The Monday Minute (Brooke)

There is just something about prayer. It’s different than almost anything else we do in this life. For some reason God uses our prayers to bring forth change in us-in our homes-in our friendships- in our neighborhoods & dorms-in our fears. And Satan trembles at the thought that we would pray. 

Prayer is such a gift from God.
& Prayer really changes things.

Slowly read these verses & answer, “What does this verse teach me about prayer? about yourself? about God?
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” Psalm 17:6

“if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 
2 Chronicles 7:14

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Matthew 5:44

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…” Colossians 4:2-3a

God, remind us of the power of prayer.  I pray we would continue steadfastly in prayer and that we would be praying for things that are on Your heart. We love You, Amen.

{Obedience, the Market, & Dietrich Bonhoeffer} (Heather)

“When he was challenged by Jesus to accept a life of voluntary poverty, the rich young man knew he was faced with the simple alternative of obedience or disobedience. When Levi was called from the receipt of custom and Peter from his nets, there was no doubt that Jesus meant business. Both of them were to leave everything and follow. Again, when Peter was called to walk on the rolling sea, he had to get up and risk his life. Only one thing was required in each case—to rely on Christ’s word, and cling to it as offering greater security than all the securities in the world. The forces which tried to interpose themselves between the word of Jesus and the response of obedience were as formidable then as they are today… But the call of Jesus made short work of all these barriers, and created obedience. That call was the Word of God himself, and all that it required was single-minded obedience.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)

Recently I’ve been reading The Cost of Discipleship, and it has really challenged me to evaluate if I am being obedient to God’s Word. It’s so easy sometimes to read a selected part of Scripture for the day and not allow it to penetrate my heart and transform my mind. I want to live out the single-minded obedience but often I’m not sure how to do that in the midst of everyday life.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking over some of these things and decided to just pray that God would give me an opportunity to take a step of faith with Him. Later that day, Ramsey and I were in the market picking up some food on the way to our community group. Ramsey was wearing some Virginia Tech apparel, so a guy stopped us to ask if we were Hokies. {I made sure to let him know I went to WVU, but that Ramsey was a Hokie.} We started talking to him for at least 45 minutes and got to hear a good bit about his life. We also had the opportunity to hear a little bit about where he was spiritually and invite him to church with us. We haven’t heard anything from him yet, but I’m hopeful that we will.
If you know me much at all, you probably gathered that I’m not the most outgoing person, but it was cool to see God provide an opportunity to talk to someone I didn’t know about Him. It reminds me that Jesus can use us just as we are.
Today I’m praying for more opportunities for you and me to live in total obedience to Jesus no matter what our day holds. I’d love to hear the ways you feel like God is calling you to follow Him today—leave a comment below and share!

P.S. Check out our We Recommend tab for a great book about Bonhoeffer.

The Battle for Prayer (Laura)

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2
Pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6
When I read verses about prayer, I find the Spirit living in me leap for joy to talk with God. I get excited at the idea of the power of prayer but when it comes to actually praying, it seems much more complicated and difficult to protect time to pray. I may get in a rhythm for a day or two but then wake up on the third day and get distracted by my dishes or a to-do list.  Other times I feel at a loss for words or simply find myself not believing prayer is worth it. I could easily make a long list of all the different ways I become distracted trying to pray but it all comes down to one thing—it is a constant battle to pray.  And I would guess it is similar for many of you.
However, Jesus gave His life so that we may communicate with God.  In Old Testament times, there was a literal curtain that divided the people from the Lord’s presence. Only the priests were allowed to go directly into God’s presence and communicate to Him.  After Jesus died, it says “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:38). Now we each may enter into His presence and communicate personally with our God. What a precious gift!
The staff women and I who write on this blog recognize the difficulty it is to protect the time to pray or to know how or what to pray. Our hope is that the prayer & mission page can help give you suggestions on how to pray this coming week if you are stumped. Also,  we meet every Tuesday and spend time praying together. It is time we have protected and value and we would love to spend it praying for you. Please, feel free to submit a prayer request any time with the link on the right of this page. There is nothing too small or too large.{Your requests will be kept confidential}
Let’s continue to pray that nothing will keep us from communicating with God–especially since Jesus gave His life for us to experience this!