PRAYER & Things That Hinder Our Prayers from Being Answered

by Jay Morgan, lead pastor of New Life Church, West Virginia, Wesley Seminary Course CONG520, May 2014.

It seems that sometimes God waits to see how serious you are about a request before He intervenes. If God said YES to everything that you asked for, in no time you would be praying to counteract the requests you previously made!

In his book, Too Busy Not To Pray, Bill Hybels refers to “Prayer Busters,” i.e. things that hinder our prayers from being answered (InterVarsity Press: 1988). Following are some adaptaions I have made.

Many times, you might incorrectly assume that God isn’t intervening because it is not His will. However, Scripture teaches that God can actually desire something for you but the condition of your heart can block it!

Following are verses that explain how the condition of your heart can limit God’s intervention in your life.

Wrong Motives: When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives. But you spend what you get on your own pleasures. James 4:3

Unconfessed Sin: There is a problem, your sins have cut you off from God, because of your sin, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Isaiah 59:2

Insensitivity to the needs of the poor. those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need. Proverbs 21:13

Lack of Faith. When you ask, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as the waves of the sea, that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can’t make up their minds, they waiver back and forth in everything they do. James 1:6-8

PRAYER & 5 facts about prayer #PewResearch

BY MICHAEL LIPKA

May 1 is the National Day of Prayer in the U.S.

Today is the National Day of Prayer, on which presidents annually proclaimthat “the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” The day has spawned a rival National Day of Reason on the same day, started by opponents of the National Day of Prayer.

Here are five facts about prayer, including survey data on Americans’ prayer habits and historical instances of prayer intersecting with the government:

1The National Day of Prayer wasenacted in 1952 by the Congress and President Harry S. Truman. As with the addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, the move came during the Cold War and was seen as a way of contrasting the more religious United States with the officially atheistic Soviet Union.

2The Freedom From Religion Foundation unsuccessfully challenged the National Day of Prayer in court. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that the group, which aims to promote the separation of church and state, did not have the legal standing to challenge the law.

3For many Americans, every day is a day of prayer. More than half (55%) of Americans said they pray every day, according to a 2013 Pew Research survey, while 23% said they pray weekly or monthly and 21% seldom or never. Even among those who are religiously unaffiliated, 21% said they pray daily. Another survey we conducted in 2012 found that 76% of Americans agreed with the statement “prayer is an important part of my daily life,” a percentage that has remained relatively stable over the last 25 years.

4A 2010 USA Today/Gallup pollasked Americans specifically about the National Day of Prayer. A majority (57%) said they favored having the day of prayer, while just 5% said they opposed it. A significant share (38%) said it didn’t matter to them either way.

5This year’s National Day of Prayer comes as the town of Greece, N.Y., awaits a ruling by the Supreme Court that will decide when it is appropriate for a legislative body to open a meeting or session with a prayer. Most legislatures, including the U.S. Congress, begin their days with a prayer, and the decision could havebroad implications for this practice.

Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/05/01/5-facts-about-prayer/

OUTREACH & How to Lead Your Church to be Evangelistic

by Thom Rainer

The number one commonality I see in evangelistic churches is a pastor who leads by example. Here are 10 ways pastors can lead their churches to be more evangelistic ….

1. Begin with prayer…

2. Build relationships with non-believers…

3. Become accountable to someone else for sharing the gospel…

4. Start new groups…

5. Preach the gospel…

6. Include evangelism in new members classes…

Read more at… http://factsandtrends.net/2014/04/10/thom-rainer-lead-your-church-to-be-evangelistic/#.U0ao-WSgnOU

PRAYER & Research Confirms It Helps

Have a Patience Problem? Here’s a Solution Research Confirms: Pray!
by Laura Montini, 3/12/14, Inc. Magazine

“According to a blog post on the Association for Psychological Science website, adopting a grateful attitude could be a tool for practicing patience.”

http://www.inc.com/laura-montini/a-solution-to-your-patience-problem.html

PRAYER & Groups

Experience Group Conversation PrayerHow to Foster Group Conversation Prayer
http://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2014/experience-group-conversation-prayer.html