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“Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.”

~ E. M. Bounds

E.M. Bounds

“…when life knocks you down to your knees, don’t be so quick to get up. Instead, be quick to look up to God in prayer.”

~ John Onwuchekwa, Prayer91.

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

~ Corrie ten Boom

“A calm hour with God is worth a whole lifetime with man”

~ Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Nineteenth-century Scottish minister)

By Megan Briggs

George Floyd Ave

The Karukus, an interracial couple living in Minneapolis, hope that what started as a tragedy would transform into a global revival. Charles is the senior pastor of International Outreach Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. He and Lindsey have been setting up an outdoor service each evening this week as people travel to the George Floyd Memorial.

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By Carey Nieuwhof

prayer works

It’s often because they do.

Our actions and our words as followers of Jesus have the power to attract or repel people from Christianity.

The number of people who never go to church or follow Jesus keeps growing. And their thinking keeps changing too (I’ve outlined 15 characteristics of unchurched people here).

So what can we do about it?

Well, in addition to modeling humility, grace, truth, love and so many other things that describe the earliest Christ followers, we Christians can watch our words.

This post was originally inspired by a piece by Scott Dannemiller, in which Dannemiller urged Christians to stop saying “feeling blessed” whenever something good came their way. He makes a thoughtful, insightful argument around that.

Stop Saying ‘Prayer Works’…and This Too

Besides “prayer works,” here are two other things Christians should really stop saying.

1. Prayer works

Should we really stop saying that prayer works?

Well, yes and no.

Most people who say prayer works these days really mean God did what I wanted him to do. As if prayer was a button to be pushed to release exactly what they wanted from the vending machine.

Prayer is not a button to be pushed; it’s a relationship to be pursued.

Prayer works; but it works very differently than we’d like. It still ‘works’…

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Why Pride Gets in the Way of Prayer

by Greg Laurie on Jun 11, 2020
When He came to the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’
—Luke 22:39

The disciples were sleeping when they should have been praying. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told the disciples to pray. Meanwhile, the Bible tells us, “He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done’” (Luke 22:41–42 NKJV).

Luke tells us that at this point, “an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (verses 43–44 NKJV).

Then Jesus stood up and walked over to His disciples where they were sound asleep.

Not praying when we need to can actually be a sin. It’s the sin of omission. A sin of omission is not doing what you should do, while a sin of commission is doing what you should not do. The Bible says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17 NKJV).

And neglecting to pray is a direct result of the sin of self-confidence. And instead of praying, we usually worry (as though that will help).

Yet Philippians tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (4:6 NKJV).

So, we don’t say, “I can handle this, God,” or “I’ll fix that, Lord.” Instead, we need to pray about it. We need to say, “Lord, I need your help right now. I’m at the point where I’m tired of trusting in myself, and I’m calling out to you, Lord.”

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By Megan Briggs

Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, made a sobering announcement on his Facebook page this morning. Keller, age 69, recently found out that he has pancreatic cancer.

“I feel great and have no symptoms,” Keller wrote. “It was what doctors call an ‘incidental pickup,’ otherwise known as providential intervention.”

Tim Keller: Cancer Diagnosis Came Unexpectedly

Keller told followers he is headed to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, for additional testing today. He will begin chemotherapy next week in New York City, where he currently resides with his wife, Kathy.

The author and retired pastor, who has been speaking frequently in the last couple of years about the problems of nationalism, prejudice, and partisanship in the church, asked those so inclined to pray for him and his family.

You can read the entire update, which Keller posted to his Facebook account this morning, below:

Less than 3 weeks ago I didn’t know I had cancer. Today I’m headed to the National Cancer Institute at the NIH for additional testing before beginning chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer next week back in New York City.

I feel great and have no symptoms. It was what doctors call an “incidental pickup,” otherwise known as providential intervention. I have terrific human doctors, but most importantly I have the Great Physician himself caring for me. Though we have had times of shock and fear, God has been remarkably present with me through all the many tests, biopsies, and surgery of the past few weeks.

If you are willing to pray for me, here are things to pray for:

For God to use medical means or his direct intervention to make the cancer regress to the point of vanishing.

For Kathy and me, that we use this opportunity to be weaned from the joys of this world and to desire God’s presence above all.

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Words in italics are suggestions, to be used, adapted, or added to, as necessary.

We pray to the LORD,
to the God who is our shelter and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.

We pray for our communities:

for the elderly, confined to their homes and separated from family and support; for children, removed from school; for those who have lost their source of income; for those who fear for their home; for those who have no home; for those offering extraordinary, everyday kindness; for …

Silent prayer

The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge. 

Lord, you are in the midst of us:
help us in our time of trouble.

[We pray for the young and those in education:

for those anxious about examinations, a place at university, or employment; for those worried about loved ones and friends; for those concerned about their own health; for…

Silent prayer

The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge. 

Lord, you are our refuge and strength:
let us not be afraid, even though the world is changed.

We pray for key workers:

for all medical staff and hospital workers, who go to work knowing the risks they face; for medical researchers, seeking ways to prevent and to cure; for social workers, protecting the vulnerable; for care workers, providing contact and support to those who have no other help; for teachers, worrying about their charges; for farmers, delivery and shop workers, keeping the nation provisioned; for cleaners, fighting the spread of infection; for…

Silent prayer

The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge. 

Lord, be with us in our time of need:
help us to do what has been asked of us,
and give us grace to help others do what has been asked of them.]

We pray for the world:

for the leaders of the nations and their governments; for areas most besieged by the pandemic; for broken places where healthcare and resources are scarce, and the pandemic brings further suffering; for…

Silent prayer

The LORD of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge. 

Lord, may the nations hear your voice:
and know that you are God,
supreme among the nations,
supreme over all the world.

We pray for those who are sick:

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From our earliest days, our dependence upon God has brought us to seek His divine counsel and unfailing wisdom.  Our leaders have often encouraged their fellow citizens to seek wisdom from God and have recognized God’s power to lead our Nation ahead to brighter days.  When the prospects for our independence seemed bleak, General George Washington proclaimed a national day of “fasting, humiliation and prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God.”  Following the devastating destruction of the Civil War, President Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address and invoked the power of prayer to “bind up the nation’s wounds.”  And more than 100 years later, President Reagan noted our long reliance on prayer throughout our history, writing that “through the storms of revolution, Civil War, and the great world wars as well as during times of disillusionment and disarray, the Nation has turned to God in prayer for deliverance.”

Today, as much as ever, our prayerful tradition continues as our Nation combats the coronavirus.  During the past weeks and months, our heads have bowed at places outside of our typical houses of worship, whispering in silent solitude for God to renew our spirit and carry us through unforeseen and seemingly unbearable hardships.  Even though we have been unable to gather together in fellowship with our church families, we are still connected through prayer and the calming reassurance that God will lead us through life’s many valleys.  In the midst of these trying and unprecedented times, we are reminded that just as those before us turned to God in their darkest hours, so must we seek His wisdom, strength, and healing hand.  We pray that He comforts those who have lost loved ones, heals those who are sick, strengthens those on the front lines, and reassures all Americans that through trust in Him, we can overcome all obstacles.

May we never forget that prayer guides and empowers our Nation and that all things are possible with God.  In times of prosperity, strife, peace, and war, Americans lean on His infinite love, grace, and understanding.  Today, on this National Day of Prayer, let us come together and pray to the Almighty that through overcoming this coronavirus pandemic, we develop even greater faith in His divine providence.

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