Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pray. Vote. Then, Prayer Harder!

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Election Day Prayer

by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

Decision Day will soon be here
when we must take a stand.
Remind us, Lord, that we aren't simply
voting for a man.

Our choice will welcome policies,
initiatives and planks
that form a platform of ideals.
But, Lord, may I be frank?

I am discouraged by the trend
to leave our faith at home.
We need You standing by our side.
We dare not vote alone.

Please grant us wisdom as we mark
our ballots next Tuesday.
And may the outcome be the means
to serve Your will I pray.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Praying in Tune

The Connection

In "Schooled by the Psalms," Ben Patterson directs us back to the Psalms to learn how to pray God's revelation of truth through his Word. "By praying the Psalms back to God, we learn to pray in tune with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," writes Patterson. In doing so, our "hearts and desires are enlarged."

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Monday, October 20, 2008

RESOURCE ~ Workshop CDs by Phil Miglioratti

Resources for:
  • Prayer leaders
  • Congregational prayer coordinators
  • Equipping workshops for prayer teams
===>Click headline to order . . .

Phil Miglioratti - Discerning/Designing Congregational Prayer Strategy - CD
Seek Conference

Are you ready to emphasize prayer but do not know where to begin? Have you already begun but do not have a comprehensive plan of strategic steps that will produce a "devoted to prayer" congregation? This session will present a model you can customize to any shape or size congregation. Learn how to gather leaders to discern God's unique design for each ministry in your congregation. Identify types of prayer for revival, renewal, reconciliation, restoration and more. The goal: An upward, forward,... read more




Phil Miglioratti - Leading Effective & Enduring Prayer Experiences - CD
Seek Conference

Most church prayer meetings are small and dull. This seminar will show you ways to change your prayer meetings into powerful, Spirit-led prayer experiences that attract, retain and transform people – and your congregation




Phil Miglioratti - The Prayer Saturated Church - CD
Seek Conference

This workshop will help pastors and prayer leaders build the relational and organizational structure they need to move their church to the next level in prayer. Topics to be covered include: Clarifying the Prayer Leader’s Role, Strengthening the Pastor/Prayer Leader Relationship, Building a Prayer Action Team, Designing a House of Prayer Strategy, Breaking Barriers to the Presence of God, and Motivating the Whole Church to Pray.





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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The "Art" of Prayer

Space For God

FOR PRAYER

Using the art of Van Gogh and the writings of John Calvin, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, C. S. Lewis, and others, Space for God: Study and Practice of Spirituality and Prayer offers meditative readings and spiritual exercises that provide a joyful guide for spiritual living. Click here to read a sample chapter.



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A Prayer Facilitator's First Steps

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Feedback from someone who attended training on how to facilitate worship-based corporate praying . . .


After going through all the explanations and teaching about what we were about to be doing, we began. There was dead silence. A silent prayer shot up to Heaven, “God, I do not know what to do if no one participates! Help!” Soon after, someone prayed, then another and another. They got it! Praise God!


One man shared that when he arrived he was not expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised by the experience.


What I found out:

· Leading something of this nature is much different than simply being a participant. Duh! What I mean is, it was difficult for me to “enter in.” The other participants were probably not aware, but trying to listen and keep things moving, etc. was distracting.

· Co-facilitators are extremely important and fundamental to the success of the event

· I can see how something of this nature would be very beneficial for pastors to participate in for a refreshing touch from God. The pastors at the summit this summer appeared to be revitalized by the 3+ day experience.

· Remember to hand out scripture verses

· Keep the group in a smaller room and make sure everyone can hear (smaller is better and more intimate)

· Sit down or have one of the co-facilitators sit to model that it is OK to sit if you need to

· Hand out the evaluation forms ahead of time

· There are a lot of people hungering after more of God

· God is always faithful

· When Jesus is allowed to touch a life, that life will be changed


Our pastor wants to talk to me about what we did in the retreat to perhaps try to do something similar at our church!

Thanks for your help and input !


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Monday, October 13, 2008

A United Prayer from the Church

A United Prayer from the Church

At a Time of Overwhelming National Crises

AS YOUR CHURCH – in the midst of unprecedented turmoil and catastrophic circumstances coming at us from every side, nationally and internationally, coupled with increasing deficiencies in national leadership – we press into Your heart this day, God of world history and earth’s peoples, and glorious God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

WE REFUSE to panic. We resist captivity to dire projections or overwhelming fears. Instead we want to focus on and celebrate all that Your precious Son is, reigning right now in the face of every evil — who He is to us, and for us, over us, and within us, through us, and before us, and upon us.

WE PROCLAIM Him before all Heaven: Christ is supreme! — He is sovereign, superior, sufficient and totally satisfying! Christ is our glory! — He is Alpha & Omega, the consummation of all Your purposes, for all creation, for all the Ages to come! In Him our life is hidden with You, until the hour He returns in the final triumphs of grace and truth. Christ is among us! — He is accessible to us right now, in all of His riches. He stands with us – willing, able and ready to act for us, in us, and through us to magnify ALL that He is, before us and before all nations! Therefore, despite threats and tragedies and emergencies; despite deceptions and dismay and darkness, we proclaim: Christ is our hope! — He is the summation of all of Your promises, the source of all Your riches, and much more, for now and forever! We proclaim Him, therefore, to be the one great hope for America in this moment of overwhelming crises.

[ SELAH: Pause for silent reflection ]

WE REPENT before You and before our nation. We repent because it is the failure of the Church to properly respond to Christ as Lord that is the ultimate explanation for many of our current difficulties. Therefore, we, Your people, REPENT for how we have diminished Your Son, regarding Him more as our mascot than our Monarch. WE REPENT for how we have manipulated Your Son, coming to Him to use Him, as far as we think we need Him — that far and no more. WE REPENT for how we have hoarded Your Son, seeking His blessings for ourselves, with little thought about bringing those blessings to others. We’ve assumed that He was there only for us. We’ve acted as if He was not Lord of neighbors and nations. WE REPENT for how we have resisted Your Son, withholding our affections from Him because we were afraid of what it would cost us to draw near to Him — and thus we denied His lordship over all. WE REPENT for how we’ve replaced Your Son, with creeds, and programs, and organizations, and causes performed in His name — but without the consuming passion He deserves as the Center and Circumference of everything for us and for our nation. No wonder darkness is covering our land! No wonder confusion is on every hand! No wonder many are at a loss as to what to do! We who were to be rivers of Christ’s redemption and righteousness find ourselves to be stagnant and powerless instead, because we have failed to give Him the supremacy in everything as He deserves and desires. That is the ultimate crisis in this hour! We are broken-hearted.

[ SELAH: Pause for silent reflection ]

WE PLEAD for Your intervention. As Peter said, already judgment has begun with the household of God. It is Your Church that is struggling with spiritual bankruptcy, puzzled and paralyzed. WE, most of all, are in desperate need for a fresh revelation of the majesty and greatness of Your Son. WE, most of all, need to be re-converted back to Christ for ALL that He is as King of the universe, Lord of the nations, Head of the Church and Master of our destinies. The only genuine hope for America at this moment is the restoration of Jesus’ glory among your own people. WE, most of all, must be empowered to advance your Kingdom bringing Christ’s deliverance into our communities. Therefore, O Lamb of God, your Church appeals to you: Confront our crisis of supremacy. Cast out our crisis of supremacy. Cure our crisis of supremacy. Forgive us! Cleanse us! Purify us! Resurrect us! Re-convert us! Restore us! Refill us! Re-commission us! And then, O Lamb of God, use us to heal our land! .

Together in hope, O God of our salvation, we cry out for our whole nation to hear: “Lord Jesus, come and conquer us! Lord Jesus, come and conquer us! Lord Jesus, come and conquer us!”

[ SELAH: Pause for silent reflection ]

WE PRAY for your awakening power. Awaken your whole Church in America – and through us awaken an entire nation. AWAKEN US to see ALL that the Lord Jesus is in this hour of great trial. AWAKEN US to who He is as the majestic Son of God. AWAKEN US to where He is leading in the Purposes of God. AWAKEN US to how fully He imparts the Resources of God. AWAKEN US to what He rightfully must receive from the People of God. AWAKEN US to pursue Your magnificent promises, wonderfully defined by His supremacy! AWAKEN US to recover and spread abroad ALL the hope we are meant to have in our Sovereign Savior. AWAKEN US to plant that Kingdom hope among our fellow citizens, now trembling in fear and despair before a multitude of overwhelming crises. AWAKEN leaders, in all areas of our national life, who rise to exalt and serve the righteous purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ. AWAKEN all of us to the supremacy of our King! AWAKEN all of us to His fullness – for a deliverance of America that will bless all the peoples of the world. Begin in this hour. Begin in this place. Begin with us all.

Hallelujah! Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit! In the name of Jesus, it shall be done! AMEN.



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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prayer Guide for Living Water

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I would like to invite you to be part of an effort to mobilize prayer for the global water crisis. At Living Water International, we are currently seeking to create a network of churches, ministries, and other organizations that will join with us in prayer, as described in the attached pamphlet, “A Call to Prayer for the Global Water Crisis.” We are joining with many others, trusting God to answer our prayers as we fervently ask him for revival, spiritual awakening, and world evangelization.

Addressing basic physical needs is certainly part of blessing the nations, and water is the most basic of all physical needs. 85% of unreached people in the world today are without access to clean, safe drinking water.


However, we are about meeting more than just physical needs. We are about sharing the love and message of Christ. We are dedicated to standing with him as we witness His Kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven.


We are trusting God to stir the hearts of intercessors and to raise up a movement of concerted prayer for the people of the world who are without access to clean water and Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Please take a look at the attached prayer guide and prayerfully consider being a part of this effort. Feel free to forward this to others you think might be interested. For more details, visit our website at: www.water.cc.


October 10, 2009 was the first annual “Day of Prayer for the Global Water Crisis.” We are very excited about this! However, our main objective is an ongoing effort to mobilize focused intercession for most needy of the people sharing our world. Please consider partnering with us as we pursue His Kingdom in prayer.

Sincerely in Christ, Jerry Wiles, President









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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Encouraging Your Pastor During Appreciation Month and Beyond!

8 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor
Simple acts that feed a shepherd.
by Victor Parachin

Sometimes pastors are the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement, and defeat may begin to plague the best of them.

Paul’s admonition to “serve one another in love” (Gal. 5:13 ) should encourage us to remember our shepherds. Here are eight ways to make their lives better.

1. Cut the criticism
Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers, creator and host of television’s “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” recently gave an address describing the time he was a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and attended a different church each Sunday in order to hear a variety of preachers.

One Sunday he was treated to “the most poorly crafted sermon (he) had ever heard.” But when he turned to the friend who had accompanied him, he found her in tears.

“It was exactly what I needed to hear,” she told Rogers.

“That’s when I realized,” he told his audience, “that the space between someone doing the best he or she can and someone in need is holy ground. The Holy Spirit had transformed that feeble sermon for her—and as it turned out, for me too.”

Unlike most workers who are evaluated once or twice a year, clergy are often critiqued weekly after each worship service. It’s not unusual to hear people say “the music was poor,” “the hymn selection was awful,” or “the sermon was boring.” We would do well to remember that most spiritual leaders work hard to make worship a unique celebration each week.

2. Pray regularly
Ask God to shower your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom, and courage. Pray for your spiritual leader’s maturity and growth in the faith. As you pray keep in mind this wisdom from German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “If you treat a person as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

3. Express appreciation in writing
A spoken compliment is always welcome, but a written one can be read over and over again for years. So, when you hear or see something you like from your minister, write an appreciative note.

4. Use your skills to bless
Are you proficient with computers? Help your pastor master the church’s new computer. Are you a mechanic? Offer to service the car free of charge or at a reduced fee.

One pastor I know recalls: “I was pastoring my first church—a small congregation with limited resources. While there, I developed a series of dental problems and could not afford treatment. What a joy it was when a dentist in the church offered to treat me for free. Correcting my dental problem involved nearly a dozen visits. He treated me carefully and cheerfully each time. I have thought of that dentist many times since then and the memories of his kindness continue to bless my life.”

5. Squelch gossip
If you hear a negative comment, respond with a positive one. If misinformation is being spread, correct it with the accurate information. Or, if people are gossiping, just walk away. Remember the Bible soundly condemns gossip and careless speech. James 1:26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” And Psalm 34:13 reads, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”

6. Offer to meet a need
Some people make their spiritual leaders defensive and angry by saying, “You need to … ” That approach is seldom welcome and almost always counterproductive. If you see a need, approach your spiritual leader by saying, “I’d like to help by … ” If you see an area that can be improved, take responsibility for working on it.

Be an active participant in your church. Get involved by teaching a class, leading a workshop, singing in the choir, feeding the hungry. Ask your spiritual leader where and how you can employ your gifts.

7. Be openly responsive
Nothing so animates and excites a spiritual leader as seeing people respond to the preaching and teaching. Imagine the surprise and delight of a pastor in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who, when greeting a visitor to his church, found she came because of the kindness of a church member who was her neighbor.

“I’m recently divorced, a single parent and new to this community,” she told the pastor. “To keep up with rent and provide for my three children, I must work two jobs. That leaves me very little time for yard work. I was relieved when the weeds didn’t overrun my yard as I had feared they might. However, when I made an unscheduled trip home in the middle of my workday, I discovered the reason why the weeds had not taken over my yard.

“My 86-year-old neighbor—a member of your church—was on his hands and knees pulling my weeds. I barely knew this man and he was embarrassed to be caught in this anonymous act of kindness. He explained that he heard you preach a sermon on the importance of living a life of compassion and kindness and decided to put that sermon into practice by weeding my lawn.”

One pastor’s heart filled with joy when a group of women in Washington, D.C., responded to a sermon preached from the words of Jesus—”Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matt. 7:1). After hearing the sermon, the women decided to give a baby shower for the young woman who provided childcare while they met for Bible study. She was unmarried, close to going on welfare, and without support from her family or the father-to-be. The young woman was moved to tears by the surprise baby shower.

Later, the women explained to the pastor, “Your sermon taught us that it’s possible to reach out to someone in need—in this case, an unwed mother—without judging or condoning the situation.”


8. Throw away the measuring stick
Don’t expect that your present spiritual leaders will do things the same way their predecessors did. Lay aside personal agendas and preferences. Instead, focus on how your leader is being used by God to do effective ministry now. By serving your shepherds, you will ensure that they will not only be encouraged but will feel appreciated and continue to minister with enthusiasm and energy.

A friend is someone who stays with you in the bad weather of life, guards you when you are off your guard, restrains your impetuosity, delights in your wholeness, forgives your failures, does not forsake you when others let you down.


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