Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Preaching & Prayer Compliment Each Other"

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Uncommon Prayer--The Twelve Stations of Love
11/20/2006 9:31:54 AM
Pastor Ray Pritchard

Phil Miglioratti of the National Pastors' Prayer Network took last

week's sermon on The Agape Factor and turned it into a unique concept

called Uncommon Prayer--The Twelve Stations of Love.

This is an excellent example of how preaching and corporate prayer can

complement each other.

===>Click headline to connect to original website . .

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Friday, June 22, 2007

RESORUCE ~ Does Prayer make Any Difference?


Once again, Philip Yancey tackles a question asked by every serious Christian; a question every prayer leader must answer: Does praying make any difference?

While the book has a start-to-finish order, it has the ability to serve as a resource book for pastors and prayer ministry lead
  • Drop in on chapter six to think through "Why Pray?" (just one of the many basic and even perplexing issues about prayer)
  • ...Or read "Prayer for a Prodigal" (one of the many sidebar testimonies sprinkled throughout the book useful as corporate prayer starters)
  • ...Or study "Checklist for Healing" (one of the many chapter segments that can serve as the basis for a teaching)
The book is divided into three segments which focus on the ultimate purpose of praying, the mysteries of prayer, and "the language of God."

Since prayer is an act of wrestling, we ought to do some wrestling when it comes to having a deeper undersatnding of the what and why of praying.

Philip Yancey Wrestles with the Mystery of Prayer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 5, 2006 – In his most powerful book since What’s So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey probes the very heartbeat – the most fundamental, challenging, perplexing and deeply rewarding aspect – of our relationship with God: prayer. What is prayer? How does it work? And more importantly, does it work?

In theory, prayer is the essential human act, a priceless point of contact between us and the God of the universe. In practice, prayer is often frustrating, confusing and fraught with mystery. Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? is an exploration of the mysterious intersection where God and humans meet and relate. Wrestling with the topic, Yancey explores such questions as:

• Is God listening?
• Why should God care about me?
• If God knows everything, what’s the point of prayer?
• Why do answers to prayer seem so inconsistent and capricious?
• Why does God seem sometimes close and sometimes far away?
• How can I make prayer more satisfying?

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? offers readers compelling insights about the topic of prayer, comparable to the helpful, life-changing messages of his bestsellers. Yancey will embark on a 15-city tour.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do


A Pattern for Successful Prayer

“When we praise God, He inhabits or enters our praises, and His power overwhelms the power of the enemy. He is a mighty God, and Satan cannot match His strength. Light will dispel darkness through God’s entering into our praise. Through praise, the Lord Himself begins to do warfare on our behalf to silence our enemy, as we shall see.” Cindy Jacobs

Wouldn’t you like a more successful prayer life? If there is a pattern for successful prayer, would you not want to know what that is? I know I would! Actually the Bible does give us an example of a victorious answer to prayer that affected multitudes of people. In one sense what happened in this situation is a pattern for successful prayer that is repeated all throughout the Bible. We can find an amazing picture of prayer in II Chronicles 20:1-30.

King Jehoshaphat was desperate. A vast army was coming against him! He was alarmed but resolved to inquire of the Lord. He proclaimed a fast for all Judah, and all the people came together to seek the Lord. The King was desperate, a good place to be, and His eyes were on the Lord. Instead of trying to figure everything out first - what we often do - He looked straight to the lord and said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” Here is his pattern for successful prayer.

The Pattern for Victory

“Judah must go first. Praise must take its preeminence within our lives, churches, cities, states and nation. When Judah goes first, the scepter of authority is then in place for ultimate victory.” Chuck Pierce

Judah must go first. Judah actually means “Praise Yahweh”. This is truly the pattern for victory. Praise must go first! Let’s look at Jehoshaphat’s pattern for successful prayer.

  • Praise God - In II Chronicles 20:6-9 he prayed, "O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us'”

  • Describe the situation - In II Chronicles 20:10-11 he prayed, "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.”

  • Ask God to intervene - In II Chronicles 10:12 he prayed, O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

Jehoshaphat spent a lot of time praising God. Instead of spending most of the time trying to figure everything out, he turned his eyes upon God first and praised God for who He is and what He has promised. This is the major part of his prayer. Then he described the situation (the problem) to God. Finally he asked God to intervene and help. So often we reverse our priorities in prayer. So often we cry, complain and advise God what He should do. So often we spend very little time praising God for what He can do. But look at this pattern - the majority of his prayer was praising God and the least amount of his prayer was asking God to intervene. If we were to consider the seriousness of this problem in our own lives, we would say it was pretty major. The army was vast and it was coming against him. It was an immediate emergency!

The Encouragement for Victory

But when Jehoshaphat used this pattern for successful prayer, a prophetic word came that encouraged the people to go into battle with the singers leading. This encouragement was directly from God. He certainly took immediate notice of this type of prayer and He strengthened their hearts with this word:

  • Do not be afraid or discouraged - “’Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army” (II Chronicles 20:15, 18).

  • The battle is God’s - “For the battle is not yours, but God's” (II Chronicles 20:15).

  • Take up your positions and stand firm - “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm” (II Chronicles 20:17).

  • See God’s deliverance - see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem” (II Chronicles 20:18).

  • The Lord will be with you - Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (II Chronicles 20:18).

Jehoshaphat’s army was led by praise. They faced the enemy singing. As already mentioned, Judah means “praise Yahweh”. They had thanked God for the victory by faith even before seeing it. II Chronicles 20:19 says, “Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.” The Lord set up ambushes and they were defeated. But when the praising army arrived, the enemy was dead. God had given them a tremendous victory. They returned joyfully and with great plunder because the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. See II Chronicles 20:24-26.

Are you presently in spiritual warfare? You may feel that you are in a battle that seems enormous and you may see no way through. Think about it - whose battle is it really? Who is going to fight this battle for you? Why not try this pattern for successful prayer right in the midst of your situation? Start with “Lord, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you.” Then spend most of your time praising God. Describe your situation to Him, but do not allow yourself to be afraid or discouraged. If you are, simply confess it to the Lord. Then ask Him to intervene for you. After you have prayed in this fashion, stand firm and take up your position (Do what He says) and watch the deliverance of the Lord. Remember, He is with you and this is His battle. He is aligning Himself with you to lead you forth in victory.

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

RESORUCE ~ Prayer Wins Award

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Winner of Christianity Today Book Award 2007

(Christianity Today) Judges said, "Directness and liveliness of illustration and argument, theological substance, quality of biblical reflection, and readability that may make it accessible even to those coming to faith, Bible reading, or prayer for the first time"....

[Read the article] | [] | [Philip Yancey: "Where Is God When it Hurts?" (a sermon given on the Virginia Tech campus two weeks after the shootings)] | [Philip's columns in Christianity Today]

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Friday, June 01, 2007

RESORUCE ~ Turn Prayer Into Praying

Note from Phil >>> This recently (2006) published book has not made a big splash so you may not be aware of it ... Or, if you have not thumbed it over, you may not be aware of how it can serve you in your role as prayer champion . . .

book cover

Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight

By J. I. Packer
and Carolyn Nystrom

...The title is on target; this is is not so much a book about prayer as it is about praying. If for no other reason, read the book to discover the difference.

...Packer and Nystrom are perfectly teamed and they produce "a heart-to-heart affair in which two Christians who try to pray and wish htey had prayed better share [their] thoughts."

...This book has great potential to serve as a tool both for teaching about prayer and for mentoring a person or team into a deeper understanding and experience of biblical praying.

...Each of the ten chapters lends themself as a resource for a weekly prayer meeting, a fellowship group or a study gathering:
  • Use the chapter content as a basis for a devotional /teaching focus
  • The study guide offers ten questions to provoke discussion on each chapter
  • A "Pray" section follows, which will help you focus and facilitate the praying of those gathered
  • "Write" ends each study section, providing an activity that may be used either together or for homework
...The chapters focus on issues that will challenge a down-the-list, around-the-circle praying group to move into the delight of the struggle of prayer. The authors begin with an insightful discussion o fthe one to whiom we pray and bring fresh discuss ion to typical topics:
  • Chapter 1. The God We Pray To
  • Chapter 2. The Path and the By-paths
  • Chapter 3: Brooding
  • Chapter 4: Praising
  • Chapter 5: Prayer Check-up
  • Chapter 6. Asking
  • Chapter 7. Complaining
  • Chapter 8. Hanging On
  • Chapter 9. Joining In
  • Chapter 10. With My Whole Heart
  • Postscript to Christians Becalmed in Their Praying
  • For Discussion and Reflection
  • Further Reading
  • Subject Index
  • Scripture Index

Book Excerpts

PDF 5. Prayer Checkup »

About the Book »
Reviews & Endorsements »
Features & Benefits »

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Never Give Up on Praying

Ray Pritchard

When You Pray, Never Give Up
Luke 18:1-8

My goal in this sermon is very simple. I hope to convince you of the importance of persistence in prayer. I want you to see that God is greatly glorified when we continue in prayer over a long period of time. Or to say it another way, I want us to understand that we ought not to give up when we pray. We can say the same thing two different ways:

It is good and important that we not give up.
God is greatly glorified when we do not give up.

Not long ago I received an email that raised this question in a very particular way:

I teach a Bible Study course at my local church. The question that was asked, “Should I pray for something (believing the prayer will be answered) and then the next time I pray thank God for answering my prayer (although it has not come to fruition) or should I pray the same prayer request over and over again?”

Does it mean that if I ask over and over again I lack faith in God answering? If I thank him and wait, does that mean I am not praying unceasingly?

Or is it a combination of the two. Sometimes we know in our heart the prayer request has been answered so we thank him and sometimes we are led by the Holy Spirit to ask over and over again.

We’ve all wondered how long we should we pray for something. Here is the general rule I follow. You should pray for something until . . .===>Click headline to access webiste archives with complete article . . .

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