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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