Category Archives: Prayer

From Beyond the Pulpit – Three Prayers and Their Answers

by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

In national polls taken in America, the vast majority of respondents answered the question of whether their prayers had been answered with “Yes!”  Answered prayer is perhaps the most meaningful personal evidence that there is a God.  That’s why it is so important to pray regularly and with specific enough requests as to make answers obvious.  We need to remember that it is in God’s own interest to answer the needs of His people, so that their faith would grow.

There have been three huge prayers with answers that I’ve had in my life.

“Back in the day,” as my son Daniel thinks I lived, I was a cowboy-loving kid in Los Angeles.  For one birthday I received a cowboy outfit complete with plastic bullet-shooting six guns.  This was back in the day when the world didn’t freak out about playing with guns, of course.  In my playing I dropped a silver, plastic bullet into our short dichondra grass.  But, where did it go?  It should be straight down, I thought, and very easy to see.  I sure didn’t want to lose some of my birthday gift.  I panicked a bit;  what would Mom and Dad say?  So I remembered there was this Jesus person you could pray to (we didn’t go to church).  I knelt down and said, “Dear Jesus, please help me find my bullet!”  I opened my eyes and it was there in front of me, right where I had looked and looked.  I closed my eyes and said “Thank you!”  My bullet was found.

A couple of years later my Mom told me, “Daddy isn’t coming home anymore.”  I cried and cried.  Then I prayed to Jesus, Who had answered my prayer before:  “Please send Daddy home!”  But Dad didn’t come home.  I knew things were complicated and I remember I didn’t disparage Jesus, but obviously the answer was “I can’t do that.”  But because of Mom’s concerns for my sister and I, she put us in a Christian (Adventist) school.

Years passed until the next serious prayer.  I was not a Christian, and I was living in a bachelor pad in Riverside, California with a good buddy David Friend.  We were full time employees at two local McDonalds.  One night we had a party with McD folks, ending up with Dave, a young lady and I going to a Dennys restaurant at 3:00 in the morning.  The talk suddenly turned serious as we reviewed our lives and where we seemed to be going…which seemed like nowhere.  We started talking about changing things, then David added “and let’s look for God.”  Seriously?  The next day he asked me to borrow my Bible.  After some searching I found my children’s Bible and he started reading it.  Then, I did, too.

The moment came for prayer #3.  I knelt by my bed (that’s where you’re “supposed to pray”), and simply asked, “Dear God, it looks like David and I are looking for you.  Will you help us?  Amen.”  The answer was YYYEEEESSSSSS!!!  And it still is….

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Filed under Changed Lives, Prayer

Why Not Try This? – How to Pastor Your Conference President

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By Marvin Wray, Pastor of the Napa Community Church
Source: NAD Ministerial

I certainly have a unique privilege in talking about this challenge since my conference president just happens to be a member of my church. Just prior to my arrival, he was also the pastor of this congregation, which certainly gives us some very special connecting points. But let’s take a look at this relationship from a broader perspective.

There are some basic approaches to providing pastoral care to your conference leadership team – especially the president. There have been times when I was in the conference headquarters and have taken the opportunity to step into his office, talk for a few minutes and include a time of prayer. I think this is particularly meaningful when you know there are crisis issues or perhaps when a constituency session is near.  Read More

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Changed Lives – Lisa’s Healing

iStock_000053677580_LargeBy Samuel Tahay, Pastor of the Tualatin Spanish Church

Lisa is a 14 year-old girl, whose parents are Jehovah Witnesses. Lisa loved watching terror and suspense movies, especially spiritualism movies, until her moods started changing. Every day it became worse. Her parents were very worried about her health, so they took her to a doctor. The doctor’s diagnosis was depression and he prescribed her some treatments to control it, only the treatments didn’t work. Every day she continued her downhill spiral until her doctor sent her to the hospital. She was hospitalized for two weeks, but didn’t improve so they transferred her to a mental health hospital.

It was then that Lisa’s parents met our head elder. He offered to take some members of our church to visit her in the hospital. On that visit, they prayed for God to heal her and promised to continue to pray in the days to come. The very next day, the doctor did some tests on her and her parents were told that there was no explanation for it, but Lisa was healed and she didn’t need to stay in the hospital!

Soon after, Lisa received an invitation and handout for our evangelistic campaign. She attended early every night and said to me, “I am enjoying God’s message.” To my surprise, the next Thursday when I made a call for baptism, she was the first person to respond. I was afraid that her parents would be opposed so we prayed for her.

The last Friday, one day before the baptism, we started the meeting and Lisa didn’t come early as usual. Fifteen minutes after I started preaching, a new woman who hadn’t been attending the meetings, entered the church, followed by Lisa. She was Lisa’s mother. After my sermon, the woman came to me to say thank you for the message, and that she supported Lisa’s resolution. Lisa was baptized that Sabbath morning. God healed her mind and her soul!

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Filed under Family, Prayer, Preaching, Soul Winning

Lifelong Learning – 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church

iStock_000041497574_LargeWhy do so many young people leave the church? Young people who grew up in good homes, with loving Christian parents. Young people who learned about the love of Jesus. Young people who went to Christian schools and went on short term mission trips. Young people who had good youth pastors who showed interest in them.  Young people who volunteered in different ministries within the church during their teenage years. Why? Here is one perspective by Jon Nielson called 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church.

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Filed under Family, Lifelong Learning, Pastoring, Prayer, Preaching, Youth Ministry

Changed Lives – Physical and Spiritual Needs

by Alejandro Delgado, Pastor of the Hillsboro Spanish Churchhillsboro

Some time ago a family arrived to our church from Mexico. They had many problems and needed help for food and rent. Our office started to move so they could receive food from the Food Bank and also financial help with the rent. Since that day we began to establish a great friendship with him and his beautiful family.

At the Hillsboro Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church, we have initiated an aggressive program that is giving small groups great results.We talked to them about the possibility of joining a small group to study the Bible and they agreed.

After attending for about three months, I met with them asked them if they would make a commitment to Jesus. This family decided to give their lives to Jesus that day! That Saturday was a spiritual feast for all who met in that group. They gave thanks that God used the group leader as an the instrument to help bring the family to Christ.

At the same time, we had 4 youth fighting to know the gospel. We started to visit with the young of the church and invited them to youth events and youth services. We began to study the Bible with the boys and a few weeks after they also decided to give their lives to Christ.

Today, a few months after, they are attending regularly, coming to all the programs and happily participating in church activities. Now the oldest daughter is a leader and coordinator of her own a small  groups.  Their prayer is to see their grandfather and aunt baptized and accepting of the gospel.

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Filed under Bible Study, Changed Lives, Family, Prayer, Small Groups, Soul Winning, Youth Ministry

Why Not Try This? – Why Men’s Prayer?

by Mark Huckstep

Why should men pray together? Especially, why should men group together to pray (at certain set times) only with men? Shouldn’t our prayer meetings reflect our heterogeneous, mixed-gender society and Christian community?

Certainly the Jews and ancient Armenians separate men and women for times of prayer, but should we, Bible-believing Christians have meetings with only one gender represented?

The Bible instructs men to lift up holy hands in prayer – should not this be read as generic ‘people,’ ie ‘men and women’?

The benefit of praying together at certain times as men lies partially in the fact that men are put together differently to women – seeing the world through ‘masculine’ lenses – perhaps less intuitive than women, focusing instead on the structure of a problem, its relationship to other issues, and moving swiftly to proposed solutions. On the spiritual level men are more naturally warriors and can delight in spiritual warfare rather than simply enduring it.

In mixed-group settings, men can be spiritually dormant, especially on the key issue of Continue reading

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Church Planting – A Church Plant Success

Sunday evening Shane and Amy’s small group laid hands on Shane and pleaded with God to give him a different job. He worked as a sales representative for Pepsi, but delivering those cases of pop was killing his already-bad shoulders. He was their top salesperson, winning yearly awards for sales, etc. But Shane just couldn’t continue—and yet he didn’t know what else to do.

He had a family to support and couldn’t afford to be off work. For Shane, the love and support of his small group that evening were a gift.

The next day when Shane arrived at work at 5:00 a.m., his boss called him into the office and fired him. Although a bit confused as to why the company would fire a longtime, model employee, he walked out with a smile on his face, thinking, I wonder what God is up to? Getting Shane to that place of comfort in the midst of the storm was quite a journey.

Firstfruits

It all started in the spring of 1998. I received a call from the Rocky Mountain Conference to do something I was very passionate about for nearly six years: to plant a church in northern Colorado with an evangelistic approach. It was an opportunity to see if what I said either worked or didn’t work. 

I had been on the development team of two other church plants, and as a kid was baptized in a church plant. But I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Church planting turned out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done READ MORE

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What Works for Me In… Making Time For God as a Pastor

Bobby Moore, pastor of the Highline Seventh-day Adventist Church district (WA Conf) shares what works for him in making time for God as a pastor in a cover story “Making space for God: Contemplation as praxis” in Ministry Magazine, August 2009.

“Oftentimes pastors become so busy and enthralled in keeping their church or churches functional they seldom have or take time to commune with the Lord of the church. To spend time contemplating the Divine when things more measurable need to be done and should be done may seem inappropriate or an anachronism. In the light of the pastor’s busyness, they view contemplation of God as an extravagance that can be postponed for a more convenient season. (Read more)

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Why Not Try This? …Give Literature to Your Neighbors

Last Monday evening I rang the doorbells of twenty of my closest neighbors.

Was I nervous? Yes, even though I’ve done things like this hundreds of times before.

So why did I do it? Three main reasons.

  1. I really believe Jesus is coming soon and I want my neighbors to have the best chance possible to be ready for that universe-shattering event.
  2. During a recent Week of Prayer here at the NPUC office I updated my special prayer list. I asked God to impress me with who I should invite to accept Him as Savior and Lord, embrace all Bible truths and unite with a vibrant Adventist group. The Lord impressed me to list the names of many of my neighbors, some by name and others by description (“big boat neighbors”, “loud neighbors”, “new neighbors”, “borrowed ladder from neighbors”, etc.). As I have prayed for the people on the list, God has put a growing urgency in my heart to somehow connect with them.
  3. I have recently been reading Christian Service and came across statements like this–

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Filed under Outreach, Prayer, Second Coming, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This?

Why Not Try This? …A Week of Reaping in October

Unless your church has some other major soul winning scheduled this fall, why not schedule a Week of Reaping the last full week of October? Just put it on the calendar and start asking God to show you and your church family (-ies) who is ripe to make decisions for Jesus and His church.

Here are some simple steps to make this Week of Reaping a reality and productive–

  1. Calendar. By faith, put the Week of Reaping on your own calenar and the church calendar. It can be held in the church sanctuary or fellowship hall, in a neutral hall or location or even in the home of a member or an interest.
  2. Top Ten Interests Lists. Make a list of your top ten interests. If you are a pastor or elder, at your next church board meeting ask each person to do the same. Then compare lists and pray for all interests, especially those who show up on more than one list. If you are a lay member then do this with a group of friends. Continue reading

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