All posts tagged: prayer and intercession

Honesty in prayer

There has been a trend in recent years, largely due to the influence of the faith movement, that we need to declare faith and belief in the situations we face in our life. Some refer to this as ‘blab it and grab it’. Yet, I am beginning to wonder if we need less declarations of faith and more honesty in our prayer life. And we see that in the story of a man desperate to see his son healed of a demonic affliction. After Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the Mount of Transfiguration for a remarkable encounter with some Old Testament saints, a man approached the disciples who remained below asking for help for his son who was being plagued by an evil spirit (Mark 9: 14-29). However, the disciples were unable to deliver the boy, and when Jesus and the disciples came down the hill they encountered the commotion surrounding the failed deliverance. The man then approached Christ, pleading for help. First, he complained that the Lord’s disciples had been unable …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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, …