I’ve had a morning of family members either waking up late…or early. Neither worked out in my favor as far as having quiet time, this morning. I did finally get to sit down after putting the youngest on the bus and starting the first of about 5-6 loads of laundry (we’ve been busy…).
I’ve been feeling the need to concentrate more and more on prayer. I’ve mentioned before that spending extended time in prayer does not come naturally for me. I would much rather be pouring my heart out in worship or diving into the Word. I do pray. And anytime I am focused in prayer, I am so awed by the power and presence of God! You would think I would want to continue in that presence – and I do – but as distractions and responsibilities of daily life begin to take back my focus I, like many, am quickly pulled from His presence…and it is often a struggle to get back to that focused prayer.
Yet, my heart continuously aches to return to His presence.
My prayer closet
I have prayer warrior friends who will probably scratch their heads at this post. I know some pretty amazing people who would rather be on their knees (or face) in prayer than in any other discipline. I long to have some of that same passion in my prayer life!
A few months ago, I stumbled across a website called Study Gateway.
They have an excellent library of popular Bible/topical study videos. The first month is free and then it’s $7.95/mo. I decided to give it a try since it had the Made to Crave (Lysa Terkeurst) videos. I had the book and study guide (for years!), but had never been able to complete the study…mostly because of my love/hate relationship with food…but that’s a long story for another time! My point is, it’s a great site. And once I was done with the Made to Crave study (which I completed during my free month), I decided that I was cool with the $7.95/mo because of the selection of other videos available.
I believe God had placed the urgency to kick up my prayer life, then, because I was led to watch a couple of video series by Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Many people have heard of the choir; however, what you may not know is that they are a praying church and have a very powerful prayer ministry. I enjoyed When God’s Spirit Moves and When God’s People Pray. Those studies lit a spark in me to pray…though I’ve struggled a bit with fanning the flames.
One of the most powerful teachings on prayer that I’ve heard is a message given by Pastor Cymbala.
What makes the message even more powerful is that, in When God’s People Pray, he talked about the spiritual warfare that happened all throughout the night before he delivered that message. He wanted to deliver a celebratory message, but God wanted him to send out a powerful call to prayer. WE are God’s temple…His house; therefore, WE are to be a house of prayer!
This morning, I was finally able to watch a video that I saved about a week ago. It was a teaching that John Paul Jackson did on prayer.
There was so much information in the message that I’ll need to watch it a few more times in order to capture the fullness of the message. I’ve already taken five pages of notes and still feel like I missed so much! The message is an hour long (Pastor Cymbala’s is about the same length).
Both messages are great teachings on prayer. If you watch, you might want to have note taking material handy! If you decide to watch the video series by Jim Cymbala on studygateway, there are corresponding notes available on the website. =)
I would love to get into the actual content of the messages, but there is so much that jumped out at me that I wouldn’t even know where to start. Besides, these 40 days are supposed to speak to the “process” of spending time with God, more so than the actual content (even though I haven’t strictly adhered to that structure). So, I am sharing what God is using to teach me. I am also looking forward to reading Could You Not Tarry One Hour by Larry Lea…and finishing How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer by John Wesley.
Since it’s Monday, it’s time for another challenge!
This week’s challenge will work a little differently. This week, you get to challenge me! You’ll have until NOON on Friday to leave a question for me in the comments, below. I will then have a member of my family choose the winning question (I do not get to choose). I will answer the question in Saturday’s post – and announce the name of the winner.
You can pretty much ask anything you want. It can be personal, biblical, study-related, etc… And you may ask as many questions as you’d like. I would just ask that you limit one question per comment post. So, if you want to ask three different questions, you will post three different comments.
This week’s prize is Bethel Music’s The Loft Sessions (CD). I love the songs on this CD, so I thought I might switch from giving away a book to giving away some great worship music!
Thanks for joining me, today! Be blessed!