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R.D.D.: Relationship Deficit Disorder

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RDD: Relationship Deficit Disorder

They are known as Generation Z.  They are creative and collaborative. They are smart. They know more about the world due to the Internet then many of us knew by the time we were adults. They are concerned about their environment. They are true multi-taskers. They brand Life and what’s popular with a simple click of a “Like” button. They have never known life without technology. They thrive on user-generated content and self-publishing. They live for speed and instant access and gratification. Their resource for problem solving is asking, “Google it,” or  “Is there an app for that?”

The generation between 1994 and 2004 are true digital natives. From the time they were toddlers they were exposed to digital media in the form of games, videos, computers, and cell phones. They have their own form of shorthand known as “texting” and “instant messaging.” Children in grade school can fix computer problems that baffle many of the older generation. Everything is digital, online, fast, fun, and accessible whenever they want it. They have countless friends of Facebook – friends they barely know at all.

Many children struggle in school due to A.D.D. – Attention Deficit Disorder. In the church and home I call it R.D.D. – Relationship Deficit Disorder. The current generation has found its identity in a digital world where emotions are expressed through combinations of keyboard strokes and thumbs up or down instead of a hug, time spent together, or a real conversation. Gamers find relationships with other online gamers instead of in backyards or playgrounds. In many cases these gamers will never meet yet they will spend as much as 50 hours a week interacting in an imaginary world.

Many of us previous to Generation Y or Z find this imaginary world frivolous and silly. To Generation Z it is very much real and it’s all they have ever known.  The information they consume is all in bite-sized pieces. They cannot focus long on time-consuming tasks. If they cannot find the answer quickly they would rather search online or ask someone to give them help then to spend time trying to work it out.

It’s no wonder that when it comes to their relationship with Jesus Christ that they suffer R.D.D. Jesus doesn’t update Facebook. Jesus doesn’t play the latest video games. Jesus doesn’t text message. Jesus doesn’t have His own YouTube channel. Jesus doesn’t exist in their imaginary world. If the majority of their world is online then where can they find Him? How will they get to know Him? How will they “Like” Him? How will they communicate?

The answer to the dilemma is not in getting “plugged in” but getting “unplugged.” It’s getting our children back to the world of reality where smiles are on faces and hugs are given with two arms. It’s in having real conversations at a real dinner table. It’s having devotions in the home where parents and children talk about real problems instead of the latest gadget. It’s in training children to pray and worship a real God, in real time.

Many will agree with these statements but the question remains, “Who is going to pull the plug?” Parents cannot expect children to unplug themselves from what they see as their world. The modern child feels they have the right to their digital world and get offended when someone steps in to pull them out of their reality. Parents feel helpless because “all the other kids are doing it.” They themselves are often caught up in their own version of the same world. Babysitters are now computer screens and game systems while quality time is now recorded in the form of status updates.

If parents, guardians, or mentors do not pull the digital plug at times then we are, in effect, leaving children to spiritually parent themselves. A child cannot teach themselves things they don’t know; yet they are always learning. Where is their source coming from? Friends? Videos? Hollywood? YouTube? Role-playing games? Games can’t teach a child to build a friendship with a real person who has real problems. Digital entertainment can’t fix matters of the heart.

The day we live in is saturated with technology and there’s no way around it. In the beginning God created the world. We weren’t happy with that so we have created a digital world that is nothing more than humankind’s attempt at being their own solution.  Now we have passed that world onto our children. Technology in itself is not bad, but it can never be a replacement for God. It can never be a replacement for fellowship with each other. It can never be a replacement for prayer. When mankind attempts to fix everything ourselves we become our own god, building another Tower of Babel. There’s an app for that – if not, we will create one.

The solution is found at the source of power. You must unplug your home from the digital world and plug into the real source of power, Jesus Christ. Relationship Deficit Disorder can only be medicated with prayer, and time with God and each other. As parents we must train our children to pray in a real world that has real problems. We must train them as to what is real and what is not. We must train them to find answers on their knees instead of on the Internet. We must train them how to talk to God and how to hear Him speaking to us. They can’t train themselves.

If the world our children are growing up in now is mostly digital and imaginary then what kind of world will they leave for their children? Who will pray to when war arises? Who will pray when disaster strikes? Who will pray when diseases overtake a loved one? Who will pray for our nation? Will they know how to pray at all?

When needs arise and the question is asked, “Is there an app for that?” the answer should be, “No; but there is a God!”

Get unplugged. Train your child to pray.

Colleen Clabaugh
WNOP, Kids & Youth Prayer Coordinator

R.D.D.: Relationship Deficit Disorder 2018-04-14T19:23:12+00:00

Praying the Attributes of God

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Praying the Attributes of God

Though God is infinitely far above our ability to fully understand, through Scripture He tells us truths about Himself so that we can know Him, and be drawn to worship Him. He is more than just a solution for our needs. He has attributes that make up who He is. These attributes become the foundation then for the things He does. As you pray , take a description of God below and meditate on it. When you see Him for who He is, you will be drawn closer to His heart and build a deeper trust in Him. Everything changes when you come to know Him.

  1. JEHOVAH
: The name of the independent, self-complete being—“I AM WHO I AM”—only belongs to Jehovah God. Our proper response to Him is to fall down in fear and awe of the One who possesses all authority. Exodus 3:13-15
  2. JEHOVAH-M’KADDESH: This name means “the God who sanctifies.” A God separate from all that is evil requires that the people who follow Him be cleansed from all evil. Leviticus 20:7,8
  3. INFINITE
: God is beyond measurement—we cannot define Him by size or amount. He has no beginning, no end, and no limits. Romans 11:33
  4. OMNIPOTENT
: God is all-powerful. He spoke all things into being, and all things—every cell, every breath, every thought—are sustained by Him. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Jeremiah 32:17,18, 26,27
  5. GOOD
: God is the embodiment of perfect goodness, and is kind, benevolent, and full of good will toward all creation. Psalm 119:65-72
  6. LOVE
: God’s love is so great that He gave all to bring us into fellowship with Him. His love encompasses the world and embraces each of us personally and intimately. I John 4:7-10
  7. JEHOVAH-JIREH
: “The God who provides.” Just as He provided yesterday, He will provide today and tomorrow. He grants deliverance from sin and citizenship in His Kingdom for all those adopted into His household. Genesis 22:9-14
  8. JEHOVAH-SHALOM
: “The God of peace.” We are meant to know the fullness of God’s perfect peace, His “shalom.” God’s peace surpasses understanding and sustains us through difficult times. It’s the product of fully being what we were created to be. Judges 6:16-24
  9. IMMUTABLE
: All that God is, He has always been. All that He has been and is, He
 will ever be. He is ever perfect and unchanging. Psalm 102:25-28
  10. TRANSCENDENT: God is not simply the highest in an order of beings (this would be to grant Him eminence). He is transcendent— existing beyond and above the created universe. Psalm 113:4,5
  11. JUST: God is righteous, holy and fair in all things. We can trust Him to always do what is right. Psalm 75:1-7
  12. HOLY
: God’s holiness is not a better version of the best we know. God is utterly and supremely untainted. His holiness stands apart—unique and incomprehensible. Revelation 4:8-11
  13. JEHOVAH-ROPHE
: “Jehovah heals.” God alone provides the remedy for mankind’s brokenness. The Gospel is the physical, moral, and spiritual remedy for all people. Exodus 15:22-26
  14. SELF-SUFFICIENT: All things are God’s to give, and all that is given is given by Him. He can receive nothing that He has not already given us. Acts 17:24-28
  15. OMNISCIENT
: God is all-knowing. God’s knowledge encompasses every possible thing that exists, has ever existed, or will ever exist. Nothing is a mystery to Him. Psalm 139:1-6
  16. OMNIPRESENT
: God is everywhere, in and around everything, close to everyone. “‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” Psalm 139:7-12
  17. MERCIFUL: God’s merciful compassion is infinite and inexhaustible. Through Christ, He took the judgment that was rightfully ours and placed it on His own shoulders. Deuteronomy 4:29-31
  18. SOVEREIGN
: God presides over every event, great or small, and He is in control of our lives. To be sovereign, He must be all-knowing and all-powerful, and by His sovereignty He rules His entire creation. I Chronicles 29:11-13
  19. JEHOVAH-NISSI: “God our banner.” Under His banner we go from triumph to triumph and say, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).
 Exodus 17:8-15
  20. WISE
: All God’s acts are accomplished through His infinite wisdom. He always acts for our good. Our goodness and His glory are inextricably bound together. Proverbs 3:19,20
  21. FAITHFUL
: Out of His faithfulness God honors His covenants and fulfills His promises. Our hope for the future rests upon God’s faithfulness. Psalm 89:1-8
  22. WRATHFUL
: Unlike human anger, God’s wrath is never self-indulgent or irritable. It is the right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil. Nahum 1:2-8
  23. FULL OF GRACE
: Grace is God’s good pleasure that moves Him to grant merit where it is undeserved and to forgive debt that cannot be repaid. Ephesians 1:5-8
  24. OUR COMFORTER
: The apostle Paul writes that the Lord is “the God of all comfort.” II Corinthians 1:3,4
  25. EL-SHADDAI
: “God Almighty,” the God who is all-sufficient and all-bountiful, the source of all blessings. Genesis 49:22-26
  26. FATHER
: Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9), and the Spirit of God taught us to cry, “Abba, Father,” an intimate Aramaic term similar to “Daddy.” The Creator of the universe cares for each one of us. Romans 8:15-17
  27. THE CHURCH’S HEAD: Jesus, is the head of the Church. As the head, the part of the body that sees, hears, thinks, and decides, He gives the orders that the rest of the body lives by.
 Ephesians 1:22,23
  28. OUR INTERCESSOR: Knowing our temptations, God intercedes for us. He opens the doors for us to boldly ask for mercy. Thus, God is both the initiation and conclusion of true prayer. Hebrews 4:14-16
  29. ADONAI
: “Master” or “Lord.” All God’s people ought to acknowledge themselves as His servants, with His right to reign as Lord of our lives. II Samuel 7:18-20
  30. ELOHIM: “Strength” or “Power”: He is transcendent, mighty and strong. This name displays His supreme power, sovereignty, and faithfulness in His covenant relationship with us. Genesis 17:7,8

 

Praying the Attributes of God 2018-04-14T19:22:33+00:00

How to Refresh Your Church Prayer Ministry

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How to Refresh Your Church Prayer Ministry

Aside from my position at the World Network of Prayer, I recently accepted the position of prayer leader again at my local church. I served in this position many years, but due to growing responsibilities at work I resigned a few years ago. When asked by my pastor to pray about the position, I not only prayed, but took some time to take a close look at prayer ministry in general. I studied what was popular, what was unpopular, I made a list of what I enjoyed and studied that, I made a list of what I didn’t enjoy and studied that, I read material from people who had been a prayer leader for a long time and I read material on the newest and latest trends.  I also spent a considerable amount of time studying and talking to people who faithfully attended a weekly prayer meeting.

And it was very enlightening……ALL OF IT.

I LEARNED A FEW THINGS:

  1. I learned there were tried and true methods that worked.
  2. I learned that unless a person was an intercessor, they typically could not effectively pray for an hour straight.
  3. I learned that the volume that accompanied times of prayer that were “led” versus “get in your own corner and pray” was substantial.
  4. I learned that for a prayer ministry to be organized it took a lot of work.
  5. I discovered that the reason many did not attend prayer meeting was because they felt it was boring or they didn’t know how to pray (or both).
  6. I learned the purpose of a corporate prayer meeting was to pray in agreement, so I could never understand why we were all in our separate corners praying.
  7. I learned that most people spent their entire time at prayer meeting praying for personal needs.
  8. I learned that most people spent their entire time PERIOD praying for personal needs.
  9. I learned that a big ship doesn’t turn quickly–to make changes would take time.
  10. I learned the biggest enemy of a prayer ministry is monotony.
  11. I learned that motivation is never lacking in Apostolic churches–but education on how to effectively pray often is.
  12. I learned I still had a lot to learn.

So if your prayer ministry is not as vibrant as you would like for it to be, I want to share some ideas with you to help refresh things.

Let me start by saying:

  1. All churches are different, so you will have to figure out what works for you.
  2. The Word says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” You CAN make a change!
  3. Work under the leadership of your pastor. Make sure your pastor is on board with what you are doing.

TO REFRESH YOUR PRAYER MINISTRY

  1. Refresh yourself.
    • Pray and seek God for direction for the prayer ministry.
    • Read books on prayer.
    • Read books on prayer ministry structure.
    • Browse through this website to find free material and helps on prayer.
    • Talk to other prayer leaders.
    • Educate yourself on current events. With all going on in this day and time, prayer is a desperate need.
    • Start a journey to rekindle your personal passion for prayer. When you get excited, you will do a better job.
    • Make a plan. I’m an advocate of putting goals down on paper.
    • Build a team. Don’t try to do it alone.  Your prayer ministry should never be about your ideas only.
  1. Relaunch the Prayer Ministry
    • Make it a big deal: use church announcements, church bulletin, social media, and tell everyone you know.
    • People want to be a part of something “new.”
    • Let the church know, “We are revamping the church prayer meeting, you don’t want to miss it!”
    • Market it as the new and improved prayer meeting.
    • Build expectation and create excitement.
  1. Get the Pastor’s endorsement.
    • The most influential person in the church is usually the pastor. If you can get him on board with helping you re-launch the prayer ministry of your church, it will go a long way.
    • Have a focus on prayer.
    • Have the Pastor endorse and promote the prayer ministry from the pulpit.
    • Perhaps the pastor could do a series on prayer or have the small groups focus on prayer.
  1. Branch into New Areas
    • Stop calling it, “Prayer Ministry” and start calling it, “Prayer Saturation”
    • Your church should be a prayer saturated church – all areas should be saturated in prayer
    • Build prayer into everything you do.
    • Prayer should partner with every department
      • Youth
      • Sunday school
      • Outreach
      • Music
      • Children
      • Ask each department head, “How can the prayer ministry help your ministry?”
    • Some ideas:
      • Youth Prayer
      • Kids Prayer
      • Ladies Prayer
      • Men Prayer
      • Emergency Prayer Chain
      • Pastor’s Prayer Force (Armed Forces)
      • Pastor’s Wife’s Prayer Team
      • Prayer Walks
      • Social Media Prayer Pages
      • Ladies of Prayer International (Praying for children)
      • Prayer meeting for intercessors.

REVAMP THE PRAYER MEETING:

  1. Kill what has been killing the church prayer meeting
    • If it is boring, liven it up.
    • Start with music and have a brief time of worship
    • Use various people with different personalities to lead the prayer meeting.
    • If someone is a “drain”, it may be time to try to silence them. (do it in kindness, and use wisdom)
    • Switch to a focused, led prayer meeting.
  2. Use the first 10 minutes of your prayer meeting as a method of education and growing your prayer members.
    • Prayer meetings should be more prayer than “talk.” People can only go as high as their leader. Grow yourself, then grow others. (“Law of the Lid”-John Maxwell)
    • People should leave your prayer meetings knowing more than when they arrived.
    • In just a few minutes, you can leave them a nugget that will help them in their prayer life.
    • Most people grasp knowledge small chunks at a time. (I would rather give them a small nugget they will remember than to try to tell them everything I know and them not remember any of it.)
    • In these few minutes, raise their vision of prayer. Help deepen their burden.
  3. Set a Kingdom tone for the prayer meeting.
    • If there are personal needs, share them at the very end.
    • Focus on eternal not temporal things for the majority of your service.
    • You have a big God, so pray big prayers.
    • See ye FIRST the Kingdom.
    • For 90% of people, you will have to re-educate them.
  4. Always Start the Prayer Meeting on a Positive
    • Don’t ever start with needs.
    • Start with a Scripture.
      • “God, you are able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we are able to ask or think.”
      • “If God be for us, then who can be against us?”
      • Put things in perspective from the start
    • Start with a testimony.
    • Start with a song.
    • Start reminding the people of how big God is.
  5. Affect people’s hearts . . . and they will pray.
    • When people’s emotions are affected, they will pray more fervently.
    • Don’t misunderstand, the prayer meeting should not be emotional manipulation, but when people see a legitimate need, they will pray.
    • I can say, “Pray for John who needs salvation,” and some will pray. Or I can say, “Pray for John. He is a pastor’s son who was spiritually hurt, looked for answers in the world,  and left the safety of the church.”
    • Use photos and videos. Multi-media can paint a clear picture.
    • What happens when you affect their heart?
      • They pray.
      • They do something about it.
    • There is no shortage for heart-wrenching things to pray about today:
      • Ask them to hold up their Bible. Then tell them the Bible, this precious book, is outlawed in 52 countries.  “Can we pray for those who aren’t privileged like us to have this book?”
      • 200 million people are persecuted each year because of their faith in Christ. More than any other time in history…
      • There are 205 million unemployed people in the U.S.
      • There are 110 million homeless people in the world.
      • 842 million suffer from hunger or malnutrition.
      • Every three seconds, someone dies of starvation.
      • 783 million don’t have clean water to drink.
      • 2,000 die each day of complications from not having clean water.
      • There are 153 million orphans worldwide.
      • Five billion people in the world don’t own a pair of shoes.In our life of luxury and blessings, sometimes we forget that there are those who so desperately need prayer. When you can show needs and touch hearts, people will pray.
  6. Shake it Up
    • Get people’s bodies involved in the prayer meeting:
      • Stand up
      • Take the person’s hand next to you
      • Get out in the aisle
      • Go up in the balcony and pray
      • Prayer walk through the church
      • Put the large group in smaller groups to pray
        • They can pray for each other
        • They can pray through the newspaper
        • They can pray for missionaries
        • They can pray for whatever the Lord would guide them to pray for
  7. Keep prayer in front of the church congregation
    • If there are any praise reports, share them with the congregation.
    • If good things happen, share it with the church.
    • The more the prayer meeting can be mentioned in the church service, the more likely people will want to come be a part.
    • Every thing good that happens in prayer meeting should be shared with the church.
    • People don’t want to miss out, so if they feel prayer is the happening place to be, they will come.
    • Prayer leaders need to be a PR person for the prayer ministry.
  8. Break up the Hour
    • Have ten minutes of worship
    • Three minutes of teaching
    • Two minutes to set the focus
    • 35 minutes of led prayer
    • Five minutes of worship and thanksgiving
    • Five minutes of personal requests and prayer
  9. Enlist Ministry Leaders of Your Church to help Lead a Prayer Meeting. (Your goal is total church involvement)
    • Use them even if they aren’t faithful to prayer.
    • Using them will broaden your influence if they come and get their people to come.
    • They may start being faithful, if they lead once.
    • Have focused prayer for a different ministry each prayer meeting. Then they will have to come.
  10. Wrap any important event in the life of the church in prayer.
    • For example, your Easter drama.
    • Christmas program
    • Friend’s Day
  11. Make prayer fun and exciting for all ages.
    • Show parents how to teach their young children how to pray and listen for God’s voice.
    • Run a children’s prayer workshop so kids can learn to have fun praying together.
    • Consider prayer as part of your teen lock in.
    • How about an all-night prayer session for the youth where they pray on a particular topic for ten minutes, then sing a few songs before breaking into smaller groups?
    • Make sure the kids are included in regular prayer gatherings and are encouraged to pray and participate.
  12. If at all possible, send your people home with something that will help them remember to pray. 
    • Handout
    • Object
    • Prayer guide

 

Lisa Marshall
WNOP, Strategic Prayer Coordinator

How to Refresh Your Church Prayer Ministry 2018-04-14T19:33:05+00:00

One Day Prayer Retreat

One Day Prayer Retreat

Extended prayer retreats alone with God are both biblical and helpful in developing an intimate relationship with God. God longs to be with you. It takes time to develop an intimate relationship with God. There are no shortcuts. Try setting aside a one day a month or each quarter for prayer. Here is a simple guide for a day of prayer. You may find it helpful to go away to a solitary place.  Don’t rush. The objective is to spend relaxed, uninterrupted time with God, not to go through a format. These are mere guidelines. Let God be your guide.

Preparation
Find a place where you can be alone and free from distractions.
Bring your Bible, a notebook and pen, and worship music.

Thanksgiving
Begin with thanksgiving. Read Psalm 100:4
Thank Him for His patience and forgiveness.
Thank Him for the privilege of coming into His presence.
Thank Him for what He has done in and through your life in the last year.
Take time to list what He’s has done. Be specific. Think through every area of your life. 

Confession
Ask God to search your heart. Psalm 139: 23, 24
Confess any sins the Holy Spirit reveals. Psalm 19:12
Remember the certainty of forgiveness. 1 John 1:9
Make certain you are walking and praying in the Spirit. Ephesians 5:15-20

Praise
Become still before the Lord. Psalm 46:10
Consider who God is. Psalm 103
Praise Him for His attributes. Psalm 145
Rejoice in your fellowship with Him and that He delights in you. Proverbs 15:8
Read passages of Scripture and pray them back to God. Psalms 146 – 150
Sing to the Lord.

    Listen
Take time to quite your spirit and listen.  God may want to speak to you.

Intercession
Pray your way around the world with unhurried, detailed intercession for others. Ask God to reveal the world to you from His point of view as you read Psalm 33.
Begin with your non-Christians, friends, relatives, neighbors and others the Lord puts on your heart.
Pray that the people who have never heard about Jesus would have an opportunity to hear and understand the gospel. 2 Peter 3:9
Pray for those in authority – federal/national, provincial/state and municipal/county government leaders. 1 Timothy 2:1,2
Pray for Christians ,using Philippians 1:9-11, Colossians 1:9-12, Ephesians 1 :16-19.

Personal Life Evaluation
Ask for understanding as you read chapters of the Bible. Record insights God gives you.
Ask God what He thinks of your life. Wait. Listen for His answer.
Evaluate the use of the time, talent, treasure, education and experience God has entrusted to you. Are they glorifying God? Do you need to change what you are doing?
Discuss with the Lord your joys, your sorrows and decisions you are facing.
Find promises and directives in the Bible which you can record.

    Concluding Your Day With God
Praise and thank God for the fellowship you had today.
Schedule the next “Day with the Lord” in your appointment book.
Share with someone about your day.

One Day Prayer Retreat 2018-04-01T15:17:05+00:00