The most valuable thing I do in my week

To my friends

I have an interesting job in the North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills, MN.  This is a church that has 8000 members, two campuses and about 12 different services every Sunday.

One of the functions at most of the services is provided by a team of people we call altar ministers. These are volunteers who have been through a training program and who are willing to come to the front of the auditorium after the service and offer to pray with anyone who wants to come up for prayer.

We usually work in teams of two altar ministers, the official title of the job. We will listen to and then pray for and with the person who comes up for prayer.

I was introduced to the job of being an alter minister by a friend who was an altar minister and he asked me to come up with him and see what it was like to be an altar minister. When I watched Carl Brostrum pray with people I decided I would attempt to take the training and join the team of altar ministers. That was in 1990 so I have had a unique opportunity to witness the remarkable power of prayer.

I can truthfully say that the fifteen minutes more or less in that job has become the most valuable thing I do in my week.

It is no longer a surprise to me when some kind stranger will approach me and say, “Do you remember praying with me?”

Usually I will answer, no. I can honestly say I do not remember because my goal is to forget the time I spend at the altar rail BECAUSE IT IS REALLY NOT ANY OF MY BUSINESS, I am just a simple connector between the person who needs the prayer and the Holy Spirit. I just happen to be there. I cannot claim any of the remarkable things done to and for the person who comes to ask for prayer.

Then that person will tell me about the unusual and remarkable things that have happened after they came and prayed to the Lord.

Since I have seen so many wonderful things I believe I am able to tell you some of the things we have learned about the remarkable power of prayer.

We must learn that the power is in the word. I mean the word of God in the Bible

Examples: The Bible has two sections called the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament begins with 4 books called the gospels written by 4 different authors. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,

John Chapter 1 verse 1 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

This says to me that Jesus is the one who came and His word is the tool we can use. The scripture goes on to say the word of God is sharper than any two edge sword.

When Christians pray, the more times they can use God’s own words in their prayer the more powerful the prayer.

The bottom line is that prayer changes things and usually it is the change happens to the one who is praying.

Because the answer is always found in God’s word many of us need a list of places to find the answers

This is a simple list I often give to the people who come up for prayer.

How to use the Bible

When in sorrow read John 14

When men fail you Psalm 27

When you have sinned Psalm 51

When you worry, Matthew 6: 19 to 34

When you are in danger Psalm 91

When you have the Blues Psalm 34

When god seems far away Psalm 139

If you are discouraged Isaiah Chapter 40

If you are lonely and fearful Psalm 23

If you feel down and out read Romans 8:39

When you want courage for your task Joshua 1:9

When the world or your problems seem bigger than

God, all you need to do is go to Psalm 90.

When you want rest and peace Matthew 11: 25 to 30

When leaving home for Labor or Travel Psalm 121: 21 to 31

If you get bitter or critical 1 Corinthians Chapter 13

If thinking of investments or returns Mark 10: 17 to 31

For a great invitation and great opportunity Isaiah 55

When your kids leave home read them the 12th Chapter of Romans

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