Our spiritual leaders need our consistent and earnest prayers. God has given them to us to encourage and guide us spiritually and the enemy would love nothing more than the discourage them, tempt them, and destroy them. I challenge you to spend time daily praying specifically for your pastor — not just your church in general, for his family, and for each of your church leaders and their families.source link
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Pray specific prayers for them, their marriages, their children, their homes, and their own spiritual growth and protection. I truly believe that strong, stable, and loving families are an essential part of our testimony as a church, because in this generation of fractured, dysfunctional, and even distorted families the church can stand out as a light in this area. We see Paul writing to Timothy to instruct the older women to teach the younger women to be caring mothers and homemakers.
We need to pray earnestly that the families in our church remain strong, stable, and loving — establishing a firm foundation of faith and passion for God and His Word! The temptation for substance abuse, the level of peer pressure, and the emotional damage of bullying is far greater than it ever was in my generation. This is partly due to amount of media consumed by young people today and the fact that most young people are on social media — and are thus are less likely to pull away from the peer pressure and bullying they are bombarded with.
We need to pray that God strengthen them and infuse them with a passion for Him and His Word that will help them stand alone when faced with ungodly influences: from teachers, from peers, and from their enemies.
Psalm Imagine what God could do in a city where the unified churches came together, despite their theological differences, demographic variances, and wide-range of methods in how they conduct their worship celebration. Imagine if the churches in your city banded together as one to bless their city, reach the lost, extend a hand to the hurting and destitute. The enemy knows the power of a unified church.
He knows that when members of a church can lay aside their personal opinions and come together in unity that there is literally nothing God cannot do through them to touch a world in need. This is why we need to pray for unity — because the enemy works day and night to keep the church from enjoying this powerful blessing! Pray for para-church organizations in their city namely homeless shelters and outreach organizations. I love to study the Bible, but I do deep study outside of my prayer time. Mental prayer is not primarily concerned with increasing our knowledge of facts, but with increasing our experiential knowledge of God and consequently our love for Him.
In other words, the historical context of our chosen passage, the precise meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew words, or the geography of the Holy Land can aid in our understanding of Scripture, but are not essential for prayer. We learn from the obedience or disobedience of our forbears.
Then we examine our lives in light of what we have learned and we converse with God about it. For most people, I do recommend the Gospels as the starting place. Nowhere in the Bible or the writings of the saints do we come face to face with God as powerfully as in the Gospels. Jesus reveals the face of God to us. Every event in His life teaches us who God is and who we are.
She wrote:. I cannot believe that people can really do this; it must be that they do not understand themselves and thus do harm to themselves and to others…. If you wish to stay close to Jesus, I see no better beginning for our mental prayer than the Gospels. If you really struggle with understanding the Gospels, you may try using the Navarre Bible. This Bible is published by book the Gospels and Acts comprise one volume.
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While the commentary does have plenty of historical and contextual information, it focuses on spiritual growth. I also recommend the Psalms as a great source of meditation for beginners.
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The psalmists express their joys, fears, triumphs, failures, doubt, trust, and the gamut of human experience in beautiful, poetic prayer. The Psalms are relatively easy to understand. We easily pass from reading them to praying them, then expressing our own inmost feelings to God. Try praying through one book from beginning to end. The Bible is easier to understand when passages are read in context.
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These themes can guide your spiritual life. Another method starts with a theme.
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Each day you read a separate passage that touches on the chosen theme. The passage could be from anywhere in the Bible. The Spiritual Exercises of St.
Ignatius, and prayer books based on it, epitomize this method. I am currently using this method under spiritual direction.
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I find the concentration on one virtue for several weeks fruitful for my spiritual life. You can even choose your own themed passages with a topical concordance. Each one leads the reader through a short Bible passage, using a standard format. After reading the book, you should be able to continue praying on this way on your own. What about using nonbiblical material for meditation? Books of meditations, of varying quality and orthodoxy, abound. The inexperienced person may find such books helpful, but most faithful practitioners will probably quickly outgrow them.
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Of course, meditation comes easier for some people than others. One excellent, classic source for learning to meditate is Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. Francis teaches a meditation method. He leads the reader through several sequential meditations on the spiritual life, in a manner reminiscent of St. Not only is St. One problem I find with many other books of meditations is that they give no hint of a call to deeper prayer or a more mature spirituality.