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

 

A Hospitable God Week 2 Begins on December 4

Read Luke 24:13-32. Breaking Bread

Read the passage slowly and prayerfully. Listen with the “ear of your heart“ to the Spirit’s lead, ready to perceive and receive the gifts of the table. Ponder Jesus’ message about table fellowship.
 

Reflect

How does Jesus’ gradual revelation of himself allow his companions to learn about trusting God’s promises? Later, in the intimacy of fellowship, Jesus is recognized. In Luke’s mind, there is a clear connection between the resurrection meals of Jesus and the celebration of Holy Communion. This setting is no mistake; table fellowship is a Lukan theme. Many of the resurrection appearances are associated with table fellowship (Lk 24:41-43; Acts 1:4; 10:41; Jn 21:9-15). Jesus’ ministry and the acceptance that comes through table fellowship says all are welcome. As Jesus sits at the table, takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it to them, their eyes are opened. What message is being sown into their souls as a result of the intimacy and the dawning recognition? Why is breaking bread a powerful invitation to draw near and receive the gift of sight? What does Jesus’ participation in the concrete keepings of life suggest about our bodily faith? Why is it an important part of the resurrection appearances?

 

Respond and Rest

In your prayer, rest in Jesus’ welcome to you and his blessing during the breaking of the bread. Consider what message is being sown into your heart.
 

Light the Candle

Record any light you received as you reflected from the week’s Scripture



A Prayer Story From Olivia Trussler

We should pray for people everywhere—not just our Moms and Dads and closest friends. Let the Lord decide for you. That does not mean you have to sit on the floor and wait for God to tell you, but pray while you do other things. Some examples of this are praying while you are driving, cooking, knitting, listening to the sermon, running, etc. Some things I have prayed for recently are:
  • I prayed for Donald Trump to get grace because the Bible says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-20) The reason that I mention this verse is because politics are earthly things. Presidents will come and go, but God is forever!!!
  • I prayed for Christians in Syria that they would be saved that they would have a relationship with God, and that they would be safe and the war would end. I prayed this because I know that there are refugees because the guy in charge is killing people, and I prayed they would still put their faith in God.
  • I prayed for my teacher’s toe to heal. I prayed this because she was in great pain. Her toe was so ingrown she had to wear slippers because shoes made it hurt so bad.
  • My pre-school teacher was brought to mind while I was running. All I know is that she is retired and that something is wrong, and the Lord knows.
  • A boy in my class was threatening someone and got suspended for a day. I prayed we would find it in our hearts to forgive him. When he came back, not only did people forgive him, but now he’s a friend, and we’re going to Dairy Queen together.

Now you have heard my story, and I would like you to pray a prayer for someone new.



A Hospitable God Week 1 Begins on November 27

Read: Galatians 4:4-6. Making Room

Read the passage slowly and prayerfully. Note in your journal any phrase, which stands out to you. Listen with the “ear of your heart” to the Spirit’s lead. What phrase, sentence or even one word speaks to you? Repeat that phrase, allowing it to settle deeply in your heart, savoring it.
 

Reflect

Consider what being an adopted son or daughter means for your sense of welcome into God’s fold. How might you order your life differently if you believe this is your rightful heritage? What difference might it make in your enjoyment of the privilege of intimate conversation with God and his Spirit? You are a child and an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Is there room in your heart and life to live as an heir? How might your inheritance make room for the life of the world? Consider what this suggests about the hospitality of God.
 

Respond and Rest

Let an attitude of quiet receptiveness permeate your response in prayer. Simply “be with” God’s presence as you open yourself to a deeper hearing of the Word of God. If you feel drawn back to the Scriptures, follow the lead of the Spirit. Rest in the peace of knowing you have been invited into God’s family.
 

Light the Candle

Record any light you received as you reflected on this week’s Scripture.



Behind the Scenes: The Context Associated With the Week 8 Verses—Printed and Electronic Versions of the Book

These are the last commentaries we will be posting in association with the devotions in the book, Love to Pray; however, stay tuned for the next study we will be undertaking as our “Year of Prayer” continues.
 

Week 8, Day 1 (Oct. 31): James 5:16

This verse follows a section in James 5 where we are instructed to be patient and stand firm when suffering, and the prophets are presented as examples of this practice. James then explains how songs of praise and prayers of faith will get us through tough times. Verse 16 actually begins by saying, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed,” and ends with today’s devotional quote.
 

Week 8, Day 2 (Nov. 1): John 14:12-14

Much has been written in commentaries and theological texts related to chapters 13 and 14, where Jesus tells the disciples that his death is imminent, but he is not leaving them alone; he will be with them at all times carrying out God’s work. It is good to keep in mind that John also reports in verse 6 of this chapter that Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” “What Jesus is cannot be separated from what He does,” notes the Zondervan commentary.
 

Week 8, Day 3 (Nov. 2): Ephesians 6:18

Verses 10 to 20 describe the heavenly warfare for which God prepares us by providing his believers with armor. Each item in this suit is presented, assuring us that we have all the components necessary for resisting the enemy’s influence on our lives. Prayer, however, becomes the communication channel in this allegory, linking us directly to God through the Holy Spirit and communion of the saints.
 

Week 8, Day 4 (Nov. 3): Luke 22:31-32

These verses are included in the same chapter where Luke recounts the Last Supper, and they clearly address Christ’s prediction that Peter would deny him three times on that very night. Although there is not sufficient space available in this blog to dig more deeply into the comparative descriptions of the Last Supper in the gospels, there is much to be gained by consulting an online commentary and doing so. There will be no definitive answers to the questions that are raised, but the considerations raised are likely to bring new meaning to understanding this event and its long-term ramifications to the Christian church.
 

Week 8, Day 5 (Nov. 4): Revelation 8:3-5

These verses relate to the breaking of the seventh seal in Johns description of his vision. This is the moment of divine judgment, led be the seven archangels standing in the presence of God. There are numerous connections between this sign and passages reported by the prophets in the Old Testament, as well as other sections of the New Testament.



Behind the Scenes: The Context Associated With the Week 7 Verses—Printed and Electronic Versions of the Book

Week 7, Day 1 (Oct. 24): Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12

Verses 35-39 of Mark reveal Jesus’ communion with and dependence on God. At the time of this prayer, he was struggling with disappointment because people were being amazed by his miracles but not committing to him. The passage from Luke Chapter 5 closes the discussion of Jesus’ authority when he healed the leper. In this section of Chapter 6, Jesus is appointing the 12 apostles in preparation for his impending death and resurrection.
 

Week 7, Day 2 (Oct. 25): Romans 1:9-10; Colossians 1:3, 9; 2 Timothy 1:3

In the first reference, Paul is introducing himself to the churches in Rome, and these particular verses he lifts up the Romans, asking for God to increase their spiritual progress. In Colossians, he is thanking God specifically for their faith, hope and love, as had been reported by Epaphras. Finally, Paul is aging and knows that his death is approaching, so he expresses his gratitude to God for his past experiences.
 

Week 7, Day 3 (Oct. 26): James 5:17-18

Elijah was highly revered and is mentioned as an example several times in the New Testament. In fact, some people considered him to be different than regular humans, but James makes it clear this was not the case. The key to Elijah’s petitions was that he prayed earnestly within God’s will.
 

Week 7, Day 4 (Oct. 27): 2 Chronicles 20:6, 12

The Zondervan commentary summarizes this story by saying, “Piety brings its reward and in time of crisis the community must rest its faith in God in whom alone victory and deliverance are to be found.” The enemy army struck fear in Jehoshaphat’s heart, but he knew how to deal effectively with that fear. They sought help from God and trusted that he would provide for them.
 

Week 7, Day 5 (Oct. 28): Psalm 51:7-10

Although often attributed to David, this penitent Psalm actually may have been written by someone else who was using David’s experience as a model. Ultimately, knowing the original author is irrelevant because the message conveyed in the Psalm is what is most important and life-changing. Even the sins of David, an adulterer and murderer, need to be confessed; repentance is not optional if we seek mercy and forgiveness.




 
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