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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Praying through

Warning:  Reading this blog might be hazardous to the health of the trials you are facing, the struggles and challenges that are coming your way - and to the very effectiveness of the enemy who is trying to destroy you.  Read only if you want to walk in victory.
Back in "the day" we used to have an expression that whenever faced with a challenge, we as Christians are to "pray through."
In other words, we are to pray until the answer comes - or until an event has taken place.
There is a lot for us as a church family to "pray though" about (please see the end of the blog for the prayer requests) (I have intentionally been spending an hour of prayer each day this week for these events).
First of all, a story from Tim Keller, a prolific author and pastor in New York City.
He writes:
"In the second half of  my adult life, I discovered prayer.  I had to.  In the fall of 1999, I taught a Bible study course on the Psalms. It became clear to me that I was barely scratching the surface of what the Bible commanded and promised regarding prayer.
Then came the dark weeks in New York after 9/11, when our whole city sank into a kind of corporate clinical depression, even as it rallied.
For my family the shadow was intensified as my wife, Kathy, struggled with the effects of Crohn's disease.  Finally, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  At one point during all this, my wife urged me to do something with her we had never been able to muster the self-discipline to do regularly.  She asked me to pray with her every night.  Every night.
She used an illustration that crystallized her feelings very well.
As we remember it, she said something like this:
Imagine you were diagnosed with such a lethal condition that the doctor told you that you would die within hours unless you took a particular medicine - a pill every night before going to sleep.  Imagine that you were told that you could never miss it or you would die.  Would you forget?  Would you not get around to it some nights?  No, it would be so crucial that you wouldn't forget, you would never miss.
Well, if we don't pray together to God, we are not going to make it because of all we are facing.  I am certainly not.  We have to pray, we can't let is just slip our minds."
Good stuff.
Here are some needs to "pray through" about:
Our Stone Church Tanzania missions team:  Safety.  Effective ministry.  Hundreds to be saved.  Boldness to share the Gospel.
RFKC camp:  Safety.  Effective ministry to the foster kids.  Relational harmony amongst the staff.
Reinhart Bonnke Crusade:  Strength for our Stone Church family who are serving as altar workers.  Safety in travel to and from the arena.  Thousands to be saved!
A spiritual revival in the Chicagoland.
Signs and Wonders at our church.
A desire to seek after God amongst all Christians in the Chicagoland.
I leave you with this from James 5:16:  "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful!"
Just a thought for a Thursday.

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