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Day 23

19) Dean Trune: How God Communicates

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In this, our 19th episode of More Disciples Podcast, we feature Dean Trune, Director of Intentional Impact Ministries, speaking on the topic of “Understanding How God Communicates.” He originally delivered this address at a recent Prayer Weekend we staged at Emerald Hills, Team Expansion’s sending base in Louisville, KY.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 23

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Today’s challenge was to begin developing an hour of prayer. My family is on vacation this week and so this morning I went out on the porch of our condo to spend some time with Jesus through my SOAP study and then reading over, meditating, and thinking about what an hour of prayer would look like integrated into my life.

Honestly, when I first saw the challenge I was like, what!? An hour of just sitting and praying that’s so long! But the more I began to look over the prayer wheel and I began to see how I could fit it into my life it became more and more doable. First of all I really like how the prayer wheel breaks up the hour into so many sections especially with sections of scripture reading and singing praise because I think that will help me hold my attention span much better. I also think that I may divide the hour up throughout my day with doing 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening. If you have a really crazy schedule you could even divide up the 5 min sections into different parts of your day. Something that I recently learned about at church camp was prayer postures so I think it would be neat to add these into different parts of the prayer wheel along with prayer journaling.

Today my SOAP study was over 1 Timothy 4. A favorite verse of mine from today was…

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

1 Timothy 4:10

I just like how it talks about Jesus coming to be the savior for all peoples. Jesus came to save all and he’s given us the choice to accept him as our savior or not.

Who are you Battling?

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“For our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”  Ephesians 6:12

Think of the most difficult person, most pressing problem, and/or most overwhelming circumstance you’re facing in your life right now.  Think of several if you like.

Whatever it is you’re thinking about, whether a person or a circumstance – whoever or whatever it is – it is not your real problem.  Hear that again:  IT is NOT your REAL problem.  The most troubling things in your life, things that you perceive with your five physical senses, are not your real issue.  Though you may be wrestling with them verbally, emotionally, financially, even physically, you are wasting your precious time and energy that needs to be reserved for the real culprit – the one who is behind the scenes, striving to direct the details of some of your most acute difficulties.  Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world.  Sounds like a movie, huh?

But Paul’s words, directly out of Ephesians, tell us that we wrestle not against man but with the ruler of this world which is Satan.

Your real enemy – the devil – wants you to ignore the spiritual reality behind the physical one.  Because as long as you’re focused on what you can see with your physical eyes, he can continue to run rampant underneath the surface.  The more you disregard him, the more damage he is free to do.  The enemy may be invisible, but he is not fictional.  He is very real, and very persistent, waging war against us constantly.
Our enemy celebrates lethargic Christian living.  When we’re giving up on relationships, disregarding the purity of our reputations, yielding to our appetites without putting up much, if any, resistance, he can basically go unchecked.  Ultimately, the enemy can hamstring the church from achieving the purposes of God.  That’s why he works so hard to beat you down with discouragement.  Make you discontent.  Lie to you about who God is, causing you to doubt the Lord’s all-good intentions toward you.  Hammer you with accusations that place a burden of shame and guilt on your shoulders too heavy to carry.  Trick you into thinking your situation will never change, and that God doesn’t hear you or care when you call out to Him.  Soon your fire of passion starts to burn low.  You become disinterested.  Low in spiritual fiber.  Your spiritual armor goes unworn and unused.

Now you’re exactly where the enemy wants you – where you no longer want to fight for peace and passion in your marriage, where you no longer believe your child can be restored, where you no longer hope for healing in your body, where you no longer see any path to freedom from your addictions, where you just don’t see the purpose in praying anymore….so you don’t.   You don’t ask or seek or knock.

Did you know that more than 4,000 churches close each year?  That the 5th largest unchurched nation is the United States?  Could this be because His Church, the Bride of Christ, is not standing together, a vast army, united in prayer?  The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil everywhere.  God shapes the world by prayer.  Prayers are deathless.  The lips that uttered them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive the world.

So what if our world is morally declining because our generation fails to pray?  What if this generation has been too busy or too unbelieving to pray?  What if God’s conquering days are when the Church has given herself to prayer – praying for the advancement of God’s cause?

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7

Ask of me is the condition – a praying people willing and obedient.  The strongest one to stand against the enemy is the one who is the best knocker.  The secret of success in Christ’s kingdom is the ability to pray.  To stop the advancement of the enemy we must stand together and fight in prayer.

 

Portions adapted from:

  • EM Bounds on Prayer
  • The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
  • Moving Mountains by John Eldredge

Day 23: Prayer

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The challenge for today was to work toward 1 hour in prayer everyday.  Prayer has always been a little more difficult for me and if most Christians are honest it is one of their main struggles.  We don’t know how to pray, what to pray, and we feel inadequate.  I heard a story of someone who wanted to go on the mission field once.  A missionary asked the person how much they prayed each day.  The person replied around 30 minutes.  The missionary then replied if you are going to be on the front lines of God’s work you need to be praying at least 3 hours!  That was a crazy story to me but a few months ago I met a gal who has been praying like crazy and God has been opening doors in amazing ways.  Many times we think prayer is inefficient but this gal stated that all of these things could not have come about if she would not have been praying.  Too many times for myself I would rather read another book or another article than really spend time asking God in prayer what he wants. 3 months ago God put on my heart to stop reading books for awhile.  In this time I spent time in prayer and scripture more and the fruit of that has been awesome!

A few other ways I am going to try to be more intentional are over my lunch breaks and throughout the day.  Over my lunch breaks I have tried to get away and park in the wal mart parking lot and just pray.  It has been a great time to listen to God. The other way I am going to focus on praying is to pray for everyone I come in contact with.  I tried this a few months back and was amazed how it changed my day.  I found that when I ran into people my first thoughts were usually judgmental but as I switched that to praying for people I had a whole different outlook.

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 23

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Day 23: Build Your Prayer Life.  Today’s challenge was to begin working towards spending an hour in prayer every day.  Today I spent 20 minutes in one chunk, plus other times throughout the day.  I would like to get to where I am praying for 15-30 minutes in the morning during a time set aside specifically for prayer, praying throughout my day while I am doing other things (working, snuggling babies, doing laundry, driving, etc.), and then spending 30-45 minutes at the end of the day in prayer during a time set aside specifically for that purpose.

I tend to spend a lot of time in prayer anyway.  I have always loved to pray and spend time with my God in this way.  I am a prayer journaler.  I love to write my prayers down because it keeps me focused.  Sometimes I will be too lazy to write and I try to simply pray just in my head, and I find myself getting very off track.  I become unfocused and day dreamy.  Also, I love to have the ability to read back through my prayers and see how God has answered them.  It is cool to see the way that God is working in my life and the lives of those I pray for.  I love to use a journal, but I also love to pray while I am doing other things such as driving, cooking, rocking my kids, etc.  I think that both are important, and they kind of touched on this in the video.  You need times of direct, specific, intentional prayer to spend a large amount of time praising and petitioning God.  But you also need the times where you are simply conversing with God throughout your day.  It is those little prayers that help us stay focused on the Lord during our whole day.

How to Remember Prayer Requests

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During a recent webinar, a participant asked, “Is there some easy way to remember major themes in praying for individuals?”

We’re just brainstorming here — but, if the disciple maker carries a small calendar or notebook (e.g., a “Day-timer”), why not set aside a special page or section in back. And if the disciple maker carries a smartphone (e.g., an iPhone), why not use a “note” or a page in an app like Evernote? That way, one can always go back to it as needed. Microsoft recently made OneNote completely free to all. It allows for tabs, and pages within those tabs. Set up a system that works for you and you’ll be in business in no time.

Learn more about OneNote here: https://www.onenote.com/

Self-Feeding: Prayer

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Researchers have observed that no Kingdom movement has yet happened in all history without being preceded by extraordinary prayer. What’s more, a disciple worth multiplying always seems to be a person who excels in prayer. Listen as Curtis explains.

Prayer Walking as a Passion

By | Day 05, Day 23 | One Comment

Prayer-walking is one of my greatest passions. I’ve spent over 2 hours a day prayer-walking for many years. My physical therapist actually is trying to convince me to prayer-walk less miles a day. I used to prayer-walk more than three hours a day.

There are many positive results of prayer-walking. Some results you will see here and now. Some results will only become evident in eternity. You will see results in your own life: loving God more, loving others more, forgetting your problems as you see the problems of other people, opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with others. You may even lose a few pounds. I lost 45 lbs prayer-walking in 2001.

One secret to prayer-walking more, is to use all those little trips you make, even walking your dog, at the grocery store, or at the mall, into minutes of prayer. Pray about the physical, spiritual, psychological, financial, family, etc. needs of others. Pray for those you see, hear, or even imagine that live in or work in the places you see.

You can learn more about prayer-walking at my page: https://www.facebook.com/PrayWalk

Mobilizing Prayer

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Turns out that mobilizing prayer for unreached peoples, both around the block and around the world, is one of — if not THE — most strategic thing we can do to launch disciple-making movements among those same least-reached peoples. If that’s the case, we’d better start investing more time in it. Check out this video by John K., delivered at an event for team leaders of outreaches around the world. The topic is literally, “Mobilizing Prayer.”

Mobilizing Prayer, by John K., at Team Expansion's Team Leaders' Summit 2015