Praying Through it All

Christ Community Church is closing its series– but not its practice– on prayer this Sunday. What encouragement do we have to continue to be people of prayer? In other posts, we have shared ways to make prayer natural, reasons to pray, even ways to pray. Today, we look at stories and experiences of praying through everything that life and death brings.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramananv/2409027134/In “Two similar stories. Two different Endings. God is Glorified in Both” share in the experience of life and death for two families who tell their story through video. Their posture before God will leave a mark.

Adam Holz shares some honest reflections in his piece, “Just Keep Talking… to God.”

When I’m consumed with anxiety — and, honestly, I often am — sometimes I simply forget that God doesn’t want me to carry that burden on my own.

If those words ring any note of truth for you, read the rest here.

Here’s a review of Mary Lou Quinlan’s The God Box. Even just the review gives you a pretty cool idea for practicing prayer.

This post is about prayer and provides inspiration, challenge and resources to enrich your individual practice, attitude and lifestyle.

Photo by Ramanan V. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Making prayer natural

Relevant Magazine ran a piece called “Why is Prayer So Hard?” by John Dwyer. He writes,

the good news is that prayer is not an item that can be ticked off on a to-do list. And there is freedom in recognizing this.

Check out the rest of the article to learn about praying freely.

We all say, “I’ll pray for you” and then many of us forget to carry through. Here’s a beautiful example of being intentional about using your everyday life activities as a reminder to pray for others: “My praxis of prayer” by Kelley Nikondeha.

If you are married and you and your partner share a common faith, then he or she is a natural prayer partner. This post from Simple Marriage can help you pray for and with one another in a way that gets you talking, thinking and lifting others up to God.

 

This post provides resources and inspirational/challenging stories about the habit of prayer for adults.

Sunday Follow-Up: Inspiration for Prayer

Yesterday’s message by Pastor Chelsey, “God’s Comfort,” sort of answered the “why bother to pray” question. We say sort of because the real intent was to get at what Paul was teaching about God in prayer, and the first byproduct of that discussion is why prayer matters…

Pastor Chelsey offers some further reflections on Paul’s experience of God’s comfort through prayer on her blog.

Tim Challies responds to a reader’s question about why he should continue to pray and intercede when answers don’t seem to be coming. Read it to be encouraged in the many ways prayer works at our spiritual formation.

And take a moment to reflect on an excerpt and short video from Brennan Manning’s book, All is Grace. Prayer has taken on a whole new level of real in his life.

This post is a follow-up to a sermon preached at Christ Community Church on January 20, 2013. It provides inspiration for prayer.

Work and Prayer

At Christ Community Church, we’re taking a four week look at prayer. For more information, visit our website.

How does prayer relate to your day job?

Taylor Barkley asks the challenging question, “Why Aren’t We Praying from 9-5?

Ed Cyzewski offers another good reason to pray for and at your workplace: the devil and your own sinfulness are busy causing mayhem!

I used to think that I could win my spiritual battles with a one-time prayer encounter in church. The reality was that I needed to expand my spiritual battle plans into the office, the kitchen, and the living room. I needed to make daily investments in the life of God.

And here’s a prayer from Stanley Hauerwas that you can offer for your work over at Distinct Disciples.

This post concerns prayer and the workplace.

Sunday Follow Up: Tools for Discernment

On Sunday at Christ Community Church, Pastor Turk talked about discernment in our prayer lives. You can hear that message, “Discern” on our website. To help you along, we’re featuring two new resources, and reposting a few old ones.

First, Nicole Cottrell shares some basic insights on “How to Hear from God.” Then be sure to check out Richard Dahlstrom’s unique take on discerning the catalyst moments– moments that didn’t seem like they would matter and then end up changing everything– in “If you give a moose a muffin…”

TOOLS FOR DISCERNMENT REPOST
Choices by kalli williams
We face choices everyday– some more monumental than others. Here are three resources to help you along the way of discernment:

Amy Vogel’s “So You Want to Know God’s Will” is especially helpful if you’re having a hard time hearing God’s voice.

“Simple Questions to Help you Discern” comes from Spiritual Director Teresa Blythe. The questions may be simple, but the answers may be life-transforming.

And “Godly Decision Making” is an excerpt from the book Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups by Ruth Haley Barton. It is thorough and helpful as you start with some of the more major decisions.

This post is for adults and provides resources for discernment.

Photo by kalli williams. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.

New year, new you?

New Year’s resolutions has its roots in a religious ceremony practiced by the Babylonians, but like many things religious, it’s grown into something much more widely practiced by the secular world. (We Christians feel this ever so sharply every time we see a bunny at Easter, for instance.)

The act of taking stock of your life and how you’re living isn’t a bad idea, especially since we are always on the journey of faith and sanctification. So shouldn’t our resolutions, plans and goals be at least a little different than the rest of the world’s?

To get you reflecting here are some examples from other Christians.
In this short devotional by Brenda Wood from November, you’ll find less of an actual set of resolutions and more of a mindset for all of life.
Shane Claiborne shares his hopes for 2013 over at Red Letter Christians.
And Mark McIntyre’s Reluctant Resolutions are going to be the kind you’re going to want to emulate.

In 2013, may you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour!

This post applies to the Christian life and discipleship and discusses resolutions and goals.