ask for your prayers.

  • Two Intercessors Arise books should be published by the end of the summer - The first book is called Intercessors Arise: A Mentoring Manual Designed to Release Your Potential in Prayer and Intercession. If you would like to contribute financially towards the publishing of these two books, go to the Elijah Company, Inc. web site www.elijahcompany.org, see “contact us” and look at the bottom marked “PayPal donate”. Make a note “For Intercessors Arise”.

  • Campo de Gibraltar House of Prayer - November, 2006 - The Elijah Company, Inc. will be hosting a 24/7 House of Prayer in the Campo de Gibraltar. This is a spiritually strategic area located along the southern tip of Spain, near the Rock of Gibraltar, twenty-three miles from Morocco. We will seek God’s presence, give practical experience in intercession, offer practical training for missions, worship, evangelism and prayer in both English and Spanish, plus offer opportunities for outreach in these nations. For information, write to elijah@elijahcompany.org. Also see www.campo247.com .

“The extent of our abiding is equivalent to our power in prayer. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us prays not always in words and thoughts, but in a breathing and a being that is deeper than utterance (Romans 8:26). There is as much real prayer in us as there is of Christ’s Spirit. Let our lives be full of Christ and full of His Spirit, so that the wonderfully unlimited promises to our prayers will no longer appear strange.” Unnamed quotes by Andrew Murray

Together in the Harvest,

Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise

deb@intercessorsarise.org

www.intercessorsarise.org

To subscribe to Intercessors Arise, click

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Monday, July 10, 2006

The Transforming Power of Prayer

The Transforming Power of Prayer
Deepening Your Friendship with God
http://www.northview.org/images/client/7/Transforming%20Power%20of%20Prayer%20(web).jpg
by James Houston
published by NavPress, Colorado Springs, Colorado 1996

For many years, prayer was probably the weakest dimension in my life as a Christian.
===>Click headline to access Phil's underlines of the book . . .


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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Need A Prayer Breakthrough?

BREAKING THROUGH THE LOCAL CHURCH PRAYER BARRIER
by Dr. Alvin VanderGriend

Question:
Why is there so little prayer in the North American Church?
Answer:
I think there is a lack of prayer in American churches for two reasons. First, for the past century most North American seminaries have failed to give ministerial students an adequate understanding of prayer and have failed to help them develop their prayer lives. Consequently, congregations led by these pastors have lacked the leadership required to develop their understanding and practice of prayer.

Second, Christians, influenced by our materialistic and hedonistic society, are prone today to think of prayer as a way to find solutions to problems and to get the good life. When used in this way prayer turns into a monotonous system of begging God rather than a joyful love relationship. When that happens prayer becomes an activity not a joy. Begging is not something people naturally love to do===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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Jesus-Style Spiritual Warfare

Lessons we learn from Jesus' spiritual warfare prayer
By Eddie Smith
Eddie

Then the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to have you apostles for himself. He wants to separate you from me as a farmer separates wheat from husks. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. So when you recover, strengthen the other disciples." (Luke 22:31-32, GW).

Almost 2,000 years after Jesus spoke these words to Simon Peter, Christians continue to debate the validity of spiritual warfare prayer.

However, I suspect that those who argue against spiritual warfare prayer argue less with Scripture and more with some of our models and methods. They would say, "Perhaps spiritual warfare prayer is valid, but what that group is doing can't possibly be it!" And, in some cases, they may be correct. There are some things about these two verses that I find particularly interesting.

First, notice that Jesus is so in touch with heaven (because of His own intimate prayer life) that He knew what Satan had demanded of the Father. Remember, Jesus was completely dependent upon the Father (see John 5:19). Without his daily "military intelligence report" from heaven, Jesus was helpless. He could do nothing. So, true spiritual warfare prayer, whatever it is, is absolutely heaven- dependent. What Satan is doing today is not nearly as important as what God is doing, when it comes to spiritual warfare!

Second, look at what Satan really wanted. We know Satan's job description is "to steal, to kill, and to destroy" (see John 10:10). Jesus said that Satan wanted to sift Peter (and the other disciples) like a farmer separates the wheat from the husks. But look what Satan was actually after. He wanted to separate the Apostles from Jesus! His war strategy was to "divide and conquer."

Third, Jesus said, "But I have prayed for you." No doubt Peter breathed a big sigh of relief at this point. He must have thought, What a relief. For a minute there it sounded like I was going to be sifted, whatever that means. But Peter's relief was short lived, for Jesus continued, "I have prayed that your faith won't fail during the sifting." What do you mean, "During the sifting!?" Why didn't you pray that I wouldn't be sifted?"

Again, Christ wasn't praying according to Satan's agenda. His praying was based on God's agenda. And at the time, God was developing Apostles. And Apostles, like you and me, are forged in the fiery furnace of affliction. At times, God will even allow the enemy to do things in our lives, in order to accomplish His purposes.

Old Testament saints prayed to be delivered from their circumstances. New Testament saints pray to be developed by their circumstances.

Finally, you will see that Jesus had no doubt about Peter's ultimate victory. Why would He? After all, He had prayed in faith for Peter's faith not to fail. So, he confidently says, "So when (not if) you recover,

A happily married woman with two children lost both of them. They were buried in the same grave. After that, she suffered a deep emotional collapse. For years her family fed and cared for her as though she was as weak and helpless as a little child.

One day her aunt, a joyful Christian, took her turn at feeding her. The distraught and despondent woman said, "Auntie, you keep on saying that God loves us. I used to think so too; but if He loves us, why did He make me as I am?"

The aunt kissed her gently, said with the wisdom of years, "Dear, He hasn't made you yet. He's making you now!"

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine." ==============================

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Eddie Smith's Blog


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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Whatever Happened to Prayer Meeting?

ChristianityToday.com
A newsletter from the editors of Leadership Journal

Back in 1999, Ben Patterson noticed a disturbing trend in the traditional prayer meeting service: either it included everything but prayer, or it was eliminated entirely. In the years since "Whatever Happened to Prayer Meeting?" appeared in the pages of Leadership, the practice of corporate prayer has continued to decline, and Ben thinks that's a problem. Read his classic article and be challenged.


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