Prayer DOESN’T Change Things!

God Does…

I’ve really come to believe that prayer is powerless to change any of life’s problems. If prayer is all-powerful, why don’t we get everything we ask for? Why do we pray with no answer? It must be that prayer is unable to change our circumstances.

Before you disregard me as a total skeptic, let me issue this challenge: It isn’t our prayer that rescues us. It is the object of our prayer –God. Without a loving PrayingFather to hear and respond to our prayers, we are just talking to ourselves. This may seem like rambling over words, but the distinction is important to me. I used to put my faith in prayer. I expected to have every prayer answered, the way I wanted, and when I wanted it. After a while I became disillusioned, and wondered why my prayers weren’t being answered. I wondered why things didn’t turn out the way I expected. Continue Reading →

Encouragement is Infectious!

Post by Ken Sutterfield: “It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of the Christian brethren is a gift of grace…”–Dietrich Bonhoffer It is exciting to think that God has challenged us to encourage one another. The power of your encouraging words, spoken or written, could be the difference in the outcome of a single event or even one’s life. “Encourage one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near,” Hebrews 10:25b. In my book The Power of an Encouraging Word I have assembled a group of stories that inspire us to do life together in community. Haven’t you longed for an encouraging word from someone close to you? We need each other… to give us hope in who we are. We want and need to be accepted without mask or veneer. We want to be loved and we need to love and encourage others apart from performance or appearance. We deeply desire to be accepted in a community just as we are; just as Christ accepts us. When you have been encouraged, your first impulse is to encourage someone else— pass it on. There is truth in the saying “It is more blessed to give than receive”– Encouragement is infectious! Whether in your home, work place, church, school or community group we need to stand by one another — won’t you be a wind break in someone’s life? The fact is by ourselves we are weak and fragile— but together, with the Lord’s help, we find strength to press on and complete the journey by God’s grace. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up,” (Eccl. 4: 9-10). Encouragement is the word—the note—or the look that says, YES, you can do it! As an artist finds joy in giving beauty to others, so it is to anyone who masters the art of encouragement. There are people all around us in our communities in need of a good word, an uplifting compliment, a word of hope and promise. If you want to change the world, pick up your pen.—Martin Luther Who in your community will you write today? Make a list of those you know in need of a word of encouragement. Remember you are a tool in the hand of the Lord— be a messenger of hope and change in someone’s life today and make a difference! Tomorrow we will continue to look at The Power of an Encouraging Word with a personal story of how I was impacted forever by a friends words. I hope you too will share your stories from this week… as you practice blessing others with your encouraging words. Be sure and use the hashtag (#2encourage) to encourage those in your community.