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EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS & ADMIN Write to: Carl Brettle, Editor, Prayer lt/agazine, PO Box 154, Dinas Powys CF64 4WX, UK rel.02920 512126 Email: prayermageditor@prayer.tv

SUBSCRIPTIONS & ORDERS Tel: 01 15 921 7280 Email. orders@newlifepublishlng co. uk Write to New Life Publishing PO Box 777, Nott ngham NG.1 1 6ZZ, UK

Frorn the Editor Happy New Year! So how many resolutions did you make and how many will you break?

N/any pastors l've spoken to

in the last few months have an unusual excitement about 2008 - some suggesting a yeat of new

your prayers are invaluable... don't ever forget thatl When you pray and others engage

beginnings Hope08 will certainly bring millions

in social action who knows what

of people that don't attend church in

will happen? There could just be an

touch with hundreds of thousands of Christians who are desperate to

outpouring of Godl

connect with their community. Whether we've made resolutions

ADVERTISING Tel: 0ll5 921 7280 Email ads@newlifepubl sh ng co uk

or not, the opportunity to reach our nat on n 2008 s abso uteiy achievable through th s slmp e yet

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Alistair Cole Elim Prayer Network lan Cole World Prayer Centre Jane Holloway Prayer Director, WPC Nigel James /gnite Brian Mills lnterprayer Harry Smith lrish Prayer Association David Talbot Manx Prayer Net Peter Wreford New Life Ppblishing

profound, ministry.

All rights reserved, including in translation. No part of this publicat on may be reproduced, stored or distributed without the pub sher's express permrssion. Unless otherwise quoted, Scripture references are taken from the New lnternational Version.

HopeO8 are the tens of thousands of believers who can pray lf no one has told you how valuable you are in a while, let me do it. You are precious in the Kingdom,

Drop me a line by email: ed itor@prayermagazi ne. net

Blessings,

r"-'I

ffi

Of course, many of our readers find

it impossible to go and paint a house

or fix a fence, but the force behind

4 Keeping Hope alive Huge community initiative

6

needs prayer, says leader Prayer in the news

Contents

A powerful combination Every Christian should plan fasting and do it in prayer 14 Top ten things to pray for 12

B Jonathan Aitken

What are you praying for? The views expressed in th s magazine may not necessari y be the views of Prayer in Action or An Open Door into your Heart.

PRAYER IN ACTION

Prayer l\,lagazine is published by Prayer in Actian, a ministry of 'An Open Door into your Heart , charity number 1040311, a member of the Evangel ical Al I iance.

effielicalarlianqg&t

18 Why does prayer seem hard? We often fall short in prayer, but don't quit, says lan Coffey

20 We can end the war in lraq lraq Prayer lnitiative leader -has faith that turmoil can end

21 Dial'P' for prayer UCB's national prayerline

22'limes they are a-changing The decline of prayer meetings 23 God heard cries for our son Stuart Bell on his son's healing 27 RT Kendall answers your prayer questions 28 The Zone with Becky Williams

I.{EW-TLIFE

$WM

An afficial publicatian af the Prayer Associatian af the British lsles and lreland

The former l\/P talks about hrs prayer ife in lal

30 The ABC of prayer 32 A life given over Susanna Wesley 34 What prayer means to Hector Lester

r

16 Pray together Chr stian charity

appeals for prayer

24 A decent proposal? The question of marr age

Prayer lVagaz ne partners include 24-TPtayetaAlphaaAnOpenDooraAssembliesofGodaBibleSocietyaBigldeasaBlowingyourCoveraChristianlnternationalEuropeaCrossRhythmsaCrossWindsTrust

DeltaForce33KaElimPrayerNetworkaEvangelicalAlliance(Wales)aFusionaGlobalDayofPrayeraGweiniaHealthcareChristianFellowshipalmage alnterprayeralrishChristiansOnlineaJoelNewsaManxPrayerNetworkaNationsDiscipleshipEnterpriseaNewLilePublishingaOCMFilmsaPassionaPrayerAlert PrayerBequestsaPrayerWeekaRedeemingourCommunitiesaRevelationTVaSportingMarvelsaTransformationslrelandaUnitedChristianBroadcastersaVivaNetwork Voice in the City a World Prayer Centre

2008 Jan-N,4ar Prayer lv4agazine J


Stok n

up the flre

(

lf ccr-nmunity acticn and outreach initiative Hcpe 2008 is tc be succe ss says jcint leader Andy F-lawthcrne We nnust pray and seek Gcd if we e'

t

NATIONAL leader Andy Hawthorne bel ieves

HopeO8 will be a flop unless Christians throughout the UK back it in prayer.

4T

Andy, leader of The lt/essage Trust in lt/lanchester, urged church-

es to hold prayer meetings and appealed to individuals to get on their knees and ask God to move in the nation.

Hope08 is a mass social action

outreach drive, where believers are being encouraged to increase their community mission work as a means of spreading the Gospel.

$

Butwithout prayer, we shouldn't expect results, warns Andy, one of the project's joint leaders - the othAndy Hawthorne of The lVessage Trust, above. For mare infornation on Hope 2008, visit www.hope0B com.

ers being ti/ike Pilavachifrom Soul Survivor and Roy Crowne of Youth for Christ. Andy told Prayer magazine,'Now

}B

is the vital time to pray. Throughout

history, when there's been a move

Reports and features on Hope 2008 will

of God, it has been birthed because

appear in Prayer magazine throughout the year.

'l believe HopeO8 will be a move

of prayer. of God, and I believe it has already

been birthed because of prayer. When the prayer dies down, the re-

vivalwill die down. We need prayer to keep fuelling

it.

'lf people don't pray, nothing will happen. lt would end up be-

4

Prayer N/agazine Jan-l\riar 2008

ing man's efforts. Prayer fuels the whole thing, and I believe the work and the action is just the mopping up in backup to prayer. Prayer is

site, www.hope08.com, is packed with resources explaining how the

the battle.

prayer community can get involved and back th s unique initiative. lndiv duals are encouraged to

Allthe prayer movements in the UK are coming together like never

form 'Prayer Triplets committed to Hope08 while churches are urged

before for Hope08, and we've even heard of prayer movements abroad,

to put on prayer concerts

in Africa and America, who are tar-

and breakfasts for civil leaders. It has also been suggested that

geting the UK this year. lt's exciting times ahead!'The Hope 2008 web-

healing rooms are opened in accessible locations in communities,


I

f h ope n the UK I

ssful prayer r-nust rernain right at the heart cf all that is undertaken, are tc see a change in the spiritual atmcsphere cf the naticn A

nof Hope for 2008

Godt he,p: ,

iffi.m that ir

2008, , intend

I/armony in pla(e of dis(or.,

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i.?il1'X;lj:T Ln(ouroqemeit

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to bring:

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to repla(e despait Wâ&#x201A;Ź efiirn that in ou. Chlrch. 2008 wiil be

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are broken

1le w'nsab,e

Wr p.ayior ow nation, that 2008 wii, be

lioline5s anc lsholene5s

cne purgose lor many peopje ;"ayer that lead5 to adion Fverycne findie9 a glace to belong.

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:t. raslon for just;(e and m..,.,

txpectations and vision,

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we p.iy that the God of all tiape will give u5 the faith and courSge to live lives that will ihis derlaralion C,r.ist our and pray this prayer in the name

*

at the World Prayer Centre, will continue to emphasise Hope08. The project encourages Chrlstians to seek God for specific requests each Friday

On a local level,2417 HopeO8 prayer stations are being set up in N,4anchester, where

a large prayer

These volunteers

event was recently held at the

are doing much-needed

Cathedral lvlore prayer gatherings

BrlwgLwgthe

gardening work,

are planned in conjunction with qospeL back to BrLtaLw

while, below left, another group

Hope0B.

helps by cleaning

ln Burton-on-Trent, prayer rooms

are being opened alongside a huge

where trained Christians offer to

atmosphere of this nation. Prayer

pray for people,

is still very much on the front page

Special prayer events will be held to back the five high points of Hope08 throughout the year, with Fresh Hope in January and the Big

Hope in Easter being first on the calendar. HopeO8 National Prayer Direc-

tor Jane Holloway said, 'Unless we pray and seek God there is not going to be a change in the spiritual

party where thousands of people can gather to hear the Gospel Several other evangelistic events

with regards to HopeO8. lf anything, we are stepping up our prayer. The

are scheduled.

Prayer Triplets scheme is running from li/arch to September, and we

ment has thrown its backing behind

want thousands of cards supporting this to go all over the country

President of the N/ethodist Conference, N/artyn Atkins said, 'HopeO8 is a great opportunity for

so people are in prayer for their friends.'

The Friday Focus initiative, meanwhile, which Jane heads up

up a playground Photos courtesy of Soul in the City

It/eanwhile, the N/ethodist move-

Hope08.

local Christians to work together to proclaim the love of Jesus in word and deed I heartily endorse it'

To

get

involved see

www.hope0B.con

2008 Jan-Mar Prayer

lt/agazine 5


Bid to r-nake glcbal event

I

SUCCeSS

Plans are under way to make this

Amen... almost half of UK's adults pray Nearly half of all adults in the UK pray regularly, and one in three believes God exists

more than one in ten said they believed it could

The massive event wilI unite Christians from all backgrounds and traditions to pray for the renewal of London when it takes place at N/illwall FootballClub on

and is watching over them, according to a

Specifically among churchgoers, nine in ten pray when they're not at a service, six out of ten churchgoers pray every day and

Pentecost Sunday. Leaders recently met to plan and pray for the event. Bishop of Barking, the Rt Rev

The survey of 1 000 adults and a further 1 000 churchgoers was conducted by

year's Global Day of Prayer a huge SUCCESS.

David Hawkins, who chairs the Global Day of Prayer, said, 'We want to gather more of the Christian community across London into this activity of united prayer

and reclaim the significance of Pentecost while at the same time celebrating all the different styles of Christian expression and worship and ways of praying, to uplift our community mission and local

transformation.' Dr Jonathan Oloyede, Senior Associate Pastor at Glory House

and one of the key visionaries behind the event, encouraged Christians to step up their commitment to prayer for spiritual change

in London.

new study.

One in five adults believes prayer has the power to change the world, and one in three believes God answers their prayers.

change their own life and the lives of others.

twothirds believe that prayer can change the lives of people living in poverty in developing countries. :

TearFund, a Christian relief and development agency, to mark the start of the organisation's Global Poverty Prayer Week.

.

The new f indings on prayer follow a survey

undertaken in 2007 by Tearfund

which revealed that 7.6 million adults attend church at least once a month.

The results found that of about

ln the latest

research, London

45 million adults in the UK 20 mil-

is confirmed as one of the least lion pray, with 13 million admitting secular parts of the UK, with more they pray once a month at least, lt/atthewFrost,of Tearfund thans=.--:-:of tenadultspray-

andl2milliononceaweek. Ninemillionadults ing and one in five

day.

pray every

When it comes to the most popular ics of prayer, family and friends lead the followed bythanking God World issues

list

top-

a.:-l lg church at least

once a monlh. N/atthew Frost C- =' Executive of TearFund, said, 'This rec:'. -^eans a great deal

way, rank to us at Tearfund - :-'

work to help to

eradicate poverty thrc-:- ccal churches, by One in three adults believes God is watch- demonstrating the p,:. a :rce and potential ing over them, and the same number of people of prayer, 'We hope in the fut,': .c encourage more said praying makes them feel prayerinsupportof suc- ssiesasfairerglobal Nearly four in ten said it made them more peaceful and content, three in ten trade rules, quicker prc j'ess towards halving it made them feel stronger, two in ten said world poverty by 2015 a-tr stronger action to

fifth on the

better.

feel said it reassured them and made them happier, and

tackle climate change

Bcno's Burnna peace hcpe lrish rocker Bono says he is praying for peace in the troubled nation of Burma. The U2 star said he was concerned over the deteriorating situation with pro-

outspoken about his Christian faith. 'Christ teaches that God is love. I love

tests led by Buddhist monks being sav-

the idea of the sacrificial lamb

agely repressed by the government. Speaking at the British premiere of the film Across the Universe', he told report-

isn't it? Their non-violence may, I pray,

ld be in big trouble if Karma was going to be my judge I m holding out for grace. l'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the cross, 'The point of the death of Christ is that

win out over the ugliness of the situation. I slept uneasily last night and l'm sure everyone else that watched did too. How far are they going to have to go?

Christ took on the sins of the world. so that what we put out did not come back to us, so that our sinful nature does not reap death '

ers, 'lt is extraordinary to see the monks,

g

Bono is one of the world's most famous rock stars, but is also well known {or being

Prayer lvlagazine

Jan

lizlar

2008

Pray ng for Burma... pop star Bono


Phone prayer ing strong A phone line set up for prayer requests by a church in South Wales is still going

strong. The 'Dial a Prayer' service has been

running in the town of Caldicot since Easter 2006.

It is run by the town's Elim church after its pastor, Jim Davies, thought they

needed a way to 'stay relevant as a small church in a small commun ty. Caldicot is a town of 11 000 people and pastor Jim be ieves they re making a significant difference n the community. 'We've had a good response, some-

times people call back and thank us,' said Jim. 'One girl fell into a coma for 14 days after a night out in town. Her grandmother called the prayer line, we prayed and the girl came round. I know

Website helps build networks A computer guru has launched a website enabling UK Christians to share their prayers online.

Volunteers atthe'Dial a Prayer'market stall n Caldicot, South Wales

it's not down to us only, but we are playing a small part.'

many calls they get. He said, 'There's no such thing as an average week. Some-

The church advertises the 24-hour service through their website and mem-

times you get six messages in a day; sometimes you have nothing for three

bers often man a local market stall. Jim says it's hard to measure how

weeks. But this is a service that'll never finish until the Lord comes.'

We've helped halt accidents on road

Prayerfeeder.com allows people to create personalised prayer networks on the lnternet within

Christians in New Zealand believe that prayer has prevented serious road accidents at a

minutes.

traffic hotspot. N/embers of City lmpact Church got on

Founder Stephen Dominy says.

'l was preparing to move

house

earlier this year and wanted to find a way ot staying in touch with the people from church l'd leave behind.

Prayer helps young

people turn to God An intercessor team were delighted

when

.1,137

youngsters dedicated

their lives to God while the team was in prayer on their behalf The Gathering N/AX youth event

was hailed a success by organisers, Chie{ organiser N/ark Pugh said it showed the power of prayer.

their knees after a series of crashes in the

Joseph Flanagan, said, 'We are encouraged with results since the City lmpact prayer campaign was initiated six months ago, and we will continue monitoring the highway to see if this is a continuing trend. Transit measures

Dome Valley, north of Warkworth.

accident trends on an annual basis with

Remarkably, since their 'Angels in the Dome' campaign was launched six months ago, injury crash statistics have dropped

results being statistically significant over a

-

to zero.

Transit's northern operations manager,

lVladdy parents in plea The family of missing tourist [Vadele

ne

N/cCann are urging people to keep her in their prayers. Parents Kate and Gerry N/cCann regularly attend church and ask God to intervene in the search for their daughter,

been seen since

Nrlay,

who has not

period of five years.'

Peter N,4ortlock, senior pastor of City lmpact Church in Browns Bay, said he welcomed the news of the reduction in injury crashes but would be disappointed in himself if he had been surprised by it 'Prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of the Church. We continue to pray for the Dome

spasmodically, but also for the city and for the nation,' he said.

A team from the church went into the Dome and prayed over the three worst accident trouble spots, leaving an angel effigy erected at each spot. 2008

Jan lt4ar Prayer lVagazine

7


Jailed for perjury irr 1999, forrner cabinet rninister Jonathar Eut his spiritual lifestyle flcurisheC during his prison tertn ar

From cabinet minister to pnson prayer group FORMER MP JONATHAN AITKEN was terrified as he entered prison. Brushing shoulders with murderers

prayer group,' said Aitken. 'We started with seven or eight,

tional m n s:.. rs de prison. lt was God's myster ols way of using the

and thieves, he feared for his life.

but it grew and grew. We had a

most unl ke; and inappropriate people ke ne r,vhich he has done from the beg nr ng of time, lt was a

But he has revealed how he later spent time with the criminals who once intimidated him after he helped set up a prayer group. And he explained that the group

became so popular that up to 25 prisoners were meeting to pray several times each week.

Aitken revealed how his friendship with an lrish burglar led to the formation of the group after the pair discovered prayer was 'too good' to

the *19:'j rep0rle0 How

thestory glAltke!'s c0nsprracy in 1999

hardcore of 20 people who would pray and read the Bible together. 'We met officially twice a week, but unofficially a great deal more than that. lt was made up of people who wanted to pray for a variety of different reasons. The one common

spending hours alone in his cell. 'l found, as monks have done

Aitken insists he wasn't the group's off icial leader, but was often

on hand to share his experience

ingly called Paddy, went off and recruited several colourful characters who became members of the

Christians,

He lists helping people turn to

Christ as the most 'exciting and fulfilling experience of his life His prison converts include a burglar named Paul and a murderer, Carl. 'Paul dropped in unexpectedly.

arYroral

architeet oi his orryn ruin

B

Prayer lVagazine

Jan

puts his

Jesus.'

followed his path and became

Conspiracy ;nvolved wi{e

term

starting his pr son

with other criminals, some of whom

He lied and lied and lied

est learner anc beneficiary of it.' Aitken ,,^rhc found his relationship with God about a year before

theme is that we all knew we'd done wrong things, and wanted to follow

keep between the two of them. 'The burgtar, perhaps unsurpris-

DPF ursed lo prosecuto Aiiken ior periury a$ h6 lacss 11.8m lrgal ilrll

mistake to say a leader of the 'vas group, as i was probably the great-

disciplined prayer life down to

throughout the centunes, that cells can be great places to pray in. Hav-

ing been as busy as a high-flying politician can b,e l was suddenly confined to a very small space. I had all the t me in the world to sit, think read and pray N/y prayer life is stillvery much influenced from that prayer group in prison. 'ln prson learned a lot about the discrpline of prayer. lf you set

sinners and were reading the story

aside a certain time of the day then it becomes a habit that stays

of the woman who was caught in adultery. He was in floods of tears, 'l walked back with him to his cell; he had never read the Bible.

with you. 'Nowadays I look to spend 3040 minutes per day in prayer, but in pr son I would spend sometimes

We were talking about Jesus' love of

Just like everyone in prison, he

three hours a day or more in various

was worried about lots of things,

forms of prayer, Bible reading and

so I gave him the first few verses of Psalm 37. He read the verses and we prayed together in his cell. He

spiritual meditation 'Once you get into that degree

said he had come to Christ I had a semi-public, uninten-

spiritual discipline, you do get into good habits of prayer and it's possi-

of commitment, so it becomes

N/ar 2008 I

a

r;


Aitken becarne a d sgrace t the British governrnent dnowhed escri bes how his life is devoted to God the health of my wife, which has

'That first

not been too good recently. lwrite a prayer for the day. Sometimes it's two lines and sometimes it's

night I tried to pray, but was so scared I

20 lines. I read it out a few times and I find that through keeping the

couldn't even get the words

journal I can keep focused, look

of the Lord's

back and see what God has done in my life.'

Prayer out.'

Aitken was the subject of nat ona disgrace when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He served seven months before being re eased and forced

to wear an

electronic tag ensuring he kept to his overnight curfew. During prison, he received more

than B0 letters per day from strangers who said they were praying for him, He is certain his time inside was made easier through the power

of prayer 'L'lost ceoo e nsrde had no dea

,',-:

.',as a.

a

The,, c dn

t

read

:,', :: j: :-: a-.1 -a1),\ore'Ofeign tai onais I ,,vas just another guy w th a foreign accent.

'But on the first day I was

in

prison there was a great and rather obrscene chant along the lines of

"Let's get Aitken, let's show him what we think of Tory cabinet ministers". There were lots of highly obscene suggestions as to what they might do to

Jonathan Aitken hit the headlines

again late last

me

t terrif ed me. 'That f irst n ght I tried to pray, but was so scared I couldn't even get

ble to go deeper, l'm not saying that

quantity equals quality, but it helps to live a distraction-free life. ln one prison in particular, you could be in your cell for 22 hours ouI of 24.' Aitken also developed a rather unusual method of prayer that he

heart rrorries and reqrests He revea

ed

thlng but I find

lt s a very persona

t a very good d sci-

pline and a strength n my life. 'l always start with the number

one thought in my heart, which

continues today. He began writing

could be something positive, such as "What a beautiful morningl", or

to God each day, pouring out his

something not so positive, such as

C

year after the onse rvatives

announced one of the r thinktanks had asked for his help on reviewing prison

the words of the Lord's Prayer out. I found a eaflet about praying the psalms, and I read Psalm 130 It tells how the psalmist was

reform policy

obviously in deep depths. We don't know what was wrong with him but it was probably worse than spending seven months in prison. He climbs out of the depths with

God's help 'This was a wonderful spiritual tonic to me and those verses really 2008

>

Jan-lvar Prayer N,4agazine 9


r

'lalways believed that was protected by a wall of prayers, n0t just by my own prayers but also by other people's

prayers,'says Aitken, pictured at home during

his interview

spoke to

me

From then on I lust felt less fearful. lndeed, with one or two rather momentary exceptions, I had a lrouble lree prison journey.

Contrary to all predictions I had virtually no violence or threats of violence against me.

'l always believed that I was prolecled by a walr ol prayers. nor lust by my own prayers but also by other people's prayers. I used to get an extraordinary number of letters. The vast majority were from

people I didn lnset. Altken makes the headlines agarn late last year

10

t

know, saying they

were praying for me. 'As this volume of ma I started to roll in, I realised that something

but is in constant amazement at God's mercy.

He says, 'l had crashed from cabinet minister to convict but had pleaded guilty and was in a I

genuinely repentant frame of mind. It was my aim to survive, to change direction and to form a greater relationshlp with the Lord. Prev ous to pr son, I was what you might call a

half-Christian about as much use as being half-pregnantl lt was a phoney relationship with God rath-^r than a real one. 'l went through the public agonies of defeat, disgrace, divorce, bankruptcy and jail - pretty decent

deep Christ 3n lourrf e!. lt has been a process tha: rcllded searching

stumbling, s nr

ng doubting and

backslid ng ci:1 despite all those negatives the'e ,,vas a positive was on a sp r t,,a lourney.

|

'Somet mes people ask me if l'm

a born-aoa

r

Christian. I say yes,

but l'm a so a fa 1ed-again Christian, because of a I the time I struggle and str ,,e I don't get it right all the t me ard have not become a perfect sa

nt

st ll wrestle with the same old

probiems, like pride

I don't think how well have I done. but I think how wonder-

Despite his very public downfall,

trials by anyone's standards lf it hadn't been for Christians who at

fully merciful God is I am very well blessed that he has allowed me to have this relationship with him The

Aitken realises God has forgiven

the time were acquarntances but be-

gap between my sinfulness and

him

came f riends, I don't know where l'd

his holiness is so huge that if I think about it I can't think of myse f other than a failure. But at least I try.'

was happening.'

Although he regrets his past

be They prayed with me and helped

mistakes, he does not live in guilt

me on what turned out to be a very

Prayer\ltaeaz ne Jan N/ar2008


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Fasting together with prayer is an act of cve fcr G c

A powerful com

I

n

(

FASTING lS INCREDIBLY beneficial and

r

makes a powerful combination with prayer,

s

Every Christian ought to engage in occasional times of fast-

o

a

,

ing, apart from those whose

Get out your diary and carefully plan your fast, says Boy Todd,

right. There is nothing more demoralising than having

to call Iriends to cancel lunch dates especial ly when you feel

hungry enough to eat everything on the menul

medical conditions prevent them from doing so. But it should never be approached legalistically - but rather as an act of love for God.

,*-tr '=eE-i

Here are my top ten tips for you when approaching a fast:

a

I I I

"!. Remember that fasting doesn't score you 'Brownie points with God.

As {ar as he's concerned, you're 'number one' already. ln fact, you can't make God love you any more than he already does. So fasting is not some form of penance - rather, it is an expression of personal devotion to 'the one who loved you and gave himself for you',

there is nothing more demoralis-

off very quickly during it. However,

ing than having to call friends and

when the fast comes to an end, it will pile on tw ce as fastl So if

colleagues to cancel lunch and dinner appointments

- especia ly

everything on the menul

your rea mot vat on for fasting is to slim dor,vn. take my advice and try WerghtWatchers instead

3" A fast is definitely not a good way of losing weight, Of course

4. True fast ng nvolves abstinence from food Some people talk about

your weight will undoubtedly drop

fasting {rom TV, newspapers or

when you feel hungry enough to eat

2. Fasting should not be entered

I

into without proper preparation be-

forehand. For example, checkyour diary and see what your schedule is like well in advance. During fasting,

even just chocolate, However, this rea ly does miss the whole point of

fasting Food is a basic necessity of life that we can't go long without. We can live ourwhole lives perfectly

well without most other things, So

occasional fasting from food reaf-

firms our complete dependence on God.

5. Fasting does not involve abstinence from liquids, ln fact, it's highly

important to drink lots of water during a fast. This will, of course, mean visiting the bathroom a lot more regularly!

12

Prayer N/agazine Jan-lVar 2008


' at lon for Chrlstl ans

FASIING

but plan it carefully, says evangelist Rcy TcdC

lnstead, take each day at a time, Ask God to help you get through that day. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel the following morningl lf you do happen to break

your fast prematurely, don't put yourself on a guilt trip and wallow in disappointment. lnstead, just take

some time out and have a good meal. Then when you feel you're ready, start again, Remember, God loves you anyway.

,.

You should never fast for more

than 40 days After th s pornt the body begins to dangerously feed off its vital organs If you feel t s

6" During a fast, set aside speci{ic periods for prayer and Bible reading For example, these might be

right for you to fast for this length of time, make sure you seek medical advice breforehand. At the end of a 40-day fast, coming off it requires just as much (if not more) discipline

eat. This discipline will not only

as the actual fast itself When you finish the immediate temptation is

break the monotony of not eating, but also will help you focus on the reason why you're fasting.

to celebrate your achievement by getting back to eating chips and burgers againl However, this can

the times when you would normally

:

be very dangerous as your organs Be prepared for a rollercoaster of

will have shrunk substantially and

emotions during your fast. You'll ex-

will be unable to handle solid foods

perience bursts of ncred ble energy

You should start with soups and only introduce solid foods slowly

and alertness contrasted r,,,th times

y etharg c lonely and even meiancholic Bemember that part of the purpose of a fast is learning to make God

Seek medical advice on ic,'. test tc end r,,o-rT {ast Fas. -,; 'c' 40 ca,;s s sc^-::i -g :- .. a s-^a

your fulfilment in whatever emotion

m nor

you're experiencing.

I

ii

a' C .r si ars

ke y to be a

perience

,.. :c

and

crce- n-a- je. ire

sex-

1

married couples to

JesL-,s on ),,cl

d

C

s

ex-

t once.

L

daunted by looking too far ahead.

O Fasting from

nto your diet.

when you feel complete

When fasting for more than one day, it is inevitable that you will feel tempted to eat again - especially in the first six days. However, when temptation strikes, don't get

family times, with

your involvement in God's purpose.

::.

Expect God to speak to you

Often, people come out of a fast

during your fast, however long you do it for, You may come out of it

with a deeper conviction of how

with a clearer sense of direction, or perhaps even a greater revelation of

is clear: if you take time to listen, you

much God values them. One thing

During a fast. set aside

specific periods for prayer and Bibie reading.

will hear God speak to you. 2008 Jan-N,4ar Prayer N/agazine

13


AfterAulC Lang Syne has been sung, rnrhat is ycur p"ayer fci

.

p ten thlngs to CAMBRIDGE CHURCH LEADER Peter

the b g decisions n spite of some-

Cavanna gives his top ten prayer list tips to guide your intercessions in 2008.

times feeling qu te inadequate:

i.

Pray for wars to cease. Far from

being just the wishful thinker's prayer, the outbreak of military conflict causes terrible long-term consequences and makes preaching of the Gospel very difficult. Pray for peace. 1 Timothy 2.1 3

from the Prime N/inister down to the

struggling minister on the brink of quitting. Hebrews 137 17

-.r to the bottle, the bad i:'-:r:' .: debt orthe dubious side i, -=

o' .-= - :.net, pray that men and wo- :- .' encounterthefreedom of C-'. - 2008 1 Cor.6:12

hate going home because it has become a place of pain and conflict. Pray that God will strengthen

Pra_. 'r' .''ose who grieve for loved :-=s ,','eep with them too. When :-= :-.'. suffers we all suffer. lVa. J,: :rt the solitary into

and shower his love upon every

familles

3. Pray for the family. Lots of people

I

5.

:s:'-

6E.6

one of them and that they will learn Evangelist Peter Cavanna gives his tips for

prayer n 2008

2. Pray for all leaders everywhere. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. Remember those who make

,r

We e praying for 'h/y prayer is that many souls will come 10 know Christ and come to salvation. I pray I am a part of enhancing the Kingdom of God.' Reggie Dabbs, "I

ntern ation a! Com m u nicato

forward in worship, mission and

socialjustice.'

-*

Redman, Worship Leader

'That in this year of the Hope 2008 initiative, churches large and small experience renewal as they join God in proclaiming the Gospel of

6. Pray':' -:.: seekng a new start n 2i-: ,',-ether in employment, n- - :'.'

. :'

relattonships,

One resclution that has -g

A gym pass or a vow to give up chocolate has become the norm

those

on the somewhat disillusioned New

the prayer

Year's resolution Iist. Others promise to visit their annoying relatives more, while some

tered by a- .. ..'?.,' Our agendas, lifestyles a-:: ::-mltments often overtake o-" r:s 'e for Christ, Jesus -a-a;ed to'come aside' and spenc -: aione with his Father, so p:'-::s we should follow his examc : .- s year.

convince themselves that their battles with nicotine, alcohol and

r

'lVy hope and prayer for 2008 is to see the Church in the UK keep taking some great strides

tVlatt

to walk hand in hand through the front door with him. lsaiah 61:1 4" Pray for addicts of every kind,

fast food will be defeated at some point during the year.

As Christians, why not con-

sound as :r:,.-.

W

:

as shedding

extra l -'..^'as

ta

: :s:.

i-: -ope

pounds, but s a place mas-

2008 initiative

sider making a vow

to spend more time in prayer

throughout 2008? lt

doesn't

love; ttlartyn Atkins, President of the lVlethod i st Co nfe re nce

Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation God, end abortion and send revival to this world.' Lou Engle, The Catl, America

14

Prayer lVagazine Jan-l\',4ar 2008

I


2008? Church leaders explain what they are praying for

pray for thl s year there be no more spiritual and emotional cul-de-sacs. Pray that He who has the key will open the

God to work wonders and that 'he real y w I come' to all those church

right door for them. Revelation 3:7

er.ients and that the Spirit will truly

Ivlay

:

1

9

r*. Finally pray for all the people who hurt you in 2007 or even long

Acis i5

pray that Gcd will show you ways to

,3i

8. Pray for all those Christian wom-

renewed zeal of a tiny house-group

en who come to church without

to win souls. Pray for wisdom and success upon every lifeboat that

Pray for addicts of every kind

le good to them, where possible, - :-13 .-.,.e 6.26 27 Amen.

Whether to the

bottle, the bad temper, to debt or the dubious side of the lnternet

We're praying for, 'l love the fact that God is the

of tc be worth nnaking Greal lrirgs are happer ng orce more in Britain, and that's a real answer to prayer. Prayer isn't the easiest thing to do, and Christians approach It in different ways. Some spend three hours in prayer on a morning before they brush thelr teeth

28

":s-s S:', C= , - S \,:a[ ln ted n him

possessed', meth nks. lVlark 12:30

underway, it promises to be a h-^ct c l2 months. Th s time next year, mr lions w ll have heard the Gospe

atthew

ago. lt is time to let it go and move on. Forgive them completey and

Chr st together at the carol

9. Pray for every evange sr c r'r . atve in the com ng year lvhether multi-million pound prolects, or the

their unconverted husbands. Ask

lv4

barbecues, baptisms and other coen his eyes. lt/ay they worship

7. Pray for a renewal of love for Jesus Christ. What wou d o,r churches look ks f gr.,-of i,'3"3 passionate y loved tne Lord rvrth all of their heart? Not deacon-

launches faithfully to rescue the perishing.

God of the macro and the micro - he's as willing to be involved in our daily lives as in the lives

Others pray on their way to work, whi e others ar-a up until the early hours spendlng quality time with God at niqht No one is perfect in prayer. As South African intercessor Suzette

of nations. he's the God of the nations and he's the God of you and me. I pray that we will see more of his glory at every level in 2008.' Jeremy Jennings, Prayer Director, Holy Trinity Brompton

Hattingh puts it, 'The schooi of intercession is one you will never

'That God will'open doors for his Church lo speak courageously, compassionately and coherently into our culture and that we will be willing to respond to

graduate from.'

Whether you're Dr John Sentamu or the old lady who makes the coffee in church, you

the #

need Goc .:

opportunities that arise.' .trofm G/ass, General Suryrintendent, El im Pentecastal :ehurch

I

I pray that initiatives like Hope 2008 will crcate a momentum of unity that will see the good rrews of Jesus extend to the most hidden, hard to reach and hopeless corners of our nation so that poor and rich, young

and old, men and women can experience and understand God's love and mercy.' Dr Krish Kandiah, Churches in lt/tission Director, Lvangeltcal

Alltance

2008 Jan-lVar Prayer lvlagaz

I

ne

15


EXPL

DTNG

T

FIS

Paul Brigham, TearfunC UK Dr EVERYONCE lN awhileyou stumble across aquote that says it all, something that sums up the present and illuminates the path towards a better future. That happened for me when I read these words from pioneering missionary, Hudson Taylor, 'Do not have your

we produced a prayer pack stuffed full of practical ideas

concert first and then tune your

The prayer DVD we pro-

s. Beg i n

duced featured several famrliar faces. Roger Forster prayed about the injustice o{ inequa rty Gerald Coates for those wrthout enough food. Tim Hughes prayed about

in

str u me nts afte rward

with prayer, and get first of all

into harmony with Him.'

Here at Tearfund we've been getting excited about some new ideas

-

a new con-

cert. We've found ourselves challenged, inspired and in possession of a bold new vision: over the next decade we want to see 50 million people

OVER

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All copies will be supplied with an invoice on 30 days net credit terms. New Life Publishing would like to keep you updated with details of our products and special offere. lf you would prefer not to hea from us, pleme tickthis box fl

Prayer lVagazine

Jan

lVar 2008

NEW$,.Q-LIFE ING

and thousands of other local churcres and groups around the rvor d, and continue to pray

about the horrors of global poverry. We wart you Io join us in prayer, pleading with God to

act and listening out for what he might say about the part that we can piay in tackling We believe that together we can do it. We believe that if we un te we as the Church have the potential to alter the course of millions of lives, to

break poverty's chains and

words make clear, it all has to start with prayer.

is either sheer bliss or excruciating torture. That's why

9

f

I I

poverty.

we held our global poverty

and activities, Depending on the way you see it, a whole week oi prayer

il

transformation

ost. But as Hudson Taylor's

tling in as part of ort'e" ser yices

II

were united by a belief

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prayer week. Thousands of

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port to many more people than

Nottingham

church planter Pastor Ndovi

worldwide network of 100 000 local churches,

would have otherwise been possible. But and there's

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chi d education, and Nzlalawian

wlthin them the potential of

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that helped your prayers find

To some, the idea of pray-

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God

is far

from feebrle and irrelevant. We pray because we believe that

6

*

re


rector of Church and Supporter Relations, appeals f r prayer

a},

,

Let's prry together tnp,erfect harmony God hears and responds. because we believe that he speaks and because we know that out of our relationship with God firust come the spiritual and material transfor-

churches makes it c ear how great the Church s potential is to lead

leagues out in lt/alawi. I have seen what happens when local churches

the charge on poverty. Founded by Pastor Ndovi a phenomenal

unite: they create everyday mira-

mation of a world in need.

Living Waters churches have set up

That type of prayer-sparked

church planter and visionary

-

the

cles, a glorious symphony of hope and faith and spiritual and material

a development and relief project

Here in the UK, the picture

which Tearfund is proud to support.

seems clearerthan ever: ourwealth

Working throughout N/alawi one of

may have varied over the centuries,

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and influence mean that we have such great potential to leave this

today it is clear that local churches are making more and more noise

Eagles Relie{ and Development

as they live as Jesus taught.

You don't have to go as far as Nrlalawi to see the Church in action, but a visit to any one of that country s 600 Living Waters

spend time with Pastor Ndovi's col-

Tearfund's UK Director of Church and Support Relations

release.

church-led change has been vis ble for 2 000 years. While the volume

team bring relief from spiritual and material poverty to thousands, living out a message of hope, transforming lives and changing futures. It has been my privilege to

Above: Paul Brigham,

world transformed. As we reflect on the success of the global poverty prayer week, if we follow Taylor's words, tuning up

together and letting God conduct us, can you imagine the impact our

harmonies could make? 2008 Jan-Mar Prayer

-

Tearfund The Evangelical

Alliance Reliel Fund

-

is a

Christian reliel and development agency which addresses the causes of poverty in many ol the world's poorest countries.

Magazine

17


Even thcugh we're follcwers cf Christ, we often fall shut

hy does prayer { ONE OF MY sons came home after his first week at school and announced he would not be going back.

trying altogether. Why does prayer seem difficult?

for an

o

\ press. lt was a place Jesus

and h s icl owers visited frequently. Some ha,.,e seen a strong parallel betwee- i-e name of the garden

Anxious to f ind out what had up-

Jesus tasted disappointment Being let down by close friends

set him, mywife and I asked why he

is an uncomfortable experience.

Lord Jes-s -rderwent there. An oil

had reached such a f irm decision. 'Well, he announced with a hostile glare, 'you've been telling me for

Jesus faced that on the evening he was arrested and lVatthew, in his

is a o ace of crushing' and that is ,,', -a, Jesus experienced. Others po -. cul the link between

ages that when I went to school l'd be able to read books by myself

what took place (see 26:31-56)

Gospel, paints a vivid account of

and

tie agorsing

experience the

press

l've been there a whole week and still can't read!' I have a hunch that sums up

rowed room and then the group left to make the short journey to a hill

the first Aca^ s fa rre and defeat in a garder lcen) and the second Adams r : Jesus)triumph and victory tS:: -cw the other three Gospels acc o ts of information to

frustratl n g. But don't

some of our feelings of failure when

just outside Jerusalem called the

complete t"e o cture of this climac-

give up

it comes to prayer.

lVount of Olives. ln a garden grove

tic event N1a'<

We feel we have been followers

filled with olive trees, Jesus spoke to

and John 18.1'r.r

of Christ long enough to become

his close friends in the final minutes

Prayer can

seem difficu t sometimes and a little

I

Jesus had shared a special meal with his disciples in a bor-

.1.1

32ff Luke 22 39ll

proficient at it - yet so often we fall

before his arrest. The garden was

From I'v1al,-eiv s notes of the conversatrcr ,',e earn that Jesus

short.

called Gethesemane, which is a

predicts that

name based on an Aramaic word

to abandon -:r.

As a result we decide to quit

i

I

I

E

I

F* F

= ,s &=

i-:

C

sciples are about

but reassures


,vhen praying But dcn't quit, says authcr lan Coffey

seem so dlfflcult? I

them that in spite of what is to take place (he is referring to his trial and

crucfixion) he wrL rse again and meet them back in Galilee. True to form, Peter s the first to speak and pledges his unswerving loyalty come what may. Jesus prophesies

that before the dawn chorus Peter will break that promise no less than

three times. Peter dismisses this, and the other disciples follow him in declaring their solidarity.

Jesus then takes the inner circle of disciples

-

Peter, James to one side and shares his deep sense of disturbance. He invites them to sit and pray with him in this dark hour. Jesus faces the

Jesus is saying both to his friends in the garden olive grove and to his followers in every age and place

very essence is seltsuff iciency with

that prayer may be difficult but it is essential if we are to resist evil and

of water.

darkness by turning to his Father

stay clean.

God; worldliness dictates that we

and

John

deep impassioned prayer, but his loyal friends fall fast asleep,

The colourful paraphrase of

in

We don't know for sure how long

'The N/essage' hammers the point home,

Jesus spent in prayer that night but we are toLd tial on three occasions he came to his d sciples and found them fast asleep As he faced the

'Stay alert; be in prayer so you don't wander into temptation without even knowing you're in danger. There is a part of you that is eager,

most difficult hours of h s earthly

ready for anything in God, But there's another part that's as lazy

life the Lord Jesus prayed a one. The first time Jesus found h s disciples asleep he made a com-

as an old dog sleeping by the fire (lVatthew 26 41)

ment which Peter, James and John

remembered so clearly that it was carefully recorded: 'Watch and pray so that you will not fall into tempta-

A battle on three fronts A fol ower of Christ has to face a

tion, The spirit is willing but the

-

battle that is fought on three fronts the world, the flesh and the devil

body is weak' (N/atthew 26 41) Although Jesus tasted disappointment that night in Gethse-

one who gets serious about prayer. Each of them exerts a powerful pull

mane he was not disillusioned

against the desire to pray.

because, as this verse reveals, he both knew and understood what makes people tick. But contained in this verse is a word of warning

coupled with a word of instruction,

and allthree conspire against any-

The world This is the organised system of human life that ignores God and sets itself up in opposition to his rule. Its

human pride at its core. Prayer, in that environment, is like a fish out

Jesus tasted d

i

sappoi ntm e nt He shared a special meal with his discip es,

Prayer is based on our need for

and then they abandoned him

have no such need. We are called to live in the world yet not to be of it and we are commanded to love people yet not fall in love with the world's standards and

desires (see 1 John 2,15-17) One unknown writer put it well,

lan Cof f ey is

Senior lVinister

The ship's place is in the sea,

But God ptty the ship when the sea gets rnto it. The Chilstian s p/ace is in the woild, But God pity the Christian if the world gets the best of them.

Everything that worldliness represents pushes us away from the

of Crossroads Church Geneva an internationa, i nterdenom inali onal

church. lan has been a pastor for over 30 years He has authored I 2 books and speaks at conferences and seminars in various parts of the world. Ian rs also a member of [he Leadership Team

ol Spring Harvest

need to pray.

14rf;(.

Extract f rom 'What You Always Wanted to Know About Prayer... But Were Afraid to Ask', by lan Coffey, published by CWR, 17.99, used with permission.

2008Jan [t/ar Prayer lVagazine 19


British founder of lraq Prayer lnitiative has faith that c'

e can end war l'VE DECIDED TO stay anonymous - for obvious reasons * but l'd like to challenge Prayer magazine readers about concerted,

persistent prayer. Do we really take seriously what

the Bible says about prayer? Or have we seen only a small fraction of what God can do when we truly give our lives lo battl:ng on our

knees? This is the faith challenge that is

facrng us in the heart of the N/iddle East lraq. Can prayer stop awar? lf 'the prayer of the righteous is effective' (James 5:16) then surelythe answer is, 'Yes, prayer can.' So the

Scene of a car bomb attack near a -Kikhr hospita

,

western Baghdad (Getty lmages)

challenge is for our {aith to breach the gap between the current earthly reality in lraq and truth of the Word of God

lr 2005 Goo gave me a vision of seeing an army of intercessors taking author ty over the heavens above lraq. What was needed was not an earthly force, but a heavenly army to dislodge the principalities and powers that have brought vioence to lraq for thousands of years.

f these principalities were dealt w th. then the earth y v olence could

end. Through partlersh p

prayer leaders th s

,,,

s

v,r

c.

th other

cecame

a reality in 2aa7 I'v rh ihe of the lraq Prayer lr,l at .e

a'-:':

iraqprayer.org) To sign up for

the lraq Prayer

lnitiative, visit www. rraq

20

p

rayer.org

This initiative calls for thousands

of churches worldwide to pray for three minutes

Prayer lilagazine Jan-lVar 2008

a week for an end to the violence in

lraq. United, persistent prayer car change a nat on 'Our {ight s ror aga nst flesh and b

-'

'.

c . i; :-

occ c-i aga rlst

-:

: - ,',:',

Ep^-

es a"s 6 2 l. s -c. 3. .r gnt nor by oo',',,er c-: ., '- . Sp rt says the Lord of ncsis Z=ctar ah 4.6) This .l

one empire then another sought to establish control. Some of the tragedles of the current conflict seem lrke repeats of previous incidents in earlier centuries, History repeats itself unless the people of God bring

in the

in the kingdom of God to change the destiny of a nation The north of lraq used to be

Lord who lvants to ra se up an army

part of the Ottoman Empire's

of intercessors marching under the banner of the Prince of Peace. lraq's history is covered ln blood going back thousands of years, as

N/osul province. ln 2007, Turkey was still looking towards this area

is where true aL,ihority

es

with concern, and had amassed a huge army on the border with


rne prayer is

I

the answer

taq F-l =-q

ow hundreds ial 'P for prayer I

HUNDREDS HAVE BEEN healed and restored after receiving prayer over the telephone. United Christian Broadcasting's Prayerline received nearly 100,000 calls in 2007. The confidential helpline, set up more than

ten years ago, has grown in popularity following many confirmed mtracles. There are 26 sate te locat ons throlghout Britain

" -'='.' a- 35- .l --.:e:s cn a rota to 1

:,,-

--:

JCB s Director of tVinistry David L

Herroux said it was a key ministry depart-

ment, adding, 'The beauty of Prayerline is that it's conf idential. We're not a counselling line, and try to keep it to prayer. We believe in the essence of prayer. Not only do we

David L'Herroux

have a strategy to pray internally and praise

God, but we also know that our audience s people, and whether they are in church or

You can call UCB s Prayer ine

0845 456 7729

outside church, lots of them are hurting We

iour This breaks the Father's heart. But we know his love

fighters based in lraq who

overcame the power of the evil

are launching violent attacks inside the Kurdish areas of Turkey. The demonic strong-

one at the cross. Knowing this

the UK and many of them are hurting We want them to realise that there are people around who will pray for them,

love, we can feel God's heart

Prayerline statistics reveal that the most

- his heart for the people of

holds of violence still play with

lraq.

the people of the region and an additional destructive war

common call s heal ng related, with guidance calls and relat onship-related calls being second and th rd.

prayer with his heart of love,

lf we cry out to God

1n

thousands of men, women

then we can seek to bring change to the nation of lraq. We cannot simply stand by.

and children are dying without

Will you join this army of inter-

knowledge of a loving Sav-

cessors?

looms for lraq. ln the rest of lraq, tens of

UCB.M

want to connect people to God by prayer. There are more than 60 million people in

lraq. Turkey is determined to do something about Kurdish

David says the v sion of Prayerline is to go 24-7 adding 'l believe that will happen

People are fearful and scared; we want to be avaiiable to them 24-7 We have seen many mrracles because of Prayerline and I pray there will be more in 2008 2008

Jan Nlar

'We want to

connect people to God by prayer. There are more than 60 million

people in the UK, and many are hurting. We want them to realise that there are people around who will pray for them.'

Prayer

lVagazine

21


The wining,dining and fast Western culture has put the prayer nreeting down the priority list in the Brltrsh Church, says r'ninister Gerald Coates

* i*

s

Times are a-changingl A YOUNG GERALD COATES would trek

attended but were very predictable.

can manage it, but a lot of churches

nearly two miles every Thursday night to get

You knew who would stand up and

simply can't sustain it.' Gerald reckons many churches

the things of God that he couidn't imagine not attending church three or four times each week.

who would pray out loud.' Nowadays, however, life is totally different. Gera d doesn't think it s easy for churches to run the typical prayer meeting, and although it works for

Then again, he had nothing else

some, getting people to attend in

to the prayer meeting. His life was so consumed

tn

to do, either.

Growing up in the 1940s and

Life has changed rapidly since Gerald Coates, above, was young and when prayer

meetings were 'pred i ctab le'

22

Prayer IVagazrne

Jan

N/ar 2O0B

a

ent One

times that we live in. Working hours

service, We had more time on our hands back then. 'The prayer meetings were well

And he doesn't think this is

easy.

transport and not much of a social life Attending the church prayer

and then walk back for the Gospel service and stay on for the youth

meetings, such as Sunday morning

services or homegroups.

the midst of busy lifestyles isn't He says, 'We have to realise the

church, walk home for my dinner

and have woven prayer into other

bad thing 'Forty years ago life was differ-

1950s meant he had little money, no

meeting was hls only option. He recalls, 'lt was normal back then to go to church all the time. On a Sunday morning I would walk to

have recognised the changes,

have changed, lt's not unusual for someone to be out of the house from 7am until 7pm. N/obile phones, N/P3 players and all these gadgets

didn't exist when I was young. 'People now have more things to do They have money, they have transport and there's a huge coffee, restaurant and pub culture. The prayer meeting should be allowed to carry on, and some churches

of the problems with Chris-

tian leaders is that we are trying to live n a world that doesn't exist. A midweek prayer meeting works well in some churches, but not all. We don't all have the fiery evangelists who will pray for the sick and see results each week. 'We need to ask the question, are we people of prayer or are we

people of the prayer meeting? ls prayer part of your life, or do you come to church once a week as part of your religious ritual?'


God heard cries for our son THE FATHER OF a boy

Leicester for chemotherapy and Nottingham for radiotherapy We had to battle through and believe

who was diagnosed with a tumour has told how persist-

God for a serious breakthrough.'

ent prayer helped his son get

The couple realised that prayer

was their lifeline and over many

the all-clear. Stuart Bell and his wife lrene were

months they started to see that their

stunned when they were told their son David, who was then 16, had a

prayers were being answered as

tumour at the back of hrs eye.

Iess frequent,

David's trips to the doctors became N,4any

The news came after f ive years

years on, and David has

all- some-

of turmoil in the family s life. lrene

no trace of the tumour at

had to undergo ten operations on her back and several close family

thing

and faith in God

Some asked how they continued

members had died

during their years of turmoil. N/r Bell said, 'We just wanted to trust God and believe for a miracle.

N/r Bell

said We'd

He said, 'lt was a combination of treatment and prayer. A lot of

had about three years where eve-

things that they said medically

rything was going well. Suddenly a page turned and we entered a very

couldn't happen did happen.

N/r Bell,

from Lincoln,

couple continued as leaders at New Life Christian Fellowship in Lincoln.

has put down to prayer

lf

you

were to look at David's eye now, you wouldn't know anything had

difficult period. We were thrown into a world we weren't prepared for.

taken place.'

During their son's battle the

'We were taking him fDavid] to

It

Stuart Bell above, never stopped praying and believing lhat his

son, David, below,

was a season of testing, but by the

grace of God we got through. We came to the conclusion that it's not about the circumstances we face, but rather our attitudes.'

P

j

Frnry-g,f{$" W

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The t-ilH tP li',gl.ticlr Hap Two prayer topics a day enable you tu pralr fnr virtually €very aspflct Bf the UK streiaty aild svsrJr g€ographi*at arptr

lil A EEELE} UNFOLDS T0 A1 sFffi*$,&tu *FFHffi #ru h€AiLru-*pLffi #ffiffi€ffiS

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2008 Jan-lMar Prayer lVagazine 23


l-lave bad relationships left you scarred? Eefore r'naking anyral your perfect partner is? Relationship expert and associate vica

T A DECTNT

IS

ERM, EXCUSE ME, but, err, I think God has

wife Sila, reckons Christians should

told me we're to get married.

commit to prayer when deciding who they should spend their lives

It's that cringing phrase everyone dreads to hear, particularly the petritied person on the receiving end of this rather blunt. pressurisWesley Thevarajah and his wife P

risci I la

ing offer

It might not be a lie, and the soppy individual could well have heard the voice of God, but there's a much better approach when talking to your perspective partner, claims marr age expert Nrcky Lee

T-: -lc

; Tr r !r" Brl'.ctor','ca'

,'-,. - ,

with. He says, 'lt's very difficult when

someone says God has told them

'God is in favour of marriage. He calls a few people to be single but i:y and large, the vast rnajority of people are meant to be married.'

who they are going to marry. You put terr ble pressure on a person

and t becomes very d ff icult lf a-,.- -l :,C- .c ^.ccacli' 'ost -:S r ---.4-

=.

otten

now lives in first met Priscilla

church in Sri after the But from that the the corner.

24

Prayer IVagazine

Jan

\,4ar 2008

better vray we call it prayer lf, as you seek God in prayer, it is of hlm, I m certain he will develop the tr endsh p and turn it into something

more' But going to God wiih a list of demands is not the best technique, warns Nicky. 'We should be specific, but not

too specific. l've known people who have given God checklists and

made all kinds o{ demands. But that isn't the best option {or me

I

believe [marriage partner's] beliefs and values should be similar so that ',.e are go ng n the r ght direction, a -. .. ^a'' ;, oJ marr! someone, they


PRAY NG FOR A PARTNER

'ash decisions, why not seek God in prayer and ask who :ar al Holy Trinity Bror-npton t\icky Lee gives his advice

sometimes turn out nothing like you originally thought' Nicky doesn't think it's wrong

to pray for wisdom. The Bible says

and friends for prayer is another

that God gives wisdom to those

good tip.

to pray for a particular person to be your life-long partner, but

Don't just sit in a room and pray

reckons we should focus more on

praying for ourselves rather than for others. 'We need to pray for ourselves. that we make the right choices so we can form close relationships.

We need to pray that God will change us, so we become more "marry-able".

'We must also asked God to give us the mind of Christ, and that he will renew us by his Holy Spirit. We need to be able to have wisdom and discern as we make friends of

the opposite sex to discern if one of them would make that special person for marriage.

'lt's fair to assume that God in favour of marriage. He calls a

few people to be single but by and large, the vast majority

of people are meant to be married. lt is good to pray for a partner and it's good

-s *ci

is

who ask him. that God will drop this person out of

the sky but pray that God will bring good friendships into our lives and develop then', if it is his will lf you have feelings for a person pray that

God will increase them if it hrs desire for the two of you to be together.'

Nicky believe seeking good

counsel

and

asking family members

'N/arriage is always a risk. lt is a

step of faith.

'Our families have known us all our lives. l'm not advocating arranged marriages but I am advocating asking parents and close friends for their advice.'

Nicky and Sila Lee, above


r I

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The Jesus Prayer is based on the cry of Bartimaeus, bui over the centuries has always varied

I have related to God, so did I find this book spiritual rather than religious? l'm afraid not

'' -lS',uOtT

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Prayer Simon Bamngton-Ward (BBl t4 99)

repeated, while others have missed out bits, ending up saying Jesus, mercy!' Formal prayers have never been the way

'-1

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fhe Jesus

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--: - 3 /'isited j

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--,

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Written from a background of many real-life experiences of encountering God the author

Jan

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Encountering God

Prayer liilagazine

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YOI-]R Ot]EST|ONS ANSWERED

why

S

suffering allowed?

God tests our faith by not answering all our prayers, says Dr R T Kendall lN OUR NEW FEATURE Bible teacher and iormer Westminster Chapel pastor Dr R T Kendall answers questions about prayer we've

all been longing to ask Why do disasters happen when God's people are continually asking him

to protect the world? You have brougnt up the most an-

cient theologica questron there s: the problem of evil 1n other rarords why did God create man kncr,r,ing he would suffer?

Nobody knows the answer But one day God will clear his name and reveal all we need to know, The very

thing that makes faith is that we do not know why he does not answer all our prayers. lf all our prayers were answered we would not need faith any more. The scene at the cross of Jesus

was men shouting to him, 'Come down from the cross so we can see and believe.' That is the order of al

-

to see and believe. lf we see things, we don't need faith Faith is trusting God without humankind

seeing.

Your question is too profound for me to say much more - unless

you want a bookl But, put simply, God has chosen to reveal himself by faith, believing without seeing, and he tests our faith every day by not answering all our prayers. lf l'm attracted to a particular girl or boy, is it all right to pray for them to be my future wife or husband? Yes, but ask God with the confi-

dence that if he says no, rt is because he has a better rdea for you than the one you currently have. While at university many years ago, I was attracted to a particular

girl, I was so sure she was God's choice for me. But she jilted me, and I took it hard Later on. however she wanted me back - by wh ch time I had got over her.

A couple of years later I met Louise, and lwas so glad I did not get what I wanted when I prayed to have that first girlfriend So, yes, go ahead and pray as you feel, but if you don't get what

you want. submit to the sovereign will of God who knows you better than you know yourself,

l'm praying for more money is it wrong?

-

No, and I am sure that most of us have done it. But we must remember that God can give or withhold

mercy (Exodus 33:19). Likewise, he can give or withhold prosperity.

God wi I reveal all we need to

Like it or not, some Christians are blessed financially more than others, I am not sure why, but at the end of the day it has a lot to do with

fullness of time all we need to do is have faith

know in the

the sovereignty of God. But it also has something to do with our own nature and weakness. I concluded many years ago that God has withheld great wealth f rom me because

lwould abuse I

it.

have watched others

ers and laymen

-

- preach-

excel in making

money while I earned nothing in comparison, Did it hurt me - that is, did it make me sad? Yes, a bit And a little bit jealous But I have preached the sovere gnty of God all my life and there comes a time when you have to live by it as well as

believe it in theory So, yes, it is OK to ask God for money. But don t fall into the trap of believing it is God's

will for everybody to be rich That simply is not true.

2008 Jan-N,4ar Prayer

Have you got a

prayer question

for RT Kendall? Write to Prayer lVagazine,P0 Box 777, Nottingham, NG]1 6ZZ

I'lagaztne

27


E

Whmt ffi fr$mr:# w# hmvffi... YOU KNOW WHAT I really love? Hanging out with my friends. l'm a pretty sociable person, so an evening sitting around, chatting,

catching up over a meal, sharing what's going on in our lives... that sounds good to mel Last night I did just that. I went to a friend's house, and when all of us had arrived we sat down to eat,

chatted about general stuff, just enjoyed the good food and good company. Then we moved into the lounge,

settled into the comfy chairs, and got serious. Everybody shared a bit about how life is for them right Becky Williams

talk I listen And when I talk they listen, lt's a good feeling just being there for now. When my friends

each other, Some of my friends are

going through pretty tough times; others are celebrating good news. It's good to share that stuff, though

to listen and be listened to.

You know what I really really love? Hanging out with myfriends...

and God. See after we ate, chatted and spilled the beans on our lives we thought it would be good to get

'l

love being there

for my f riends, but a lot of the time there's not much I can do. It's hard to carry other people's burdens. But with God, there's no helpless s

ituati on.'

someone else involved. We d talked to each other about our stuff, next we wanted to talk to God about it. I

love being there for my f riends,

but a lot of the time there's not much I can do, lf my friends and I hung out, shared our situations and went home, l'm sure there

a God who will see us through. And when the solution comes through, we tell our friends. Then we get to

thank God together. N/ost times when my friends and I

meet up, I come home with a smile

would be nights when l'd get home

on my face. I can't carry burdens for

feeling helpless and maybe even depressed. lt's hard to carry other people's burdens. But with God, there's no helpless situation. Even

my friends, but I can Iisten to their worries, take it to God, and trust that he's already on the case. A group of friends, supporting

we don't know what to pray for,

able to help, he's willing to helP, and he's strong enough to carry

the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words' (Romans 8;26 CEV). We can simply say, 'Father, you know. Do something

us through.

about this.'

when stuff seems really bleak, he's

Sometimes we come to Pray and it's difficult to find the words, But God was with us the whole

28

time we were chatting away, so he doesn't need a recap on the conversation. ln fact, if we're really lost for words, that's OK. Because 'when

Prayer lVagazlne

Jan

N/ar 2008

AII of a sudden we don't feel

each other, encouraging and lifting each other up, is a good thing But that, plus a God who can move mountains, who is on our side, and

who cares about what we're going

so alone. There's hope, there's an

through

answer, and we know that we have

good thingl

now that's a really, really


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The ABC of ptryer lN THE PAST decade or so there has been a huge global development in prayer, which has involved millions of people. As a consequence, many dit ferent kinds of prayer leaders have

church, to prevent it being effectrve.

seems to have given one area of life

or on the nation, to prevent it being

as their prime area of responsibility

open to God. 'Prayer networkers' aim to connect churches, prayer

in prayer. They have a responsibility to inform the rest of the Body of Christ Their assignment could be to an age group, a people group, a religious grouping, a pillar of society (like the lega profession) or an is-

emerged, each with a distinctive

groups, and people of similar vision and understanding together in the same geographical area or around

approach.

a common enterprise,

'Prayer administrators' are at

L

is for leaders

phetic trumpet blowers' are usually a step ahead of others, in that they

wheels of prayer turning. 'Prayer counsellors' are those

Prayer maps are maps used for

see the issues that require a rallying

with a ministry to bring spiritual

call. They are aware of God's timing to press forward in prayer. They hear from heaven and give a lead

and physical healing to individuals whose lives have been messed up by many things Their motivation is to set people free from the tyranny

perimposed on each nation. Some of the best prayer maps have come

leaders of praying troops who stand

an

at the forefront of prayer mobilisation

initiatives for the last three decades. He co founded lnterprayer, an organisation interested in deve lop i ng

community transtormatron around the world, and also enc0urages prayer at the Ashburnham Prayer Centre in Kent. www.interprayeLcan www.ipcprayer.arg

guard before God on behalf of their nation, city or street. lVany spend hours in prayer, either alone or with others, They are watching what God doing around the world, and seek to listen to the Lord. A'teacher' on prayer is one who is

as is wise to enable effective prayer,

of the devil, so that they can take their place as effective members of the Body of Christ They not only do the prayer counselling, but want to equip others to do it too 'Sp ritual warfare eaders have

an understand ng of the spiritual battleground, how Satan's kingdom is structured and works, and what effective tactics should be used to counteract his influence. They see

not only the spiritual, behind-the-

wants to unpack what the Scrip-

scenes activities of evil powers,

tures say about prayer, and whose life is given to train others in that understanding and in the practice

fought in the world around them.

of prayer. The Word of God is their textbook, the people of God their class, and the world around them their laboratory, The 'prayer researcher' wants the praying community to be thor-

oughly aware of what they are up against, looking at the history of

brut also the way

the battle is being

'Breakthrough leaders' know when it's right to press forward, where lo concentrate their prayers. and what the immediate target is. They are unafraid of going into spiritually resistant territory These

will break open fast-closed doors and iron gates, and bring an end

M

is for maps and mapping

prayer, and include basic facts su-

f

rom agencies Operation N/obilisa-

tion and Operation World The latter

produce colourful maps of regions of the world, which are very useful resources for prayer gatherings (see www. g m i org/ow/resou rces). I

once met an enterprisinS ESyp-

tian man whose evangelistic group was having a huge mat made, with the map of the N/editerranean and its nations plus the Gulf States on it. They were going to carpet their prayer-room with it, and start plac-

ing their feet on territory that they wanted to claim for God. One of my friends made a huge canvas map of the world, to be placed on the floor for prayer, lt was used at Easter People for their early-morning prayer focus on the nations. We regularly use the largest map

possible of our local county for a monthly prayer gathering, and use it to help identify villages or towns and to lay hands on it in prayer. At Spring Harvest, we printed

a city, nation or continent, and the

resolution,

44 copies of the map of Europe, with basic information on the re-

issues that Satan has used to main-

There are many leaders 'assignment leaders' - to whom God

verse side, and gave them out to everyone attending the evening

tain a stranglehold either on the

30

events, keeping people informed and sharing as much information They work closely with prayer networkers, and are the oil to keep the

rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and to do so with prayer (4 9, 20) 'Watchmen' or 'seers' are the

executive member ot the lnternational Prayer Council and has served

sue (such as AIDS abortion or the persecuted Church)

The passion of a 'prayer mobiliser' is to mobilise others to learn about and be involved in prayer. 'Pro-

on earth, rather like Nehemiah did in galvanising the people of God to

Brian Mills is

the heart of what goes on, planning

Prayer lilagazine Jan-N/ar 2008

to situations that have long defied


g.:E*Lr.+,:ir

ffi

superimposing our under-

night' (Psalm 1:2); 'By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life' (Psalm

Sometimes, God wakes me up in the middle of the

the material world.' A combinat on of historical,

42:8). So night-time praise and

prayer I need to make. lt's then

prayer is not only possible, but

I

positively encouraged I ls this why people get wakened in the middle of the night to pray, or find themselves in

to be in communication with

and the Gospel started to be preached. The current Chair-

spiritual and physical data is obtained through research, prayer and prophetic understanding. That information is plolled on a physical map in

man of the Albanian Evangelical Alliance was one of the

order to identify where the layers of spiritually evil influences

celebration, These were used as we turned the meeting into a prayer evening for Europe,

We each placed a finger on Albania at that time the

world's only atheistic State and prayed with faith for it to change Nine months later its dictator was deposed,

places and circumstances

in

have been concentrated. Thus,

early converts.

N/apping by contrast,

standing of forces and events in the spiritual domain onto

is

spiritual strongholds become

the answer to questions such

apparent, and provide a focus for strong intercession.

as 'How well do I know my area?' and Whal are lhe spiritual factors that make it what it is?' Spiritual mapping is a term

that came into being through the work of the Sentinel Group,

famous for the Transformation videos. George Otis Jnr says,

Spiritual mapping involves

is for

N night-time Can we redeem the hours we spend sleeping in prayer?'On his law he meditates day and

prayer? Can God speak with us while we are sleeping? Can we speakwith God? IVy experience is'Yes, yes, yes!'

The Holy Spirit does not leave us at night. Our subconscious continues to be active; that's when God gives us dreams and visions. Before turning out the light, say to God, 'Lord, l'm available. Holy Spirit, pray through me while

I sleep. Bring those things of concern to the Father into my

night and instructs me about a particular course of action or

know that my spirit continues

God. I asked God about this once, and he seemed to say that he needs those who pray at night to cover for those in action by day, on the other side of the world! These days, when so many 2417 walches o{ continuous prayer are being established,

many are called to be in a chain of prayer by night. So if you're finding it difficult to sleep at night, try prayer. You will either have a glorious time of fellowshipwith God

-or

fall fast asleepl

mind and spirit for prayer.'

2008

Jan

lVar Prayer l\,4agazine 31


Despite the Ceath of children, hardship and poverty, Susanna

Greatness of charucterl r \

LOCKED INTO A marriage with a wasteful and domineering husband, Susanna Wesley could have allowed the poverty and hardships

of her existence to crush. her spirit and embitter her soul. lnstead, she turned her considerable energies to praying for and educating her children, in the process producing two sons who were to help change the face of England.

Born into a dissenting family in 1669, Susanna grew up in a peaceful and godly atmosphere, revealing a thirst for knowledge and a maturitythat belied heryears. Her Susanna Wesley, right, who faced

life's trials with an indomitable spirit

lifewas governed by immense selt discipline - which she was later to pass on to her son, John - shown

by her determination 'never to

and faith

spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private Below Susanna's mostfamous sons, Charles and John Wesley

religious devotions'. By the time Susanna was 13,

she showed her determination of character and independence of mind by deciding that dissent was, after all, wrong. Hence she left her father's church and joined the Church of England. Around this

time she met a young student six years older than herself, Samuel Wesley. Their friendship eventually

#

ffigF

"s\"

l.1i' ''"

blossomed into love, and theywere married six years later. Sadly, Samuelwas not an ideal

partner. Although extremely tal-

ented and hard-working, a man who diligently soughtto perform his

duties to his parishioners, he was a

man of immense self-importance who would not allow his will to be crossed. For a woman of strongly independent mind and opinions,

32

Prayer lVagazine

Jan

lvlar 2008

her enforced servitude to her husband must have been a bitter pill for Susanna to swallow. ln addition,

Samuel was a poor manager of money and was in debt all his life, once even landing in debtor's prison. As a result, his wife and children - especially the daughters - lived in

1709

- she was constantly

bearing or burying children, as well as enduring ill-health as a result of the pregnancies.

This, added to the poverty of the home and her husband's often unreasonable behaviour, may have made her crushed and bitter. ln-

almost constant penury. It is, however, in the raising of her children that we see Susanna's

stead it made her more determined to devote the prime of her life to the

true greatness of character. She altogether had 19 children in 19

she set up a school in her home, where classes were conducted six

years, nine of whom died in infancy.

days a week. Susanna stated that there was 'no such thing as loud

For those 19 years

-

from 1690 to

salvation of her children. To this end


A

,

t

FE G VEN OVER

/esley never let her spirit be crushed, writes David Littlewood I

gives a lasting legacy talking or playing allowed, but everyone was kept close to business for the six hours of school'. While her strictness might ap-

pear somewhat extreme to our liberal age, we must realise that the Wesley children grew to be men and women of tremendous strength of character - in the case of John, superiorto almost all others of his time! ln addition, Susanna was

example they could never forget.

Susanna's zeal for teaching did

not stop with her family. ln 1712, during one of her husband's frequent absences from the parish,

above it all by an indomitable spirit and a faith in God. ln our own age,

where a mother's role is often despised as unfulfilling, she is an example of what can be achieved,

she gathered people in her kitchen

leaving a legacy in two of her sons

and read them a sermon out of a book. Numbers grew to as many

that would help change the face

hour each evening to be alone with

of England and bring revival to the Christian Church. For if John and Charles Wesley

the scriptures, meditate and pray'

as 200, and when Samuel returned

he found his congregations much increased and a new measure of

ers, scholars and poets from their

hour each evening to be alone with

of his wife's efforts! Susanna Wesley is an example

to read the scriptures, medi-

to us all of a woman who faced

father, their quality of character came, in the providence of God, from the indomitable example of

tate and pray, setting her children an

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Jan IVar Prayer l\,4agazrne 33


in lVotorsport tear-n, with three other drivers Flector Lester corn the British GT Chanrpionships in a Ferrari 430 PRAYER FOR A Christian is like an ordinary person without a mobile phone: you can't live without the communication. I try to take time to pray, and usually succeed in having a few

moments of prayer every day;

I

find it the right thing to do. I get a chance to pray in the morning and usually at night

But they are my only formal times of prayer, as I pray all day long, I pray wherever I am, even if

And if l'm in the car and see an ambulance, I will pray that the person in it will be all right and will getwell. Prayer is such an important matter to me. As a Christian, we have an obligation to use prayer; it's an open channel. To me, prayer is second

You shouldn't pray for success,

around without any problems. Driving at such speeds is absorbing and I don't spend my time during the race praying, but if I see a car go off the track badly, l'll pray

and anything else that's not spe-

that the outcome will be OK and

be debasing God praying for specific

cific, because all prayer is in God's will it's up to God. Before a race, I won't pray to win because you would be debasing God praying for specific success.

that their life is sustained until they

Hector Lester, left

nature, It is vitally important not just to

l'm sitting at traffic lightsl

make requests, you should also give prayers of thanks.

I

always give a prayer of thanks when

we do achieve a win.

I will always pray for a safe race and that a I the drivers will get

'Before a race, I won t pray to win because you would

SUCCESS.,SAYS

find God.

l'll pray for safekeeping direction

-

and

everyone should pray

for that! All society should offer up that prayer, Prayer is a facility we have been

offered by God and it's our obligation to use it.

IVy prayer life is probably not average

of God. I can honestly say that I know

the still, small voice anymore. When

It/ost people think that prayer is something you do, and turn it inlo a time factor or a ritual. But it's never been like that

God That's why l've survived. It/y life is made up of two things: lm either doing ministry or I'm alone

you know somebody they can give you 'that look' and you knowwhat they mean

for me.

with God. There's not much in between, I don't chit-chat

ln prayer, I believe there's an audible

voice level of communication. a still small voice level and a silent level of

with Christians and go out for

communication with God.

and I don't spend much time with people outside ministry, but that's the way I like it My closed-off prayer life

ln my years in New York, l've learned

the hard way. The only way I have sur-

vived is through my prayer life and my closeness in communicating with God. ln prayer, devotion and time alone with God, you begin to know the nalure

34

Prayer N,4agazine Jan-N/ar 2008

coffee I don't do fellowship

allows me the time I need to be quiet. I value, cherish and protect my alone time. I don't need an audible voice or

without necessarily saying anything. Every married man knows what lmean, and that's how I am in my walk with God don't wear my spirituality on my sleeve: many people are I

shocked when they realise how spiritual I am. But afler surviving so many years on the streets, you'l understand that I have a close, intimate prayer life, and without it, I'd be nowhere.


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Prayer Magazine 13  

Editor : Carl Brettle

Prayer Magazine 13  

Editor : Carl Brettle