Archive for April, 2013
So, what is your prayer plan? If you do not have a plan that helps you stay current, on task, and specific, then I suggest you consider trying this one.
Your iPad and prayer
Your iPad came with an App called Notes. I have turned my iPad into an intercessory prayer list through the Notes App. Obviously, if you have an iPhone, it will sync with your iPad, providing you accessibility on either device.
Why I use my iPad for prayer
1. Simplicity: The Notes App is very simple to use. Access to my iPad and saving my prayer list on the Notes App is very simple. Simplicity usually increases usability.
2. Change: It is simple to change this kind of electronic prayer list. It is simple to adjust any part of the list or all of it.
3. Relevance: In the past, a challenge of using a prayer list has been keeping it current and relevant. With the Notes App, I can easily keep my list current. Just today, I have already updated my list twice. I adjusted it early this morning after hearing that someone’s condition had changed and then I quickly added someone to my list upon hearing about a need during a meeting. A current, relevant prayer list increases your usability of such a list.
What is on my daily prayer list?
I have used all kinds of prayer plans through the years. Nothing keeps me more focused, on task, and effective in prayer than a current, relevant prayer list.
For decades, I have begun each day with a personal time with God. You can read about my commitment on this past Monday’s blog. Because of this, I have grown spiritually through the years, and my desire is that the Holy Spirit will navigate me through this list each day as He so desires. As with any plan for prayer, it always needs to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
My daily prayer list is lengthy; therefore, I will only share a few of the commitments I have in daily prayer.
Personal preparation: Daily I make myself available for God to prepare me to pray. I spend moments praising God, followed by moments thanking God for what He has done for me. I then move into a time of spiritual evaluation, confession of sin, and acknowledging His finished work on the cross for forgiveness of my sins. From this point, I approach God asking for His spiritual covering and armor upon my family and me. I call out the names of my family, asking God to put on His armor of protection upon each of us.
Filling and anointing of the Holy Spirit: I believe in the filling of the Holy Spirit daily and even momentarily. While I do not understand fully the anointing of the Holy Spirit, I know I need God’s anointing upon my life and in everything I do. I ask God to anoint me for preaching, teaching, leadership, decision-making, vision, writing, relationships, and with His gladness.
Empowerment to walk in the authority of the Great Commission: I believe in the Great Commission and committing the rest of my life to do everything I can so that each person in the world is told about Jesus Christ. Therefore, I pray for God to give me the authority to personally fulfill it; pastorally, in leading my church; and globally, through writing, sending, speaking, and influencing others to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Asking God for a mighty spiritual revival in my church and in America: I believe God wants to send a mighty revival upon His church and ignite a spiritual awakening in America. I plead with the Lord, asking Him to pour out His Spirit upon us powerfully.
Asking God’s leadership upon the leaders of our nation: I believe in praying for the leaders in our nation. Daily, I call out the names of our President, Vice-President, my state Governor, our state’s Senators, our Congressmen, as well as the Mayors of the four major cities in our region of Northwest Arkansas. Additionally, I am praying already for God to raise up His next Governor for our state and His next Senator for our state.
Asking God for wisdom and favor upon the leadership of our region: When the economy really turned sour years ago, I began to pray for forty to fifty leaders in our region who help shape the financial future of our region, even our state, some in America, and a few globally. Therefore, I keep this list current and for several years have prayed for some of Northwest Arkansas’ prominent leaders by name.
Asking God to provide healing and restoration upon people who are ill and those who have lost loved ones: Prayer is powerful and we need to believe God to heal people. Some need it physically, others emotionally or mentally; however, no one can bring healing like God Himself. This list is very current and keeps me accountable to pray for people with major needs. As soon as I hear about them, I place them on this list, with 90% of these people never knowing I do it, unless I tell them.
There is much more, but enough for now . . .
There are many more things I work through in prayer daily. However, this gives you some ideas about how to transform your iPad into being an Intercessory Prayer List.
Try using this, I really think you will like it
Its simplicity, usefulness, and relevance will be refreshing to you. Plus, do not forget, it can change easily as the Spirit of God leads you.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Few topics are turned over more frequently in a pastor’s mind than the topic of how to talk about money with his church family. Because of the bad reputation some pastors develop for constantly speaking about money, others are hesitant to address the topic at all. For most people, any conversation about money in the church is way too much.
Most pastors and churches rapidly run away from the message of giving, rather than toward it. Therefore, stewardship is one of the most neglected subjects in the church. This results in disastrous choices that people make personally as well as lame, paralyzed giving taking place in the church. The Lord Jesus Christ deserves better than this and since we believe the Gospel is imperative for salvation, we must become more committed to Gospel advancement regionally, nationally, and internationally. All of which takes money.
The Trap of Attempting to Serve Two Masters
The Bible speaks about idols and warns against giving one’s self over to them. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed the issue of attempting to serve two masters. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, “No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.”
Money and material possessions can be a great trap. The ease with which we can accumulate “stuff” can lead to our being controlled by it. The only cure for greed is generosity.
As mentioned above, Jesus said we would serve one of two masters. If we did not serve God as master, we would serve material wealth and possessions. The problem is not how hard it is to serve both, but the impossibility of doing so. Reliance on “stuff” cuts off our trust in God. On the other side, faith in God removes the need to find security in our “stuff.” Nothing cures the greedy heart and grasping hands like generosity.
Tightening our Grasp
As I write this, we remain in a sluggish economy. Officially we have not been in a recession in some time, but many people are still feeling its effects. The temptation in times like these is to hold onto everything that comes into our hands. Rather than holding things loosely, we tighten our grasp. That tightening is a symptom of placing our trust in things rather than God. The greatest way to secure our future financially is to obey all God says about giving
The opposite of holding onto material wealth and possessions is being generous. The Bible gives us numerous teachings on being generous and provides multiple examples of generosity. Again, the only way to insure you will never become greedy is to be generous. Greed is just as active to the human heart for those living in poverty as those living in abundance.
We See it Over and Over: Gain Through Giving
God’s people were instructed in Proverbs 3:9-10 to “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” Being generous and honoring the Lord with possessions has long been a command.
Rarely has a picture of generosity been more clearly given than that of the widow who ministered to Elijah in 1 Kings 17. With a desperate famine in the land, the food supply for her and her son had dwindled to one remaining meal. Rather than praying for her or encouraging her to trust God, Elijah requested the last meal for himself.
While that may seem like an odd, even insensitive, request to us, the widow did what the prophet asked her to do. Because of her obedience, Scripture records that the widow’s supply of oil and flour were miraculously extended. She and her son were saved from death.
In the New Testament, Jesus has much to say about giving. In Luke’s Gospel, He gives this promise: “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over — will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38). What a tremendous promise of God’s reward!
Another poignant example is Paul’s experience with the Macedonian believers. He records in 2 Corinthians 8 that while the Macedonians themselves were enduring extreme poverty; they begged Paul for the opportunity to give to the relief offering (vs.1-5). Paul used their generosity to challenge the Corinthian Christians to follow suit.
Embracing His Command and Rejoicing
Too often, I think we approach giving to our local church not as a command to be embraced, but as a challenge to be evaded. Generosity is often not viewed as a means of knowing God better, but as a burden.
The Bible tells us God has given to us an “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). When we think about this gift (Jesus) our hearts should be filled with rejoicing because of God’s grace. We are never more like Jesus than when we give.
Generosity is a reflection of the character of God. God, in fact, loves a cheerful giver. Cheerfulness precedes and follows giving when God, not money, is our master. When God is our master our view of possessions is the same as His: they are tools for His glory.
As God’s people, let us be committed to supporting the work of the Kingdom through our local church. Honoring the Lord with the first tenth of all God has given to us will elevate not only giving within the church, but Gospel advancement globally. Additionally, it will serve as our personal invitation to God to bless us as we obey Him.
When we give this way through our local church and go beyond by supporting a mission effort taking place locally, nationally, or internationally, the joy of investing in the work of Christ far outweighs the short-lived excitement of spending money on ourselves and accumulating more.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie FloydSenior Pastor, Cross Church Northwest Arkansas General Editor, Bible Studies for Life