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!


* Coaching? Teaching? Preaching? on prayer - Contact Phil@nppn.org * 847-991-0153
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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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Scripture Texts for CPLN TeleSeminar

These scriptures will be the basis of the Church Prayer Leader Network TeleSeminar: Becoming A Prayer Champion in Your Church . . .

National Prayer Leader Presents at CPLN Teleseminar

Rev. Phil Miglioratti, the director of the National Pastors Prayer Network and a CPLN network facilitator will be presenting at our November teleseminar, Nov. 21.

"Becoming a Champion for Prayer in Your Church" is the topic of this event, which is open to anyone-- CPLN members and non-members alike. Why not have your prayer team join in.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 21, 8:30 PM EST
How: Call 1 (641) 985-1133 and enter pass code 2756# at the prompt


Isaiah 56
Salvation for Others
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
Jesus Changes Water to Wine
1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

4"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

5His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

7Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.

8Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."

They did so, 9and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

11This, 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.
Jesus Clears the Temple
12After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So 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. 16To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

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

18Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"

19Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

20The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22After 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.

23Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

Matthew 21
The Triumphal Entry
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying 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. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

4This 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.' "

6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The 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!"

10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"

11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Jesus at the Temple
12Jesus 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.'"

14The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant.

16"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him.
"Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read,
" 'From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise'?"

17And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Mark 11
The Triumphal Entry
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.' "

4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Hosanna!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
10"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"

11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Jesus Clears the Temple
12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing 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. 14Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

15On 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, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And 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.'"

18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

19When evening came, they went out of the city

Luke 19
The Triumphal Entry
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "

32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"

34They replied, "The Lord needs it."

35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They 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."
Jesus at the Temple
45Then 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.'"

47Every 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. 48Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

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When your Pastor is NOT a Prayer Champion

Encouragment from a fellow prayer leader . . .

….My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

Immediately after I received the gift of salvation the Lord graciously placed me in a church that was “infected” with prayer. This church offered multiple prayer meetings and I had many opportunities to learn about seeking the Lord and offering Him worship and praise; it was constantly modeled. I was in this culture for a number of years. Then we moved, and I entered the desert.

It wasn’t that my pastor didn’t believe in prayer, he just wasn’t passionate about it. Prayer was a thing we did – not the thing we did. He did his best to support my efforts to draw people into times of worship and praise. I’m just not sure he ever really got it; so the church never really got it.

I went through many stages in this desert time. I worked my hardest to “make” the church understand the value of coming together in prayer. I set up many meetings where the united group was me, myself, and I! I even did the “Jonah thing.” I ran to Tarshish, hoping to ignore the whole thing, pretending God never asked me to stay in Ninevah and speak truth.

Then I began to pray! I found two other women who covenanted to meet with me once a week, no matter what, to pray for a spirit of dependence to come upon our church and for God to give the people a desire to pray.

We have been praying together for almost two years now, and we are up to about five regulars. Here is what God has done: We have seen a spirit of dependence in many of the elders. The pastor who was not excited about prayer left our church, and our new pastor has a heart that is passionate about helping us draw close to God. He is very aware that includes prayer. He has been at our church for three months now, and already he has brought the congregation together once to pray; he even prays during services. We are building prayer response teams and will soon begin praying during services and special events.

The desert is a hard place to be. It is a dry and weary land and water seems so hard to reach, but He will bring it. I believe that if we are faithful to the mission of prayer, He will make it happen. He may not do it in the way you want or when you want…but He will do it. He desires it even more than you do!

Lori Lane Bergenstock, Prayer Team Leader
Lori is also Director of Operations for a ministry dedicated to bringing balanced and united prayer to churches. Click headline for more info and resources from StrategicRenewal.

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Uncommon Prayer ~ Quotes on Pursuing God’s Presence

Pursuing God’s Presence

“In every revival in history we read a similar testimony. When God responded to His people by sending His presence, He didn’t just work himself into their routine religion - He overtook them by His power and glory! He left a trail of glorious chaos in His wake - weeping, repenting, rejoicing, reconciling, changing of habits, healing of families! Nobody wondered if Jesus was involved in these meetings. There was no doubt in their minds and no lack in their hearts.” Rhonda Hughey

The purpose of our life is to pursue God. It is what we were created to do. God wants us to seek and long passionately for His presence. His presence is real and tangible. It will change our lives completely. The problem is that most of us are not aware of what is available to us. Our hearts are not burning for God, and we have settled for lesser things. As I mentioned last week, right now we are involved in a month-long prayer meeting where several churches in the area of southern Spain called Campo de Gibraltar are seeking God’s presence. What is happening in the midst of this prayer meeting is that our level of hunger for God’s presence is increasing. We are discovering in a deeper dimension that God’s presence is needed to reach the city, that God’s presence needs to be pursued and that we cannot live without it. I encourage you today to seek God fervently for His presence in your own life, in your own church and in your city. This is what real life is all about. God loves to be sought after. His presence and Spirit will move us forward into realms of fruitfulness beyond our wildest imagination. But we must hoist our sails and catch the wind of His Spirit. The breath of His Spirit will change the face of everything, including our own lives.

“The breath of God’s Spirit must fill the church, empowering it to move forward into God’s destiny. God’s Spirit births every movement of the church. Without being Spirit or presence-driven, the church sits listlessly in time, like a sailboat going nowhere in a calm sea. We can use our paradigm as paddles and row as hard as we like, but the forward progress is negligible. Or, we can hoist our sails of worship, catch the wind of His Spirit and move forward into His purpose, plans and productivity (fruit) in ministry.” Ministries Today

The Bible and Pursing God’s Presence

“We must become hungry and thirsty for more of Jesus in our midst. We must cry out in desperation for God’s presence to be restored in our lives, our churches, and ultimately in our cities. We must treasure the manifest presence of God, because as Jesus said in John 15:5, ‘Without Me you can do nothing’” Rhonda Hughey

The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we hungry enough to pursue God’s presence?” Are we desperate for God to transform our cities? The cost is high. This month we are finding that out that as we spend hour after hour in prayer, we are being stretched in our capacity to seek after God. It will cost to seek God’s presence. It will take diligence and time. We will have to clear our schedules of so much busyness if we want city transformation. We will have to sacrifice. But it will be worth all the pain. Are we willing to pay the price? Are we willing to pray with others of different denominations and backgrounds? It will take the churches in the city coming together to see city transformation.

The Bible has so much to say about God’s presence. God longs for us to build a house where He dwells. The following are verses to challenge you to pursue God’s presence.

· II Chronicles 7:14 - “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

· Isaiah 66:1 - “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build for Me? And where is the place of My rest?”

· Isaiah 56:7 - “Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

· II Chronicles 7:15-16 - “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

· Isaiah 62:4 - “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.”

· Ephesians 3:17-19 - “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

The testimony to what happens when God’s presence arrives is quite astounding! Are we ready for it? Can we handle the depth of work His Spirit will do in our own individual lives that will prepare and empower us to reach this desperate and dying world? Here is a testimony of what actually happened when God showed up! “In that old building, with its low rafters and bare floors, God took strong men and women to pieces, and put them together again, for His glory. It was a tremendous overhauling process. Pride and self-assertion, self-importance and self-esteem, could not survive there. The religious ego preached its own funeral quickly.” When God’s presence touches our prayer meetings and our churches, all flesh must die. We see the futility of our own ways of doing things, and we begin to see the majestic wisdom of God and the attractiveness of Jesus. We begin to line up with His ways, and what once was a barren way of trying to produce life becomes a supernatural encounter with the presence of the living God. This brings forth amazing fruit in every dimension of our lives. Doesn’t this seem to be a better way of life than what many of us have tried for so many years?

“Shouldn’t Jesus himself be the preeminent attraction? We can promote our church programs with precision and good marketing techniques, but when somebody who is blind or deaf gets healed, or a political leader gets saved, or once-barren land produces a bountiful harvest, people will flock to church. God is His own best promoter! He just shows up and effortlessly turns our routines into supernatural encounters that are life changing.” Rhonda Hughey

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

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Friday, November 10, 2006

RESOURCE ~ An E-Magazine for Intercessors

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Incense Rising Header
October/November 2006 incenseRising
a magazine for intercessors

When I first heard the news about the accusations against Ted Haggard, my friendship and respect for him immediately made me think This is a false accusation, an attack of Satan, brought to try to discredit him. But when it came out that there was truth to it, I was sick. I struggled all weekend.

My struggle was not how many might struggle, thinking “How can I stand if this man couldn’t.” Or angry at Ted for being duped. I struggled because I don’t have near the prayer support that Haggard had. He has hundreds if not thousands of people praying for him. Me, I maybe have dozens, more likely a handful. So shouldn’t I be fearful of failure?

I should have a healthy fear that would keep me dependant on God. Such events like this must remind us to be watchful. But we must remember, while numbers of intercessors are great, there is nothing biblical that says a thousand intercessors are more powerful than 10. In fact, remember Charles Finney? The most powerful years of Finney’s revival ministry were bolstered by one main intercessor—Rev. Daniel Nash, affectionately referred to as Father Nash. When Nash died, the revivals basically stopped! The strength isn’t in the numbers, it is in the dedication and perseverance.

What should we intercessors take from this? I want to remind you of your awesome and powerful ministry. Do not be discouraged. Do not let the falling of one leader—no matter how key he was to the Kingdom—cause you to lose faith. Keep praying. Pray especially for your leaders. Rally others to pray.

And never forget the role you play standing in the gap!

Jonathan Graf
Publisher, incenseRising
confessions of a closet pray-er
Editorial open welcome to Mike Jones
I heard through the grapevine that Mike Jones was on a local Colorado Springs radio talk show this morning. Mike Jones is the self-professed male prostitute who accused evangelical leader, Ted Haggard, of coming to him for sex and drugs. His accusation and Ted Haggard’s confession of sexual immorality ultimately led to Haggard’s dismissal. I did not hear the program myself, but my source said that he questioned New Life’s quick forgiveness of Ted, and wondered what would REALLY happen if he (Mike Jones) showed up at New Life church.

I hope he does. You see, I’m a member of New Life.

the trustful side of thanks
Brenda Poinsett holding on to hope
I was outside playing with our sons when my husband came home that day. As the station wagon pulled up, I noticed the back end was filled with books. Looking closer, I saw they were Bob's.

"Why are you bringing your books home?"

"I've been fired," Bob answered.
intercessor's workshop

dealing with sin issues: envy & ambition
Editor: We hope you enjoy this new department dedicated to practical help with issues you face as you intercede for others.

As intercessors, we are frequently called on to pray with people who have specific needs for healing/deliverance in a variety of areas. Frequently, personal sin issues are central to the struggles they face (James. 5:16).

Here are some thoughts on the significance of envy & ambition along with a worksheet to help you help others work through these issues.

it's all about Him!


Recently I was reminded again of the need to keep the main thing, the main thing. It is so easy to lose our “God-focus”—even when we are very careful not to!

Many of you know that in my prayer closet I have what I call “holy graffiti” on the walls. As an expression of worship, the walls of my prayer closet are an on-going love letter to Him. The other day I started to write something like, “I delight in Your Presence, Lord”--but I stopped short. I was reminded to put things only about Him on those walls--no reference to “I” or “me” whatsoever, because it’s all about Him.

what the Spirit is saying to the church

our readers share what they hear in His presence
This is your column . . . we would love to hear what the Spirit is saying in your prayer closet that relates to the body of Christ at large. To contribute, click here.

From Kathy Cooper, Doylestown, PA: I have begun asking God to show me His heart. With sobs of anguish and pain, a compelling longing for all to be saved hit me like a tsunami. I feel God's heart breaking over our world's callous attitude toward Him. (Continued)

From Sandra Higley, Colorado Springs, CO: My son-in-law’s sister is a spiritual seeker (we are trusting that some day she will come to Jesus!) and she is now into channeling spirits through the help of a shaman. (Continued)

the secret place

a psalm of thanks
We would love to have you share ideas, thoughts or resources that enhance your worship/prayer experience, drawing you closer to the heart of God. To contribute, click here.

Try writing a psalm of thanksgiving to God using Psalm 136 as a model. As you write, personalize the psalm by inserting things He has done specifically for you over the last year. Here is an example of what that might look like:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His love endures forever.
He brought Jason home safe from Iraq.
His love endures forever.
He supplied all our needs when Jim lost his job.
His love endures forever.
Etc.

incenseRising

Vol. 2, No. 5| October/November 2006

Jonathan Graf
Publisher

Sandra Higley
Editor

Gary Bergel
Contributing Editor


incenseRising is published bimonthly by the CHURCH PRAYER LEADERS NETWORK

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* Try these keywords in the Search This Blog box above: Uncommon, Corporate, Coordinator, Prayer, Revival...


* Coaching? Teaching? Preaching? on prayer - Contact Phil@nppn.org

* Pastor Phil's ministry schedule: http://nppn.org/Schedule.htm

* Join the Church Prayer Leaders Network @ http://www.PrayerLeader.com