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Series 09 - Extraordinary PrayerWe closed out our "Extraordinary Prayer" series yesterday.  Our topic was the extraordinary challenges we all face in maintaining a consistent, heartfelt, powerful prayer life.

What can we say?

  • A Praise — One small group leader said our topic came at the perfect time.  His small group is studying our discipleship material called Directions, and they were scheduled to talk about that very topic.
  • An Example — A preschool teacher caught me after service to expand on the thought that God sometimes waits to give us good things until we ask it in prayer.  It reminded her of how she tells her preschoolers to "Use your words" because it's important to their personal development too.
  • A Praise — We received this story from Amanda: "I am going through something very difficult personally right now…Through this, I have
    started attending Grace and really committed myself to finding the Lord again. This situation is much bigger than I personally could
    handle – but thanks to the power of prayer and God's strength and Grace, my
    eyes have been opened…I am also remembering and taking time each day to listen to God and THANK
    Him continually for the strength he gives me to handle whatever he puts in my
    path. And with each trial and tribulation I have learned that I am never alone."
  • A Resource — If you've never read it before, check out a super-short book called "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence.  It's a great resource on prayer.
  • A Quote — I saw this quote on the power of prayer recently: "Nothing
    is more powerful and significant in our world today than prayer…Satan
    is not afraid of our budget, out buildings, our programs, or our
    projects.  He is afraid of our praying."
  • A Script — I had someone shoot this note to me this week, on the topic of being specific in our prayers.  "I have been pondering the words I use too repetitiously
    and without thought and have been trying to communicate with God in a more
    thoughtful and 'natural' way.  I have, however, realized…it can be really effective to write out exactly what I want so I don't
    leave out/forget details when I petition God...My latest effort is for our unborn baby girl…I would ask you pray it as you read it:
    • Family, please pray specifically…
    • for the further
      development of this child;
    • for little Emma’s brain and intelligence,
    • for healthy blood circulation and a healthy life ahead
    • for a healthy physical heart and a tender spiritual one,
    • healthy ears that allow attentiveness and easy
    • for healthy eyes and eyelids to develop so this baby can
      see our smiles clearly,
    • for perfectly formed face and lips,
    • for a strong physical neck and back and a spirit of
      upright confidence while remaining kind to others,
    • for perfectly formed fingers and toes, hands and feet that allow this child to serve God,
    • for perfectly formed vocal cords that can sing songs or
      shout for mommy or daddy (but not too loudly, please),for inner organs and sexual organs and for clear identity
      and a God pleasing lifestyle,
    • for muscle development and the ability to walk and run,
    • dear Father I pray for…
    • fat production and healthy bone
    • for strong bones and teeth,
    • for healthy strong lungs and a healthy tongue (that likes
      all foods, even vegetables),
    • I would love a perfect little nose and pretty hair
    • Father we pray in the name of Your Son."
  • A Video — About 3 weeks ago, Ben & I thought about using the "Meet the Parents" prayer
    clip to close out the series.  So we show up yesterday for our 6:30a
    meeting with members of our weekend service team & we hear, "Didn't we show this clip recently?"  Huh???  Ben & I had NO memory of it.  We checked back and, sure enough, we showed it earlier this year and both totally forgot it.  (It was still a good clip, though.)

Prayer.  Prayer is powerful.  Prayer is flexible.  Prayer is comforting.  Prayer is extraordinary.

Stick with it!  If we can avoid getting waylaid by the challenges we face, we'll find that prayer moves the hand that moves the world.