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Pray Big: The Power of Pinpoint Prayers - eBook
Revell / 2007 / ePub
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Why do we settle for weak, vague prayers, couching our requests in words like "just be with Bob" or "bless Janet in her time of need"? God wants us to be bold and direct in our prayers. It's time to pray big to unleash the power of God in the big and the small things.
Will Davis Jr. calls this kind of specific and biblical prayer "pinpoint prayer." He offers straightforward guidance on how you can call on God with focus and confidence when praying for big miracles, small details, other people, and, yes, even yourself. He teaches you how to pray the Bible back to God and includes one hundred pinpoint prayers based directly on Scripture. Each chapter ends with questions to guide small group discussion and help you develop a more focused, passionate prayer life.
Do we test the Holy Spirit's patience with prayer that asks nothing of him? This might sound surprising at first blush, but most people have experienced being at a prayer meeting, in church, or (gasp!) in their own personal prayer time and hearing prayers like this: "God, bless Tom" or "God, just be with Sue in her need." Will Davis Jr., pastor of Austin Christian Fellowship, calls believers to a more risky and rewarding practice of prayer. Pray Big teaches readers how to pray with biblical, pinpoint accuracy. In other words, it teaches them prayers that get things done. From audacious prayers for miracles to mundane prayers about lost car keys, Davis takes the reader from a point of weakness to one of boldness. As a result, readers will want to pray more, they will see more results from their prayers, and they will be emboldened to ask God for everything he has promised them.
Everything is bigger in Texas-even prayer. Davis pastors the Austin Christian Fellowship church, whose attendance averages 1,100 strong and where he challenges his congregation to "pray big": praying in specifics rather than generalities and pleading with such focus as to pinpoint the exact need. Davis dissects the Lord's Prayer, telling readers that today's believers should follow the same precise pattern for every prayer offered. Analyzing Jesus' prayer, Christians can see that Christ petitioned for certain exact "targets": God's glory, God's agenda, God's provision, relational health and God's protection. Davis encourages fellow intercessors to begin developing a prayer discipline that beseeches God's favor for the mundane as well as the miraculous, for the rejuvenation of the spiritually dead and for unifying agreement with spouses, children and even oneself. A particularly insightful section deals with effectively interceding for nonbelievers through persistent and continuous prayer, asking Jesus to have compassion on those individuals, meet them where they are, call them by name and remove any spiritual stumbling blocks from their lives. Davis's work not only urges Christians to pray, but teaches them how to do so with theological accuracy. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Q: At what point in your own faith walk was the passion for effective prayer ignited in your life?
A: When I was working on my doctorate, I had two professors (both retired missionaries) who were great men of prayer. They taught me about prayer, introduced me to great books and writers on prayer, and also encouraged me to do my doctoral work on prayer. That was about 1990-1991. I have been a serious student of and believer in prayer ever since. Also, I started praying for my wife to be healed about that time. She witnessed a murder in 1976 and was still struggling with fear because of it. I have watched God heal her since then. That has only deepened my belief in prayer. Today, the church I lead is completely prayer-dependent.
Q: What circumstances caused you to be aware of the void that existed in the believers understanding of Gods teaching on prayer and how much our Creator desires this intimate and continuous communication with His children?
A: Honestly, it was two things. First was listening to my own prayers. I would spend hours in prayer with other Christians and get very convicted that we were not really asking much of God. Our prayers were very safe and vague. The prayers of the Bible are just the oppositebold and risky. Secondly, as I talked to church leaders, I learned that many were afraid to pray for themselves. They thought it was selfish. And yet King David, Paul, and Jesus were all very serious about praying for themselves. I got convicted that many Christ-followers are limiting Gods work in themselves by not praying more for themselves.
Q: What is the most amazing answer to prayer you have experienced personally? How was your life changed through this experience?
A: It is hard to nail down just one. Seeing my wife, Susie, healed from fear is one of them. I have also baptized a few agnostics and atheists who no one would have believed would come to faith. They were the direct result of much prayer. Lately, however, God has answered some major prayers for provision for our church. In this bad economy, non-profits have taken a huge hit. We have been counseled to lay off staff and cut back on our giving (we currently give away 25% of our revenuesabout a million dollarsand are moving to 50%). We have neither cut staff nor giving, and God has come through miraculously in some very tangible ways. It has been fun to watch. Doing so has only increased my faith.
Q: How can parents teach their children to pray with pinpoint accuracy and not confuse them regarding the timing of Gods answers?
A: The best way a parent can teach pinpoint praying for a child is to model it. Yes, we should teach them the Bible, but the most effective teacher of prayer is prayer itself. Kids need to hear their parents prayingfor them, for provision, for protection, etc. If a kid goes to sleep each night having just been prayed over by his or her parents, that child will believe in prayer and know how to pray well. Regarding answers, parents should look for chances to ask things of God with their child and to teach them as He does or doesnt respond in their desired timing. NO is as much an answer from God as YES. So we should pray about jobs, money, friends, school, college acceptance, athletics, etc., with our kids. Doing this will give us many opportunities to teach them about how God works.
Q: As pastor of a large and growing congregation, what is your greatest personal challenge to maintain an intimate conversation with God in your prayer life?
A: I am blessed to have a great team of leaders around me. They lead the church daily so I can seek the Lord in prayer. I really do believe that the primary work of a pastor is to pray (Acts 6:4). Because of that, I have structured my day so I can spend each morning alone in prayer and study. The impact on our church has been obvious. I am truly blessed to have elders, a board of directors, and a staff who support my calling to pray. They see the fruit of it.
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