First Presbyterian Church Prayer Ministry

The goal of the Prayer Ministry at First Presbyterian Church is a church filled with people who listen to God, who are growing in faith, love, and obedience, and who pray continually about everything with confidence that God is hearing their prayers and answering them. The Prayer Ministry organizes seminars on prayer, encourages people to pray, coordinates First Presbyterian Church participation in the National Day of Prayer, and has opened a prayer room in the South Chapel.
For more information, contact Prayer Ministry coordinator:
Sonja West

Submit a Prayer Request

You can use our easy submission form to submit a prayer request.

Thoughts on Prayer

“These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer…for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” —Isaiah 56:7
“Prayer is our side of the friendship we experience in our relationship with Almighty God.” —Earl Palmer
“What if God does not demand prayer as much as gives prayer?  What if God wants prayer in order to satisfy us?  What if prayer is a means of God nourishing, restoring, healing, converting us?  Suppose prayer is primarily allowing ourselves to be loved, addressed and claimed by God.  What if praying means opening ourselves to the gift of God’s own self and presence?  What if our part in prayer is primarily letting God be giver?  Suppose prayer is not a duty but the opportunity to experience healing and transforming love?” —Martin Smith

Prayer Updates


40-Day Prayer Challenge Week 4 Begins on October 3—Printed Version of the Book

The associated topics and Bible passages for Week 4 for the printed version of the book are shown below:
Oct. 3: What Is Intercession? (Luke 11:5-8)
Oct. 4: God Seeks Intercessors (Ezekiel 22:30-31)
Oct. 5: The Scope of Intercession (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Oct. 6: Interceding for Those Who Can’t Pray for Themselves (Job 42:7-9)
Oct. 7: Interceding for the Unsaved (Romans 10:1)

Differing Perspectives of Week 3’s Verses—Printed Version of the Book

The devotions for Week 3 from the printed version of the book were not reported correctly last week. Until then, we were unaware that the printed and electronic versions of the book do not have the chapters in the same order. We apologize for not spotting this difference sooner. Here are the links for Week 3’s verses (for the printed version of the book) as presented in six alternate versions of the Bible. Hopefully, these reference sources will enhance your understanding of each devotion’s scriptural foundation.

Date Sept. 26 Sept. 27 Sept. 28 Sept. 29 Sept. 30
Passage Hebrews 4:16 Matthew 7:9-11 1 John 5:14-15 Philippians 4:6-7 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
English Standard (ESV) Link Link Link Link Link
New International (NIV) Link Link Link Link Link
King James (KJV) Link Link Link Link Link
Contemporary English (CEV) Link Link Link Link Link
The Message (MSG) Link Link Link Link Link
New Revised Standard (NRSV) Link Link Link Link Link


40-Day Prayer Challenge Week 3 Began on September 26—Printed Version of the Book

The devotions for Week 3 from the printed version of the book were not reported correctly last week. Until then, we were unaware that the printed and electronic versions of the book do not have the chapters in the same order. We apologize for not spotting this difference sooner. The associated topics and Bible passages for Week 3 for the printed version of the book are shown below:
Sept. 26: Asking for Ourselves (Hebrews 4:16)
Sept. 27: Asking for Good Things (Matthew 7:9-11)
Sept. 28: Getting What We Ask For (1 John 5:14-15)
Sept. 29: The Cure for Anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7)
Sept. 30: When God Says “No” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

Correction Notice

Late last week we became aware of an issue related to our blog postings for the 40-Day Prayer Challenge. Basically, most people at FPTC are using a printed copy of the book, Love to Pray by Alvin VanderGriend. Dr. VanderGriend was kind enough to provide us with an electronic version of the book that could be used on a computer screen by those of us who are vision impaired and need a larger font size—including the person coordinating this blog!
Unfortunately, we now know that these two versions of the book are not identical. The scriptural passages and text for each devotion do match exactly, but the order of the chapters differs for some weeks. For Weeks 1 and 2, both versions of the book covered the same contents. That was not the case for Week 3, however. Last week’s blog reminder for the devotions to be studied and the links to multiple versions of the scriptural text reflected the electronic version of the book. We apologize to all of you who are using the printed version of the book and were confused by this information.
In order to get all of us who are following the 40-Day Prayer Challenge, we are posting the information for Week 3 for both the printed and electronic versions of the book today. We will post both versions for Week 4 tomorrow. We hope this will give you an opportunity to get back into the sequence that matches the version of the book you are using. Thanks for your understanding.

A Prayer Story From Ann Van Gilder

For many years, I had a dear friend who was a wonderful example of a woman whose life was a ministry of prayer. As our friendship grew, we began to share each day by phone or email our joys, needs, requests, and sorrows. Her prayer lists were many: young women wanting husbands, young couples wanting to have a baby, the students in my classes—each one prayed for daily by first name, her family members and mine. I’m sure she had many other lists she shared in her quiet morning moments with God.
As I shared with friends and family the answers to prayer she and I experienced, many began to ask if I would have her pray for their need. She happily did, and God always gave an answer. It was not always as we expected, but always answered—the sale of a house, a godly wife for a son, the needs of a particularly troublesome student, a doctor’s report that was concerning.
I cherished her words of wisdom. How did she find these Bible passages that were exactly what I needed and exactly when I needed them? Really, I knew the answer. It was a consistent time spent reading God’s Word and consistent time communicating with Him in the morning and throughout the day.
When cancer took her life in 2014, her memorial service was attended by hundreds of people, many of whom testified to being a recipient of her faithful commitment to prayer. One of her life verses—her God’s Bank Account Verse—was shared with me, and at her service that day.
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the most High; and (then) call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50:14-15 NKJV)
(Her explanation:) “During the everyday disappointments of daily life, be thankful for EVERYTHING! Say ‘Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen, and help me to see the blessing in it.’ (Those words based on Thessalonians 5:18 and Romans 8:28.) We raised our children on these verses. They are the key of making Jesus real in our home. It is like depositing in the Bank of Faith—your sacrifices of thanksgiving—even if you don’t feel like it. It will really build your faith as you see that all things DO work together for good. Then when the bad things come into your life, you can call upon the Lord and you have built an account of faith, and you know that He will deliver you in the big things, too.”
While I love to sit at my desk in the morning, read a devotional, and read some verses from His Word, I am not very consistent in the prayer part of my mornings. I am easily distracted. I long to spend enough time in God’s Word and consistent prayer that I, too, will have a bank account with a large balance ready to be accessed for my family, my friends, and my church.

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