Pulse Podcast 006: An Update from Europe

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In this episode of the Pulse, we get a chance to talk to Daryl Porter, the EFCCM’s Europe Area Director. He shares some of the highlights and his perspectives of what’s happening in Europe, and some of the things to look forward to.

If you would like to sign up for Daryl’s e-mail list, e-mail him directly.

And if you would like to see the opportunities we have to serve internationally, visit this page.

Prayer Calendar: Authentic Prayer

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LDCatDave Acree is our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. This is a welcome to the monthly Prayer Calendar which we publish to promote prayer throughout the EFCC family. If you would like to receive the Prayer Calendar by e-mail, you can sign up for it on this page, or you can see the latest copy here.


Why does it feel wrong when I don’t say “in Jesus name” at the end of my prayer? In thinking about that, I noticed something for the first time. I only say it in my public praying not in my private prayers. Why is that?

I know the theological reasons for adding the words to the end of a prayer. It is a way of acknowledging that it’s only through the authority of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross that we can approach God. In addition, it is a way of affirming that we believe that what we are praying is what Jesus would pray and is in line with the Father’s will.

If that’s true then why don’t I speak the words in my private praying as I do in public? Could it be that I’m “playing to the crowd” more than praying to the Father? After all, the crowd rather expects it to be there and maybe it’s just become an unneeded habit that’s hard to break!

Jesus did warn us in the Sermon on the Mount not to pray to the crowd to be rewarded or affirmed by them and to not multiply words thinking they will make God sit up and take notice.

Why such ponderings? Because they have caused me to think more deeply about the authenticity of my praying and I would like to challenge you along that line.

I’ve noticed something else about my prayers. Sometimes it seems like in the middle of praying I kind of shift into gear and really pray. I can’t explain it any better than that but it is something that I want more of. It’s a kind of prayer zone where I finally forget everything and everyone else except God and me.

I think it is something like what James tells us about Elijah in James 5:17. “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly . . . .” The text actually says that he “prayed with prayer” or “prayed in his prayer.” In the middle of his prayer, he got down to praying. I experience that too rarely. Maybe that’s true of you also.

I call us all to a greater authenticity in prayer where it matters not who is present or listening, where the world fades away and we truly talk to God.

 

Prayer Calendar: Repetitious Prayer

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LDCat

Dave Acree is our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. This is a welcome to the monthly Prayer Calendar which we publish to promote prayer throughout the EFCC family. If you would like to receive the Prayer Calendar by e-mail, you can sign up for it on this page, or you can see the latest copy here.

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A good story bears repeating, but not over and over and over again. As I grow older I worry about boring people with my favorite stories, and it doesn’t have to be dementia-driven for that to happen! Many prayers should be repeated over and over again. I pray for my grandchildren like that and for my friends in Turkey and Australia claiming them for Jesus.

In preparing to write this article I looked back over a piece I wrote last year at this time as a prayer for Christmas and 2016. I think it’s worth repeating, so here goes:

“Most of us have moved a long way from being starry-eyed children ripping open presents on either Christmas eve or morn to get at what’s inside. Whatever it is, they think it’s going to make them happy. No, now I’m the grandfather watching the starry-eyed kids hoping that what they find inside WILL make them happy.

Stars have always been associated with hope and promise. Remember this? ‘When you wish upon a star; makes no difference who you are; when you wish upon a star your dreams come true.’ Or what about this one? ‘Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might….’

If I were preaching a Christmas sermon this year I would retell the story of the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12 but turn it on its ear a bit. Normally the focus is on the magi with the application urging us to be like them, always seeking Jesus. ‘Wise men still seek him,’ right? Of course that’s true but I need something more than that this Christmas and throughout 2017. And so does the EFCC.

We need to be like the star pointing and leading people to Jesus.

‘Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold forth the word of life.’ (Philippians 2:14-16, NIV 2011)

‘Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.’ (Ephesians 6:19, NIV 2011)

‘And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ . . . . Pray that I may proclaim it clearly.’ (Colossians 4:3-4, NIV 2011)

‘Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ (Luke 10:2, NIV 2011)

I am praying and will continue to pray throughout 2017 that you and your church and the EFCC and all of its churches, ministries and leaders will be like stars holding forth the word of life, pointing and leading people to Jesus.

If you can, will you pray that for me also and join me in praying that for the EFCC?”

Prayer Calendar: Harvest Prayer

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LDCatDave Acree is our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. This is a welcome to the monthly Prayer Calendar which we publish to promote prayer throughout the EFCC family. If you would like to receive the Prayer Calendar by e-mail, you can sign up for it on this page, or you can see the latest copy here.

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It’s harvest time in southern Alberta. Now I’m a city boy who knows little about farms and harvest. I’ve learned a bit from people in churches I have served but not enough to speak with authority. I know it’s hard work and weather dependent and a tense time if little is going the way it needs to go, but I know it can also be rewarding once the crop is in and it’s a good one.

When we think spiritually, prayer and harvest go together; and it’s not just about being thankful to God for the harvest. We should be thankful, but there’s more to it than that.

A couple of biblical pictures come to mind.

The first is from John 4:35 and Luke 10:2. They refer in actual terms to grain harvest but in spiritual terms to soul harvest.

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest . . . . The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

So the first harvest prayer is for a large crop of workers to harvest souls!

The second is from John 15:1-2, 5 and Galatians 5:22-23. They refer in actual terms to fruit harvest but in spiritual terms to character harvest. The Trinity is involved in this harvest and together cause us to live like we really are followers of Jesus Christ.

“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful . . . . I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing . . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

So the second harvest prayer is for the Father to cultivate us, the Son to give us life and the Spirit to fill us and cause his fruit to ripen in our lives!

So this harvest season, be more than just thankful.

Ask the Lord for harvesters and be willing to be one of them; ask the Trinity for fruit so that others will see Jesus in us.

World of Hope 2016-17

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DONATIONS FOR 2016-2017 CLOSED! LOOK FORWARD TO 2017-2018 COMING SOON!!

The booklet is here (~15MB)

wohrunnerThe donation form is here (89KB).

wohrunnerWe are still working on the online donation component of World of Hope. We will go live with that as soon as we can!

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Message from Dave (our EFCCM Director):

When we think of the hope that we as followers of Jesus profess, we often think in terms of the promise of eternal life.  But Peter tells us it is a LIVING HOPE.  This is not just something we look forward to in the future – but something we can experience in the everyday circumstances of life.

The world we live in is broken by sin, where many suffer pain and hardship, and live without hope.  Life is a daily struggle. We have an obligation to share the hope that is ours and the reason for that hope. The victory won through the resurrection of Christ brings the hope of restoration to our broken world.  One day, all that is wrong will be made right.

In the meanwhile, we can share the LIVING HOPE that is ours.