Make Yourself Available to Love

To love people by helping them to carry their burdens, we have to make ourselves available. This can mean taking time from our busy schedules to share our hope and faith, to share financial resources, or to simply share a smile and a hug. We’ll never know the struggles someone is facing unless we slow down and take the time to be available.

How Can We Help Kids See Answers to Prayer?

As we pray with our kids and they’re getting older, we transition from mere thankfulness to the concept of being cooperative with God.

Think of it this way: the first half of things we ask of God can be answered by gifts He’s already given us – a body, a mind, the earth, the capacity to work, etc. The second half is God doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We cooperate with God to answer prayers; we both do our part.

When I Feel Like God’s Not Hearing Me, Should I Keep Praying?

There are times we casually ask God for something, and we’re not even aware of what will be involved in how God answers that prayer. For example, if we ask God for wisdom, we should be actively working to gain it.

How? Our focus should change from a material-centered lifestyle to a spiritually-centered intensity. Combining the fervency and persistent nature of our prayers, maturing, and fasting will all develop our spiritual life and help us gain wisdom – and we can’t rush that process.

Should We Be Specific in Prayer?

There will always be tension between your faith in God and your faith in your expectations of God. The Bible tells us only to exercise our faith in God. He is sovereign and His will stands.

That said, it’s okay to ask God for specific outcomes. The important thing is to remember that it’s up to God to do His will, and we must yield to His will with a tender and thankful heart.

How Important Is It to Have Relationships for Prayer?

The Bible tells us “to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.” There’s a practical reason for this: we tend to distance ourselves from God at either end of these extremes. In good times, we can grow arrogant. In bad times, we can become desperate. God wants us to be in community with other believers so we can have accountability and support throughout all the stages of our lives.

How Do You Help People Understand God Has a Plan?

Tragedy has a way of making people doubt God and His goodness. Pastor Kevin explains there are two issues that must be dealt with: a head issue and a heart issue. Sometimes we want an answer as to why something happened, when what we really need is a changed disposition and a dependency. God’s only promise is that He will always be with us.

What if You Pray for Something that Isn’t Healthy?

If what we’re praying for is not consistent with the word of God, then whatever we’ve gained is not from God. When we violate the word and the wisdom of God, what we get on the other side is not the will of God. God will not answer our prayer in an unhealthy way that goes against what He teaches us in the Bible.

What Do You Say to Someone Who’s Losing Valuable Time in Prayer?

There are various ways to pray, but confession is always an important component. Pastor Kevin offers an acronym as a guide: P.R.A.Y. (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield) Start with a posture of praise. Then approach God with a clean heart through repentance so that nothing stands in the way. Ask God to grant a request, and then yield to His will for whatever outcome He chooses.

How Do You Talk with a Non-Believer about Prayer and God’s Will?

Sometimes friends who don’t believe in God ask us, as Christians, to pray for them. When things don’t go as we hoped and prayed, our friends feel disappointment and we feel uncomfortable. Pastor Kevin explains practical, step-by-step ways to pray with non-believers and how to follow up later to initiate conversations about faith.

How Can Single Moms Develop an Atmosphere of Prayer?

The first thing a single mom should do to develop an atmosphere of prayer is to grow her own intimate relationship with her Heavenly Father. This opens the door to her children believing in the possibility for themselves. The next thing she should do is to let her children know she’s praying for them and offer to pray with them together. Engage the mystery of prayer and watch God work.

How Do I Make Prayer Practical for Young Children?

Children crave routine, and prayer can easily become part of your family’s daily rhythm. Begin with prayers of thanks for food, toys, friends, etc. Progress over time to prayers for God’s help in situations at school or with difficult relationships. Prayer should grow in complexity as children get older. Model for them, through all stages of life, how to pray to their Heavenly Father.

What’s Better Than Forgiveness From Sin?

In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says, “Lead us not into temptation.” Temptation, in this instance, means trials that would lead us to fall prey to Satan’s schemes and cause us to sin.

We should pray daily so that God would help us not to become so undone by our challenges that we would believe the lies of the enemy.

How Pastor Kevin Forgave His Dad

Pastor Kevin shares how he managed to forgive his father, from whom he’s been estranged since age 17. He discusses the three words that helped him process the loss: bitterness, forgiveness, and sadness. The forgiveness removed the bitterness, but it did not remove the sadness of what could have been.

Lead Like a Man, Pray Like a Boy

There is so much in our lives and in our world that we can’t control. Political issues, economic changes, relational problems – many things plague us. At work and in our families, when we’re expected to lead, we should lead with strength and confidence. But when we pray to God, our protector, provider, and deliverer, we should humbly approach Him like a child.

Prayer Is Not for God, It’s for You

Why should we pray if God already knows what we need? Theologian John Calvin offers an insightful explanation. In short, prayer is not for God, it’s for us. God knows what we need, and He’s faithful to provide it. But when we pray, we exercise our faith, release anxiety, and are reminded of who God is.

When we don’t pray, we’re at risk of believing everything we need falls upon us to provide. Remember, it’s not our own efforts and abilities that afford us what we need. It’s always God who does the blessing.

Prayer Fills a Gap that Needs Continual Filling

Just like the deposit and withdrawal nature of relationships, our spiritual life goes through similar cycles. The design of prayer is that when we pour out our prayers to God, He continually pours into us.

So is it normal to hit “empty” often? Absolutely. God didn’t design prayer to be a one-time thing; it’s meant to happen every day.

The Order of The Lord’s Prayer Matters

Jesus taught the disciples how to pray by modeling a prayer – The Lord’s Prayer. What Jesus demonstrated is that the order of our prayers matters. It all starts with recognizing the holiness and greatness of God, and His will mattering more than our own.

There is nothing above God, and everything that transpires in our lives is for His glory alone.

God’s Will, God’s Way

We must surrender to “God’s Will” and “God’s Way,” and we cannot separate the two.

“God’s Will” is His sovereign will – it cannot be changed; it’s what God wants most. He wants everyone to be saved and spend eternity with Him. “God’s Way” is His revealed will – what He has revealed to us through the Bible on how we should live our lives.

Daniel and Brie’s Story

Daniel and Brie share their emotional journey through infertility, and how God orchestrated people, finances, and treatments to come together to grant them the desire of their hearts. During the process, they learned to trust God – no matter what – and their prayer lives were changed forever.

Daniel and Brie were overwhelmed with joy when God not only blessed them with a pregnancy, but also twins, through a statistical rarity using only one embryo. It sweetened what they already understood to be an answered prayer and a miracle.

Praying About Control

Jesus Knew:
Prayer is not how we secure control, it’s how we surrender control.

One Thing We Need To Do:
Surrender to: God’s will , God’s way

Question:

  • Where in your life are you trying to secure control instead of surrendering control?
  • Not my will, but Yours be done: ______________

 

God Shapes Life Through Prayer

There are many future events in the Bible that were preordained by God – they will happen no matter what. But God has made it clear that not everything is set in stone. God is moved by our prayers, and we can participate in the shaping our lives through the act of prayer.

This does not, however, make God our servant. Sometimes He will answer the way in which we desire and sometimes He won’t. The mark of maturity comes through trusting God regardless of how He answers.

The Power of Prayer Isn’t in Our Words

When it comes to prayer, there’s no power in our words. There’s power in the word of God: in that we can pray to God, the Father, in the name of the son, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our prayers can be brief, and our words don’t have to be elaborate or impressive. We should simply speak from the heart, and pray with each other continuously – in good times and in bad times.

Get Comfortable Praying with Each Other

Nowhere in “The Lord’s Prayer” are there personal pronouns – there’s no “I,” “me,” or “my.” It’s always “our” Father and “us.” When we come into relationship with God through Jesus, we join a bigger family. And prayer becomes a part of that family, so we pray together to our Father.

Because we share the same Father, we should be comfortable praying together and right in the moment.

What Prayerlessness Cultivates

When we’re prayerless, it cultivates pride and pressure because we’re not engaging God’s heart or His power. This makes the material world more dominant in our lives and the spiritual world (what really matters) less important.

As Christians, we can never outgrow God. We desperately need Him for protection, power, and wisdom – so we must keep praying.

Prayer Must Be Bigger Than We Understand

Jesus was God in human-form. He came from heaven, and he knew more than any of us. And yet he prayed more than any of us. In other words, Jesus, who knew most, prayed most.

For many of us, we mistakenly believe prayer matters too little to devote big time to it. For Jesus, he knew prayer was too big – too important – to devote too little time to it.