All posts tagged: prayer and intercession

Can forgiveness heal a nation?

I am convinced there are extremists trying to take advantage of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a white police officer to create anarchy and sow division in the US. But a recent article on Christian Post is giving me hope. It is a story about a group of white believers in Houston, Texas called Praytest. It was started by a white Christian rapper Bobby Herring and recently they went to a black public housing complex in Houston, Texas called Cuney Homes. It was in the same area of the city where George Floyd grew up before he moved to Minneapolis. At the complex, Praytest met with a group of black believers many who attend Free Indeed Church, pastored by Johnny D. Gentry. In an interview with Click2Houston, Herring explained what happened next: “One of the videos that went viral with Pastor Johnny Gentry and myself on one side facing each other, white people kneeling asking God for forgiveness and then you see my black brothers and sisters kneeling asking God for forgiveness, that …

Studies show people are turning to prayer during COVID-19 crisis

According to a study by a Danish professor, it seems that people are turning to prayer during these difficult times. This was not any more evident than during final moments of a live interview MSNBC host Craig Melvin’s had with T.J. Jakes, the pastor of The Potter’s House, a mega-church based in Dallas at the beginning of April. With seconds left, Melvin turned to Bishop Jakes and said: “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on air. Can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds.” As Melvin bowed his head, Pastor Jakes prayed for God to strengthen people during this time of crisis and particularly those who are first responders: According to Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an assistant professor of Economics at Denmark’s University of Copenhagen, this should not surprise us because Google searches for “prayer” are surging during this pandemic. Using Google Trends, Bentzen studied the records in 75 countries of the number of searches for prayer in the month of March. Based on her research, …

Touching heaven, touching earth

Like many these days, I am praying more often than usual and in so many ways God has used this season of ‘panic’ COVID-19 to pull me into prayer more consistently than I have done for many years. Yes, God clearly used this time to ‘work out good,’ and bring out good disciplines in my life.  But there has been a change in how I pray. I am now praying more often, but not as long as I used too. These are not extended periods of prayers. They can be short just two to five minutes or sometimes longer. As well, I have set aside specific times to pray. When the clock strikes 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm and 12 midnight, these are my designated times to pray. I start first by giving thanks. I often take five slow deep breaths to help clear my mind and slow my thoughts and then I enter into a time of prayer. Sometimes things come up and I miss my time, but I carry on with …

The Vending Machine God

Some preacher somewhere said that we have more faith in a vending machine than we do in God. That was a long time ago, yet I still believe it to be true. Yesterday I was meeting with my good friend, Mark. Mark leads the worship team for Lighthouse Ministries and we often chat to match worship to whatever I am preaching about. Yesterday we talked about making worship more inclusive and for some reason I mentioned the vending machine idea. Mark added to this thought and said that often we treat God like a vending machine. How we do these things is simple and sad. I don’t often use vending machines anymore but when I was a student and studied late into the night at one of the study halls, there was a vending machine. It served up coffee. To be honest, vending machine coffee is not as good as one might think but around eleven at night with hours to go, it was the only choice we had. I think coffee was only a …

Aw, Soot!

Do you ever wonder if prayer works? Or how prayer works! I have experience praying for many people both directly and indirectly. There have been instant healings, healings over time, and no healings. I have no human explanation for this other than I am not God and it is up to him how he answers prayer. I do know at least two things about this. God always knows when we pray and prayers always make a difference. Prayers bring us closer to God as we talk with him and ask for his help. The people we pray for also have something spiritual happen when we pray. It may be something different from what they expect, but something happens nonetheless. I had a vision the other morning that explains the way in which prayers matter. I can’t recall if I saw them first or heard them first. They were about a block away. I heard distant crying and yelling. As they got closer, I could see that it was a woman and a child. The woman …

What About me, God?

There are times in which it is hard to believe. Times in which it is hard to have faith. We pray and pray and we hope and hope for a miracle that just never seems to come. What do you do when that happens? Why does that happen? How come other people get healed, get a job, find true love, or seem to get whatever else they want? Well there are really only two places to look at when we pray. There’s God. And there’s you. I don’t know how many times people point the finger at some poor schmuck like me and tell me that it’s my fault God doesn’t answer my prayers. That maybe I have some unconfessed sin in my life, or that I don’t have enough faith to get what I asked for. Then there’s the other side of the table. Some people even tell me there’s no God or that He doesn’t care or love me. Perhaps He is not interested in my petty little things. Maybe I shouldn’t even …

The Big Leagues

I like to think of myself as a full service preacher. I like to preach and nobody has fallen asleep since that time when I got everybody to quietly just leave their shoes and jackets on their seats. We all snuck in the back room and blew a trumpet really loud. Poor guy! Thought he missed the rapture! Okay, I didn’t do that but if anybody actually does fall asleep… Sometimes I can get pretty happy in my role. You know I start feeling good and confident. And then someone says it’s prayer time. I can prayer with the best of them. For about five minutes. The other day I was invited to an intercessory prayer meeting. For those of you who don’t know, this is not for the faint of heart or the simple-minded. This is the equivalent of being asked to try out for your favorite professional sports team! My wife, Stella, and I head out to the meeting. I entered the room with confidence. After all not only was I a preacher, …