needs (7)


All prayer is not a struggle, but some of the best prayer is like Jacob wrestling with the Lord.

There are several reasons we must struggle in prayer. They are diverse enough that they could not be covered thoroughly in a single blog entry. I will pray about writing a series of blogs on this important subject. But for now I want to overview the issue.

We need to struggle in prayer because of the condition of the fallen world where God has assigned us to minister. In Joel's powerful call to prayer we read,

"Gird yourselves and lament, you priests;

Wail, you who minister before the altar;

Come, lie all night in sackcloth,

You who minister to my God;

For the grain offering and the drink offering

Are withheld from the house of your God.


We need to struggle in prayer over the condition of our country, our city, sometimes our churches. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Have you wept in prayer over someone you love who is rejecting Christ. Have you fasted before God because of things were terribly out of His will?

We sometimes need to struggle to discern God’s will. Have you prayerfully poured yourself out over scripture and circumstances to clearly hear God’s voice?

I also have to struggle over my will. In a sense this is struggling over the will of God. Only saying it that way sounds like God is the enemy. But as a child of God, He is no longer the enemy. He is on my side against the selfishness and foolishness of my sinful nature.

It is almost blasphemous to compare my struggles with that of Jesus in the garden before the cross. But He showed us the right attitude of prayer. Even as Jesus was asking if there were any way "the cup" could pass from Him, He surrendered to His Father’s will. And after He had spent time in the presence of God, Jesus made peace with God's will even though it would cost Him everything. The struggles God leads you through are never so difficult or so crucial. But they are important. And they are a necessary part of spiritual growth.

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The Power of the Gospel  -  Weekly Update May 4, 2016

As the summer months come, pray for those who are living in the low lands and along the sea in a country where there have been frequent power outages as well as lack of supplies. Pray that their basic needs will be met even in the heat of the summer. Pray that fighting will stop in their country and that rebuilding will begin.

"Will you help me go to America?", asked a young Yemeni man who left his country to work in another. He sees no future, as he waits tables in a restaurant. He now lives in a country where there are many believers in Christ. Pray that he will hear the Truth and experience the Hope which Christ offers.


Please pray for believers who are currently working on military bases in this one Arabian Peninsula country.  What an opportunity to shine the light of Christ among the most powerful people in these restricted places.  Pray for divine appointments and opportunities to share the Good News with those who are ready to receive it.  Pray that the various forms of the Good News that have already been spoken would take root and bear fruit in God's good timing! 

Pray against the fear of man since the military can be intimidating.  Pray that the fear of God would rule in the believers' hearts and that they would be protected by the full armor of God.

Pray for the believers around the Arabian Peninsula who are struggling with how to share their faith in places where they could face much opposition for doing so. Pray that God will give them wisdom in conversations and boldness at the right moments.

Pray against a spirit of fear or timidity. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."    - Romans 1:16

PTAP is excited to share its new prayer guide for 2016 and beyond! Download the new guide at:  You can then start praying for the Arabian Peninsula with this updated information.  Please share this with all of your friends, family, and churches.  You can download it anytime from PTAP's website: 

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But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, I you of little faith?  

Matthew 6:30

Prayer is the first expression of faith. If you believe in God, you will pray. Praying faith is propositional. We trust what Scripture tells us about God. By faith we risk ourselves in the confidence that God is able to meet our needs. We believe that the One who made us knows what we need before we ask Him. We believe that He who feeds the sparrows and clothes the lily will provide what we need.

But praying faith is also personal. We not only believe that Almighty God can meet our needs, we trust in His love for us. We do not just trust God to give us what we want. We can know that God loves us even when He withholds what we want or think we need. By faith we throw ourselves into God's embrace. I remember being terrified up on a roof as a child. I yelled and screamed. My father came and stretched his arms up to me. "Jump, David." Closing my eyes and gritting my teeth, I jumped into my father's arms.  

Praying faith is exclusive. We often hear faith touted as if it were a good in itself. But I would not have survived if I put my faith in the sidewalk to catch me. In prayer we decide to put faith in God rather than in our doubts or fears, rather than our wants and thoughts, rather than the goals and promises of the world around us.


I need to write on faith again next week. I want to key on the words, "their faith" in Matthew 9:2.

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Jesus told us to ask the Father for our daily bread. We are tempted to devote prayer to the chocolate donuts of luxury and comfort. But none of these pleasures are good, if our real needs are not met. Two truths emerge from the wording of this prayer. Needs are immediate. And needs are ultimate.

We have a tendency to pray for God to provide our needs far into the future. These seem to be prayers for God to provide so we will not have to trust him ever again. I have terminal cancer. God has not chosen to remove my cancer. But I have lived and often been basically healthy years longer than my doctors told me I would. Not long ago a friend introduced me as a cancer survivor. I told him later that I couldn't say that. He said, "Every day you are alive, you are a survivor." I told one of my doctors I was doing better than he thought I would because people were praying for me. He was silent for a moment and then said, "That's right."

Our needs are also ultimate. You will die if you do not have food to eat. You have other ultimate needs. Some are physical like the need for bread. Others are emotional, intellectual or spiritual. From an ultimate perspective our greatest needs are spiritual. Life is ultimately meaningless without a sense of wonder, truth, purpose, righteousness and security. These only come from God. They are the fruit of the gospel in our lives. Jesus died that we might have life truly, fully and eternally. Are you focusing on the greatest needs that face us? Or are your prayers distracted by lesser things. My cancer brings an urgency to my life. I don't want to devote most of my energy to praying for a better parking place at the donut shop.

Next week we will look at praying for forgiveness.

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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 -

"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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I want to return today to a crucial facet of prayer that I have written about before. I want to encourage you to develop the habit of praying for people everywhere you are. You can pray for people you see in the bank or the grocery store. You can pray for people you meet as you walk down the street or even as you are stuck in traffic.

Of course the first question that arises about this is “What do I pray for total strangers?” I have given people guides that they can use to get started, but in fact, I think the best way to pray is to be open to whatever the Holy Spirit brings to your mind as you pray. You will discover that you can often see needs at a glance on people’s faces. Also, I often see a person who reminds me of someone I do know. I pray briefly for the person I see and then at length for the person who is called to mind.

I need to admit that this does not come naturally to me. I have to remind myself again and again to be praying for people around me. Possibly the most important thing I can do to prepare to pray for people everywhere I go, is to begin my day with a sustained devotional time and devote intermittent times to prayer throughout the day. But I still have to pray regularly for God to remind me to pray for people as I go through my day. You may find this comes more natural to you. But even if it does not, you will find this to be a powerful blessing in your life.

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I would guess that most of our churches have a formal or informal group of people who minister to others after or during the service(s). And we all know that these people are truly pastors in some sense of the word as they love on and care for people through the power of prayer.  Thank God for people who love prayer ministry.

However, some well-meaning folks need a little coaching particularly in what to avoid when they have those few minutes of time with people in need.  So let me share a couple of items we cover with our teams that you might want to mention in your training or orientation as well.

First, don't scare people. Many of the people who will approach us for prayer are nervous to begin with so don't add to their fears.  How?  Several ways: using big words they don't understand, having several people they don't know lay hands on them or surround them so they can't get out. We might not see the problem but our team members need to be especially sensitive to just who is coming for prayer and do everything they can to help the people feel safe.

Second, don't promise more than you, the church or God can give. For example, don't claim that everything will work out or that you know God will heal them right then. Sometimes things go wonderfully and yes, God still does miracles, but He is in charge of that, not us.  Also, don't suggest that they call the church for more help unless the church leaders have offered that and can really assist people in need.

Third, don't pray long. Some people feel they need to pray for every possible thing they can think of related to the presenting problem. Most people however want us instead to go before God with them and share the basic need. Length is also another way to add to their fear quotient.

Fourth, don't break confidences. What happens in the prayer time should stay in the prayer time unless there is some indication that they or someone else could be hurt in some way. However, normally these requests are just that - requests for prayer - not announcements. Broken confidences during prayer times are great ways to send people to another church.

Fifth, don't talk with other prayer leaders or people in the church who are nearby. Prayer team members need to be attentive to those coming for prayer and that is it.

So, help your volunteers and staff make your times of prayer extra special and safe for those who need your prayer.  Prayer does make a difference.  Let's just make sure it's a good difference.

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