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

 

Behind the Scenes: The Context Associated With the Week 5 Verses (Printed Version of the Book) and the Week 3 (Electronic Version of the Book)

Printed Version of the Book Week 5, Day 1 (Oct. 10): Genesis 3:8

Electronic Version of the Book Week 3, Day 1 (Sept. 26): Genesis 3:8

This chapter recounts the fall of Adam and Eve, and it makes it abundantly clear that the relationship between God and humans changed drastically once sinful behavior had occurred. Adam and Eve were embarrassed, and they tried to hide from God—a ridiculous notion. They did not repent or beg for forgiveness, and God acted accordingly, creating a separation between himself and humans.

 

Printed Version of the Book Week 5, Day 2 (Oct. 11): 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Electronic Version of the Book Week 3, Day 2 (Sept. 27):1 Thessalonians 5:17

Paul begins this chapter by reminding the Thessalonians to respect and support the elders of the church for the service they give. He goes on to describe the elders’ duties, but he ends up describing expectations for all believers. Paul ends this chapter by giving advice about our personal relationship with God and how we should handle problems that we experience in the church and our daily lives. He points out that unceasing prayer leads to joy and that we need to rejoice and give thanks even during times of persecution.
 

Printed Version of the Book Week 5, Day 3 (Oct. 12): John 10:27

Electronic Version of the Book Week 3, Day 3 (Sept. 28): John 10:27

Christ spoke these words while he was being questioned by the Jews who could not grasp that he was the Messiah and that he and God were one being. The discussion occurred during Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication that celebrated the restoration of the temple after its defilement about 200 years prior to the time Jesus was speaking. He used an allegory to explain his role because he felt that a direct answer would be misinterpreted—particularly considering the biases of the questioners.
 

Printed Version of the Book Week 5, Day 4 (Oct. 13): Ephesians 6:18

Electronic Version of the Book Week 3, Day 4 (Sept. 29):Ephesians 6:18

This verse is included in a section of Ephesians sometimes referred to as “The Heavenly Warfare” (verses 10 to 20). These 10 verses describe how Christians are expected to wear the full armor provided by God as we tackle the power of Satan on our lives and the world. The initial verses link each piece of armament, providing specific instructions on how we are to undertake the battle. The allegory is very informative, but verses 18 and 19 are particularly important because they remind us that God is at the helm, leading and supporting us in every way.
 

Printed Version of the Book Week 5, Day 5 (Oct. 14): Matthew 6:6

Electronic Version of the Book Week 3 , Day 5 (Sept. 30):Matthew 6:6

This verse is from the Sermon on the Mount, which is covered in chapters 5 through 7. Chapter 6 describes the actions that are associated with righteousness or what is called religion. In verses 6 to 8 Jesus is speaking specifically about private prayers, which customarily conducted in the morning and the evening. Unlike community prayer and prayers that express the deepest concerns from the heart, for which he felt no special instructions were necessary. Christ took the time to be very specific regarding expectations for these daily prayers. Christians should recognize that through this form of prayer, they will gain greater understanding of God’s character, will, and purpose as he scrutinizes what we share with him.



New Resources on Prayer in the FPC Library

 
One of our key focuses at FPC this year is PRAYER, and to provide more resources on the practice of prayer, we asked Pastor Eric, our elders, and our Prayer Coordinator to come up with suggestions of their favorite prayer resources. We now have most of the books they recommended in the church library, and the books will be part of the table display for the next several weeks. So stop by and check out one or more of the books below!
 

Prayer Books

  • Greg Pruett, Extreme Prayer
  • C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcom, Chiefly on Prayer
  • John White, Daring to Draw Near
  • Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer
  • Bill Hybels, Too Busy Not to Pray
  • Richard Foster, Devotional Classics
  • Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home
  • Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God
  • Matthew Henry, A Method for Prayer
  • Alvin VanderGriend, Love to Pray
  • Charles Spurgeon, The Power of Prayer in Believers
  • Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach, Practicing His Presence
  • Dallas Willard, Hearing God
  • Rosalind Rinker, Prayer: Conversing with God
  • Hallesby, Prayer
  • Rosalind Goforth,How I Know God Answers Prayer
  • O. Fraser, The Prayer of Faith
  • E.M. Bounds,The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds


40-Day Prayer Challenge Week 7 Begins on October 24—Printed and Electronic Versions of the Book

The associated topics and Bible passages for Week 7 for the printed and electronic versions of the book are shown below:
 
Oct. 24: Jesus, Man of Prayer (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12)
 
Oct. 25: Paul, the Man Who Prayed Constantly (Romans 1:9-10; Colossians 1:3, 9; 2 Timothy 1:3)
 
Oct. 26: Elijah: An Ordinary Man Who Prayed Powerfully (James 5:17-18)
 
Oct. 27: Jehoshaphat: Victory Through Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12)
 
Oct. 28: David: Finding Renewal Through Confession (Psalm 51:7-10)
 
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Differing Perspectives of Week 7’s Verses—Printed and Electronic Versions of the Book

Here are the links for Week 7’s verses (for the printed and electronic versions 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 Oct. 24 Oct. 25 Oct. 26 Oct. 27 Oct. 28
Passage Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12 Romans 1:9-10; Colossians 1:3, 9; 2 Timothy 1:3 James 5:17-18 2 Chronicles 20:6, 12 Psalm 51:7-10
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

 



Share Your Prayer Stories

As we participate in the 40-day prayer challenge by reading the book and investigating other resources, our understanding also can be enhanced by learning about the experiences of other FPC members and regular attenders. Each week we have been featuring short stories from a blogger. Everyone is invited to sign up to provide a posting by contacting Sonja West at sonja@nutley.org. You don’t need to be Ernest Hemingway to share your story! You just need to share your real-life experiences regarding prayer.
 
Volunteers will be contacted so that they can be scheduled for their comments to be posted during a specific week.
 
Bloggers are encouraged to consider the following questions when deciding what story to share:
  • Tell us a bit about your regular practice of prayer. Do you have a special place you use? Do you keep a list, pray spontaneously, or use some combination of both? What role does scripture or devotional literature provide in your prayer life?
  • Tell us about a season or an experience that has had a lasting influence on your understanding of prayer or prayer practice.
  • What is your favorite thing about prayer? What is the hardest thing about prayer for you?
  • Have you experienced an answer to prayer that really stands out for you?
  • If you were to give a new Christian some advice on prayer, what would you say?



 
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