As we enter into the summer months of 2018, Ruth and I request your earnest prayers for our family as we follow the Lord into a number of prayer outreaches and activities.
James 5 states that we all should pray for one another. Immediately following that statement, James makes an important comparison. He compares each Christ-follower to the prophet Elijah.
“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” - James 5:17-18
James’ encouragement is that we all can pray, pray earnestly, and powerfully. We don’t need a prophet’s name, gifting, or anything else. We simply need to humble ourselves, pray, and pray earnestly. God will meet, and guide us as we do!
Earnest prayer is not intended to become a legalistic thing, but it’s also not simply a matter of praying about something whenever we get around to it, either. It’s focused, heart-felt, prayer that cries out to God for His help, strength, wisdom, input, or grace. It is in times of earnest prayer when God draws us closer into His presence. It’s also in these times where God grows our faith, expands our trust in Him, and humbles us as we realize our need to depend on Him in greater and greater ways (in ways both large AND small)! NOTE: it’s okay to ask God to grow the desire to pray earnestly within you if you find you lack that fervor, intensity, urge, or consistency. He will answer it in ways that bring Him great glory!
Ruth and I have seen great breakthroughs within our family, for each other, and for others as we’ve focused in earnest prayer. Ruth’s hospitalization last December was a significant one. Immediately after praying with close friends in her hospital room, we noticed her fever slowly declining. One tenth of a degree after another, the fever that had troubled and complicated her condition from the time she was admitted, melted away to nothing. The infection from her ruptured appendix also changed into something manageable for the physicians. God also revealed that He’d broken that fever earlier that day, but only revealed so after we prayed.
When praying for our children, it’s often in times of earnest prayer together when we see the greatest degree of change in their attitudes, behaviors, and maturity. Sometimes God makes changes within us, too!
When praying earnestly ahead of evangelistic outreaches (sometimes weeks and months ahead of time), God prepares our hearts, and the hearts of those we’ll encounter, before we go out to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Too often I’ve attempted to encounter someone with the gospel without praying (and praying earnestly) in advance. Those encounters typically have been brief, unproductive, and often fruitless.
As you pray in the days, weeks, and months ahead, please earnestly pray for us. Here are some specific dates and areas of focus where we appreciate your prayerful partnership:
Saturday, June 16th– Prayer evangelism outreach on the North side of Indianapolis, beginning at 9:00am.
Saturday, September 2nd– Prayer evangelism in Pardeeville, Wisconsin (Rob’s hometown).
Saturday, September 29th– Community Prayer Breakfast supporting Hamilton County (IN) First Responders and their families.