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Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 2

bowing low

One of the most challenging positions of prayer for me is laying face down, prostrate before the Lord.  I don’t find it comfortable or convenient and maybe that is where its power lies.  To prostrate ourselves before God is an act of humility, desperation and worship.

Moses interceded for Israel, 40 days and nights, fasting and crying out to God for them (Deuteronomy 9:18).  Some translations say he “fell down before the Lord” or “Threw himself down before the Lord.”  That is some serious praying!

After the defeat at Ai, Joshua fell down with his face before the ark all day (Joshua 7:6-10), crying out to the Lord for wisdom and strategy.

David spent the night with his face to the floor praying for the life of his child (2 Samuel 12:15)

Faced with unspeakable calamity, Job chose to worship, throwing himself to the ground and crying out, “….the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20)

Prostrating oneself also demonstrates Read more »

Sep 25, 2013 - 51-100, Everyday Prayers    No Comments

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 1

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God made us with a physical body, a soul and a spirit.  Sometimes we tend to think of each of these things as separate entities and yet we are created as an integrated whole.  This means prayer involves our physical body as well as our soul (mind) and spirit.  We will be taking the next couple of weeks to look at ways we use our body in prayer.

Positions in prayer shouldn’t be sterile, routine or a “have to”, but should flow naturally as part of our worship to God.  How we position our body can enhance our prayers and give them greater expression and definition.  They can be a reflection of what is going on in our hearts.

One unique expression I read about recently is an old Quaker prayer in which you Read more »

Sep 17, 2013 - 51-100, Everyday Prayers    2 Comments

The Rosary

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This blog might surprise you, being written by a Protestant, however, I believe there are some interesting historical roots to the rosary and benefits from understanding this form of prayer.

Though there are differing opinions on the origins of the rosary, counting prayers dates back to the desert fathers and the Jesus Prayer (See blog on The Jesus Prayer).  In the ninth century there were monks who repeated the 150 psalms as a major part of their worship.  Keeping track of where they were necessitated some form of counting.  This was often done by putting 150 tiny pebbles in a small leather pouch and transferring them Psalm by Psalm to another pouch.  Since this could become troublesome, they began to use a thin rope with 50 knots in it and then counting through it three times.  As the Irish monks began to travel throughout Europe, they brought this form of devotion with them.

The specific prayers that were said evolved as well, from praying the Psalms, to a shorter Psalter, and beads replaced the knots.  The Psalters were divided Read more »

The Circle Maker

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There is an ancient story told of Honi, a Jewish man, who in a time of drought drew a circle in the sand and refused to leave it, praying day and night, until God sent rain.  It represents desperate and persistent type prayers that don’t give up.  I admit I don’t always have that kind of consistency and desperateness to my prayers.  At times, we can give up too soon, figuring that we let God know the need and we just wait around for Him to do something.  Yet it is the partnership that He loves, that we ask and keep asking and knocking until He opens that door, believing in His promises.

I recently finished the book “The Circle Maker” where Pastor Mark Batterson recounts the Honi story and shares his own experiences as a “circle maker.”  I was inspired and encouraged to Read more »

Examen, Part 2

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In researching for the previous blog, I came across a wonderful website that combines the Examen prayer and journaling – www.examen.me.  You can explore the site without creating an account, but to save your journal entries you can sign up for free.  I’ve really enjoyed this week using this method with journaling.  They have a variety of options to use in your devotional life.  The Prayer Examen is similar to the one I shared in my blog last week, with the added benefit of guided journaling.

They also offer a Scripture Examen which is essentially praying and journaling passages of Scripture.  Each day there is a different passage that you can choose either from the New or Old Testaments or a Psalm or the Gospels.

There is also a “Center Out Prayer” which guides you through praying for yourself, those close to you, your region, nation and the world including space to journal your prayers.

Finally, the Examen.me offers Read more »

Harp and Bowl Prayer

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One of the foundations of the house of prayer movement is harp and bowl prayer.  What is this and why do we do it?

The reference is taken from Revelation 5:6-8 “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders… the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”

From this Scripture, we understand the incense to be the prayers of the saints and the harp representing worship.  Harp and Bowl prayer is simply the combination of worship and prayer.  I love the flow between the two and it makes prayer much more enjoyable. Adding musical worship to prayer enhances the experience and enforces the prayers with praise, thanksgiving and declarative song.

In the past, the typical prayer meeting consisted of what we like to call Read more »

24/7 Prayer

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Besides personal prayer in the day and in the night, a number of 24/7 prayer movements and initiatives  have been birthed around the world.  Some involve a specific location, while others focus on spreading out through churches or even individuals.  Each one may do things a little differently, but the heart is the same, to see Jesus exalted in prayer and worship as well as people (and regions) being transformed.

Some of these include:

    International House of Prayer in Kansas City – www.ihopkc.org

     24-7 prayer begun in England in 1999 – www.24-7prayer.com

     www.Burn24-7.com

     Operation Rolling Thunder – http://www.ortprayer.org/

If you can, take some time to explore the websites, hear/read testimonies and consider what type of 24/7 appeals to you the most.  Feel free to post your favorites.

Enjoy these creative videos of why 24/7 prayer matters:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjCHzkoog1I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVHUx_EJnUs

In our region, we have been having 24/7 prayer Read more »

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