October 19, 2020
The Reason I Pray, Even When It’s a Struggle
ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ
Lee en español
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV, 1984)
Prayer has been one of the greatest challenges of my Christian life. While I know I’m commanded, encouraged, invited and often compelled to pray, I have still struggled with prayer. My struggle has centered primarily on three areas.
First, I have struggled with concentration. Why is it that as soon as I bow my head to pray, my thoughts start to scatter? Instead of truly communicating with God, I think about what I need to fix for supper, or what I’m going to wear to a special event, or when I can schedule coffee with a friend. Or I’m so tired that I simply doze in the quietness of the hour.
The second area I have struggled with is consistency — making time daily to meet with the Lord in prayer. How often I have been distracted by my chirping phone, or interrupted by my dog, or so busy I jump out of bed at the last minute and into my day without any real prayer at all?
And I have struggled with content — just knowing what to say and how to say it.
As I have sought victory in these three areas, I have asked God to give me solutions. And He has! Setting my alarm for an earlier time, allowing me to meet with the Lord before I begin my day, has helped with consistency. Writing down my prayers has helped not only with content but also with concentration. I find it helpful to include four elements in my written prayers: worship, confession, thanksgiving and intercession.
I begin my prayers by worshipping God for who He is, because as I focus on Him, it’s amazing how my own needs and problems are reduced in size compared with who He is. Then I look at myself and confess the sin that now seems obvious, revealed by the light of His holiness and glory.
I do not beat myself up over my sin, but instead, once I have named it for what it is, I move into thanksgiving to the One who has forgiven and cleansed me. At this point, I am ready to present my requests and intercede for others.
The Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian followers of Jesus, and I pray these words for us as we seek to draw closer to God:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).
Remember, the purpose of prayer is not just to get answers. The purpose is to develop an intimate, personal relationship with the One who loves you, gave Himself for you and longs for you to live in the light of His presence. Achieving the purpose makes the struggle more than worthwhile.
Abba, Father, thank You for the privilege of coming into Your presence. Thank You for helping me overcome my struggle with concentration, consistency and content as I choose to persevere in prayer. I love You! The reward of drawing nearer to Your heart makes the work of prayer worthwhile a hundred times over. Please, as I turn to You, even though my prayers may be feeble and halting, turn to me. Help me stay focused on my relationship with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)
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Have you ever closed your Bible and thought, “What did I just read?” Or maybe you've tried to read through the Bible in a year, but quit when it felt confusing or impersonal? Are you one of the many who has read through the book of Genesis approximately 20 times, but hasn't read anything beyond that? The Bible Recap is here to help! It’s a 5-minute daily podcast hosted by Tara-Leigh Cobble. This will be her 10th time reading through the Bible chronologically, and she’ll highlight and summarize that day’s Bible reading in a casual, easy to understand way. The Bible Recap will not only help you read scripture but help you love reading it!
Wednesday @ 7:00 PM
Meeting ID: 846 7548 4101
Are your thoughts holding you captive? I’ll never be good enough. Other people have better lives than I do. God couldn’t really love me.
The visionary behind the million-strong IF:Gathering, Jennie Allen, challenges you to exercise your God-given power to shift negative thinking patterns and take back control of your thoughts and emotions.
In Get Out of Your Head, Jennie gives us tools from the book of Philippians to stop the spiral of toxic thoughts, and transform our emotions, our outlook, and even our circumstances, by taking control of our minds. We can find freedom from the downward spiral by:
Our enemy is determined to get in our heads to make us feel helpless, overwhelmed, and incapable of making a difference for the kingdom of God. But, as the book of Philippians tells us, freedom starts in your head. And from there, the possibilities are endless.
Link to purchase the Get Out Of Your Head study guide online:
Christian Book Distributors: https://www.christianbook.com/get-out-your-head-study-guide/jennie-allen/9780310116370/pd/0116370?en=google&event=SHOP&kw=dvd-studies-0-20%7C0116370&p=1179710&dv=c&gclid=CjwKCAjw_Y_8BRBiEiwA5MCBJtKWEenrDQgENED9qaPPClWGkTB60G9f8PIKm9zQ69Pti65Obqv4RhoCuUsQAvD_BwE
1120 Market Street, Denton, Maryland 21629, United States
GROW exists to build the body of Christ among the women of Calvary Baptist through purposeful discipleship and Biblical fellowship, and to equip our women to fulfill their calling in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Help the church grow spiritually by influencing women to accept Christ as Lord, to be women of deep prayer and study the Bible, basing their entire lives on God’s Word.
Help women feel welcome and accepted.
Affect families as women’s lives are drawn closer to Christ.
Open doors to meaningful relationships.
Encourage women who are spiritually mature older women to mentor spiritually younger women.
For questions about any of our events, visit the GROW table in the church lobby, or contact Nancy at 410-924-6344.
Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 9:30am - 10:45am
After much careful consideration, and upon the advice of Dr. C.E. Jensen, chairman of our board of deacons, we are postponing our Annual GROW Conference scheduled for March 27-28, 2020. This is in light of our current COVID-19 pandemic in our country.
The conference will be rescheduled at a later date this year. Please continue to register if you have not done so. We will notify you directly when this conference is rescheduled.
During this time of crisis in our nation, when people can feel isolated and alone, please reach out to each other and let’s pray for each other. Pray for our country, that through this we will be stronger and more united as a nation.
Nancy Reynolds, Karen Jensen, Maureen Twining
CURRENTLY ON HOLD
Each Thursday from 10:00 to 11:30 AM
Hosted by Sharon Davis
222 S. 3rd Street ~ Denton, MD
You won't want to miss any of our planned events for 2020. Be sure to mark these on your calendar and check back often for additional events!
Mugs and Muffins is a monthly prayer and
fellowship ministry of GROW. It is held the first Saturday of
every month from 9:30 to 11:30AM
WHERE DO THE TEACHINGS OF
THE GROW MINISTRY COME FROM?
Everything taught will be rooted in the teachings of the Bible. We believe that the Bible is God's Word and the only absolute truth. We are in agreement with the words of our Lord Jesus in John 7:16, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me."
DO I HAVE TO BE A CHRISTIAN OR ANY PARTICULAR RELIGION TO BE INVOLVED?
No. Anyone is welcome - all women from any walk of life are welcome.
DO I NEED TO KNOW THE BIBLE IN ORDER TO ATTEND AND MAKE SENSE OF WHAT IS TAUGHT?
No, not at all. Owning a Bible at some point (book or phone app) would be helpful. If you are unsure what to look for, please ask one of our teachers.
WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE FOR ALL ACTIVITIES?
Comfortable and casual, unless otherwise noted.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT?
12 years old (unless stated otherwise)
CAN I INVITE A FEMALE FAMILY MEMBER
OR FRIEND TO ATTEND WITH ME?
Absolutely! We encourage this!
(Some events require registration.)
WILL I BE ASKED TO SPEAK ALOUD,PRAY, OR ANSWER QUESTIONS?
Not unless you would like to. We do encourage involvement at every level and engaging with other ladies within the ministry. However, no one will be forced to speak or engage in any activity she is uncomfortable with.
WHERE WILL ACTIVITIES BE HELD?
The location for each activity and event will depend on what is required to host the event in order to accommodate the group. This is why most activities and events will require registration, either on this website or on the GROW table on the left as you enter Calvary Baptist Church.