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Tuesday, March 13, 2018


This morning I was going into a prayer meeting with a friend when he said, “What is this world going to do without Billy Graham?”

I said, “He is probably raising up another.” And I do suspect He will raise up many to preach the gospel to our world. I would be surprised if they were not already on the scene.

I don't necessarily mean God is raising up someone to impress the world in our day. I hope God raises some up with Christlike integrity. That is what He did with Billy. With all of his spiritual and intellectual gifts, and preaching ability, Billy's greatest strength was his nearness and faithfulness to God.

But while I hope and suspect God will raise up another Elijah for these days, I am earnestly praying for Him to do something else. Especially for our day and our world, I pray for God to raise up a mighty prayer warrior, or an army of prayer warriors who will slip under the world's radar, and yet shake its foundations of power. I don't know if any of these people should directly influence 5 or a dozen presidents. God will do what He desires. But I suspect He desires a prayer army more than anything else in these days.

Is He calling you? Are you one that God is calling to shake the world on your knees?


Sunday, March 11, 2018


Our hope beyond this world is the foundation of so many things in our theology and discipleship. It is the ultimate anchor of faithfulness and emotional stability in the trials of life.

For some time I have been planning to write a book on Hope. And in preparation for that I am going to start a new blog on Hope. I will call it The Anchor of Our Souls taken from Hebrews 6:19.

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.”


I will soon add my blog on Hope to this list.

Monday, March 5, 2018


I'm praying for a prayer movement. I have been for years. I long to see God call His churches, His own people, to pray as we have never prayed, as we have never dreamed of praying before. And in an effort to encourage you to join me in this prayer let me spell out what I am asking God to bring about.

I would like to see churches across America and beyond assigning prayer lists to their members, setting up 24 hour prayer rooms and organizing small group prayer meetings praying for every member, for every visitor, and every person God has brought them in contact with. As Jesus asked His disciples in the garden if they could not even pray for an hour, I would like churches to encourage members to spend extended time in prayer every day.

Of course, if prayer like this begins to spread across the country the enemy of our souls will be upset. He will begin fierce attack upon us. We need the Bible, the sword of the Spirit and the armor of God, with our prayers. People will need a firm grip on God’s word. We need to pray for our pastors and for the teaching ministry of our churches. I want us to encourage people to memorize Scriptures and pray over them. This will be an essential part of a prayer movement.

I would love to see churches begin praying for their neighborhoods. Could we set goals to prayer-walk every street in every town in America. We ought to hunger to pray for every home, business, and institution in this country. I would like to see groups committed to pray for every church and every pastor in every town and every state. I would love to see teachers’ prayer meetings in every school. I would love for groups to pray for children in schools. We also need people to pray for universities and college students. Some of the greatest prayer meetings could be held among college students getting serious about prayer. Over the years I have heard many people complain about what is taught in colleges. I remember hearing someone talking about an evangelical college that they thought had lost its spiritual fire. I wanted to argue with them because I thought they were not seeing everything God was doing there. In fact both of us should have spent all our energy praying for the students, administration and faculty of that school.

I have been burdened that Christians put too much faith in our politics. But we do need to pour our hearts out in prayer for government leaders. We could pray earnestly for the Supreme Court of the United States. We need to pray for our President, for congressmen, even local politicians. I hunger for God’s people to pray even for politicians we believe are evil? I pray for such a movement of God in our hearts.

A prayer movement will call us to pray for the entire world. I would like every church and every believer to pray for hundreds of missionaries going out from us to the ends of the earth. I would like to see prayer centers with rooms devoted to praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters and for people groups in every part of the world.

Of course, I don't know what God will bring about or what it will look like. I suspect some of you envision facets of such a movement that I have not mentioned or even thought about. I would like you to share what you see with the rest of us. I fear God will have to allow us to see great tribulation before we get this serious about prayer. However He works, I pray tol see such a movement. But, even if God does not bring about a prayer movement, or if it does not happen in our lifetime, I want to pray for it, and urge people to pray as we would in the midst of such a movement.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018


How often do you pray for your children or grandchildren? I once heard Dee Duke say he was committed to pray for his daughter, and each of his children, everyday of their lives. Most of us come pretty close to this without making a commitment. How do you pray for your offspring? Are you asking God for insight on what and how to pray for them?

Many years ago now, I witnessed a clandestined baptism in a bathtub in small apartment in a city in China. Several of us crowded in to see the joyful event. As the candidate stood up, water pouring from his clothes someone said, “Stop! Does anyone have a prophetic word about our new brother at his baptism?” Although no one seemed to have a word from God concerning the new convert, I thought the question was appropriate. God certainly has great plans to work in the life of every new believer. And simply asking the question ignited a spirit of expectancy in the crowded room. Who knew what God was planning to do through the life of His new child?

Hebrews 11:23 God tells us something very interesting about one of the greatest people who ever lived.

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

This always strikes me as funny. Can you imagine the parents of Moses peering at their newborn child? Suddenly his mother says, “He is red and wrinkled. Throw him in the river!”

I remember waiting through the night in the nervous father's waiting room in a hospital. It was after 3:00 A.M. when a nurse stepped into the room and told me I was a father, but I could not see my wife and daughter until they had moved them back to the hospital room.

But as a pastor I knew my way around the hospital. I made my way to a place where they would have to pass on their way to the room. When the bed came rolling round the corner I had our daughter in my arms before the nurse was able to speak. And she was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

But I don't believe the scripture refers to physical or sentimental beauty here. Stephen clarifies this in his sermon in Acts 7 where he says the child was beautiful in God's sight. It seems his parents got a glimpse of what God saw in the life of Moses.

My children are all grown now with careers and families of their own. But I still pray for them. And I ask God to show me what He is seeing in their futures so I can be part of what He plans for them in my prayers.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Many of us have a few quiet days after Christmas. This is a good time to rest. You may want to read something you have not had time to read or maybe a new book given you for Christmas. This is also an important time to think and pray.
As Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart, it is well to savor all that God has done for us, for you. As you think of your celebration of Christmas, you may remember things that did not go as you wished or as God desires. Was there a conflict in your family? Pray for the people involved. Pray for God to heal the rift. Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to ask God's forgiveness? Do you need to struggle with repentance until you can rest in the luxury of His grace.
You may need to look back at the tumultuous year that is coming to a close. It should alarm us, and cause us to pray. Americans need to pray for our country. We need to pray for the world. But even in the midst of the turmoil we need to rest in God. He is sovereign even in the face of immorality, lies, terrorism, war, disruption of homes driving needy people across the world.
And while you are thinking and praying, ask God to show you what you need to be praying for the coming year. What is God calling you, us, to join Him in?

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Believers need to continue to pray for one another when we're apart throughout the week. It is very easy to be so busy with our families, our jobs, our lives that we don't even remember our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul wrote to Timothy that he remembered him in his prayers day and night. He wrote something very similar to Philemon and to the Philippians and other churches.
Frankly, my memory is not always that good. So I must discipline myself to remember my brothers and sisters. To do that I need a list. I need to pray through a church roll. I need to write people's names down, especially new people I meet on a Sunday or at other times in the week. And I need other people to help me remember. We have a prayer meeting each week with the primary purpose of praying for every church member.
I've also discovered that God we'll remind me to pray for other people. This sometimes seems coincidental although I'm not sure that it is. I may be going through a Walmart store, trying to pray for everybody I pass in the aisles, or sitting in the doctor's office praying through the waiting room. I see someone who reminds me of a brother or sister in Christ. I use that as a cue to pray for the person I remember as well as the person I see.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Praying for one another is a necessary element for tightening the bonds of fellowship in the church. Of course we need to pray for one another while we are in worship. Pray for the people seated around you or across the room from you. Pray for your pastor, the music leader, usher's, offering bearers. Pray for guests whom God would like to bring into the warmth of your fellowship. Nothing will make them feel as welcome as God touching their lives as you pray for them.

A man came up to me Sunday, and as we talked he said, “I have been thinking about you this week, feeling like I needed to pray for you.” I thanked him. And I told him I had had some illness and some spiritual attack last week. I believe God’s Spirit often calls people to our minds so we will pray for them. Ralph Speas once told my wife and I about his wife's mother calling in the middle of the night that she had a terrible burden to pray for their daughter. And she asked if they wouldn't go into her bedroom and check to see if she were all right. They went in and discovered a gas leak in the room, and their daughter being asphyxiated by it.

Sometimes the bond of Fellowship in a church is disrupted because there are people who just don't like one another in the church family. I think it was Tim Keller who said, “The church is the only organization in the world that is made up of natural enemies.” What do you do when you don't like someone, or someone in the church doesn't like you? You need to pray twice as much for that person. You will find this to be a holy discipline.
What if you have spiritual discernment, and you are terribly uncomfortable with someone in the church? Maybe you're convinced that someone is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Your prayers may be the primary protection for others in the church. And wouldn't it be wonderful if God did what He has sometimes done in the past, bringing about a Damascus Road miracle in that person's life?
There were times as a Pastor that I needed to confront someone in the church. I would not have dreamed of going to talk to them without having prayed for them with all of my heart. And it was always easier for me to go to someone, if I knew others had been praying for that person for months.

God binds us together in prayer.