A successful businessman needed several millions dollars to clinch an important deal, and he was having a hard time obtaining a loan, so he went to church to pray for the money. By chance, he knelt next to a man who was praying for $100 to pay an urgent debt.

Overhearing the man who needed $100, the businessman took out his wallet and pressed $100 into the other man’s hand. Overjoyed, the man got up and left the church.

The businessman then closed his eyes and prayed, “OK, Lord, now that I have your undivided attention…”

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Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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Gordon MacDonald, in his book Ordering Your Private World, writes these words: “We live in a society that is reasonably organized. Put a letter in the box, and it usually ends up where you want it to go. Order an item from a catalog, and it usually comes to you in the right size, color and model. Ask someone to provide you a service, and it is reasonable to expect that it will work out that way. In other words, we are used to results in response to our arrangements. That is why prayer can be discouraging for some of us. How can we predict the result? We are tempted to abandon prayer as a viable exercise and try getting the results ourselves.

“But the fact is that my prayer life cannot be directly tied to the results I expect or demand. I have had many opportunities by now to see the things I want God to do in response to my prayers can be unhealthy for me. I have begun to see that worship and intercession are far more the business of aligning myself with God’s purposes than asking Him to align with mine.

Henri Nouwen says it best when he writes: “Prayer is a radical conversion of all our mental processes because in prayer we move away from ourselves, our worries, preoccupations and self-gratification—and direct all that we recognize as ours to God in the simple trust that through His love all will be made new.”

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About The Author

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Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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As a group of amateur climbers scaled part of the Matterhorn near Zermatt, Switzerland, a vicious gust of wind came along at a narrow ledge. The guide quickly shouted, “Get down on your knees! You are safe only on your knees!” That’s good advice for all of us: The ledges of life are narrow, and the winds are strong. Only on our knees, seeking God relentlessly in our prayers, can we find safety and security. (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 9-15-06)

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About The Author

Michael_Duduit-400x400

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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Dennis the Menace is often depicted kneeling by his bed and wording interesting prayers. In a recent comic strip, he prays, “In case the reception was bad during the storm last night, I’ll do a recap of my prayers.” While there may well be many hindrances to prayer, we can be assured there is no reception problem.

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About The Author

Michael_Duduit-400x400

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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One young girl knew the power of specific prayer when she faced death head-on. In the midst of her sickness, she went to her pastor and asked what more she could do for Jesus in the short time she had to live. He suggested that she make a list of people in their small town who needed Christ, and pray that they would find salvation. She took his advice and prayed often for each person. Some time later, God began to stir a revival in the village. Only after the girl died, was her prayer list with the names of 56 people found under her pillow. All had put their faith in Christ — the last one on the night before her death.

Such is the power of definite, specific, fervent prayer. When we actively seek the Lord in prayer, He will answer. Hebrews 5:16 reminds us, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Do not doubt the power of prayer in your life; it is truly a great adventure with God that is meant to bring you closer to Him. (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 2/17/04)

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About The Author

Michael_Duduit-400x400

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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In his book Falling in Love with Prayer (NexGen), Mike MacIntosh writes: “When I was a teenager I wanted so much to be accepted by my peers, and I decided that a foul mouth was a way to act like a man. I noticed that most men swore and told dirty stories. So by the time I was 20 years old, I had developed an extensive vocabulary of swear words. There were not many filthy stories I didn’t know either, and those I knew I repeated as often as possible. If there had been an Environmental Protection Agency in those days, I am sure my mouth would have been quarantined for the safety of society.

“In the spring of 1970, I had just accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Right from the start, I knew that daily prayer and Bible reading were imperative for me. One morning as I was praying and having my devotions, I suddenly felt as if a lightning bolt had hit me in the center of my mind. I realized I had gone seven days without saying a swear word or telling a dirty story or thinking of anything filthy. It had only been a week since I dedicated myself to Jesus, but my prayers and the purifying work of the Holy Spirit had already made a dramatic changed in my life. From that day until this one, the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed my mind and mouth. I found it refreshing to know that I am growing in the Lord. Gentleness replaced anger and wrath. Joy and peace dispelled the party spirit. Self-control took away the drunkenness and drugs. 

“Just as we can look at our past failures and wrongs and see them in the light of God’s love and grace in our spiritual lives, so we must see growth in our prayer lives. We must grow beyond rote and repetitive prayers such as “Now I lay me down to sleep” and “Bless this food.” Our prayer life should become ever richer, fuller and more joyful as we learn to talk with our heavenly Father.

“You don’t need a prayer monitor to watch over your growth. Just take my challenge and listen to your own prayers, and you will see that you are growing in prayer. The more your prayers turn from self to others, the more you can count on spiritual growth. As God removes issue after issue from your life, you will see that you are praising God more than begging God. You will grow in prayer; and as you do, your spirit will grow along with your relationship with God. 

“My point is this: One of the best ways to develop your prayer life is to be attentive to the changes and growth that are occurring in your life as a result of prayer. The more you grow, the more you will want to pray.” (Click here to learn more about the book Falling in Love with Prayer.)

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About The Author

Michael_Duduit-400x400

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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