Sunday, June 22, 2008

Practical Ways Intimacy can Lead to Influence

These are the practical steps that I outlined in my message on how our intimacy with God can begin to intersect our daily lives and lead to influence. This is the Great Commandment leading to the Great Commission!

1) Cell Phone Intercession. Use the contact list in your cell phone as a digital prayer list. When you're in line at Wal-Mart or waiting for your ticket after lunch, find someone in your address book to pray for! If you're technically minded, you can create a quick text that simply says, "I prayed for you today" (or "I prayed 4 U 2day" :) and send it to whomever you prayed for!

2) Say the Blessing! No, not "God is great, God is good..." When you are at a family or social gathering and it's time for someone to pray over the food, volunteer to do the honors and use the time to pray a blessing over those who are present. If you're at lunch with a friend, ask him/her what you can pray for on his/her behalf and then spend some time in prayer for them during the blessing. You can even do it if you're eating alone - think of someone who could use a prayer and lift him/her up as you ask God to bless the food. Most of us pray every time we eat... let's make the "blessing" a real blessing for someone else!

3) Leverage Existing Influence. You probably already have someone in your life over whom you hold some amount of influence already. Use that influence to pray for them. Not sure what I mean? For instance, I teach nine music students. As their teacher, I have a weekly time where I can pray for them at the beginning of the lesson. I use my influence as teacher as an opportunity to intercede for them. Maybe you're an employer, a supervisor, a parent, a carpool driver, or a friend. God wants to use your existing influence to impact others for the Kingdom.

4) nineFifteen Prayer & other Prayer Meetings at the Prayer Chapel. If you attend Heritage Church, I encourage you to attend some of the prayer meetings that are already happening all around us. You can meet with me and about 6-10 other folks every Sunday morning at 9:15AM in the Cry Room in the corner of the sanctuary for our nineFifteen Prayer. We pray for the speaker for that Sunday and then go and pray over every chair in the sanctuary. We're always done in time for LifeTouch at 9:30AM. If you can't make it on Sunday mornings, call the front office of the church (891-321) and ask Mrs. Patti to tell you what prayer meetings are scheduled in the Prayer Chapel (there are at least two every week). These are great opportunities to get away in a great atmosphere for prayer and reflection and simply talk with God. If you would rather pray privately, Mrs. Patti can schedule a time for you to pray alone or with a few friends. She'll give you all the instructions you need to use the Prayer Chapel.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

BFIT - Resources for Intimacy

On June 22nd I preached the fourth sermon of our BFIT series. Intimacy was my topic and below I have posted several resources that I mentioned from stage.

I first read Richard Foster's book "Celebration of Discipline" as a ministry student at Emmanuel College.  I remember reading it while working at the cash register at our local  Chinese restaurant... and it significantly impacted me!  (I'm glad its effects outlasted those of the food!)  This book has become a Christian classic and I highly recommend putting it in your library.

I picked up Bob Sorge's book "Secrets of the Secret Place" at a prayer conference in Tallahassee several years ago and have picked it up again and again for use in my devotional time with the LORD.  This book is written in very short chapters that fall into larger sections, which make it easy to read, put down and come back to again.  The short chapters also make this book a great companion to your devotional Bible reading.  Remember - Bob Sorge is coming to Heritage in September and you can pick up this book and others by him  when he is with us.  If you wait until he comes, more of the proceeds will most likely benefit him directly.

In the first draft of my message I included quotes from A.W. Tozer's book "Knowledge of the Holy," but upon further editing chose to take them out due to time and focus.  However, I highly recommend this book - it's one of the most impacting books I've ever read.  Don't let it's short length fool you; this little gem is CHOCKED FULL of insight into the person of God.  It can be read a chapter a day as a supplement to devotional Bible reading, but I promise you that each chapter will have to be reread in order to even begin to soak in its truth.  I also recommend Tozer's "Pursuit of God."

One final book I would like to suggest (but did not mention in my message) is "Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon McDonald.  This author writes with conviction about the need to put the part of our lives that others cannot see in order.  This book is a little longer than the Tozer or Sorge books, but it's not difficult to read.

You can order any of these books by visiting or other online book retailers.

Just for fun, I have embedded the YouTube video of Tim Hawkins' bit on praying for junk food.  You can go to YouTube and search under his name for several other clips of his material from his DVD "Full Range of Motion."