by Julia Bruce
In any prayer group at any given moment, 95% of the people will not be paying attention to your prayer. 55% will be daydreaming, 20% will be thinking about what they’re going to say when it’s their turn to pray, 14% will be wishing you wouldn’t blab so long, 5% will have their eyes open, and 1% will be wondering why you have your shirt on inside out. (Chances are you just looked to see if your shirts is on inside out.)
Prayer. At times it seems that if you ask someone to pray, you might as well have asked them to jump off a high-rise building. Why is praying (especially out loud) something so many people are afraid of doing? Is there some big, secret, unforgiven sin that makes them afraid of talking to God? Are they so worried about what others might think about how they pray? Is there a right way to pray?
I can pray silently or out loud. I can pray at the dinner table or in my closet (actually my prayer closet is my bathroom because its the one place no one bothers me). I can pray on my knees or standing on a mountain top. I can pray with my eyes closed or open (which I do when I pray while driving). I can pray out loud or silently in my heart and mind. I can pray with my hands folded or with them raised toward heaven.
Prayer is about communicating with our heavenly Father. It’s simply talking to Him and listening when He talks to us. If we all went around afraid to talk to one another because of what other people thing about how we talk, we’d never say anything. So why, then, are we so worried about what people think about how we pray? We don’t have to use our “deep spiritual holy” voice and say big fancy religious words. We only just need to bring our hearts to God and tell Him what’s on our mind. (click to tweet)
As the opening story shows, most of the time when we pray, the people around us don’t have a clue what we are saying. So when it’s your turn to pray, don’t worry about anyone else in the room. It’s just you and God and you’re having a conversation.
In most conversations, attitude says a lot – sometimes more than the words do. (click to tweet) In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Paul was providing his young “apprentice” with some instructions and in Chapter 2, those instructions have to do with prayer. Paul told him to make supplications, prayers intercession, and thanksgiving for everyone, everywhere. This included kings and all who are in authority. For us, that would be our president, congress, senate, mayors, governors, city officials, police, judges, etc. The reason we are to pray for everyone is because God desires that everyone find salvation and our prayers should reflect the heart of God. (click to tweet)
After Paul tells Timothy who he should pray for, then then begins explaining effective prayer. Paul said that men should “pray everywhere, lifting holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
Pray everywhere. Seems simple enough. Everywhere means – everywhere. At home, church, school, office, in the car, on a plane, while your snorkeling, in the checkout line, while at the gym. Pray everywhere regardless of who is watching or who is listening. Pray everywhere regardless of what others thing. Simple. It’s everywhere. But….if I am to pray everywhere, then I need to be living my faith with integrity before everyone. It’s kind of like riding around in your car with that Jesus fish sticker and blowing through the red light as you have one hand on the horn and the other hand sticking out the window with an unkind finger gesture because they obediently stopped for the red light. As you speed past them and they see that sticker, what do they think of you? What do they think of Christ? If you pray at the office, but everyone sees your open hostility towards someone else, what does that do to your testimony? We are to pray everywhere, which means we need to live Christ-like lives everywhere. Maybe “everywhere” is not as simple as it first looked. (click to tweet)
lifting holy hands. Does this mean we are required to have our hands raised towards heaven when we pray? And just what are holy hands? We do not have to have our hands raise towards heaven for God to hear us. However, there is some meaning that is expressed when people lift their hands while praying or singing or worshiping God. Literally speaking, there is no such thing as “holy hands” because we humans are not holy – not even in our little toe. Certainly not in our hands. The word “holy” is the Greek word hosios, which means consecrated or dedicated to God. (click to tweet) So by saying that Paul desired men to lift holy hands, he was saying that they should present themselves as consecrated and dedicated to God. This means that every part of who we are and every part of our lives is being presented to God. This includes presenting our spouses, children and other family to God. It is presenting our work, hopes, plans, and dreams to God. It’s presenting our money (or lack of) to God. It’s presenting our fears and failures to God. It’s presenting our worries and anxieties to God. It’s presenting everything to Him (click to tweet)
Lifting our hands to God can also be a sign of surrender. Sort of like when a police office on TV says, “put your hands up!” When the suspect raises their hands, its a sign of surrendering to the police’s authority. So as we lift our hands, we are saying to God, “I surrender all into your authority.” (Click to tweet) Do we see a pattern yet? So far, we are to pray everywhere, present everything, and surrender all. Everywhere. Everything. All. God doesn’t settle for anything less. So what have you not surrendered? What in your life is not consecrated and dedicated to Him? What sin or compromise are you holding on to? What are you not willing to sacrifice for Him? What promises have you made, but not kept? Everyone. Everywhere. Everything. All.
without wrath. Here we find the complete opposite of Everywhere, everything, all. Here God expects none. Paul didn’t say, “without wrath except for….” he simply said “without wrath. He didn’t leave any door open for even just a little bit of mad. (Click to tweet) If we have already surrendered everything, then that would include any anger. Whether you have anger towards a spouse, child, parent, coworker, another church member, or that crazy driver that almost hit you on the way to church, if you bring that anger with you into prayer, you will not have effective prayers. Psalm 133:1 says that it is good and pleasant for us to dwell together in unity. Wherever there is anger, there is division – not unity.
At the time Paul was writing Timothy, there were false teaching galore that was affecting the church. They were disrupting the growth and expansion of the church and it was dividing the people to the point of people being persecuted. As expected, there was plenty of anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and arguing going on. Maybe you’ve been in a church business meeting that sounds much the same.
When Jesus taught about prayer, he said that if we realize someone has something against us we are to leave our sacrifice and go make things right before we come to worship and pray. In His model prayer that he gave the disciples as an example of how to pray, He said, “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” And in Matthew 6:15, He said, “But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.” If we are not able to forgive others, and we insist on holding on to wrath, anger, and bitterness, our prayers will not be effective. (click to tweet)
without doubting. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it’s impossible to please God. Faith and doubt cannot reside in the same place. Faith cancels out doubt. (Click to tweet) Like wrath, we are to have no doubts in God. In Luke 1:37, we find that nothing is impossible with God. If we come to God in prayer with doubt, then our focus is not on God, but on ourselves. Just as God is God of the Heavens and the Universe, He is also God of the impossibles. The word impossible isn’t even in His vocabulary. (click to tweet) I’m mean, if He can just speak and suddenly there is light, fish, birds, trees, flowers, fruit, animals, creepy crawling icky things, oceans, land, and people, then why do we think anything is impossible for Him. We allow our human finite minds to form our thought about an infinite, omnipotent, omniscience God. We want to put God in box that fits our belief criteria. (Click to tweet) We also doubt God because we are looking at Him through the lenses of our own weaknesses, mistakes, hurts, and failures. Our life experiences try to determine how we define God and what He’s capable of. (click to tweet) For example, if you had an expected repair bill for your home and no way to get the money needed for the repair and prayed about and God answers that prayer in some way, your faith in Him just grew. But if you prayed and prayed and are still praying and there seems to be no answer coming, it becomes harder to pray without doubts. James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” In Mark 9, a man has a son who has a demon and the father brings the son to Jesus’ disciples seeking help and healing, but the disciples are not able to cast the demon out. In verse 22, the father says, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” In my mind, I see Jesus look at the father with one eyebrow raised as he says to the father, “If you can? Everything is possible to the one who believes.” The father’s response is one we can all follow. He cries out and says, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.” So if you’re praying in doubt, start by asking God to help your unbelief. James 1:5 says “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” So ask for the wisdom you need to trust and believe that He is who He says is and that He will do what He says He will do. Then turn your focus on the God of the impossibles and trust Him to meet your every need in the best way.
This then sums up the right attitude for effective prayers:
- Pray for everyone because our prayers should reflect the heart of God and God desires everyone to be saved
- Living with integrity and faith so that we are able to pray everywhere
- Presenting everything of who we are to God, we are to live consecrated and dedicated lives fully surrendering all to God
- Bring no wrath, anger, bitterness and division as we forgive others so that we can live in unity
- focusing on the God of the impossibles so that our faith cancels out our doubt so that no doubts invade our prayers and asking God to help our unbelief with doubt does creep in.
Remember that God doesn’t settle for less than praying for everyone, praying everywhere, presenting everything, surrendering all, and having no wrath and doubts. This is what leads to an attitude for effective prayers.
#verseoftheday #prayer #prayforeveryone #prayeverywhere #holyhands #consecrated #surrendered #withoutwrather #withoutdoubt #Godoftheimpossilbes #WCM
If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. Now, with two ways to give, you can help us grow and expand our ministry. To donate to our general ministries, you can now make a contribution through our website. We are also seeking the perfect 200 (or more) acres of land on which we will build and do the various ministries God is leading us in. To make a donation towards Phase 1 of our Land and Building campaign, you can give at buymeacoffe.com. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and for just the cost of a copy of coffee, you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor
You can also make a contribution to our general ministries as we grow and expand our ministry as God leads through our website. To donate to our ministry expansion, click here.
- Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
- Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
- Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#growingintoourfuture #fundraiser #buymeacoffee #WCM
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author
Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:
|The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan
If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.
Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.
Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD
- “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
- Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
- 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
- Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- English and Spanish subtitles
Bonus CD included:
- The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture