By Richard Willowby
Vital Christianity requires a vital prayer life. Most of us pray. It’s a daily habit: at meals, when we go to bed, in church—and fervently in times of desperation.
Some of us feel guilty about our prayer life. It is not regular enough, or long enough, or not spiritual enough. Guilt trips have been laid on us and unrealistic ideals of what prayer time should be like have been given as models for us. I once was told that Martin Luther said (probably a misquote), “I have so much to do today that I must pray at least seven hours.” Or perhaps you have heard that E. Stanley Jones spent two hours in prayer every evening—even when he was a guest at someone’s dinner party. Continue reading
Redmond Church of God prayer walk.
By Carl Stagner
Maybe it was a passage that seemed to leap from the pages of Scripture. But perhaps it was a pastor or a trusted friend. Or it might have been a mother whose bedside “Now I lay me down to sleep…” made an eternal impact. For so many believers, prayer is not simply taught; it’s modeled by another. That’s how it was for Jamie Wilkerson. Her mother would faithfully kneel down and pray with young Jamie morning and night, instilling in her a passion for prayer which burns to this day. Like Jamie, Joe Arena sees prayer as one of the most vital practices of the Christian. Involved in numerous prayer ministries inside and outside the church, Joe’s pursuit of God on bended knee isn’t unlike that of Pastor Dave Thompson and the Church of God in Redmond, Oregon. Their desire to intercede on behalf of church, community, nation, and world is nothing short of infectious. As the Church of God prepares for the 360 Revolution prayer and evangelism initiative this September, these three individuals offer some timely perspective on prayer. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Ministries, Great Lakes, Northeast
Tagged Dave Thompson, intercession, Jamie Wilkerson, Joe Arena, OR, Oregon, pray, prayer, Redmond, Redmond Church of God
Photo: Prayer circle at the Church of God of Exeter.
By Carl Stagner
Have you ever launched a new Bible study, started an outreach project, or tried something totally new, only to see its initial success fall flat? Was there a time when you realized that all the strategic planning and quality efforts going into something just wasn’t leading anywhere? Has it been a while since a powerful move of the Spirit brought healing, salvation, and deliverance into your place of worship? Michael Guzman, pastor of the Church of God of Exeter in Exeter, California, knows the feeling. A week of intense corporate prayer, five times a day, was just what the Doctor ordered. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged CA, California, Church of God of Exeter, community, divine healing, Exeter, Ignition Week, Michael Guzman, pray, prayer, revival, salvation, spiritual warfare
By Gilbert W. Stafford
I received a letter from a local church leader in which he told me a few of the people in his congregation disagreed with some of the policies of the pastor; consequently, they were boycotting the church. The difficulties had nothing to do with moral, ethical, or doctrinal issues; rather, they had to do with personality conflicts, differences about stylistic matters, and programmatic issues. Continue reading
By Carl Stagner
No great move of God in history has ever occurred without having been preceded by the extraordinary prayer of his people. Log on to Facebook or Twitter, turn on the television, or pick up a newspaper and just try not to grieve for the shape of our culture. We need a great move of God. Walk our streets, visit our prisons, or spend some time in our poor urban centers and realize the overwhelming condition of our society. Then, instead of shaking your fist at hell, turn inward. What if we were to take a closer look at ourselves—the church? We possess the hope of the world, the world needs that hope, but we’re too busy dealing with our own issues to do anything about it. It’s time for change. It’s time for a spiritual overhaul. In Joel 1, the people of God found themselves in a similar predicament. They consecrated a fast, proclaimed a solemn assembly, and gathered the elders and all the inhabitants of the land. Together they cried out to the Lord for repentance, reconciliation, and revival. We’ve determined we must do no less. On Sunday, September 11, Church of God congregations will unite on their knees as they set aside regular weekend schedules for a singular focus—to cry out to the Lord. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Ministries
Tagged Atlanta, awakening, Cry Out to the Lord, domestic ministries, fasting, Georgia, Joel 1:14, pray, prayer, repentance, revival, sacred assembly, solemn assembly, special events
By Carl Stagner
They put their lives on the line for you and me. With courage, they served to protect the freedoms we take for granted in the United States of America. Since their days in the military, these gentlemen have committed their lives to another kind of battle—a battle for souls. Military veterans Gary Campbell and Gerald Rudd are just two of the numerous examples of those who started out in the armed forces before joining the Lord’s Army. The two thousand Church of God congregations in the United States are indebted to their service to God and country, and we honor and pray for them—not just today, but every day. Continue reading
By Carl Stagner
More than 100 million Christians around the world face persecution on a daily basis.* Facing the possibility of intimidation, torture, or death at church each week isn’t something many in the West experience, but it’s reality for far too many believers across the globe. Church of God congregations are encouraged to focus their prayers on Sunday, November 1 or Sunday, November 8 in observance of the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Continue reading
Senseless violence has yet again shaken the country as news of a deadly shooting surfaced from the city of Roseburg, Oregon. The October 1, 2015, tragedy is only just beginning to send shockwaves through the city, which lies about 180 miles south of Portland. Our Church of God congregation, Hucrest Community, opened its doors to the public for anyone who would like to pray. Prayer is what is so desperately needed at a time like this, and we invite the Church of God across the country and around the world to pray. Please remember the wounded, the friends and family of the deceased, Umpqua Community College, Pastor Jon Nutter, the congregation he serves, and the entire Roseburg community in your prayers. Thank you. Continue reading