Center (5)

A Prayer to Keep Jesus at the Center


A Prayer to Keep God in the Center

“The biggest battle we each might fight is to stay focused on God long enough to learn to abide in His presence. Before we can redeem the world, we must redeem our time. And we would think that with all the time saving conveniences we have in life, that this would be easy but it is not." Francis Frangipane 

A focused life is not scattered in many directions because of the distractions. A focused life always moves to the center even in the busiest times because it is like a magnet attracted to Jesus, knowing that He alone is the one who makes everything work when priorities are in order. 

We used to live in Virginia Beach so we learned a lot about hurricanes. A few years ago we had a hurricane called Ernesto that swept through the area. Ernesto was not a very forceful hurricane, yet many trees fell because of the strength of the winds. Many people lost one or more trees during that hurricane. It left Virginia Beach in a huge mess with trees and branches lying everywhere.
The stability of the trees depended on how deep the roots went below the surface. Shallow roots could not stand the force of even a small hurricane. In Virginia Beach in mild weather you could never tell how deep a tree’s roots extended, but in a hurricane the truth was exposed. Shallow roots meant a big downfall. The roots just could not sustain the tree.

Likewise, right now God is developing our prayer life and the depth of our personal relationship with Him. He wants us to be stable and strong in difficult times as we keep Him in the center of our life.

This 4 1/2 minute prayer will help you to keep God in the center of your life. It is called: A Prayer to Keep God in the Center.

This is from the Intercessors Arise International School of Prayer. 


Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)

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The small south Texas town where I grew up has Spanish
moss drooping from the trees, winding narrow streets, and
stifling humidity that in time I became accustomed to.  The
lazy days of summer brought us a good game of baseball,
fishing at the lake, or swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
Children filled the placid streets with bikes, skates and
homemade go-carts. It was a simpler time; and our town—
population 5,000—was a simpler place.

The closeness we shared as friends and family gave us a
sense of security. Most everyone knew each other so there
was little need to lock our doors at night or to fear walking
the streets alone. Yet, in the summer of 1956, at the age of
six, I encountered a different kind of uncertainty—sexual

One dark summer night I was in bed about to fall asleep,


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For What Are You Believing God? -- by Eddie Smith

In the early '70s, shortly after Alice and I were married, we had the unique privilege of meeting revivalist Manley Beasley.

The first time I saw Bro. Manley he was in Houston, Texas' Methodist Hospital. After many fruitful years in ministry he had become very ill. Diagnosed with five diseases, three of which were considered terminal, he had dwindled down to what appeared to be little more than 100 pounds and was as white as the bed sheet on which he lay.

His doctors had given up all hope of him ever recovering until one day his Bible fell open to Psalm 128:6 where God said, "Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children..." In a moment, the logos became ramah revelation, personalized to his heart. He knew that he knew that God had spoken to him saying that he would be healed and would live to see his grandchildren. At the time he had no married children.

Truly he did live. In fact, there was such a complete turnaround in his condition that doctors from across the United States converged on the hospital just to study his condition and read his charts.

Alice and I led the music for a revival in a Louisiana church. Manley preached the sermons each night from the phone in his hospital room in Houston, Texas. We had major revival.

A few weeks later we were with him in a revival meeting at Castle Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio, where Jack Taylor was pastor. Manley was so weak he could not stand to preach. He preached sitting on a stool. One night all he could do was slowly read "the love chapter," 1 Corinthians 13. As he read each verse, the entire congregation seemed stunned by its significance. Many groaned, most cried, some wailed with conviction.

Revival broke out and ministers from across America came to San Antonio to experience and study the revival. Professors from Asbury College, where a historic U.S. revival had occurred years before were among them. For two weeks people were gathered at the building 24/7 weeping, worshipping and praying. Manley waited seven days before he gave the first altar call. And 110 adults were born again that Sunday morning.

Bro. Manley's personal message was faith. He preached it. He lived it. He wrote books about it. And anyone who worked with him knew to, as the Boy Scouts would say, always "be prepared." Why? Because with no warning at all, Bro. Manley made it his practice to ask you, "Friend, what are you believing God for?" He wanted to know what need in your life you were expecting God to meet. Not only that, he expected you to have written it down and kept it in your wallet or purse. Everyone who knew him knew that he was asking to see what you had written down. It was his way of challenging us to trust God in all things.

One night during that San Antonio revival we sat down at dinner. He leaned across the table, smiled cordially, and said, "Eddie, what are you believing God for?" I reached into my wallet and pulled out a piece of paper where I had written "I'm believing God for a new suit." I'm sure I must have breathed a sigh of relief because I was prepared for his challenge.

A moment later, a lady walked in and sat down at the table across from me. Before anything was said, she reached into her purse and pulled out a small white sealed envelope and stuck it in my hand.

"What's this?" I asked.

"The Lord told me I was to buy you a new suit," she replied.

I was stunned! In the envelope was several hundred dollar bills.

Bro. Manley sat there quietly smiling like a proud father.

For twenty more years Manley continued to travel in evangelism. Remarkably, he still tested positive for the diseases. But his body functioned almost normally. One day I asked him if he regretted that the Lord hadn't healed him from those diseases.

He said with a smile, "No, not at all. That would be a one-time healing that I would always look back to. As it is, every day I live is another miracle I receive!"

Your life and mine are also daily miracles. But how many of us actually regard life as such? How many of us overlook and take for granted our health? How many of us worry rather than write out that for which we are trusting God?

As Manley would ask you, were he still here:  "What are you believing God for?"

For more than 30 years of our ministry Alice and I have trusted God for our support and the support of a dozen or more ministries that we assist in other nations.
      If our other messages have blessed you, please prayerfully consider becoming our ministry partner to make it possible for us to continue to help God's people here and abroad. God bless you! How?

Online:   DONATE NOW

  Make your check or money order payable to:
U.S. Prayer Center
7710-T Cherry Park Drive
Suite 224
Houston, Texas 77095

Phone:  (800) 569-4825

Thank you!
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Corporate prayer loses its effectiveness when intercessors get off track. Here's how you can stay in the flow of the Holy Spirit.As I walked down the corridor toward the large prayer room, several women rushed past me in a panic. They had been praying with more than 50 intercessors from various denominations for pastors in the United States. Eager to find out what was happening, I hurried into the room.

An unbelievable sight met my eyes. Lying on the floor in the middle of the room was a woman intercessor, curled up in a fetal position and groaning as though she were being tortured. Crouched over her was a male intercessor, who was stroking her hair and speaking words of encouragement.

Standing around “the entertainment” were dozens of intercessors—watching. No one was praying now. Their faces revealed many emotions: Some were in shock; others didn’t know what to think; most were simply disgusted.

Asked to correct the situation, I bent down, asked the man to move away and softly whispered into the intercessor’s ear: “Please stop what you are doing. This is not the way the Holy Spirit would lead.”

Gruffly the woman turned her head toward me and growled, “This is the Holy Spirit.”

These kinds of activities are becoming too common in prayer rooms across the nation. If the prayer movement does not establish biblical boundaries and acceptable corporate conduct within the next few years, the work of prayer could be drastically derailed.

Here are some of the flaky intercessory activities with which we should be concerned:

1. Competition in prayer. Moses’ and Aaron’s authority to lead was challenged by Korah and his band with the argument, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord? So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face” (Num. 16:3).

Notice Moses’ answer to Korah and his rebellious associates: “Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord” (Num. 16:8-11).

Intercessors have a unique position. We are called to draw near to the throne, hear the voice of God and stand on behalf of others. We who occupy this position should set an example of love, grace, mercy and humility.

Yet I find that among intercessors there is sometimes strife, jealousy and competition, just as there was among Korah and his band. In some cases, the prayer room resembles the New York City stock market trading floor, with each participant trying to pray more frequently, prophesy longer and shout louder than the others do.

Why the spiritual tug of war?

No doubt about it—all intercession is war! But like all of life, intercession has its ebbs and flows. Our friends would wonder about Eddie and me if, after three decades of marriage, we were passionately kissing every time they saw us in public. You might see this type of thing in the movies, but meaningful, real-life relationships are developed in private. Eddie and I don’t need to impress anyone or prove our love to others. Our outward displays of affection are merely an indication of an already secure and stable private relationship.

There are times when, in the heat of battle, the corporate prayer room seems intense, loud, demanding and pushy. After all, Scripture says the violent take the kingdom by force! (See Matt. 11:12). But constant warfare should not be the way every prayer time is handled.

Effective, sincere corporate prayer should reveal all the attributes of God—His gentleness, His tender mercy, His unconditional love and His burden for the lost. There are times when the group will experience total silence before God. At other times, a deep travail for the condition of lost souls will be felt. Joy, expressions of love and celebration should occur occasionally among the intercessors. To reduce group prayer to anything less reveals our immaturity in the private place before God.

2. Emotionalism. Our emotions are a part of our soul (mind, will and emotions). They were given to us by God to serve His purposes. But to function properly, they must be brought under His dominion. Paul instructs us, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts [emotions] on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col. 3:1-2, NIV).

Our emotions are as flexible and undependable as an elastic measuring tape. One minute we feel happy; the next, we’re sad. We can have a wonderful time of intimacy in prayer, and in five minutes be yelling at our child for spilling milk on the carpet. Emotional expressions are not necessarily an indication of either the presence, or the lack of the presence, of God.

Amazingly, some corporate prayer groups base their entire prayer time on emotions. Hebrews 11:1-2 tell us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good testimony.” It is faith that moves the heart of God, not emotion.

By faith the elders obtained a good testimony. Yet some of these giants of the faith were tortured, jeered at and flogged, while others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned, sawed in two and put to death by the sword (see vv. 35-37).

Most of these mighty men and women didn’t flinch when they were mistreated, misunderstood, persecuted or left destitute. Hebrews 11:38-39 (NIV) says of them, “The world was not worthy of them...These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” Their mind-set was one of faith, not feelings.

God knows I am emotional. Eddie calls me radical. In his book Help! I’m Married to an Intercessor (Regal) he describes me in his own terms:

“Alice is radical about everything! This woman would rather watch the Houston Rockets professional basketball team play than eat. She was a cheerleader in school when her father was the football coach. Alice is a Dallas Cowboys football fanatic as well. When the Cowboys game is being televised, everything at our house comes to a screeching halt.

“Now, I like football. I tend to watch the game casually from my recliner. I drink coffee, read the paper and talk on the phone during the game.

Not her! Alice watches the game on her feet—even in our living room! Pacing, lunging, warning and encouraging the players and coaches, my radical wife is not bothered at all that they can’t hear a word she’s saying!”

Being radical is not bad as long as you work to maintain balance in all areas of your life.

3. Inappropriate behavior. Intercessors have a responsibility to represent the Lord both inside and outside the prayer room. We need to learn that that which is biblical is not always appropriate. Ongoing “weird” activity in the prayer setting is likely to be soulish, if not demonic.

An undisciplined mind confuses soulishness and spirituality, allowing the soul to rule over the spirit. An unruly mind has to be “renewed day by day.” The apostle Paul reminds us: “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18, KJV).

To be filled with the Spirit is to exercise the qualities of the Holy Spirit. What are they? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).

Egrates, the Greek word for temperance, is translated “self-control.” The Holy Spirit will not control you. You must control you!

One form of inappropriate behavior I am concerned about is an alarming manifestation I will call “ecstasy.” This manifestation is misdiagnosed as travail, but it is not genuine godly travail. When it occurs, a glazed expression forms on the intercessor’s face, and he or she voices utterances resembling expressions of sexual gratification. I have actually seen intercessors positioned in a manner that suggests a sexual act is happening.

Beware, women! We must ask the Lord for spiritual discernment concerning such matters. Proper travailing prayer will not cause physical arousal.

Dutch Sheets makes an interesting point about travail in his book, Intercessory Prayer (Regal):

“First, I believe biblical travail is an important, if not essential, part of intercession for the lost. Second, I don’t believe it is defined by groaning, wailing, weeping and hard work. Natural travail certainly is, and spiritual travail can include these things. I do not believe, however, it must include them, and I’m convinced it is not defined by them.”

Dutch goes on to define travailing intercession. It is “a form of intercession that releases the creative power...of the Holy Spirit into a situation to produce, create or give birth to something.”

Not long ago at a conference, I called for repentance by all intercessors who had ever experienced false travail such as I have described. One woman who came forward for prayer told me that she was a seasoned intercessor who had been praying for over 20 years. But recently she went to a conference where a person laid hands on her for impartation. Impartation is right!

After that incident, whenever she tried to pray she would see Jesus as her lover and experience a physical orgasm. She had opened herself to a false spiritual experience she did not ask the Lord about first. At the conference she received deliverance from the evil spirit that had seduced her.

It is clear that we must be discerning. Ephesians 5:15-16 tell us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (NKJV).

Evil or not, these are exciting days in which to live, for spiritual awakenings are being seen throughout the earth. I pray we see one here in the United States! To help bring this about, we must be committed to maintaining our credibility in prayer. Decide now to keep a spiritual eye on what’s going on in the prayer room and be a Spirit-led—not a flaky—woman of prayer.

Alice Smith is co-founder and executive director of the U.S. Prayer Center in Houston. She is also an internationally known conference speaker and  best-selling author. Consider booking Alice for your next prayer conference, leadership training, banquet speaker, retreat leader, etc. Books and other resources by Alice can be found at:

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Some Christians feel like they are the prime target of Satan's attacks. But Scripture does not teach this. Here are some important things to keep in mind about him and how he works:

First, Satan isn't omnipresent like God, who is everywhere. Like us, the devil can only be at one place at a time. So he's most likely never laid eyes on us, although he has minions who know us quite well and who serve his purposes.

Second, he's not omniscient like God, who knows all things. He has limited knowledge. It's inconceivable to think that Satan even knows our individual names.

Third, Satan isn't omnipotent like God, who can do anything. The devil's true enemy is our heavenly Father. Satan was at war with our Daddy for thousands of years before we came along.

Now, read carefully. This next section could change the way you've understood your Christian life. I've discovered only three things Satan can do to hurt his enemy--God.

First, Satan keeps people separated from God. He knows that God is a father who wants a house full of kids. Because God created everyone to live with Him forever, the enemy blinds them from seeing the truth of the gospel. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4.) His goal? His goal is to rob God of His children. (Isaiah 10:14)

Second, Satan hurts us. He hurts God by hurting us. When we hurt, God hurts. Alice and I have four precious children. When one of them hurts, we hurt. And if you hurt one of our children or grandchildren, you've hurt us.

Third, Satan tempts us into doing things that hurt God. If you're a parent, you know this is true. No one can hurt parents more than their children can. And no one can make them prouder. Why? Perhaps it's because children are extensions of their parents.

God's ways are above our ways. As we begin to realize this, we'll discover that we've wasted a lot of words instructing God and praying for things that He won't do because they conflict with His ultimate plan.

Rather than create our lists of requests determined by our needs, we ought to focus on God, and what He's doing on the earth. God has a purpose and a plan. Our job is to find out what they are and pray accordingly.

What's God Doing in This City?

I was teaching at a spiritual warfare conference in the northeast. At one point I asked, "Can anyone tell me what the devil's doing in this city?"

Hands flew into the air; many exuberantly jumped to their feet and cried, "I can, I can."

"Please be seated," I encouraged as I tried to regain some semblance of order.

"I'm really not concerned with what the devil is doing. Can any of you tell me what God is doing in this city?" I asked.

Suddenly the room grew silent. They cocked their heads to one side and looked at me quizzically with their brows furrowed, as if I were speaking Mandarin Chinese!

"Isn't it interesting?" I continued. "All of you can tell me ten things the devil's doing in your city, but you can't…                                                                                       

Don't miss the audio interview with Alice (below)
about her recent Indonesian trip!

…tell me what God is doing?" No one could.

As the bride of Christ, we are His "helpmeets" or helpmates. We are here to help Him do what He's doing. Jesus said that He only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). He also said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21). We are to serve on the same basis.

==> If we haven't bothered to identify what God is doing, how can we help Him do it?

==> How would we know the first thing to do?

==> Can we conclude, then, that what the devil is doing is most often directing our prayer lives?

==> Yikes!

Sadly, in many (if not most) cases, it is. We are engaged in the ritual of finding problems Satan has caused and praying for God to solve them. Indeed, we seem to view ourselves as "God's troubleshooters." We've lost all sight of God, His activity, His glory, and His kingdom!

Alice and I are increasingly concerned with the level of prayer in the American church that is based more on superstition than truth. To some of us, prayer has been reduced to little more than spiritual damage control rather than being used to extend God's kingdom, accomplish His purposes, establish His lordship, and unleash damage to the prince of darkness. It's reactive prayer rather than proactive prayer.

God has two overriding purposes:

First, the glory of His name. (Exodus 3:15; 9:16; Malachi 1:11)

Second, the establishment and extension of His kingdom. (Psalm 145:11-13; Habakkuk 2:14; Matthew 6:10)

Rest assured that anything God does for you, in answer to your prayer, will be done in accordance with these two primary goals. Let’s formulate our prayers accordingly and move from need-driven to purpose-centered praying!

This article is an excerpt from Eddie’s book, How To Be Heard In Heaven.

Print Version: 
Kindle Version:


A personal word.
Alice and I loved the years we served in local pastorates. To spend at least part of every day with those you love and who love you is priceless. My father was a pastor. When he retired I asked him one day what he missed most.

He said, “I miss being with my deacons.” <smile>

We understand all too well. And there many other blessings we miss as well, having now traveled and taught around the world for 20 years. Our blessings today are different, of course. But at the end of each engagement we must sadly say “goodbye.” Of course are always grateful for return visits to renew those relationships.

Another aspect of local VS trans-local ministry is the issue of support. Although our ministry today is as demanding, and often much more than it was in the local church; for 20 years we have had no congregation. It's been the generosity of friends like you who share our values that enable us to continue to serve as we do today. We are always praying for additional “underwriters.”

If our ministry has blessed you, would you please help us today. How?

You will notice to the left a QR (quick response) code. You can scan the code with the app on your smartphone and make an income tax-deductible contribution to the U.S. Prayer Center and ministries of Eddie and Alice. If you don't find a QR code scanner on your smart phone, open your "App Store" and download our free app. In it, you'll find a QR scanner. Search for:  Eddie And Alice.

If you'd prefer to contribute by credit card over the phone, our office number is: 713-466-4009

Or by mail:   U.S. Prayer Center, 7550-T Cherry Park Dr, Suite 224, Houston, Texas 77095

An Audio Interview With Alice

I believe you’ll be blessed by this interview I did with Alice upon her return from Indonesia last week.

Listen now, via streaming audio. Goto:  

Or, download the interview and listen later. Even save to CD, iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.  Goto:

THANK YOU, our 2013 partner!
Eddie and Alice
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