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


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 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?

Behind the Scenes: The Context Associated With the Week 4 Verses (Printed Version of the Book) and the Week 6 (Electronic Version of the Book)

This is the second “catch-up” commentary posting that will be issued this week. We hope that it enhances your study of the verses associated with the devotions in Love to Pray.

Printed Version of the Book Week 4, Day 1 (Oct. 3): Luke 11:5-8

Electronic Version of the Book Week 6, Day 1 (Oct. 17): Luke 11:5-8

This parable follows immediately after Luke’s recounting of the Lord’s prayer, but the timing for this version is not the same as that in Matthew. The message in the story is clear; antirecessionary prayer is powerful—even when the persistence of the person praying begins to become a nuisance!

Printed Version of the Book Week 4, Day 2 (Oct. 4): Ezekiel 22:30-31

Electronic Version of the Book Week 6, Day 2 (Oct. 18): Ezekiel 22:30-31

The two verses that end this chapter summarize a period of decline, typified by leaders who betrayed the people’s trust, robbery, violence, and bloodshed. Amazingly, no one of authority from the nation is willing to raise prayers of intercession to God. Not one righteous person was found to serve in this capacity, and Jeremiah’s search indicated that only a king could take effective action. God’s sovereignty was displayed, sending a message for other disobedient leaders and nations.

Printed Version of the Book Week 4, Day 3 (Oct. 5): 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Electronic Version of the Book Week 6, Day 3 (Oct. 19): 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Paul has been establishing guidelines for Timothy’s service in the previous chapters, and he continues that approach in these verses. He urges Timothy to pray in very specific ways and to maintain a broad field of people and issues in his prayers. He mentions several types of prayers—not intending to be comprehensive but to indicate the importance of prayer in leading all people to salvation.

Printed Version of the Book Week 4, Day 4 (Oct. 6): Job 42:7-9

Electronic Version of the Book Week 6, Day 4 (Oct. 20): Job 42:7-9

This chapter ends Job’s Story in the Bible, and some care must be taken to grasp what God is conveying when he tells Job to pray for Eliphaz and his two friends. Job has not earned the right to intercede for these people because he has suffered or remained righteous. Even though Job asked God to publicly vindicate him, God didn’t need to do so. Because God loves us and wants to bless us, he shows us his mercy and grace.

Printed Version of the Book Week 4, Day 5 (Oct. 7): Romans 10:1

Electronic Version of the Book Week 6, Day 5 (Oct. 21): Romans 10:1

In chapter 9 of Romans, Paul considers the question of why the Jews had not welcomed and accepted Christ—even after his death and resurrection. His writing reflects the thinking of a missionary, rather than a theologian, and his interpretation based on his examination of Old Testament principles. He concludes that God is faithful to the Jews and has a plan saving them that reflects his grace and mercy. This opening verse of chapter 10 describes the antirecessionary role that God has set for Christians in regard to saving Jews and others. We are to pray for them to accept Christ and leave the process of their awakening in God’s sovereign hands, acting according to his plan.

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

Because of the recent confusion with the order of the chapters in the book, Love to Pray, we held off on posting the commentaries for the past two weeks. As you’ll see in the title, we’re going to combine the information for the print and electronic versions of the book for the same verses—regardless of the week they appear in the book. Hopefully, this will be the most efficient way to share these insights with you—no matter which version of the book you are using.

Printed Version of the Book Week 3, Day 1 (Sept. 26): Hebrews 4:16

Electronic Version of the Book Week 5, Day 1 (Oct. 10): Hebrews 4:16

After the resurrection of Jesus, all Christians were granted the right to; the “priesthood of all believers”—direct access to God, which previously had been limited to the official priests. This section of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was tempted as we are, and that he suffered; however, because he is both God and man, he not only understands us but also is willing to support us. We should persevere because we know he is with us, and we can confidently approach the throne of God, expecting to receive mercy and grace in our times of need.

Printed Version of the Book Week 3, Day 2 (Sept. 27): Matthew 7:9-11

Electronic Version of the Book Week 5, Day 2 (Oct. 11): Matthew 7:9-11

These verses are part of the Sermon on the Mount (from chapters 5 to 7 in Matthew). Many commentaries discuss versus 7 to 12 of this chapter in conjunction with the “The Golden Rule.” Fundamentally, the message is that God treats us even better than he would expect an earthly father to treat his children. This becomes a role model for how we should treat others and hope they will treat us.

Printed Version of the Book Week 3, Day 3 (Sept. 28): 1 John 5:14-15

Electronic Version of the Book Week 5, Day 3 (Oct. 12): 1 John 5:14-15

This letter generally focuses on assuring Christians that they have eternal life, and it ends by describing how we are to move forward in confidence, bringing others to Christ. Throughout this chapter, life is described in terms of fellowship with God and with his people. Sin disrupts that fellowship, and we are called to pray as intercessors and to have confidence that God will provide for us if we comply with his plan for us.

Printed Version of the Book Week 3, Day 4 (Sept. 29): Philippians 4:6-7

Electronic Version of the Book Week 5, Day 4 (Oct. 13): Philippians 4:6-7

This often quoted passage reminds us that God is our constant protector and that he does not want us to be anxious under any circumstances because we know that he always will be there for us. He fills us with peace—even when peace seems to be impossible under the existing circumstances. God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, offering us the peace that reassures us and which we never could find on our own.

Printed Version of the Book Week 3, Day 5 (Sept. 30): 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Electronic Version of the Book Week 5, Day 5 (Oct. 14): 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Verses 1 to 10 of this chapter cover two topics—both of which are the subject of much discussion in Christian commentaries. The early verses describe Paul’s vision and the three heavens. The analysts are uncertain about what he was specifically trying to communicate here, but the belief that there may be multiple heavens is supported by other Biblical text. They also mention both corporeal and incorporeal ascension as potentially being part of Paul’s intended message. Fortunately, the latter verses are clearer to understand, and they leave us with a very definitive understanding regarding suffering. Weakness—whether related to physical condition, reputation, finances, comfort, freedom, etc.—is not a bad thing because it causes us to turn to Christ for our strength, rather than depending on ourselves.

40-Day Prayer Challenge Week 6 Begins on October 17—Electronic Version of the Book

The associated topics and Bible passages for Week 6 for the electronic version of the book are shown below:
Oct. 17: What Is Intercession? (Luke 11:5-8)
Oct. 18: God Seeks Intercessors (Ezekiel 22:30-31)
Oct. 19: The Scope of Intercession (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Oct. 20: Interceding for Those Who Can’t Pray for Themselves (Job 42:7-9)
Oct. 21: Interceding for the Unsaved (Romans 10:1)

Differing Perspectives of Week 6’s Verses—Electronic Version of the Book

Here are the links for Week 6’s verses (for the electronic 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 Oct. 17 Oct. 18 Oct. 19 Oct. 20 Oct. 21
Passage Luke 11:5-8 Ezekiel 22:30-31 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Job 42:7-9 Romans 10:1
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

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