The Purpose Of A Prayer Ministry

What the world could use most is prayer.  But for some reason most of us don’t understand the value of prayer.  We come up with all kinds of solutions to our problems, but we miss the most important one—prayer.  Prayer is the best solution because it brings us directly to God and gives us the power of God.

God is calling us to prayer.  He invites us to His throne, and He says to us, “Call on Me and I will answer you,” “Come to Me and I will give you rest.”  Moreover, He searches continually for the faithful, like Abraham, Moses, and Daniel who will sacrificially stand in the gap before Him (Ezek. 22:30).

But there are so few these days that are faithful in prayer.  And there are so few preachers who preach and teach and model prayer.  Peter Wagner, in his research, has found that 80% of the meaningful intercession in the average congregation is provided by only 5% of its people.

What is wrong?  Why don’t we see the need for prayer?  Why don’t our preachers preach on it more?

Well, one of the things we can do in our churches and fellowship groups to help people learn about prayer and how to pray is to provide a prayer ministry.

Two Purposes of a Prayer Ministry

A prayer ministry is simply a ministry having to do with prayer.  A prayer ministry I think has two purposes:

1.  It serves those who need prayer.  This is its primary purpose—to see that people are prayed for, as many as possible.

2.  It serves those who desire to pray.  To accomplish the first and primary purpose, a prayer ministry must service the needs of those who desire to pray.  This second objective I think is the main task of the prayer ministry—so that the primary purpose can be accomplished. 

The prayer ministry, then, as I see it, is a vehicle to help people pray: to teach them about prayer, and to motivate them to pray.  It may also provide for them people to pray with, people to pray for, a prayer atmosphere, and prayer tools.  Overall, a prayer ministry will help people to develop a desire for prayer, to feel the call of God to pray, and to gain a sense of responsibility to pray and intercede for others.

So, the prayer ministry covers a lot of ground.  It is a big service.  But we must be careful that we don’t get off track so that we lose our focus.  A prayer ministry should not be so focused on all the activities of its ministry, that it loses its focus on helping people pray.

I think this occupation with activities is what happens when leaders are more concerned with how the ministry looks then with people.  Leaders sometimes get so caught up with getting people to events to hear grand messages on prayer, and they get so enthused about their prayer breakfasts and prayer charts and prayer chains and prayer walks, etc., that they forget about how their people are doing, whether they are learning how to prayer or not.

The heart and focus of the prayer ministry is being involved with people, not events.  It exists to serve people—to counsel them and teach them and to help them grow in the Lord.  If all our prayer activities and prayer tools distract us from our focus then we must get rid of them.  They do us no good.  Likewise, if we as leaders spend most of our time at our desk making plans and writing sermons, etc., and very little time with our people, that is just wrong!  Jesus spent most of his time with His disciples.  They learned by being with Him.  They learned how to pray mainly by watching Him pray and by praying with Him.  Let us as prayer leaders seek to do the same as Jesus did. 

Source: My book, Prayer A to Z, pp. 293-294.

Plan to Pray Long

There are so many people with so many needs, which require us to spend much time in prayer.  But, as Wesley Duewel has said, “We will never have enough time for prayer unless we deliberately plan for it…The time we give to prayer by deliberately planning is the measure of our value of prayer.  It is the truest measure of our love for Jesus.”5

I urge you to follow our Lord’s example in praying at night and in the early morning.  If the Lord is calling you to get up early in the morning to pray, if you want to be powerfully used by God and if you want to really know Him, you must immediately get up when He wakes you.  As E. M. Bounds has said, “No man gets God who does not follow hard after Him.”6

So wake your lazy bones up and get going with God (I’m talking to myself)!   If you are prone to be lazy and want to sleep in, I urge you to instead follow the desire to pray.  That holy desire will provide for you a great blessing when you heed its call.  And when you have decided that you are going to rise early to pray, that decision, backed up with action, will break all your self-indulgent chains, giving you greater and greater strength and desire for God.

Besides morning and evening prayers, Sunday afternoon is a great time to spend an hour or two in prayer.  What better time to use for prayer than the Lord’s Day.

If you are planning to pray long, don’t be discouraged if the first few minutes are especially difficult.  It seems, at least for me, that after twenty minutes or so of struggling in prayer, the rest of the time is more enjoyable and less of a struggle.  That is because it often takes that long to enter into that heavenly realm where you are in awe of God. 

When you get to that place in your prayers, you will almost forget that you are on earth struggling in the flesh; you will be more conscious that you are with God in the heavenly places.  That is, you will be so taken up with God that you will forget all about your earthly affairs.  In that blissful time, your thoughts will be more with God’s thoughts; therefore, you won’t be concerned with all of your worries; you will be more concerned for the will of God.  During that sweet time of prayer, you won’t be thinking about what you could be doing or what you should be doing; rather, you will be so overcome with desire for God that all you will want to do is to drink and imbibe deeply of His love. 

I challenge you to extend your prayer time for longer than twenty minutes.  It will be less of a struggle from then on.  And the blessings that follow will be tremendous!


5 Wesley Duewel, Mighty Prevailing Prayer (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Francis Asbury Press, of Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), p. 160.

6 E. M. Bounds, Power through Prayer, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House), 1979, p. 58.

Update: Bahrain, Mice, Racism, and more

Bahrain is a very small Island/ Country just west of Qatar.

Work. It’s Monday, not a lot going on as far as work. I have a small job on Wednesday; I just have to paint three doors, Tarrytown green. Fun.

Mice. Following up on my latest article about my mouse problem: I haven’t seen any mice for a few days. But I am convinced that I did have one or two mice—and I was not hallucinating. My evidence, besides seeing them, was finding a few black, small droppings under the stove, in back of the juicer, and on the bathroom floor in the corner. Gross! I am more motivated now to clean and make sure I have nothing laying around where they can nest. I would be mortified if I found a nest with baby mice in it. And I asked around to all the other apartments in my building, and no one has seen any mice. Why is it just me?

Bahrain. Just too days ago, Bahrain came on board with UAE. Now we have two nations at peace with Israel, which confirms my previous article on the fact that bible prophecy is now happening; and so, the Ezekiel Invasion (Ezek. 38, 39) is coming soon—which also means that the Rapture is coming soon. It is so exciting to see these things falling into place.

My church looking at racism. I tend not to want to talk about or hear anyone talk about racism. I think that is mainly in our past. And for the most part I think it was dealt with back in the 60’s. But our pastor has chosen to tackle it. Well, so far, I think he is doing a great job. His main motivation is evangelism in our community, which has a mixed race. So, we figure that our church should really have a mixed race of people. And, for the most part, we do.

His text was from Revelation 7:9: “After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…”

So, he got from that verse that in heaven there will be a mixed race of people: all nations, tribes, and languages. It is a beautiful picture. We should not see heaven as a blend of the races, say all brown people. No. It will be multi-colored. Very colorful! And we will love and accept each other as we are. So, the main message is that we need to humble ourselves, face up to, and talk about where we are concerning how we feel about each other—people of other races. Sin wants to hide; but redemption demands honesty, humility and transparency.

But we also need to be careful and wise. Riots are not the way to deal with anything. Anger will not solve anything. And we know now that there are anarchists that want to take advantage of any hurtful situation in order to destroy our country. We don’t need another civil war. We need prayer and revival, and we need law and order to go along with it.

My reading. I just started reading Live Free Or Die, by Sean Hannity. Good grief. I had no idea that the book would be so deep. I mean, it is like a text book with tons of research. It’s a book I could definitely read more than once. There is so much in it. It is not that hard to read, just so much in it. Oh well, I will just read it slow, a little at a time. It is good. A lot of good information about our great country.

Update: Book Reading, Book Writing

I can’t think of anything in particular to write on that would be enough for a blog. But there are a few things I’m thinking about that, put together, would give you an update of what’s going on with me. Let me first tell you about the books I’m reading. The book I just put down a minute ago is Nikki Haley’s book, With All Due Respect. It will never be a best seller, but I enjoy reading it. I liked her before I started reading it, but now even more. She has a good character and I loved how she stood up to the people at the UN over their disrespect for Israel. I also love how she stood up to Kelly and Tillerson over their divisiveness against President Trump. It was refreshing.

Another book I’m reading is a very large book, The Presidents Fact Book, on all the Presidents and also their wives. It is very interesting and kind of fun to read. It’s a book that I might read again, because it is so loaded with valuable information—a good book of history; and we need to learn history before it is lost, because so many crazy people these days want to destroy our history.

As I refill my coffee cup, let me share my thoughts on a possible next book to write. Actually, I’m just finishing my latest two books: one entitled, After the Rapture: What Happens On Earth and in Heaven After the Rapture; and another book on my life story, which I don’t have a title for yet. I’m presently self-editing them, then I will write an intro for both of them, and then go through the publishing process.

So anyway, I’m already thinking of what my next book project will be. My most enduring thought is to do a book on a book of the bible. I don’t consider myself a biblical scholar, so it wouldn’t be a book of any great depth. My thought is that I need to be more in the word, so I thought that a writing project would help me get there. One thought would be to writing on the book of Revelation. I kind of wanted to write on the Tribulation anyway, so maybe that would be a good option.

Another idea is to delve into a book like Ephesians. I know that would be quite beneficial for me—for my spiritual life. I think I might enjoy getting into the Greek, doing word studies; and also, getting into the history of those times; and just determining what the main themes of the book are. Mostly, I would hope that the writing would bring me closer to Him, and that my thoughts would be constantly on Him and His wonderful words of grace and truth.

I find that since I am more and more retired, and that my painting jobs are fewer, I have more time now to do whatever. I pray that that whatever is well spent. Retirement time can be foolishly wasted. I pray that that won’t be true of me.

Slavery: How does God View Slavery?

When I read in the bible about how God deals with slavery and polygamy, and other sins, I have to stop and think. I sometimes wonder why He hasn’t spent more time condemning those things. It almost seems like He has just gone along with it—tolerated it. From the beginning of time it seems that slavery has occurred, and all through the Old Testament most men have had more than one wife. And divorce was also rampant. It wasn’t until Jesus came along in the New Testament that polygamy and divorce were dealt with. But even in the New Testament slavery was still an issue—still something that seemed to be excepted as normal (Eph. 6:5-9; Philemon).

Well, I don’t know what to say, except that from the beginning God gave man free will—the freedom to do as he wished. And God rarely intervened, except in the flood, and also when He directed Israel to wipe out the evil nations (by Joshua’s leadership).

But it is interesting how God has worked within the evil world system to bring testing on His people in order to discipline us. And we are commanded to live in this world without complaining so that we may appear as shinning light in the world (Phil. 2:14-15), and be a pleasure to God.

In regard to slavery, it has seemed that God hasn’t said much about it, except how masters ought to treat slaves and how slaves ought to please their masters (Eph. 6:5-9). So, even after Christ, slavery seemed to be excepted, but something that should be regulated or made acceptable —more like a boss and an employee.

But that certainly wasn’t how it has been—all the way into the 60’s in our country (USA). And it has taken a long time to change it. Even now there is still so much tension between whites and blacks. And what’s going on now with this Black Lives Matter movement is not helping. It seems to be just stirring up more bitterness.

I sometimes wonder why God didn’t put a stop to slavery from the start. Surely, He saw what would happen and the racism. But, like I said, that’s not how God chose to work. He gave us free will; and He also gave us the ability to ask for His help. We should do that. We should be constantly praying and asking Him to help us with our tendency toward racism. Instead of all the riots and the terrible BLM speeches (with awful language), made to stir people up to do horrible things, Christians should meet together to pray, and then be obedient in however He directs.

My thoughts on Covid -19

I just finished my last posting on My Life Story entitled Retirement: Last Things. If you have been following along, I’ve been basically telling my story, as much as I remember of it. If you look at my categories, I have 62 total posts with ten different subcategories. Now I plan on making it into a book; that was my plan all along. So, next I will go through it and edit it, then write a short intro, and then I will go through the process, with Lulu, of making it into a book.

So, anyway, since I needed to write on something else, I thought I would let you know what I am thinking about Covid-19, and also the riots. I’ll take one at a time. Today it’s Covid-19.

Where Did It Start?

We know it started in China, probably in one of their labs. But the big question most of us are asking is, was it accidental or intentional? I have no idea, but I know that the devil will take anything, whether accidental or intentional, and turn it into something very evil.

We know that as soon as the Chinese authorities were aware that the virus had gotten loose, they put a ban on all travel in China; but they did not put a ban on their jets going out to other countries. What does that that tell you? That tells me that they were not only thinking of themselves for good, but that they were planning evil on others. Yes, they were intentionally wanting to see all the world, except themselves, be infected by the virus. Why? I can think of two reasons: 1) To give them superior power in the world. They mistakenly may have thought that they would be okay and all others would be infected. 2) To reduce the world’s population. They no doubt are connected to new age thinking: that the world needs to substantially be less populated.

How to Deal with It

Now, regardless of how we think Covid-19 started, we should deal with it as responsibly as we can. Here are six points of discussion:

1. What about this malaria drug I’ve heard so much about, hydroxychloroquine? I have heard some very positive things about it, mostly from conservatives. I’ve heard that some countries in Africa are taking it and that’s why their death rates are so low. And I’ve heard that some very qualified doctors are saying that if you take it early enough it really helps. So why is it rejected in the U. S., especially by the media? I have two ideas: 1) The drug is too cheap. Drug companies will not make enough money on it. 2) The new age elites know that if it is widely used, not enough people will die, and that will blow their entire depopulation plan right out the window. They can’t have that! So, they have to shut it down.

2. Social distancing and masks. I don’t think anything we do will totally eliminate an airborne virus. But I am in favor of doing all we can to reduce it. So, that’s why I really try to remember to wear the mask and keep my 6-foot distance from people. I think the discipline of doing it is good for us.  What can it hurt to wear a mask? As long as we wash it out regularly.

3. School. I think it’s ridiculous that children are not returning to school. They are not getting the virus and they need to get back to school! Those who are keeping kids back may be a part of the evil new age conspiracy, or they are taken in by the fear of others—which is of the devil.

4. Vaccines. Most people are all for a vaccine. But I have heard some very scary stuff. I have heard that it is now possible to manipulate one’s DNA through vaccinations—and that is something that the coming Antichrist may try to do. But as a Christian, we need not worry about that. I think all fear of those things are of the devil. I continue to have hope and to look for His coming.

5. I am appalled by what Governor Cuomo did, moved Covid patients into nursing homes. What was he thinking? I keep wondering if he did it intentionally—to kill more people. But whatever the reason, maybe just stupidity, he ought to resign or be fired over it. He is not qualified to be governor.

6. Economic loss. Overall, there has been such a lack of wisdom and bad decision making as a response to Covid. But we are only human. Our experts did their best to judge what to do. I constantly pray for them and for our President. However, I tend to think that some of the responses are intentionally negative in an effort to try to suck more and more money out of our treasury. I’m thinking of Pelosi and Schumer with their 3 trillion-dollar bill. It is totally irresponsible. They are just using Covid to grab more money in order to invest in their new age ideas—the green new deal and marijuana, etc.  Good grief, at least half of what is in the bill is not Covid related or in any way will help our economy or our people.

President Trump and his staff need to be tough and fight against all the evil efforts to destroy this country of ours. Let us pray for them that they would be wise. And let us pray for all people and especially for fellow Christians that we will keep praying and trusting in God through it all. Let joy rule in your heart!

My Growth: Prophecy, Purity, Prayer

While I was busy writing books, I was also engaged in activities to bolster my spiritual growth. I think it was just after my divorce, about 1991, I heard about these local, yearly prophecy conferences. There was usually three or four speakers and the conference lasted all day long. Each speaker was different, but they all had a message on bible prophecy. A few years later another much larger, yearly prophecy conference began, which was organized by Jan Markel. She also featured a weekly radio program with a special guest. That was especially helpful to me, and it also encouraged me to read and study prophecy subjects and passages on my own. Eventually, I became confident enough to push forward with a book: Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I found out first hand that you learn more from your own personal study than by just listening to a message.

Another area of my life that I started working on was the area of my sexual purity. The year was 2003. I heard about this event called National Coalition for Purity Rally from a flier that I received in the mail. And so, I decided to check it out. The main speaker was quite dynamic and he made the bold claim that anyone could master their own purity. They defined purity in three ways: no pornography, no sexual fantasy, and no masturbation. Well, since I could use help in all those areas I decided to join. I signed up for their boot camp, which was followed by weekly purity platoons. Surprisingly, right away I felt a new spiritual power help me in all areas of purity.  The power I was convinced came from the Holy Spirit moving through the unified prayers of all the guys in the group, as well as from the Scriptures we were learning and memorizing. It was dynamic.  I stayed with that group for about ten years. I have to admit that I am not as pure as I once was, but at least I know that with enough prayer power and with sufficient quality time in the word, it is possible to achieve any level of purity that I set my heart to.

A third area of growth in my life has been in the area of prayer—group prayer as well as personal prayer. It is important to have your own personal, private, daily prayer time—mine is in the morning; but I sense the most powerful prayer results come in group prayer when you are praying together in agreement and in unity. The devil will constantly try to break up your prayer group, but fight against him. Find ways to pray together. I look for every opportunity available. These days small groups have been so helpful to me, especially in the area of prayer.

Protests Driven by 3 groups, by Bill O’Reilly

The following was taken from, The O’Reilly Update Morning Edition, June 2, 2020. The three point are directly from O’Reilly, followed by my comments.

PROTESTS ARE DRIVEN BY THREE GROUPS

  1. Sincere protesters. They are those that believe that America does not police the police and that allows constant law enforcement violence toward African-Americans. That violence is reflective of “systemic bios.” (This is what they believe)
  2. Criminals who want to steal. They use social media to pick out targets for destruction [and theft].
  3. Hard core anarchists. This group also uses social media to zero in on soft targets. This is the antifa movement, that is actively trying to destroy the fabric of America. They are ultra-dangerous people who burn and kill with no conscience.

My Comments

In the first group, according to O’Reilly, notice that protesters are protesting police and police violence against African-Americans. And it seems to be pretty much toward all police. I think that is basically what they believe. And I agree that the other two group are also present and intermixed with the sincere protesters.

Most people I think would say that peaceful protests are okay, and even helpful. But what I have seen so far doesn’t come close to a peaceful protest (and that is partly due to the outside criminal groups and antifa). The signs and the constant chants will not result in peace.  They only serve to stir up bitterness, anger, hatred and violence. I suggest that a peaceful protest should include gospel songs and prayers. And the protests must be directed only toward bad cops, or against evil and sin in general. If that can’t be achieved then I think is better not to protest at all. It would be better maybe to organize a group for constant prayer and fasting.

Northwestern: Churches, Internship, Dating

This is the inside of Grace Eden Prairie, what Edina Baptist eventually evolved into.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northwestern, and I was fully engaged in my classes. However, on Sundays I always went to church and was involved as much as possible. For about the first couple of years in college, I attended a small community church in Golden Valley, Minnesota, about ten miles from college. I was going there before I started college, so there was no reason to make a change. The pastor wasn’t that good at preaching, but he was quite friendly and I liked him. The thing I liked most about him was his commitment to prayer. I remember going to the men’s prayer meeting, which was attended mostly by the church elders and deacons—and me. As you can imagine, going to that group made me feel important, and they really made me feel welcome.

The pastor, Pastor McDonald, was eager to help me fulfill my internship requirements for college. When I told him that I was interested in evangelism, he set me loose canvasing the neighborhood. That was kind of fun, and I think I remember getting into some spiritual conversations, as well as distributing material for the church. Also, as part of my internship, I preached two or three sermons. I was excited about it; but truthfully, I’m not sure I was that true to the Scriptures. I would get better. And I did. Each time was a little better than the last.

Also, totally separate from Golden Valley Community church, Northwestern gave me the chance to preach at a few very small churches. It was kind of scary, but also invigorating and a faith building experience. Most of those churches were way out in the sticks and it took me a couple hours to get there. None of them had more than 30 people in attendance, and they were always very welcoming and glad to see a real preacher come—me! To tell you the truth, they were so eager to get a preacher, I could have said almost anything, true or not, and they would have accepted it.

During my last year or so of college I started going to another church. I can’t remember why I changed, but anyway, it was a lot different. Oh, one reason I decided to go there was because I didn’t have to drive. There was a church bus that brought a group of us there and back. The church, then Edina Baptist, was huge. It had a very good pastor and his preaching was excellent. I immediately got involved in the singles group, and I also joined the choir—great fun! Those were the days. God was giving me some great spiritual teaching. What I wasn’t getting at Northwestern College, I was getting at that church. My feet were being firmly planted, and I was also enjoying it.

One thing that was lacking in my life at that time was establishing any close relationships. I don’t know why, but that was something that I just didn’t catch on to, or that I wasn’t taught. I seemed to be so involved with my studies that relationships with people was sort of forgotten. Sadly, that is still true of me today. I have always been a loner. I can be friendly with people, but establishing close connections is something else.

Because I was around the opposite sex so much at Northwestern, I became more and more interested in, or thinking about marriage. So, I awkwardly attempted to make some female connections. I had a few dates with Sally that went nowhere. I mean, she was a real hottie (as they say); but I could tell, she wasn’t that interested in me. Linda, on the other hand was quite interested in me, but I didn’t find her attractive.

Then there was Elise. I was on and off dating her for a long time. I really liked her, and I felt a real love for her. In fact, we were even engaged for a time, but I felt I had to break it off, because I just knew she wasn’t fully committed to me, she wasn’t being honest with me all the time. In a way it was a strange and stressful relationship. So that’s my sad story.

That’s all I will write about during my time at Northwestern. In my next blog I will write a little about my time at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary.

The Meaning of Intercession – from Jesus

Prayer A to Z

Jesus is the greatest intercessor of all.  From the passages I have copied at the end, we see the following three things that intercession is:

Intercession is praying on the behalf of others whom God has given us. In John 17:9 Jesus prays, “I ask on their behalf, I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given to me.” And those whom were given to Him were not only His close disciples but they were all those who believe (v. 20). And so, we—you and I—are on that list.  And He is still praying for us, since He ever lives to make intercession (Hebrews 7:25).  This means that Jesus has interceded for believers everywhere, in all time throughout history.  What a marvelous thought.

And we are His followers. And so, we must do as He does.  We have that same calling: to intercede…

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