CIU Prayer Day
Enriching Our Extended Times with God!
By: Roy King http://www.royking.org
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In surveys and conversations with our graduates many mention how valuable the CIU prayer days have proven to be in their life after school. For many years we have canceled a day of classes each month (3 in the fall semester and three in the spring). There is no prescribed pattern. Sometimes the day was filled with corporate prayer in the chapel, and other days focus on being alone with God. Fasting, silence, celebration, praise, thanksgiving, and intercession have been modeled on prayer days. Sometimes there are prayer guides, lists, or testimonies of answered prayer to help us focus and often there is music that enriches the day.
Many times alumni mention remembering getting to the end of a prayer day and feeling depleted. Prayer can be hard work. Prayer is where spiritual warfare is waged. Prayer calls us to turn our hearts in repentance as we seek fresh mercy from God. Days of prayer are often emotional. As we let our hearts identify with fellow believers who are in suffering or need we weep with those who weep. As our heart in a fresh way is aligned with our Father’s heart we are stirred deeply to compassion, courage and motivation to sacrifice as he does to offer the Gospel to all people.
Many alumni report of not continuing prayer days when they first leave school. There is little encouragement in many churches or ministries to place a high value on taking a break from “doing” in order to seek God. But often I have heard alumni describe arriving at burnout, discouragement, or just a loss of clarity that stops them in their tracks. In those moments of need they rediscover the value of prayer days.
This prayer day had a twofold purpose:
First, to enrich one’s personal time alone with God, experience praying with some close friends and engaging in prayer for those who are lost.
Second, the format of the day was a simple rhythm of 15 minute messages on aspects of our prayer life sandwiched with times of prayer that could also be shared with our alumni around the world.
Below are some summary notes from the 8 short messages.
PLEASE ADD YOUR THOUGHTS AT THE END. PLEASE BEGIN YOUR POST WITH YOUR NAME AND YOUR PROGRAM OF STUDY AT CIU. SHARE FROM WHAT GOD IS TEACHING YOU ABOUT PRAYER OR COMMENT ON ONE OF THE IDEAS FROM THE MESSAGES.
1. Prayer is Processing Life With God & Others Roy King
Idea #1 God uses people While God calls us as individuals he never intends for us to make the journey alone. In Ezra 7:27-28 see how Ezra sees God’s work in and around his life and he also gathered people around him for the journey.
Question for Prayer: HOW DO I PRAY FOR PEOPLE TO MAKE THE JOURNEY WITH ME?
Idea #2 There are different types of prayer. One characteristic of extended times of prayer is that is like a conversation with a close friend with whom we are processing life. Prayer is often a conversation where it is difficult to sort out when I am talking to myself, God or others in prayer with me.
There are biblical examples of inner meditation/conversation and prayer merging together in our hearts. Stop and go read the following Psalms and note the shift in person from talking to himself to talking to God to speaking to others. What does the writer say to or remind himself? What is said to God?
1. Psalm 13
13:3-4 – Direct Address
13:5-6 – Talk to self
2. Psalm 42
42:1,6-7;9 – Addresses God
42:2-4 – Recalls & Reflects – self talk
42:5 & 11 – CHORUS – talk to soul – Sees God as “my God”
Question for prayer: Instead of seeking to purge any random type thoughts that invade our conversation with God can we enjoy the gracious freedom to simply make them part of the prayer?
2. Prayer Begins With Seeing God Clearly Ron Barker
Idea #3 God is not playing the “whack a mole” game with us. Do we pray with a clear vision of the father heart of God?
Question for prayer: Do I see the commitment to being in control as sin and prayer as often exposing my need to loosen my grip, surrender am attempts to control and trust God?
3. Motivation to Pray Includes a Balanced “spiritual diet” Roy King
Idea #4 I need the balance of “Joy Food” in prayer which for me is music and “Peace Food” which for me is silence, stillness, fasting. I need a balanced diet of sound and quiet in private and corporate worship. Joy and peace are two descriptions Christ uses of the life the Gospel brings us into.
Question for prayer: What is your joy food and peace food?
4. Motivation to Pray May Come from Resistance Ron Barker
Idea #5 Prayer is a Response to the push back the early church encountered as they spread the Gospel. In Acts 4:23-31 they begin with a God focus. When you see God as trustworthy you can ask him for what you need. His answer may include something you did not ask; in this case the filling of the Spirit.
Question for prayer: What am I asking God to do and does it align with his mission for me?
5. No One is Beyond the Reach of God’s Redemption Roy King
Idea #6 Psalm 107: 1-32 describes the spiritual journey of four types of lost people who taste the redemption of the steadfast love of God:
• Psalm 107:4-9 – The lost who need a home
• Psalm 107:10-16 – The lost who are in darkness and bondage
• Psalm 107:17- 22 – The lost who are close to death and have been dulled to even feeling the good things of life; like food
• Psalm 107:23-32 – The lost who are successful, risk takers, with access to the city elders – the “up and out” kind of people who redemption involves coming to a place of humility.
Question for prayer: What is my redemption story and who are the lost for whom I am praying?
6. What Happens When We Pray for the Lost? Ron Barker
Idea #7 In 1 Timothy 2:1-6 the “all men” includes praying for the lost. God works through us as the body of Christ to INVEST in loving and praying for people and INVITING them to embrace the good news in Christ. We build relational bridges in order to see God turn on spiritual lights in the hearts of the lost.
Question for prayer: Who are the lost people you have asked how you can be praying for them?
7. What does it mean to pray without ceasing? Roy King
Idea #8 Robertson McQuilkin describes one of his life goals as living in Conscious, Constant, Communion w/ Christ. What does that look like and how do we make the journey to see our heart changed? Psalm 13 and 42 pictures a heart in communion with God but compresses the time line of the change process of the psalmist. One way we make the journey is to expect the Spirit of God who inspired the Bible and lives in us to illuminate the truth of God to us in a life changing way.
Question for prayer: Can I ask the Spirit of God for sermons for my heart?
8. What Hinders Our Prayers? Ron Barker
Idea #9 In 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Paul describes three practices that we should avoid:
• Holding on to “secret stuff” that would be shameful if revealed
• Being deceitful and lying to others
• Mishandling God’s Word
Question for Prayer: Have I allowed any of these practices to have a place in my life so that I am telling others to walk in a way I am not walking?
What did God say to you during the day of prayer?
4 thoughts on “CIU Day of Prayer”
My name is Marc Shaduk and I am on staff at CIU in the development department. There are two main things that stood out during prayer day.
The first thing is about exploring the many different aspects of prayer. Something I struggle with is intimacy with the father. In my prayer life, the majority, if not all of it, is spent in intercession. There is certainly a place for this; however, I have found that it does not build intimacy as do other aspects. This falls in line with something else God has been teaching me recently, so it was good to be reminded of.
The second thing is indirectly related to Mr. Barker’s talk about the “whack a mole” image of God. I know that we tend to cast our impressions of our earthly father onto our heavenly father. When we were spending time in prayer in the small groups of friends, I had the thought that I was glad that God is not defined by or limited to our understanding of Him.
Marc, Thanks for your input! If you could describe what it would look like to grow in other aspects of prayer to compliment Intercession what would that look like?
Prayer itself has been a great blessing and a great mystery to me at the same time. I have tried to integrate other teaching about prayer into my prayer life, but with little successs. I think the problem is that I don’t know how it should look.
For a while, after learning about the ACTS model of prayer, my prayers changed. When I felt led to pray for someone, instead of just interceding for them as the spirit led, I would go through the whole “model” each time, but after a while, that seemed quite redundant.
I don’t know whether prayer is simpler or more complicated than we make it out to be. Are we too compartmentalized when it comes to prayer? Are different aspects to be engaged in at different times or all integrated together? I have read many books, including the Bible, for guidance on prayer, but there is still much more to learn.
Marc, I think prayer is best viewed as intimate communication between a husband and wife. It has levels of depth, various emotions, sometimes refreshing, delightful and sometimes painful and hard work — exposing selfishness or sharing a hidden wound. Prayer is a life line. One cannot conceive of a marriage without communication / communion — same with our Father.