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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (115)

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

How to Pray, and How Not to Pray Following a Tragedy

It happened again last week – another mass shooting, this time at the Santa Fe High School in southeast Texas. Previously, this High School was perhaps best known for its role in the fight against school prayer in the 1990s. In 2000, the Supreme Court struck down the school’s long-standing tradition of prayer before football games, ruling that prayer over the stadium’s public-address system violated the separation of church and state. Ironically, last Friday, a member of the school’s…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 21, 2018 at 8:26am — No Comments

Prayer Opens Heaven

What is the result of prayer? Does it make the pray-er feel better? Yes, but it does more than that. Does it fulfill biblical instructions? Yes, but it does more than that. Does it follow the model of Jesus? Yes, but it does more than that. Prayer opens heaven. Jesus lived with an open heaven. At His baptism, “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened” (Luke 3:21). In the midst of His ministry, Jesus…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 6, 2018 at 5:28pm — 1 Comment

Internet Praying

In recent years I have posted serious prayer requests on social media – twice for my wife’s surgeries, related to her fractured pelvis, and hip replacement, and once for my brother’s multiple bypass surgery. Friends replied in large numbers, many with encouraging, and supportive comments. Some however, simply responded with the word, ‘praying.” Perhaps I’m the only one who feels a bit empty when these one-word replies appear. If so, attribute it to twenty plus years of trying to teach…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 22, 2018 at 6:26pm — No Comments

Praying Evil or Being Kind?

I once had a person who disliked me very much and tried to discredit my every action. In fact, at times, they were quite proactive in their attacks on my family and on me. How should I have prayed for such a person? The human side of me wanted to pray evil on them, to ask God to just remove them from my life. In fact, David, in his psalms of judgement, often called “the imprecatory psalms,” repeatedly asked God to punish his enemies. As an example, David once prayed to God about, “those who…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 25, 2018 at 4:51pm — No Comments

Thoughts and Prayers and More

“Sending thoughts and prayers your way.”

How many times did we hear some politician or dignitary say these very words in the days following the recent school shooting in Florida (or any previous mass shooting). I suppose it is an attempt to comfort those who are hurting. In fact, one politician said in a T.V. interview, “I have sent my prayers to comfort them.” Since prayer is to be addressed to God, not to persons, I have my doubts about how much these folks know about prayer, and…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 25, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments

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