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It's easy to drift from your vision unless you take the time to develop an action plan that propels you towards your desired destination!
“Vision drift” happens in your marriage, your vocation, or your spiritual life when you lose sight of your purpose and mission in those areas.

Drawing from Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy’s book entitled “Living Forward, (Click here to preview the book), the Lord impressed on me that the best way to stay focused spiritually is to develop an action plan.

Many people are frustrated that they don’t seem to hear from God, and yet they never take specific steps to change that. Since we have a biblical promise that believers can hear him (John 10:27), it’s up to us to listen. If you are among those who aren’t as disciplined about maintaining quiet times, or if you simply want to improve your existing relationship with God, this strategy is for you.

As we begin a new year and a new era, I want to challenge you to pull out your calendar, block off at least an hour or two of time in the near future (a half-day would be even better), and do a “mini” prayer retreat. The goal of your retreat is to create an action plan that will help you see exactly how you can improve your relationship with God.

Here’s what your personal mini-retreat might look like:

Why Do a "Mini" Prayer Retreat?

Because they are so powerful, I hold prayer retreats on a regular basis each year. Schedules and priorities change, and it is helpful to get away and “take inventory” to see where my spiritual resources are weak or depleted, and what areas need growth or change. Even disciplined believers with regular quiet times need a chance to evaluate occasionally what is working and whether they are moving closer to their ultimate goal of life-giving communication with God in every area of life.

For example, one of the things I have noticed (and write about frequently here on my blog) is my tendency to allow notifications on my phone to distract me from my focus. (Click here to read my thoughts on smartphones.) Looking at the retreat outline above, that habit falls under the category of my “present reality.

However, the kind of future I envision with God is similar to the one I cultivate with friends: if I am having a conversation with someone, I put the phone away and focus on the relationship. I’d like to be more consistent in really listening to God, and this can’t happen when I’m pulled away by phone calls or emails every few minutes.

So to reach the goal of giving God my full attention, my specific action plan includes waiting until my quiet time is over before turning on my phone, and – to increase my focus during the day – returning to just a few set times daily when I check email and messages. I have learned that very few alerts on that phone demand my immediate attention, no matter how loud or persistent they seem!

A second priority for me is increasing the amount of prayer time I spend listening to God. It is easy – and sometimes tempting – to read the Word, send up a few personal requests for the day, and then move on. My richest quiet times, however, come when I allow God the time to speak in return, quietly journaling what I hear Him saying to me, or even taking the time to meditate more deeply on the scripture verses He “highlights” to me as I read. 

Tithe Your Time

If the idea of doing a mini prayer retreat interests you, I want to ask you to make a commitment to God right now to schedule that time – before you close this page and move on to the next things in your day! It is much easier to move forward spiritually when you set aside just a little time at the outset to create a plan and stay focused.

My mission, and the mission of His Inscriptions, is to Restore Life-giving Communication with God. If you decide to use the prayer retreat outline above, I’d love to hear how it works for you. 
In fact, if you have set a date and time for your retreat, I would be delighted to pray for you on that day, so that you can feel confident that God is speaking to you. There is power in unified prayer! Simply contact me here with the date and time of your prayer retreat.

Where to Do A Mini Prayer Retreat

​If you live in the New England area and need a quiet place to do a spiritual retreat, there are many options. The Sanctuary at Woodville, in Hopkinton, MA, has space for individual or corporate prayer retreats, as well as beautiful trails you can hike around a lake. (Bonus: It’s stunning in the Fall!) You can find more information here.

L’Abri is another well-known resource for Christians, with retreat centers in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Canada, England, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, and even Brazil. Guests spend half of each day in self-directed study and the other half working in the community. Dinnertime conversations and lectures are always spiritually focused and very enlightening! I have enjoyed many pleasant hours in both the American and Swiss Alps retreat houses. More info here.

For a large database of retreat centers in the Northeast (note: not all are Christian), click here for the RetreatFinder site. To connect online with others who pray, I highly recommend Pray.Network’s website, which also lists nationwide prayer events.

Lastly, check with churches in your local area for prayer rooms that are open to anyone wishing to use them. It is a rare church that will turn away someone who wants to invest time in prayer! These settings are usually quiet and conducive to personal reflection. 

One Final Note

You can download your own print-ready copy of the Mini Prayer Retreat strategy here. For more on the Living Forward book, including life-plan templates, visit the website here. I pray the Lord will use this simple, strategic idea to help you renew your relationship with Him!


Right now, Deborah Perkins is outside collecting eggs from her coop full of chickens. While she enjoys cooking fresh breakfasts for her hubby and three sons, her true passion is to help people "Discover Life-Giving Communication with God." Her free blog, online Christian Resource Library, and mentoring courses on prayer and the prophetic are available to subscribers. Join the His Inscriptions community to strengthen your walk with God! 

©Deborah Perkins /

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Life Changes

Life changes and is never stagnant, if you allow yourself to grow. Growing takes effort. Reading His Word and applying His principles to your life. They are good principles, adding value to life. This does not mean you’re going to hop on a fluffy soft cloud and float through life with no heartache or pain. It does mean that you have God to lean on. It means when you seek Him, He will answer. When you follow His principles the hardships in life can be overcome. He cannot always keep you from harm, but He can help you heal from it. He does not control anyone. He is not a control freak. He is here to guide you when you ask but you must listen when He answers. He is your healer, but not always in the way you expect. You only think in the ways of man. You cannot always comprehend what He is doing in your life. This is where trust comes in. If you are following Him, reading His word, praying and soaking in His presence you will have greater understanding and greater healing from life’s hurts.


He is here for His people! The one’s who choose to follow Him. Being a follower of His Son Jesus does not make you weak. Instead it makes you strong. Spiritually strong. Align yourself with the Holy Bible. Align yourself with a Bible believing church that teaches Agape Love above all else. Learn of His ways. Learn to love others and His Son. Learn to love yourself. Many people have done so much wrong, been taught wrongly, or mistreated so badly, even by those who call themselves Godly, that they are confused and refuse to hear His Word. But know that I do not control them and they can choose to misconstrue His Word, or twist it for their own glory or excuses. He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD who love’s your soul. Who forgives your sins and longs to guide you to the truth of the Word. He is peace when there is no peace around you. He is Love when there is no one to love you and even when you do have people to love you. He is the Great I AM, here to guide and save His people. You must choose Him as He has already put you on the list of HIS Chosen. He has given you the opportunity and the right to follow Him and seek His peace in your life.



Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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Recently, about 120 people were physically healed at a gathering in a village because they were all hungry for an encounter and for healing. The Lord did an amazing work, but please pray that these souls would also believe in their hearts who Jesus Christ is. Please pray that miracles, signs, and wonders would continue to occur to accompany and confirm the message of truth. 
Please keep praying for "Jennifer" whom we have been praying for, the local woman who has been suffering from black magic. Unfortunately, she is still being tormented by evil spirits.  She looks confused and was really sick for nearly two months. She has complained of psychological problems. She went to see a psychiatrist who somehow helped her with some medicine. She is still avoiding her Christian friends. When they try to share Jesus with her, she changes the subject.  Last year, she saw a vision in her bedroom of a large red cross.  Just because some Muslims see dreams and visions doesn't mean they turn to Jesus automatically!  This is a call to press on in our prayers for her.  Let's do just that!

The friends of a believer are asking questions about what she believes, and why. They want to know and understand the whole truth, although they confess they really don't believe. Please pray that their eyes and hearts would be opened to the truth, that they would not reject Jesus Christ, and that they would experience the true love of God for themselves.

Please pray for protection and guidance in discipleship relationships and the wisdom to nurture new believers in a way that will result in indigenous and reproducible churches. Pray for local believers to have boldness and to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and fellowship with other believers.
"Amy" had hopes and dreams to study and become a nurse one day. Her father had different plans for her, to either marry young or to quickly get a job to provide money for her family. She was forced to quit her studies and is desperately searching for a job that will please her father and prevent an unwanted marriage. She seems to run into dead end after dead end, and her father's patience is running low. Please pray for Amy to find a job soon that will satisfy her father, and that she will find peace in a relationship with her true Father.
Please pray for all local believers who are alone. Pray that the Lord will bring them into contact with people who love Him, that they will know they are not alone and that they will thrive. Pray for them to have boldness and wisdom in sharing with other locals. Pray also for those who try to tell their friends and family about Jesus but are faced with confrontation. In fact, some of their friends and family try to convince them that the Bible was corrupted, and this confuses them. Pray for these local believers to  continue to be bold in sharing with others. Pray for God to remove all confusion from their hearts and increase their faith in His Word.

Please pray for the Word of God to be translated into local dialects. Pray for this project's progression and for those who are doing the translating.
Answers to Prayer

Praise God for answering our prayers during our recent February prayer focus on Yemen! Here are three answers:

1. It has been reported that in February, more than 10 new Yemeni believers were acknowledged. And of course, there could be more of whom we do not know about. 

2. The bombings from Saudi Arabia and its coalition have greatly decreased.

3. In the first week of March, a Yemeni university student walked into an international church in the Gulf asking many questions about the faith, even asking "What is baptism?" He then attended a student conference the next day where he received more gospel teaching. The campus workers involved have followed up on him. As of now, he is not interested in the gospel. He is a pluralist who picks and chooses what he likes in different religions. But let's pray for him. Seeds have been sown and he now has Christian friends. Pray that the Father will grow these seeds to bring new life in Christ!
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New Season

As Ramadan has come to a close, pray for freedom from a religious spirit that keeps people in bondage to faith in their own works. Pray that believers will live out their faith in front of their neighbors and co-workers in a way that will attract them to Jesus Christ. Continue to pray that locals will have dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Pray that they will hunger to know Him for who is truly is and connect with believers who can help disciple them.

Be in prayer for university students who are seeking Jesus Christ and reading the Word. Pray that they will read with hunger and understanding and that they will come to be saved by faith in Him. 

Pray for a new believer who is standing alone. Pray for strength, sweet time in the Word, opportunities for discipleship, rapid growth in intimacy with the Lord, and a deep and enduring faith that will carry through no matter the circumstances.

Please pray for a small neighborhood where much Good Seed has been sown, and there has been a lot of interest and response. After some years of friendship and spiritual discussion, local families were interrogated about their western Christian friends. About the same time, there were several accidental deaths in the same small neighborhood. Although the western Christians stopped visiting for the sake of their friends, some local believers remain. Please pray for them and for the growth of the Church in that place.
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Cultivating Friendships

A friend has observed that there is a new people group moving into her neighborhood. She has engaged several of the women in conversation as they walk with their children. The women seem open and want to learn English. Please pray that this opportunity will blossom into relationships that are deeper and ultimately relationship with Jesus Christ.

Please pray for people of the land who have accepted Christ but need to keep quiet about it. Pray that groups will form where they can gather with others who are in this same situation. Pray for believers who can mentor and disciple them. Pray for favor, protection, and bridges with their families. Pray for the Holy Spirit's wisdom and counsel to fall on them that they might know how to navigate this new faith in this culture and with their families. Pray that the word of God would settle deep in their hearts so they will not fall away when things get difficult or hard. Please pray that much encouragement and fellowship will rise up around them as they learn from God's word.

Praise God for groups of prayer initiatives that are springing up all over the region. Please pray for protection and perseverance for these endeavors. Pray they will be energized and encouraged by times of prayer together. Pray that we will all know in the heavenly realms that much is taking place even if we do not see specific things in the natural.
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PTAP: New Saints & Hajj 2016

Prayer Requests & Hajj 2016 -  Sept 7, 2016

Praise God for those in the Arabian Peninsula who walked in darkness but now believe in the Savior. Pray that the witness of their changed lives will be strong as they live day to day among people who don't agree with their beliefs. Pray that others will be drawn to them, desiring change also. Pray for many to believe and grow in faith.
The leader of a local mosque made an unexpected visit to the home of a Christian worker. The Christian was surprised and a little frightened about the possible purpose of his visit, but was relieved when he partook of refreshments served to him. In Muslim culture, this is a sign indicating good will. After traditional greetings and conversation, the Muslim leader said, "Well, you know why I have come to visit you." The Christian respectfully replied, "No, sir, I actually do not know why you have come to visit."  "I have come because if I were to die right now I know I would go to Hell." Amazed, the Christian shared the Gospel with him beginning with the Fall of Man and the Promise of the Seed of the Woman in the Garden of Eden-- the very first prophecy of Christ (Genesis 3). By the end of the visit, the Muslim leader left with a copy of the Jesus Film, the dramatized audio Bible, and Arabic worship music. He returned every few weeks with questions and at last put his faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. Please pray for him as he is facing enormous spiritual warfare.
Some years ago a very skinny and dirty little boy came to the home of a Christian family to beg. They gave him some money, but when he returned another day, the wife said she would not give money but would make him food to eat while he played in the yard. Soon, the boy was bringing other apparent orphans with him. The wife invited them in to have sandwiches and tea with a movie, and showed them the Jesus film. This little boy is now a teenager, and still comes to the Christian family's home seeking refuge from the cruelty of the world he lives in. Because he has no passport, he cannot legally get work, but it is also illegal to beg. The Christian family believes God brought him to them for a reason. Please pray for this young man to come to know Christ, and that God will open the doors and lead him into the plans for which the LORD created him.

Join in praise and rejoicing that "Lydia" (one for whom many petitions have been made) has surrendered her heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Please pray that she will let go of the former things that she has believed and walk in His Light and Truth. Pray also for her as she is the lone believer in her family, that she will stand strong and be given wisdom to know how to be a light in her community.
Give praise for a young man who, after careful consideration, has professed faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. His commitment is firm, having expressed that he waited until he was sure he would never turn back. Rejoice that he has already begun to share his faith, and pray he will grow in wisdom and knowledge. He is the only believer in his family, for whom he carries much responsibility. Pray that the changes that are taking place within him will draw his family and friends to saving faith as well.
Hajj Prayer 2016

PTAP's Hajj Prayer 2016 is a call for Christians to pray for millions of Muslims as they go to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj Pilgrimage (Sept 9-11 [14*], 2016) as they do every year. They seek forgiveness of their sins through this pilgrimage but we know that it is only through Christ that sins are forgiven.  Let's pray that Muslims would come to know the Lord Jesus and true forgiveness of their sins.
* Because of the millions now going on this Hajj, some will complete the Hajj in three days, others will take longer.

All the Hajj 2016 information can be found at the PTAP website: 
A video encouraging prayer for Muslims during Hajj:
US formatted Prayer guide for Hajj:
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Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come....2 Corinthians 5:17 
Most Holy and Gracious God, You are a good of new things. In the beginning You created something out of nothing and You made all things new. Most Holy Father in Heaven, You molded man out of the dust, breathed life into Him and gave Adamah his own work to do and food to eat in the Garden.  Since the corruption and the Fall of Genesis 3, You gave Your prophets and Your Word for 3500 years, very specifically of when Maschiach would be born, live, minister and cut off and Jesus paid it all on the instrument of death almost 2000 years ago.

Because of that historic act, ordained in the Heavens and flawlessly executed by the Only One Who is flawless as both man and the Son of God, we can now be new creations, remade even while we are standing in perishing mortal flesh and be made new by simply seeking His Forgiveness and repenting of our sins, crying out to Him to save us because we understand His sacrifice and the amazing thing is He sees our heart longing for transformation and accepts us so that we can be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and made new, born again and saved as a new adopted child of God!

Father, we know You have absolutely no grandchildren but call all women and men to repentance to become adopted daughters and sons, that we may not be thrown into outer darkness with unforgiven sin, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. But because You are such a God and Creator of Love, as the Scriptures testifies from cover to cover, as You are such the Supreme mechanical engineer of all time, as You are such the most amazing Architect ever, You take our foul Adamic nature, corrupted as it is and use the same process You used to make Adamah in the Garden, at the dawn of time! You take the spiritual dust and clay we are, You morphe us into the image of Christ at the point of Salvation where we immediately turn from a confirmed resident of Hell, breathe Your Spirit into us, exactly as You did in the beginning and flip our spirit man around in an instant into a whole new creature! This salvific process will never be appreciated and understood by even those who come to Faith until we see His nailed-pierced Hands in Glory, heavenly Father, but oh what an amazing RE-CREATION You have made!

Now, the old man is gone, the old man is dead and the new man lives. You have no just taken our sins and removed them, to forget them from Your Sight, but going one step amazingly better, You destroyed the work of Satan in our lives, and renew everything to such an extent, if we just stay in, abide in, walk in Your Ways and live daily in Your Presence as you want us to, You will reveal more and more new things which we could never imagine in our puny little minds! So, Father and Maker of All Things, thank You for that. Thank You for returning us to the old paradigm of Creation at the Point of Salvation, which sets us on the road to return to the Glory of the Garden one day in Paradise, when You have restored all, defeated all evil and brought back Your Intended and Your Anointed to rule forever more, and it is in His Name - YaHWeH - Commander in Chief all all Heaven - Jesus I pray, amen. 

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Will Next Year Be Any Better?

“Our notion of an optimist is a man who, knowing that each year was worse than the preceding, thinks next year will be better. And a pessimist is a man who knows the next year can’t be any worse than the last one.”  (Franklin Adams, 1944)


An end-of-the-year USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll reveals that 70% of people surveyed are dissatisfied with how things are going in America today. Only 49% predict 2015 will be better—the first time in a quarter center that optimism for the year ahead has fallen below 50%.


Though the stock market has shown positive signs and job numbers are growing, most Americans evidently have very low expectations that the new year will bring significant improvements to their lives. A stronger economy hasn’t helped everybody. Many people have quit looking for work, while others are underemployed. Governmental gridlock discourages many Americans; 77% predict that the stalemate will not improve over the next five years, while over a third expect it to get worse.


The bottom line, according to USA TODAY—“Our long national funk isn’t over.”  


Pessimists might react “If you think this year was bad, wait until next year; we haven’t seen anything yet!” Optimists may insist “There are some hopeful signs on the horizon; our country will turn around, just wait and see!” How will Christ followers respond?


In a time of rampant cynicism, will we still believe the future is as bright as the promises of God?


In a culture enamored with transitory material things, will we sing hymns out of an inner conviction of eternal realities?


In a society celebrating a holly-jolly-jingle-bell-rock-Rudolph-and-Frosty-and-shop-‘til-you-drop “Christmas”, will we give gifts to our loved ones while remembering that the greatest gift is our Savior?


In a nation focused on wish lists and getting what we want, will we align our lives by hope in anticipation of what God is going to do next?


In a world on the threshold of another year filled with potential problems, will we dare to live by faith in God, no matter what 2015 brings?


"Next Year in Jerusalem" is a statement of spiritual hope—that Jerusalem will be rebuilt spiritually, as the spiritual center of the world, with the Temple and the manifest Presence of God on earth, at its center. That’s a radical hope, derided by some as an impossible dream. However, the children of God keep dreaming and praying and hoping that the intractable problems plaguing us will be solved once and for all by the return and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Christmas carol by Cecil Frances Alexander expresses well our ultimate reason for eternal optimism—“And our eyes at last shall see him, Through his own redeeming love; For that child so dear and gentle Is our Lord in heaven above, And he leads his children on To the place where he is gone.”


As much as we love America, it is good for us to recall a timeless truth—“We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will bring everything under his control.” (Philippians 3:20, 21 NLT)   


“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13 NLT)


A Christ-filled Christmas to you—and a Joyful, Peaceful, and Hopeful New Year!


Johnny R. Almond

Christian preacher and writer

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity


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Charred Stones & New Wineskins--Which Are YOU?

It’s an oversimplification to say there are only two kinds of Christians in the U.S. today, but let me try to make a case for that view nevertheless.


      On the one side, there are “Charred Stone Believers,” most of whom are Baby Boomers like me. The “charred stone” imagery reflects the cynical words of Nehemiah’s critics: “Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” (Nehemiah 4:2)


      I meet these charred, burnt out Christians all the time. They typically came to Christ during the Jesus Movement or charismatic renewal, with exciting dreams of God restoring the church to its New Testament glory. Although they’ve had some great spiritual experiences from time to time, they’ve also been burned by disappointing circumstances and unfaithful leaders.


      Instead of seeing the glorious end-times church they once envisioned, my fellow Boomers often feel like their Christian lives are now piled on a rubbish heap of broken promises and unfulfilled dreams. As Nehemiah’s detractors pointed out, burned stones must be “revived” if they’re going to be of any value as building materials (NKJV). Some of these charred believers have dropped out of church life altogether, while others have resigned themselves to sitting on the back row, with little ongoing ministry in the body of Christ.


      However, I’m also beginning to meet another category of Christ-followers, which I call “New Wineskin Christians.” This new breed comes primarily from younger generations. Feeling little sense of obligation to attend “church” in the traditional sense, they would much rather BE the church. They’re rightfully bored and unimpressed with our focus on Sunday morning meetings instead of 24/7/365 spirituality.


      Young generations like the Millennials are looking for reality and community, not showmanship and hype. Life is about transformation and relationships rather than endless programs and pointless activities. They are yearning for a sense of purpose, but they’re skeptical that their purpose can be fulfilled within the four walls of a church. They’re usually more motivated by the prospect of being salt and light in the marketplace.


      Of course, there also are phony new wineskins, just as Satan always tries to counterfeit the work of God. An authentic wineskin is something organic and flexible. It stretches as the new wine ferments and expands. In contrast, some of our modern church wineskins seem more like plastic imitations. If you’ve ever tried to put fine wine into a plastic bottle or Styrofoam cup, you get the picture.


      Authentic wineskins are the creation of God, birthed by a move of His Spirit in people’s hearts. Fake wineskins are man-made knockoffs.


      Thankfully, God is faithful to raise up genuine New Wineskin Christians in every generation. In fact, once upon a time, those of us who are now charred stones were enthusiastically heralding that we were God’s new wineskin.


      Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is hope for the future—both for the Charred Stone Believers and the New Wineskin Christians. Through His resurrection power, God can revive the charred stones, making our later days even better than our former days.


      It’s also important for the New Wineskin Christians to recognize their need for the charred stones—not to control things, but to offer perspective and wisdom. Having gone through the fire, we’ve learned a few things along the way. Like the aged Simeon and Anna in the temple (Luke 2:25-38), God wants to use us to affirm and bless the new breed of Christ-followers He is birthing. As the old saying goes, it’s not time to retire, but to re-fire.



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When we were first approached by a young Christian mom with a vision in early April with the possibility of bringing the national prayer movement - God Belongs in My City (GBIMC), we were rightly inspired and gung-ho about the opportunity to participate in a growing national/worldwide movement which had its roots in a New York City subway! GBIMC sprung from the hearts of a youth group who happened to see a poster in the NYC subway system from 


American Atheists which said “A Million New Yorkers Are Good without God. Are You?" They went back and reported this to their senior church leadership and were so moved that an idea was birthed. This was in October 2009. One month later, youth from all five NYC boroughs began what is now the God Belongs in My City prayer walk through Manhattan. It has since spread like wildfire to Canada, Switzerland, Africa, Puerto Rico and last year over 30 cities in America alone! 

Sarah, Sam, Vicki Lutchman

Last Saturday August 24, 
GBIMC came to the capitol city of Illinois - Springfield and had a solid impact on the Spiritual life of this wheeling-dealing political and business oriented city of 115,000! It was not easy getting this through a closed and tightly religious system where every major church and denomination holds on firmly to its territory...all except one - Calvary Temple Christian Center. Senior Pastor there Mark Johnson caught the vision and empowered his outreach pastorStacy Barnett and contacted me and together with Ezella Millswho brought the idea in from New York, we set forth on a course which really made this take off. 


Jessica McGee and Gigi

This was solidified after the National Day of Prayer in May, which I hosted for the eighth year in a row and we were joined by former Channel 20 Morning TV host Jessica McGee who now works as the Marketing Director for the wonderful Staab Family. She represented them magnificently and our final planning meetings were attended by PJ Staab himself, without whom we would not have had the major business involvement necessary to underwrite the upfront costs and police permits and street closure permits necessary to make this happen in the natural. PJ is a super joy to work with. He is well loved by the regions military veterans for his involvement in a huge memorial outside the city of New Berlin as well as his sense of humor.

Calvary Temple Pastor Mark Johnson

Through all of this, we were covered in some major prayer, as there was one obstacle after another or one spiritual attack after another. We had tireless and faithful leadership from Stacy Barnett and her church support - not just from the pastoral offices and administration, but from the core of Calvary Temple. They believed in this. We have many people to thank and they will be mentioned in no particular order at the end of this post.

The Day of the Prayer Walk, which we called GOD BELONGS IN SPRINGFIELD and had hundreds and hundreds of t-shirts made up at cost by Edgar Williams of Ambitious Designs. We met at the Comer Cox Park at the corner of 18th Street and Capitol for the 1 1/2 mile walk down Capitol Avenue to the State Capitol Steps. The love and camaderie and Christian fellowship across deep racial lines was a beautiful thing to behold. Even though almost every church officially turned down this movement to re-establish Jesus as the LORD of this City, many of their members turned out anyway!

PJ Staab
Senator Sam McCann

One thing I will not forget is our tireless leader Stacy working so hard to get 1500 bottles of water iced down and ready for the anticipated crowd at the end of the walk; the volunteers there; the worship band already praying on the ground of the End of Walk service. My fond memories is the excitement of all different Christians in the same event T shirt all ready to work for Jesus. Stacy and I edited some ten or so prayer points which I read out all over the part to different groups of people with my bullhorn. The awesome sight of the Christian Motorcyclists Association led by brother Nick Courtney and the three Crosses behind them as almost 1000 people of all ages and backgrounds took off in a brisk walk down Capitol, was a sight to behold.

BMIC President Bernie Lutchman

The subsequent hour long service on the Capitol Steps by the Lincoln Statue was so powerfully moving that worship, constant worship was breaking out all over the place!! PastorJerry Doss of Abundant Faith Christian Center, assisted by his magnificent choir set the mood for Prayer and the Word as they led off they service. I was next with the spirit-led Praise-Repent-Yield call to the Assembly. We went through 7 minutes of that and they pressed in!!! We were followed by the Bishop of Springfield - Thomas Paprockion Religious Liberty after he was introduced by PJ and then some powerful praying by our State Senator Sam McCann. The powerful and timely message by Pastor Mark Johnson topped off an amazing and life altering (for this city) day.  The clarion call Pastor Mark proclaimed was to stand together, united, under the Banner of Jesus, or fall. This is the underlying theme of GBIMC - not unity at any cost where we toss aside the Basics of the Christian Faith, but unity in the Essentials to get right with God, through Repentance and then lead others to Jesus. This is the only way we can make any kind of difference and thus, show the world that God really DOES belong in our city!

Thank you to Springfield First Baptist led by Pastor Mike Henderson, for being the only other church, apart from Calvary Temple and Abundant Faith, to step up and support us from early. Over 30% of their church walked with us. Thank you to Todd Green and the Green Family Stores for underwriting the costs from the City of Springfield. Thank you to PJP Autos, The Staab Family and so many more who gave selflessly to this cause. Finally thank you - and in no small measure, to our wonderful MC - Calvary Temple Outreach Pastor Stacy Barnett! We are already planning next year's event and learned several things we can improve from this our first endeavor. Our primary purpose, my friends - to Lift up the Name of Jesus and proclaim Him as King over Springfield! Mission? ACCOMPLISHED!


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10 Tips For Your Resolutions - Eddie Smith

Whether you make New Years resolutions or not, I hope you'll benefit from this article.

 10 Tips For Your Resolutions

Eddie Smith


Can you believe it? It's almost 2013! What in the world happened to 2012? Some of us are on Christmas vacations visiting loved ones. Others’ homes are packed with loved ones and their suitcases. Most are probably still trying to finish off the pies, cakes and cookies from Christmas! Alice and I are at home in Houston recovering from Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. We enjoyed a fun day with most of our children and grandchildren on the 24th. It’s increasingly harder by the year to get everyone together on the same day. Now it’s on to 2013.


New Years is typically thought of as a time for renewed hope. At this time of the year most of us focus on new goals and opportunities. Perhaps like us, you are praying for and looking for God’s direction in the new year. If so, let’s continue to trust Him faithfully and do what is at hand. We should never open the door to worry. Worry is calling into question God’s integrity; or as our sweet friend, the late Zig Ziglar would say: “It’s paying interest on a bill that’s not yet due.” Truth is that very little of what most of us worry about ever comes to pass. Likewise, let’s not become so focused on the future that we lose sight of the present opportunities that we have. Instead, let’s take the next step that the Lord places in front of us, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the moment.


New Years is an exciting time for all! The custom of celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another is celebrated around the world, and goes back thousands of years into the Roman and Babylonian times. People ring in the new year with lots of noise and fun. Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s also accompanied by drunkenness. Perhaps the most obvious celebrations to those of us who live in the U.S. are the local celebrations in our towns; the watch night New Years Eve services in our churches; and the celebration which is televised from New York’s Times Square each year.


New Years Day is possibly the most celebrated holiday in the world. Here in the U.S., there are many locally- and nationally-televised New Years Day parades. When I lived in Hollywood, California in the 1960s I remember how my neighbors would take their sleeping bags to sleep on the streets in Pasadena to secure a good spot from which to watch the Rose Bowl Parade. I like football and parades. But I don’t love them enough to exchange my warm bed for a night on the sidewalk! 


Many people believe that eating a lucky food on New Years Day is the key to a Happy New Year. While Alice and I will eat black eyed peas and cornbread on New Years Day, which is customary here in the South, we won’t do it for luck. Our steps are ordered by the Lord, not “luck.” <smile> We’ll do it because it’s absolutely delicious!


One New Years tradition is the making of resolutions. I never believed much in New Years Resolutions. My New Years Resolution was usually NOT to make any New Years Resolutions. But I admit that it does offer a good opportunity to pause and reflect on our lives. That tradition dates back to the early Babylonians who some believe made New Year's resolutions as promises made to the gods, like bargaining in hope that the gods would grant some favor in return, like a good harvest. Not surprisingly then it was also believed that to break a New Years resolution brought bad luck. 


The Bible doesn’t speak for or against the concept of New Years resolutions. But it does encourage us to examine ourselves. And gives us many “to dos.” But as we all know, making New Years resolutions is only one half of the battle. Keeping the ones we make is the hard part. Christian researcher, George Barna and his Barna Group, report that 30% of those who make resolutions resolve to improve their health. That’s certainly a worthy goal, since we are stewards of our own bodies. However, we’re told that only 46% of those who make resolutions actually stick with them after six months. 


However, if you are inclined to make some resolutions this year, I’d like to offer 10 suggestions.

  1. Most resolutions are based on little more than wishful thinking. Ask the Lord to lead you in the matter. He offers His strength to that which He initiates.
  2. Don’t set goals out of emotion or ego; or emulate others. Pick realistic goals, things that you feel equipped to achieve.
  3. Don’t allow discouragement from any failure to reach last year’s goals dissuade you from setting goals this year.
  4. Don’t pick too many goals. That only indicates a lack of priorities.
  5. Be flexible. Life is about balance. These aren’t laws. Be willing to adjust along the way. Goals that increase your stress to unhealthy levels are not good, even if you are able to accomplish them.
  6. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” Break larger goals into smaller goals. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 14:28 about how a man who builds a tower should first sit down and estimate the cost. 
  7. Don’t select vague, uninspiring goals. Be specific. It’s not about “losing weight.” It’s about “weighing 15 pounds less by March 1st.”
  8. Write your resolutions down and keep them where you can see them. The resolutions we keep and goals we achieve are those that become habitual.
  9. Don’t think that New Years is the only time you can make resolutions. Every day is a day that the Lord has made (Psa 118:24). Rejoice and be glad in it and make it count for His glory!
  10. Consider God’s ultimate purpose. He wants to conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus. (Rom 12:1-2) So, perhaps a good place to start would be with the “the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit,” which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and faith. Give yourself a grade for each of these. Which one(s) need improvement? If in doubt, ask someone who knows and loves you enough to help. What are some resolutions you might make to reinforce that/those part(s) of your life?  


Finally, make your resolution commitments to yourself. Always be careful and take your vows to God much more seriously. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 tells us:  When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.”

Enjoy an abundant 2013!

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It seems as if a lot of bad things happen to America in September. It is almost as if September is the hangover from summer madness. We all know about September 11, 2001. However in September 1856, the signs were all around the developed cities. New York City was already the financial capitol of the world.  Exhibits A to Z are thus: the economy and accompanying social decline were picking up speed. Bankruptcy was high and morale was low. Preachers were just as ineffective as they are today and fast becoming irrelevant. Many of them had predicted doom and gloom and the end of the world which never happened. Politicians were just as horrible as they are today and unemployment just as high as 2012. Civil War talk was in the air. America was in a bad place. The enemy was domestic.

With this background, 156 years ago, a humble employee of the North Dutch Reformed Church named Jeremiah Lanphier, was given a vision by the LORD GOD, to call many to prayer. He wrote up a flyer inviting people to a prayer meeting in the church consistory on Fulton Street - anyone who could come. The prayer meeting was just that - an hour of prayer from noon to 1pm. The flyer indicated the room was open to anyone from the store clerk to the business owner. On the first day of the prayer meeting - September 23, the first man showed up at 12:30pm. Finally 6 men showed up and they prayed. There was no preaching or worship band or hysteria or... you name it. Just quiet humble prayer as the Lord delights in it. Weeks later, the numbers had doubled and tripled. 

Finally on October 10, the New York Stock Exchange crashed. Did you know that 10,000 immediately showed up for the noon prayer meeting called by Lanphier on Fulton Street?! They had run out of space on Fulton Street, so the prayer meeting expanded across the street to the larger John Street Methodist Church...then all over New York City....and then Chicago, Philadelphia, Louisville (Kentucky) and so on! This led to the greatest Revival ever in America - the Third Great Awakening. There has been nothing like it since, and it began with one layman, like you and I, who was used by God.

America has lost its way and does not even turn to God in evil and terrible times as we have seen this week. There is no righteous, moral or faithful leadership. We have the best and fastest of social networking and instant media, yet those who are called by God to be the leaders of the church are not proclaiming "THUS SAYETH THE LORD" or calling for National Prayer Meetings or Fasting as President John Adams once did when the hounds of hell were nipping at our heels. If the preachers and pastors of America would rather play church and lose their credibility just like the preachers of September 1856, then you and I have to do it.  The wonderful thing is, there is nothing to it. All we need is a Bible, a quiet room and a love for Jesus and the Lost! Are you ready?

Here is the rest of Psalm 35. Choose the verse, or the verses of the passage which Holy Spirit custom fits to YOUR calling as a His Prayer Warrior, then press in. I see several which appear to match up with the situation in America today - terrorism, moral and religious crisis and more. Our enemies are not just the islamic terrorists, but even worse than them are the enemies from within....the kinds we have allowed because of our own sin of sloth, laziness and unfaithfulness to God. The only remedy is Repentance and Restoration. Here is Psalm 35 (NKJV) in full. Therefore, place names in the appropriate verse, in place of personal pronouns. This will not alter the inerrant word of God:

Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler,
And stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear,
And stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”
Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor
Who seek after my life;
Let those be turned back and brought to confusion
Who plot my hurt.
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
And let the angel[a] of the Lord chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery,
And let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit,
Which they have dug without cause for my life.
Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly,
And let his net that he has hidden catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall.
And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord;
It shall rejoice in His salvation.
10 All my bones shall say,
Lord, who is like You,
Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him,
Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”
11 Fierce witnesses rise up;
They ask me things that I do not know.
12 They reward me evil for good,
To the sorrow of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
My clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting;
And my prayer would return to my own heart.
14 I paced about as though he were my friend or brother;
I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.
15 But in my adversity they rejoiced
And gathered together;
Attackers gathered against me,
And I did not know it;
They tore at me and did not cease;
16 With ungodly mockers at feasts
They gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue me from their destructions,
My precious life from the lions.
18 I will give You thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise You among many people.
19 Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies;
Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause.
20 For they do not speak peace,
But they devise deceitful matters
Against the quiet ones in the land.
21 They also opened their mouth wide against me,
And said, “Aha, aha!
Our eyes have seen it.
22 This You have seen, O Lord;
Do not keep silence.
O Lord, do not be far from me.
23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication,
To my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness;
And let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, “Ah, so we would have it!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who rejoice at my hurt;
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
Who exalt themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.
(Scripture is courtesy
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Shouting at God

Today, I am going to write the first of a series of devotional thoughts about Psalm 13. In this psalm there can be found a desperate man, David, calling out to God with all that he had.
First, a little background. It is likely that David wrote this psalm/song/prayer while being pursued by Saul in the mountains. This prayer was used by the Israelite's (and us) to ask for help in the face of long term struggles, illness, persecution, poverty, etc.
One of the keys to this psalm is found in the first two verses where David asks the same question four times. "How long?" I know for sure that we have all asked that question many times. In this prayer David is weeping in grief. These four questions form the basis for the devotional today.

1. How long will you forget me, Lord? Will it be forever?! This is a question that people of all eras of history have asked. But just like us they expected God to give them a microwave answer. They wanted an instant solution. Sometimes God says wait awhile because He wants us to learn something.

2. How long will you hide from me? In the heat of the battle we all wonder where God is. He is not absent as we suppose. He is busy working out all things for our good. 

3. How long must I worry and feel sad in my heart all day long? This is another ageless question. Every person has asked this question. The answer is not an easy one, but a clue is found at the end of Matthew 6. Jesus says each day has enough trouble of it's own. He says to concentrate on today and to do all you can to make things right and then trust Him for the rest. In other words the worries for tomorrow should be left to Him.

4. How long will my enemy win over me? Yikes, that is close isn't it? It seems that everybody has had someone taunt, bully, discourage us by attacking us physically, verbally or emotionally. 

These four questions come from the depths of our souls and deserve an answer. In the next day or two you can read here what has been learned.

But for today, know this: It is alright to ask God these tough questions. He is not bothered by honest and brutal questions. He doesn't remove His love from us because we question Him. In fact, He uses these times of questioning to build us up for His purposes. Because He works all things together for His purposes.

A simple prayer: Oh Lord, I need relief. I trust in You for that relief. I am waiting patiently (sort of) for Your answer and teaching.

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Hello And Welcome To My Page

Hello And Welcome To My Page,

I just found this site today buy some way of a click here and a click there .... lol. It is a great site indeed and I'm liking it already, I hope to meet some very interesting Prayer Peeps to link up with soon. Do you have any tips or new things you can share with me about this site?

Hope to meet you, hear from you, pray with you soon.

Many Blessings to you,


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It Seems To Me . . .

It Seems To Me . . .

. . . we need only one spiritual new year's resolution.

I confess, I have never been good at setting, let alone keeping, resolutions at the start of each new year. Those who stop smoking or start diets impress me; those who keep at it longer than a few days (or hours) make me jealous. And those who go beyond good health resolutions and set spiritual goals and stick to them throughout the coming months shame and humble me.

Anyone can make a resolution; it takes commitment to stay resolved to fight the battles to achieve the objective. And commitment, someone said, is moving beyond good intentions. I have a long list of good intentions.

Which is why Don Whitney's "Questions for a New Year" in LifeWay's Pastors Today E-letter caught my attention. The author, a former pastor and then seminary professor, presents 31 questions designed to aid our spiritual transformation; one-a-day spiritual vitamins! He writes: "The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up and get our bearings."  I especially appreciate how he then formats his insights as questions because someone elses' declarations call for my agreement (not a bad thing) but questions call for my reflection and discernment. Much more potential of Holy Spirit partnership.

But I said we need only one spiritual new year's resolution, not 31.

"For starters, here are 10 questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God," Whitney begins as he sets us on our journey with wisdom that is so obvious we often fly right past it! How many of us have prayed about our resolutions but only after we selected them. "Help me lose those 5 extra pounds or start each day at the fitness center or stop this or begin that"--probably all worthy goals but chosen without and before any prayerful dialog with the Lord.

I began reading down the list of questions . . .

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

I searched first for any questions that related specifically to prayer and found #7, praying for lost persons to find Christ (imagine what changes our nation would see if every Christ-follower began to seriously pray for his or her neighbors by name and need and for his or her neighborhoods and networks!) and #9, focusing specifically on our own prayer life (someone said we need to exchange a prayer life [usually referring to a brief time spent telling God what we need Him to do] for a life of prayer). Two in the first ten seemed like better representation for prayer than usual. Very hopeful.

My second time through the list was an "Ah-Ha" moment!

Responding to the first, then the second and third and continuing, I realized "Pray" would be a more than appropriate answer to each question.
1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God? Pray. True prayer is enjoying the presence of God, not merely telling him things he already knows.
2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year? Pray. Praying is very hard work that, once accomplished, sees impossible results.
3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year? Pray. Especially out  loud, together.
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it? Pray. Pray for a partner who will hold me accountable.
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year? Pray. What I do instead of praying is a hugh time-waster.
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church? Pray. For the pastor. For a reviving of faith and a revising of how we function.
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year? Pray. Everyone agrees with this but not everyone brings up in heaven real names of real people.
8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year? Pray. By praying about and for and through every thing.
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year? Pray. Read, study, use website resources, yes, but actually carve out time and place to pray.
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity? Pray. Hands-down winner. Everything (missions, evangelism, stewardship) flows from the life of a person who has moved beyond good intentions to a life of prayer.

It seems to me . . . we need only one word to describe our one spiritual new year's resolution. (If you do not agree, will you at least agree to pray about it?)

For starters, here are 10 questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

Phil Miglioratti

Originally published on the Church Prayer Leaders Network

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Hello and Welcome to My Page!

Hello and Welcome to My Page!

I just joined this wonderful site and I'm already liking it alot. How are you enjoying it here? Can you tell me whats new and exciting here since you've been around? I ended up here because I am one who love to PRAY which of course I have much to PRAY for.

Well I hope we can connect to PRAY soon as I BELIEVE that when we PRAY the answer is on it's way. Have a wonderful day and thank you for stoppin by. Leave me a quick note if you like and let's link up.

Many Blessings,


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