heart (12)

Has your computer been hacked?

 It seems like our social media, financial, and email accounts get hacked now and then. When that happens, we change our passwords to protect our privacy since we don’t want intruders to have access to our accounts. Passwords protect our 9651041670?profile=originalaccounts.

I recently heard a message that spoke to my heart about guarding my heart just as I protect my Internet accounts.  We read in God’s Word that we are to guard our hearts. In Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  Don’t let the enemy hack your heart.

How Do We Guard Our Hearts?

We can protect, defend, and shield our hearts from Satan by developing an intimate relationship with God. Paul tells us, “Set your hearts on things above . . . Not on earthly things.”(Colossians 3:1, 2) The enemy wants to rob our hearts; he tries to get us overwhelmed, defeated, tired, and so busy that when God wants to get our attention, His call goes to “voice mail”. As grandparents, we can set an example by demonstrating that our relationship with God is a high priority for us.

We must guard our hearts because God valued our hearts and the hearts of our grandchildren and their parents so much that He sent his Son, Jesus into the world to die on the cross for our sins.

Do you have a password to guard your heart against the distractions and business of your life?My favorite password is Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. When the enemy tries to hack my heart, I claim my password. Do you have a password to keep your heart from being hacked, if you don’t have one already?

If we as grandparents guard our hearts, we will have a part in nourishing the souls of our dear grandchildren by our example. Our grandchildren need grandparents who will model how they guard their hearts.  

Our grandchildren are living amid a cultural and spiritual battle; a brutal and vicious war against a subtle and friendly enemy (Satan) who knows his time is short. We have a responsibility to pray for them and encourage them to guard their hearts.

Don’t let the enemy rob your heart;he tries to get you overwhelmed, defeated, tired, and so busy that when God wants to get your attention, His call goes to “voice mail”. Spend time in His Word. Don’t forget your password when you need to guard your heart against your busy schedule, and you don’t have a chance to cover your grandchildren and their parents in prayer.

This is the reason Christian Grandparenting Network is asking grandparents throughout the world to unite in prayer for their grandchildren and their parents.

 Sunday, September 8, 2019, is the National Grandparents” Dayin the United States, but we are asking grandparents throughout the world to join us, making it a Day of Prayer. If you cannot schedule and event on that day, do it sometime in September when it is convenient or whenever you have a Grandparents’ Day in your country.

Many grandparents have signed up to participate and volunteered to organize events because they realize the urgency for a Day of Pray for their grandchildren.

We have two ways that you can participate in our website.www.grandparentsdayofprayer.com

  1. Click on “I will pray” button and give if you will commit to joining us as a prayer warrior on Grandparents’ Day of Prayer.
  2. If you are willing to organize an event in your church, home, or retirement complexes, etc. click on “To find out more about becoming a volunteer” to follow the process

If you realize the urgency for a Day of Prayer for our grandchildren and their parents, will you help us call grandparents to join in prayer on September 10th? Christian Grandparenting Network is prepared to provide step-by-step guidelines, resources, and online tools for creating successful events.

Please check our website http://www.grandparentsdayofprayer.comfor more information, testimonials, promotional materials, and free downloads.

Thank you for your consideration to participate in this event.

For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact us.

Lillian Penner lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

Sherry Schumann sherry@christiangrandparenting.net

Deborah Haddix  Deborah@deborahhaddix.com


My prayer is that you will experience

God’s most abundant blessings as you pray for your grandchildren,

invest in the spiritual lives of your grandchildren, their parents, and future generations. In Jesus’ name.





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Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

One of my favorite spiritual songs is Change My Heart O God by Eddie Espinoza. The lyrics read,

“Change my heart oh God.

Make it ever true.

Change my heart oh God

May I be like you.”

Purity of heart goes deeper than actions. It is purity of motives, purity of desire, purity of devotion to God and His righteousness. Purity of heart is purity in the very depth of your being. Purity can mean sinlessness. There is a sense in which purity means single mindedness. It also means transparency especially before God. And the promise here fits this latter meaning well. If you are open and transparent before God, He can reveal Himself to you. Purity of heart does not mean ultimate sinlessness except in the life of Jesus. But it does mean a willingness to be honest with God about our sins.

And I think it must extend to honesty with people, not operating with hidden motives. Someone once told me about hearing someone say about a friend, “He pretends to like me, but he probably talks about my behind my back.”

The man answered him, “No, you're wrong. He (the friend he was talking about) is as pure as water.” But to be honest, it is easier to give examples of underhanded motives than pure hearts. That is until we think about Jesus. One of the best places to observe His pure motives is when He was attacked and accused by the religious leaders. His purity always showed up their false motives.

In the 21st chapter of Matthew Jesus entered the temple not long after driving out the money changers. The scribes and Pharisees challenged Him asking by what authority He did those things.

Jesus said, “I will answer you if you will answer one question. ‘The baptism of John was it from heaven or from man?’”They talk among themselves saying, 'If we say it is from Heaven,’ he will ask us why we didn't believe in John. But if we say, 'It was from Men,’ We will lose popularity because all the people held John as a prophet.” He had them by their own prejudices. This is not the only example of their duplicity. Again and again they revealed their false motives.

So in Matthew 5:20 Jesus told us,

“Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

But Jesus was saying much more about our righteousness in this verse. He was saying unless His righteousness, His purity of heart, was given to us by God, we could never in our own righteousness enter the kingdom of heaven.









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Raw Prayer

How polished should our prayers be when we pray to God?  It's one of many questions Christians, and many non-Christians alike, carry with them in life. 

Recently, I was reminded about how beautiful the prayer of a newborn Christian can be.  It's a prayer spoken from the heart, in their own natural vernacular (which likely isn't politically correct, and may include swear words, unrefined verbiage, poor grammar, and more linguistic faux pas).  It's a prayer that's raw, transparent, authentic, personal and speaks directly to God's heart. 

I've witnessed men receiving Christ while reading a prepared "sinner's prayer," only then afterwards to pray/speak similar thoughts directly from their hearts to God, using their own words.  Sometimes coarse words fly during the prayer, but it's obvious that they're not said in vengeance.  They're spoken in confession and repentance.  It's rather a beautiful context to hear those words spoken that many legalistic Christians would outright dismiss!

While I don't condone the use of foul language in prayer (especially if the Christian has been growing in his/her faith and walk with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit), for someone who has yet to come to faith, or who is beginning to place his/her faith in Jesus, God will not ignore the prayer from a person's heart towards His.

We're reminded by Jesus in Luke 18:9-14 that a prideful heart hinders prayer, but a humble heart is honored by God:

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

As a Christian who can fall into a trap of feeling his prayers must sound a certain way, possibly with a certain flow or elegance; it's a humbling reminder that we need not perform before our Father.  He's impressed with the position of the heart (especially a heart humbled towards Himself), and not the outward words or actions in prayer that can often appeal far more for man's impressions than to God Himself.  Prayerful actions will flow out of the humbled heart, and it is God who searches the heart, not man.

We should never feel paralyzed from praying simply because we're not sure if we can word a prayer "correctly."  Jesus gave us an excellent model of prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) that we will do well to both pray, and study in depth!

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The Power of a Thankful Heart

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

It is not always easy to give thanks, but this is the very thing we must do in order to see God’s will accomplished in our lives. This is how we move into higher realms of faith for ourselves, for our city, and for our nation. When we give thanks in the midst of difficulty, we bring pleasure to God's heart and breakthrough begins. He is looking for people who live in a realm of praise and thanksgiving where the enemy no longer has an ability to hold or manipulate. Satan is defeated when we have a thankful heart because thankfulness during difficulty is a sacrifice pleasing to God. Are you thankful?

  • Are you thankful for your present circumstances?
  • Are you thankful for your salvation, your friendships, and your job?
  • Are you thankful for the way God made you?

Thankfulness is a key to your life. It is the key that turns your situation around because it changes you, your outlook, and your attitude. There is power in a thankful heart. Thanksgiving brings contentment. An attitude of thanksgiving accepts and embraces God’s will. Begin to thank God for all the blessings he has given instead of dwelling on the negative. Discontent dries up the soul. Look at what Elisabeth Elliott, who lost her husband on the mission field and faced multitudes of hardships, says about loving God's will and being content:

“To love God is to love His will. It is to wait quietly for life to be measured by one who knows us through and through. It is to be content with His timing and His wise apportionment. It is to follow in the steps of the Master, as did Paul, who was able to say that he had learned contentment no matter what the circumstances. His circumstances when he wrote that? Prison. No easy lesson, but great gain, which is the sum of godliness plus contentment (1 Timothy 6:6).”

Look at the example of Jesus. He followed the will of His Father to the very end. He obeyed without complaint. In Philippians 2:5-8, Paul says that we should have that same attitude. Jesus made Himself nothing and took on the very nature of a servant. He humbled Himself and became obedient to death. We also are to have this same attitude with a humble and thankful acceptance of God’s will for our lives. Jesus embraced hardship without a complaint.

The Duke of Wellington was a British military leader who regretted that he had not learned the secret of praise during his lifetime. He had many great accomplishments and even defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. He was a brilliant and demanding man and when he was older, he realized that there were areas in his life that needed to change. In his old age a woman asked him this question, “What would you do differently if you had your life to live over again?”

He thought carefully and said, “I would give more praise.”

This is a lesson for all of us. To learn to be people of praise and thanksgiving to God all the days of our lives would be a great accomplishment. There is greatness and happiness in thanksgiving.

“Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world?... It is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it… Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it turns all that it touches into happiness.”
William Law

David writes in Psalm 116:17, "I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD." Did you know that thanking God for a difficulty is actually an offering that He highly values? You are bringing a gift of thanks to Him. It is so easy to complain. It is so easy to point the finger and find fault. But to come with the opposite attitude and give thanks brings breakthrough and joyful contentment.

How to Practice Thankfulness

Let each of us seek to have an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving, and rise to a new level of holiness. Here are some ways to practice this attitude in everyday life:

  • Thank and praise God for everything in your life - Thank Him for even the difficulties. It is a sacrifice to do this but He can turn troubles into triumph.

    “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

  • Don’t allow yourself to complain about anything - During the difficult times, be very careful to watch your tongue. Instead of complaining, think of ways you can verbally offer God the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

    “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:14-15).

  • Don’t compare yourself with others - Don’t wish your life were different. God knows what is best. The Bible says that having a thankful heart is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. When we begin to thank God for what we have, rather than comparing ourselves with others, it opens the door for God’s blessings.

    “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else” (Galatians 6:4).

Most of us are in need of breakthroughs in prayer. The enemy is fighting hard with fiery darts of discouragement and lies. The way we will begin to deal with the lies and the vicious ways he tries to destroy our joy is through the power of a thankful heart. As we cultivate a lifestyle of worship and praise in the magnificent splendor of God, we will be able to break through the strategies of the enemy. A worshipful and thankful life permeates the atmosphere with the presence of God, because worship is the atmosphere where God’s truth dwells.

These new web sites on prayer will help you grow in your walk with God with an attitude of thanksgiving - Intercessors Arise International and Nations House of Prayer Equipping Center.

“God smiles when we praise and thank Him continually. Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise and appreciation from someone else. God loves it, too… An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give God enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy." William Law

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOPKC)

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But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked....(1 John 2:5-6)


Oh Most Holy and Heavenly Father, I think You that Your Word, Oh God, is written in the Heavens. I thank You that Your Word is Truth. I thank You that Your Words will never fade or pass away and therefore, because You keep Your Word, I pledge to do my part and keep Your Word hidden in my heart and shown through my actions and deeds, that Christ lives within me. 

Lord, may Your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of all Truth, Wisdom and Understand Who keeps me permanently connected to the Eternal, fortify my will to keep Your Word of Truth firmly embedded, to keep it from shame and slander, to keep it from dishonor and degradation and to keep and guard it as jealously as You guard Your Holy Name. Your Love commands, compels and gives me confidence in Your Word to remain faithful to it, to obey it and dwell on it as our Savior did. Your Word says in Hebrews 5:7 that our Savior's prayers, cries and petitions were heard because of His piety, obedience and submission to Your Will and Yours alone.

Let us now walk in that Truth, in the Path of Persistent Obedience where He, the Lord Jesus, walked that we may too be found in Him, to the praise and glory of His Name. By this Truth we know we are His, in Him, in His Will and walking in His Ways. Lord we long to be like Jesus, and to live, walk, talk and rest in You as He did and may ALL our worship be Yours and His, throughout our lives, in the Strong and Mighty Name of King Jesus I pray, amen.

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Healing Our Wounded Hearts

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

I doubt if very many of God’s people wake up in the morning with the amazing thought, “I am made in God’s image!” Instead quite the opposite often occurs—many feel down about themselves with feelings of insecurity, insignificance, and a lack of self worth. If we want the freedom to pray wholeheartedly, we must understand some of the things that are hindering our wholeheartedness in prayer. When there is negative traffic in our hearts, we are distracted in prayer. We are consumed with our own needs. We are not free to fully serve God in every area of life, especially in prayer.
How did we get into such a difficult place?
Let’s look back to creation and the garden where it all started. Yes, we are made in God’s image. The very origin of relationship was the Trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were in perfect relationship—they were in perfect harmony, with perfect communication and respect. And they said, “Let us create man in our own image.” 
God’s original intention for our world was that our needs would be met through our family, society, and creation. Our parents are supposed to represent God’s character. Children are to know they are loved, cared for, and provided for in every way. They are to be secure in who they are (identity), who they will be (destiny), and in their relationships (belonging). Even in society our relationships and government should be characterized by love, unselfishness, wisdom, mutual respect, and appreciation. There should not be injustice, greed, and abuse.

Unfortunately this is not true. We see the breakdown of society and the family in every dimension of life. Many of us are appalled by what is happening with human trafficking, murder within families, school shootings, and the rise of immorality and pornography worldwide. The nearly 300 young girls recently kidnapped from their Nigerian school by terrorists, many who are probably being sold into human trafficking, has shocked the world. Over 9000 girls are kidnapped annually in sub-sahara Africa!

This is not what God desires. In creation everything should work together in harmony under His Lordship. Can you imagine our world with no disease, no abuse, and no disasters? This is how God made the earth and what He wanted. 
But man rebelled and everything changed. Our world went completely out of control, and what once was a perfect world is now one in complete disarray because of sin.
The fall brought serious disruption to everythingthe family, society, and all of creation. The result was woundedness—we now have broken relationships, fragmented nations, and decay and disorder everywhere.  I once heard it said, “Be kind to everyone for everyone is going through some kind of battle.” The truth is that everyone struggles because we live in a fallen world.
Many people hop from one job to another, from one marriage to another, or from one church to another, hoping to find fulfillment and completeness. The truth is that we won’t be fully satisfied until Heaven. We are made for something so far greater than what earth can offer. We are made for eternity, and God has set it in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Imagine a secure and perfect world without sin. If we felt secure we would have a greater ability to withstand difficulty in life. It would be far easier to make long-term friendships and have good relationships with parents and authority figures. We would be able to trust on a far deeper level. We would have a good self-esteem with a positive and hopeful belief system about ourselves, our family, and about society.
But the problem is that many, if not most of us, feel very insecure in a broken and wounded world. Our basic human needs are often unmet, and there is a huge increase of fear all around the world. 
Our Basic Human Needs
We all have the same basic human needs. These needs are God-given. They are the need for:

  • A sense of worth - We need a sense of identity and self-esteem. Everyone is worth loving and has intrinsic value. We are made in God’s image.

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

  • A sense of significance - We all need meaning and purpose in our life. We need to feel that we matter and our contribution is valued. God has promised us an abundant life.

    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10a).

  • A sense of belonging and security - We need to know we are loved and accepted. We need a family. God has said that we are His children. We belong in His family.

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Unmet needs become apparent in our relationships. When our needs are unmet, there is a lack of security, a lack of significance, and a lack of self-worth. When we are insecure we can have a sense of rejection, a sense of not belonging, and of feeling unloved and insecure. When we lack significance, we can doubt our purpose and meaning. If we lack personal self-worth, we can have self-doubt, self-rejection, and self-hated. 
Look around your world. How many feel this way in their secret heart? Why is there so much violence in families and society?  
The Wounded Spirit
 “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness but a wounded spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14)
Our unmet needs lead to wounds. A child who is not cherished, fed, and affirmed will have wounds. The spirit is impacted by neglect, rejection, and maltreatment. Having a wounded spirit leads to physical illness and disease, emotional and personality disorders. Wounds lead to isolation, a sense of rejection, abandonment, or violation. This can lead to the conclusion, “There must be something wrong with me.” 
What is the answer to our broken hearts? Who can heal our deepest wounds?
Jesus Came to Heal the Wounded Heart
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
God is the answer through Jesus. His love has become visible through Christ. God gives us a purpose for living, a job to do (Gen. 1:28, Jn. 15:16). We are sons and daughters with God being our Father. We are a chosen race and a royal priesthood. We belong to God and are made in His image (Genesis 1:26). We are accepted by God and are not condemned (Romans 8:33,34). God demonstrates a heart of compassion and a desire to restore us. Jesus has come to give us an abundant life (John 10:10).
We can come to God and ask Him to heal our wounded hearts. Take time to be still before God and let Him touch your heart. Put on some soft worship music and let Him speak to you. Tell God about any wounds in your heart. With pen and paper beside you, write down anything that comes to mind. Here are some things you can do that will help facilitate God's healing in your heart:

  • Face your pain with Jesus and bring it to the cross - You can transfer your pain to Jesus. He went through everything on the cross and he understands all your hurts (Isaiah 53:4).

  • Forgive those who have hurt you - Healing always involves forgiveness. Forgive and ask God to forgive you for any way you have hurt others. Receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

  • Know and meditate on God’s Word - God’s truth sets us free (John 8:32).

  • Develop a daily dialogue with the Holy Spirit - He will teach you the truth about your life and about others. The Holy Spirit helps us to deal with our past and our unmet needs (John 14:16, 26).

  • Ask God for a revelation of His heart - Listen to His voice. He may speak through a verse, a word, or a picture. When you get a revelation of His heart for you, everything changes (John 10:27).

  • Make a new commitment to seek intimacy with God - Discover your redeemer in a deeper way (Meditate on Psalm 42).

Be encouraged because God is in the process of healing our wounded hearts. We have so much to live for and all eternity is before us. In God and through Jesus we have worth and identity, significance and purpose, and security and acceptance. We can be wholehearted in prayer. We are children of God and in His family. Our God wants to heal our wounded hearts!

This video will bless you - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGFBYuCdQ-8

"There is nothing that transforms our hearts and satisfies us more than when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us." Mike Bickle

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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There are times when a friend, family member, or sometimes even a stranger, presents a prayer need or concern that is shocking or dismaying in the moment.  It might revolve around a great injustice, a sudden terminal or difficult health diagnosis, traffic accident, loss of something or someone significant, or another matter altogether.

For many of us, the first thing we often pray is, "Lord, heal this person or fix this matter!"  Others pray, "Lord, be with this/that person."  It's not wrong to pray like this, but have you considered that there are times when God may desire you to pray a little differently than how you pray out of your natural mind or emotions?

Knee-jerk response prayers can emanate from our emotions responding to the shock, surprise, or feeling of being overwhelmed that can come from learning about a serious or life-changing experience or event. 

But one thing we can forget to pray is, "Lord, please help quiet my heart so that I can accurately hear from You."  Then after He does, ask, "How would You have me pray in this moment, for this person/people, or situation?"  It can make a significant difference in both how you pray, and how you see God answer your prayer(s)!

Knee-Jerk, Stop-Gap, Reactionary Prayers

Knee-jerk, or stop-gap reactionary prayers may serve to help us immediately offer something in the form of prayer while we're attempting to figure out what happened or is happening.  They're also sometimes offered as a quick prayer of comfort or encouragement for the person who's shared the shocking request or is personally requesting prayer.

Many Christians (including me) have offered such prayers, sometimes with an expectation that God will respond in one particular way or another, only to later be disappointed when the condition worsens, the person prayed for passes away, or God doesn't answer in the way we've specifically requested or hoped.  Sometimes the disappointment wounds the Christian's faith in God or makes them question if they can effectively pray again if faced with a similar situation.

The Emotion Factor

God has given all of us emotions.  Happiness, sadness, anger, amazement, wonder, awe, frustration, tiredness, and many more.  Emotions are a gift from God to enhance and embellish our lives.  Without them, our lives, our interactions with God and each other would be very flat, dull, and expressionless.  We can, and should, thank and praise God for giving us emotions- they're a gift He's given us out of His perfect wisdom, love, and affection!

What's Driving You?

While emotions enhance and embellish our interactions with God and each other, it's possible for emotions to become the driver of our responses, reactions, and even how we pray. 

For example, if the emotion of anger is allowed to become one's driver (no longer kept under personal control or more importantly, yielded completely under control of the Holy Spirit), rage and out-of-control behavior can likely result, bringing physical and/or emotional wounds to self or others around.  A person emotionally driven by anger won't likely pray, or if they do, their prayer will be anger-driven and likely judgmental and condemning toward whatever person or matter they're angry toward.  God sees, hears, and knows the anger-filled person's heart, and hears the person's prayer; but He'll answer that person and their prayer out of His divine wisdom (knowing all of the past, present, and future- all seen and known by Him in that moment).

Different emotions, if driving instead of embellishing us, can steer us to pray and behave differently, depending on the emotion.


When we begin by asking God to help us pray beyond our emotions, we're not asking Him to cancel or negate our emotions as we pray.  What we're asking Him to do is help us balance the emotion(s) that's dominating or attempting to dominate us as we pray and seek God to intervene somewhere.  It's a request to help us see clearly; see the matter, circumstance, or person we're about to pray for through His eyes and understanding.  It's a spiritual and emotional heart check.  If we take time to allow God to align our hearts, minds, and emotions with His, we'll hear more clearly from Him about how He'd have us pray.  When we pray as He instructs (He instructs us in alignment with His Word and Spirit), we can be confident He'll answer our prayer(s) in the ways He's instructed us to pray.  It's also possible He may grow, strengthen, and deepen our faith in Him as a result!  That's a double-blessing (answered prayer and personal growth together)!

What if You're Prayerfully Stuck?

When faced with a shocking or stunning prayer request, and you can't seem to come up with words to pray, yield to the Holy Spirit to give you words or ideas/impressions about how He'd have you pray.  Although He personally intercedes for us, He will also give us His impressions as a way of guiding us how to pray and respond in the moment.  God invites our prayerful involvement in every moment of every day- and He'll help instruct us how to pray (especially when we feel inadequate or unable to pray- if we press into Him).

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. – Romans 8:26-30

Blog also found at:  http://www.prayonsite.org/blog/handling-significant-and-shocking-prayer-requests

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Should We Pray Aloud or Silently?

God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us many diverse ways to pray.  Some pray privately, some pray publicly, some pray while walking around, some pray in solemn stillness, while others pray in a variety of ways (some listed above, and in other ways not listed).

But does God have a preference whether we pray aloud or silently?

We look to Jesus- who not only taught about prayer, but modeled it for each of His followers.
In Matthew 4, we read that Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil for 40 days.  While prayer isn't explicitly mentioned in this chapter, it's fair to reason that with the Holy Spirit leading Jesus into the desert, that prayer (communication with the Father) was ongoing.  The Holy Spirit helps us to pray- and certainly did/does the same for Jesus!  We have no record of anything Jesus prayed in the desert because Jesus either didn't share what He prayed at that time with his disciples, or the Holy Spirit didn't have it recorded in the gospels.

In Matthew 6, Jesus gives us a model to pray by: (verses 9-13)

This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

He doesn't specify if God prefers us to worship, confess, petition, and thank God aloud or silently.  He simply gives us this model to shape how we pray when we pray.

In Matthew 11:25-30, we read:
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

In verses 25-26 we see the first word-for-word recorded prayer of Jesus in Matthew's account- and it reveals praise and worship-based prayer to the Father.  This aligns perfectly with the beginning of Jesus' model prayer in Matthew 6:9.  We also see Jesus instruct His followers (including you and me) to align ourselves (our hearts, minds, and souls) with Him by taking His yoke upon ourselves and learning from Him.  Prayer is one vital part of the yoke we should take upon ourselves- if we haven't already done so!  He promises that we'll find rest for our souls therein.

On the night between the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on water, we read in Matthew 14:22-23, "Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone..,
Here, Jesus separates Himself from all others to be alone in prayer before the Father.  While there's no record of what He specifically prayed at that time, or whether he prayed aloud or silently (or maybe a combination of both), He gives us the model that it is good to separate ourselves from all others (people and things) to be still and alone before God.  There He found rest- and we can too.

He (the LORD) says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
- Psalm 46:10

Then, prior to Jesus' betrayal in Gethsemane (Matthew 26), we read that Jesus prayed three times.  He strongly encouraged His disciples to watch, then watch and pray, but found them asleep each time He broke from concentrated prayer with the Father to check on them:
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

From this passage, it appears Jesus prayed aloud (at least the portion he prayed three times).  Someone present must have recorded His words before they fell asleep, or the Holy Spirit later shared the words Jesus prayed with Matthew following Jesus' resurrection.

From these examples in Matthew, we see that God prefers prayer.  The method (spoken or silent), and physical location doesn't matter.  What matters is the heart of the one praying.  God desires to hear our prayers in whatever way we offer them to Him.

The other gospels also show modeling of prayer by Jesus.  John 17 also reveals Jesus' prayers for Himself, His disciples, and all believers.
Some additional thoughts on praying in different means.

Benefits of Praying Silently

Praying silently, for many, offers the ability to pray more quickly than by verbalizing prayer.  Our thoughts move faster than our voices, therefore, it's possible to share one's thoughts more quickly with God when praying silently than when speaking our prayer(s).
Praying silently often establishes an undisturbed atmosphere to hear the Holy Spirit when He speaks.  While the Spirit certainly can be heard during spoken prayer- through impressions He places on the praying person's heart- directly, from Scripture, or from others around, the atmosphere of silence may reduce noise or distraction for the one praying and may make it easier to hear the Lord's voice.
Benefits of Praying Aloud
When one prays aloud, especially in the presence of others, the person praying not only makes their thoughts known by verbalizing them, they also model prayer for others around them.
Modeling prayer is one of the key ways Christians learn how to pray from others.  Certain words used, inflections of voice, ways of praying, Scriptures prayed, and more may be picked up when one hears or sees another Christian praying.  Reminder:  The one modeling prayer should check his/her heart to make sure their motive in praying is to glorify God and not bring attention or glory to one's self.  The best kind of modeling happens without the person praying realizing that they're modeling prayer!  They let the Holy Spirit model prayer through themselves without interference of personal pride.
Of course, poor ways of modeling prayer may also happen when one prays aloud.  But if the person praying has his/her heart focused on the Lord, and is praying as the Holy Spirit is leading them (and not from their own desires alone) they're likely honoring and blessing the Lord.

Praying aloud can bring instant encouragement to others near the one praying aloud.  If someone requests prayer, often the best time to pray is at the very moment while the praying person is in the presence of the one requesting prayer.  Spoken prayer, in this situation, not only models prayer to the one requesting, but often brings instant hope, encouragement, or even joy, to the one burdened or requesting prayer.

How Should We Pray?

There's no choice to be made other than, we should pray!  How we do so depends on our heart position before God and how He leads or instructs us to pray in that moment.
We need not divide ourselves within our Christian fellowships or apart from them based on how we pray or prefer to pray.  There are benefits to each way we pray.  Prayer often works to shape the one praying more than the people or circumstances we pray for.  The most important thing we can do is pray.  So let's get back to doing so!

Lord, we love and praise you.  You've provided the way to directly come before the Father and speak with Him.  Thank you for prayer!  Continue to teach us to pray each day- and by your Spirit, lead us in how you'd have us pray moment-by-moment.  We desire to reflect your glory back to you and to others you place around us.  Help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on you, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  Have your way in and through us today- for your glory alone.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Laughter and Joy in the New Year

"Create a habit of happiness and laughter instead of a habit of worry. When you laugh, it lowers stress hormones and relieves stress. Laughter also boosts the immune system, protects the heart, and improves overall health. Ten belly laughs a day are equivalent to getting a good aerobic exercise workout, and they're the ultimate ‘stress buster.'" Don Corbert, MD

As we enter into this New Year, it is critical that we maintain a good heart attitude in life. If you look around, you see many people incredibly stressed out worrying and without hope about the future and what will happen. Their hearts are troubled. Many are burdened in this New Year and are using all of their resources fearing the future rather than really living life to the full.

Is this really how God wants us to live?

Did you know that laughter helps promote good health? A laugh can help: Lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, improve your brain function, elevate your mood, reduce your stress, help you relax, and protect your heart.

"True laughing offers one of the most powerful and natural healing methods without any side effects. Laugher lowers the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. It increases feel-good hormones. It keeps you squarely in the present moment. It helps you to reframe and feel thankful and helps you to see negative events in a more positive light. There's not a single bad thing laughter will do for your body and mind.” Corbert, MD.

In Proverbs 17:22 the Bible says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." In Nehemiah 8:10 we read, "for the joy of the Lord is your strength."  The Bible supports the fact that cheerfulness and joy promote good health. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:4-6, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." 

But is it possible to rejoice in the Lord always? Paul states it twice in Philippians 4:4. He knew that it's something we have to command and encourage ourselves to practice. Struggles are not easy, but Paul, while in prison, was able to rejoice. And then he tells us to pray about everything with thanksgiving as we present our requests to God.

Perhaps prayer is a key to the ability to rejoice always. Prayer will help us find joy and laughter as we enter into this New Year. It certainly is not easy to rejoice in certain circumstances of life, but there really is a choice of how we will view them. God has an answer for everything, even when we don't see it through our human eyes. He knows the beginning from the end, and it's our choice if we want to link with Him or not. The world is negative and tries to squeeze us into its mold, but God has a way that we can walk through our circumstances victoriously.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It is not something we can create ourselves. God's joy is super-natural and can remain deep and abiding even when we are in the midst of hardship. It is not the absence of pain or difficult circumstances. What could be harder than prison? But it is learning to let God's Spirit fill you with His unquenchable joy, regardless of your circumstances. For a world looking desperately for hope, your life becomes a miracle and a testimony of Christ's light especially during this time of year.

Choosing to pray is not always easy, but it is the true path of life. Psalm 16:11 says, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." There is joy in the secret place of prayer. There is joy as we choose to center our life in God and knowing Him. There is joy, laughter, and breakthrough even in the darkest of circumstances when we choose to make Jesus our highest ambition, our deepest desire, and our greatest goal. Then He breaks through for us with transcending peace and supernatural understanding. 

There are destroyers of joy, laughter, and prayer that the enemy uses against us. Philippians talks about many of these destroyers. It would be good for us to evaluate ourselves at this time of year so that we may guard ourselves diligently against these thieves. Here are some of the ways that the enemy uses to try to steal our joy and diminish our effectiveness in prayer. As you enter into 2014 guard against destroyers of joy, laughter and prayer found in the book of Philippians:

  • Anxiety - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
  • Disagreements and poor relationships - "Agree with each other in the Lord" (Philippians 4:2).
  • Difficulty and discontentment - "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11).
  • Wrong thinking - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).
  • Lack of confidence - "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:15).
  • Complaining - "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure" (Philippians 2:14-15).
  • Selfish Ambition - "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).
  • Bad Attitudes - "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant" (Philippians 2:5-7).
  • Pride - "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8

If you are feeling down and can't seem to get out of it at the beginning of this New Year, take the authority in prayer that is rightfully yours, and break that discouragement in Jesus' name. Then ask God to fill you with His joy and peace. Write down the positive things in your life, and thank God for each one of them. God is able to push the negatives out as you begin to praise Him and dwell on the positive things that He has provided for you.

Don't live your life according to your earthly circumstances but according to your position in Christ. Remember that you are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3-6), are God's possession (Ephesians 1:14), are chosen of God (Ephesians 1:11), are complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10), are a kingdom of priests and a royal priesthood (Revelation 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9), are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and are able to do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). Healthy joy and laughter are yours.

"Don't be satisfied with a joyless life. There ought to be in every Christian a deep, settled fullness of the joy of Christ that no circumstance of life can dispel. This comes as you allow the Holy Spirit to express Himself in your life. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22). This joy is unlike any happiness that is produced by the world. It fills you and permeates everything you do. Jesus did not pray that you would merely be happy or even that you would escape grief. He prayed that you would have the same joy that the Father had given Him: a divine joy, a joy that comes from a deep and unwavering relationship with the Father. It is a joy that is grounded so firmly in a relationship with God that no change in circumstances could ever shake it. This is the kind of joy that Christ is praying will be in you." Henry Blackaby

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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God's Masterpiece

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue
 you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:1-6).
Our identity as humans is under fire.  If you look into the secret lives of people in all walks of life, you find individuals who try to look big on the outside but who are crying deeply for love on the inside.  A worldwide problem is not being able to love ourselves the way that God loves us. Most of us do not do this well. 

I remember a few years ago when we were having awakening services several nights a week here at the International House of Prayer. One of the main problems that kept coming up in many of the services, especially among young people, was self-hatred. The fact that is apparent worldwide is that mankind has a hard time loving themselves in the right way. And this is prevalent among Christians.
But if we want the freedom to pray wholeheartedly without limitations, we must have a right view of ourselves. We are God's masterpiece.
We live in a world that tells us that we are ok only if we are more beautiful, have a more important job, and are skinnier or more athletic. Then we will be acceptable and life will go our way. The problem is that most of us do not measure up to the ideals we see in the media, and we are listening to the wrong voices all the time. We are constantly bombarded with the wrong messages in school, on TV, and on the internet. Self-hatred comes with seeing our worth and success according to the flesh and comparing ourselves with the values of this evil world.
But what does the Bible say to all of us who are seeking God wholeheartedly and truly want to see ourselves through His eyes?

  • “As the Father loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love (John 15:9).
  • “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us… (1 John 3:1).

How many really believe this? If we did, we would walk in a new nobility with our head held high, not because of pride, but because of the remarkable dignity we have as children of God. We are made in His image. We are to see ourselves in light of the truths of Jesus’ work on the cross. We are not to minimize how much God enjoys loving us because He does, and He thoroughly enjoys being loved by us. He loves it when we spend time with Him basking in His love.
“Our greatest emotional need is to have the assurance that we are enjoyed by God even in our weakness. Every person was created with a longing to be delighted in and enjoyed by God. A prevailing stronghold in many today is related to rejection and shame. This stronghold hinders our ability to receive God’s love and to enjoy Him, His Word, and the work of the kingdom.” Mike Bickle
Most people do not have a clear sense of their personal identity even when they do a great work in the world’s eyes. An example is the famous German philosopher Schleiermacher who did much to shape the progress of modern thought. As an old man he was sitting on a city park bench. A policeman thought he was a bum and came and shook him. He asked this famous philosopher, “Who are you?” Schleiermacher sadly replied, “I wish I knew.” 
This sad reality is multiplied by the rich and famous all over the world. Outwardly impressive but inwardly longing to know who they really are. Working feverishly to keep up their image in the public eye, they are looking in every direction for love and personal identity but are not finding it.
Why are there so many suicides among young people today? Why so much depression and discouragement? Because our enemy wants to destroy our identity in Christ, and he will do everything he can to tell us how far we have fallen short. He will try his hardest to lead people into such depression so that they will even take their own life because of their agonizing pain. Let’s look at the gravity of this huge problem:
Depression is the #1 disability in the world and the strongest risk factor in suicide. Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year and is the 10th leading cause of death. Between 1952 and 1995, suicide in young people nearly tripled and is the third leading cause of death. An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. It is estimated that there were 811,000 suicide attempts in just one year. See 
http://www.save.org for more information.

Crowned with Glory and Honor
“You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands” (Hebrews 2:7).
Every one of us is important. Every one of us has a God-ordained destiny that only we can complete. No other person in all of history can do and be what God has designed you for. Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. When we know this love deep in our heart that God has towards us, we are empowered to love others deeply and to pray extravagantly. God delights in the person that He made us to be. Don’t despise your appearance, status, gifting, or ministry assignment. It is so important to God. In fact, there is nobody who can do what God has specially designed you for. Remember Ephesians 2:10 every time you get down about yourself – you are His unique and special workmanship. You are God's masterpiece.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
God sees us differently than we do. He does not agree with man’s fleshly view of what is weak, ugly, and worthless. He actually chooses the weak things of the world to put to shame what appears strong according to the flesh (1 Corinthians 1:27). We must agree with what He values. We must look at things from an eternal viewpoint, not from the world system.
We must focus on who we are in Christ, not according to the flesh and how we look, make money, etc. We must seek who we are according to the Spirit (God’s eyes) so that we can love ourselves. Self-hatred comes from seeing ourselves according to the flesh and then comparing ourselves with others who are big in the world’s eyes (2 Corinthians 10:12). We are new creatures in Christ!
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 
(2 Corinthians 5:16-17).
We are to acknowledge and hate our sinful desires, but we are to love who we are in Christ. We have no confidence in our flesh (Philippians 3:3-8). We died to our old life, failure and identity (Colossians 3:2-4). God loves our every act of obedience in small and big ways. He sees us as successful. We have a glorious inheritance (Eph. 1:17-18).
We can love with God’s love when we know our true identity. Embrace His love today by loving yourself the way He does. He carefully and lovingly knit you together in your mother’s womb with His own hands! Every single part of you inside and outside was fashioned with His master hand. You are His masterpiece. Don’t look at yourself through man’s eyes; look at yourself through God’s. You are His beloved child. You are crowned with glory and honor.

Now one of the most famous phrases spoken here at the International House of Prayer is this: "I am God's favorite!"  And this is so true because we are all God's favorites! We are each uniquely designed by His master hand.

You must watch this video called The Father's Heart and let it touch your heart. Put on some quiet worship music, sit or kneel in God's presence, meditate on Psalm 139, and listen to what God says to you. Write it down, and thank God that you are His masterpiece. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. 
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you
 when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body;
 all the days ordained for me were written in your book
 before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand…” (Psalm 139:13-18).
 Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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Hide and Seek!


It's a little before dawn and I walk the 200yds from my comfortable cozy cabin, in the brisk clear air to The Prayer Chapel at Harvest Prayer Retreat Center in Indiana.

The moonlight casts a silver glow over the ice-covered lake. Entering the Chapel I experience the presence of God in the beauty of His creation as I quietly speak out the names of Jesus inscribed in a variety of scripts upon one of the walls.

I sit down at the writing desk and read a description of worship by Richard Foster which started like this: "Worship is living in the reality of God's creation with a heart open to receive all it's glory. Wow for the next nine hours that is what I did and incredibly it seems as if it were but one. As you watch today's PM3 may God give you a desire to come out of hiding in the busyness of life and TAKE A DAY, & BE IN HIS CREATION.

Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrr in the joy we share in Jesus and give away a PRAY NOW blessing today!



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“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment.” We know this and we want to obey, but what does whole-hearted devotion look like?

There is much media attention given to physical heart care – do this exercise, eat this healthy diet, take this medication to keep that ever rising cholesterol in check and on it goes to prevent heart attacks, keep us healthy, and give us long lives.

Exercise and diet are also important to strengthen our spiritual hearts against distractions that try to upset our total devotion to Jesus. Romans 12:2 reinforces that whole-hearted devotion includes our mind, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is.”

We renew our minds by hunger for God’s word and the discipline to consume it daily as a regular diet. Also, James 1:22 warns us not to delude ourselves by being just hearers of the word, we are obey God’s word through the exercise of living it out. Read Romans 12:9-21 for a great check list to allow God to point out areas that need improvement, and to hone your skills for living out whole-hearted devotion as a way of life.

The reward personally and the impact culturally is worth the investment of our time. Let’s pray Psalm 86:11, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”

Elaine Helms is a prayer leader at the North American Mission Board, SBC. Visit www.namb.net/PrayerConnection.

Do you ever get distracted when you are praying? What do you do to bring your mind back to conversation with God?

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