The EFCC Speaks: What is the Purpose of Prayer? (Updated)

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This post is a collaborative experiment. We’ve asked contributors throughout the EFCC movement for their input on the purpose of prayer. We’re posting the answers anonymously, and mostly unedited.

If these ideas resonate with you, or if you would like to add your own thoughts, please do so in the comments below!

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Weary of post-calamity reactive prayer, I have been interceding pre-emptively, proactively, tactically, and preventatively.

 

Our Father Who is in heaven hallowed be your name: Acknowledgement
Your kingdom come your will be done: Submission
Yours is the kingdom and the glory forever and ever amen: Glorifying
In a word: Worship

 

Participation in God’s providence.

 

To call home!

 

I believe that the purpose of prayer is to draw near to God, to be strengthened in our relationship with Him and build up the body of Christ.

 

For me the purpose of prayer is to keep me from being self-focused. Lately I’ve come to realize that there’s a difference between having Jesus in my life and having Jesus’s life in me. It’s vine-and-branch stuff, and prayer is a critical part of what connects me to the vine.

 

Prayer it the difference between a concert and a worship service. It shows there is a different audience than just the one we see.

 

To communicate and build relationship with our Father.

 

Prayer is a part of loving and worshipping God.

 

Prayer is essential to have a relationship with God. It is also a sign that we trust and have Faith that God cares for our every need.

 

To align our hearts with the heart of God.

 

The purpose of prayer is to find a way to respond to all that God has done.

 

Prayer is my relationship link with God, sometimes asking; sometimes thanking; sometimes praising; always listening.

 

To me, the purpose of prayer is survival.
Paul says that we live and move and have our being in God (Acts 17:28).
So I need to stay connected to my life source.
The purpose of prayer is survival.

Privileged: An Update from Mexico

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This is a re-post from Lane and Sheri’s blog.

priveleged

Last night was another amazing night. We showed the Jesus Film! There were more people watching the movie at the vineyard than I can ever remember! There were well over 200 people there! It truly was a privilege to share with them after they watched the movie. The movie gave a clear presentation of the gospel message, the fact that Jesus died for our sins and wants us to know Him, to have a relationship with Him each day.

I then spoke for a while. I shared a few thoughts and shared about how Christ has changed my life. The people were so attentive to what I was saying! The gravity of the situation and the opportunity before me weighed on me. Not as a burden but as a big opportunity that not too many people get even once in their lives. I just realized the amazing opportunity that was presenting itself before me and prayed for the words to say.

We continue to go back once a week to the 2 different Vineyards that we have access to. The people come and listen, are attentive and do respond. We need more workers to come, there is so much more we could do with some more hands!

Pray for the Lord to send me workers into His harvest!

The picture below is of the group of people who gathered after I had finished speaking. They always listen to me on the microphone talking to the large group, then when I dismiss them, some come forward and gather around me and expect me to keep sharing. They just stand there and wait for me to say something. So I just keep going! Notice me at the rear of the picture with the hat on?

Gay and Christian

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Warning: the topic Dave is raising here has the potential to be highly incendiary right now. There are strong opinions on all sides of this issue. As always, we encourage your participation in the comments section below, but comments will be strictly moderated.

If in doubt, please refer to our Website Comment Policy.

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Recently I attended, along with Bill Taylor, the EFCA Theology Conference in Denver, Colorado. It was called, “Sex Matters: The Theology of Human Sexuality”.

Take homosexuality for instance. Determining what we believe the Bible teaches about homosexual practice is not difficult for most of us. Deciding how followers of Christ and his church should respond to those with same-sex tendencies is another matter. I’ve come to believe we don’t do the responding part very well.

One session in particular caught my interest. Wesley Hill describes himself as a celibate gay Christian. Hear his testimony at the EFCA website. I also recommend you read his book, Washed and Waiting (Zondervan, 2010). For many of us the term “gay Christian” has been little more than a spiritual oxymoron. But the Wes Hill’s of this world say otherwise. Hill is careful to make it clear that he is a celibate man with same-sex tendencies. He grew up in a Christian home, loved by both his parents. He wants to be attracted to women, but isn’t. He is “washed” by the blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11) and is “waiting” for the redemption of his body (Romans 8:23, 25). Until then, he believes God would have him remain celibate.

I daresay there are some like him (male and female) in our EFCC congregations, with many more to come. You may not know it yet; they tend to “fly under the radar.” Yet many are no longer content with silence. They want to be supported, encouraged and loved in their life reality. They need spiritual friends for relationship and accountability and want to be a part of God’s family for who they really are. Is their struggle any worse than that of a heterosexual determined to keep his/her sexuality within God’s framework?

If a Christian with same-sex tendencies who is determined to live within God’s sexual framework came to your church, would he or she be rejected, or welcomed?

Stanton Jones was another speaker at the conference. He recently spoke at Dallas Theological Seminary on “5 Failures in the Church’s Treatment of Sexuality and 5 Ways Forward.” I consider this an essential read for all our churches.

Dr. Dave Acree
EFCC Leadership Development Catalyst

Home Office Sunday Announcement and Materials

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HomeOfficeSunday2013

We invite you to join us celebrating Home Office Sunday!

This year, we are focusing on the EFCC’s efforts to plant churches.

We have a bulletin insert that gives some information — you may download that here:
http://www.efccm.ca/pdfs/HomeOfficeSundaybulletin.pdf

Below is a short (5min) video that highlights  leaders from a few church planters in Canada, and internationally, too. (You can also download a copy for yourself by looking for the download button here: https://vimeo.com/63409584)

If you would like to order these physical copies of these materials for your congregation (paper and a DVD), contact us, and we will send them to you at no charge!

Also, please feel free to include the links to promote them in your e-bulletin or on your website or Facebook (etc.).

Our fiscal year-end is at the end of this month (April). We are hoping that a few donors are willing to partner with us so enable us to finish the year off strong, and to help us continue to resource church planting in Canada and around the world.

Thanks to Daryl, Jason, Chris and Warren for appearing in this video, and sharing just a bit of what makes them tick. Thanks also to Conrad, who we tried to include, but were prevented by technical gremlins.

Thanks to all who a part of what God is doing in and through the EFCC!