Pray For…

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104 Responses

  1. PP Vet says:

    Nicely said …

    ” … either technology is creating burdens we aren’t equipped or created to carry or God is using technology to call us to a whole new level of consecration and intercession for His kingdom.”

  2. I thought Justin Bieber was the big story today.

    Michael you are right – news technology will drive you nuts. I rarely go on FB any longer, i watch no national / world news just because there is not a single thing I can do to better any world problem.

    I watch the morning local news just to know who and what to watch out for. Me and my family give each other enough grief – we don’t need to import it from the outside.

  3. PP Vet agin says:

    From what I’ve heard, angels are pretty good at focusing on their assignments without getting too distracted by all the carnage. Maybe we need that.

  4. Steve Wright says:

    ” … either technology is creating burdens we aren’t equipped or created to carry or God is using technology to call us to a whole new level of consecration and intercession for His kingdom.”
    —————————————————————–
    What a great quote. I join you in wondering which of the two is accurate. I see great blessing out of the technology, and I see great evil and attack.

  5. Jackie Alnor says:

    I really really relate to this. I commented on this a couple of weeks ago. I said I feel sorta like Bruce in “Bruce Almighty” being given the ability to hear all the prayers and petitions going up to God and him tearing his hair out over it. He said, “yes” to all – and chaos followed. We aren’t equipped for this – it’s beyond our human ability to bear such collective burdens.

  6. Xenia says:

    My solution to all this overwhelming bad news is to spend less time on the Internet and more time walking the streets of my rather blighted little town. (Now I need to follow my own advice.)

    Localism. I can’t do anything about Global Warming but I can pick up the trash on my street and try not to be such a consumer. I can’t do anything about the troubles in Mexico but I can speak in a neighborly way, using my best broken Spanish, to the Hispanics on my street and offer them a few hens’ eggs. I can’t do much about the Ukraine but I can be a good sister to the Ukrainian ladies I know in my church who are understandably upset about the events in their homeland.

    Praying for the world is one of the purposes of monasteries. People send them long lists of people to pray for and they do pray for them, day and night.

  7. Xenia says:

    Hi Jackie, good to see you!

  8. Xenia says:

    I don’t know if anyone has time to listen to all this but here’s a short series on localism that really, REALLY helped me focus and get prioritized:

    http://roadsfromemmaus.org/2012/02/22/the-transfiguration-of-place-an-orthodox-christian-vision-of-localism/

    (Even if you don’t care about the Orthodox slant, I think it would be profitable.)

  9. Michael says:

    I believe in the providence of God so I will not write of this technological explosion solely to the ingenuity of man.
    It is worth considering whether we are being called to drop off some things that consume the life of the church and pick up some things that require more heart and discipline.
    I love Xenias localism…but I can’t seem to shut out globalism.

  10. Michael says:

    Jackie,

    Ironic that you would visit today…as I’m wondering if this shrinking of the globe is a sign of the times…

  11. Xenia says:

    Michael, you already are a good localist. You care for the kids at the skate parks, bringing them water and band-aids. You got involved when the heretic Todd Bentley came to town. We just have to accept our human limitations and realize that while we have a heart of compassion for all the pain in the world, practically, there is nothing we can do about it except pray and I don’t know how much good a quick “Lord have mercy on Mexico” does.

  12. nancy says:

    Good thoughts … it’s so easy to get overwhelmed … even on a local level … add all the rests … yikes! Guess it all comes down to the same thing no matter how much we know & face … we need to give it to Him. Easier said than done … & I’m totally not good at it … but true non the less …

  13. His Kid says:

    Just as we are called to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our daily walks, we are called to follow His leading in our prayers. He has given me my little corner of the world that I am responsible to intercede for. Now my little corner happens to be local (my friends, family, church) and it is global (I am connected to a little village in Haiti that I continue to visit and work with and in through a local ministry there). So God has broken my heart for these specific people who are no longer unknown people in need, but dear brothers and sisters in Christ. When I put out a call on Facebook for prayers for these people, I know that in reality, there are only a handful of my friends who join me in those prayers because God has broken their hearts for these people, too. On occasion I have had a friend who has said that he or she now feels connected to my Haitian church family through my posts and pictures. One has decided she wants to join me on my next trip. So The Holy Spirit can use technology to draw people into a certain area, and then become prayerfully connected to them. He has done that for you, Michael, with Mexico. He has broken your heart for those people and you bear a responsibility to intercede for them. He has broken my heart for the people of Haiti and I will not neglect my responsibility to pray for them. If each one of us takes time to ask God who is in our “little corner of the world” whether it be local or someplace thousands of miles away, and then be faithful to them, the whole world would be covered with prayer. I will do my part, and encourage others to strengthen their prayer lives so they can carry the intercessory burden that God is wanting to wake them up to. Ask Him who are the people that you are responsible to intercede for, and then be faithful to do it.

  14. Jackie Alnor says:

    Thank you Xenia- there’s a lot to be said for localism. And yes Michael – you know the verse I would quote – “to and fro, knowledge increase” etc. – When I think of localism though, I’m reminded of another Jim Carrey film – The Truman Show – I wonder if Truman found out that leaving his little world and going global might have been too much for him, even if he made it to Fiji (or was it Tahiti?).

  15. Michael says:

    His Kid,

    That’s a good word…

  16. Frosted Flake says:

    I am understanding the overwhelming nature of ministry as well Michael. I have an “up close and personal” front seat to lives and organizations falling apart. Four weeks of flu and to many funerals to do can take its toll. Some of it is the age and the failures of babyboomers now in old age. Some of the decisions the “Jesus People” have made growing old with no promised rapture have been terrible. I agree that it is only possible to process so much global suffering without exploding. I am coping with an answer that says “Go Local.” That is taking care of the primary ministry God has given me. It’s a little back to basics message for survival.

  17. Michael says:

    FF,

    “It’s a little back to basics message for survival.”
    The truth is that it really does feel that way…how much can we carry?

  18. Frosted Flake says:

    It is a proven fact that people leave churches because their expectations are not met. It is also a fact that hundreds of pastors leave the ministry every year because they cannot meet peoples expectations. Maybe everybody should lower their ME level and depend on God.

  19. “how much can we carry?”

    I thought Jesus said that his load was easy? If you are carrying a heavy load, perhaps it is not of God.

  20. Frosted Flake says:

    MLD,
    I think that is my point. Jesus had limitless compassion and the power to do miracles and feed thousands when they were hungry. When I looked in the mirror this morning I noticed the subtle reality that I am not Jesus. I have His calling, compassion and power but all of that is limited by my sinful human nature. I have never fully grasped the concept of the author of Hebrews injunction to “rest” but I should like some of it now.

  21. Michael says:

    This is a whole separate article in the works…but Jesus said that His “spiritual” load was easy…but that the life of one who chooses to follow Him will be marked by tribulation and suffering.
    My question is only around how to judge whether I’m choosing additional suffering other than what is already allotted to me…

  22. Just now talked to my missionary friend in Ukraine. Says it is hell over there right now. His dog died two days ago, and his wife and kids left the country for a while. He is very depressed right now.

  23. Frosted Flake says:

    How much is the “Sabbath” concept supposed to mean to us New Testament folks? Was that fulfilled in Christ so we can be “on call” 24/7 for the meeting of peoples needs? One of my early mentors shocked me one day when he said…..”Don’t die on my day off ‘cuz I won’t be there for you.”
    I still don’t know if I agree with him, but he made his point.

  24. Xenia says:

    Michael, if you believe that God has given you the special burden/ gifting of praying for all the troubles and troubled people in the world, then that’s a job you should embrace. However, and if I may risk being too personal, you have shared here many times that consistent prayer is an area that you, like so many of us, struggle with. I think the job of praying for the whole would would be given to someone who has the gift of prayer, someone who just can’t stay away from their prayer corner. Most of us struggle to consistently pray the basics and I would guess that we have been given other jobs from God.

  25. Michael says:

    FF,

    “How much is the “Sabbath” concept supposed to mean to us New Testament folks? ”

    That is a hundred dollar question…

  26. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    My problem with prayers is that I rarely see results…but you may have spoken well irregardless.
    After all these years, you have earned the right to be personal. 😉

  27. Bob says:

    FF

    Did you ever notice the “Gospel” of many “Christians” is all about me.

    “I got saved”
    “Jesus is my personal Savior”
    “I was blessed at the service”
    “God loves me”
    “He found me”
    “Jesus died and paid the price for my sins.”
    “I’m just a sinner in need…”
    “He touched me…”

    Why don’t very many people quote Matthew 25 where Jesus say, “when you do to the least… you do unto Me.”

    How come we reduce God’s instructions to a simple diddly, “Love God, Love others” and then forget to do both?

    When we love others we are doing what God told us to do.

    But I guess we’re just sinners in need of prayer and we can never do anything God tells us and that is why Jesus died. It’s hopeless…

    Let it burn down because there’s nothing I or anyone else can do to stop them. I might even be next if I step up and help.

  28. I must have a weak prayer life. I don’t pray for peoples as groups or global situations if I do not know them or am not personally involved.

    Can I ask others how or what you pray for the Ukraine? Do we know the terms of the conflict? Praying for peace may be the worst thing, if revolution is needed.

    I am not a global guy.

  29. Frosted Flake says:

    Bob,
    The problem of consumerism in the American Church is overwhelming. People “shop” for churches like looking for a health club. Is it close, clean, have the best equipment and btw it has to be cheap. The idea of finding a people to serve with your God given gifts is rarely on the list of priorities. Sacrifice, for the consumer, is out of the question.There is always the welcome exception of those that see their community as a mission field but that worldview is taught and not caught. Pastors sometimes don’t realize that they are not people keepers but people processors who equip and send, equip and send and for those who stay in church they pastor them as a function, not a title.

  30. I pray for my friend who is immediate danger.

  31. I try to pray for people groups or nations even our own, but I am like MLD in a sense, I can’t keep it up unless it is more personal.
    I find it easier to pray for people that I know or have an easy time visualizing.
    I pray for people on the prayer thread here, because I know them from here.
    I pray for family, friends and brethren I know.
    I pray for individual persecuted Christians around the world, because I have stories and faces to go along with them.

    And, I realize I can’t intercede for everyone in the world and God doesn’t expect me too.

  32. London says:

    Michael,
    THANK YOU!

    I only got as far as MLD’s remarks before my blood started boiling…
    so I will stay off this thread.

    As you know…this is a situation near and dear to my heart. People I LOVE and know very well are down there with the protestors and in the prayer tent.
    Spent last night speaking to my “brother”, a 28 year old Ukrainian, over Skype.

    It’s not just a news story to me….it’s consuming my thoughts and breaking my heart in a very real, and very deep level.

    Thank you for hearing their shouts of help…even if it is a small way.

  33. Michael says:

    London,

    I know how close this is to your heart and I truly felt a measure of shame that mine seemed to full of other worries to care the way the situation calls for.
    I hope it raises some prayers and conversation about what is happening to your friends and their country.

  34. filbertz says:

    the internet is to information overload as candy is to Halloween. Both can help us define healthy limits.

    as to prayer and ‘obligation’ I have only found rest in the command to “pray without ceasing” by praying simply and to-the-point when a situation is noted. I force myself to avoid the ‘long lead-up’ or the aptly-spoken phrases, any of the mumbo-jumbo I used to think God wanted to hear from a ‘serious pray-er.’

    on the other hand, prayer is not my spiritual forte, either. I’m a career novice.

  35. London,
    “I only got as far as MLD’s remarks before my blood started boiling…”

    Why would my post make your blood boil (more than usual?)

    What are you praying? – that the situation just go away? Strength for the good guys to beat the tar out of the bad guys? or is it just individual – I don’t care what happens as long as my friends and their friends are not hurt.?

    This is where I wouldn’t even know where to start. And what about the countries that have the exact same issue and you and Josh don’t have friends involved … do we not pray?

    I said I was weak in this area and asked questions to find out how others handled it.

  36. Bob says:

    London:

    I get what MLD is trying to say, but the very fact he interacts here on PP makes him a “global” kind of guy.

    I also get what Michael as a blogger is saying about how frustrating is it when we can know so much about both our neighborhood, and what is going on around the world yet have so little capability to do anything about it. I think others, including MLD, are trying to say, “my plate is so full at home I can hardly help one person in my own back yard and yet so many around the world have such great need!” Aaaaaagh!!!!

    I’ve traveled around at least half the world and I have not even disturbed the dust of those around me. I’m trying, but we can’t even agree on the elements of communion. Yep not much of a light.

  37. London says:

    .”but we can’t even agree on the elements of communion. Yep not much of a light.”

    Yeah…exactly.

  38. London says:

    MLD,

    The person you should ask about what you should or shouldn’t pray about is the Holy Spirit, not me. He’s so much better at it than I am.

  39. OK, but I will tell you the Holy Spirit hasn’t asked me to pray for the Ukraine.

    But I never asked what I should pray about – I asked the group here what they prayed for with regard to the Ukraine. So far nothing but silence.

  40. I stopped, Bob says:

    MLD

    You know if Michael hadn’t written about the Ukraine or London said something I would have never known there was a need. Of course there is always a need everywhere at all times, but these two specifically posted about them.

    Now you and I know about them. How can we help in our limited way is the next question.

    Can a man walk by a man laying along side the road and do nothing while thinking they are doing the right thing?

  41. This is no different than if someone came to me and said “would you please pray for the Ukraine?” What should my response be? “What am I to pray?”

    This is all I am asking.

  42. Bob,
    I still know nothing about the Ukraine. I don’t know who the good guys are or the bad. I have no information if the protesters are legitimate. I read on line 3 people were killed last night. Sad as that may be, i am sure 3 people were killed last night in LA.

    Who is wearing the white hats and who is wearing the black hats?”;

  43. I stopped, Bob says:

    MLD:

    BTW I asked God, “What can I do?”

    Now what’s His answer? It certainly isn’t pray more.

    I believe it’s more like, “Thanks! Now help that family in your neighborhood! Give that beggar some money!”

    Doesn’t help Ukraine today, but it will help my street to not become a Ukraine.

  44. I stopped, Bob says:

    MLD

    What did Paul say about all who were in Asia when he was in that Roman jail?

    Maybe just not forgetting them now will help bring a coat or two.

  45. Well Bob … aren’t there like 200 countries? Am I to know the situation of all?

    Basically I think I am to work with what i know – that is why God has placed what I know in front of me. If i can only do one and one only, do I teach my grandson to throw a baseball or do i go find some inner city kid at a Boys Club and teach him?

  46. London says:

    MLD you often tell others how lazy they are because they don’t do their own work to dig for answers

    I say those same words to you now.

    You want to know information about Ukraine, the do the work..look it up in the Internet. Form your own opinion. Do your own research.
    Start with the BBC, look up YouTube videos about the beatings, etc

    It’s there…both sides.

    No matter what anyone on here says about who wears what color of hat, you will argue that the other is better.

    Do the research, the ask the Holy Spirit
    To help you decide what to pray.

    It’s not the hard. Even a Lutheran can do it 😉

  47. London, you are hard headed – I only asked how and for what others pray for the Ukraine. Personally, I have no interest – it is a small skirmish in world affairs and in 2 weeks will be over.

    I did the research – it is a country of 50 million people and 50,000 are in protest – that is .10% of the population – why aren’t more protesting?

    How about the court in India that sentenced the 20 yr old girl to be gang raped? now there is something to pray about … and i know how i WILL PRAY – BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD ME ABOUT IT.

  48. London says:

    Ok. MLD.
    You win.
    Done here.

  49. brian says:

    It can really be overwhelming as we are inundated with so much information so fast and in so many channels, I E vision, audio, video, and so many broken dreams.

  50. Well I didn’t win anything because I have no more direction than when I started. My comment & question at #28 were perfectly legitimate and should have brought you no offense.

  51. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “Well Bob … aren’t there like 200 countries? Am I to know the situation of all?”

    Nope and if you actually read my post you might notice I said the same thing but in a different way.

    Now you asked who should you teach to throw a baseball to? Of course the answer assumes you can actually throw a baseball.

    You and I both know the scriptures always start with the family. Even the Shema (if you have any Jewish training beyond just a bit of DNA you know what I’m mentioning) was to be taught first to a man’s sons and then his grandsons.

    The old saying is something like, “charity begins at home…”

    What your posts really read like you just want to stir the pot a bit. Hey let’s talk about the elements of communion and baby baptism, that will direct the conversation away from Micheal’s intent.

    What do you say?

    😉

  52. Bob says:

    MLD

    PS, Since you brought it up,

    “Thank you God, the creator of all, for letting me know about the young woman in India. In my darkest intentions I never would have known such a situation existed. I ask that you also let people know in her sphere and bring comfort and rest to her, if that is possible.

    I also thank you for reminding me to not do the same to others, but rather to imitate you in all your ways, bringing comfort and mercy to those who are need and unprejudiced judgment to those who bring violence to those made in your image.

    Thank you for your mercy and grace shown in Jesus name!

  53. Xenia says:

    My prayer book, for the morning prayers, includes this useful passage:

    “… calm the dissensions of the churches, quench the raging of the nations….” and so on and so forth and then “Have mercy on the aged and the young, the poor and the orphans and widows, and those in sickness and sorrow, misfortune and tribulation, those in difficult circumstances and in captivity, in prisons and dungeons…..” etc. When I get to “quench the raging of the nations” I might mention Ukraine and Mexico if that’s on my heart. I always mention Pastor Saaed and the captive bishops and nuns when I get to “in prisons and dungeons.”

    Anyway, that’s what I do. It’s the very least I can do and maybe all I can do.

  54. His Kid says:

    MLD, this is precisely why I believe The Holy Spirit must lead our prayers. I have seen London’s heart breaking over the situation in the Ukraine because those people are dear to her. Right now a precious young boy (that I love very much) is missing in Haiti and has been since Friday. It is believed that he is being held against his will by those who are deep in the practice of voodoo. Do you think London is wondering how she should pray? Do you think I am wondering how to pray for this precious friend of mine? If London is like me, tonight she feels like she has been punched in the gut. There is a heaviness in her chest and she is finding it hard to breathe at times. That’s the way I feel anyway. And I know the ONLY thing I can do is to go into my prayer closet and spend the next few hours wrestling in prayer for this boy and my brave, courageous friends who are out searching for him. I don’t know how to pray but the Holy Spirit is leading my prayers and has been for the past 48 hours since I learned of the situation. I cry out to Him and He directs me to Scriptures and I pray those Scriptures. I pray them for my friend who can’t. Andrew Murray says, “When Jesus says to us ‘What wilt thou?’ He asks if it is indeed our purpose to have what we ask at any price, however great the sacrifice. Dost thou indeed so will to have it that, though He delay it long, thou dost not hold thy peace till He hears thee? Alas! How many prayers are wishes, sent up for a short time and then forgotten, or sent up year after year as a matter of duty, while we rest content with the prayer without the answer.” This is the problem…we think of prayer as “wishing” things, instead of those needs that are so deep that we will pray and pray and pray again for. Are we willing to sacrifice everything to receive an answer? Are we willing to all turn off our TV’s and computers tonight and go down on our knees and our faces and say, Lord, teach me to pray. I will stay here until you break my heart for those you want me to intercede for and show me what and how I am to pray for them? Prayer is HARD work. It’s exhausting, it’s painful, and yet it is what we are all called to do. Every single one of us. We just have to be honest with ourselves about whether or not we are willing to pay the price to become someone who intercedes for man before God.

  55. Xenia says:

    If I knew particular people in Ukraine, like London does, I would pray for them by name, asking for their safety.

  56. ” that will direct the conversation away from Micheal’s intent.”

    I thought I was right on Michael’s intent – I will not overburden myself with things over which I have no control. Just because technology can bring it in to my house does not mean I need to react. Perhaps the 24 hour news cycles are really the work of Satan to get me distracted from the things I am called to do and pray for.

    Perhaps satan tosses out the Ukraine thinking, here this will keep MLD from bettering the people and life of those in south orange county. Now he will neither help the Ukraine nor will he help south orange county because I will overwhelm him with the world’s needs.

    No, I refuse to fall into that.

    Body and Blood are in, with and under the elements – Jesus Christ is really present in the communion and baptism, the water mixed with God’s word, really does save. 🙂

  57. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    What is the name of that prayer book?

  58. Xenia says:

    It’s the Jordanville Prayer Book, published by Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. This is the standard prayer book for ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.) Here it is:

    http://www.amazon.com/Prayer-Book-Jordanville-Orthodox-Gilded-gold/dp/088465074X

    The morning prayers are free to read here:

    http://www.orthodox.net/services/morning-prayers.html

  59. Xenia says:

    I love His Kid’s heart.

  60. His Kid,
    I cannot argue with a single thing you said … and I won’t. London praying for and about her friends is noble and good – but that was not the point.

    The very last statement Michael wrote in his article was “Pray for the Ukraine…if you can.”

    Nothing was described about the Ukraine one way or another – just pray for the Ukraine. I said i don’t pray globally like that (to my shame) so i asked in my #28 how people, in reaction to Michael’s “Pray for the Ukraine” – what they pray for and to what result they hope to see.

    No one replied except London to show disgust for my comment / question.

  61. Xenia says:

    Since we are on the topic of prayer, about which I am a career novice, too, I have found a prayer book to be extremely helpful. Before I got my Jordanville 13 years ago my prayers were like this:

    O Lord, thank you for this day.
    I just want to thank you Lord for uh… all the great things you have done for us.
    Thank you for my family and uh…. my friends.
    Please help little Danny stay out of trouble at school today.
    Please help little Timmy get over his bad cold.
    Please help my sister get that job if it is your will.
    Uh…. help me be a good Christian.
    Oh Lord, just help me… uh… umm…. be a good Christian.
    In Jesus’ name, amen.

    If I could even manage to squeak that much out.

  62. Bob says:

    MLD

    I’ve got to go to earn a few pennies, But I did answer your question about prayer for this kind of stuff. I’m not very big on prayer books because I think they can be a square filler and God would rather hear from His creation’s heart.

    Now you said this:

    “Perhaps satan tosses out the Ukraine thinking, here this will keep MLD from bettering the people and life of those in south orange county. Now he will neither help the Ukraine nor will he help south orange county because I will overwhelm him with the world’s needs.”

    Come on now that’s a crock of something.

    As far as water, blood and interestingly in scripture water represents both cleansing and chaos, while blood contaminates the earth in many instances requiring water to cleanse the object contaminated.

    Whew…

    Off to a shower and shave then time to search for a few pennies.

  63. Bob says:

    Xenia:

    “Oh Lord, just help me… uh… umm…. be a good Christian.
    In Jesus’ name, amen.”

    This is because the Christian church is really good at telling people about how “to get saved” but very bad at teaching their converts how to actually be a Christian.

    Now off to that shower.

  64. Well, I personally believe that people are led to different avenues of prayer a lot of times.
    Sometimes, especially locally, more of the local body is drawn in one direction due to local guidance, more ability to know what to pray for and the fact that you can go and find far more empathy with someone you are closer geographically to.

    Some people are drawn to nations plights, that is good, but we can’t expect everyone’s prayer life to center the same direction ours does.
    Just as the Spirit has different gifts for different people, I believe he leads some to intervene in different problems in this world.

    I pray for nations, but I can’t keep it up, because I lose direction and really wonder what exactly is the best way for God to take a global situation.
    I am not God, so I am not sure what is the best result in the eye’s of God.
    Even in our own nation, I am divided on what to pray exactly for it and I live here.

    Much easier, when the situation is more personal and you can know a person, either in real life or what you can read or glean from sources.
    Knowing makes a lot of difference to me.

  65. Xenia says:

    Sometimes if I can’t think how to pray for someone I just pray “Lord, I ask for whatever is best for their salvation.”

  66. Plus to get back to another point.
    I can’t pray for everything.
    Just not possible.

    It isn’t that I am not following the Spirit, by “not” praying for something.
    I try not to let everything overwhelm me and focus on the things I can tell that the Spirit is calling me “to” pray for.
    Letting things overwhelm leads to the inability to focus on anything, at least for me.
    That is when you just throw up your hands and say “I give up!”

    I like how BD said it when he the #freesaeed thing started.
    People were asking him “Why not include this person and this person?”
    BD finally said (and I am paraphrasing so correct me if I am wrong BD) “I am focusing on this right now.”

  67. Steve Wright says:

    This conversation reminds me a little of the issue of “praying for our President” (whoever the President might be at the time)

    MLD – You said you Lutherans pray for the President and Governor by name, and it is basically the same prayer no matter who is in office.

    What is it you pray?

  68. Steve,
    They are usually covered in our prayers as leaders, we also include our district president and the synodical president. But it would include their health, strength and wisdom in being God’s chosen to lead. Sometimes I think that it is more a time for us to reflect on who these leaders are … even if we didn’t vote for them.

    Another point of our prayer rime is for our members – our membership list is divided by the 52 weeks and each member or family gets prayed for by name each week – along with those folk, either members, guests or extended family that we have never met who show up on the prayer cards each week, get a verbal prayer from the altar.

    I am surprised by churches who do not publicly pray for individual members – so that the congregation can be a part of those prayers. I remember at some previous churches the pastor would say, if you want to pray for our people, there is a list you can pick up outside …as if it wa not worthy of the church service.

  69. One other thing – more 75% of our prayers are written out in the liturgy as they are congregational prayers. so in the end, we amen our own prayer.

  70. London says:

    I saw it. It’s been around a few days

    My FB feed is full of images and stories.

    The one making rounds today was a video of a group of police in full uniform video taping and photographing a man they had beaten, stripped and forced to stand in -10 degree weather.
    They had cut off his hair which he had worn in an ethnic style and they forced him to hold a garden how and pose as if he were a Kossack warrior.
    They laughed and taunted him.
    No different than the kind of emotional and physical assaults that caused the world to go crazy when the photos of Gitmo were shown.

    No one even knows that stuff is going on.

  71. Xenia says:

    I had seen it, thank you Steve.

  72. This is something that you would never believe you would ever see. But the net brings it to you fast.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuO53xeZkm8
    I was numb after viewing so caution you can not unsee it…(Ukrainian protesters in Kiev)

  73. London says:

    Both sides are inflicting horrendous pain on each other.
    There are images and videos from the opposition that show just as much physical damage on them.
    It is horrible situation all around.

  74. erunner says:

    There’s been a trend lately to share uplifting and cute videos and stories on FB. At times it seems people are desperate for any sign left of decency and humanity in the world. The idea that things aren’t going to evolve into a perfect world but that evil will continue no matter who is in power is too much for many to come to grips with.

    The people I know who are suffering and struggling is growing as I get older and it’s work to remember them all in prayer. There are horrendous things happening literally everywhere in the world. Just look south of our border. Then consider acts of nature that destroy so many lives. I think I’m like many in that as these things are brought to my attention I pray. And then I pray as I can remember as new things demand our attention.

    What’s happening in the Ukraine is gut wrenching and moves one to tears when you read of the atrocities and see video footage of the same. I look at the world as it is and I realize evil will prevail until God intervenes. We look forward to the establishment of His kingdom.

    Until then or until we leave this life we do and pray as we can knowing that nothing will thwart God’s plans. There are believers globally who are praying for every need that is known to us. Ours and the prayers of others are not in vain.

  75. David sloane says:

    Erunner,
    A good word brother.

  76. David sloane says:

    Brian,

    I followed the link and read the whole article. There is some cult like control exercised by both groups. Add to that manipulation by abuse of spiritual authority. What a mess.

    These guys have done a lot of damage in the name of “community.”

    There are more hidden stories there left untold I am willing to guess. Well actually who knows for sure.

    Ya…it hurts and bothers any of us looking in to their world.

  77. brian says:

    Yes it does hurt, deeply and almost constantly at times. I always found it rather strange that prayer would be so painful.

  78. His Kid says:

    “I desire above all things to learn to pray. We want to sound the reveille for the Christian warriors. We desire to find truth of the lack of real praying. What is it? Why is it? Why so little time spent in prayer when Christ, who had command of His time, chose to spend great part of it in INTERCESSION? ‘He ever liveth to make intercession for us.’ We believe the answer to be the desire is in the heart, but the will is undisciplined, the motive is present, but the affections have not melted under hours of heavenly meditation; the intellect is keen, yet not for hours of tireless research. The intellect and the affections have never been linked together by the sealing of the blessed Holy Ghost to do or die for God’s glory in the secret places, with doors shut, lusts crucified.” Rev. Homer W. Hodge

    I want to learn to pray…

  79. PP Vet says:

    Wow.

    “In 1970 Pentecostals accounted for only 5 percent of all Christians, but today Pentecostals and charismatics—including those in other denominations who exercise Pentecostal or charismatic gifts—constitute 25 percent of all the world’s Christians. In Asia, 80 percent of all Christian conversions are to Pentecostal forms of Christianity. Or think of it this way: one out of 12 people alive today is Pentecostal.”

  80. Frosted Flake says:

    PP Vet,
    And fellow insomniac. I hope we are headed there again.

  81. 80% of Asian converts rolling on the floor barking like dogs (as in Toronto and Brownsville) does not sound good to me.

  82. sarahkwolfe says:

    I was gone all day yesterday and missed this article, so I know the discussion will move on today, but I wanted to add some thoughts…for what they are worth.

    I have a few friends who are connected to the Ukraine, so maybe I am more aware as a result…but only slightly. The image of the monks standing between the protestors and the police and praying has stayed with me…I do not know enough to know if they are on the “right side” or all the details, but I know that is a brave move to stand in the midst of protests that are this violent and to pray. And I think that is a pretty good example for those of us who are grasping for how we are to respond…to stand in the midst and call for a stop to the violence. To pray for the violence to stop I think is never a bad prayer.

    Reading the thread as a whole there is a frustration that we simply don’t know what we are supposed to do…we don’t know what the expectation is. And I think that is Michael’s point…we have so much information, we are confronted with so many needs, that we are overwhelmed and we are not equipped to respond.

    Even on Sunday mornings when our pastor’s wife prays through our list of those in need (yes, MLD…she prays for each person in our congregation by name, or even those who are related to someone in our congregation like a parent, etc)…I sometimes am overwhelmed. We have the list emailed to us as well so we can pray for them through the week, and those of us on the hospitality ministry also deliver meals to some who are on the list if they desire. Our congregation is not what I would consider a mega-church, but our list feels heavy some weeks.

    So, I think….and I hope I don’t offend or put words in people’s mouths here…but I think the added frustration is when MLD responds with what appears to be quips or callousness when London is heartbroken.

    It may be that MLD is not “called” to pray for Ukraine, but is it not understandable that he should be compassionate? Bear with me, MLD…your comments when reading the thread as a whole appear callous.

    I know that I have shared this before, but I have limited examples, so I’ll share again (and I apologize for the lengthy post). When I went to live at the commune at Jesus People in Chicago, straight out of Westmont in the hills of Santa Barbara…I expected to save the world. At least the world of inner city Chicago.

    I was stunned when we walked to the mission they run and we passed homeless people on the way who approached us….and we ignored them. I mean, flat out ignored them. Not politely told them we would help them later. Not prayed with them and went on our way. Not graciously laid our Christian Spirit filled hands on their heads and gave them a cup of water…nope. We didn’t make eye contact and we walked to the mission.

    I asked why…and the answer was clear. If we stopped and helped everyone on the way to the mission we would never make it to the mission. They were doing an amazing work at the mission…taking care of kids so the mom’s could get a job, get an apartment and get off the streets permanently and completely change their lives. That was far better than a few coins given to the man on the corner.

    They were not cruel to the people we passed, and here’s the thing…they supported others who might minister to them.

    Soooo….maybe, just maybe this comes down to what we are called to do. We have to be jealous for our calling. We have to be clear minded about where God has gifted us and where He has placed our affections…and we have to not be distracted on our way to serving, or we’ll never get there and we might miss out on doing an amazing work.

    BUT, that does not mean that our hearts are not broken with compassion when we see suffering and we support the work of others who are called to the work of ministry in those areas.

    I cannot, and am not called or equipped, to intercede or serve in the Ukraine situation. I can, however, spend some time today to pray for wisdom for London and for my friends who live there and who serve there…for wisdom for them and strength and for great courage and compassion. I can pray for them to be strengthened by the Love of God as they are poured out emotionally and physically in a struggle for identity and peace that I do not understand. I can pray that God will make clear to those in that situation who love Him what they are called to do…and that like those monks He will give them the courage to walk in their calling.

    And then I can give them into His care and I can turn with a clear heart to my calling of teaching my kids and my father and my brother who is walking through a wife leaving him and suffering in his health…and a multitude of other issues that I am called to.

    Because I am called to this …. and London is called to love and focus on the Ukraine…does not mean we have to be at animosity. It means that I stop for a moment what I am called to and pray for her and for Ukraine because there is a moment of crisis. Ad when I am in a moment of crisis I know she will pause from her calling and pray for me. Then we turn again to our focus…with each other’s blessing. We know that God takes all our fumbling prayers, *all* are done in ignorance and the stain of sin….he takes all of them and blesses them by His Spirit and does something amazing with them that we will never understand.

  83. His Kid says:

    Oh Sarah, your wise words are always such a blessing! Yes! You have voiced the balance of prayerfully supporting each other in an area that is not our calling and staying focused on the area that IS our calling. And at the same time, covering each other with love and compassion. *This* is what it means to BE the Body of Christ.

  84. Sorry, I didn’t see MLD’s words as callous.
    That wasn’t even on my radar till someone took offense at them.
    I read them again after that and still didn’t see why they would make someone’s blood boil.
    I challenge people to read #28 again and tell me what is callous about it?
    People have a tendency to read into MLD’s words a lot of time what is not actually there.

  85. Sarah,
    “does not mean we have to be at animosity.”

    Tell that to London, not me. My #28 was a benign comment and question based on Michael’s statement “Pray for the Ukraine…if you can.”

    London’s #32 was a full frontal attack … or “animosity” as you put it.

    I think my #60 expressed well that none of my comments were about London and her friends – and I even went on to say that what she does is noble and good. I don’t how you miss those.

    Perhaps people see a comment from MLD and you automatically just look for negative comments or read through a negative lens.

  86. Wow, Derek said what I just said – thank you

  87. sarahkwolfe says:

    That’s fair, Derek…maybe I am hearing them through London’s words?

    Maybe….MLD is coming from a more, removed approach, would that be fair? And what I am trying to offer is that when we hear someone like London, or even Michael in the article, saying that they are torn up by an event, then when we ask the question of how we are to pray…we ask with the language of compassion, not of academics.

    I know on the blog we dialog in a variety of “languages”, and we approach things in so many ways, but that is part of the learning. When it comes to dialoging about prayer….I think if we can push each other to hear the emotion more? That was what I was trying to get at, and it goes for both sides.

    I didn’t word it well, though…you’re right that MLD was simply asking how others pray at the start. Sorry, MLD…I was wrong on that. But then the give and take took on a more callous tone, in my impression.

    Here’s the thing, and it is hard. Not everyone is going to care about our causes, and we have to be okay with that. Even Saeed…and that is brutal. HOWEVER….we can all have compassion for our sisters and brothers that they are in pain over something they care about and we can spare a moment to pray for their wisdom in their situation, yes? That’s what I was offering in response to what are to pray for?

    MLD knows London…pray for wisdom for her and strength for her and those she knows, and then send her with blessing into God’s care in this situation, and go with clean conscience before God that you are not called to this situation.

    The flip side is we can’t guilt our friends into praying for our causes if they are not called to that cause.

    Does that ring more true?

  88. sarahkwolfe says:

    MLD…I was typing at the same time as you were, so I’ll just let my post above respond.

    I’ll just say that you and London already have a heated relationship, so that plays into the dialog. When you know that she is highly invested in Ukraine, a comment like ” Personally, I have no interest – it is a small skirmish in world affairs and in 2 weeks will be over.” doesn’t help. That’s all I’m saying, but I was too hard on you, and I apologize.

    Hopefully there is some merit in the rest of my comments.

    Now I’m off to focus on my “calling” and educate the children 😉

    Blessings, y’all.

  89. erunner says:

    Thank you David.

    Brian, I read the entire article you posted and it was like a kick in the gut. Talk about being fixated on the rapture; these folks make the end times kooks seem disinterested.

    “I’m an apostle, you’re almost there, he’s god-like so pay special attention to him.This man has seen angels.” That’s tragic and to believe people buy into it is a sad state of affairs.

    The details are terrible in this story as a life was tragically lost. And again we see the apathy towards mental illness on full display as people are routinely subjected to such pressure that they become suicidal.

    This is where Todd Bentley emerged??

    Cult does not seem too harsh a word in describing what I read about IHOP if indeed the story is accurate.

    The whole mess challenges me a bit as I love the music that comes from Jesus Culture and Bethel. I have to imagine that Misty Edwards, Kim Walker, Chris Quilala and all of the singers that have their roots at IHOP buy into and even promote this garbage to some degree??

    It should bother you Brian. How could it not??

  90. Sarahkwolfe,

    Your Christianity is showing. I am blessed by your presence here. Thanks for sharing the aspect of what we are called to and what others may be called to. It is something that as a young Christian i had to learn.

    There was a group of us who ‘guilted’ each other initially because we did not understand that some are called to differentiating tasks that others were not. You reminded me of our learning experience when we were young.

    As for MLD, he is not a bad guy, he does often ‘shoot from the hip’ and at first glance it can seem somewhat callous and shallow. And yet on the other hand he is so much deeper then those quick shots. There is a lot of goodness in him if you survey all of his post as a whole.

    Blessed by you
    David Sloane

  91. London says:

    Yesterday I was in a very bad head space.
    I have been sick for a week. Stressed about work stuff and had very little sleep the night before.
    I’d been on Skype with my friend for what, at the time, seemed very probably the last time.
    At that point there had been some ultimatums put forth that seemed like the Internet would be shut down and a civil war starting.
    I had been hearing first hand stories and watching my friends heart break over things he’d seen. It was a very hard conversation to have.
    When I saw Michaels post acknowledging at least that something was going on, the tears finally came. I don’t know why I felt that way, I just did.
    MLDs comment about not “importing” problems set me off.
    I don’t think in terms of global lines as much as many people do I suppose. I never really have. So I don’t understand comments like that.
    I was reading from a place of tremendous heart pain and, sleep deprivation.
    I did not lie that his comments made me angry, i wont apologize that I stated it, but I will say I lacked perspective.
    I should have ignored MLD completely and just thanked Michael for posting.
    As for trying to “guilt people” into caring about my “cause”, I never once did that.
    In fact, I have only posted anything about Ukraine (there is no the in the name btw) here twice that I recall.
    Once in the middle of the “favorite food” thread, for interrupting that, I will apologize, but at the time, it seemed a good idea.
    The other time was earlier this week on the prayer thread. It was a simple one sentence request to “please pray for the people of Ukraine”.
    There was no guilt, no sides, no pressure in anyway to do so.
    I have no issue whatsoever if people choose not to pray for a request. There are many I admit I don’t pray for, mostly cause I suck at praying, to my embarrassment.
    I know this is long, and I apologize for that, but I didn’t want to keep up the dialog all day.
    I have been only occasionally lurking here for a while now, and will go back to that mode.
    His Kid has a friend that is missing in Haiti, perhaps that would be a better place to put the focus for the rest of this thread than on me or MLD.

  92. London,
    LOL – it was my comment #2 that got you going not #28? That statement “we don’t need to import it from the outside.” was totally about my family alone where I said

    ” Me and my family give each other enough grief – we don’t need to import it from the outside.”

    All is kool with me.

  93. Sarah says:

    David…thank you for your kind words.

    London…praying for you. I didn’t mean you were guilting anyone…just that we all in Christiandom have a tendency to do that when we feel like others are not paying attention to what is important to us. It’s part of our human nature, and sometimes we don’t even realize it. I know I have done it, more often than I realize.

    You are in a hugely emotionally charged place and everything is more intense. Blog life isn’t the most conducive…where we have to clarify everything.

    I jump in when I have a moment, and always feel like I have to write a novel to say a simple point, and I still rarely am able to bring my point across without slight. I hate that.

    Praying for each today…as you come to mind. For grace in your calling, for wisdom in your words and for strength in whatever struggles you face.

  94. Michael says:

    Good morning, Dusty. 🙂

  95. Michael says:

    I think London and Sarah have spoken well…and if we all had that kind of heart this and many other places would be far better for it.

  96. dusty says:

    HI Michael, ((((hugs))))) cuz I know you need them.

  97. Michael says:

    Thank you, Dusty!

  98. My comment in #92 was sincere in sharing that way back in 1967 “we young Christians used to guilt each other” because of wanting everyone of us to share in what we were individually called to by the Lord. I was not ‘talking to the door to address the window’ I was only sharing my own experience so long ago.

    Greg Laurie thought everyone needed to be a reader of the Word and a teacher of it and I felt everyone should be an evangelist and out in the streets sharing Jesus. And there were other directions that the rest of us were called to.

    It was a few years into my walk with God that I came to realize that not everyone is called in the same focus. I could then rest knowing that I was not doing wrong because I was not even the least bit interested in missionary work over seas while others had intense desire to do as such. Nor was I interested in the Constantine model of sitting in a pew while looking at my watch waiting for whom ever was speaking to get over with it because i was so bored.

    The diversity of callings and ministries is what blends together creating the family that all of us have been adopted into.

    The main thrust of this thread opens up the topic in my mind of what exactly is prayer and how do we pray and what do we pray.

    It is something that comes from our heart. Jesus spoke of the importance of secret, solitary communion with God. We are dependent upon God in an attitude of prayer. Praying for other people, praying about the day, praying for whatever…it’s just a part of life.

    Prayer is not simply words always; it’s also our connection with God. It is an attitude or a posture. It’s an attitude of thankfulness, of openness, of being connected. A conversation with a trusted friend, Jesus. We’re in a relationship with Him and we enjoy His presence as we share everything with Him. God would have us pray; it can always be done. Jesus understands, in His heart He has experienced what we are feeling and going through.

    Intimacy with God through prayer.

    “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
    Julian of Norwich

    I like that! I sign for it…

  99. J.U. says:

    I may be the only one who noticed this. In this whole thread that, in many ways, was about a cause and concern very close to London’s heart, and many others on this blog, our good friend Brian posted a link to an article about IHOP at post #75.

    I got very distracted by that link. I read the article posted by Brian and also the original article in Rolling Stone. It seems that is news that relates to the long time purpose of this blog, to address various abuses in modern Christian churches was aligned with that bit of news, while this thread was primarily about the evolved purpose of this blog which is to be a community of faith. So this thread was a little of the old blog and a lot of the new blog.

    I’m always looking for connections and I remember that London once said her family were at IHOP. I don’t know if they are on the staff or are in the school (IHOPU) or just what the connection is.

    I’m always thinking and wondering “what the connection is.” That is what has driven all my study in the Bible. To make the connections between those holy words, the Lord and my Savior, and me. Connections between the life of Christ and my life. Connections between my faith and how I treat my fellow man and woman. Connections between Bible prophecy and the events of our times.

    So I even see connections in these two different topics in this single blog thread.

    On my computer, I saw a picture of a line of police in Ukraine with three priests stationed between them and the protesters. One carried a cross on a long staff and they wore high “cardinal style” hats. That made me think of our sister Xenia.

    Connections, connections. So much to think about.

    Then there’s MLD’s question. “Just what should we pray for.” And those that read the articles on IHOP will note the importance of the 24 hour prayer room to their view of the Christian faith. Do the Christians at IHOP get too much into prayer, institutionalized prayer? Can that be harmful and simply replace action? What actions can we take here in the U.S. to support those in countries that are on fire with revolution and protests? What do we do when we see the bloody pictures on the TV and Internet? Is prayer enough? (That’s a question that will usually start a big argument.)

    That leaves me with just two questions.

    1. How do we act on our faith in Jesus Christ? How do we live our daily lives?

    2. How do we respond as Christians to the bad events in the world?

    Those two questions focus inward and outward.

    I’m still looking for the answers to both of these questions in this Internet and cable TV age. TV brought the Vietnam war to our homes. Now the world’s troubles are as easily accessed as Skype and as personal as a conversation with a friend thousands of miles away. What is the meaning of all this and how should Christians respond? That’s my “take away” from this long thread. Thanks all. It truly is a community of caring.

  100. please continue to pray for Ukraine… my friends are still on the front lines, and just the last few days it erupted here in our western corner of Ukraine. We need a miracle and Ukraine needs Jesus.

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