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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (120)

A Prayer Breakfast Prayer

I was asked to take the lead at a Prayer Breakfast for Dr. Adam Greenway, the 9th President of Southwestern Baptist Seminary. Having served on the faculty of this institution for more than two decades, Dr. Greenway is one of my former students. So I gladly accepted the invitation to lead. However the date of the Prayer Breakfast was changed to a day when I was to be out of the state. Thus, I never led the Prayer Breakfast. But why let preparation go to waste? I will share my thoughts with my…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 19, 2020 at 11:06am — No Comments

When God appears to be Silent

I remember once making a request of my parents that was so out of sync with the plans for the family, that they just stared at me, no verbal response, just a glare. Some may say that my request was unanswered. It took me years to learn that my request was answered. The answer was in their glare – a silent “no.” The more I studied prayer, the more I discovered that Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer in his teaching on the subject. In spite of both secular and church pressure to admit to…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 17, 2019 at 12:55pm — No Comments

Thanksgiving as an Ingredient of Prayer

Is it possible that Thanksgiving is more than a holiday – more than turkey, football, family, etc? For many years, people of faith have used the acronym, ACTS as a guide for prayer – “A” being for adoration; “C” being for confession; and “S” being for supplication. The “T” in that acronym stands for Thanksgiving – as demonstrated in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” and in 1 Timothy 2:1 “Therefore I exhort first of all that…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 24, 2019 at 7:55pm — No Comments

Praying for Your Pastor This Month

I took my pastor to lunch recently, celebrating Pastor Appreciation Month. In the course of the conversation, I asked him how he felt the specific call of God to be a pastor, since he had previously been a Student Minister and a Church Starter. His answer was similar to mine – an early call to vocational ministry, made specific in time. I had taken a “Pastor Appreciation” survey on social media, assuming that pastors would want their church members to pray for them. I asked, "What should be…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 26, 2019 at 3:49pm — No Comments

Books on Prayer

It had been awhile since I had counted, but the recent purchase of more books from a used book dealer, sent me back to the shelves to count how many books I possess on the subject of prayer. The new count is 481. A bit excessive for the normal minister/seminary professor, but not for one who for many years occupied one of only two fully endowed chairs of prayer in theological education in the world. Do I agree with everything in these books? Absolutely, not. Am I a better professor/person…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 22, 2019 at 12:50pm — No Comments

How Many Prayer-Partners Do I Need?

I sat around a rectangular table with seven other men, all focused on an eighth man at the head of the table. That eighth man had been named to a prominent and powerful position. The seven were there to pray for the eighth. How many intercessors does it take to reach maximum effectiveness in prayer? Could one intercessor have been just as effective as seven? Would ten or twenty or a hundred intercessors been more effective than the seven present at the table? Jesus took three disciples with…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 24, 2019 at 10:29am — No Comments

Pray it Forward

I pulled up to the drive-thru window at the burger restaurant with money in hand, only to be greeted by a smiling teenager saying, “Your meal has been paid for, sir.” When I asked for an explanation, I was told the person in line in front of me had paid for my meal and left a message to “Pay it forward!” I have no idea who was in front of me, or why they chose to pay for my meal, but I followed suit and asked how much the bill was for the person behind me in line, hoping they had not ordered…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 21, 2019 at 3:56pm — 1 Comment

Where Was Prayer in the Debates?

I confess that I opted to watch baseball on TV last week vs. watching twenty Democratic want-a-be Presidential candidates debate the issues. I did surf the networks back and forth just to see what was going on among the hopefuls, and I did read the next-morning reviews. I start with my confession only to say I may have missed something in the four hours of debate, but I never once heard a candidate begin an answer with something like, “I would seek God’s will in the matter” or “I would talk…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 30, 2019 at 9:08am — No Comments

Prayer-Driven Preaching

Effective preaching must be preceded by effectual praying. Occasionally, the King James Version of the Bible still has a better choice of words than more modern translations. That’s why I prefer the KJV for James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Assuming the righteous status of the preacher, effectual praying produces effective preaching. It matters little whether the sermon is categorized as textual, expository, topical, or the currently popular term,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 4, 2019 at 10:15am — 1 Comment

A Prayer-Shaped Disciple

“The Prayer-Shaped Disciple” - It’s the name of the textbook I wrote for use in Seminary classes on prayer. It is also the name of the seminar I lead occasionally in churches. I led such a seminar in a church in west Texas earlier this month and will lead one in a church in Oklahoma next month. It is often the title of a sermon series I preach where I serve as Interim Pastor. To be shaped in the image of Jesus is to be prayer-shaped. He prayed at his baptism, He prayed from His cross, and He…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 27, 2019 at 11:25am — No Comments

Praying for New-born Babies and Their Parents

When I was born, the hospital in Temple, Texas had a show window where they placed their idea of the best-looking baby to be born that day/week. Partly because someone thought I was that baby, and partly because my mother was a registered nurse in the same hospital, I spent a full week in the show window. Of course, I don’t remember it, but I was reminded of it many times through the years. Last week I walked through the new-born section of a local hospital. One cannot do that without also…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 10, 2019 at 4:01pm — No Comments

Don't Say Amen!

I have a confession. Growing up, it seemed the preachers always used at least one Hebrew or Greek word in every sermon to help clarify or explain the biblical text. This was good. It was helpful. I appreciated it. But I also assumed if I didn’t understand a word or phrase in the worship service, it must be Hebrew or Greek. So, my youthful observation led me to assume the word “Amen” was either Hebrew or Greek for “Sit down.” Every time someone ended a prayer with the word “Amen” we all sat…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 24, 2019 at 4:17pm — No Comments

Prayed-Up Pastors and Interceding People

When your Pastor stands to proclaim God’s Word is there the appearance of being “prayed up?” You may or may not be able to discern this, but don’t assume that this is the case. Vance Havner borrowed an anonymous quote to describe the possibility that a pastor may not be up to date in his prayer life. "The devil is in constant conspiracy against a preacher who really prays, for it has been said that what a minister is in his prayer closet is what he is, no more, no less." Granted, it is…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 19, 2019 at 6:45pm — 1 Comment

The Christmas Prayer and Proclamation of One Elderly Woman

While the birth of Jesus didn’t happen on the day we call “Christmas” nevertheless, many celebrate His birth on December 25, our Christmas Day. Almost lost in the scripture account of Jesus’ birth is the story of Anna. By any measurement, Anna was an elderly woman. The Bible describes her as follows: “She was of a great age and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years” (Luke 2:36-37). Considering the fact that girls often…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 23, 2018 at 10:42pm — No Comments

Praying for and with Veterans on their Day

One of God’s greatest gifts is memory.  When we remember, we sometimes sit in a recliner and reflect.  Other times we do something in response to memory. Today, people will place flowers at grave sites, and memorials of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Others will attend ceremonies in cemeteries and at national monuments.  Still others, will pause in the midst of worship services to remember and pray.  We…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 11, 2018 at 9:47am — No Comments

Praying Through Transitions

Transition is tough! I wonder how old does one need to be before life is not punctuated by transitions? I’m not sure. You’ll need to ask that question to someone older than me. I clearly remember transitioning from being at home all day, as a five-year old, to going off to school every morning. I did so with a prayer from and with my mother, the greatest prayer warrior I ever knew. She faithfully prayed every day, that I would do the best I could, with what I had, for Jesus’ sake, on that…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 27, 2018 at 1:18pm — 1 Comment

What God Can Do, and What We Can Do

To my surprise, the church announced their high-attendance Sunday goal and then prayed that God would help them to reach it. I was only their Interim Pastor, so was not in on the setting of the goal. When I asked how they arrived at the number, the answer was that it was ten more people than they had last year on high-attendance Sunday. Why do we ask God for things we know we can achieve in case He doesn’t? Were they afraid to ask God for fifty or a hundred more people? Afraid that the God…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 23, 2018 at 6:11pm — No Comments

The Need to be Taught to Pray

I’m about to try something I’ve not done before. For many years I occupied the Chair of Prayer at Southwestern Baptist Seminary and taught a very popular course on prayer each semester. I’ve also used those class notes to teach prayer on Sunday nights or Wednesday nights in churches where I served as Interim Pastor and furthermore, lead numerous prayer seminars in churches over the years. I’ve never used the notes to preach a series on prayer on Sunday mornings. Now I find myself serving as…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 27, 2018 at 6:10am — No Comments

Prayer Offered at the Memorial Service of a Long-time Friend

In the stillness of this time and place, we lift our hurting hearts to You, O God. Thank You for life, and specifically the life of the one we celebrate today, and for allowing these family members and friends to share life with them. Thank You for the assurance that we who are believers, will once again share life with them in Your eternal heaven (John 14:1-3). Thank You for the gift of memory which will allow a continuation of thoughts about them for the next days, weeks, years. Relieve…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 29, 2018 at 7:22pm — No Comments

Grieving for Those Who Grieve Amiss

In the past three months, I have grieved for two groups of people. First in April, when my brother Bob had unexpected multiple bypass surgery then his recovery then the past three weeks with his accidental fall, suffering blunt force trauma to the brain – then having brain surgery, and spending time in the Palliative Care Unit dying – and then having his memorial service, I have observed two groups of folks who differed from Bob’s family and friends, in the way they grieved. One group seemed…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 30, 2018 at 12:15pm — No Comments

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