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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (132)

Prayer Lacking? Try Listening

For the first ten years of my life, I was an only child. I guess my parents didn’t believe in baby-sitters or perhaps couldn’t afford them, I just remember accompanying my parents to a lot of adult events. At each, I was told to “be seen and not heard.” So, I grew up being rather quiet, and reserved. That lifestyle carried over into my prayer life. In fact, I remember wondering in church, why some people prayed such long, wordy prayers, and why in the worship service, we spent so much time…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 24, 2021 at 9:47am — No Comments

New Methods for New Circumstances

Times have changed. People are staying home from church services in record numbers – and blaming the COVID virus. History has shown when we are forced by circumstances to change, we eventually get comfortable with the change, and even prefer the new methods to the old. John Cage, an American composer, artist, and philosopher, confessed, “I can’t understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I’m frightened of old ones.” Most churches I know have recovered approximately half of their…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 28, 2020 at 9:39am — No Comments

A Prayer for COVID Thanksgiving

It's unclear if on that first Thanksgiving, the colonists and Native Americans ate turkey at their feast. More likely, they indulged in other interesting foods like lobster, and seal. What is certain is that a tradition developed that called for the U.S. President to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday anew each year, until Thomas Jefferson refused. He strongly believed in the separation of church and state. Thanksgiving involved prayer, and in his opinion, making it a holiday would violate…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 22, 2020 at 8:38am — No Comments

Pastors and Gifts

This is Pastor Appreciation Month. I will take my Pastor to lunch this week. It is a small, but meaningful gift. We will talk as we eat – about the church, about sports, about theology, about families, about common friends (and a few uncommon friends). Mostly, I will come away from the time together with more specific ways to pray for him. It is the best gift I can offer to him during this pastor appreciation month. After Jesus ascended back to heaven, He gave spiritual gifts to the church.…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 24, 2020 at 9:08pm — No Comments

Praying in the Night Watches

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I wake up in the night and am unable to get back to sleep. I’m sure it is partly due to the physical, since I am facing major surgery in the next few days. I am also sure it is partly spiritual, since this was happening, to a lesser extent, long before the need for surgery. Sometimes, when I wake up, I do so with scripture on my mind. Often the scripture comes in the form of a song or hymn. I remember many years ago, confessing this rather unusual habit…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 26, 2020 at 5:22pm — No Comments

A Prayer for Possessions

I went to an estate sale last week. I seldom attend one of these, except this one happened to be in the home of a long-time friend and colleague. I made it OK through the living room, even though I had to see the couch and chairs where my wife and I last visited with this couple, prior to his death. Then I safely navigated the den, kitchen, patio, dining room, bedrooms, even closets, until I found his office. That is where I lost it. There was so much in that room that reminded me of him,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 28, 2020 at 9:11am — No Comments

Praying Through Writer’s Block

In the midst of my third pandemic book, I developed writer’s block.  Wikipedia defines this as “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.” When we were first told to shelter in place, I was extremely frustrated so I asked God what I was supposed to do with my calling, since I couldn’t go anywhere.  When I said “Amen” and looked up, my eyes…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 19, 2020 at 8:25am — No Comments

Pandemic Prayer

In the early days of the Coronavirus quarantine, I was extremely restless and frustrated. Even in retirement, I’ve been running close to full speed. Sitting in my den recliner I was reading my Bible, and praying, and asking God what I was to “do” since my travel was now limited and cancellations had caused more Liquid Paper than ink on my calendar. Having just read James 1:22, “Be doers of the word,” I looked up and saw on the fireplace mantle, my wife’s display of all the books I had…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 27, 2020 at 11:37am — No Comments

Hearing from God in Transition

Do you remember the cell phone commercial where the guy kept asking, “Can you hear me now?” as he moved from unique location to unique location, attempting to prove that his cell phone company could provide transmission from anywhere? Reminds me of what God may be asking today, although it is not God who is moving, it is we who are on the move. Thanks to COVID-19 regulations, we’ve moved home. We are not in our usual places of work, school, leisure, etc. We’ve even moved from church on…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 17, 2020 at 7:19am — No Comments

Just Be Quiet

It had been one of those long, sleepless nights – the kind where you keep waking up and talking to God.  The issue causing my insomnia, was troubling, and I kept thinking, that I just needed to keep talking with God about it.  After all, I had spent a career teaching and preaching that God wanted to hear from us.  It was still dark when I finally gave up, and got up.  I got dressed and got in the car to look for a place to eat breakfast, still talking with God.  As the car engine came on,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 5, 2020 at 3:12pm — 1 Comment

How to Pray in a Crisis

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 18, 2020 at 7:12am — 1 Comment

The 24/7/52 God

  Do you ever think about who you would call if you had a crisis in the middle of the night or while traveling in the middle of nowhere?  I was once in a vehicle in the wilderness of a west Africa nation, when someone asked where we were, to which the missionary replied, “We’re fifteen miles beyond the Great Commission.”  We laughed, but it set us to thinking.  Is the one on whom you call, the one to whom you pray, available at all hours, odd hours, from wherever you may…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 24, 2020 at 8:00am — No Comments

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 — No Comments

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

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