Discussion Topic

The 2017 Prayer Summit is taking place March 27-29 in Los Angeles, CA. How can we pray for you? Please comment below.

March 16, 2017 1 1 comments
Resource, Article

Personally, praying the Psalms for the “whole Christ" enriches my prayer life. It increases my appreciation for the global church. It weakens the grip of individualism. It brings to life Psalms I might otherwise overlook.  

March 8, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

It doesn't matter if we're young, or just think we are young, but man oh man life holds on by an awfully thin thread. Every day is a gift worth treasuring. Every day. 

March 2, 2017 2 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Please pray for my deliverance from the demonic.

February 23, 2017 0 5 comments
Blog

A simple sheet of paper filled with prayer requests has created a sense of vulnerability and openness to the Spirit’s leading, and through this, the church has become more of a family.

February 6, 2017 6 4 comments
Blog

Consider being a part of Inspire 2017 through prayer, even if you can’t attend. Amazing things happen when we prayerfully and humbly surrender to God’s will and leading.

January 16, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

Anyone who has a heart from prayer and a vision to see God at work in their churches will want to check out the Praying for Renewal in the Christian Reformed Church Facebook page.

December 15, 2016 1 1 comments
Resource, Prayer

Are you looking for resources on prayer? Don’t forget to check out what’s available to you through the CRC’s Digital Library.

November 10, 2016 0 0 comments
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I am normally not one to present lists but I believe there is a deepening of appreciation and understanding by reading the 34 countries of origin and 22 countries of citizenship represented at the Seminary this fall.

November 3, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

Are you looking for resources on prayer? Check out these recorded webinars on The Network for some great teaching. 

October 24, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Prayer

I wrote this congregational prayer called "Do Not Worry" based on Matthew 6:25-27 for today's church service. This prayer affirms that God has a plan for creation (and for us) in both the sadness and the joy. 

October 3, 2016 1 1 comments
Blog

As I draw this flower, it really does feel like I’m seeing it for the first time. In this way, drawing is like prayer. Prayer is the practice of learning to wake up to the world, having our eyes opened. 

May 4, 2016 2 1 comments
Resource, Newsletter or Periodical

How do we pray for upcoming elections and seek God's face for our country? Eldean Kamp, Prayer Coordinator for Classis British Columbia South East, found and shared this timely resource. 

April 25, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

I never realized prayer can tucker a person out. Like when people hit the gym, they have a good workout and they’re tired yet they come back feeling good as well, almost energized. It’s being tired in a good way.

February 1, 2016 1 0 comments
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We’ve been through times both of us hope never, ever to experience again. When God doesn’t pick up the phone, believers feel unspeakably alone. Then there are no words, only groaning.

January 13, 2016 2 0 comments
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Silence is hard. The "chatty monkey" will pop up. Yet I've been working at it like I would lifting weights or trying to learn guitar. This morning during prayer time, I set my alarm and was quiet. 

January 11, 2016 2 0 comments
Blog

There’s something powerful behind saying things out loud. Sometimes I prefer to pray with my mind and heart but it's less impactful. Praying audibly worked a strange magic over me.

January 8, 2016 3 1 comments
Q&A

It's Ministry Question Monday! Do you have ideas for helping people develop prayer lives that go beyond Sundays? 

December 21, 2015 2 1 comments
Blog

We don’t hear many prayers these days for a fresh season of spiritual renewal. Speaking for myself, I tend to equate such prayers with fundamentalists. Shame on me. 

December 18, 2015 1 1 comments
Blog

The shootings in San Bernardino happened about 5 miles from The River (the CRC where I pastor). Join our church in petitioning God for peace and an end to the violence. 

December 7, 2015 4 2 comments
Q&A

How do we train and equip people to pray for worship? And how do we prepare those who pray with—and for—others after the service? 

December 1, 2015 1 25 comments
Blog

When we end our prayers with the phrase "not my will, but yours be done", is it an act of surrendering to God or is it more of a testament to our lack of faith?

October 19, 2015 3 4 comments
Blog

In the face of ongoing tragedies and suffering, we feel uncomfortable with our own prayers. My prayer and the massive reality of pain. Must I feel embarrassed for my well-being? 

September 21, 2015 1 0 comments
Resource, Conference or Event

All are cordially invited to attend the International School of Prayer on Friday, Sept 25 with Rev. Nam Soo Choi of Korea, the leader of an international prayer movement. 

August 27, 2015 1 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

Listen and learn with other leaders about how to foster conversational small group prayer. This webinar was led by Sam Huizenga and attended by Coffee Break and small group leaders from the US and Canada. 

August 19, 2015 0 0 comments

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Pray for the funding needed to complete our Adoption from China.

Pray for our church as we are in the process of revitalizing and seeking God's direction for the steps he has next for us as a congregation.  Pray that we hear his voice clearly and discern appropriately the next steps. Pray that we not fear where God leads.  

Pray for me as the pastor of the body to grow in my ability to pray and intercede for the body I shepherd.

Hi Dirk

I am praying that God will give you the help that you need.
In my healing journey I have been helped by friends, family, nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, and pastors.
God has used a combination of listening prayer, talk therapy, deliverance ministry, food, books,  music and some meds.
Ask Him for the help you need.
Blessings to you.

posted in: Deliverance

Hi Dirk, I too pray that God will give you grace, strength, and peace, and that he will send people into your life who can help you move toward healing and increasing levels of mental health. Like you, I firmly believe that the Deceiver and his hosts are active in this world, and that they can wreak havoc in our world and in individual's lives. There are times that people need the kind of deliverance you write about. I also firmly believe that mental illnesses have a variety of causes including brain chemistry imbalances, prior trauma, stress and trial in life, and more. God uses many instruments to help people move toward recovery including professional counselors, social workers, and medical doctors including psychiatrists, as well as medication, support groups, hospital psychiatric units, spiritual direction and the encouragement and support of people who love and care for the person dealing with mental illness. Although some people have had to hide their mental illness from fellow church members, others have found their church to be a supportive and encouraging community that helps them move toward healing.  I pray that God will help you find the help you are looking for, and that God will give you hope and healing. 

posted in: Deliverance

 Fine, but you should also seek the help of a psychiatrist.  There is no guarantee that prayers alone will make the mental illness go away.  To be sure, God CAN work miracles, but He doesn't cure all cases of mental illness.  He NEVER took mine away.  So don't put ALL your eggs in the same basket and seek treatment.  God may have other ideas about your illness.

posted in: Deliverance

Praying here too!

Paula Wigboldy

posted in: Deliverance

Hi Dirk, 

I just lifted you up in prayer after reading this.

Blessings, 
Staci

posted in: Deliverance

I am so thrilled to hear this! I grew up in this church, and 45 years ago it would have changed my life to be in church where they were praying with "eyes open". (In other words, I would have gotten away with a lot less as a 2 year old!)

Now as a church member--still CRC but in another state--I am encouraged by these words and hope to see this kind of prayer fellowship in my church as well!

 

Love it that the church family is willing to be vulnerable and therefore realize the power of prayer.  

 

I love this, thank you for sharing.  So much power in prayer.

So simple, easily done, and so profound.

I wonder if a name change for the site might be in order? Assuming the Holy Spirit is working by answering the prayers offered over 6 years....could we call the site "Praying for continued renewal in the CRC"?

It would also have the benefit of leaving a more positive than negative impression....

This is beautiful. Thank you for summoning the courage to post this.  May God continue to use your gifts in your church and to bless others!

I love this! For me, to take pictures is to pray. I live in the city and often wish I had nature trails to walk. However, when I take my camera and really start to notice the colors in my yard, my eyes are opened to the beauty around me! 

Katy, 

Are you working for the CRCNA?  Where are you located?

In our classis there is a monthly meeting with the prayer coordinators for mutual support and encouragement. These are people praying for the pastors and the church leaders and they encourage the church to prayer via many creative ways, etc. 

Grace, Daniel 

I prefer to write out my prayers.  I find it easier to keep track of what I've already "said" that way and avoid repeating the same petitions over and over again in the same prayer.  But then, I've always been a writer.  It's my preferred mode of communication.

posted in: A Heart-Tree

I am sure you used the phrase for literary affect, brother but there is no shame on you in Christ.  Jesus Christ has taken away all shame and we can be glad for it :-)

posted in: Time for Revival?

Nicely spoken/written my friend, Scott. Be well. Grace and Peace. Darren

I would consider being a part of such a group!

I am relieved and deeply grateful that my Redlands, Calif. kids and grandkids have come through last week unscathed, at least physically. (That includes the author of this excellent post.)

I pray for the widening circles of tragic impact of last week's San Bernardino, Calif, violence, for the family members and friends of all those who did not come through safely. I also remember, the immense footprint of violence left in our country by 350 incidents in the U.S. that have claimed more than four lives, including the perpetrator, so far THIS YEAR.

Pastor John Rozeboom, Oakdale Park Church, Grand Rapids, MI

Praise Jesus!  I love that He has us on similar journeys even though they were not overlapped.

We did a once a month healing prayer time for anyone that would like to come at Discovery CRC Church (in Cutlerville) for a couple of years while we were all learning.  I am thinking of starting something like that up again.  So I guess I will just throw it out there.  I would be open to anyone to come, those who have been through the Embers to Flames prayer training, those who want to come and receive prayer, those who want to come and learn, those who want to come to be together with the body of Christ in the Presence of Jesus....

Anyone interested?

That sounds like a good response Mary. Thanks. I like the image of after church prayer being more like triage, but also recognizing that God is not limited, and he can do significant work in a very short time frame. 

One image that sticks in my mind from my prayer ministry days is that of the paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus by his friends who had to break through the roof to get to him. Sometimes there is work to do to get people to Jesus - but that is always the posture in prayer ministry, bringing folks into the presence of Jesus and letting Jesus do what he will. Often it's not what we would expect or can even imagine. The passage says that Jesus saw the faith of the man's friends, and healed him. Sometimes we need to have faith for one another. It's a great image for me of healing prayer.

As a prayer ministry group we also met regularly to practice praying with and for one another. We also went through a Theophostic video training course (Ed Smith) and we read a book by Leanne Payne together. Regular time as a community, practicing with one another and learning together was wonderful for all of us and built a lot of trust in the group as well. (It was an ecumenical group, so we didn't all go to the same church). We didn't stick to one process or procedure, but felt our learning together gave us several "tools" that we could use, under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The main thing is bringing someone into the presence of Jesus so that Jesus can do his healing work, whatever that may be. Learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and Listen to the voice of Jesus is important.

Sam,

Just very quickly in a nutshell, after church prayer team prayers are going to be fairly quick, but that does not mean necessarily "light".  I have seen persons healed in this time frame and I believe that God is delighted when persons come to church and walk out healed and transformed.  That is church!  That is the gospel!  That is the Kingdom at work!  I pray that would happen every week at every church.

A deeper healing prayer appointment, that would be set up for a couple of hours or more, digs way down to spiritual roots that may be causing the trouble or dysfunction. Sometimes things are systematically confessed, forgiven, delivered.  Some times deep inner wounds from childhood are healed in these sessions.  Your after church prayer ministry time is kind of like Triage, and some of those persons ought be referred to someone for more intensified healing prayer by those who are trained in such.

Mary

yes of course Katy, and others, that is why I typed it all out.  Use it!

Thanks Mary! Good stuff here. May I copy and use some of your words? I may come to you specifically and ask some more questions too, if I may?

 

 

It would be interesting and helpful to outline the differences between healing prayer after a service and a healing prayer appointment. 

I understand that time is one factor. What are other differences?

Mary is right that this is designed for a deeper inner healing kind of prayer - not after the service on Sunday. In our ministry people signed up for prayer appointments with a 2-3 person prayer team. We scheduled 2 hours for a prayer appointment.

Hi Sam,  Actually, Terry Wardle has written at least ten books, but the one specific to this discussion is "Healing Care - Healing Prayer."

It's called "Healing Care, Healing Prayer". 

 

What is the name of Terry Wardle's book?

I used to be a part of a prayer ministry before taking my current position in Grand Rapids. Several people from our prayer team went to Terry Wardle's training at Ashland Theological Seminary and found it very valuable in our work of prayer ministry. I've used information from his book and website.

Joel,

that is so exciting that you and a group are going to the Formational Prayer Training.  I have had that on my to-do list for several years. Pastor Bob Boersma and a group from Providence CRC in Cutlerville also went to that training this year.  It is good training for those who will be involved in deeper level of healing prayer than the "after church" altar ministry.  Mary.

If you want to equip people for prayer for deep healing, you can look at Terry Wardles website, Healing Care: a ministry of formational prayer.  Actually, I will be going to a three and a half day training, from Jan 13-16, at Ashland Theological Seminary, where Terry teaches, on Prayer Formation.  Several other people (mostly shepherding elders and prayer ministry volunteers) from my church are also going.

While we are waiting for what others have to say, I remembered a couple of very important and accessible resources that will address this very question.  Pastor Dave Huizenga has prayer resources that can be accessed on the web through Empowerment Institute, www.empowermentinstitute.org.

Harvest Prayer Ministries has a brochure called "Praying Through The Worship Service" - Training for Intercessors - The Praying Church Series 2000.  It can be downloaded from www.harvestprayer.com.  Topics are Preparation for Prayer, The Place of Prayer, How to Pray through the Worship Service, Additional Suggestions.

Hope this all helps!

Thanks Mary! I can't wait to hear what others have to say.

This is an important question.  Thanks for asking it Sam.  In our church I periodically lead a one hour training class for those who will be praying with others after the service.  I have led this in other churches as well upon occasion.  I will give you an abbreviated quick summary of the course.  Basically this session includes things like:  1.  Self preparation (self examination, confession, humility, dependence upon the Spirit, not self, etc.)  2. A little teaching about the ministry of the Holy Spirit - as prayer servants we are totally dependent upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we pray for others and ask God to do His work.  3.  We minister under authority of the governing elders of this church.  We follow their leadership and direction.  4.  General Etiquette (Bible, name badge, breath mints, anointing oil, modest dress, personal hygiene).  Pray in pairs or teams when possible.  Ask permission before laying on hands or anointing with oil.  LISTEN!  Avoid telling your own story, listen well to theirs.  Keep one ear to the Holy Spirit and one ear to what person is telling you.  In this context, you don't have too much time for them to talk, so you may need to gently say, "What I am hearing you say is you need prayer for ______; let's pray about that now."  Then start to pray.  Help redirect them from talking too much to seeking the Lord.  Keep your eyes open and watch for visible manifestations of the Spirit's working and evidences of healing.  For example, you may see tears stream down their face when you pray certain things and you know you are right on and the Spirit it working.  You may witness peace flooding over a person.  5.  After listening carefully to the person, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, choose a prayer strategy.  ex. PRAISE,  Often if we start with praising God, our hearts and minds are opened up to what God may have in mind and clarity may come even if at first you have no idea how to pray.  PRAY IN AUTHORITY OF JESUS,  Always pray in Jesus' name and from our identity in Christ.  INTERCESSION - LISTEN - LOVE - PRAY,  Stand in the gap for the person bringing their needs before the Throne of Grace. BLESSING - If you don't have a clear direction on how to start to pray, you can always pray blessings over the person.  Remember Al VandeGriend's BLESS acronym. Body, Labor, Emotional, Social, Spiritual.  That will give you a good start and the Holy Spirit will flow as you obediently pray.  6.  How to Pray for Healing - How to anoint with oil (James 5:14-18).  Pray in faith believing God to provide answers.  He may not do what we thought, but He will always do something!  Pray expectantly!  7.  Pray Biblically!  Let the Holy Spirit remind you of scriptures and let them roll off your tongue as you pray.  8.  Do not be judgmental or condemning.  It is not our place to judge.  Keep everything that you hear in confidence (unless someone is going to hurt themselves or others - or if you have their permission to tell the pastor or some other key person that should know about this.) 9.  End the session also in PRAISE!  Praise God for what He has done and what He will continue to do in this person's life.  10.  Cutting Free Prayer.  It is a good spiritual practice to always pray after you have ministered to others to give to God all of the things you have heard, all of the burdens, they are not ours to bear.  Also cut free of any ways the enemy may try to attach, defile or transfer his ick to you.  Refuse it in Jesus' name.  Now that was indeed a crash course in prayer ministry!  Go forth to love and serve Him and watch Him do all the work!

 

 

I've really appreciated the Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International trainings that I've participated in, including some at their training center in Black Mountain, NC. For more information see prmi.org

Another good resource is The Worship Sourcebook - it has many prayers suggested for the different elements of the worship service - prayers can be read directly or used as a guideline to pray your own prayer. There is also Prayers of the People - a shorter book of model prayers to help someone pray in church. I would think these could be helpful training tools.

One set of resources that I would like to offer is the Embers to Flames Prayer videos. The videos are a recording of a 12 week prayer training that took place last year in Holland, MI at Calvary CRC. Many have found the training to be very helpful in teaching people to deepen their prayer life. 

You can find them on the Home Missions Great Lakes Team website. Follow this link and scroll down the page to "Watch Embers to Flames Videos here". The handouts and class materials are all posted on the page! 

I'm afraid I don't have an answer as we do not train our post-service prayer volunteers. I'm realizing what an oversight that is. We choose people who are mature in their Christian life, model a life of prayer and wish to be there for others. I can see where training can be affective and bring more depth and meaning to the prayers that are prayed. I look forward to other people's answers.

Hi Josh, 

After reading this post I became acutely aware of how often I say "God, if it is your will..." when praying. I began to question why this is my default after every "request" to God. Do I feel guilty asking God for the desires of my heart? Am I afraid of God answering with a "no"? I'm not always sure. 

Thanks for sharing this! I am trying to pray more boldly, knowing God is powerful and responds to our prayers. 

Yes - sometimes what bugs me about the "if it is your will" disclaimer in prayers is that it seems to be more about despair than alliance with God's will. When we pray for healing and repentance in the church, I don't say "if it's your will" - because I know that's God's revealed will, and his revealed will is what we're supposed to pray for! I think Reformed make this distinction between's God's revealed and secret will (how things in his sovereignty actually play out in the world) - when we pray to God, I'd suggest we are called to pray for his revealed will.

Joel... Thanks for the post. Props though for me learning about this go to Rev. Douglas Kampstra who does The Deeper Journey through the CRC. He has some great stuff about this and other ways of prayer and spiritual disciplines. Blessings as you work through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. 

I am working through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and the issue of indifference is at the center of St. Ignatius's statement of Principle and Foundations.  Thanks for making this wonderful-but-difficult concept accessible to Reformed folks. 

This is the other reason I prefer a liturgical worship service - the prayers have been vetted and I know what the sentences

mean. Sometimes I disagree with the theology of the readings that come out of Grand Rapids so I keep my mouth shut. Some of the things I hear/read are more dispensational than Reformed. 

posted in: Winging Our Prayers

Leon, thanks for the reminder that the Psalms are the best of the formed prayers.  Your comments harmonize with today's reading in the One Year Bible - Psalm 36.  Verses 5-7 offer a great prayer of praise. 

Grace and peace to you,

Sam

posted in: Winging Our Prayers

Thank you for the excellent feedback - and for the spirit in which it was given.

posted in: Winging Our Prayers

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Kimberly Chimienti