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As you start the new year, what ideas do you have to help keep prayer fresh?


We invite you to share an idea or discipline that helps you stay focused on Christ and faithful in your  praying . . .


Phil

Pray! Community Coordinator

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One way to consider is praying together with family and friends.  Many relationships are built through praying together. 

Dear Phil

Over the past few years I have been lead to start each year with a fast! I would like to encourage you all, to follow the link below from Jentzen Franklin. He has helped me understand the significance of fasting and each year he and his community start the year with a 21 day fast. Last year there were over 300,000 people on the fast and what a privilege to be part such a corporate fasting movement.

 

In 2012 the fast starts on Sunday the 8th January and ends on Saturday evening the 29th. Ask the Lord to guide you as to how participate and what type of fast. Either order the appropriate books as listed below or buy Jentezen’s book “Fasting” locally and be blessed in your prayer and support life. www.jentezenfranklin.org

 

 

From his book on page 10: Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “ A threefold cord is not easily broken” In Mathew 6; Jesus provided the pattern by which each of us as a child of God is to live. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: giving, praying and fasting. Jesus said, “When you give...” and “When you pray....” and “When you fast”. He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life. As much attention should be given to fasting as is given to giving and to praying.

 

Solomon, when writing the books of wisdom for Israel, made the point that a cord, or rope, braided with three strands is not easily broken (Eccles. 4:12). Likewise, when giving, praying and fasting are practice together in the life of a believer, it creates a type of threefold cord that is not easily broken. In fact Jesus took it even further in Matt.17:20, by saying “ Nothing is impossible”

 

We need to strengthen and protect our intercessors and fasting is certainly an area that can assist us to just do that! So here is an opportunity to become part of a corporate world wide fast and experience a very different start to the New Year 2012!

 

God bless you all in your faithfulness!

 

Q

Focus and Prayer Refreshment

A very simple but POWERFUL commitment:  "When negative circumstance assail and try to grab my focus, instead of dwelling on them on Satan's turf, I WILL turn my eyes upon Jesus, maybe sing that song, and engage in His spiritual prescription to soar with Him in 1 Thes. 5: rejoice evermore, PRAY without ceasing, in everything give THANKS, and don't pour water on the FIRE of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Again, His way is simple and POWERFUL.  You can't follow it and stay in depression, doubt, or discouragement (no matter what the negative circumstances!).  [John Hoelzel Sr]

To keep my prayer time fresh, I try to change the words I use to prevent that stagnant, casual, and contriteness from sneaking in.  Just recently, I found that praying from the opposite perspective in my praise helps me feel the praise anew.  Instead of saying, "Lord, I praise you for your mercy," I might say, "Lord, I praise you that you are the kind of God that doesn't give me what I deserve!"  Or, I might say, "Lord, You are to be praised that you are not critical of me" instead of saying, "I praise you for being a God of love."  And on it goes...it sort of helps to generate some creativity, too.  Just works for me.

I am learning to structure myself in prayer by setting times during the day and night to pray. No matter where I am or what I am doing, when it comes time for prayer, I stop and pray. I am learning to not only prayer during these times. I must have a praying spirit working at all times.  Therefore, I must stay in God's presence by reading and speaking His word into the atmosphere, singing hymns, meditation, etc. Prayer is hard work so we must not become complacent.

really spoke to me and thank you!

you know bro, this last month and a half, i have been needing something more in and thru my prayers.  i've always known that PRAYER IS THE KEY to walking in victory ALWAYS, but it's WALKING IN GLORY, and how did i get to 'walk in glory'?  by staying in the secret place.  So I had missed church for several weeks and I AM A WORSHIPPER, and so i was desperate to worship!!  I felt the Lord saying to me, "Worship at home and have church the same way you do at church."  So I decided to do just that!  I worshipped, I praised, I declared, I sang, I danced, I jumped and i shouted!!  The Lord said, "I LIVE IN YOUR PRAISES! I LIVE IN YOUR WORSHIP!"  So I was determined to continue DECLARING HIS WORD!!  The Lord would speak to me and say, "Don't stop what you are doing!"  and i was so encouraged!!  Everything changed for me and in my family!!  In my home, IN MY LIFE!! My husbands heart and attitude was changing to accept the moving of the Lord.  Even he was encouraged in God.  If you knew my husband, you would praise the Lord with me!!!

I am a chaplain and even the word in my preaching has changed, and it is good!!  By the third day, God had said to pray on my property and DECLARE AND DECREE His Word, so I did!!  Bro, this is the year of DECLARATION AND DECREE like never before!!  This is the year where 'REVELATION MEETS REVOLUTION'   hahahahahh!!!!!  OH GOD IS GOOD AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!!  I SAY, "BRING IT ON LORD!!"

Thank you for letting me share!!  My ideas on prayer...KEEP PRAISING, DECLARING, DECREEING,, WORSHIP, AS YOU BREATHE...

Yvonne Smiddy

Lately, I have been reading the prayers of other sisters and brothers in my prayer group. They ignite me to pray and agree with them in prayer. I find that as they pray I am prompted to pray and fill in the gaps or cover other areas of prayer. 

I desire to add fasting again to my praying. So the brother who has already mentioned fasting and given a resource has helped me today on the subject. I am on medications that I must take with food. The Daniel fast seems most appropriate for me.

Keeping my prayer life fresh means that I try something that I haven't done in a long time or something new. 

Just in time for the new year ~ a fresh start check-up!

Annual Spiritual Check Up

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

Each year many of us will go through a physical check-up, perhaps do a financial check up at year’s end or at tax time, and perhaps do a performance review at our workplace.   But how often do we take time to review our spiritual life?

Those who are saved by grace are called to grow in grace (2 Pet. 3.18).  As disciples of Jesus, we are to live a life of love – love for God and love for our neighbor, in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Too often, in the busyness of our day-to-day lives, we let other priorities crowd out the two highest priorities Jesus gave us.   The following questions are designed to help you examine your spiritual life over the past year and to prayerfully seek God’s help in areas where you desire to grow in the New Year.    

Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind.

1.    How is my personal relationship with God?

  • Do I have a growing desire to spend more time with God? Am I spending appropriate time praying, reading and meditating on the word?  
  • Am I growing in my desire to obey and please God?  Do I obey out of gratitude for God’s love?  Or from guilt or fear?
  • Have I fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit?  Do I ask God to fill me each day with the Holy Spirit?
  • Are there areas I am holding back from God?  Which ones?  Why?
  • Am I more aware of the sins in my life? Do I repent on a daily basis and receive forgiveness and cleansing from God. Have I fully, truthfully repented of all past and current sins?


2.    Am I actively serving God in some way?  

  • Volunteering at church?
  • Praying regularly for the pastor, staff, missionaries and volunteers?
  • Am I seeking to make others feel welcome in my church?


3.    Am I growing in my desire and actions to give sacrificially to God’s work in the church and other ministries?  Am I teaching my children about sacrificial giving and putting God before materialistic desires?

4.    Am I living in humility before God, my family, friends and co-workers?

5.    Is there evidence of grace growing in my life?  Do I thank God every day for his love, grace and mercy and saving me from what I deserve? Am I learning to see others through the mind of Christ?  Am I treating others with the same grace God has shown me?

Loving Your Neighbor

6.    Am I loving my family as I should?

  • Husbands, are you loving your wives? How, specifically?
  • Wives, are you respecting your husbands?  How, specifically?
  • Parents – are we teaching our children the Bible, how to pray, and how to please God?
  • Am I managing my time in a way that reflects God’s priorities and honors my family relationships?  What specific changes are needed?
  • Are there any outside influences that are harming my family relationships?  If so, what will I do about them?


7.    Am I forgiving others?  Is there anyone among my family, friends, neighbors or co-workers that I refuse to forgive?  Do I fully trust that God has forgiven my sins?

8.    Am I growing in fellowship with other believers?

  • Am I part of a small group?  Is it making a difference in the lives of participants?
  • Do I have a Godly mentor to help me grow in my walk with Christ?
  •  Am I mentoring/discipling a newer believer?


9.    Have I personally witnessed to anyone in the past year? In my neighborhood?  In my workplace? Am I prepared to share my testimony? To share the Gospel?  

  • Am I fervently praying for and planning opportunities to witness in this coming year?
  • Am I being salt and light in my neighborhood, workplace and social groups?  How, specifically?


10.    Am I focusing part of my time and money to help the poor and disadvantaged?  Am I teaching my children about the importance of helping the poor?  How?

Jesus says that if we love him, we will obey him (Jn. 14.15), and he calls us to grow in grace and love. Do you have a plan for growing in your love for God and love for your neighbor for this next year?  Will you prayerfully prepare one before the end of the year?  To help you grow in these areas, you’ll find a variety of resources on our website (www.cslewisinstitute.org).

He is leading me to a week (this week) of being still and knowing He is God! (Psalm 46;10) To just be silent and wait on Him, to tune into His still small voice. As I am seeking Him in the plans that He has for me this coming year. I always start Jan. with a fast, usually 21 days but, this year I'm going 30 or even 40 if He wants. It is just a time of drawing closer to Him and knowing Him more intimately as He knows me. I'm reading a awesome book by Dick Eastman of "Every Home for Christ" ministry called "Intercessory Worship" which gives alot of great info for this process. I'm planning on going to the World Prayer Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia in May 2012 and I want to be prepared & get everything He has for me so I can be the vessel of glory & honor He called me to be! I'll keep you posted on the results! Always your brother in Christ, Marty

Countless people will gather to "ring" in the New Year. As Christ followers we should gather to "pray" in the New Year. My husband and I are doing just that this year. We've invited a small number of friends to come to our home at 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. We will have time for fellowship followed by prayer beginning around 11:15 p.m. and going to 12:15 a.m. Personally, I can't think of a better way to begin the year.

The church I attend will observe 21 days of prayer and fasting, using the Daniel's fast followed by a 4 week call to Solemn Assembly. Looking forward to what God has for me in 2012, as well as what He has for the body of believers with whom I worship.

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