Sample Entry from "Praying for Needs" on Prayer Ideas Website

СеоHere’s a sample of one of our entries on “praying for needs” on our Prayer Ideas website that’s under construction.  We will have ideas on ways to pray for specific life needs as well as written prayers that will help you express your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.

Praying to Forgive Other People – The 3- H method

The 3-H prayer method for forgiving other people is a mental prayer to use when we suddenly get  re-focused on bad feelings toward the person who hurt us.  The prayer is short and simple: “God hold it, handle it, heal it.”  This prayer works because our feelings don’t go away overnight.  Forgiveness is a long term process.  This prayer helps us turn our feelings over to God any time or anywhere they come back over us again.

How to do pray this way:

When to pray this: Any time, anywhere we suddenly re-feel how someone hurt us.  We can be miles away from the other person and suddenly, when we least expect it, we’re dwelling on our hurt, bad feelings, anger, etc. about what they’ve done to us.

Signs it’s time to pray “God hold it, handle it, heal it.”

We suddenly catch ourselves going over what happened to us at random times when our minds wander, like while we’re brushing our teeth.

We get angry about something else like traffic, and it triggers anger at the person.

When we see something that reminds us of the person or the event.

What each “H” can mean as you pray:

“Hold it”

We’re asking Jesus to bear the hurt we feel for us.  We can’t do it.

It’s a call for help for God to hold us back from acting on our day dreams of getting even.

“Handle it”

We let God handle the issues of justice and judgment. Everyone will face Him and give an accounting for their actions.

We are asking God to help us handle it, guiding how to act, including what to say or what not to say to others.  Bad-mouthing the person who wronged us doesn’t uplift us.

We are asking for a safe, healthy way to vent our very real emotions.

We are asking for step-by-step guidance on how to take positive action to prevent ourselves and others from becoming victims of the same hurt again.

“Heal it”

We are asking for God’s supernatural power to recover.

We begin on a healing path not by covering up our hurt, disappointment and anger but by honestly telling God about them so he can begin working.

We are choosing to focus on the positive energy of God, such as his truth, love, presence and perspective.

My personal experiences and tips:

I developed this prayer because of my resentment toward a nurse who I thought had neglected my father in a nursing home.  One morning I was brushing my hair as usual in my home a hundred and fifty miles away from a nursing home.  I wasn’t even thinking about the nurse consciously when I suddenly found myself looking into the mirror and mentally accusing the woman of neglect.  I felt as angry as I had the day I was in the nursing home dining room hearing her say things that sounded like lies.

I was stunned at how easily, with no apparent cause, I could be hit over the head with my anger and resentment.  It was like being ambushed by my own emotions.  Here I was at home reliving the whole experience, complete with the feelings of stress in the pit of my stomach!

Although I had prayed that God would help me forgive the nurse while sitting down in my regular prayer time, I realized that forgiving doesn’t take place when you’re saying the right religious words.  Instead it starts happening when you take your real emotions to God whenever they come to you.  I saw that I needed to develop an on-the-spot prayer that would give me a way to get my mind out of the negative cycle during the unexpectedly random times during the day when my anger came back to me.

In the Bible Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive.  “’Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?’  Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (Matthew 18:21,22 NIV)

Since we re-feel the hurt all over again in our minds, it’s like we need to re-forgive every time our mind gets focused on the person who hurt us.   We may need to pray this prayer over and over, but eventually if we do it enough, our minds and hearts will slowly get better.

It took half a year, but I finally got over my feelings toward the nurse.  There wasn’t one big dramatic moment when I felt like I was finally free.   Over time, my bad feelings, taken to God in prayer at the exact times when I started feeling them, just got less and less intense until they were gone.

Submitted by: Karen BarberИкониikoniикони на светциПодаръциИдея за подаръкикониикониПравославни иконииконописikoniсвети георгиikoniхудожник на икониИкони на светциХудожникОткъде да купя иконаидея за подаръксондажиикониСео услуги

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How to Pray Sample Entry from Prayer Ideas

Here’s a sample of one of our entries on “How to Pray” from the Prayer Ideas website that’s under construction.  We’ll be posting resources and ideas on all aspects of Christian prayer.

How to Pray: Prayer Walks: Praying for neighborhoods and communities

Neighborhood or town prayer walks are done alone or in small groups when you pray as you walk, usually silently, asking God’s help, presence or protection for people in the homes, businesses, schools, churches etc. you pass while walking.

This type of prayer appeals to those of us who want to actively cover our neighborhoods or towns in prayer.  On community prayer walks we can see things that help us better pray for others, such as seeing children’s toys in a front yard might prompt us to pray for the well being of the children in the home.

How to do this prayer practice:

Neighborhood and community prayer walking is a very simple prayer practice and it can be easily done in a number of ways.

1.)    If you are already taking walks around your neighborhood, you can decide to incorporate this practice into your routine by silently praying over the families and homes you pass.

2.)    If you want to pray for a particular community location that’s on your heart, such as schools,  churches or the town hall, you can either do one-time prayer walk at these locations, or set up a routine of walking there to pray on a regular basis.

3.)    While praying, there’s no need to take on any particular posture that tells others you are praying.  Simply walk and talk with God.

4.)    Open up your senses of sight and hearing to God to help guide you on things to pray about.

5.)    You can pray spontaneous prayers, or you can memorize Bible verses or prayers written by others to pray as you go.

My personal experiences and tips:

I have done community prayer walks in a number of different ways.  I have walked with a prayer partner around newly purchased church property.  Another time I walked with a prayer group through the halls of the church to pray silently for all of those who come to our church.  I have also prayed for my neighbors as I walk by their homes in the morning.  Another time I did a city prayer walk while chaperoning a youth mission team.  They took us to a place where many tourists gather and we walked around silently praying for the people we saw.

How to fit this prayer idea into your schedule:

This prayer idea is great for a busy schedule because you can multi-task and get needed exercise while praying.  You not only finish physically stronger but also spiritually refreshed and with a deeper sense of care for and alertness to the needs of those around you.

The Biblical origins and traditional roots of this method of prayer:

The book of Psalms contains a collection of songs/prayers/praises called Psalms of Ascent that Jewish pilgrims used when going on the road up to Jerusalem for religious festivals.  (see Psalm 120-134)  For example, Psalm 122 describes walking in verses 1 and 2:

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’  Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.”

In verse 6-9 we can imagine the Psalmist on the road seeing the city and saying in prayer, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’  For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.”

Submitted by: Karen Barber

 

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Places of Prayer Sample from Prayer Ideas

The following is a sample of a “Places of Prayer” entry for the prayerideas.org website  That’s currently under construction.  We will be inviting users to post places of prayer they have visited anywhere in the world.

Places of Prayer – Labyrinths – Montreat NC

Type of prayer place: Prayer Labyrinth

 

Description of the Place of Prayer: The Prayer Labyrinth at Montreat Conference Center (Presbyterian Church USA) is painted on the wooden floor of a gazebo on the mountainside on the edge of the 2,500 permanently protected acres of wilderness.  The labyrinth itself is small and simple in design which adds to the peacefulness and meditative qualities.

How I used this place of prayer: We arrived late on a cold winter afternoon as the long shadows of the mountain were hiding the sunshine, so we only spent a few moments of briefly walking.  Even without doing a thorough prayer pilgrimage on the labyrinth, simply standing in the center in quiet meditation helped us focus on God’s nearness.

 

Getting there: The Montreat Conference Center is located off I-40 on highway 9.  Proceed through Black Mountain on 9.  In Montreat we inquired at the Bookstore and Giftshop on Lake Susan and were given a map showing all of the sites in Montreat.  The road to the labyrinth took us up Graybeard Trail towards the campground and picnic area where the road becomes gravel.  We thought we were off track as we passed cabins and homes, but we eventually found a small parking area on the right for the hiking trails.  Proceed on foot up the trail to the left of the road and take the trail around the small reservoir to the gazebo.   

Hours of operation: Daylight

Admission fee if any: None.

Public or is use limited?: Public access. 

Contact Information: Montreat Conference Center  800-572-2257 or www.montreat.org

About the sponsoring organization: The Montreat Conference Center has served the Presbyterian church for a century and receives 35,000 visitors a year.  Their description is as follows: “Founded upon the ideal of renewal, both spiritual and physical, Montreat is a treasured sanctuary for rest, inspiration, education, and fellowship.”

Tips: Wear good walking shoes as there is a fairly steep climb up to the small reservoir.  Also, dress appropriately for the weather.  Parking is extremely limited, however I strongly recommend driving to the site as it is not within comfortable walking distance of the heart of the Conference Center and ascends a mountainside.

The type of person I think would most benefit from or enjoy this resource: All

Name of reviewer: Karen Barber

 

 

 

 

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Prayer Book Review of Crossing the Threshold to Eternity

This is a sample of the kind of book reviews we will be posting in the future on prayerideas.org which is currently under construction.  It is an outreach program of Prayer Igniters International whose mission is to encourage and increase Christian prayer.

Name of Book and Author: Crossing the Threshold of Eternity by Robert L. Wise

 

This prayer book Crossing the Threshold of eternity by Robert L. Wise helped me gain new perspective on death as crossing over into a different reality.  It   gave me confidence in how to pray for the dying.

Prayer Category: Praying for the dying.

 

Author’s background: Dr. Robert L. Wise is an Archbishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches and has written 28 books both fiction and nonfiction.

 

Publisher: Guideposts Books, NY

 

What this book is about:

 

Although this is mainly a book about dying and the afterlife, it has two chapters that deal with the subject of praying with the dying that are useful to anyone either facing the end of life or the death of a loved one.

 

What I learned:

This book takes a look at what we can learn from the dying about what lies on the other side in eternity.  The author says we’ll never have a clear picture of the death experience, but we do have “snapshots” that give us clues.  These include scientific studies of near death experiences and the observations of ministers and hospice nurses who tend to those who are dying .  It also gives accounts from individuals who have had near death experiences and the author himself speaks out of personal experience after being deathly ill before making a miraculous recovery.

 

The thing that sticks with me most is the fact that the spiritual world is real and that the dying are experiencing a transition into a realm we can’t see.  The author says we should listen closely to them and accept things they might share such as seeing an angel or a departed loved one in the room.

 

As far as praying for the dying, the author says, “Usually the final prayers are a form of dismissal, sending the person out of this world with God’s blessing.  Needless to say, such moments are precious and extremely helpful for the departing.  They offer forgiveness, blessing and deliverance.  However, I realized there was more to be done.  I believe that the dying continue to need the peace and energy that comes with healing prayer.”

 

He goes on to say, “With the passing years, I began to realize that praying for the sick is more than intervening for a specific problem.  Actually it is reaching out with one hand to touch the risen Christ while holding on to the sick with the other hand.”

 

He says that although the things that happen as a result of these kinds of prayers can’t be predicted, the result “is always restorative” because the dying may have unfinished business and may also need energy and strength to cross over into eternity.

 

He details the kind of spiritual and mental preparation he makes before going to pray with the dying.  This includes praying beforehand using simple repetitive prayers such as “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me” until he finds peace, then continuing in an attitude of silent prayer as he enters the person’s room.

 

He outlines the following steps he follows when praying with the dying.  1) retreat,  2) prepare,  3) meditation,  4) listen,   5) inform,   6) ritual  7) acceptance.

 

Here are some memorable quotes:

“I believe that our prayers can offer the support and encouragement the dying need for crossing to the other side.”

 

“When you attempt to pray in this manner, you may be unaware of anything happening, but the answer is not in you.  It’s in the risen Lord!”

“I believe that eternity is more like an unseen dimension.  To be more precise, Earth is only a single aspect of the immeasurableness of God’s world.”

 

 

The type of person would benefit from this book:

I purchased this book because I had a care receiver who was facing terminal cancer.  I wanted to know the sorts of things she might be experiencing and how I could help encourage and comfort her.  As a result of reading this book I felt much more comfortable talking about death and had a greater awareness of the spiritual side of life that we can’t see.  I was able to pray with more confidence with my friend.

 

I think everyone needs to read this book because we all sooner or later personally face end of life issues.

 

Name of reviewer: Karen Barber

 

 

 

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The Healing Power of Music

>кухниst returned from an overnight trip with my sister Susan to the North Carolina mountains. It was our Christmas gift to each other so for two short days we could get away from the stress, cares and worries of our lives. As we drove up we talked about illness and financial distress and missing Mom and Dad. Mom died 8 years ago. Dad died 4 years ago. Then I turned off on the wrong interstate exit and we found ourselves at the gateway to The Cove, a retreat center founded by Billy and Ruth Graham.
We hadn’t planned on visiting there, but got a visitor’s pass and went to the visitor’s center in the chapel. It was a cold December Monday and we were the only visitors. Nevertheless, the cheerful volunteer tour guide showed us around and we marveled at the gorgeous winter sun being admitted to the chapel through the leafless trees on the mountainside. It seemed to set the beautiful polished heart pine floors into glorious flame and the whole chapel seemed to glow.
Our guide took us up front and told us how they’d acquired the grand piano. Then she asked, “Do either of you play the piano?”
Susan said wistfully, “I used to play. I haven’t played in a long time, so I wouldn’t be very good.”
We exchanged an uneasy glance, both remembering how the piano Susan had inherited from our girlhood home had burned up in her house fire four years earlier. I remembered seeing the metal piano strings in the ashes. That was all that had been left of the piano. Susan hadn’t been able to replace it. And I remembered how we’d gather around that old piano and Dad would get out his ancient violin from his high school days and we’d sing Christmas carols together. Dad’s violin had burned up in the fire, too.
The guide went on, “There’s plenty of music in the piano bench. And here’s a hymnal.”
I found myself saying, “Susan, play something for us.”
She sat down in front of the grand piano in the empty chapel and thumbed to the hymnal to “Silent Night.” I sank down into a seat on a front pew as the beautiful strains of “Silent Night” rose from the open sounding board and echoed off the polished floor. Susan swayed gracefully as she played and I felt tears well up in my eyes. It was one of God’s perfect moments.
The vibrations of the piano strings ceased and Susan got up from the piano bench and the guide said how beautiful that had been. The beautiful piano in the empty sanctuary had come to life under Susan’s touch. And we had come to life because of its music.

Karen Barber
To see pictures visit www.ourprayer.org/blog/user/karenbarber

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Our Empty Thanksgiving Table

Our table was completely empty this Thanksgiving. We had planned on a family dinner here in our dining room for 8 – Gordon and myself, our three sons, our daughter-in-law, our new baby granddaughter and a friend. We cancelled Thanksgiving dinner at 10 AM on Thanksgiving Day, right when I had been expecting to put the turkey in the oven.

At 3 AM on Thanksgiving morning our 19 year old son John, just in from college, developed abdominal pain so bad that Gordon took him to the emergency room. He was admitted to the hospital. It turns out he has a place in his small intestines that’s inflamed and infected. Don’t know why. It just happened. So they put him on IVs and started pumping him with antibiotics and talked about doing surgery. That’s when I called off Thanksgiving dinner.

John was opposed to surgery because the doctor estimated a 2 week recovery time. The next two weeks are full of projects and exams that will cap off his whole semester of studies. We prayed and reassured him. And the doctor took a “wait and see” approach to the surgery, giving him 24 hours to see if things improved.

Gordon and I ate Thanksgiving dinner at a McDonald’s in the hospital. I had a salad and Gordon had a double cheese burger. Back in the hospital room, John had a few ice chips.

Strangely enough, even with cheeseburgers and fast food salads and ice chips, Thanksgiving still happened. We were grateful that John was home and not off at college when he got sick. We couldn’t help but be grateful for the emergency room doctor who was alert enough to see that John really needed help. For the medicines that can fight infections. For the medical staff who spent Thanksgiving working. Even for that awful stuff you swallow so they can see what’s going in your stomach.

As I rode down the hospital elevator to go home, two men in rough laborer’s clothes rode down with me. I smiled and said, “Happy Thanksgiving. And they responded with a hearty “Happy Thanksgiving” back. And I knew that Thanksgiving can happen anywhere.
Even in a hospital elevator amongst strangers.

See Picture to my blog at

http://www.ourprayer.org/Singlepost/user/KarenBarber/?p_BlogId=6416370

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Avoiding Bad Shoe Days

Here’s a picture of my morning prayer walk shoes. Do you think it might be time to retire them?

I’m not fussy about the stains on them, but I know it’s time for new prayer shoes when the material on top starts tearing up. When that happens and I walk down the grassy bank to the pond for a moment of meditation, my feet get soaking wet from the dew, or the left-over rain water or from the sprinkler water on the grass. I end up with wet toes.

Someone a few years back coined the phrase “bad hair day” but I believe that a bad shoe day is ten times worse than a bad hair day. That’s because bad hair is only cosmetic. Bad shoes can leave you limping and blistered and plain worn out and unable to get anything done.

One of the worst shoe days I ever had was on a mission trip to Honduras. I had worn a former set of prayer shoes in equally deplorable condition because of the muck and mire of the rural Honduras village where the nearest paved road was 50 miles away and where cattle and horses and chickens wander free. Why wear new shoes that might get ruined? Unfortunately, my old prayer shoes decided to literally give up their soles in the middle of a work project. The sole completely ripped off of the tops of the shoes. Luckily, the guys on the team had duct tape. I wrapped duct tape around the nose of my shoes and the soles and limped along for the rest of the week. It proved very amusing to the villagers.

Lately I’ve been learning how important it is to not be caught off guard with fear and distractions when you’re trying to get things done in a new ministry. I’ve been consciously praying Ephesians 6:13-18 where it tells us to put on the whole armor of God so we’ll be able to stand our ground. It tells us to have our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. That’s great advice! Shoes should be something you should be able to forget you have on. They should be well fitted. Simply having them on makes you ready for action. And good shoes bring peace of mind when you’re out walking around in muck.

Have you put on a good pair of prayer shoes today?

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A Salute to My Veterans – My Father, My Husband and My Sons

I found myself getting a little emotional today on Veteran’s Day. That’s because veterans aren’t an anonymous group of strong men marching in a parade. They are my father, my husband and my sons.

My late father enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He certainly wasn’t the soldier or even the sailor type. He was a Minnesota boy who got violently seasick on the transport ship taking him to his duty station in the Pacific on a supply base in the Easter Islands. He worked in a Quonset hut typing supply orders. He wasn’t very good at that either, but he was a dependable worker. The climate was steamy. He told me that they had to keep an electric light bulb burning in their foot locker to keep the leather on their shoes from getting moldy.

Before I met my husband Gordon, he served in the Army for two years in the Vietnam War Era. He was based in Okinawa, half a world away from his home in North Carolina, doing administrative work helping run the base. Our oldest son, Jeff, served as an engineer in the Air Force for four years in Colorado Springs.

Our middle son Chris was graduating from college with an Army R.O.T.C. scholarship when the Iraq War began. He was trained in field artillery and stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C. He went “Airborne” and became a paratrooper, learning how to jump out of planes at low altitudes in full gear.

We put a huge yellow bow on the pine tree out front here at home when he served in Afghanistan for 4 months. Later Chris was deployed to Iraq for 18 months and we put up the same yellow bow. It was a prayer anchor that I passed every morning on my prayer walk on my way down the driveway. It was a true lesson in trust and dependence on God to have a son in so far away in harm’s way.

When Chris first arrived in Iraq, he was a platoon leader, leading his men out on missions “outside the wire” in hostile territory. He earned the Bronze Star. What a joy it was to finally take down the old yellow bow, full of pines needles and faded and frayed from rain and sun. This is the second Veteran’s Day since Chris has gotten out of the Army. He’s working toward an MBA and is the founder of a website called www.seriousrunning.com I sent him an email today thanking him for his service and telling him how proud I am of him.

Maybe you get a little emotional on Veteran’s Day, too. Out of my four veterans – my father, my husband and my two sons – only one of them has been called upon to fire a rifle in hostile territory. Yet all of them have served well, giving their time and their service. They have set aside their lives of comfort and gone to new and far away places to perform their assigned duties. I am proud and honored that they are and will forever be the brave men in my life.

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Lesson from the Triplets on My Vision Walk

I run into the triplets at their school bus stop many mornings on the vision part of my prayer walk. One minute I’m praying for someone with a vision for a comfort blanket ministry and the next minute I’m watching a private reality show starring six-year-old triplets and their sainted mom.

The triplets – two boys and a girl – started out the school year in August in a free-for-all of early morning mayhem as they pushed and jostled and protested, “I was here first!” trying to be first in line at the bus stop. I witnessed some amazing sprints on six year old legs from the garage door up the driveway to the bus stop with school bags bobbing like parachutes on their backs.

On one memorable day I was treated to a perfect ten performance of a defiant child. One little girl and one boy were standing sober as judges at the bus stop while Saint Mom dragged the final little boy up the driveway literally kicking and screaming. He was stiff legged, wailing, “No! I don’t want to go!” On that particular morning I believe I witnessed one of Saint Mom’s finest moments. The school bus pulled up. Kerplunk, Kerplunk. A little girl’s feet hit the high bus steps. Kerplunk, kerplunk. A little boy’s feet hit the high bus steps. Suddenly all sound was sucked out of the triplet who had been kicking and screaming. As he faced the inevitable yawning abyss of the open school bus door he felt his mother’s no-turning-back presence squarely behind him. “Oh,” his face read, “Other children on the bus are watching.” Kerplunk, kerplunk. He got on the bus without a further whimper.

The weather has changed and so have the triplets. Most days they actually walk to the bus stop. They stand in a 1-2-3 line ten feet back from where the bus halts. They do not budge from this spot until Saint Mom declares that the bus is at a complete stop and it is safe for them to file toward the door. Order has slowly been fashioned out of chaos.

I used to think that the triplets were an interruption to my vision prayers, but now I see that they’re really messengers. In my past blogs I mentioned my big vision I’ve been praying for 9 years. Sometimes things seem to be going way too slow and I want to run as fast as I can to get on the bus. Then I get discouraged. Isn’t it my turn to be the very first one in line? Other days, I’m back there kicking and screaming about doing the necessary nuts and bolts work that I hate doing. In the Kingdom of God, just like at bus stops, order and maturity matter. The key is to keep on growing one day and one prayer at a time.

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My Morning Vision Walk

In my last blog I told how I have been praying my vision every morning on my daily prayer walk since February 29, 2000. The other morning I was driving off to help take care of my new grandbaby and (of course) happened to have my camera in the car. As I got to the stop sign where I’ve prayed that prayer for so long, the sun was rising and the ground was still wet from rain. I pulled my car over and got out to try and capture the beauty of the scene. Here’s what I saw.

These October days when I’m praying my vision, this stretch of the sidewalk looks very different from this photo. At 7 AM when I reach this spot it’s still quite dark and the last few stars are slowly fading away in the graying sky. I’ve walked this stretch of sidewalk in all seasons, in darkness and sunlight and rain and fog.

There’s something incredibly comforting about giving your prayers their own special spot to thrive and grow and become real along a pathway you often follow. Someday, maybe after I’ve added another ten years to my vision prayer I’ll stand here and say with awe and amazement, “This is where it all began.”
The Sidewalk Where I Pray My Vision

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