Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The prayer I pray daily for the boys
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
-Ephesians 3:14-19
An inscription on the exterior wall of Acts 2 United Methodist Church, where I spoke last weekend, in Edmond, Oklahoma. Notice the ministry of prayer in the life of the early church.

The following is my column for this Sunday morning:

Prayer is conversation with God. It is speaking, pleading, asking, confessing, talking, and sharing. It is also discerning, listening, and discovering.

  • Sometimes you can just sit silently without a clue what to say. That is prayer.
  • Sometimes you can unload everything on your in your hectic life. That is also prayer.
  • Sometimes you cry because you or somebody you love is hurting. That is prayer.
  • Sometimes you are laughing because you realize who God is. That is also prayer.

You can pray while running around a lake early in the morning. You can pray at a desk full of papers and a computer that is ready to overheat because it has been so busy. You can pray in a church or when you are driving by a church. You can pray on your knees or laying down on your back. You can pray alone or in a large group.

I pray a lot. I have learned that I am not too effective of a pastor, husband, or parent if I don’t pray. Some of the time is spent listening. This isn’t the easiest for me, but I do my best. I pray to our church and the people in our church. I pray for our boys. I seem to do that more as they get older. As the seasons of my life change, my prayer life changes as well.

One change is going to start next Sunday, May 10th. Although I pray regularly for people in the church, God has led me to be more specific and intentional in this ministry. Each week, I will pray for five individuals / families. Over the course of a year this will be 260 individuals / families. About a week before I pray for you and / or your family, you will receive a letter from me asking you to submit prayer requests to me. If you have a family, I encourage your family to sit down and write up a list of prayer requests together. This will be a great family activity. If you don’t want to share specific prayer requests, know that I will be praying for you anyway! If you do share prayer requests with me, know that everything you share is confidential.

I am so excited about this new ministry. I look forward to getting to know many of you more and praying for you! I want also note how grateful I am to Marion Hanneld for being the administrator of this ministry.

This morning I also want to mention a resource that we have available. In January and February of 2008, I did a five message series on prayer called, iGod: little i. BIG GOD. I looked at The Prayer of Jabez (iDream), Paul’s Prayer (iConnect), David’s Prayer (iConfess), Solomon’s Prayer (iVote), and The Lord’s Prayer (iLive). If you enjoy listening to recorded messages and want to grow in your prayer life, I encourage you to pick up this resource this morning.

I sincerely hope that we all grow in our prayer lives during the days that are ahead.

In Christ,



Jennifer @ JenniferDukesLee.com said...

Amen! You speak of prayer in the way of Brother Lawrence ...

"The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen ... I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my kness at the blessed sacrament."
-- Brother Lawrence, "Practicing the Presence of God"

Craig Finnestad said...

Hey Jennifer -

Brother Lawrence is one of my favorites. "God, you have outwitted me." So simple and so profound.