RSS

Category Archives: Prayer

Praying Over Government Leaders at all levels

Radio Station WVNE has asked their radio pastors to join them in leading their listeners to pray today. They assigned each pastor a specific topic. We were to record our prayer and send it back to them. They would schedule the prayers throughout the day at the bottom of each hour. I was asked to pray for government leaders at all levels. My prayer was scheduled for 2:30PM.

Here is the text of my prayer. Here is the recording of my prayer that I sent to the station.

************

Father, thank you for the leaders you have placed over us. Thank you for those who serve as judges, educators, police chiefs, fire chiefs, school board members, military officers, elected officials on the city, county, state, and national level, as well as those who serve our country by leading. We recognize that anyone and everyone in power has been placed there by you alone to accomplish your plan and purpose.

I pray that you would grant each one of our leaders wisdom, knowledge, insight, and understanding in these challenging days.

I pray that those who know you personally would spend time in Bible study and prayer to seek your face.

I pray that those who don’t know you personally would come in contact with Christ followers who would share the gospel with them. I pray that they would be convicted of sin, transgression, and iniquity and that they would confess their sins and seek your forgiveness.

I pray that you would surround all of our leaders with godly counselors and wise advisors.

I pray that each of our leaders would operate with integrity and that they would resist manipulation, pressure, and the fear of man. I pray that they would desire purity and avoid the temptation to engage in any and every type of sin.

I pray that you would use our leaders to restore the sanctity of life, families, divine order, and morality in our nation. I pray that you would use our leaders to turn our nation back to you.

I pray that our leaders would have hearts of compassion for the poor and needy.

Father, thank you for the men and women who serve our cities, our states, and our nation. May your hand of blessing be on each one.

Amen.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 2, 2020 in Prayer

 

Pray for revival and healing

2 Chronicles 7:14 is a very familiar and oft quoted verse. It occurs during the time when King Solomon dedicated the temple. After his prayer, God responded and said what he would do if Israel fell into sin and famine came upon the land as a divine consequence. God promised, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

While the promise is given to the nation of Israel and regards a famine which would be the consequence of sin, it gives us principles that we can follow in praying for revival and healing. Notice the four things that Christ followers must do and the two things that God will do in response.

if my people who are called by my name

humble themselves, and

pray and

seek my face and

turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven and will

forgive their sin and

heal their land

As followers of Jesus Christ, those who have been called by God’s name, we must humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and repent from our own wickedness. Then, God will hear and bring revival and bring healing.

I have been convicted personally that I spend too much reading the news headlines, complaining about the decisions and reactions of others, worrying too much about shortages of flour, eggs, toilet paper, etc., and not near enough time praying and asking God to use this crisis to draw people to himself, and to heal the world. I need to humble myself, pray, seek God, and turn from my own self-centered, self-sufficient wickedness. I need to wait upon God to do his work in his time.

Would you join me?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 25, 2020 in Culture, Prayer, Scripture

 

Lord, send a spiritual awakening!

Lord, send a spiritual awakening to our country. We are not a Christian country that has fallen asleep or sick and can be revived. We are not moral people who merely need to be reminded of right and wrong. We are not shallow Christians who can be challenged to recommit ourselves.

We are a nation that has turned its back on God. We have sought the gods of pleasure and instant gratification. We have chosen to embrace the gods of affluence and materialism. We have chosen to worship creation rather than our Creator. We have sought to be independent of all rules and regulations and not have any one rule over us. We have broken each and every commandment you have given and acted proud of our actions.

Lord, we need a spiritual awakening. We need to be convicted of our sin and self-centeredness. We need to humbly bow before you and acknowledge that we have strayed from your path. We need the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin. Break our hearts with the things that break yours.

Lord, help us to believe that if we seek you that we will find you. Help us to know that forgiveness is available through Jesus Christ. Help us to believe that healing is available through your grace. Help us to let go of our independence and acknowledge our need for you.

Lord, send a spiritual awakening to our country! Lord, heal our land!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2020 in Culture, Ministry, Prayer

 

Lord, send a revival!

Lord, send a revival, not to our country, but to your church.

On any given Sunday, I stand before a congregation that resembles 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3. It is made up of nonbelievers, seekers, new believers, immature believers, carnal believers, growing believers, and spiritually mature ones as well. There are those who want to learn and desire to grow and those who have convinced themselves they can’t understand the Scriptures and need to be spoon fed. There are those who have gained victory over temptation and sin and those who are comfortable in their complacency. There are those who are generous in their giving and those who are so encumbered by debt they cannot afford to give. There are those with happy marriages, those who have broken families, those who have skipped marriage and are living together, and those who struggle in their sexuality. There are those who have tried and failed and given up and are stuck in their spiritual ruts. There are mature, spiritual leaders, and pew-sitting observers. There are givers and there are takers.

As I contemplate the challenge of ministering to a group of people that spreads from one end of the spiritual spectrum to another, I cry out that I am deeply in over my head. I cannot move the needle of commitment one degree, let alone produce any semblance of lasting life change. Despite my best efforts at being faithful, I cannot generate maturity, commitment, or increased attendance and/or giving. I desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit to convict hearts and change lives. I need God to move in our midst to draw his people into a deep, abiding relationship with himself. I need the Holy Spirit to soften hearts, heal broken relationships, restore hope, help people break free of temptations, gain victory over addictions, and let go of self-centered pride. I need God to pour out his Spirit in his church. I need the Father to breathe new life and vision into his people.

Lord, send a revival to my church. Send a revival to the churches in our community. Cause those who claim to be your followers to commit themselves to holy living and to truly follow you.

Lord, send a revival!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 3, 2020 in Ministry, Personal growth, Prayer, Theology

 

A daily prayer

A prayer for each day, based on the benediction in Hebrews 13:20-21.

“Lord, equip me with every good thing I need to do your will. Work in me that which is pleasing in your sight. Do it through Jesus Christ so that you and Jesus may receive the glory. Amen.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 3, 2020 in Hebrews, Prayer

 

I can do it myself!

From our earliest days, we learn the phrase, “I can do it myself.” Whether learning how to tie our shoes, coloring inside the lines, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, walking to school, learning to drive, heading off to college, and a host of other activities, self-sufficiency is the flag that we fly.

As parents, we want to raise confident, independent, self-sufficient children. We want them to be able to stand on their own two feet as they face the world. It is a character quality and a mindset that each one needs to develop.

When it comes to spiritual matters, however, that sense of independence and self-sufficiency can become our greatest weakness. We will avoid asking others for help because “I can do it myself.” My wife and I were in a small group years ago where one of the couples was moving to a new home. They refused to ask for help on moving day until one of the group members confronted the couple and said, “You are robbing me of the chance to serve and use my gifts.”

Our independent spirit will hinder us from developing a deep relationship with God. Rather than burden God with our needs, we will attempt to solve them in our own power. Our sense of self-sufficiency will cause us to live like functional atheists who confess faith in God but rely on our own abilities.

Our independent, self-sufficient spirit will prevent us from getting close to other people. “I can do it myself” will keep one from sharing prayer requests or telling another person what we are dealing with and how they can encourage us. It can foster a sense of pride that says “I don’t need you.”

Independence and self-sufficiency can be a tremendous strength. But it can also be a tremendous weakness. We need discernment to know when to stand alone and when to ask for help from God and other people.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2020 in Culture, Personal growth, Prayer

 

A guide for corporate prayer

Periodically, our church will gather together for a corporate Concert of Prayer. Rather than talk about prayer or share prayer requests, we pray. My friend, Tim Jack, once developed a tool that uses the Scriptures to guide our prayer requests. I adapted it to use in our gatherings. Here is the guide we used for last night’s Concert of Prayer. Click on the link if you’d like to download a pdf copy.

A Concert of Prayer

January 5, 2019

Never stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NLT)

 

Adoration & Thanksgiving

 

Psalm 138:1–8

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.         On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

  • Personal praise (1-3) leads to corporate worship (4-6). Worship leads to increased faith in God (7-8).
  • We have freedom in worship—thanks, praise, sing, bow down
  • We praise God’s name (character). We give thanks for his love, faithfulness, answered prayer, strength, deliverance

 

Confession

 

Confess personal sin – Psalm 51:4

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

 

Confess national sin – Ezra 9:6

“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.

 

Confess corporate sin – Nehemiah 1:7

We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.

 

Supplication

 

Spiritual insight and power – Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  • Pray for greater vision, faith and confidence in God

 

Government leaders – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  • Pray for our city, state, and national leaders
  • Pray for the upcoming elections in the fall

 

Knowledge of God’s direction – Colossians 1:9

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

  • Pray that God will guide our elders as they lead our church
  • Pray for the finance board as they manage our finances
  • Pray that we would discern where God is at work and what he wants us to do for his kingdom
  • Pray for the annual meeting

 

Provide financially – Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

  • Pray that God will grant us a spirit of generosity and we will know the joy of giving
  • Pray that God will meet our needs and cause our budget to increase

 

Passion for the lost – Romans 10:1

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

  • Pray that we become more outward focused
  • Pray for the ministries that reach into our community—Awana, Trunk ‘R Treat, Women’s Dinner
  • Pray for unbelievers by name
  • Pray that God will add new believers to our church

 

Preachers, evangelists – Ephesians 6:19

and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,

  • Pray for our missionaries
  • Pray for the leaders of our ministries
  • Pray for open doors and increased boldness

 

Every attender engaged – Ephesians 4:15-16

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

  • Pray for the membership class in March
  • Pray that all find a place to serve

 

Willing to change & adapt – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

  • Pray that we would be less rigid; more flexible
  • Willing to do whatever it takes to become fruitful and effective

 

Multiply our effectiveness – John 15:8

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

  • Pray that we will be fruitful & effective, not just busy
  • Pray that we see growth in depth—children, youth, adults
  • Pray that we see growth in numbers

 

Revival & renewal

  • Pray that God will breathe new life into our church
 
 

Pray for your pastor

NIcholas Batzig of Ligonier Ministries has written an article entitled, “5 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor in 2020.” I can certainly identify with what he states in his second paragraph.

Pastors need the saints’ prayers because they are ever the object of the flaming arrows of the evil one. In addition, the world is eager to run them over at any opportunity. As one of my seminary professors so illustratively put it, “Ministers have a bull’s eye on their backs and footprints up their chests.” Sadly, this is even a reality for pastors within the context of the local church.

Click on the link to read the full article and his five specific ways to pray for your pastor.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 4, 2020 in Ministry, Prayer

 

How to pray for your pastor

Jeramie Rinne gives a number of practical ideas you can pray for on behalf of your pastor. Read his article, How to Pray for Your Pastor, to find his suggestions. Then strive to put them into practice as you pray for your pastor.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 15, 2019 in Ministry, Prayer

 

Moscow Conference 2019 – September update

Dear friends,

Thanks for praying for the preparations for the October Moscow conference. Carol and I leave in six weeks on October 16.

As on previous trips, we will be working with John & Naomi Musgrave, missionaries sent out and supported by Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue, WA. We will also be joined by Marc Fournier. Both John & Marc were elders at Crossroads when I was on staff at the church and we have worked together previously.

The focus of the conference is on identifying and training the next generation of leaders in the church. Here’s an outline of the lessons I’ll be teaching during the conference. We will be combining lecture, small group discussion, and some other creative learning activities.

  1. Session one – Why? The biblical mandate for mentoring.
  2. Session two – Case studies; biblical examples of training and mentoring.
  3. Session three – Who? What do you look for in a trainee?
  4. Session four – What? What should you develop in a young leader?
  5. Session five – How? How do you train them?
  6. Session six – Failures. Not everyone you invest in will follow through.
  7. Sessions seven – Panel discussion; Q & A.

Thanks to your generosity and God’s provision, the trip is fully funded. Enough funds came in that allowed us to do something special for the attendees. We purchased a quantity of relay batons and we added a label that says, 2 Timothy 2:2, in Russian. At the end of the seminar, we’ll give each participant two batons, one to keep as a reminder of the lessons and one to give to someone that they train.

Here’s some ways that you can pray for us:

  • Praise God for his generous provision.
  • Pray that God guides me as I develop the content for the conference and determine how to teach each session. Pray for insight and creativity.
  • Pray that God will bring the right pastors and leaders to the conference and that he begins to prepare their hearts to receive the material.
  • Pray for Carol and me as we head to California in two weeks for a short visit with our kids and Carol’s parents and sister. When we return, we will finish preparations for the Moscow conference.

Thanks so much for your support, encouragement, and prayers.