February 21, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!

INSPIRATION:

This week we get to move into Part 3: Learning to Ask Your Father. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 3:  Learning To Ask Your Father
Chapter 14:  How Personal Is God?

Prayer is a movement of incarnation – God with us.  God involved in the details of my life.  Another author of an otherwise excellent book on prayer said that prayer was mainly about us being with God and not about God answering our prayers.  As an example he mentioned that, “mothers in the days of high infant mortality used to pray desperately that their children would not die in infancy.  Modern medical techniques have put an end to those prayers in the West.”  Maybe.  Or maybe modern medical techniques were developed in the West because young mothers in the West were praying for the lives of their children.

It is striking how many spiritual writers react to the specificity of real prayer.  It runs deeper than Greek Neo-Platonism and the influence of Buddhist spirituality.  Frankly, God makes us nervous when he gets too close.  We don’t want a physical dependence on him.  It feels hokey, like we are controlling God.  Deep down we just don’t like grace.  We don’t want to risk our prayer not being answered.  We prefer the safety of isolation to engaging the living God.  To embrace the Father and thus prayer is to accept what one pastor called “the string of particularity.”

Our dislike of asking is rooted in our desire for independence.  Reinhold Niebuhr, a leading post-World War II theologian, put his finger on the problem:  “The human ego assumes its self-sufficiency and self-mastery and imagines itself secure … It does not recognize the contingent and dependent character of its life and believes itself to be the author of its own experience. “  We don’t like being contingent, completely dependent on another.  The little child that Jesus urged us to become is completely dependent on his parents for everything.

What do I lose when I have a praying life?  Control.   Independence.  What do I gain? Friendship with God.  A quiet heart.  The living work of God in the hearts of those I love.  The ability to roll back the tide of evil.  Essentially, I lose my kingdom and get his.  I move from being an independent player to a dependent lover.  I move from being an orphan to a child of God.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Parents Summit: Continue to pray in this final week leading up to the parents summit that there will be a strong attendance at all 32 sites around the country, and that God will powerfully use the speakers and the interactions with other parents to equip, encourage, and resource parents for the high calling of parenting.

  • Other Churches: Pray this week for the health and vitality of other churches that are Christ centered and Bible focused. Pray for them to be united in their mission, resourced to do all that God has called them to and protected from the attacks of the enemy.  Ask God to continue to multiply and grow many healthy vibrant churches in the central Wisconsin area.

  • Building Plans:  As we begin the process of talking to various banks and financial institutions to secure the loan portion of our building expansion, ask God to guide us in the choice of who we will partner with to secure the additional funding we need.  Thank you for praying last week. Much progress was made on finalizing some of the details of the building.  Continue to ask for Him to lead us clearly in this design phase of the building.

  • Hope in Suffering:  There are many people in our church who are walking through difficult circumstances.  Pray for strength, hope in the power of Christ, and trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.  Pray that God would give us eyes to see those around us who are suffering and guide us in practical ways to bring help and encouragement.

  • Faith at Work:  The monthly men’s breakfast is going to be meeting this Wednesday to talk about how we can represent and share Christ in the various places where we work.  Pray that many men would come and that they would leave encouraged and resourced with new ideas and wisdom about how to live out their faith at work.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Psalm 30:1-5 from the CSB translation.

I will exalt you, Lord,
because you have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to you for help, and you healed me.
Lord, you brought me up from Sheol;
you spared me from among those
going down to the Pit.

Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones,
and praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may stay overnight,
but there is joy in the morning.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Kristina as she serves overseas. Recent letters from the country in which she is serving have stated the persecution and tight control exceeds anything they’ve seen in the past two decades. Pray that Kristina would be able to continue to work and labor and share the love of Jesus in a city and with a people the Lord has laid on her heart. Pray that God would protect her in her efforts, that her gospel witness would find favor and success, and that she would be guided daily, moment-by-moment by the Spirit. Pray that the joy in Kristina because of the gospel would be obvious and contagious.


February 20, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!

INSPIRATION:

This week we get to move into Part 3: Learning to Ask Your Father. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 3:  Learning To Ask Your Father
Chapter 14:  How Personal Is God?

I recently read an otherwise excellent book on prayer in which the author implied we shouldn’t pray for trivial things such as parking places. … When I read this, I couldn’t wait to tell my mom, Rose Marie Miller.

…Mom, now eighty-two, works full time as a missionary in London.  After raising five children on a meager pastor’s salary, she and my dad went on to share the gospel in the slums of Uganda and the streets of Dublin.  …

Recently, Mom found a letter she’d written from Kampala, Uganda, in December 1979, not long after Idi Amin had fled the country.  Mom and Dad were in Uganda, living on the eighth floor of a rundown hotel, sharing the gospel, and doing what they could to help.  Trash collection had completely stopped in the city.  So along with several Ugandans, they found a trash truck and started sharing the love of God while they collected people’s trash.  In the letter she described her typical day:

Words simply fail to express the almost total chaos of a country after eight years of a brutal civil war.  When we use the bathroom, if we are fortunate, the toilet will flush – if not you get the fire hose from the end of the hall – if you are too late, then you find others have used it before you – so you learn to pray for water.  If it comes on in the middle of the night, you fill the tub so you can wash in the morning…
You pass a building bombed out.  You pass through dirty streets praying as you go that no one will take your wallet…
You meet some Asians in the hotel.  They are very interested in our weaving project so they say, “We will help with the material, but we don’t have transportation,” so again you pray
The temptation to be aware of self and its utter limitations is strong.  There are times when I pray, “Lord I can’t go through this day.”

 This is a woman who prays for parking spots.  How else would you find one?

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Parents Summit: Continue to pray in this final week leading up to the parents summit that there will be a strong attendance at all 32 sites around the country, and that God will powerfully use the speakers and the interactions with other parents to equip, encourage, and resource parents for the high calling of parenting.

  • Other Churches: Pray this week for the health and vitality of other churches that are Christ centered and Bible focused. Pray for them to be united in their mission, resourced to do all that God has called them to and protected from the attacks of the enemy.  Ask God to continue to multiply and grow many healthy vibrant churches in the central Wisconsin area.

  • Building Plans:  As we begin the process of talking to various banks and financial institutions to secure the loan portion of our building expansion, ask God to guide us in the choice of who we will partner with to secure the additional funding we need.  Thank you for praying last week. Much progress was made on finalizing some of the details of the building.  Continue to ask for Him to lead us clearly in this design phase of the building.

  • Hope in Suffering:  There are many people in our church who are walking through difficult circumstances.  Pray for strength, hope in the power of Christ, and trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.  Pray that God would give us eyes to see those around us who are suffering and guide us in practical ways to bring help and encouragement.

  • Faith at Work:  The monthly men’s breakfast is going to be meeting this Wednesday to talk about how we can represent and share Christ in the various places where we work.  Pray that many men would come and that they would leave encouraged and resourced with new ideas and wisdom about how to live out their faith at work.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Psalm 30:1-5 from the CSB translation.

I will exalt you, Lord,
because you have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to you for help, and you healed me.
Lord, you brought me up from Sheol;
you spared me from among those
going down to the Pit.

Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones,
and praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may stay overnight,
but there is joy in the morning.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Marty and Pat Feldhake. Marty staffs the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at Lake Superior State University. He works with teams of students to live out and share the their witness of Jesus to the LSSU campus while they grow, themselves, in love and faith in Christ.
Marty’s time in this role is coming to an end. Pray for the transition that will take place in role as well as in the Feldhake’s spirits! Pray that Jesus would continue to be their first love and would lead them tenderly into this next chapter. Pray for the next person to take on the leadership of IV at Lake Superior State - that he/she would carry the passion and vision that has been planted into future generations.


February 19, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!

INSPIRATION:

This week we get to move into Part 3: Learning to Ask Your Father. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 3:  Learning To Ask Your Father
Chapter 13:  Why We Can Ask

But unlike these other kinds of experts, power in prayer comes from being in touch with your weakness.  To teach us to pray, Jesus told stories of weak people who knew they couldn’t do live on their own.  The persistent widow and the friend at midnight get access, not because they are strong but because they are desperate.  Learned desperation is at the heart of the praying life.

….

A praying life opens itself to an infinite, searching God.  As we shall see, we can’t do that without releasing control, without constantly surrendering our will to God.  “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10) is actually scary.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Parents Summit: Continue to pray in this final week leading up to the parents summit that there will be a strong attendance at all 32 sites around the country, and that God will powerfully use the speakers and the interactions with other parents to equip, encourage, and resource parents for the high calling of parenting.

  • Other Churches: Pray this week for the health and vitality of other churches that are Christ centered and Bible focused. Pray for them to be united in their mission, resourced to do all that God has called them to and protected from the attacks of the enemy.  Ask God to continue to multiply and grow many healthy vibrant churches in the central Wisconsin area.

  • Building Plans:  As we begin the process of talking to various banks and financial institutions to secure the loan portion of our building expansion, ask God to guide us in the choice of who we will partner with to secure the additional funding we need.  Thank you for praying last week. Much progress was made on finalizing some of the details of the building.  Continue to ask for Him to lead us clearly in this design phase of the building.

  • Hope in Suffering:  There are many people in our church who are walking through difficult circumstances.  Pray for strength, hope in the power of Christ, and trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.  Pray that God would give us eyes to see those around us who are suffering and guide us in practical ways to bring help and encouragement.

  • Faith at Work:  The monthly men’s breakfast is going to be meeting this Wednesday to talk about how we can represent and share Christ in the various places where we work.  Pray that many men would come and that they would leave encouraged and resourced with new ideas and wisdom about how to live out their faith at work.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Psalm 30:1-5 from the CSB translation.

I will exalt you, Lord,
because you have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to you for help, and you healed me.
Lord, you brought me up from Sheol;
you spared me from among those
going down to the Pit.

Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones,
and praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may stay overnight,
but there is joy in the morning.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for the team we support in Indonesia. They are tirelessly working to spread the good news of Jesus to their neighbors and neighboring villages under harsh persecution. Pray for joy in the midst of suffering, for perseverance and to be filled with God’s Spirit. Pray for favor with unbelievers and for the gospel to take deep root and to spread far and wide in Indonesia.


February 18, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!

INSPIRATION:

This week we get to move into Part 3: Learning to Ask Your Father. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 3:  Learning To Ask Your Father
Chapter 12:  Why Asking Is So Hard

For her seventh-grade science project, our youngest daughter, Emily, decided to measure bacteria levels along the bank of a local stream.  I was doing the project with her, and at our first stop, we waded into the creek, got a water sample, and carefully tested it.  We were both nervous about following the precise steps of our little bacteria-testing kit, so before we started we prayed.

Our family’s record with science projects was not stellar.  The previous year Emily barely got a passing grade for her experiment on training fish to eat in response to a flashlight.  (There was a reason that Pavlov used dogs and not fish.)  The year before that, Jill, thinking it was a bag of trash, took our son Andrew’s experiment to the thrift store the day before it was due.  She spent the rest of the day going through the thrift-store dumpsters in a vain attempt to retrieve it.  We definitely needed to pray.

After we finished our test, Emily took out her logbook to record each step.  She asked me what we’d done first, and I told her we’d prayed.
She said, “I can’t write that.”
“Why not?  We prayed.”
“That isn’t how it works, Dad.  They don’t want us to say that.”

Emily had gone to Christian schools her whole life, starting with nursery school.  She regularly attended church and Sunday school and went to a Christian camp in the summer.  All her friends were Christians, along with her brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles.  Frankly, she lived in a Christian ghetto.  Yet this mysterious “they “trumped this massive Christian influence in her life.

Western culture (North American and Europe), along with public cultures created by the West through communism (such as Russia and China), is the most publicly atheistic culture that has ever existed.  Among the thousands of cultures in the history of humanity, our culture is the only one not to have any regular public acknowledgement of a spiritual world.  In view of the sweep of human history, our culture is odd.

Reflecting on the ancient world, N.T. Wright, a respected scholar, wrote, “Religion was woven tightly into the whole social fabric of the world, as it has been at almost all times and almost all places in human history, with only the last two centuries in certain parts of the Western world being exceptions.”  Purely from the standpoint of anthropology, it is odd that our newscasters don’t open the news with prayer.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Parents Summit: Continue to pray in this final week leading up to the parents summit that there will be a strong attendance at all 32 sites around the country, and that God will powerfully use the speakers and the interactions with other parents to equip, encourage, and resource parents for the high calling of parenting.

  • Other Churches: Pray this week for the health and vitality of other churches that are Christ centered and Bible focused. Pray for them to be united in their mission, resourced to do all that God has called them to and protected from the attacks of the enemy.  Ask God to continue to multiply and grow many healthy vibrant churches in the central Wisconsin area.

  • Building Plans:  As we begin the process of talking to various banks and financial institutions to secure the loan portion of our building expansion, ask God to guide us in the choice of who we will partner with to secure the additional funding we need.  Thank you for praying last week. Much progress was made on finalizing some of the details of the building.  Continue to ask for Him to lead us clearly in this design phase of the building.

  • Hope in Suffering:  There are many people in our church who are walking through difficult circumstances.  Pray for strength, hope in the power of Christ, and trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.  Pray that God would give us eyes to see those around us who are suffering and guide us in practical ways to bring help and encouragement.

  • Faith at Work:  The monthly men’s breakfast is going to be meeting this Wednesday to talk about how we can represent and share Christ in the various places where we work.  Pray that many men would come and that they would leave encouraged and resourced with new ideas and wisdom about how to live out their faith at work.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Psalm 30:1-5 from the CSB translation.

I will exalt you, Lord,
because you have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to you for help, and you healed me.
Lord, you brought me up from Sheol;
you spared me from among those
going down to the Pit.

Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones,
and praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may stay overnight,
but there is joy in the morning.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for the Meyers. They serve the Kingdom in a way that we cannot share about here, so would you be praying the following Scriptures over them and their teams, as well as their family as they lead and guide and seek God’s wisdom in how to best spread the news of Jesus through the channel with which they’ve been entrusted.
1 Kings 3:9 - So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.
James 1:5-6 - If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Also see Psalm 91.


February 15, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

6. Developing an Eye for Jesus (continued)

Instead of focusing on other people’s lack of integrity, on their split personalities, we need to focus on how Jesus is reshaping the church to be more like himself.  We need to view the body of Christ with grace.

Paul delights in the influence of Jesus on people’s lives.  It is at the heart of his praying.  He doesn’t have a generalized spirit of thanksgiving; he is thankful for “you.”  Even with the messed-up Corinthian church, Paul is thankful: “I give thanks to my God always for you” (1 Corinthians 1:4).  Then he addresses their permitting of incest, suing one another in court, and getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper!  Because he keeps his eye on the present work of Jesus, Paul is not overcome by evil but overcomes evil with good.  Goodness infests Pauls’ prayer life.  He is living out the gospel.  Even as God has extended grace to Paul, so Paul extends grace to the Corinthians.  He looks at the church through rose-colored glasses, tinted with the blood of his Savior.

Obviously, Christians are not better than non-Christians.  In fact, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that the raw material of believers is worse than that of unbelievers.  The Corinthians themselves prove that!  Christians aren’t superior, but our Savior is.   He makes the difference.  He is alive and well in his church.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Why Winter?  As we enter into three weeks of thinking together about why God allows pain and suffering in our lives, pray that God would use this sermon series to strengthen the faith of those who are in such a season now, and to equip all of us to be better helpers for those in the midst of it, and to prepare us for the time when we might experience it.  

  • Building plans:  There is another important planning meeting this week with contractors and architects.  Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we make decisions about many design questions regarding the building.

  • Parents summit: In these final two weeks of preparation for the parents summit, pray for the roughly 30 other churches around the country who will be simulcasting the event that they would be able to promote the event well so that many parents sign up and are helped through the event.

  • New People: We are constantly striving to help new people at Woodlands Church get connected and plugged into community with others. Pray for good follow-up with people who are newer to our church and for us to help them find the important next steps to making Woodlands their church home.

  • Church Staff: One of the common ways that Satan uses to derail a church is to attack the spiritual health of its staff or to stir up disunity in the staff team. Though we are in a good place in both of these areas, would you please dedicate some time this week to pray for the spiritual health and vitality of our staff team, and that our unity and love for each other would remain strong, and so honor Christ.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 6:18-20, from ESV:

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Howard and Marilynn. Howard and Marilynn have served as pastors to missionaries (PTM) for quite awhile and have just taken up leading entire the team of PTM care givers (rather than being a member, they are leading) for Reach Global’s missionaries this past July. Praise God for the wonderful time they had recently debriefing and fellowshipping with colleagues across the pond. Pray for a few more trips coming up at the end of February starting the 16th (tomorrow). Pray that they would be filled with the Spirit, they would recover from jet lag quickly, and would bring a sweet sense of care and support to those they will visit.

February 14, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

6. Developing an Eye for Jesus

Cynicism looks in the wrong direction.  It looks for the cracks in Christianity instead of looking for the presence of Jesus.  It is an orientation of the heart.  The sixth cure for cynicism, then is this:  develop an eye for Jesus.

I knew from study of the Gospels where to look for Jesus.  For the most part, his earthly life was hidden, like a seed in a field.  If you were to look at a photo album of his life, you would not see him with the best and brightest but with the low and the slow.  The only photo of him with a famous person would be with Pilate at his trial, but then Jesus was in bad shape.  The seed was beginning to die.

A principal source of cynicism comes from looking up at Christian leaders who have gotten Jesus’ kingdom messed up with their own.  Ministry itself can create a mask of performance, the projection of success.  Everyone wants to be a winner.  In contrast, Jesus never used his power to show off.  He used his power for love.  So he wasn’t immediately noticeable.  Humility makes you disappear, which is why we avoid it.

In order to see Jesus, I would have to look lower.  I would have to look at people simply, as a child does.  I began to ask myself, “Where did I see Jesus today?”  I hunted for the difference between what others would normally be like and what they had become through the presence of Jesus.  The presence of Jesus, the only truly authentic person who ever lived, would reveal itself in the restoration of authenticity in people.  I’d see Christians whose inner and outer lives matched.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Why Winter?  As we enter into three weeks of thinking together about why God allows pain and suffering in our lives, pray that God would use this sermon series to strengthen the faith of those who are in such a season now, and to equip all of us to be better helpers for those in the midst of it, and to prepare us for the time when we might experience it.  

  • Building plans:  There is another important planning meeting this week with contractors and architects.  Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we make decisions about many design questions regarding the building.

  • Parents summit: In these final two weeks of preparation for the parents summit, pray for the roughly 30 other churches around the country who will be simulcasting the event that they would be able to promote the event well so that many parents sign up and are helped through the event.

  • New People: We are constantly striving to help new people at Woodlands Church get connected and plugged into community with others. Pray for good follow-up with people who are newer to our church and for us to help them find the important next steps to making Woodlands their church home.

  • Church Staff: One of the common ways that Satan uses to derail a church is to attack the spiritual health of its staff or to stir up disunity in the staff team. Though we are in a good place in both of these areas, would you please dedicate some time this week to pray for the spiritual health and vitality of our staff team, and that our unity and love for each other would remain strong, and so honor Christ.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 6:18-20, from ESV:

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Tim and Tracy Peterson. Tim is the Regional Director for InterVarsity’s Lakes & Plains Region. Pray for Tim as he gives leadership to over one hundred campus staff ministers and ministry directors. Pray that Tim and Tracy would be filled with God’s Spirit and would find favor, be defined by wisdom and gentleness as they seek to lead the entire MidWest’s InterVarsity movements.

February 13, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

5. Cultivating Repentance

While purporting to ‘’see through’ others’ facades, cynics lack purity of heart. A significant source of cynicism is the fracture between my heart and my behavior.  It goes something like this:  My heart gets out of tune with God, but life goes on  so I continue to perform and say Christian things, but they are just words.  I talk about Jesus without the presence of Jesus.  There is a disconnect between what I present and who I am.  My words sound phony, so other’s words sound phony too.  In short, my empty religious performance leads me to think that everyone is phony.  The very thing I am doing,  I accuse others of doing.  Adding judgment to hypocrisy breeds cynicism.

All sin involves a splitting of the personality – what Jesus call being ‘double-minded’.  If we become proud, we have an inflated sense of self that has lost touch with who we really are.  If a husband watches porn online and then warmly greets his wife, he has created two people – one public and on hidden.  If you talk about friends disparagingly behind their backs, you’ve created two personalities – the loving friend and the gossiping friend.  You try to keep the personalities separate by telling those to whom you gossip, “Please keep this in confidence.”

We first see the split immediately after Adam and Eve sin.  That friendly, walking-with-God selves are replaced by hiding, naked selves.  God’s searching question, “where are you?”, attempts to expose this fracture of the two selves.

Repentance brings the split personality together and thus restores integrity to the life.  The real self is made public.  When the proud person is humbled, the elevated self is united with the true self.

By cultivating a lifestyle of repentance, the pure in heart develop integrity, and their own fractures are healed.  By beginning with their own impurity, they avoid the critical, negative stance of cynicism.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Why Winter?  As we enter into three weeks of thinking together about why God allows pain and suffering in our lives, pray that God would use this sermon series to strengthen the faith of those who are in such a season now, and to equip all of us to be better helpers for those in the midst of it, and to prepare us for the time when we might experience it.  

  • Building plans:  There is another important planning meeting this week with contractors and architects.  Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we make decisions about many design questions regarding the building.

  • Parents summit: In these final two weeks of preparation for the parents summit, pray for the roughly 30 other churches around the country who will be simulcasting the event that they would be able to promote the event well so that many parents sign up and are helped through the event.

  • New People: We are constantly striving to help new people at Woodlands Church get connected and plugged into community with others. Pray for good follow-up with people who are newer to our church and for us to help them find the important next steps to making Woodlands their church home.

  • Church Staff: One of the common ways that Satan uses to derail a church is to attack the spiritual health of its staff or to stir up disunity in the staff team. Though we are in a good place in both of these areas, would you please dedicate some time this week to pray for the spiritual health and vitality of our staff team, and that our unity and love for each other would remain strong, and so honor Christ.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 6:18-20, from ESV:

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Andy and Barb who work with teams and leaders of people in regions where being a Christian is life threatening. Pray for great wisdom for them, for discernment and a clear leading from the Lord. Pray that Andy and Barb would be deeply connected to the Lord through His Word and through prayer and for that connection to feed their souls. Pray that the Lord would establish the work of their hands. Pray, too, for physical healing. Their family has been fighting Lyme disease for so long and are starting to see physical healing, but there is healing yet to be done.

February 12, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

4. Cultivating a Thankful Spirit

Immersing myself in Psalm 23 became a habit during this period of suffering.  Prayer wasn’t self-discipline; it was desperation.  I began by thanking God for his touches of grace from the previous day.  Either I thanked God or I gave into bitterness, the stepchild of cynicism.  There was no middle ground.

Now years later, I still begin my prayer times by reflecting on the Shepherd’s care.  I drift through the previous day and watch God at work.  Nothing undercuts cynicism more than a spirit of thankfulness.  You begin to realize that your whole life is a gift.
Thankfulness isn’t a matter of forcing yourself to see the happy side of life.  That would be like returning to naïve optimism.  Thanking God restores the natural order of our dependence on God.  It enables us to see life as it really is. 

Paul’s own life reflects a spirit of thanksgiving.  Almost every time he describes how he prayed, he mentions thanksgiving.

Paul encourages the same style of praying in the churches:

To become thankful is to be drawn into the fellowship of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, into their enjoyment of one another, of life, and of people.
Cynicism looks reality in the face, calls it phony, and prides itself on its insight as it pulls back. Thanksgiving looks reality in the face and rejoices at God’s care.  It replaces a bitter spirit with a generous one.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Why Winter?  As we enter into three weeks of thinking together about why God allows pain and suffering in our lives, pray that God would use this sermon series to strengthen the faith of those who are in such a season now, and to equip all of us to be better helpers for those in the midst of it, and to prepare us for the time when we might experience it.  

  • Building plans:  There is another important planning meeting this week with contractors and architects.  Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we make decisions about many design questions regarding the building.

  • Parents summit: In these final two weeks of preparation for the parents summit, pray for the roughly 30 other churches around the country who will be simulcasting the event that they would be able to promote the event well so that many parents sign up and are helped through the event.

  • New People: We are constantly striving to help new people at Woodlands Church get connected and plugged into community with others. Pray for good follow-up with people who are newer to our church and for us to help them find the important next steps to making Woodlands their church home.

  • Church Staff: One of the common ways that Satan uses to derail a church is to attack the spiritual health of its staff or to stir up disunity in the staff team. Though we are in a good place in both of these areas, would you please dedicate some time this week to pray for the spiritual health and vitality of our staff team, and that our unity and love for each other would remain strong, and so honor Christ.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 6:18-20, from ESV:

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Darrell and Sondra Holden who are currently working in Ecuador. Pray that the Lord would be their first love and that they would be seeking His wisdom and guidance as they seek to share the love of Christ through their work and connections. Pray that they would be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

February 11, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

(continuing #3 from Friday: Cultivate a Childlike Spirit)

Years ago I went through a time when my life became so difficult I was unable to pray.  I couldn’t concentrate.  So I stopped trying to have a coherent prayer time, and for weeks on end during my morning prayer time, I did nothing but pray through Psalm 23.  I was fighting for my life.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was following the habit of divine reading, called lectio divina, which was developed by the early church.  By praying slowly through a portion of Scripture, I was allowing Scripture to shape my prayers.

As I prayed through Psalm 23, I began to reflect on the previous day and to look for the Shepherd’s presence, for his touches of love.  Even on especially hard days, I began to notice him everywhere, setting a table for me in the presence of my enemies, pushing me with his love.  Both the child and the cynic walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  The cynic focuses on the darkness; the child focuses on the Shepherd.

Our modern, secular world has removed the Shepherd from Psalm 23.  Look what happens to the psalm when you remove the Good Shepherd and everything he does:

Psalm 23 without the Good Shepherd.png

We are left obsessing over our wants in the valley of the shadow of death, paralyzed by fear in the presence of our enemies.  No wonder so many are so cynical.  With the Good Shepherd gone, we are alone in a world of evil.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Why Winter?  As we enter into three weeks of thinking together about why God allows pain and suffering in our lives, pray that God would use this sermon series to strengthen the faith of those who are in such a season now, and to equip all of us to be better helpers for those in the midst of it, and to prepare us for the time when we might experience it.  

  • Building plans:  There is another important planning meeting this week with contractors and architects.  Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we make decisions about many design questions regarding the building.

  • Parents summit: In these final two weeks of preparation for the parents summit, pray for the roughly 30 other churches around the country who will be simulcasting the event that they would be able to promote the event well so that many parents sign up and are helped through the event.

  • New People: We are constantly striving to help new people at Woodlands Church get connected and plugged into community with others. Pray for good follow-up with people who are newer to our church and for us to help them find the important next steps to making Woodlands their church home.

  • Church Staff: One of the common ways that Satan uses to derail a church is to attack the spiritual health of its staff or to stir up disunity in the staff team. Though we are in a good place in both of these areas, would you please dedicate some time this week to pray for the spiritual health and vitality of our staff team, and that our unity and love for each other would remain strong, and so honor Christ.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 6:18-20, from ESV:

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for John and Judy who are serving the body of Christ by teaching, counseling, writing, and discipling people to become more Christ-like in their walk with the Lord. They seek to equip, train, and mentor leaders and couples to better minister to the needs of others. Pray for favor as they serve, strength and perseverance when they face trials or barriers to ministry, and a lasting love and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ!

February 8, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

3. Cultivate a Childlike Spirit

I recently had a cynical moment during my morning prayer time.  I was reflecting on some answers to the previous day’s prayer, and I felt a lingering distaste in my soul.  All I’d done was pray, and God had acted.  It seemed too easy.  Trite.  I realized I was hunting for something to doubt.  I was also hunting for something to do.  At bottom, I didn’t like grace.  I wanted to be a player in the way God answered my request.
What do I do with this old heart of mine?  Exactly what we have been talking about.  Cry out for grace like a hungry child.  As soon as I begin simply asking for help, I have become like a little child again.  I’ve stopped becoming cynical.  Oddly enough, my prayer is answered almost immediately because in the act of praying I’ve become like a child.  The cure for cynicism is to become like a little child again.  Instead of critiquing others’ stories, watch the story our father is weaving!

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Pastor’s Conference – Our denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America is hosting a theology conference this week, Wednesday through Friday.  Most of the pastoral staff from Woodlands will be attending.  Praise God that our pastors are able to attend!  And please pray for our pastors as they learn more and enter into discussions on the Doctrine of Creation.  Pray for humble and teachable spirits, pray for unity in the Spirit, and pray for deepening knowledge as well as a deepening sense of awe and wonder at our great God!  Conferences are also great times of connecting with other pastors, so pray for good fellowship, as well.

  • Parent’s Summit is right around the corner!  Pray that parents who could benefit from this conference would be able to attend.  Pray also for the childcare needs of this day – many parents are trying to line up who will care for their children so that they can attend.  Pray that parents who attend would be better equipped to help their families thrive.  Also, pray that the logistical details of planning and producing this event would be working out, and even these to the glory of God.  

  • Bolivia Compassion Team We are sending a team of 16 from Woodlands down to Cochabamba, Bolivia this March.  They leave in a month!  Pray for this team as they continue to prepare logistically, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Pray also for the logistics that have yet to be worked through here in the United States as well all the details that are already being worked on by our Bolivian brothers and sisters.  Pray that all involved, from group participants, Compassion staff, Compassion participants, and all those we rub shoulders with in between here and there would be impacted by the love of Jesus!

  • Youth Ministry In the next few weeks, each small group within Student Ministries will have a night ‘off site’ to connect with each other in a different setting.  Please pray for strengthened relationships with each other and pray for the discipleship that happens in these groups.  Pray that our students are growing closer to each other and to the Lord!  Also, many students are in the decision making process about participating in summer missions.  Please pray for clear leading and willing obedience for these students.

  • Groups and Classes  Thank you for praying for GroupLife Connect.  This week many of those groups and classes are starting.  Please pray for good turnout, for great connection right from the start, and that these participants would grow in their walk with the Lord by participating in these classes and groups. 

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 3:14-19, from NASB:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Andy and Joanna Lickel. Andy gives leadership to InterVarsity teams around Central and NorthEast Wisconsin. Pray for perseverance and sustaining joy as Andy has spent time this winter support raising. Pray that the fruit of his ministry specifically and InterVarsity in general would be lasting and would continue to bear fruit into coming generations!

February 7, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

2.  Learn to Hope Again

Cynicism kills hope.  The world of the cynic is fixed and immovable; the cynic believes we are swept along by forces greater than we are.  Dreaming feels like so much foolishness.  Risk becomes intolerable.  Prayer feels pointless, as if we are talking to the wind.  Why set ourselves and God up for failure?

But Jesus is all about hope.  Watch what he says before he helps these people.
{See John 9:3, Luke 7:13, Luke 8:50, Luke 13:12}
In each of these accounts, Jesus brings hope before he heals. 

Hope begins with the heart of God.  As you grasp what the Father’s heart is like, how he love to give, then prayer will begin to feel completely natural to you.

When you pray, you are touching the hopeful heart of God.  When you know that, prayer becomes an adventure.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Pastor’s Conference – Our denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America is hosting a theology conference this week, Wednesday through Friday.  Most of the pastoral staff from Woodlands will be attending.  Praise God that our pastors are able to attend!  And please pray for our pastors as they learn more and enter into discussions on the Doctrine of Creation.  Pray for humble and teachable spirits, pray for unity in the Spirit, and pray for deepening knowledge as well as a deepening sense of awe and wonder at our great God!  Conferences are also great times of connecting with other pastors, so pray for good fellowship, as well.

  • Parent’s Summit is right around the corner!  Pray that parents who could benefit from this conference would be able to attend.  Pray also for the childcare needs of this day – many parents are trying to line up who will care for their children so that they can attend.  Pray that parents who attend would be better equipped to help their families thrive.  Also, pray that the logistical details of planning and producing this event would be working out, and even these to the glory of God.  

  • Bolivia Compassion Team We are sending a team of 16 from Woodlands down to Cochabamba, Bolivia this March.  They leave in a month!  Pray for this team as they continue to prepare logistically, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Pray also for the logistics that have yet to be worked through here in the United States as well all the details that are already being worked on by our Bolivian brothers and sisters.  Pray that all involved, from group participants, Compassion staff, Compassion participants, and all those we rub shoulders with in between here and there would be impacted by the love of Jesus!

  • Youth Ministry In the next few weeks, each small group within Student Ministries will have a night ‘off site’ to connect with each other in a different setting.  Please pray for strengthened relationships with each other and pray for the discipleship that happens in these groups.  Pray that our students are growing closer to each other and to the Lord!  Also, many students are in the decision making process about participating in summer missions.  Please pray for clear leading and willing obedience for these students.

  • Groups and Classes  Thank you for praying for GroupLife Connect.  This week many of those groups and classes are starting.  Please pray for good turnout, for great connection right from the start, and that these participants would grow in their walk with the Lord by participating in these classes and groups. 

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 3:14-19, from NASB:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Jay and Melissa! Pray that Jesus would be their first love and that they would be able to be communing and meeting with Him in sweet and deep ways as they serve in the field. They are often faced with trials and troubles, so pray that they would find joy in these suffering and the hope they have would be evident to those they are serving.

February 6, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 10:  Following Jesus Out of Cynicism

Jesus offers six cures for cynicism. Let’s look at them in turn {one each day!}

  1. Be Warm But Wary
    Jesus does not ignore evil…The overwhelming temptation when faced with evil is to become a wolf, to become cynical and lose your sheeplike spirit. Jesus tells us to instead be warm but wary - warm like a dove but wary like a serpent (see Matt 10:16)

    Instead of naive optimism, Jesus calls us to be wary, yet confident in our heavenly Father. We are to combine a robust trust in the Good Shepherd with a vigilance about the presence of evil in our own hearts and in the hearts of others.
    The feel of a praying life is cautious optimism - caution because of the Fall, optimism because of redemption. Cautious optimism allows Jesus to boldly send his disciples into an evil world.

    Jesus isn’t just offering practical wisdom. His wisdom works because in his death he himself acted boldly, trusting his Father to help him. While Jesus is hanging on the cross, the religious leaders cynically mock him for his childlike trust. “He saved others; he cannot save himself … He trusts in God; let God deliver him.” (Matthew 27:42-43). In effect they are saying, “Look what happens when you act like a child and trust your Father. He abandons you.” They accuse Jesus of naïveté, of acting foolishly because he believes in God’s goodness.
    Jesus does not answer his mockers because his ear is turned to his Father. Like a wise serpent, he says nothing. Like a harmless dove, he does nothing. Even as his Father turns his back on him, Jesus trusts. Faced with the storm of life, he tightens his grip on his Father.
    Jesus’ childlike faith delighted his Father, and on Easter morning his Father acted on Jesus’ dead body, bringing him to life. He trusted in God; God delivered him. Evil did not have the last word. Hope was born.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Pastor’s Conference – Our denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America is hosting a theology conference this week, Wednesday through Friday.  Most of the pastoral staff from Woodlands will be attending.  Praise God that our pastors are able to attend!  And please pray for our pastors as they learn more and enter into discussions on the Doctrine of Creation.  Pray for humble and teachable spirits, pray for unity in the Spirit, and pray for deepening knowledge as well as a deepening sense of awe and wonder at our great God!  Conferences are also great times of connecting with other pastors, so pray for good fellowship, as well.

  • Parent’s Summit is right around the corner!  Pray that parents who could benefit from this conference would be able to attend.  Pray also for the childcare needs of this day – many parents are trying to line up who will care for their children so that they can attend.  Pray that parents who attend would be better equipped to help their families thrive.  Also, pray that the logistical details of planning and producing this event would be working out, and even these to the glory of God.  

  • Bolivia Compassion Team We are sending a team of 16 from Woodlands down to Cochabamba, Bolivia this March.  They leave in a month!  Pray for this team as they continue to prepare logistically, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Pray also for the logistics that have yet to be worked through here in the United States as well all the details that are already being worked on by our Bolivian brothers and sisters.  Pray that all involved, from group participants, Compassion staff, Compassion participants, and all those we rub shoulders with in between here and there would be impacted by the love of Jesus!

  • Youth Ministry In the next few weeks, each small group within Student Ministries will have a night ‘off site’ to connect with each other in a different setting.  Please pray for strengthened relationships with each other and pray for the discipleship that happens in these groups.  Pray that our students are growing closer to each other and to the Lord!  Also, many students are in the decision making process about participating in summer missions.  Please pray for clear leading and willing obedience for these students.

  • Groups and Classes  Thank you for praying for GroupLife Connect.  This week many of those groups and classes are starting.  Please pray for good turnout, for great connection right from the start, and that these participants would grow in their walk with the Lord by participating in these classes and groups. 

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 3:14-19, from NASB:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Jim and Kay Panaggio! Jim just returned from a nearly two week trip to South America. Thank God for all of the opportunities He is providing Jim to teach and train pastors in the Latin world. Pray for great vision, wisdom and clarity as he navigates and shares and disciples. Pray for a deep confidence in God and His word and pray that Jim would be able to teach with passion and clarity the truths found in God’s Word in a way that stays with his students long after he departs.

February 5, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

After several weeks in part 1: “Learning to Pray Like a Child”, we are transitioning to Part 2 today, “Learning to Trust Again”. These are excerpts from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.  

Part 2:  Learning to Trust Again
Chapter 9:  Understanding Cynicism

The opposite of a childlike spirit is a cynical spirit.  Cynicism is, increasingly, the dominant spirit of our age.  Personally, it is my greatest struggle in prayer.  If I get an answer to prayer, sometimes I’ll think, it would have happened anyway.  Other times I’ll try to pray but wonder if it makes any difference.

Many Christians stand at the edge of cynicism, struggling with a defeated weariness.  Their spirits have begun to deaden, but unlike the cynic, they’ve not lost hope.  My friend Bryan summarized it this way”  “I think we have built up scar tissue from our frustrations, and we don’t want to expose ourselves anymore.  Fear constrains us.”

Cynicism and defeated weariness have this in common:  They both question the active goodness of God on our behalf.  Left unchallenged, their low-level doubt opens the door for bigger doubt.  They’ve lost their childlike spirit and thus are unable to move toward their heavenly Father.

Cynicism is so pervasive that, at times, it feels like a presence.  Behind the spirit of the age lies an unseen, personal evil presence, a spirit.  If Satan can’t stop you from praying, the he will try to rob the fruit of praying by dulling your soul.  Satan cannot create, but he can corrupt.

Cynicism is the air we breathe, and it is suffocating our hearts.  Unless we become disciples of Jesus, this present evil age will first deaden and then destroy our prayer lives, not to mention our souls.  Our only hope is to follow Jesus as he leads us out of cynicism.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Pastor’s Conference – Our denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America is hosting a theology conference this week, Wednesday through Friday.  Most of the pastoral staff from Woodlands will be attending.  Praise God that our pastors are able to attend!  And please pray for our pastors as they learn more and enter into discussions on the Doctrine of Creation.  Pray for humble and teachable spirits, pray for unity in the Spirit, and pray for deepening knowledge as well as a deepening sense of awe and wonder at our great God!  Conferences are also great times of connecting with other pastors, so pray for good fellowship, as well.

  • Parent’s Summit is right around the corner!  Pray that parents who could benefit from this conference would be able to attend.  Pray also for the childcare needs of this day – many parents are trying to line up who will care for their children so that they can attend.  Pray that parents who attend would be better equipped to help their families thrive.  Also, pray that the logistical details of planning and producing this event would be working out, and even these to the glory of God.  

  • Bolivia Compassion Team We are sending a team of 16 from Woodlands down to Cochabamba, Bolivia this March.  They leave in a month!  Pray for this team as they continue to prepare logistically, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Pray also for the logistics that have yet to be worked through here in the United States as well all the details that are already being worked on by our Bolivian brothers and sisters.  Pray that all involved, from group participants, Compassion staff, Compassion participants, and all those we rub shoulders with in between here and there would be impacted by the love of Jesus!

  • Youth Ministry In the next few weeks, each small group within Student Ministries will have a night ‘off site’ to connect with each other in a different setting.  Please pray for strengthened relationships with each other and pray for the discipleship that happens in these groups.  Pray that our students are growing closer to each other and to the Lord!  Also, many students are in the decision making process about participating in summer missions.  Please pray for clear leading and willing obedience for these students.

  • Groups and Classes  Thank you for praying for GroupLife Connect.  This week many of those groups and classes are starting.  Please pray for good turnout, for great connection right from the start, and that these participants would grow in their walk with the Lord by participating in these classes and groups. 

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 3:14-19, from NASB:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Jordan Mancl as he serves Cru on the UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison campuses. Praise God for the way He is using Jordan to reach college students with His gospel! Pray that Jordan would continue to find Jesus as his first love and that he would find favor with unbelievers. Pray for perseverance and joy in this work!

February 4, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

Chapter 8:  Bending Your Heart To Your Father

Your heart can become a prayer factory because, like Jesus, you are completely dependent.  You needed God ten minutes ago; you need him now.  Instead of hunting for the perfect spiritual state to lift you above the chaos, pray in the chaos.  As your heart or your circumstances generate problems, keep generating prayer.  You will find that the chaos lessens.

When you stop trying to control your life and instead, allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching.  You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life.  Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realized you are inside God’s drama.  As you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder.  You are learning to trust again.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Pastor’s Conference – Our denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America is hosting a theology conference this week, Wednesday through Friday.  Most of the pastoral staff from Woodlands will be attending.  Praise God that our pastors are able to attend!  And please pray for our pastors as they learn more and enter into discussions on the Doctrine of Creation.  Pray for humble and teachable spirits, pray for unity in the Spirit, and pray for deepening knowledge as well as a deepening sense of awe and wonder at our great God!  Conferences are also great times of connecting with other pastors, so pray for good fellowship, as well.

  • Parent’s Summit is right around the corner!  Pray that parents who could benefit from this conference would be able to attend.  Pray also for the childcare needs of this day – many parents are trying to line up who will care for their children so that they can attend.  Pray that parents who attend would be better equipped to help their families thrive.  Also, pray that the logistical details of planning and producing this event would be working out, and even these to the glory of God.  

  • Bolivia Compassion Team We are sending a team of 16 from Woodlands down to Cochabamba, Bolivia this March.  They leave in a month!  Pray for this team as they continue to prepare logistically, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Pray also for the logistics that have yet to be worked through here in the United States as well all the details that are already being worked on by our Bolivian brothers and sisters.  Pray that all involved, from group participants, Compassion staff, Compassion participants, and all those we rub shoulders with in between here and there would be impacted by the love of Jesus!

  • Youth Ministry In the next few weeks, each small group within Student Ministries will have a night ‘off site’ to connect with each other in a different setting.  Please pray for strengthened relationships with each other and pray for the discipleship that happens in these groups.  Pray that our students are growing closer to each other and to the Lord!  Also, many students are in the decision making process about participating in summer missions.  Please pray for clear leading and willing obedience for these students.

  • Groups and Classes  Thank you for praying for GroupLife Connect.  This week many of those groups and classes are starting.  Please pray for good turnout, for great connection right from the start, and that these participants would grow in their walk with the Lord by participating in these classes and groups. 

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff. 

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 3:14-19, from NASB:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Ryan and Colleen Naidl. Ryan and Colleen give leadership to the Cru movement in Central Wisconsin. As they kick off this new semester with students on campus, they are captured by the Paul’s statement in Acts 13:36 that David, “served the purposes of God in his generation.” Would you pray the same over their ministry? Pray that the fruit from the past and that of the future would do the same- serve the purposes of God in each of their generations.

February 1, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

Chapter 8:  Bending Your Heart To Your Father

A Brief History of Anxiety and Prayer

What does an unused prayer link look like?  Anxiety.  Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything they touch.  Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God’s wisdom, power, or knowledge.  A godlike stance without godlike character or ability is pure tension.  Because anxiety is self on its own, it tries to get control.  It is unable to relax in the face of chaos.  Once one problem is solved, the next in line steps up.  The new one looms so large we forget the last deliverance. 

Oddly enough, it took God to show us how not to be godlike.  Jesus was the first person who didn’t seek independence.  He wanted to be in continuous contact with his heavenly Father.  In fact, he humbled himself to death on the cross, becoming anxious so we could be free from anxiety.  Now the Spirit brings the humility of Jesus into our hearts.  No longer do we have to be little gods, controlling everything.  Instead, we cling to our Father in the face of  chaos by continuously praying.  Because we know we don’t have control, we cry out for grace.  Instead of flailing around, our praying spirits can bless everything we touch.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • No Regrets: Pray for the final week of planning and preparation for this great men’s event.  Pray for 150 guys or more to attend the event here at Woodlands.  Pray that God would powerfully use the speakers to cast a fresh vision for our men  of authentic Biblical manhood and that men would leave encouraged and connected to other men in meaningful ways. 

  • Building Plans:  Thank you for praying for the building plans.  Much progress has been made. Pray for a pivotal meeting this Wednesday where many design decisions will be made.  Pray for God’s clear wisdom and direction

  • Global Outreach:  The Global Outreach ministry at Woodlands is exploring a number of new ministry ideas and initiatives, coming out of a planning meeting held last week.  There are several exciting possibilities.  Ask God to show us which ministries to pursue.

  • Parent’s Summit: We are a month away from The Parent’s Summit.  Pray that the number of churches around the country participating would  be finalized and for their planning and promotional strategies to be effective.  Ask God to be guiding the speakers as they prepare and think  through their messages.  Pray that parents would be resourced, equipped and encouraged in their parenting task.

  • Bible Engagement:  As we learn more about the power and authority of Scripture though our iBook series, pray that God would use the series to draw us into a greater engagement with the Bible. Pray that the people of Woodlands would increasingly rely on Scripture to guide and shape their lives rather than their feelings or direction from other sources.  Pray that we would increasingly become “people of one book”.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us He will answer our prayers when we pray the things that are His will. Biblical prayers are most assuredly His will.

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 1:15-19. This is from the ESV translation:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Jerry and Diana as they travel to the country in which they have done ministry for many years. They will spend 4 weeks in this country and they are asking for us to pray for them. He writes “We need prayer. … That's why we ask for prayer. It's not because we know what to ask, but that we would enter into what He has prepared for us. We really can't presume to know what He has in store, but we are assured it has everything to do with the gospel.” Pray for Jerry and Diana today!

January 31, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

Chapter 7:  Crying “Abba” Continuously

Paul’s Example and Teaching

“unceasing prayer” is Paul’s most frequent description of how he prayed and of how he wanted the church to pray.  This was a real experience for Paul and not a formula.  In the twelve times he mentions continuous praying, he seldom says it the same way twice (click each Scripture reference to read it yourself)

·       Romans 1:9-10

·       1 Corinthians 1:4

·       Ephesians 1:16

·       Ephesians 6:18

·       Colossians 1:9

·       Colossians 4:2

·       Colossians 4:12

·       1 Thessalonians 1:2

·       1 Thessalonians 2:13

·       1 Thessalonians 3:10

·       2 Thessalonians 1:11

·       2 Timothy 1:3

When Paul tells the young churches to pray, he encourages them in this same pattern of “constant in prayer” (click each Scripture reference to read the passage)

·       Romans 12:12

·       1 Thessalonians 5:17

A praying life isn’t simply a morning prayer time; it is about slipping into prayer at odd hours of the day, not because we are disciplined but because we are in touch with our own poverty of spirit, realizing we can’t even walk through a mall or a neighborhood without the help of the Spirit of Jesus.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • No Regrets: Pray for the final week of planning and preparation for this great men’s event.  Pray for 150 guys or more to attend the event here at Woodlands.  Pray that God would powerfully use the speakers to cast a fresh vision for our men  of authentic Biblical manhood and that men would leave encouraged and connected to other men in meaningful ways. 

  • Building Plans:  Thank you for praying for the building plans.  Much progress has been made. Pray for a pivotal meeting this Wednesday where many design decisions will be made.  Pray for God’s clear wisdom and direction

  • Global Outreach:  The Global Outreach ministry at Woodlands is exploring a number of new ministry ideas and initiatives, coming out of a planning meeting held last week.  There are several exciting possibilities.  Ask God to show us which ministries to pursue.

  • Parent’s Summit: We are a month away from The Parent’s Summit.  Pray that the number of churches around the country participating would  be finalized and for their planning and promotional strategies to be effective.  Ask God to be guiding the speakers as they prepare and think  through their messages.  Pray that parents would be resourced, equipped and encouraged in their parenting task.

  • Bible Engagement:  As we learn more about the power and authority of Scripture though our iBook series, pray that God would use the series to draw us into a greater engagement with the Bible. Pray that the people of Woodlands would increasingly rely on Scripture to guide and shape their lives rather than their feelings or direction from other sources.  Pray that we would increasingly become “people of one book”.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us He will answer our prayers when we pray the things that are His will. Biblical prayers are most assuredly His will.

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 1:15-19. This is from the ESV translation:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Quique and Becky Fernandez who serve ProMeta through ReachGlobal!
”ProMeta is an educational instance with highly qualified and online programs. Our programs adapt to the demands of the church and ministries. We are pioneers in online theological training.”
Quique and Becky have been preparing for years to hand the baton of leadership of this school to a Latin American leader and that baton was passed this fall. Please pray for the health of ProMeta and for all the ministry in which Quique and Becky are still involved! Pray that Becky and Quique would be walking in step with the Spirit and be led by Him each and every day; every moment.

January 30, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

Chapter 7:  Crying “Abba” Continuously

Poverty of Spirit, Not Discipline

I discovered myself praying simple two- and three- word prayers, such as Teach me or Help me, Jesus.  The psalms are with this type of short bullet prayer.  Praying simple one-word prayers or a verse of Scripture takes the pressure off because we don’t have to sort out exactly what we need.  Paul tells us, “We do no know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).  Often we are too weary to figure out what the problem is.  We just know that life – including ours – doesn’t work.  So we pray, Father, Father, Father. …

I was driving to work one day, thinking about all the options for a new three-year plan at work.  The closer I got to the office, the more overwhelmed I became – I didn’t have the wisdom to sort through the options.  The scripture “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2)  came to mind, and I turned it into a simple prayer.  I needed a rock higher than myself.  That momentary poverty of spirit (I became overwhelmed…I didn’t have the wisdom) was the door to prayer.  We don’t’ need self-discipline to pray continuously; we just need to be poor in spirit.  Poverty of spirit makes room for his Spirit.  It creates a God-shaped hole in our hearts and offers us a new way to relate to others.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • No Regrets: Pray for the final week of planning and preparation for this great men’s event.  Pray for 150 guys or more to attend the event here at Woodlands.  Pray that God would powerfully use the speakers to cast a fresh vision for our men  of authentic Biblical manhood and that men would leave encouraged and connected to other men in meaningful ways. 

  • Building Plans:  Thank you for praying for the building plans.  Much progress has been made. Pray for a pivotal meeting this Wednesday where many design decisions will be made.  Pray for God’s clear wisdom and direction

  • Global Outreach:  The Global Outreach ministry at Woodlands is exploring a number of new ministry ideas and initiatives, coming out of a planning meeting held last week.  There are several exciting possibilities.  Ask God to show us which ministries to pursue.

  • Parent’s Summit: We are a month away from The Parent’s Summit.  Pray that the number of churches around the country participating would  be finalized and for their planning and promotional strategies to be effective.  Ask God to be guiding the speakers as they prepare and think  through their messages.  Pray that parents would be resourced, equipped and encouraged in their parenting task.

  • Bible Engagement:  As we learn more about the power and authority of Scripture though our iBook series, pray that God would use the series to draw us into a greater engagement with the Bible. Pray that the people of Woodlands would increasingly rely on Scripture to guide and shape their lives rather than their feelings or direction from other sources.  Pray that we would increasingly become “people of one book”.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us He will answer our prayers when we pray the things that are His will. Biblical prayers are most assuredly His will.

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 1:15-19. This is from the ESV translation:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Rich and Rachel Hendrikson who are working in a suburb of Paris, France with a French multi-cultural church that has seen incredible growth in the last 6 years! Rich and Rachel work in the youth and children’s ministry with this church as well as with another organization called Teen Street. Pray that this couple would be filled with God’s spirit and they would find joy in their labor for Him. Pray they would find favor with unbelievers and their gospel witness would find success!

January 29, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

From Chapter 6: Learning to Be Helpless

A Wrong View of Maturity

We tell ourselves, “Strong Christians pray a lot.  If I were a stronger Christian, I’d pray more.”  Strong Christians do pray more, but they pray more because they realize how weak they are.  They don’t try to hide it from themselves.  Weakness is the channel that allows them to access grace. …

As we mature as Christians, we see more and more of our sinful natures, but at the same time we see more and more of Jesus.  As we see our weaknesses more clearly, we begin to grasp our need for more grace.

The following chart shows how this works in the Christian life.  The immature Christian on the left side has a small cross and a small view of her sin.  She has little need to pray.  The mature Christian on the right side has a large cross and a large view of her sin.  The result?  She prays more.

Diagram can be found on http://applyingthegospel.com

Diagram can be found on http://applyingthegospel.com

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • No Regrets: Pray for the final week of planning and preparation for this great men’s event.  Pray for 150 guys or more to attend the event here at Woodlands.  Pray that God would powerfully use the speakers to cast a fresh vision for our men  of authentic Biblical manhood and that men would leave encouraged and connected to other men in meaningful ways. 

  • Building Plans:  Thank you for praying for the building plans.  Much progress has been made. Pray for a pivotal meeting this Wednesday where many design decisions will be made.  Pray for God’s clear wisdom and direction

  • Global Outreach:  The Global Outreach ministry at Woodlands is exploring a number of new ministry ideas and initiatives, coming out of a planning meeting held last week.  There are several exciting possibilities.  Ask God to show us which ministries to pursue.

  • Parent’s Summit: We are a month away from The Parent’s Summit.  Pray that the number of churches around the country participating would  be finalized and for their planning and promotional strategies to be effective.  Ask God to be guiding the speakers as they prepare and think  through their messages.  Pray that parents would be resourced, equipped and encouraged in their parenting task.

  • Bible Engagement:  As we learn more about the power and authority of Scripture though our iBook series, pray that God would use the series to draw us into a greater engagement with the Bible. Pray that the people of Woodlands would increasingly rely on Scripture to guide and shape their lives rather than their feelings or direction from other sources.  Pray that we would increasingly become “people of one book”.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us He will answer our prayers when we pray the things that are His will. Biblical prayers are most assuredly His will.

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 1:15-19. This is from the ESV translation:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Jim and Kelly Saunter who are serving with Cru down in Texas. Jim and Kelly have overseen and directed nationally Cru’s Destino movement. In June, they will be transitioning to pioneering a new ministry to the deaf population. God has uniquely prepared, equipped and even placed them for this new ministry. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they transition out of director roles in Destino to pioneering roles in the ministry to the deaf population. Pray that God’s vision for this transition and new ministry would be clear and they would follow as He leads in obedience. Pray that they would have sweet times of looking back and remembering God’s faithfulness in their past as they close this chapter and look forward to His steadfast love to guide and keep them in the next.

January 28, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

From Chapter 6: Learning to Be Helpless

Little children are good at helplessness. It’s what they do best. But as adults, we soon forget how important helplessness is. I, for one, am allergic to helplessness. I don’t like it. I want a plan, an idea, or maybe a friend to listen to my problem. This how I instinctively approach everything because I am confident in my own abilities.

The gospel, God’s free gift of grace in Jesus, only works when we realize we don’t have it all together. The same is true for prayer. The very thing we are allergic to - our helplessness - is what makes prayer work. It works because we are helpless. We can’t do life on our own.

Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of help. We look at the inadequacy of our praying and give up, thinking something is wrong with us. God looks at the adequacy of his Son and delights in our sloppy, meandering prayers.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • No Regrets: Pray for the final week of planning and preparation for this great men’s event.  Pray for 150 guys or more to attend the event here at Woodlands.  Pray that God would powerfully use the speakers to cast a fresh vision for our men  of authentic Biblical manhood and that men would leave encouraged and connected to other men in meaningful ways. 

  • Building Plans:  Thank you for praying for the building plans.  Much progress has been made. Pray for a pivotal meeting this Wednesday where many design decisions will be made.  Pray for God’s clear wisdom and direction

  • Global Outreach:  The Global Outreach ministry at Woodlands is exploring a number of new ministry ideas and initiatives, coming out of a planning meeting held last week.  There are several exciting possibilities.  Ask God to show us which ministries to pursue.

  • Parent’s Summit: We are a month away from The Parent’s Summit.  Pray that the number of churches around the country participating would  be finalized and for their planning and promotional strategies to be effective.  Ask God to be guiding the speakers as they prepare and think  through their messages.  Pray that parents would be resourced, equipped and encouraged in their parenting task.

  • Bible Engagement:  As we learn more about the power and authority of Scripture though our iBook series, pray that God would use the series to draw us into a greater engagement with the Bible. Pray that the people of Woodlands would increasingly rely on Scripture to guide and shape their lives rather than their feelings or direction from other sources.  Pray that we would increasingly become “people of one book”.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us He will answer our prayers when we pray the things that are His will. Biblical prayers are most assuredly His will.

The verse for this week is from Ephesians 1:15-19. This is from the ESV translation:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for our India team. This team is under constant persecution. Pray for joy in the midst of the suffering, kindness in the midst of slander, and peace that passes understanding. Pray for success in their gospel witness with a supernatural power to accompany them!

January 25, 2019: Woodlands in Prayer

Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!

Woodlands in Prayer Website.png

Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer. 
Below, you will find the following:

  • an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,

  • 3-5 key prayer requests for each week,

  • a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,

  • and a new missionary family each day to support. 

Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!


INSPIRATION:

Quotes are from “A Praying Life” written by Paul E. Miller.   We will still be in “Part 1: Learning to Pray Like a Child” this week.

From Chapter 5:  Spending Time With Your Father

7 Simple Suggestions

Here are seven simple strategies for how you can spend time with your Father in the morning:

·       Get to bed. What you do in the evening will shape your morning.  The Hebrew notion of a day as the evening and morning (see Genesis 1) help you plan for prayer.  If you want to pray in the morning, then plan your evening so you don’t stay up too late.  The evening and the morning are connected.

·       Get up.  Praying in bed is wonderful.  In fact, the more you pray out of bed, the more you’ll pray in bed.  Some of my richest prayer times area at night.  I’ll wake up praying.  But those prayer times only began to emerge because I got out of bed to pray.

·       Get awake.  Maybe you need to make a pot of coffee first or take a shower.

·       Get a quiet place.  Maybe a room, a chair, or a place with a view.  Or maybe you do better going for a walk.  Make sure that no one can interrupt you.

·       Get comfortable.  Don’t feel like you have to pray on y our knees.  For years I was hindered from praying because I found it so uncomfortable to pray on my knees.

·       Get going.  Start with just five minutes.  Start with a small goal that you can attain rather than something heroic.  You’ll quickly find that the time will fly.

·       Keep going.  Consistency is more important than length.  If you pray five minutes every day, then the length of time will slowly grow.  You’ll look up and discover that twenty minutes have gone by.  You’ll enjoy being with God.  Jesus is so concerned about hanging in there with prayer that he tells “his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1, NIV). 

Regardless of how or when you pray, if you give God the space, he will touch your soul.  God knows you are exhausted, but at the same time he longs to be a part of your life.  A feast awaits.

WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:

Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community.  This week, pray for the following five prompts:

  • Aroma Café:  Pray for our women’s ministry team as they prepare for one of their biggest events of the year on January 26th (this coming Saturday!).  Pray that all the details would come together well, that many women would come, and that the program would deeply minister to women’s needs.

  • University Students:  Please pray for our UWSP students who return to class this week.  Pray that many on the campus would hear the gospel this semester and come to faith.  Pray for the ministry of Cru and InterVarsity - that students would get connected and involved with these two great ministries and their faith would grow and be deepened. Pray for wisdom for the leaders to plan and carry out effective ministry.

  • No Regrets: Pray for the final two weeks of planning and preparation for this great men’s event.  Pray for 150 guys or more to attend the event here at Woodlands.  Pray that God would powerfully use the speakers to cast a fresh vision for our men  of authentic Biblical manhood and that men would leave encouraged and connected to other men in meaningful ways. 

  • Building Plans: Our audio-visual company is in the final 10 days of completing their plans and recommendations for the new Worship Center.  Pray for guidance and clarity.  Pray also for the layout of various critical elements in the design of the lobby space and how to best structure and organize that space.

  • Families in Need:  There are many families in our church who are facing significant challenges.  There are many difficult health challenges, financial challenges and relational challenges.  Pray for God’s strength to get them through, God’s wisdom to guide these families and for God’s grace to provide solutions and healing and wholeness as needed.  Pray for marriages to be strengthened and children to fully follow Jesus.

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:

Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us He will answer our prayers when we pray the things that are His will. Biblical prayers are most assuredly His will.

The new verse for this week is: Philippians 1:9-11. This is from the  NASB translation.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:

Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary for whom to be praying.  Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry.  If you are interested in learning more about any specific missionaries, please contact Whitney Swenson. 

Please pray for Gordon and Sara Williams. Gordon is closing in on the end of his sabbatical from the Seed Company (a Wycliffe Translators branch). Praise the Lord for this time Gordon was afforded to be renewed and refreshed in the Lord. Pray for wisdom on how to spend the last few weeks of this time, for the Lord to give vision and passion for what lies ahead for Gordon and Sara.

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190 Hoover Ave, Plover Wi 54467 (715-341-0800)