The Practical Disciple - - Page 71

Prayer Song-lines

I am an instructor for a non-profit school that teaches nature observation, tracking and wilderness skills. One key concern we have for people particularly new to wandering in the woods is making sure that they don’t get lost. We teach several ‘lost proofing’ techniques. Among them is a technique in which you use a song-line to help you remember the landscape. As you walk along you identify land feature and weave a story out of those land features. For instance, you might see a very bent tree that reminds you of a little old man, and then a short distance to the east of it is a series of rocks that look like rabbits running away. So you might begin your song line, “There

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12 Powerful Prayer Aids

So what makes for powerful prayer? How come we pray about somethings and God’s seems overwhelming responsive and other things appear all but ignored? There are no easy answers to this, but in order to have a vibrant pray life it helps to understand factors or patterns that seem to turn up the volume on our prayers. Here are 12 dynamics of prayer that I have recognized as playing some role in the authenticity and efficacy of our prayers.

1. Visualize what you pray for using all of your senses
2. When praying for enemies pray for their health and happiness or God’s best for them and pray daily for at least two weeks.
3. Be specific with God, but open to however God may answer.

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Build Intimacy with Adoration

Few things build intimacy in a relationship more quickly than telling someone, “I love you” and then letting them know why. This is equally true in our relationship with God. Most people have little or no problem offering thanks to God, but some seem to struggle with just adoring God for who God is. That was certainly my story until a couple of years ago. A shift for me occurred one day when I was reading Psalm 18. It offered me a pattern for adoring God. A pattern that was easy to apply.

First, David simply said to God, “I love You.” Stop and think about how very simple that is, but when have you last given God a heart felt, “I love You!”


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When there are no words…

It’s 12:48 a.m. as I write this. I have no words for prayer. A few hours ago I received an e-mail. A young man name Charlie died yesterday. He was 24. His mother, Peggy, is a friend of mine and a pastor. I pray for the family, but then words seems so hallow and inadequate. The loss, shock and sympathy I feel for my friend leaves me numb. I am bifurcated between pain and peace. Pain for my friend and her family. Pain for the 16 months of battling cancer. Pain for not being able to imagine losing my child. Peace because I know the family. Peace because I know they know God. Peace because Easter

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Daily Inventory Keeps You Consistent

Recently, I was reading an article on physical fitness and it mentioned that the most effective tool to enhance your performance was simply tracking your activity in a journal. This is equally true for our spiritual health. Since the beginning of the year I have been striving to be a blessing to others. Every day I journal and I try to always include a few notes of who I have been a blessing to and also the missed opportunities. This simple activity of listing keeps me ever aware. A prayer list, scripture list or list of acts of kindness can be an amazing shot in the arm for any spiritual discipline. One tip to keep in my mind when keeping a journal– commit to

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Growth Progression in Prayer

Today in worship I shared with members of our church the story of one young man’s progression of growth in prayer. Below is a very abbreviate description of the progression he experienced.

  1. Doubt—He began with doubt. Through listening to many stories on answered prayer his curiosity began to peak and he started to recognize God answering prayers.
  2. Curiosity/Exploration and Work–He then looked for tools and I offered to him an A.C.T.S. prayer as one guide to expand his prayer vocabulary. A.C.T.S. stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. He started practicing the ACTS prayer.
  3. Hitting Walls–As he started to grow spiritually, it created internal conflict. He experienced a painful period of questioning his faith tradition.
  4. Service–Once he reconciled the internal conflict he was experiencing, he found himself

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