Resource

  • 07 Feb
    Lent – Free Devotionals and Prayer Points

    Lent – Free Devotionals and Prayer Points

    “Are you giving anything up for Lent?”

    If no one has asked you this question yet, someone probably will soon.

    But fasting from something isn’t the only thing that has characterised this historic 40-day season. It’s also marked by taking up things, such as prayer, confession and almsgiving.

    Spiritual disciplines
    In its very nature, Lent is about an individual’s spiritual disciplines. So it would be easy to think about Lent in a way that focuses on ourselves and our works. This is a danger, (and perhaps an objection to observing Lent for some) which pastor Aaron Damiani explores in his book The Good of Giving Up. Reflecting on his own initial cynicism about Lent, he writes:
    “…observing Lent is not a forced march of works-righteousness. But it was good medicine for my autonomy, self-indulgence, spiritual independence, and the painful split between what I knew about God and what I experienced of Him.”
    (pp 15)

    Spiritual re-orientation
    Lent is a great opportunity to be ‘re-oriented’ to God’s purposes and plans for your life. The spiritual disciplines of Lent are not an end in themselves, but a means to communion with God, and enjoying his wonderful gospel of grace. Damiani goes on to write:

    “The Holy Spirit uses fasting, prayer, and generosity to satisfy us with God’s fatherly love. As a result, we are moved to share that love with others.”

    Properly used, Lent doesn’t bend us further in on ourselves. Rather it lifts our gaze to our Heavenly Father who loves us. Not only that, its effects flow out to the world around us as we share this love with others.

    Spiritual work
    At OMF, we exist to see this message of God’s radical love for sinners shared with the people of East Asia. There are still millions of people from this area of the world that have never even heard of Jesus. Did you know that you can be involved in this work during Lent without needing to get on a plane to a distant foreign land? One of the ways in which you can do this is through prayer.

    “Prayer does not equip us for greater works— prayer is the greater work.”
    -Oswald Chambers

    This Lent, will you commit to praying for an unreached nation or people group?

    If you’re not sure how to do this, we’ve made this as easy as possible through our weekly Lent emails. Why not consider subscribing? Every week of Lent you will receive a mini devotional, with prayer points for throughout the week.

    By subscribing, you’ll be automatically entered into a draw to win one of five copies of ‘Praying for the World: Understanding God’s Heart for the Nations.’, a book of 60 undated devotionals with a focus on world mission. This prize draw is done in partnership with the good people at 10ofthose.com.

    Subscribe to the Lent Devotionals and Prayer Points

    * indicates required

    Terms and Conditions for the giveaway can be found here: Terms and Conditions

    By Ryan Hunt News Resource Uncategorized
  • 12 Jan
    On our bookshelf: 6 books to read in 2018

    On our bookshelf: 6 books to read in 2018

    In the first few weeks of the new year, many of us are thinking about books we’d like to read over the next 12 months. So we asked the OMF UK Directors to recommend a book or two each, either one they’d enjoyed last year or one they have just started themselves.

    Here are their suggestions. Happy reading!

    Mike – Director for Candidates

     America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker

    Themes:

    Billy Graham is a global phenomenon that God used to bring unity in local churches, between races, between political parties and even between cold war states.  No one is perfect and this book graciously addresses some of the mis-steps of such a visible figure.

    Why I read it:

    It revealed something significant about the culture that shaped me.  I could see myself and my American up-brining “in living color” as I followed this gripping story.

    Read it yourself: 

     Available from Amazon.co.uk.

    12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

    Themes:

    Reinke doesn’t ignore the benefits we receive through our phones, nor does he overlook the great temptations that they put before us.  He suggests that we should proceed with caution realising that the instant gratification our phones give us makes us short-tempered with those we love, it makes us fear missing out, and although we seek connection through it, our phone can make us lonely.

    Why I read it:

    I’m a technophile.  I love exploring the latest cutting-edge features, but I didn’t realise how it was changing me!

    Read or listen to it yourself:

    This title is available for free at ChristianAudio.com in January. Or as a standard paperback from 10ofthose.com.

    Darren Wall – Director of Finance & Corporate Services

    The Day the Revolution Began by Tom Wright

    Themes:

    Wright challenges that for many of us interpreting ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures’ we have platonised our eschatology, moralised our anthropology and paganised our soteriology;  in slightly broader terms, its not just about being saved to go to heaven, seeing sin as primarily a personal issue and God being seen an angry deity pouring this out on Jesus to sort the problem out.

    Instead, Christ dying on the cross enables us to be freed from the power of idolatry to take up the vocation of being those who God created us to be, ‘created to live as worshipping stewards within God’s heaven and earth reality, rather than as beings who by moral perfection qualify to leave earth and go to heaven instead’p78.

    Why I read it:

    I’ve read it twice and will probably read it again this year.  Although I don’t agree fully with Wright’s paganizing conclusion, there’s much which helpfully challenges our view of what we’re saved for and how we understand sin, something which Wright helpfully wraps up in challenging our understanding of ‘mission’ as he brings the book to a close.

    Read it yourself:

    Available from Amazon.co.uk.

    Beverlea Parkhill – Director for Member Care & HR

    Deep Calls to Deep: Spiritual Formation in the Hard Places by Tony Horsfall

    Themes:

    This book looks at a selection of Psalms that all use the phrase ‘out of the depths’ in some way and gives ‘insights into the reality of life with God’.

    Why I will read it:

    I have valued Tony Horsfall’s writings in the past and it has been recommended to me!

    Read it yourself:

    Available from Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) online.

    Trevor Warner – Assistant Director for Mobilisation

    More drops, Mystery, Mercy, Messiology by George Verwer

    Themes:

    ‘Messiology’ is George’s word for the mistakes and messes of the church. In this book he openly and honestly takes a look at God working in the midst of mistakes and messes in the church, in people’s lives and in his own, and see where there is mess God’s grace abounds more.

    Why I read it:

    George is a world statesman in mission and openly and honestly writes about his own life in a way that few others are willing to do, and brings deep biblical insights to bear on these issues.

    Read it yourself:

    Available from CWR.org.uk.

    The scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A Noll

    Themes:

    Noll addresses the issue of why the evangelical church, particular in America, has not engaged in society, he argues that Evangelicals have not been taught to think about how to apply Christian thinking to the world but to withdraw.

    Why I read it: 

    The book tackles some difficult issues of why evangelicals don’t engage in politics, the environment, science etc. from Christian worldview, whereas Christians in a previous generation or other streams of the church believe that they should.

    Read it yourself: Available from Amazon.co.uk.

  • 14 Dec
    On our bookshelf: Ten Boys Who Changed the World

    On our bookshelf: Ten Boys Who Changed the World

    This great little book is part of a 10 book series by Irene Howat, each one takes 10 Christians and looks at how God used them for his glory and sharing of the gospel. They are a great introduction to the wonder of reading Christian biographies and brilliant way to introduce even the youngest to some of the great names who have gone before us.

    10 boys who changed the world has a particular focus on boys who grew up to become men who saw the gospel they proclaimed transform cultures and situations around the world. From William Carey and David Livingstone to George Müller and Billy Graham.

    The mini biographies are carefully crafted to keep young readers, or listeners, engaged. Each opens with a story from the childhood of the great man of God, which helps to captivate the imagination of a child with something they might be able to relate to, I thought was particularly helpful given how ‘other worldly’ the rest of their lives often appear. From dashing round dining room, to falling in mud and being more interested in football than school, these figures of Christian history and made personal and alive through Irene’s clever retelling of their lives. And from these starting points unfold 10 high pace adventures.

    I also enjoyed the way that Irene retained a good sense of reality in these mini biographies. Given all the great things these “boys who changed the world” did, it would have been easy to remove any sense of hardship or challenge from their lives, to have sanitised them and overlooked the difficulties they faced. But Irene hasn’t in the few pages each biography is given you really get a true sense of the person, their joys and successes, their relationship with God and also their struggles, the times it all went wrong, the times they were sad and thought they might give up. All of this goes a long way to show the realities of following Jesus and helps to make the gospel even more marvellous.

    After each of the 10 biographies there is a short section to help you think and consider the life you have just read about. Irene gives four headings each time. Fact File: this paragraph helps shed some light on an aspect of the story that might not be clear to a younger reader, such as what Communism is or how cotton is grown.

    • Keynote: this is essentially a summary of the story and the one thing the author wants her readers to remember.
    • Think: this section is particularly poignant as it draws the reader from the story of then to the life they live today.
    • Prayer: a short reflective prayer that asks God to help the reader the to take on board and live out an aspect of gospel living seen in the life they have just read about.

    The addition of these sections to the book is a wonderful addition to this book. It really helps to reinforce that these stories and the lives they speak about are not just a dusty truths from the past but something that can speak to us today.

    Overall this book and the others in the series are brilliant. A great way to get older children to start reading Christian biographies themselves or an easy way of sharing the lives of Christian heroes with those not yet able to read for themselves.

    We‘ve got the whole set and are looking forward to our son hearing the stories and taking on board what they teach him, if you’re still looking for Christmas presents for the younger members of the family look no further!

    Chris Watts – UK Communications Manager

    10 Boys Who Changed the World is available from 10ofthose.com.

     

  • 27 Jul
    ‘You’re a what?!’ – Missionary identity part 1

    ‘You’re a what?!’ – Missionary identity part 1

    Simple questions like ‘where are you from?’ or even ‘what do you do?’ can be difficult for missionaries to answer. When you have lived overseas for several years, that can feel like ‘home’. Or people may not know what missionaries do. Missionaries’ identity can also become wrapped up in their Christian service rather than in Christ. Or in the place they serve in. The bottom line is, missionaries can struggle with the question of their identity.

    So how can supporters help them? In the first of a three part series on missionary identity, Wendy Marshall, an OMF Australia worker in Japan, shares a little of missionaries’ struggle and how supporters can pray for them. In this first post, she looks at how missionaries struggle to explain what they do to those back ‘home’.

     

    You’re a what?!

    The day after our boys started school in Australia I visited our local gym.

    ‘I’d like to join,’ I said to the trainer at the front desk.

    ‘Okay, your name?’

    ‘Wendy Marshall. I’ve been a member of Curves in Japan for the last four years.’

    ‘Oh, Japan?’ she looked at me oddly.

    ‘Yes, we’re missionaries there.’

    ‘Um, you’re a what?’

    We’d only been back in Australia for a few weeks. It was our second home assignment, but I’d forgotten that ‘missionary’ is a word that can be difficult for the average Aussie. Many people don’t know what a missionary is, and it’s a difficult way to start a conversation with a stranger.

    Another time in Brisbane I was talking with another mum while we watched our boys train at a wrestling club. This time I managed to keep the ‘M’ word out of the conversation for some time. Japan came in early, because she wanted to know how our boys had first become interested in this unusual (for Australia) sport. Initially it’s easy to describe my life in Japan without using the M word because my husband teaches at an international school.

    However, she continued to probe.

    ‘What’s your husband doing in Australia this year?’

    ‘Ah, yes . . . well that’s a bit tricky. Actually, we’re missionaries. Some people here give money so that we can work in Japan. We’re here for a year visiting them to thank them and tell them what we’ve been doing.’

    The role of missionary is more encompassing than a job like teacher or engineer. It means huge lifestyle changes. There are similarities to the military. An army engineer can say, ‘I’m an engineer,’ and people get some of the picture. But, ‘I’m an engineer in the army,’ is a more complex story. One that intrigues some people, but for others it is simply too difficult to comprehend and conversation falters.

    Any missionary could tell you variations of the above stories. It’s a challenge we regularly face when we meet new people.

    How you can pray:

    • Pray for supportive people when they’re on home assignment who seek to truly understand the missionary’s unusual life.
    • Pray for wisdom in all conversations: when to give a short explanation, when to go more in depth, and even how to use our unusual lifestyle to spread the gospel when we’re in our passport countries.
    • For missionaries as they relate to family members who don’t understand what we’re doing and why.
  • 14 Jul
    Eight ways to pray for Serve Asia workers

    Eight ways to pray for Serve Asia workers

    This year from the UK alone we’re sending out over 50 short-term Serve Asia workers to support long-term OMF workers and projects. Some help with children’s work at conferences, others run sports camps, support media projects, teach English or make prayer journeys.

    Supporting them in prayer is vital. But how can you pray for them?

    Here are eight things you can be praying about for all our Serve Asia workers:

    1. Preparation

    There’s lots of practical preparations that need to be made for serving in East Asia from booking plane tickets to arranging travel money. Then there’s the work of learning about the background and culture of the place they will be serving in. Do pray that these aspects of the preparation will go well. But most of all, pray for Serve Asia workers to be spiritually and mentally prepared for the mission and have a heart ready to serve God. Pray they would be ready to hear from God and delight to obey him.

    2. On mission

    Arriving in a new place can be overwhelming at first. Pray for the Serve Asia workers to adapt to the culture, people, language and different climate well. Pray they would build good relationships with the people they are with. Pray, too, for opportunities to share the gospel and encourage the people they are with.

    3. Physical protection

    Pray that Serve Asia workers would be kept safe and healthy. Particularly pray for wisdom for the workers and those making arrangements for them as they decide where to go and what to do. Pray that they would go where God wills them to.

    4. Spiritual protection

    Pray that Serve Asia workers would be aware of the spiritual battle and continually trust and rely on God and be kept close to Him, keeping their spiritual armour on, especially among the different beliefs of people in the places they are serving.

    5. Growing relationships with God and others

    Lots of new friendships will be made – do pray for those, but pray that the Serve Asia workers would grow in their relationship with God. Pray they would know him more, trust him and look to him, both in good and hard times. Pray they would hear from him about their place in mission in future as well.

    Many Serve Asia workers will be part of international teams- pray for good working relationships and that their teamwork and love for one another would be a witness to those around them.

    6. Learning

    Pray that the Serve Asia workers would learn more of how God is working in another culture and amongst a different people, learning from those around them.

    7. Serving

    Pray they would be able to serve God and be used by him. Pray they would remain in Jesus and bear much fruit (John 15:5).

    8. Practicalities

    There are many practical things that need to work well on the placements – please pray that these would fall into place. Pray too that any disruptions or changes to the plan would also serve to advance the gospel.

    Now what?

    Thank you for praying with us for our Serve Asia workers this summer. Would you or someone you know be interested in experiencing and working in East Asia short-term? Find out more about Serve Asia.

  • 21 Apr
    Supporting your missionary in prayer

    Supporting your missionary in prayer

    ‘We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ’ 

    1 Thessalonians 1:2-3.

    We know prayer is important, but in these verses Paul does something after prayer that we don’t often do. He reports back on what he’s been praying for the Thessalonians.

    We can learn from Paul’s prayer reports in how we support missionaries in prayer. Often we can carefully read a missionary’s prayer letter and earnestly pray for God’s kingdom to be established and stop there. But by writing prayer reports, Paul took things a step further. Imagine how encouraging it would have been for the Thessalonians to know that Paul was praying for them regularly and was encouraged by what he heard about them. In the same way, ‘prayer reports’ can really encourage and spur on mission workers.

    We asked an OMF prayer group and the missionaries they support about sending and receiving prayer reports.

    From the prayer group’s perspective:

    We met for coffee at 11 and watched some videos to get more of an idea of where our missionaries are working. We then separated off to go wherever we felt comfortable to pray privately.

    To help fuel our prayers, Bibles, the latest Billions magazine and prayer letter from the OMF workers were available. We asked people to write a word of encouragement, a verse or a prayer for our workers, whatever we felt God was saying, on post-it notes.  We then stuck the post-it notes on a map of Thailand, which we’ve now posted to our workers there. Hopefully they will be encouraged by our sticky notes!

    From the missionaries’ perspective:

    How did it feel when you received the prayer notes?

    We often find it hard to be in touch with prayer partners personally, so to receive this very personal demonstration of prayer support was a special blessing. It was an extra treat to receive something in the post!

    How have those prayers have been answered?

    Some of the prayers were reminders of God’s promises to give his peace and strength, which were particularly valuable as we have been moving from language school into ministry where everything is done in Thai. This has been a big adjustment for us but we have known God’s faithfulness in answering these prayers.

    We would love to see more people praying for Thailand and for God to move among the people here. So these prayer notes themselves are an answer to prayer!

    What would say to encourage prayer supporters to keep going?

    We want to encourage prayer supporters that your work in prayer is extremely precious to us, even if you feel you are only praying quite generally. It’s always great to receive prayer reports. Just a short message to say you are remembering someone or a specific situation in prayer, is a real encouragement and blessing to us.

    Do it yourself:

    • Post-it notes, pens
    • Bibles
    • A map of the country you are praying for (ask your OMF office)
    • A large envelope and stamps
    • Billions magazine
    • OMF videos
    • Prayer letters and prayer guides
    • Coffee and cakes (optional, but important!)

    If you’d like to join an OMF prayer group in your area, please get in contact with us: uk.supporterrelations@omfmail.com.

  • 24 Mar
    How to pray for missionary mums

    How to pray for missionary mums

    It’s Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday. Being a mum is hard wherever you live, but there are extra challenges that arise in cross cultural situations.  How can we pray for them? Janet Chapman, OMF UK’s Third Culture Kids (TCKs) advisor, who supports missionaries and their families, shares some pointers to direct our prayers for missionary mums.

    Please pray for missionary mums serving with OMF in southeast Asia:

    1. Deep reassurance they are loved by God and by their families.

    2. Joy in being a family in ministry. When God calls Christians into ministry , he desires the whole family to be part of his witness in the community they serve. Strong Christian families can endure hardships, overcome difficulties, persevere in the face of discouragement, and be a powerful witness to God’s grace and love through their daily lives.

    3. Capacity to embrace the richness of life in East Asia and help their children do the same.

    4. Grace to meet the challenges of cross cultural living – everything from the school system to visiting the local post office can be a challenge in other cultures.

    5. Energy for those caring for young babies or a newly adopted child.

    6. Peace for those separated from children who are away at boarding school or studying or working in UK – it can be a worrying time.

    7. Friendships with other ladies in the local and missions communities.

    8. Wisdom as they seek to balance their various roles: wife, mum, friend, teacher, neighbour, colleague. There are so many competing demands on any mother’s time, but perhaps especially so on mission.

    9. Especially for mums with younger children, energy for each day.

    10. Great love and support from local friends and teammates when they miss the support of their own families and friends back home.

    Thank you for praying with us for missionary mums – prayer works!

     

  • 06 Jan
    DIY World Prayer

    DIY World Prayer

     

    We all know prayer is important, but have you ever felt that some prayers seem to come easier than others? We find it relatively easy to pray for ourselves, our families, our friends and our own country. But praying for the unfinished task of the Great Commission throughout the world can seem more difficult. Perhaps it’s because we do not know these people personally, or feel we don’t know enough about their situation. So we’d like to encourage you to take some time this weekend to find out more about a country in East Asia. We hope it will inspire you to pray regularly for that country.

    Pick a country and see if you can find out:

    1. A little about the history and culture of that country.
    2. The predominant religions and what they believe.
    3. The languages they speak. Has any of the Bible been translated into their language?
    4. The Christian population and the needs of local churches there.
    5. Any recent news items?

     

    Some resources to get you started:

    OMF country profiles – provide a lot of these details for these countries.

    OMF Prayer guides – further information and stories to help guide your prayers.

    Operation World – more statistics, including geography, populations by religion and challenges to pray about.

     

    You may also be interested in:

    15 top tips for your prayer life – to help you in your prayer life more generally.

    PrayerMate – an app to help you pray widely and regularly. You can create your own prayer lists and subscribe to prayer feeds from several mission agencies, including OMF.

    Our Prayer resources.

    Praying for the ‘Task Unfinished’ – five days of devotions to help you reflect on the Task Unfinished.

     

    By reubeng Pray Prayer Prayer ideas
  • 16 Dec
    15 top tips for your prayer life

    15 top tips for your prayer life

    ‘Let us pray’. How do you feel when you hear that? Overjoyed? Guilty?
    Prayer is one of those things we feel we should definitely do more, but probably don’t. If you’ve cracked the key to having a perfect prayer life, we’d love to hear from you! For the rest of us, we’re all too aware that our prayer life isn’t all it should be. At times, we can feel like we’re doing quite well, and prayer comes easily to us – but at other times, our prayer life feels dry, and we may not even want to pray.

    1. Make a plan

    “Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray. ” – D A Carson
    We all want to pray more. Prayer takes time, and the problem is, there are lots of other things fighting for our time. If we don’t schedule in a time to pray, it won’t happen. Put regular, dedicated times in your calendar just to pray.

    Practical tip Use the Calendar app on your phone.

    2. Don’t ‘pigeon-hole’

    Prayer isn’t just for the time you set aside on your calendar, though. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As well as having times set aside for prayer, we should aim to keep up a conversation with our Father in Heaven throughout the day.
    Matt Chandler explains that this works in the same way that he spends time with his wife. In the busyness of everyday life, while looking after children and working, his conversations with her will be short. But he also deliberately sets time aside to focus solely on her and have fuller conversations.

    Practical tip Use visual cues throughout your day to remind you to pray, such as a wallpaper on your phone.

    3. Learn from older people

    Whether you’ve been a Christian for as long as you can remember, or you are a more recent convert, there will always be someone who has been running the race for longer than you with wisdom to share – especially on the topic of prayer. Spend time with older Christians, build friendships with them, ask them questions and learn from them.

    Someone who inspires us is a 95 year old lady who has been faithfully praying for OMF for 75 years. When asked how she keeps on praying, she replied: “It’s simple, the joy of the Lord is my strength. Also, prayer works. It’s simple, but it works. I can do it, so I do.”
    Practical tip Make an effort to talk to someone in your church who is older than you.

    4. Accountability/prayer relationships

    God saves us individually, but he calls us to a life of community. We are made in the image of God, himself a community, eternally existing as Father, Son and Spirit. We need other Christians to encourage and challenge us.
    Find someone who you can build a prayer relationship with. Meet up with them to pray for a specific topic, and keep in touch to find out how your prayer partner is doing.
    Practical tip  Pray specifically, not generally. Then, when you meet up you can see how God has responded to your prayers. Why not join an OMF Prayer Group near you? Click here to get in touch with your Area Representative to find out more.

    5. Do a Bible Study on prayer

    Prayer isn’t Christianity’s version of a wishing well, where our prayers are nothing more than an impersonal coin flicked into the divine ear. Prayer does involve bringing our requests to God of course (Philippians 4:6)- but it is much more than that. When we read through Scripture, we see that prayer is one of God’s appointed means for his people to meet with him. Study prayer and marvel at how a sovereign, perfect God has appointed the prayers of weak, imperfect people to be the means through which he works in the world.

    Practical tip   Take a look at this Got Questions article for a helpful overview of what the Bible says about prayer.

    6. Go for a Walk

    Sitting down to pray in a warm, quiet room it can be easy to get distracted or feel sleepy! If you find this a struggle, consider using ‘prayer walks’ as a means of to staying focussed and alert- and while you’re there, pray for the area you’re walking around.
    Practical tip – Stick to a route that you know – you’re less likely to get distracted.

    7. Use an app

    When we have so many things we want to pray for, how can we make sure we pray for them all regularly? An app on your smartphone may help. One app we highly recommend is ‘PrayerMate’. It helps you create lists of things you want to pray for and schedules them for you so you pray through everything on your lists over time. Go and check out the video PrayerMate app: helping you pray

    8. Journal answers to prayer

    We aren’t always good at remembering God’s faithfulness to us in the past. Keeping a record of how God has blessed us, answered our prayers and been faithful to us, can help. Doing this gives us ammunition to fight the good fight of faith, stirring our hearts in remembering how God has dealt with us, giving us confidence that prayer works, even when times are hard.

    9. Pray immediately – don’t just say that you will

    How often have you told someone that you’ll pray for them, but never actually got round to doing it? Maybe you’ve always stuck to your word, but for the rest of us, we need help. When someone shares something that they need prayer for, offer to pray with them there and then. This will also help make praying a more natural part of your life.

    Practical tip –  If you can’t pray immediately why not put it into PrayerMate straight away.

    10. Write out your prayers

    Sometimes, you may find it hard to express what you want to say to God, so writing out your prayer might be helpful. Writing, instead of speaking, helps us to slow down and think more carefully about what we’re trying to say. Writing down your prayers also means that you’ll be able to look back and see how God has worked in that situation.

    11. Get involved in your church

    The local church is God’s way of growing believers, so throw yourself into your church as much as you can. It will give you a greater desire to walk closely with the Lord, to worship him and to pray to him. Church prayer meetings may seem difficult or boring, but they can be a great way to set aside time to pray, learn more about prayer and to pray for different situations.

    Practical tip – Read Acts 4:23-31 and see the power of meeting together to pray.

    12. Pray, even when you don’t feel like it

    Often, we don’t pray because we ‘don’t feel like it’. But have you ever got up early to go to the gym or for a run and not felt like doing it, yet you push yourself to go because you know it’s good for you? Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he wrote to Timothy: ‘train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (1 Timothy 4:8, NIV). An important part of this training is prayer. In order to grow in our prayer life we need to be disciplined in praying, even when we don’t feel like it, because we know it is good for us. Fight against ‘not feeling like it’ and pray, knowing it is important and pleases God.

    13. Use the ACTS model

    Sometimes we don’t know where to start in prayer, which is where the ACTS model helps. It is a simple formula that brings a well-rounded structure to your prayers. It’s easy to do – just work through each letter.
    A – Adoration – Praise God for who he is.
    C – Confession – Lay your sin before God. Be specific, ask for forgiveness and believe that he forgives freely.
    T – Thanksgiving – Give thanks to God for what he has done – for ourselves, for others or throughout history.
    S – Supplication – Bring your needs and those of others before God.

    14. Pray specifically

    It’s hard to pray when you don’t know what you’re praying for. Learning about situations and unreached people groups enables you to pray specifically. Here are some resources to help you:

    15. Use scripture

    “We only pray well if we are immersed in Scripture. We learn our prayer vocabulary the way children learn their vocabulary — that is, by getting immersed in language and then speaking it back” – Tim Keller, paraphrasing Eugene Peterson
    Practical tip: Read a Psalm (like Psalm 86) and turn its words into your own prayers. Or use one of the prayers that open Paul’s letters to pray for yourself and your church.
    We pray you find these tips helpful – if you have any to add, please let us know on Facebook or Twitter.
  • 25 Nov
    15 Tips for Your Prayer Life (Part 3 of 3)

    15 Tips for Your Prayer Life (Part 3 of 3)

    Here is the third and final of our three part series of tips for what to do when your prayer life gets hard.
    Find part one here. Find part two here.

    11. Get involved in your church

    The local church is God’s way of growing believers, so throw yourself into your church as much as you can. It will give you a greater desire to walk closely with the Lord, to worship him and to pray to him.

    Church prayer meetings may seem difficult or boring, but they can be a great way to set aside time to pray, learn more about prayer and to pray for different situations.

    Practical tip: read Acts 4:23-31 and see the power of meeting together to pray.

    12. Pray, even when you don’t feel like it.

    Often, we don’t pray because we ‘don’t feel like it’. But have you ever got up early to go to the gym or for a run and not felt like doing it, yet you push yourself to go because you know it’s good for you? Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he wrote to Timothy: ‘train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (1 Timothy 4:8, NIV).

    An important part of this training is prayer. In order to grow in our prayer life we need to be disciplined in praying, even when we don’t feel like it, because we know it is good for us. Fight against ‘not feeling like it’ and pray, knowing it is important and pleases God.

    13. Use the ACTS model

    Sometimes we don’t know where to start in prayer, which is where the ACTS model helps. It is a simple formula that brings a well-rounded structure to your prayers. It’s easy to do – just work through each letter.

    A – Adoration – Praise God for who he is.

    C – Confession – Lay your sin before God. Be specific, ask for forgiveness and believe that he forgives freely.

    T – Thanksgiving – Give thanks to God for what he has done – for ourselves, for others or throughout history.

    S – Supplication – Bring your needs and those of others before God.

    14. Pray specifically

    It’s hard to pray when you don’t know what you’re praying for. Learning about situations and unreached people groups enables you to pray specifically.

    Here are some resources to help you:

    15. Use scripture

    “We only pray well if we are immersed in Scripture. We learn our prayer vocabulary the way children learn their vocabulary — that is, by getting immersed in language and then speaking it back” – Tim Keller, paraphrasing Eugene Peterson

    Practical tip: Read a Psalm (like Psalm 86) and turn its words into your own prayers. Or use one of the prayers that open Paul’s letters to pray for yourself and your church.

    Find part one here.
    Find part two here.

    By Ryan Hunt Article Resource
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