Category Archives: Prayer

10 Benefits of Praying With a Group

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This past year I was part of a small group called The Power of a Praying Woman. In fact, I took that class twice. It was an awesome, instructional time of learning how to pray out loud. Lynette did an awesome job facilitating this group. Besides the instruction, we also had time to actually put the instruction into practice via prayer at each session.

We received benefits from praying together as a group. I came up with 10 benefits.

  1. Because you are accepted by group members you learn to accept yourself.
  2. Church attendees, family, work mates and friends become Christians and receive other miracles in their lives.
  3. The answers to prayer bind you together as a group. Your love for each other and for God grows. Your faith also grows.
  4. You become aware of the stressful and crisis situations in one another’s lives. So now you know how to pray specifically for one another.
  5. You are surrounded by God’s presence.
  6. You (eventually) lose your fear of praying out loud because of the practice (of prayer).
  7. You learn how to pray out loud by hearing more experienced people pray.
  8. You realize that you are more like each other than different from each other. So you learn to replace your fear and suspicion of one another with acceptance and love.
  9. You get to know one another better.
  10. You receive God’s love though the other members of the group.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Which of the above benefits have you received because of praying with a group?
  2. What benefit would you add that is not on the list?
  3. Are you part of a praying group? Why or why not?
  4. What will you do this week because of reading this post?

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8 Tips for Finding a Prayer Partner

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When I moved back to California my brother-in-law suggested I get into a prayer group. He said I’d need prayer support to get through the coming years well.  I have been with my prayer partner for seven years now. The past years were full of divorce proceedings, completing my BA and MA, and parenting my adult children. I have benefitted from this relationship. My prayer partner has been a friend, a mentor, and a mighty prayer warrior.

I think that every Believer would benefit from having a prayer partner (or two). Below are eight tips for finding a prayer partner.

  1. Pray. Ask God for help in this process.
  2. Know what you want. Make a list of things you want in a prayer partner:  stays on topic, loves the Lord, believes in the power of prayer, keeps confidences, etc.
  3. Read. Read A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 1 and A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 2 for ideas on how to structure your prayer partnership.
  4. Search. Look to see if something is already set up. I.e. If you’d like to pray for your children and their school, there might be a prayer group already in place.
  5. Observe. When it’s prayer time in your small group, church service, or impromptu prayer times, observe how others pray. Is there a person or two with whom you click? Note who brings you a feeling of safety. Who encourages, motivates, and builds your faith because of their prayers?
  6. Brainstorm. Set aside some time to brainstorm a list of possible people. At this point it doesn’t have to be realistic or possible. Then look at your names to see if these folks share any common traits.
  7. Practice. Look at your list and ask a few of your choices if they’d like to get together to pray for a onetime event. Look at this as a “date.” If it works out well, ask them if they’d like to commit to a prayer partnership with you.
  8. Ask. After you’ve prayed and done all the ground work, go ahead and ask. There might be a “no” answer. Don’t take it personally. Go on to the next person. I asked four women to pray about being a prayer partner with me. For three of them it wasn’t a good time or not something in which they were interested. But one said “yes.” And it has been a growing, powerful, exciting seven years.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Do you have a prayer partner? Why or why not?
  2. If yes, how did the partnership come about?
  3. Any tips to add?

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A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 2

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Learn How to Be a Good Prayer Partner

When I moved to California after my divorce, my brother-in-law advised me to ask some ladies to be my prayer partners. He said I would benefit from such support. I talked to 3-4 ladies. It didn’t work out for us to meet as a group. And I ended up praying with only one woman. She is older than me and we’ve been praying for 7 years now. We are compatible prayer partners. I recently analyzed why our prayer partnership has been successful.

Click here to read the first 6 “rules” for becoming a good prayer partner.

Keep reading to discover the last 6 “rules” we follow(ed) knowingly and unknowingly.

Practice Gratitude. If you are praying, God is answering your prayers. Accept His answers (the yeses and the no’s). Accept His timing. Accept His right to be God. Be on the lookout for His intervention and involvement. Say thanks, often.

Share Yourself. Share your heart, struggles and growth. But don’t share more deeply about yourself until you are sure of the integrity and safety of the prayer relationship. It’s okay to take your time in developing trust in this relationship.

Structure Topics. Will you be praying for your children? Is the church or your country going to be the focus of your prayer? Will recovery issues dominate your requests? Perhaps you will both share whatever is on your mind.

Take Care of Yourself. Do what you can to limit distractions. Wear comfortable clothes and pray in a comfortable room (not too hot or too cold.) Don’t enter into your prayer time hungry or fatigued. Shhhh! Don’t tell; I have fallen asleep on several occasions.

Use the Time for Prayer. Don’t go in-depth on your prayer requests. Don’t get sidetracked into conversation. Don’t share personal information about others unless you have their permission. Don’t use this time as a covert way to “gossip” about others. Don’t use this as a time to counsel or be counseled. You’ve come together to take your requests to God. Make that the priority.

What’s Prayed Here, Stays Here. Don’t share your partner’s requests with others unless she gives you permission. Don’t share the answers either, unless you have permission. Many times prayer is personal and private. For many it requires trust in the other person in order to speak those requests. Be trustworthy enough to hear all requests with the intent and practice of talking only to God about them.

Please modify these “rules” to fit your situation. Like all relationships our “rules” evolve according to our needs and comfort level with one another. Plus I’ve had to learn how to be a good prayer partner. I am thankful that my prayer partner has been patient with me.

Sometimes you can follow all the rules and the prayer partnership doesn’t work. You just don’t click. After your trial period, it’s ok to stop. Just like we can’t be close friends with just anyone, we can’t be a good prayer partner with just anyone either. But it is so worth the emotional effort and time to be part of a thriving prayer partnership. I hope and pray that you are involved in such an endeavor. You will get to know God better. You will be blessed and be a blessing.

Your Turn.

  • Tell us about your prayer partner success(es).
  • What advice would you give on how to be a good prayer partner?
  • How have you been blessed or been a blessing because of prayer?

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A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 1

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Learn How to Be a Good Prayer Partner

When I moved to California after my divorce, my brother-in-law advised me to ask some ladies to be my prayer partners. He said I would benefit from such support. I talked to 3-4 ladies. It didn’t work out for us to meet as a group. And I ended up praying with only one woman. She is older than me and we’ve been praying for 7 years now. We are compatible prayer partners. I recently analyzed why our prayer partnership has been successful.

Keep reading to discover the first 6 “rules” we follow(ed) knowingly and unknowingly.

1. Agree on the Format. Will one person pray and then the other one pray? Will you take turns praying on each topic? Who will start? Who will end the prayer time? Will one, none or both of you write down the requests? Will there be times of silence? When/how will you share answered prayer? Is it okay to pray with Scripture or in tongues? Would it freak you out if your prayer partner wants to kneel or stand? Communicate your expectations and preferences.

2. Ask Before Bringing Someone. Bringing another person to pray adds a different dynamic. Always ask in advance. Some people are not comfortable praying with more than one other person. If you are bringing an infant or child, discuss this with your prayer partner beforehand. Even good children need attention and having them there could hamper the flow of concentration or the sharing of personal requests.

3. Be Faithful. Agree upon a place and time for your prayer sessions. Then make it a priority to be there. If your prayer day is a Monday, decide in advance how you will handle the many Monday holidays in a year. If you keep forgetting or something “more important” keeps cropping up, maybe this isn’t the time to have regularly scheduled prayer.

4. Be Time Conscious. We are all busy people. Agree upon a start time. Being late cuts into your prayer time together and it can retard or destroy the growth of trust. Also agree upon a stop time. Consistently going past this time can stress out your partner. It can make it hard for her to concentrate on the here-and-now, if she keeps looking at her watch. Use a timer or take turns being the time-keeper.

5. Check Ups. Periodically check in with one another to see how it’s going. Are you getting equal time to share and pray? Do you feel safe? If not, is there something your prayer partner can/needs to do? Are you feeling frustrated or angry? If yes, discuss this. Praying is engaging in battle, spiritual battle. There are real enemy “forces” who will do what they can to destroy your unity and your prayer time. Don’t let the demonic forces win. Talk about it until you resolve it. Or maybe it’s time to stop with this particular prayer partner.

6. Make This Time a Phone Free Space. Prayer is conversation, a time of concentration. Stopping to answer the phone (or text) interrupts this sharing cycle. It can be difficult to get back into the flow. Turn off the ringer and let the machine get the call.

Of course, you will modify these rules to fit your situation. Click here for the other 6 “rules.”

Your Turn.

  • Do you have a prayer partner? Why or why not?
  • If yes, describe your prayer partner experience.
  • What would you add to this list?

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8 Routes to Receiving Prayer at CNC

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We, the people of Cordova Neighborhood Church, believe that prayer is important. Click here to read Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways. We believe that God is powerful, caring, and answers prayer. Because we believe this, we offer eight ways you can get prayer at CNC.

1. Prayer for Healing on Wednesdays nights. You will find this faithful group of prayer warriors in Room 5 in CNC’s Children’s Education wing (aka Big Kid’s Club.) Prayer is available from 7:00-8:30 pm each Wednesday.

2. Prayer Chain. A group of folks receive prayer requests via email. To get your request to the prayer chain, contact Roberta in the office: email – office at cnchurch Dot org) or call 635-5992. If you’d like to be part of this confidential ministry, let Roberta know.

3. “Please Pray For” section on the communication slip. Each Sunday you have the opportunity to share requests via the communication slip located in each Sunday’s bulletin. Write down your request, tear the slip out of the bulletin, and put it on one of the offering boxes. The staff prays weekly (usually Tuesday mornings) for these and other requests.

4. Prayer during Sunday service. At some point in each service, we are invited to go down front for prayer. This is usually towards the end of the service when the worship team leads us in singing. You can also ask a host to get a “prayer” person to pray with you in the pews or at the back of the sanctuary.

5. Prayer after the Sunday services. You can ask one of the prayer people to pray for you after either service. You can ask any staff member for prayer as well.

6. Prayer from the elders. Call the church office (635-5992) to make an appointment for one (some) of the elders to pray for you. You can even request that anointing with oil accompany the prayer.

7. Prayer in small groups. Each small group offers the opportunity to learn Biblical information and to learn about each other. Prayer is a natural response to this learning. CNC small groups are a safe place to ask for prayer.

8. Prayer with CNC people. You don’t have to get prayer only from a lay leader, someone on staff, a designated prayer person or a pastor. Anyone can pray with you at any time.

Dear Reader, take action and ask for prayer in one of these 8 avenues. We all have something in need of prayer. The Lord, our King, is waiting to respond on your behalf. “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” Psalm 24:8. Please let someone encourage you today.

Your Turn

What would you add to this list?

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Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways

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C.H. Spurgeon wrote in his book Prayer that prayer encourages us to believe in God. According to Spurgeon prayer impacts us in at least five ways.

Prayer . . . . . . . . . .

1. Promotes learning. It is important to study the Scripture and it’s important to pray about it as well. Prayer opens up the meaning of Scripture and its application. Martin Luther once wrote, “To have prayed well is to have studied well.”

2. Promotes deeper experience. Faithful prayer will help you develop in your spiritual life past the common experiences of “repentance, faith, joy, and hope” (182).

3. Brings deliverance. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, pray and wait. Because of who God is you can wait knowing and “expecting that God will show [you] reserved mercies that [you] know nothing of at present” (185).

4. Makes us useful. “Work as if all rested on your toil” and pray for God’s help. The work’s effectiveness is then “super-charged,” so to speak. Spurgeon says it is prayer plus effort that make us most useful in all areas of work (187).

5. Gives comfort for intercessors. Indeed answered prayer brings comfort and encouragement to believe in God’s power and care. Answered prayer encourages intercessors to pray more. “You cannot guess how greatly God will bless you. Only go and stand at His door, for you cannot tell what is in reserve for you. If you do not [pray] at all, you will get nothing” (188).

These are all lessons I am learning. What have you learned about prayer lately?

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3 Encouragements I Needed When My Children Were Young

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I was a co-hostess at a baby shower on Saturday morning. I gave the devotional. Below is what I shared. What encouragement did/do you need as a mom?

A Swedish proverb says 2 children are like none and 3 are like 17. I wonder what the Swedes would say it’s like having 4 children?

I would venture to say among other things messy, noisy, and demanding. But I only have two children and so am not qualified to speak on what that’s like. But I can speak from a mother’s perspective.

My two children are now 25 and 27 years old. The constant, day-to-day care of them is passed. However, I do remember some of my shortcomings and needs from their growing up years.

When my children were growing up, I didn’t have a circle of moms around me. I didn’t have Christian women as close friends. I parented with my husband and my books, including the Bible. And now looking back, I see that I really needed women in my life. I have them now and I am a little sad that I didn’t know you all back then.

My greatest need from women was encouragement. I needed encouragement in 3 ways.

First, I needed encouragement to keep on persevering in doing right. It was tiring to persistently, but loving, discipline my strong-willed child. It was tiring to consistently put my needs second because the little ones in my house needed me to care for them first. It was tiring to keep a happy spirit when I was so exhausted  from all those years of interrupted sleep.

Dr. Dobson spoke convincingly about the need for godly, loving discipline. I knew the Bible said in Galatians 6:9 “to not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

But the reward, the good thing, I would reap from being consistently noble and doing right seemed so far away. I could have benefited form hearing from an experienced mom to remember the long-view. They will grow up. I am now living that long-view. My children are in their mid 20’s and I am now seeing the good that’s come from my early parenting years. And on the other hand,  I am still waiting for some of that.

Second, I also needed encouragement that what I was doing was important. Dr. Lehman spoke about the valuable role of mothers in a child’s development. I knew that the Bible, Psalm 127 to be exact, said that children are a blessing. But after many, many, many, many hours of wiping bottoms, noses and spills, I came to doubt my importance. And sometimes I didn’t view my children as blessings, but as hindrances to a life where I could do “great” things.

I needed a mom to remind me of Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Wiping those bottoms, noses and messes were good works that God meant for me to do at that period in my life. They were important!

Finally, I needed encouragement to maintain a close walk with God. As you all know, the to-do is a heartless taskmaster. It seems even harsher when the children are young. The scattered toys, the 330 loads of laundry, the needs of the children and the husband, the job demands, etc all fought for my time and energy. Too many times I let those demands stop me from pursuing an ongoing relationship with Christ.

I knew that Matthew 6:33 told me to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t love God with all my soul, heart and mind.

I could have benefited by a godly woman’s intervention, mentorship and prayers. Had I taken time every day to soak up God’s living Word, I would have been a better mom and woman. I would have had more strength to persevere, known what was truly important and lastly I would have been able to maintain that close connection with God.

Ladies, the reason we are having this shower today is to encourage the mommy-to-be. It is our hope that as we gather around her for the long haul, pray with and for her, share our stories, wisdom and tips, that she will find that encouragement she’ll need over the coming years to parent well, to know her place in God’s purpose and to grow increasingly closer to our loving Father and God.

Let me end with a Scripture for all of us: Galatians 6:10:

“So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [[morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].”

Related Post . . . How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth (A baby shower devotional)

Your Turn . . . What do you think is the greatest need for moms or moms-to-be? How would you meet it?

Or, What do you, as a mom, most need?