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How To Pray for Your Pastor


28.06.2014

It’s been a long-asked question that I haven’t always had a ready answer for.  I’m going to try today.  It’s the question that your people sometimes ask when they say, “How can we pray for you, pastor?”

I love that people believe in prayer, and that they pray for me.  More than love, I’m grateful.  Even eternally grateful!

However, I’m not sure I’ve always been helpful in answering that question.  The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, had a good answer to it.  I first read about this take on praying for your pastor in “Sparkling Gems of the New Testament Greek.”  It’s an excellent article.  Here’s my adaptation:

…more

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Prayer Wages a Supernatural Battle


28.06.2014

The “7″ Series on prayer began with “Seven Truths About Prayer”.
My message (June 22) covered Truths #1-4.

Watch the message at firsteuless.com

Truth #7: Prayer wages a Supernatural Battle.

Jesus said we were to pray this way, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  Doesn’t that sound a bit like a war?

Whole volumes have been written on “supernatural battles,” so this is a brief summary of some principles to remember in war: …more

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Prayer Intitiates Incredible Grace


24.06.2014

The “7″ Series on prayer began with “Seven Truths About Prayer”.
My message (June 22) covered Truths #1-4.

Watch the message at firsteuless.com

Truth #6: Prayer initiates INCREDIBLE GRACE.

When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, He emphasizes FORGIVENESS more than anything else.  Forgiveness means that we “extend grace” to others the way God extends grace and forgiveness to us.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to truly pray  (and by “pray” I mean that I realize that I don’t deserve prayer or mercy or grace or this access to the Holy Throne Room of God) without realizing I’ve been absolutely and graciously FORGIVEN of my sinfulness and sin and am only able to pray because of that forgiveness.  I know this sentence is long. Read it again. You can’t truly pray without understanding you’re forgiven. …more

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Prayer Creates an Elevated Vision


22.06.2014

The “7” Series on prayer began with “Seven Truths About Prayer”.
My message (June 22) covered Truths #1-4.

Watch the message at firsteuless.com

Truth #5:  Prayer creates an ELEVATED VISION.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”   Jesus said, “Pray this way!”

Why is this powerful?  Because your world is small. His world is huge.  Your kingdom (and mine) is limited. His kingdom is unlimited. Every time I deny my own will and my own kingdom to submit to His, I enter an elevated state of living – one initiated by GOD Himself.  When I ask Him to bring His kingdom and His will into my life, I become acquainted with His plans for living.

So, instead of the disciples arguing over who was greatest among them, He wanted them to become servants of the kingdom. They needed to pray that. …more

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Is Prayer Enough?


20.06.2014

Sometimes prayer is ALL you can do. I vividly remember a pastor-mentor, Ron Dunn, preaching a prayer conference centered on the power of prayer. After the conference, someone in attendance asked him if prayer was enough.  “I mean, don’t we actually have to DO something to change things?” the man said.

Ron’s response was classic. “Prayer IS actually doing something.” …more

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Most Churches Don’t


20.06.2014

“Many churches try to be attractional – some do it well, most don’t – but the Gospel is not attractional – it’s conversational. Always has been.”

That’s what I tweeted.  Here’s why:  I’ve noticed that as a church, we could have a huge marketing budget, the pristine location or the “cool” factor going to reach lots of people – but sometimes have very low outreach into neighborhoods and communities to target the people who are actually unsaved.  Lots of transfer growth.  Little sowing in the fields with seeds of the Gospel.  Statistics in American churches will back me up here.  We’re barely baptizing our own children in America. …more

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Get to the 7


16.06.2014

“Get to the 7”  #gettothe7   You’re going to hear a lot about 7 from me in these days ahead.

Why?  Because it’s an incredible prayer principle.  Remember Joshua marching around Jericho?  How many days did he march?  7.    How many times did they march around the city on the seventh day?  7.   (we practice this weekly in our church by urging people to pray 6 days about your “walls” and then joining others on the 7th, on Sunday, and crying out to God)

Remember Elijah sending his servant up to the mountain to see if the prayed-for rain was about to happen?  How many times did he go up?  7.

Naaman was told to dip in the Jordan seven times.  7. …more

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Something Is In The Air


15.06.2014

Something is in the air, and it smells like good news.

The conversation at the Southern Baptist Convention was steadfastly Gospel-oriented.  Speaker after speaker, including myself, advocated the primacy of the Gospel and the realization that it is the only commonality we need.   We’ll never look and act the same in everything.  We cannot hope, nor should we ever think of hoping for a return to those days of sameness. …more

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Dad – Be This!


14.06.2014

It’s an amazing thing to have a great dad like I have!  I’m painfully aware, however, that all don’t have this.  But here’s what one looks like:

*He’s THERE.  My dad made sure he was at all my important events as a kid. Ball games, the lake, CHURCH, in the hospital when I broke stuff, and watching me work at the jobs HE came up with.  BE THIS!

*He’s a RESCUER.  I could count on dad to be there when I was in trouble – and I was!  He “delivered me from evil” more than a few times. He set me straight A LOT, with patience, not anger.  BE THIS!

*He’s an EXAMPLE.  My mom and dad carried on in front of me.  It was PG, but it was there.  I know how to love a woman because he showed me. He was an example in a ton of things, but this comes to mind.  He said, “I love you” a lot to his family.  BE THIS!

*He’s REAL.  I saw my dad cry more than once – for all the right reasons. Spiritual reasons. Disappointment and pain-type reasons. BE THIS! …more

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“Grab a Hoe, Pick a Row”


12.06.2014

When I was 14, my father enlisted me to work with a peanut farmer, hoeing peanuts in a hot Oklahoma summer.  There were a dozen or so of us working in those fields, with a huge and intimidating foreman keeping us at it.  I had never hoed peanuts.  I’d never worked in any fields.  I had no idea what to do.

I thought maybe that big foreman might show me what to do.  So, when I arrived, I asked him, “How do you do this?”

He just looked at me without expression for moment, pointed to the big pile of wooden-handled hoes next to him, then to the field behind us, and said,  “Grab a hoe, pick a row.  It’s that simple.” …more

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