All posts filed under: Prayer

Sports Illustrated claims prayer at sporting events erodes democracy

In a recent article (June 13, 2022), Sports Illustrated (SI) suggested that allowing players and coaches to pray prior to a game would lead to the erosion of democracy, Breitbart reports. The magazine was discussing a court case before the Supreme Court involving Joe Kennedy who was fired as an assistant coach by Bremerton High, because he prayed with his players on the football field. Breitbart explains: “This Sports Illustrated article is little else but a long smear against Christians, conservatives, and white people in general, and coach Kennedy in particular, and on a vicious personal level, at that,” Breitbart News noted. Conservatives and religious freedom activists took to social media to lambaste Sports Illustrated for such a disgraceful display of left-wing bias. It’s expected that the Supreme Court will soon make a ruling on the case involving religious freedom. READ: Sports Illustrated Blasted for Saying Prayer in Sports is ‘Eroding Democracy’ Breitbart also supplied a few tweet responses to SI’s article written by Greg Bishop: A couple of my favorites:

One major hindrance to answered prayer

I want to briefly discuss one of the major hindrances that we can face to answered prayer, and that is unforgiveness. As I was writing this article, a strange thing happened, as the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance an incident that happened to me over 40 years ago. I was single and a couple of months away from getting married and working for a Christian man, who shortchanged me about $800 in salary. The Christian boss basically ran off with the company’s money, ending the business. That was a lot of money back then, the equivalent of about $2,790 today. And for a soon-to-be wed couple, my wife and I could have really used it. Though this man left the city, he subsequently turned back to God. Several years later, I actually ran into him when he returned to the city and visited our church. He was now retired, quite poor, and it would have been useless to press the issue. I forgave him, and moved on with my life. But there is a …

Praying With Boldness and Confidence

By Rick Renner

I’m so grateful for all the truths and godly qualities that my pastor and church family planted in me during my growing-up years. But I have to say, in all the years I attended that church, I personally can’t remember a time when I heard anyone pray boldly or confidently. I simply had no idea what bold, confident praying sounded like until I attended a seminar at another church where a special speaker was teaching on the subject of faith.

The Real Battle is Spiritual

By C. Peter Wagner    Warfare prayer, as I have been describing it, is a new concept to the great majority of American Christians. Many are beginning to ask whether given their traditions and training it could ever be integrated into their ministry. But Americans are not alone. Even Argentine pastors struggle with some of the same theological practical issues. Learning the Lesson I greatly enjoyed talking to Pastor Alberto Prokopchuk of the Los Olivos Baptist Church in the city of La Plata, Argentina, because I could identify so closely with his background. His traditional Baptist ministerial training had not included a course in Spiritual Warfare 101. His ministry at Los Olivos Baptist was not much different from what we observe in so many typical churches in our American cities: good, solid Bible teaching ministry; a relatively high moral standard; the fruit of the spirit manifested to a reasonable degree and church members who pray, tithe, attend service, and witness to their neighbors when the opportunity presents itself. All this, and no growth! Under Alberto’s …

Does forgiveness have a role in spiritual warfare?

Premier Christian News reports that in the letter that Rev Vlasenko, head of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, wrote to the World Council of Churches, he specifically apologized for the actions of the Russian government and asked for forgiveness: “Today, as a citizen and as General Secretary of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, I apologize to all those who have suffered, lost loved ones and relatives, or lost their place of residence as a result of this military conflict.”[…] My prayer is that you will find strength from the Lord to extend your hand of solidarity and forgiveness, so we can live as the people of God to our world.” It’s an interesting request that may have broader implications when it comes to spiritual warfare. The role of forgiveness in spiritual warfare In the Book of Daniel, we see definite indicators of spiritual warfare in Persia. Israel had been taken into captivity by Babylon and after it was in turn defeated by Persia, Daniel sensed a time of change was coming that would involve a great conflict …

A Supernatural Answer to Prayer

In the early 1990s, I was on a plane that was horribly overloaded with people, luggage, and boxes. So many air-safety rules were being violated on this particular flight! Pieces of luggage and boxes were strapped into the seats where people should have been sitting — and people were sitting on top of the boxes in the main aisle of the cabin.

Joining together in praying for Ukraine

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a service at a Ukrainian Orthodox church. Having come from an Evangelical background, there was one thing that I found very unusual. Even though the church was based in North America, as the priest performed various rituals, he prayed for the military at least three or four times during that one service. I can’t remember a time during an Evangelical service when someone actually prayed for the military. This is not to say it didn’t happen, but it never caught my attention like it did that morning. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone. For a church that finds its roots in Ukraine, it reflects the country’s deep insecurity, as it has been the target of war and occupation by megalomaniacs and tyrants for centuries. People still remember Josef Stalin’s forced starvation of millions of Ukrainian farmers under the country’s brutal occupation by the former Soviet Union after it supposedly rescued Ukraine from its occupation by Nazi Germany. So, the church prays for the country’s military. And today, …

How are we to pray for our leaders? Pray counterintuitively

When we look at what is happening with Russia and Ukraine, and the events taking place in Canada and the US, we need to take a closer look at the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to pray for our leaders. Because in this passage, he also explains how we are to pray for them: I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-3) Remembering that Nero was the Roman emperor when Paul encouraged believers to: Pray that God will help our leaders; Intercede on their behalf (pray for them, not against them); Thank God for them; and Pray for their salvation. In other words, we are not to pray God’s judgment on them when …

Three keys to answered prayer

There have been books written on how to have a successful prayer life by people who have studied and lived a life of prayer. So, I don’t want to come across as someone who has the final answer on what it takes to have your prayers answered. But I do want to discuss a teaching that Jesus gave about prayer in Luke 18:1-8, which provides several keys to successful prayer. In this parable, Jesus talked about a widow who was seeking justice from a corrupt judge. The Lord described the judge as a man who did not fear God or care about what people thought of him (v 2). He was a narcissist. All he cared about was himself. In other words, justice was for sale in that town. Judges in this day typically travelled from village to village, where they set up a tent, so people could come to plead their case. Often you had to bribe the tent’s gatekeeper just to get a hearing, much less a favourable ruling. And Jesus used this …

78 | What the Septuagint Bible tells us about fallen angels and spiritual warfare

We are living in perilous times as governments of all political stripes seem intent on restricting people’s liberties and freedoms, either under the guise of protecting us from COVID or banning speech that some consider offensive, because it disagrees with their beliefs. In this podcast, I discuss the Septuagint’s odd translation of a Bible verse in Deuteronomy that may help explain why this is happening.

HS football team gathers for prayer after school board orders ban on teacher-led prayer

After a Tennessee school board told teachers and coaches last week that they could no longer lead their school teams in prayer, several players, cheerleaders, fans and parents associated with Putnam County football team took matters into their own hands and gathered on the field after a recent game to pray.

Casting and thanking are keys to dealing with stress

According to an article published in Psychology Today, personal prayer provides several psychological benefits to the individual praying. The article entitled, ‘”Prayer and Mental Illness’, written by Rob Whitley, Ph.D., discussed two large studies that revealed prayer positively strengthens a person’s mental well-being. One study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, concluded that young adults who prayed daily experienced less anxiety and had a higher self-esteem and were more satisfied with life than those who didn’t. This was a large study involving several thousand students and even included follow up for several years after. Whitley cited another survey of 2,000 adult Californians experiencing mental illness, where 80% “agreed or strongly agreed” that prayer helped them during their struggles. This second study confirmed Whitley’s own research on African Americans, who stated that “regular prayer was a major factor in their recovery” from their struggles with mental illness. Stress is a significant contributor to physical and mental health problems. In 1 Peter 5:7, the Apostle Peter encourages us to cast or throw all our concerns and …

The dangerous prayer that resulted in miracles

Do you want to see more answers to prayer and miracles in your life? If so I want to provide an example of a simple prayer from the Book of Acts that did exactly that. It came to mind as I was reading an article about Heidi Baker, 61, who works as a missionary in Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique, a small country in Northern Africa along the India Ocean. Baker’s organization, Iris Global, runs orphanages and provides humanitarian aid in the province that is dominated by an Islamic extremist group called Al Shabab that has killed nearly 3,000 people through dozens of terrorist attacks since Baker established her ministry in 2017. According to Baker being a Christian makes you a target and several churches in the province have been burned to the ground in Al Shabab’s attempt to set up a Caliphate. In its most recent attack on Palma in March 2021, hundreds of terrorist stormed the town killing dozens of people and as well kidnapped children, girls for wives and boys as fighters. …

God may have some questions for you

There is a verse in Isaiah that may add an interesting twist to your prayer life. Even those I will bring to My holy mountain,And make them joyful in My house of prayer.Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” (Isiah 56:7) In this passage, God says He wants to bring people to “My house of prayer” and then further on God describes that His house will also be called “a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Some have suggested that this special place on God’s holy mountain is not only a place where people gather to pray, but is also a place where God prays. What does this mean? Is God praying for us? Perhaps. We know that Jesus is sitting at God’s right hand interceding for us (Romans 8:33-34). But there may be more to this than that. Prayer in its most basic sense is communication, we are speaking to God. So is it possible …

Finding your secret place of prayer

Sometimes, I find it hard to pray. I feel disconnected and far from God. It seems that I have to pray long prayers and work hard to get God’s attention. What is my perception of prayer that it makes it seem like such an effort? Do I feel unworthy or not good enough? Do I feel like I’m barely existing and disconnected from myself, people and God? Thankfully, there is a divine connection available to us, and we can have unlimited access to heaven, at all times. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) And, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for your sins and was resurrected from the dead, you have the key to connecting with heaven from here on earth. To help me pray easily and effectively, I often create a garden, a secret place in my mind, where I can go anytime day or night. I …

The power of the ‘Okay, fine, whatever’ prayer

As Christians, we often have an attitude about prayer similar to an anesthesiologist who said ‘Okay, fine, whatever,’ when one of America’s leading surgeons facing the cancellation of a surgery said he wanted to pray for a patient. At times, we treat prayer as more of an afterthought, something we should do as Christians, but sometimes treat like an inconvenience. But, CBN tells the interesting story of the power of a short “Okay, fine, whatever” prayer had in a person’s life, both physically and spiritually. Duke University’s Doctor Michael Haglund, one of the America’s leading cervical surgeons, was facing the cancellation of a surgery after the anesthesiologist reported that he could not put the man to sleep as his blood pressure was dangerously high at 220/120. He recommended cancelling the surgery. However, Doctor Haglund replied that before that happened, he wanted to pray for his patient. The anesthesiologist responded with “Okay, fine, whatever.” And in the operating room, with the patient wide awake, Dr. Haglund uttered a simple prayer and in a few seconds the …

While more North Koreans report seeing a Bible, problems in South Korea

Despite the extreme persecution of Christians in North Korea, more people in the Hermit Kingdom are reporting they have seen a Bible. Each year, the North Korean Human Rights Center (KNHR) publishes a report on religious persecution in that communist regime considered to be the worst in the world. NKHR gathers its information by interviewing people who have managed to defect from North Korea. In a recent White Paper, the organization reported that the number of people who reported seeing a Bible in North Korea has steadily risen by 4% annually over the past 20 years. Prior to 2000, the organization said only 16 defectors had reported seeing Scripture while in that communist country. However, that number has grown to 559 since that time. This is all the more remarkable considering it is illegal to own a Bible and being found with one will result in a person being sent to one of the country’s infamous prison camps, from which they never return. The persecution of Christians in North Korea significantly increased in 2014, when …

Did Luke Bernard’s healing involve ‘battering’ prayer?

Doctors told the family of actor Luke Benjamin Bernard, 25, that it would be a miracle if he survived his serious car accident in a vegetative state. Bernard came from a Christian home and in a podcast on Pureflix, Bernard shared his story of what happened after a serious car accident in 2013. When he arrived at hospital, doctors classified him as level 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. His pupils were dilated and fixed and doctors told his family to get to the hospital as soon as possible fearing death was imminent. However, his Christian parents would not accept his death sentence. They began praying for their son, and Bernard explained the two important elements of their prayer that led to his miracle recovery. First, he says it was persistent prayer “Basically, they did the best thing they could for me … and the only thing they could have done was — they prayed. They read scriptures, they sang praise … at my bedside again and again and again.” Secondly, he says it was …

Oct. 25, 2020: A day of spiritual warfare for America?

Worship leader Sean Feucht has been holding outdoor worship service across America over the past several months. And the final service on his Let Us Worship tour will take place on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The prayer service will actually start on Saturday, culminating with a worship service the next day. Feucht expressed his amazement that this service will be occurring the day before the Senate is scheduled to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Much of the resistance to Barrett’s nomination has centered around her faith. Barrett is a Charismatic Catholic. The National Park Service (NPS) has given Sean Feucht permission to hold the service at the mall that could see 15,000 people gathering to worship and pray for America. According to reports over 7,000 people have already registered to attend the service. And certainly 15,000 is not out of the question, because an estimated 12,000 people attended Feucht’s worship service held in front California’s state capitol in Sacramento in September. As well, an …

What if we pray for the wrong thing?

A man named Robert Joamie prayed and asked God for something, and he would probably tell us now that he prayed for the wrong thing. He “asked God to end his suffering, then passed out from exhaustion. When he woke up, he laughed at himself and told God he’d changed his mind” Robert is Inuit, what we used to call Eskimo, and he got lost while hunting. He survived for four days without food, although he did have one can of Pepsi and he ate some wild plants. I think he is more durable than most of us. The good news is that God didn’t answer his first prayer; he was rescued and taken to a hospital. READ: Nunavut hunter survives 4 days on the land with no food, plenty of polar bears Simple faith in God is for all of us ordinary people, whatever we do in our day. God has told us: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah …

Nearly 50% of Americans say they pray every day

According to a survey by The Presidential Prayer Team nearly 50% of Americans stated that they prayed every day, with 65% stating they prayed at least once a week. The survey also found that only 15% of survey respondents claimed to have never prayed at all. Christian Post reports. A new survey conducted by The Presidential Prayer Team reveals that roughly half of Americans pray every day, with more Republicans engaging in daily prayer than Democrats. […] According to a summary of the survey, 45% of adults surveyed claimed that they pray every day. About 65% of adults said that they prayed at least once a week, but not daily.  “Projected across the adult population these statistics estimate that more than 160 million adults pray each week,” a statement from the Presidential Prayer Team explained. For those who prayed regularly the top issues were prayers for senior citizens, national defence, law and order, religious persecution and religious freedom. For more details on Americans’ prayer life, READ: Only 45% of Americans say they pray on a daily basis, …

Softening our attitude when praying for government leaders

According to a poll conducted by Barna between Sept. 24-28, 2020, nearly 75% of pastors are concerned that the US federal election on Nov. 3, has the potential to negatively impact their congregations. The poll that involved 475 protestant pastors found that 33% of pastors said they were very concerned and 41% stated they were somewhat concerned. But there was an interesting second question. When asked if they were concerned that the election could potentially cause division in their church, 65% said they weren’t concerned, while 35% said they were somewhat or very concerned it would. It is clear from this poll that many church leaders are concerned about the impact governments are having on church life. These are difficult days for believers. We have seen governments unfairly shutting down church services while allowing similar secular businesses or organizations to stay open. I recently reported on how the city of San Francisco, as part of its Covid lockdown, limited indoor church services to just ONE person while not restricting businesses, with a similar impact, such …

Can we block our own prayers?

What is your stance these days in light of all that is happening? What are your thoughts? Are they fear based or faith based? Are you standing on solid ground or shaky ground? Do we need to shift our prayers from a place of fear and frustration and step onto more solid ground? The Apostle Peter writes: “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3) Based on this promise, I have challenged myself to change my position from pleading to God for help to stepping into a posture of thanksgiving and praise. God’s word says that He has already given us everything we need to live a life of abundance. Asking for what we want or need is a good thing, but staying stuck in a place of continual pleading may block us from receiving or even seeing God’s provision and answers to our prayers because of our frustration and …

Keeping Prayer Simple

When I looked at prayer in the past, I thought it meant praying for at least one hour before it counted, and this belief discouraged me from entering into prayer. I believed that it was just too hard to incorporate into my everyday life and as a result prayer was often the last thing I did. Then I started feeling guilty about not praying enough, and this led me to just stop praying altogether because I felt my prayers weren’t good enough or long enough, so why bother. The priests ministering in the temple in the Old Testament had a great spiritual responsibility to offer sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. But they also had other duties. These were called ‘sacred lots’ where the menial duties of priesthood were divided up including such things as kitchen duties, yard work and providing oversight to the Levites. They had other necessary duties that did not include the sacrifices, but were important enough to be called ‘sacred.’ Understanding that the Old Testament priests had menial …