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PTAP: Saudi National Day.

September 23 is Saudi Arabia's National Day and so let's focus our prayers on Saudi Arabia today.  Here are some current requests from people in the country:

Social media is growing and the potential to connect with seekers is growing.  Please pray for media teams that are using social media to reach the lost and bring them into discipling relationships. 

Please pray for Filipinos in country to mobilize and prepare their people in country to reach out to locals.  We have seen great movement lately. 

Locals are coming to faith, but very few are continuing in their journey and most will not meet with others.  Pray for seekers and believers to form groups and grow together. 

There are still many students in the West.  Please remember to pray for them and that believers in the West would be bold to share with them.  Also pray for those who do believe and return to Saudi.  It can be a very difficult thing to transition back into country. 

As the country is going through a lot of changes socially and economically, pray that this change would encourage people to be open to spiritual change and that they would explore new beliefs and ideas.
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"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor..."  - Isaiah 61:1-2 (NIV)
Pray with the Christians in Saudi Arabia as they strive to be the presence of Jesus in this land. In the midst of war to the north and south of Saudi Arabia, with growing economic pressure and rumors of political instability in the royal family, the Saudi people are facing an uncertain future.   Pray God directs the royal family and governing officials to make wise decisions in line with God's will for the country. 
As the region experiences instability, may this be a time for the people of Saudi to start questioning their foundation and beliefs. Pray the Lord puts new questions into their hearts, to seek Jesus. 
Pray for emerging Saudi believers, that they may be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord. Pray against the fear and distrust that keeps many of them isolated. Pray for believers to have the courage to meet together.  Pray for whole households, families and friendship groups to come to the Lord, so that local fellowships will be formed. Praise the Lord; He will build His church. 
Pray for revival amongst the many expat Christians working here, and a heart of love towards the Saudi people that moves them to pray and reach out as the Lord directs.  The severity of the economic situation resulting from low oil prices is beginning to effect companies causing them to slash budgets, reduce manpower and slow or stop new hiring. Pray for God to protect the jobs of intentional Christian workers.
Source: Christians in Saudi Arabia
Bless King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who is called the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (in Mecca and Medina), with wisdom to rule his nation and to know how to move forward in international relations. Turn the blessing of oil into a blessing to the whole world and for Your glory. 
Bless Saudis who connect through social media with Christian programs and websites; teach them about You.
Father, bless them with the ability to commit all their ways to You and establish Your plans among them. (Prayer based on Proverbs 16:3, the Holy Bible)
Source: WIN International Network
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Jesus says in the Great Commission, "Go and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). 

This week, I was inspired by an idea Kevin Senapatiratne wrote about at Christ Connection. It's a great new "tool" for my missions toolbox, and I asked Kevin if I could share it with others. He is delighted to share this idea with you, too, and you'll find it right here:

Be the Spark to a Great Awakening!

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Have Smartphones Replaced God?

9651021884?profile=originalThere’s no denying it: smartphones are, well, smart. Nifty and immensely helpful gadgets, they seem to do everything we need: connect us to our peeps, answer all our questions, and guide us to our destinations. We grab them when we wake up, and fall asleep with them in our hands. (See infographic, below). We drive with them, keep track of our kids with them, and work better with them. As a nation, we have become addicted to the kind of personal technology that helps us live life, lose weight, look smart, and keep up with the daily grind – yet still fits in our pocket. There really isn’t much a smartphone can’t do – and we like that – a lot!

For those of Judeo-Christian backgrounds, however, the smartphone explosion looks uncannily like a scripture passage in Deuteronomy 6. It reads: 
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” 

(Deuteronomy 6:6-9, NKJV).

It doesn’t take a rabbi or a theologian to see that the kind of interaction we have with our smartphones today is the kind of interaction God designed for us to have with Him. Wearable technology – the kind you “bind upon your hand” – is becoming the newest trend, and Google has even created GoogleGlass ™, which looks eerily like the above statement about “frontlets between your eyes.” 

Click here to continue reading: Have-Smartphones-Replaced-God?

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prayer.gifI was privileged to have dinner here in Austin a few weeks ago with prayer leader and teacher Dan Henderson and another friend. I told him that there is a quote I've used many times which I had thought he had said and he confirmed it again for me. "If you want to have a crowd, don't call a prayer meeting."

And while there are exceptions, settings for group prayer don't typically require overflow seating. Yes, many Christians haven't yet embraced the power and impact of praying or don't feel comfortable praying with others so they avoid corporate prayer settings. We ought to continue to teach on prayer's importance and how to meaningfully pray with others to help change their thinking and posture on prayer.

However, others don't come for a variety of other reasons that are just part of life. Prayer times aren't always practical for many people, especially those with young children. Meetings are regularly in the evenings or early morning and childcare isn't usually provided.

Often we ask everyone to come to one location, the church, and yet many live thirty minutes to an hour away. Some are serving God in meaningful ways that require significant time so adding one more Christian activity simply isn't practical. It's unfair to blame them or call them unspiritual because they didn't make our prayer time.

And many people pray passionately and extensively at home, in their small group, with family members or other friends. They would argue that their prayer life is growing and thriving.  They just can't add one more church activity to their full schedule.

So let me suggest an idea that can at least enhance a church's prayer ministry and impact while understanding the limitations and uniquenesses of today's culture. We tried this on the National Day of Prayer this year and have seen a couple of other Austin churches use it for special prayer emphases.

First we asked people to give us their texting number or best email if they were willing to join others in prayer for the church, city and country the first Thursday in May. Then that day we put out two postings every hour that they would get via email or text to pray for. We asked them to pray right then for that request if possible. The postings also included video and musical options for meditation and praise. We added the same postings to our church Facebook and Twitter pages as well.

Many people told us how much they appreciated being included in the prayer day even though they couldn't come to our campus (we had a 12-1 group time at the church as well). And while our data is limited as to the total response we are confident that hundreds were involved in some way this year compared to only dozens when we had a longer prayer day exclusively at our church.

What if more groups around the world used a similar system to encourage prayer with them about a particular issue, conference or initiative?  Who knows the potential impact!

So perhaps we need to accept that gathering together these days to pray may take on new looks and methodology so that when we ask people to pray we more often than not actually get a crowd. I'm pretty convinced God would like that.

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