Archives For Prayer

The lack of prayer as the most obvious gap in our practice of Christian leadership, and one way to close that gap is to challenge, inspire, and educate ourselves to pray more.

Learning to pray is no great mystery. You hang around the people who are really good at it.

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Reading books about prayer may be the best way to do that. It will create a hunger within you to pray more often and enable you to pray with greater effect.

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Everybody wants to change some aspect of their life. Whether it’s finances or career, marriage or education, we all want to be different tomorrow than we were yesterday.

Most of the time, we look for easy changes, quick fixes, or dramatic solutions that will produce instant results. But here’s the news: those things don’t exist.

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To produce lasting change you must take incremental action over time. Yes, that might begin with a big transition like going to rehab, getting married, or finding a new job.

But permanent change—true spiritual growth—comes by harnessing the power of simple, incremental actions repeated over time.

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Thursday night prayer meeting is the highlight of my week, more important to me even than Sunday worship. Possibly that’s because I am more relaxed and better able to enter the experience. Even so, it is a solid rock on my calendar and I rarely miss.

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What makes this hour rich and powerful is the prayer of a handful of mature brothers and sisters. They pray with the passion and intensity of that poor woman accosting the unjust judge. Their intercession is marked by reality and urgency, as if they know they are doing something of first importance.

When they pray, I want to pray too. And I want to know what they know so I can pray as they pray.

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We’re in shock today after the bomb attack at the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and at least 173 wounded. Many people have lost an arm or leg. The bomb scene was a grisly mess of blood and smoke.

Feeling helpless as we always do at such times, many are saying, “Pray for Boston.” The words themselves are repeated on social media as a kind of prayer, “Pray for Boston, Pray for Boston.” I hear it everywhere.

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But what does it mean to pray for Boston? Pray for whom? Pray for what?

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Prayer is the most basic and widely practiced of all spiritual disciplines. Adherents of nearly every religion—and many nonreligious people—pray. About 84 percent of adults do it every week.

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Most of our prayer is some form of asking for help, which could be why it often becomes repetitive, stale, and boring. In time we feel unable to hear the voice of God.

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Pursuing God every day through personal spiritual disciplines is the backbone of Christian spirituality. This is the single most effective thing you can to do know God more intimately, experience his presence, and grow spiritually.

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Yet many people find the pursuit of God a difficult habit to establish. I know I did.

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