Friday, August 24, 2007

“Top 10 Ways to Pray at Work”

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“Top 10 Ways to Pray at Work”
Cyber-Daily-Devotion by Pastor Bill
Volume 8 Number 169
To subscribe click on Option 1 www.hallelujah3.org

Matthew 12:30: “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me” NLT

Following is a practical prayer list to use at work.

10. Father as I enter this work place --- I bring your presence with me
9. I speak your peace --- grace --- mercy --- order in this office
8. And acknowledge your power over all that is accomplished within these walls
7. May the work I complete be a reflection of you and bring joy to my employer
6. Anoint my projects --- ideas --- acknowledgements to bring you glory
5. Block all confusion --- noise --- disruptions from you
4. Father I commit my time, attitude and gifts to your glory and honor
3. Lord I thank you for the work skills you have blessed me with
2. Strengthen me with a fresh supply of your Holy Spirit to walk in your wisdom

And the number one way to pray at work as compiled by Pastor Bill
1. Lord thanks for all you have done – are doing and will do in my life

Prayer: Father thanks for your provision in my life --- help me to use it for your praise and glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Pastor Bill Team Prayer:
Father please bring 1............. 2............. 3.............. into your kingdom. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Copyright (c) 2007 - Pastor Bill – Christian-Cyber-Ministries - All Rights Reserved
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Christian-Cyber-Ministries
1870 2nd Ave. SE #130-1
Cambridge MN 55008, USA

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Are We Ignoring God in Our Prayers?


Strategic Prayer
Strategic Prayer: Applying the Power of Targeted Prayer
Authors: Eddie Smith and Michael L. Hennen
Bethany House Bloomington, Minnesota 2007
Without question, prayer is the most important - and potentially the most powerful - tool in a Christian's arsenal.
The problem is, much of our praying is pointless, passionless, and powerless. It's poorly formed, thoughtlessly presented, and we wonder why it's largely ineffective.

I'm such a pragmatist that I'm irritated at the way many of us pray without preparation and, worst of all, without expectation! We keep looking for problems to fire off in prayer for God's attention but then pay no attention at all to His response. We can list ten prayer requests but couldn't begin to report ten things God has done in reply. We're actually ignoring God in our prayers.

It's time we learn to pray practical, specific, result-oriented prayers. After all, the earth is our Lord's, the fullness of it, and everyone who lives on it. He's filling it with the knowledge of His glory! (Psalm 24:1; Habakkuk 2:14). And He's invited us into a joint-venture partnership with Him to complete it.===>Click headline to access book information . . .

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

9/11 Prayer Resource

"I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Lamentations 3:20-21

Order your Patriot Day Preacher’s Package today for a donation of $60 or more to The Presidential Prayer Team.
($45 for downloadable format)

Dear Preacher or Church Leader,

"Six years ago, more than 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in America when a calm September morning was shattered by terrorists driven by hatred and destruction.

But on that day, and in its aftermath, we saw the greatness of America in the bravery of victims; in the heroism of first responders who laid down their lives to save others; in the compassion of people who stepped forward to help those they had never met; and in the generosity of millions of Americans who enriched our country with acts of service and kindness. Since then, we have seen the greatness of America further demonstrated in the courage of our brave men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and around the world to advance freedom and prevent terrorist attacks on America."*

Long ago, the prophet Jeremiah experienced an overwhelming grief when he reflected on the complete destruction of the city and temple of Jesualem and the exile of Judah's inhabitants to Babylonia. But Jeremiah also found abundant reasons to overcome grief with HOPE -- God's great love, His never-ending compassions and His incredible faithfulness.

As we remember September 11, 2001, you have the opportunity from the pulpit to reaffirm the message of Hope in God's compassions, which are new every morning. You can present your churchgoers with the message that beauty does rise from ashes, that God does bring good things about from utter destruction. It's a heart-inspiring sermon called "A Hopeful Lesson Learned" that you can preach on Sunday, September 9th, using our "I Have Hope" Patriot Day Preacher's Package.===>Click headline for access . . .


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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Inner~Views: Prayer Ministries Operations

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Prayer Leader interviewed Pat Allen
Director of Prayer, Hillcrest Church

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Prayer Leader ~ Pat, you claim prayer has been foundational to Hillcrest Church - What makes you say that?

Pat Allen - From the beginning, prayer has been a major part of our church life. There was a trailer on the vacant property that was used exclusively for prayer before any other structure was built. As a church body and as leadership did their own activities, prayer was given first priority before decisions were made. We have seen the fruit of asking divine guidance in all areas of our church life through this emphasis on prayer. A significant number of church members participate in the Prayer Ministry and there is representation from all church departments involved in Prayer Leadership.
Recently, after having just gone through a major shift in our founding pastor retiring and a new pastor coming on board, prayer was the glue that held the church together. Prayer has been credited with paving a way when there did not seem to be an answer or solution. By seeking God in difficult circumstances, He gave us answers when needed.


PL ~ What caused you to produce the Prayer Ministry Operations Manual and how has it be used?

PA - Our founding pastor has been a national speaker at pastor's conferences and refers to the Prayer Ministry and Prayer Center of our local church while speaking about what was done "right" when forming the church 23 years ago. He has recommended pastors and their building committees from all over the nation to contact us for information and recommendations. It was out of these requests that the Prayer Operations Manual was formed in answer to inquiries.
We have also used it to update leadership of the church and prayer ministry on policies and guidelines when needed. Having this on paper has been very valuable and a time saving tool.


PL ~ Do you recommend a manual like this only for large congregations?

PA - I recommend a church of any size to have an Operations' Manual for your Prayer Ministry that will give your members clear direction as to how to use your facility and what your Prayer Ministry beliefs in prayer are. By providing these, you can avoid pitfalls and problems and misunderstandings in the future, while giving your members a secure sense of direction with their prayer involvement. It also allows the Prayer Ministry to work with the pastor to consider some options and issues ahead of time and help in communicating those options as they are decided upon.
And a recommendation I would give anyone in developing your own prayer operations manual would be to give it time and 'working room' for it's development. This is a process and not easily done in a short period of time, and let me add, your manual will 'evolve' over a course of time with the usage of your Prayer Center and with the growth of your church, both spiritually and physically in numbers of participants.


PL ~ How would a local church prayer leader begin to produce their own manual? Start from scratch? Cut & paste from other sources?

PA - Ask God for what will work with your congregation and implement that first and foremost. Having said that, at the same time, a local church prayer leader should prayerfully avail themselves of the many wonderful resources available today on developing their own manuals and as their prayer ministry develops. In other words, by developing the ministry and seeing it work will help you put it on paper and develop criteria for the ministry. Some of the developments will be from using what others have done as well as from your own creative ideas. And don't be afraid of trying something new in your ministry. Fresh ideas can be invigorating for prayer !
When we started 23 years ago, there was not much out there to copy or learn from. But, what there was and by visiting other prayer rooms and ministries, we found suggestions and examples to try and see what worked for us. I put on paper for our own dissemination as well to other churches on request, what our policies and decisions encompassed.
For example, we have many pray-ers who like to have times of quiet, individual solitude in prayer. We also have groups who like to pray together, which is noisy in general with people praying out loud. Groups also have varied interest in prayer, such as men's focus versus ladies focus or citywide groups that meet in our facility. How to handle the various needs? We have a huge schedule board displayed on one wall that we ask people to sign up on, especially the groups who gather need to secure their time together on the schedule. This then means, whoever has that time slotted has ownership of the room. If an individual is there, other individuals can join and use the facility at the same time, following the lead of the person whose name is on the schedule. Same with the group prayer. Anyone is free to join as long as they follow the lead or it is appropriate according to gender and interest flow. Again, if a group is praying on missions, anyone joining has to know that is the topic and they cannot change the focus, and can come back at a later time to pray quietly.
Another item to consider when compiling guidelines for your prayer ministry and using any direct quotes from printed materials, always check an author's reprint stipulations, and/or give credit where needed in copying on paper exact quotes. This not only keeps yourself clear on copyright laws, but also gives credibility and credit where it is due. If anyone desires to copy and use any of the Hillcrest Prayer Center Operations Manual, let me go ahead and give permission openly here, asking only for attribution to be acknowledged.

PL ~ Pat, you have a variety of prayer opportunities...

PA - Yes, the Lord has given me wonderful opportunities for prayer and growth in prayer. I have thought of my own prayer life much like Jesus' statement "to go into all the world as His witness, even to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost." Acts 1:8 Like rings on a tree, prayer just keeps on expanding.
It all started with praying for my children and husband's businesses 25 years ago....you want to see both prosper and in accordance to Christ instructions in keeping our priorities right, start at home first in ministry. Your home and in small group settings, such as your church prayer groups, are safe places to learn and practice prayer principles garnered through books on prayer, classes on prayer and conferences on prayer. Then by being faithful to what the Lord has called you to, He promotes you and soon I found myself working not only in my local church as a volunteer in prayer, but became the Director of Prayer and started attending prayer groups in the city and state, and participating in regional and statewide prayer ministries.
After dialoging with the missions pastor from our local church, I put together a team that went on international missions trips to provide prayer coverage. We found ourselves praying not only for our local missions team while in other nations, but started praying for those nations and people groups we were traveling to in order that they find liberty in God and answers to their problems and issues through Christ.
Later ministries such as Women of Faith, Promise Keepers and Mission America Coalition came to my city needing prayer coverage for their conferences. I was able to put teams and/or volunteers together for those needs and eventually was invited to participate in facilitating prayer on the national level for Mission America Coalition.
So you see, God wants to release us in prayer on multiple levels as we learn and grow spiritually.


PL ~ How can a prayer leader utilize the web to introduce the prayer ministry? Equip the prayer ministry team?

PA - When we started the prayer ministry, the "web" was in it's infancy, so we had to introduce our prayer ministry the old fashioned way, through relationships and word of mouth. The web, however,is very effective in implementing prayer and we have found ways to use it more and more.
In our local congregation, our website for the church not only announces prayer opportunities from group meetings to conferences, but also has a place for individuals to leave prayer requests via email which are retrieved by volunteers and placed in the Prayer Center for volunteers to pray over.
And now with blogs available, "interactive" postings can promote prayer and give a stage for dissemination of information and room for questions and comments.
To equip intercessors, the internet is useful in developing an email string to notify people in your local church of any emergency prayer needs of the local church members, upcoming classes on prayer, and prayer events to attend both in the local church or in the city. Then also, they can send to their congregation members' prayer requests and articles from various prayer ministry websites. Again, these tools re-enforce not only what is taught in the local church, but what is experienced in prayer privately and corporately in the local groups. And any of this on the internet and web can all be duplicated for any city, state or ministry group you are affiliated with.
I found as I did these various web related activities, the emails to my local church and city group were being forwarded all over to friends and family, and to other intercessors/prayer groups. I soon found a need to develop an email string from my own ministry providing prayer information beyond our church and city.
At this point, we have about 300 people in my home church on one email string, and about 700+ on an email string for the state of Texas and beyond, not counting for the shared info among prayer groups and forwards I am told take place. Point being, the internet and web are powerful tools for promoting prayer.


PL ~ Agree or disagree: Prayer ministry teams need involvement from more than intercessors.
I agree that the Prayer Ministry needs to involve the intercessors and as much of the general population of the congregation as possible.
I feel like a large part of my job as Director of Prayer for my local church is to "de-mystify prayer" and to try to bring ALL the church members into their own "Active Prayer Life", so that everyone sees not only the benefits, but how they can participate and be a part.
Prayer is not just for one group of delegated "prayer people." It is a lifestyle for every member in the Body of Christ....simply talking and LISTENING to God, minute by minute, day by day, a two-way conversation.
Also, there is always a need for several different kinds of volunteers in the Prayer Ministry of a local church, city group or ministry of any kind.
First, administrators and clerical assistants are a must to handle the office needs of the Prayer Ministry, to coordinate conferences/seminars, and oversee facilities needs in the Prayer Center of our church. But to do that effectively and with understanding, enhances all the more what is being done if these "administrative gifted volunteers"are themselves people of prayer.
For example, anyone setting up a conference on prayer, even in doing the name tags, reserving rooms and ordering refreshments, will be more sensitive in knowing what best suits the attendees if they themselves are people of prayer. We have found the need in our conferences for prayer to be sure to include plenty of worship at the beginning of ALL the sessions, plus leaving space in the room setup for people to move out from their seating in order to have space for the liberty of worship. Also the need to have plenty of water as many attendees will be fasting during the conference. It is a good idea to provide attendees with the option of enrolling their children in children's ministry during the conference and to have meals provided for the children as sometimes our sessions go past the scheduled time and nobody likes leaving the kids hungry and unhappy waiting on their parents endlessly. Making these types of considerate choices for your prayer conference and seminars will enhance everyone's experience and allow the Lord to move spontaneously and in fullness.
Teachers on prayer are needed for Sunday School classes and to develop prayer in the small group ministry and with the Youth of our church. Again, how can someone adequately teach on something they have not experienced for themselves?
Spiritual Gifts such as mercy driven individuals are needed to minister in prayer to those with personal needs as well as in praying over personal requests that come into our Prayer Center.
Those gifted with a Shepherd's heart are used a lot in leading prayer groups since they can recognize the needs of their participants and to give direction to that meeting at that particular time.
In summary, prayer is for everyone in the Body of Christ, whether they are "called" intercessors or not. And every Prayer Ministry needs a varied group of volunteers to successfully carry out it's mission.


PL ~ Pat, please write a prayer that prayer ministry leaders can pray for their team and congregation...

PA - Father, we thank you for the opportunity to come into Your Presence to pray. First and foremost, I ask for the presence and leading of Your precious Holy Spirit to be with me, to guide me and my prayers for my team and congregation. Let Your words fill my mouth. May Your Scriptures continually be on my lips.
Father, I declare my utter dependence upon you, and ask that anything of me and my mind fall to the ground and have no effect through my prayers . I plead the Blood of Jesus over the doorposts of my home, my life, my church and pastor(s), our prayer team and congregation, and all that concerns us....our families, our provision, future and destiny in You, Lord.
I bless my team / congregation with ears to hear You, with eyes to rightly see into the spiritual realm and with a heart to know Your truths. I bless them to be like David having a heart after You, seeking You and Your ways.
We thank you for the trust you have invested in us to stand in the gap for others.
Bless us with Your heart to see with Your vision and understanding for those you ask us to cover in prayer, including Israel, the Leaders of our nation to the leaders of our city and church. Give us the prayers to pray to effect change and see Your Kingdom expanded.
Father, we ask you prepare us for Your habitation and to grow us in the ways of Christ. To be ever changed into the image of Jesus and to avail ourselves to You continually in an attitude of prayer.....help us to achieve a Life Style of Prayer and be Your hand extended wherever we go, being instant in season and out.
We ask that you enlarge our capacity to receive from You, enable us to receive all You have for us and those we cover in prayer. We desire to be Your hands extended, a people full of Your Peace, Love and Joy, who know Your Voice.
In Christ's Name we ask these things and give You the glory, Amen.


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Friday, August 10, 2007

Training Leaders for Reflection and Prayer Days and Retreats


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Training Leaders for Reflection and Prayer Days and Retreats

Dr. Evelyn Davis, Training Consultant for Wycliffe International and SIL International (with others assisting) will be training persons how to facilitate half or full days of reflection and prayer, and short retreats. Training sessions will be held at several locations in the U.S. and overseas in 2007 and 2008.




Dates and Places:
  • October 3–12, 2007 at Brookhaven Retreat near Dallas, TX
  • November 25–December 4, 2007 in Chiang Mai, Thailand for Asia
  • February 5–14, 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya for East Africa
  • May 14–23, 2008 at Lutheridge Retreat near Asheville, NC
  • July 2008 in Australia for the Pacific Area (dates/venue not yet set)
Topics:
The reflection and prayer topics are: A Spiritual Inventory and Spiritual Markers; Personal Worship; Finding A Rhythm of Rest; Life Tasks: Strength for the Journey; Our Time of Need; Prayer Areas and Issues; and The Servant Leader. The two retreat topics are Life Passages and the Missionary Experience and New Testament Images of Adult Growth and Change.

Cost:
The total cost for accommodations, meals, and basic books and materials is $575.00. Please note that some partial and/or full scholarships are available if needed.

Contact:
For detailed information and an application form for the U.S. training, contact evelyn_davis@wycliffe.org or evelyn_davis@sil.org. For the Asia and Pacific training, contact grace_gesto@wycliffe.org. For the Africa training, contact kathy_womack@sil.org

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Book Excerpt: How to Be Heard in Heaven

Seven Keys in Christ's "Model" Prayer by Eddie Smith

¶ Have you ever mailed a package only to have it returned to you? I'm afraid that a lot of my prayers through the years have been returned "undeliverable." I'm no longer interested in rituals, religion, rote, and routine. I do not want to waste words, insult God, or play games. I want to know how to pray effectively.

How to be Heard in Heaven

¶ Jesus' disciples were no different. One day they asked Him to teach them to pray. I'm convinced that their request wasn't so much "teach us how to pray" as it was "teach us to pray as you pray". The disciples knew how to pray. After all, they saw people gather several times a day to pray at the temple during the time of the burning of incense. Theirs was a praying culture. Pharisees were known to pray in the streets. No, they didn't want to simply know how to pray, but how to pray as Jesus prayed. When Jesus prayed, God heard Him and things happened! That was what they wanted to learn. As Christ's disciples today, we want to know the same thing.

Jesus began his instruction on prayer with a strage statement. He said, "The Father knows what you need before you ever ask Him" (Matthew 6:23). Which begs the question: "Well if He already knows what I need, then what's the point in my asking?" Clearly, based on what Jesus said, its primary purpose is to meet our needs. Jesus went on to say in v. 33 of that same chapter that if we would seek His kingdom first and foremost, our needs would be met. We have been discovering throughout this book what the primary purpose of prayer is: to acknowledge and adore God, to extend His Kingdom, and to see the knowledge of His glory cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. (See Habakkuk 2:14.) God's kingdom is His "thing." As we begin to seek "His thing," He'll take care of "our things."

¶ When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He responded by giving them a model prayer in which we can find seven keys to effective prayer. In some ways, these keys underscore what we've been learning. Remember, we aren't after some illusive promise that God will answer every prayer, or give us all we want. Frankly, if God had given me all I've asked Him for through the years my life would be a mess today! We're talking about moving up to new levels of maturity in prayer; praying kingdom-oriented prayers; prayers that honor God and accomplish His purposes.

KEYS TO BEING HEARD IN HEAVEN

Key #1: When you pray to the Father, call Him Daddy. He loves that.

¶ Jesus' model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 begins with the words: "Our Father in heaven." Interestingly, Jesus' discourse about prayer doesn't begin with man, or man's need. It begins with God. Before He created the earth, God was a Father who had a Son. As mentioned in Chapter Two, Old Testament saints could only pray to "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." But Jesus prayed to "Abba" (Daddy). And when Jesus prayed, things happened!

¶ Thirteen times the Old Testament refers to God as "Father." (See Deuteronomy 32:6; 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13; 22:10; 28:6; Psalm 68:5; 89:26; Isaiah 9:6; 63:16; 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9; and Malachi 2:10.) "However, in the New Testament, Jesus referred to God as His father more than 150 times, and thirty times He refers to God as our Father." In the Old Testament He was seen primarily as the Father of the nation, while in the New Testament we see Him as our personal heavenly Father.

¶ When I pray about a personal concern, I have the assurance that Christ is praying (Hebrews 7:25) and that the Holy Spirit is praying (Romans 8:26). Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken." There is strength when Christ, the Holy Spirit, and you pray in one accord.

¶ John 5:17-18 makes it clear why Jesus' calling God His Father so exasperated the scribes and the Pharisees (Israel's religious leaders). It says,

¶ "Jesus said to them, 'My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.' For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God."

¶ Today, we so readily speak of God as our Father that we may have lost the significance of this privilege. It's not until we hear variations of it that it grabs our attention and touches our hearts. I remember hearing an intercessor in Cincinnati, Ohio as she passionately prayed to her "heavenly Daddy," and "Daddy God." Hearing her call Him that reminded me again of our amazing privilege to know God as Father.

¶ Our second oldest grandson, Adriel, was only about two years old when visiting our house one day. His dad, our son-in-law Baruch (an Israeli), had gone to get something from his car, when Adriel came through the room looking for him, crying, "Abba! Abba! Abba!"

¶ In the model prayer Jesus invites us to approach God exactly the way that He did--as our daddy, our "Abba." Abba is the tender title a small Israeli child uses to call his father. Later the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 4:6, "God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father'." And in Romans 8:15 he wrote, "You received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'"

¶ Since the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ, and Christ referred to God as His Abba, it's no surprise that when our prayer is Spirit-produced and empowered, so will we.

KEY #2: When you pray, brag on His name. He's crazy about His name.

¶ Praise is as indispensable to prayer as fuel is to an automobile. So, Jesus tells us to say something like, "Hallowed be Your name." (In other words, Lord, make your name holy). Even while delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, God expressed His primary purpose. In Exodus 14 we find them on the shore of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army breathing down their necks. They cried out in desperation for God to save them. And three times He said something like, "I will get glory from Pharaoh and his army, then everyone will realize that I am God!" Whatever you are addressing in prayer, suggest to God that He make His name holy in the matter! In the final analysis, He does what He does for His glory!

KEY #3: When you pray, remind Him that He's the boss.

¶ Say something like, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." I once asked my preacher daddy, "Dad, where is the kingdom of God?" He thought for a moment, looked over the top of his glasses with a smile, and said, "Why son, the kingdom of God is anywhere that God is King!"

¶ His kingdom is established in us, and as we grow in knowledge and grace, His kingdom is extended through us! You see, God's never had a boss. He has always been in charge. He answers to no one. So, let Him know that you like it like that.

¶ At this point, you have His complete attention. Now you can begin to present your petitions.

KEY #4: Ask Him to give you your daily bread--what you need for that day

¶ Rather than give us a once-for-all miraculous provision that would enable us to be independent of Him from that point on, He instructs us to ask for "daily bread" to teach us the discipline of walking by faith (see Galatians 3:11).

¶ So we are to ask every day, if we are to receive. We are to continually "lean on His everlasting arms." As we continually place our faith in our Provider, every day's provision is miraculous! Just as the children of Israel were sustained by manna from heaven during their wilderness wandering, God will sustain us. But their supply was daily. And they couldn't eat tomorrow what God provided today. They had to trust Him a day at a time. (See Exodus 16:19-21.) The psalmist, in Psalm 37:25 said, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." Thank God for His faithfulness to feed you and meet your other needs.

¶ I believe "bread" in this passage represents all of our material and physical needs. And, the significant point here is that we are to ask for them daily--every day.

KEY #5: Ask Him to forgive you, as you forgive those who sin against you.

¶ I deal with this at length in my book, Breaking the Enemy's Grip , published in 2006 by Bethany House Publishing.There is so much to say about the importance of forgiveness that I dedicated two chapters to it. Unforgiveness is poisonous. It does more damage to the vessel in which it's store, than to the person on which it's poured.

¶ In Matthew 5:23-24 Jesus tells us that before we can come before God, we must first be reconciled to others. How can we say we love God, who we cannot see, when we do not love our fellowmen who we can see?

I don't forgive others because it's an obligation. My forgiving them is not an admission that what they did wasn't hurtful. I forgive them because Christ died for their sins. I cannot hold them accountable to me, when Christ has already paid the price of their sin. To do so would to dishonor His sacrifice.

KEY #6: Ask Him for a restraining order against the enemy.

Most of us pray reactive prayer. We wait until the devil assaults us on some level, then we begin to pray about it. It's time for us to learn to pray proactive prayer. Ask God, in advance (proactively), to deliver you from temptation and to place a restraining order against the devil on your behalf. God's the Judge! He can do that. The angels of God, which are sent to minister to those of us who are heirs of salvation (see Hebrews 1:14), are heaven's police force. They enforce that law by wrestling with and containing forces of darkness.

¶ James tells us, "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone" (James 1:13). So when Jesus instructs to us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation" it can be confusing. God doesn't actually lead us into temptation. Satan is the source of temptation. Matthew 4:3 and 1 Thessalonians 3:5 speak of him as the tempter. We discover him first as a liar and tempter in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit.

¶ Although Satan is the source of temptation, the instrument of temptation is our Adamic nature. James writes, "But each one [of us] is tempted when, by his own evil desire, Expect and celebrate in advance, God's "exceeding, abundantly above all"...answers to your prayers! he is dragged away and enticed" (James 1:14). So Satan tempts us, as he did Eve, through our lower (sinful) Adamic nature.

¶ If God never leads anyone into temptation, then why would Jesus tell us to ask God not to lead us into temptation? And why pray for God's protection since Psalms 91 promises us His protection? Interestingly, God feeds and protects the birds without them asking. And He also promises to provide for and protect us.

¶ Unlike the birds, we have an advanced God-given ability to reason, to choose, and to believe. So we are given an additional requirement. We need to ask in faith. James wrote, "You don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it" (James 4:2 NLT).

¶ Sure, God has promised to feed us, as He does the birds, but we should still ask Him for our daily bread. He has promised to protect us from temptation and destruction, but we are to ask Him not to lead us into temptation and to deliver us from the evil one. Daily, we are to pray and ask God for provision, protection, and a heavenly restraining order against the evil one, for ourselves and our families.

¶ The bottom line is this. God's your Dad. As long as you are delighting in him, you can ask Him for literally anything your heart desires. What you receive will, of course, depend upon His will for you. But go ahead and ask! If you're off target, He'll tell you.

KEY #7: Exit properly.

¶ When leaving the throne room, Jesus said to say something like... "For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." Let Father God know that your primary concern is the same as His. All you pray is for His kingdom, His power, and His glory.

¶ This model prayer, or as some call it, "The Lord's Prayer," along with Christ's prayer life provide a template or example for us. From His teaching and example we see the qualities that should be evident in our praying. However, we can make a subtle but serious mistake at this point.

¶ A pastor once overheard a lady in his congregation refer to him as "a model pastor." He was unsure what she meant by that. So, when he returned to his office he looked up the word "model" in the dictionary. The definition? "A cheap imitation of the real thing."

¶ The Christian life isn't about us imitating Jesus. That would be a "cheap imitation of the real thing." We're not to imitate Him; we are to allow Him to live His life in and through us--and that includes His prayer life. He didn't come to repair us; He came to replace us. He is alive, and He's here! It's His life in us, being lived through us, that produces God's glory (see Colossians 1:27). We are to be crucified (executed), and He is to be our life (see Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3:4).

¶ When He is Lord of our lives, certain qualities of His life, including His prayer life, will inevitably be displayed through us. Death to self and to sin is not the end--it is the means to the end. The end is that Christ's resurrected life can be seen in us for the Father's glory.

¶ Learning about Christ's prayer life isn't for the purpose of learning to pray in some formula way. It's so we can learn to recognize when we are praying "in the Spirit." When we are filled with the Holy Spirit (which is the Spirit of Christ), He will pray through us as He did in Galilee 2,000 years ago. Why would I think that He will pray differently now than He did then?

¶ One who claims to be a Christian who isn't demonstrating Christ's life, including His prayer life, is deceived. The New Testament reveals to us the prayer life of Christ as a gauge by which we can measure Christ's activity in us.

¶ So, if it's all about Christ and His kingdom, do we still have the right to make our desires known? Can we pray for a specific job that we want, for instance? Absolutely. The psalmist said, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart" (Psalm 37:4 amp).

¶ And Christ? He demonstrated in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion that we can certainly ask for our desires. He desired that God would "take this cup" from Him. (See Luke 22:42.) What was the cup? Was it His crucifixion? More than likely it was that awful moment when He would become sin for us, and for the first time God the Father would turn His head away from His Son. Christ had never known the filth of sin, and He didn't want to "become sin" for us. He knew the Father couldn't look upon sin, and He didn't want to be forsaken by the Father. That was His desire. Yet, the Father didn't allow Jesus to have what He desired on this occasion. Why? Because it wasn't in line with the Father's will. Notice that although Jesus felt perfectly free to express His will to the Father, He never elevated His desire above the Father's will.

¶ Feel free to express your desires to Him. He's your Father, so ask Him for anything you want. But ask with the humility and submission with which Christ asked. Never elevate your desire above His will. He is a God of purpose, and will only answer our prayers according to His purposes. When you don't know what they are, ask Him to reveal them to you. Then allow Him to sort out the issues as they relate to His will, as Jesus did--"Yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).

¶ Certainly, as any loving father does, God wants us to come to Him with our needs and desires. But don't forget: He is more than our Father. He is the eternal Sovereign Ruler of the universe--a King with a kingdom. As long as our praying extends no further than ourselves, our needs, and our desires, we will never become the kingdom partners God intends for us to be and we will not see God's kingdom come. Why? Because His kingdom will have to be established before it can be extended . (See Luke 17:21.)

¶ There is a difference between what we hear and what we listen to. As you read this line of type you actually hear the ambient noises around you. There now...now you are listening to them. Again, there is a difference between what we hear and what we listen to, what captures our attention, and in some cases, demands a response from us. I don't want to be a person who God simply hears. I want to be a person to whom he listens. I want my prayers to capture His attention. I want Him to lean in to hear what is on my heart.===>Click headline to order the book . . .


Posted with permission of the author

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

got prayer? - Prayer Booth Attracts Craft Fair Shoppers





















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Praying Alone ~ Silent or Aloud?

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Question: I was wondering...when praying alone, is it better to pray silently or out loud?
Answer: The answer to your question is simply, "Yes!" It is appropriate to do both - there is no right or wrong way to pray. I will, however, try to give you some help in this area to give you a bit more clarification.

There are some distinct benefits to praying out loud:

1. It keeps you awake! It's hard to fall asleep when you are talking - although I've seen it done!

2. It keeps your prayers focused. I find that my mind wanders more easily when I pray silently. Praying out loud engages my mind, and my body.
3. I don't believe that Satan can read our thoughts, so praying out loud in the name of Jesus forces him to flee!

4. Praying out loud in personal prayer will give you more boldness to pray out loud during small group or other corporate prayer.

One thing that helps me to pray out loud is to pray Scripture (which you can also do silently). For example, I will read a Psalm back to the Lord, giving Him praise!

Some benefits to praying silently:

1. It's much easier to pray without ceasing throughout the day!

2. It allows you to quiet your heart so that you can listen to the voice of the Spirit more easily. ("Be still and know that I am God.")

As long as you remember to consider your personal prayer time to be the constant communication and development of your relationship with your First Love, you can pray as He leads you. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you what pleases God in each moment! Sometimes being quiet is more appropriate, and other times, verbal prayer will be! Pray as you feel led and as you are comfortable, giving God permission to make you uncomfortable sometimes! Our wonderful Father is so creative and so desires to talk with us - He will meet you whenever and wherever and however you choose, as you open your heart to Him in prayer.

So, to make a long answer short - there is no right or wrong way! Just allow yourself to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and He will show you and teach you - just as He did the disciples who asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray!" He taught them, and He will also teach you.


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Thursday, August 02, 2007

How to Lead a Prayer Meeting

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How to Lead a Prayer Meeting

Purpose of Group Prayer Time

Group prayer was a characteristic of the early Christians.

  • Acts 12:12 - Peter went to the house of Mary where others gathered for prayer.
  • Acts 1:13-14 - scripture records that all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women.

Old Testament characters also participated in group prayer.

  • 2 Chronicles 6:13-42 records Solomon praying as all Israel gathered around.

Remember that the purpose of your prayer time is to communicate with God. It's not merely a ritual to get done or for preaching at each other.

Conversational Prayer

During conversational prayer group members should talk to God as they would talk to a friend. Encourage the group (especially a group unfamiliar with group prayer) to feel free to pray sentence prayers. Everyone is free to pray, or not to pray, as the Spirit directs. Don't worry about silence. Allow God to speak to everyone in the group during times of silence.===>Click headline to access complete article . . .


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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Prayer Ministry Operations Manual for Local Church

Prayer Ministry Operations Manual

Prepared By Pat Allen

Hillcrest Church

Dallas, TX

Introduction

We are living in unprecedented times. Never in the history of man has the Spirit of God moved through prayer as He has in the last 35+ years. More information and revelation of prayer, it’s importance and it’s literal usage in the broader Body of Christ has manifested in heretofore unknown quantities.

Everywhere we look today, church after church, denomination after denomination, are establishing Prayer Departments, Houses of Prayer and Prayer Pastors on staff to allow their congregations to participate at new levels in this most important area. Para-church prayer ministries abound in our Western Civilization, crossing every known ethnic, socio- economic and denominational description. Through the miracle of the internet, even the most remote and smallest of prayer ministries, can now linkup on the web to network around the world with cutting edge technology to retrieve information for prayer.===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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