Books

Written by: Wendy Minton Edwards, Spiritual Formation Coach

Office of Prayer for Evangelization & Spiritual Awakening
Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
 
June 2008
 
SpiritLines
THE PRACTICE OF PRAYER, Part 3
IN THIS ISSUE
Biblical Teachings
The Writers Speak
Prayer Resources
Prayer Helps
Book Review
Upcoming Events
Formation Thought to Ponder
Join Our Mailing List
QUICK LINKS
 
RESOURCES
 
Inviting God's Presence DVD and Listening Guide

Books

____________________
 
Transformed by God's Spirit DVD
 
 
Cost: $5
____________________
 
Ordering Information:
Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513,
dbagwell@ncbaptist.org

Greetings! 

    There is much conversation about prayer these days. More congregations are studying prayer (and hopfully engaging prayer) and increasing number of resources are being published to assist individuals and congregations in their desire to develop more effective prayer lives. One of the most often repeated requests I hear these days are for suggestions for books and/or resources about prayer. This is indeed good news and I rejoice in it.
     Numerous prayer writers speak about various ways, types, patterns, or postures for prayer. There is usually a good bit of overlap as well as some minor variation among the writers regarding the variety of prayer possibilities. One of my favorite ways of describing prayer is the use of the word cycle. In an excellent resource for spiritual formation entitled Forming Faith in a Hurricane: A Spiritual Primer for Daily Living, author N. Graham Standish outlines four cycles of prayer that make for a well-balanced prayer life. All of the cycles are biblical, good and needed, and none should be omitted from our regular practice of prayer. Yet it is unhealthy for us to become fixed and live our entire prayer lives in any one phase of the cycle. These cycles, outlined by Standish, include the Thinking, Speaking, Listening, and Loving Presence cycles. Examples of their biblical basis are provided.
     In the Thinking cycle (Matt. 6:5-6) we think about God and acknowledge God as creator and sustainer of the universe. We praise God for His creative ability and for the beauty of the earth. It is vital for us to think about God, but only thinking about God often leaves our relationship distant. Sometimes church members become stuck in this cycle. We go to church, participate in church activities, live moral lives, and maybe even serve on church committees. But we think that we'll only experience God when we get to heaven. Sometimes clergy also become stuck here. We think and study about God so much while preparing for teaching and preaching that thinking, reasoning, and ministry activity often become our only prayer experiences.
     In the Speaking cycle (Matt. 7:7-11, Luke 11:5b) we not only think about God, but we also ask God to become a force in our lives. We come to understand that God cares about our daily lives, our hopes and dreams, and our concerns and worries. This is an important aspect of prayer. We must come to the realization that we need God. We cannot fix all that is wrong in our lives; we cannot right every wrong. We need God and the sooner we realize and accept that the better off we will be. Unfortunately many of us remain faithful in prayer only when God does as we ask and gives us what we want. It is tempting to lose heart when we do not see our prayers answered in the ways we had hoped. A problem develops if our prayer experience ends here. We must move toward the next cycle to fully realize God's activity.
     In the Listening cycle (I Kings 19:11-13) we yearn for God to be an intimate part of our lives and willingly open our lives to God. In this cycle we not only ask God to intervene in our lives, we open our hearts and avail ourselves to God's transforming presence. We seek God's wisdom, not just immediate knowledge. We spend time with God, listening for His still, small voice. We read Holy Scripture for formation, not just for information. We engage spiritual practices for the purpose of allowing God to work within us. While this cycle is vital for the spiritual life, we must guard against becoming overly rigid in our listening and demanding that God speak to us in only limited times and ways. Throughout the history of humankind, God has spoken when and how God chose to speak, not according to the dictates of humans.
     In the Loving Presence cycle (Psalm 104:31-35) we move beyond thinking, speaking, and listening and immerse ourselves in God's loving presence. We live with God moment by moment in our hearts. This is best compared to the times we spend with our spouse when we simply delight in just being together, times when we are not asking of one another, talking endlessly, or instructing. We simply adore one another. It might be compared to the times when a small grandchild crawls up in your lap and just sits there, asking for nothing. Some have termed this cycle "practicing the presence of God" because here we look for God's presence in all of life and we long to know and feel God's presence with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. While this is a wonderful way to delight in God, in this cycle we must guard against the tendency to confuse our thoughts with God's thoughts. It's tempting to feel so close to God that we unintentionally answer for God, much like we sometimes do for our spouse.
     Mature prayer engages all of these cycles and guards against becoming stuck in any one phase.
     I hope you are engaging the fullness of prayer and enjoying the riches of life with God!
 
Warmest Regards,
Wendy
BIBLICAL TEACHING REGARDING PRAYER
 
"Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, 'In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, "Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.' And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?'" (Luke 18:1-8 NRSV)
 
"He said to them, 'It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a den of robbers." (Matt. 21:13 NRSV)
 
"...so that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his children." (Ezra 6:10 NRSV)
 
"So Moses cried out to the LORD, 'What shall I do with this people?'" (Exodus 17:4 NRSV)
 
"Then I turned to the Lord God, to seek an answer by prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession." (Daniel 9:3 NRSV)
 
"Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously." (Daniel 6:10 NRSV)
 
"And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight" (Phil. 1:9 NRSV)
 
"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:14 NRSV)
 
"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 'Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:5-15 NRSV)
 
"Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God." (Luke 6:12 NRSV)
 
"Speak, for thy servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:10 NASV)
 
"Therefore I want the men in everyplace to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension." (I Tim. 2:8 NASV)
 
"Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. " (Matt. 7:7 NASV)
 
"Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance." (I Sam. 2:1 NIV)
 
"And when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel-each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple" (I Kings 8:38 NIV)
 
 "At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command." (I Kings 18:36 NIV)

 "The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him." (Proverbs 15:8 NIV)
 
"O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer." (Psalm 109:1-4 NIV)
 
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him." (I John 5:14-15 NIV)
 
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:13-14 NIV)
 
"... I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:23-24 NIV)
 
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone..." (I Tim. 2:1 NIV)
 
"The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God..." (Judges 20:18 NIV)
 
"...Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." (I Peter 4:7 NIV)
 
*Bolded texts are additional passages added to the list that appeared in last month's SpiritLines.
BooksTHE WRITERS SPEAK 
 
"Power in petition of God depends on depth of relationship with God."
The PAPA Prayer: The Prayer You've Never Prayed. Larry Crabb. Nashville: Integrity Publishers, 2006, p. 10.
 
There is a "difference between calling on God to get our way and calling on God to find his way."
Prayer 101: Learning to Talk with God. Don M. Aycock. St. Louis, MI: Chalice Press, 2006, p. 76.
 
"Show me how you pray and you show me how much intimacy you want with God."
A Taste of Silence: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Centering Prayer. Carl Arico. New York: Continuum Publishing Company, 2003, p. 125.
 
"To pray is to change.  Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us."
The Contemporaries Meet the Classics on Prayer. Leonard Allen, Compiler. West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard Publishing Company, 2003, p. 16.
 
"Spiritual awakening is born out of a new passion for prayer and is maintained through fervent commitment to God in prayer."
The Power of Praying Together: Experiencing Christ Actively in Charge. Oliver W. Price. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1999, p. 49.
 
"Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.
Source Anonymous.  Quoted in Living the God Life: Finding God's Extraordinary Love in Your Ordinary Life. John Ortberg. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Inspirio, the gift group of Zondervan Publishers, 2004, 110.
 
"It can therefore be said that the aim of mental prayer is to awaken the Holy Spirit within us, and to bring our hearts into harmony with His voice, so that we allow the Holy Spirit to speak and pray within us, and come, as far as possible, conscious of His prayer in our hearts."
Spiritual Direction & Meditation. Thomas Merton. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1960, p. 88.
 
"The most important starting point for prayer is yielding: laying down our defenses, taking off masks, recognizing that God has already called us and is already waiting for us to come to Him. Yielding is putting aside our self-importance, our cares and schedules and undertakings, in order, very simply, to be with God."
Clinging: The Experience of Prayer. Emilie Griffin. New York, NY: McCracken Press, 1994, 18.
 
"God does not listen to lips, he listens to hearts, to the steadfast will, to the intent."
Call to the Center: The Gospel's Invitation to Deeper Prayer. M. Basil Pennington. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 1995, p. 111.
 
"To learn prayer one must go to the depths of the soul, and climb to the heights of God."
A.C. Dixon as quoted in Thy Will Be Done: Teach Us to Pray. E. M. Bounds. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2000, p. 62.
 
"When at last we come to him with our concerns, we take the first small step toward what he wants most: communion."
The Contemporaries Meet the Classics on Prayer. Leonard Allen, Compiler. West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard Publishing Company, 2003, p. 276.
 
"Prayer is getting more of God rather than getting more from God."
The PAPA Prayer: The Prayer You've Never Prayed. Larry Crabb. Nashville: Integrity Publishers, 2006, p. 71.
 
"Prayer is what happens when we run out of words."
Praying the Hours. Suzanne Gutherie. Boston, MA: Cowley Publications, 2000, 6.
PRAYER RESOURCES
Listing is for informational purposes only. This is not an exhaustive or recommended list.
  • Allen, Leonard. Compiler, The Contemporaries Meet the Classics on Prayer. West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Arico, Carl. A Taste of Silence: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Centering Prayer. New York: Continuum Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Aycock, Don M. Prayer 101: Learning to Talk with God. St. Louis, MI: Chalice Press, 2006.
  • Bounds, E. M. Thy Will Be Done: Teach Us to Pray. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2000. 
  • Casey, Michael. Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer. Liguori, MS: Triumph Books. 1995.
  • _______. Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. Liguori, MS: Triumph Books. 1995.
  • Crabb, Larry. The PAPA Prayer: The Prayer You've Never Prayed. Nashville: Integrity Publishers, 2006.
  • DelBene, Ron. The Breath of Life: A Simple Way to Pray. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1992.
  • Doney, Meryl. The Art of Prayer: A Pathway to Spiritual Growth. Nashville: Dimensions for Living, Lion Publishing, 1999.
  • Foster, Richard J. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. New York: Harper & Row, 1978, 1988.
  • _______. Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992.
  • ______. Prayers From the Heart. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994.
  • Fowke, Ruth. Finding Your Prayer Personality. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.
  • Griffin, Emilie. Doors Into Prayer: An Invitation. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2001.
  • _______. Clinging: The Experience of Prayer. New York, NY: McCracken Press, 1994.
  • Harris, Jan. Quiet in His Presence: Experiencing God's Love through Silent Prayer. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker  Books, 2003.
  • Henderson, Daniel with Margaret Saylar. Fresh Encounters: Experiencing Transformation Through United Worship-Based Prayer. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2004.
  • Hermes, Kathryn J.  Beginning Contemplative Prayer. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Charis Books, Servant Publications, 2001.
  • Howell, James. The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray: 31 Lessons. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.
  • Hybels, Bill. Too Busy Not To Pray: Slowing Down to be With God.  Downers Grove: IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998.
  • Johnson, Bill Campbell. Calming the Restless Spirit: A Journey toward God. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1997. 
  • Johnson, Jan. When The Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer. Colorado Springs, Colorado:  Navpress, 1999.
  • _______. Prayer & Listening: Spiritual Disciplines Bible Studies. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.
  • Jones, Timothy. The Art of Prayer: A Simple Guide. New York: Ballantine Books, Random House, 1997.
  • _______. Awake My Soul: Practical Spirituality for Busy People.  NY: Doubleday Books, Random House, 2000.
  • _______. Prayer's Apprentice: A Year With The Great Spiritual Mentors. Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000.
  • Leech, Kenneth. True Prayer: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980.
  • Merton, Thomas. Spiritual Direction & Meditation. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1960.
  • Miller, Wendy. Invitation to Presence: A Guide to Spiritual Disciplines. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1995.
  • Mulholland, M. Robert, Jr. Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1985.
  • _______. Praying Like Jesus: The Lord's Prayer in a Culture of Prosperity. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.
  • Nappa, Mike and Amy. 52 Fun Family Prayer Adventures: Creative Ways to Pray Together. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1996.
  • Nouwen, Henri J. M. With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life. New York: Ave Maria Press, 1972.
  • _______. The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, Wendy Wilson Greer, editor. NY: Crossroad Publishing, 1999.
  • Palmer, Earl F. Prayer Between Friends: Cultivating Our Friendship with God.  Tarrytown, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1991.
  • Pennington, M. Basil. Call to the Center: The Gospel's Invitation to Deeper Prayer. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 1995.
  • Price, Oliver W. The Power of Praying Together: Experiencing Christ Actively in Charge. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1999.
  • Redmond, Joanne. Emeryville, CA: Marlowe & Company, An Imprint of Avalon Publishing, 2004.
  • Rhodes, Tricia Mc Cary. The Soul at Rest: A Journey into Contemplative Prayer. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1996.
    _______. Intimate Intercession: The Sacred Joy of Praying for Others. Nashville: W. Publishing Group, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005.
  • Shoemaker, H. Stephen. Finding Jesus in His Prayers. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.
  • Tenny-Brittian, William. Prayer for People Who Can't Sit Still. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2005.
  • Thompson, Marjorie J. Soul Feast: An Introduction to the Christian Spiritual Life. Louisville, KY:  Westminster/John Knox Press, 1995.
  • Teykl, Terry. Making Room to Pray: How to Start and Maintain a Prayer Room in Your Church. Muncie, MN: Prayer Point Press, 1993.
  • Vennard, Jane E. Praying for Friends and Enemies. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2001.
  • _______. A Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice. Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2005.
  • Vest, Norvene. Gathered In The Word: Praying the Scripture in Small Groups. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1996.
  • Wolpert, Daniel. Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices, Nashville: Upper Room Publishing, 2003.

*Bolded listings are additional resources added to the list that appeared in last month's SpiritLines.

PRAYER HELPS
Sometimes prayer requests do not need to be verbally shared and then lifted in prayer. They may be offered to the Father within prayer. Encouraging people to participate in community prayer helps more people to feel and indeed be a part of the prayer experience and not simply expect others to pray on his/her behalf. The following prayer patterns demonstrate some of the many ways people can join together in community to pray for specific concerns. But don't limit yourself to these examples. Freedom and creativity in prayer is refreshing and renewing. You will need to explain that you will pause for everyone to share specific prayer needs (names, words, etc., not sentences) if your community is not accustomed to praying in this manner.

Together, let us pray for
The people of this congregation...(Pause for people to share specific names of folks for whom they wish to pray.)
  • Those who suffer and those in trouble... (Pause for sharing.)
  • The concerns of this local community... (Pause for sharing.)
  • The world, its people, and its leaders... (Pause for sharing.)
  • The Church universal - its leaders, its members, and its mission...(Pause for sharing.)
  • The (families) communion of saints... (you may add the names of those who 'died in the Lord' (Rom. 14:7-8).
  • The Lord's Prayer is now prayed in unison.
  • (Italics are mine.) 

    Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God.Patricia D. Brown. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2003, 94. 

    Intercessory Prayer

    God of all time, of all choices, and of all changes, meet us now in this time that we have set apart to speak our prayers to you. Open our hearts to your word even as we seek your heart for our words.

    • We pray for those who live each day without the knowledge of your love and care. (Pause for sharing.) 
    • We pray for those who earnestly seek a life that is worthy of your calling. (Pause for sharing.)
    • We pray for children, young people, and adults who struggle to live faithfully. (Pause for sharing.)
    • We pray for those who search for change and must convince others of its importance. (Pause for sharing.)
    • We pray even for ourselves, knowing that you desire our prayers. (Pause for sharing.)

    God of all our lives, stay with us. Watch over us. Make your presence known to us and grant us peace.
    In Jesus' name. Amen.

    Source: Anonymous 

    Together, Let Us Pray...

    Together, let us pray...
    For all those who do not yet know your love... (Pause for sharing.)
    For all those who suffer with physical ailments... (Pause for sharing.)
    For all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones... (Pause for sharing.)
    For all those who are lonely, sad, or feel hopeless... (Pause for sharing.)

    Together, let us pray...
    For all those who faithfully share the Good News... (Pause for sharing.)
    For all those who guide the ministry of this congregation... (Pause for sharing.)
    For all those who proclaim the Gospel in word or deed... (Pause for sharing.)
    For all your work around the world... (Pause for sharing.)

    Together, let us pray...
    For clear discernment of your holy will... (Pause for sharing.)
    For understanding of your holy mission... (Pause for sharing.)
    For greater compassion and care... (Pause for sharing.)
    For increased faithfulness to our calling... (Pause for sharing.)

    Together, this we pray.
    Amen.

    Wendy Minton Edwards

    BOOK REVIEW
    CREATING A LIFE WITH GOD: THE CALL OF ANCIENT PRAYER PRACTICES
     
    Author: Daniel Wolpert
     
    Nashville, TN: Upper Room Publishers, 2003. 192 pages  
     
    Category: Prayer       
     
     
     
     
         The "ability to listen for God is the skill at the heart of the practice of prayer," says author Daniel Wolpert in Creating a Life With God. Wolpert believes that learning to listen for the voice and leading of God is one of the greatest challenges for most Christians. His recent book, Creating a Life With God, is his attempt to help spiritual seekers learn some simple and practical means for hearing God. In his attempt to do that, he looks back into history and utilizes several ancient patterns of prayer. He states, "every one of the practices in this book has been prayed in some form since people first began to search for God."     
     
         Creating a Life With God can be categorized into four distinct sections. The first section includes two prayer patterns which are fundamental to all the others, that of listening through silence and solitude and Lectio Divina. In the next section, Wolpert introduces five prayer practices that are "mental" in nature: the Jesus Prayer, silent contemplative prayer, the examen, creativity, and journaling. Thirdly, Wolpert focuses on two forms of prayer that involve the use of the body. Finally, the last section attempts to help the reader look beyond himself/herself and to incorporate the world and his/her very life into the prayer experience. That can be accomplished through nature, our livelihood, and our communities. Wolpert presents each of the prayer patterns in a simple and easy to read and understand format. He draws on the wisdom of ancient saints and pilgrims. Perhaps one of the book's best benefits is a brief outline in the Appendix of each of the prayer patterns discussed. This would be a tremendous help for any small prayer group leader.     
     
         Wolpert concludes this excellent work by stating, "A life with God is a life in which the rhythms of silence and listening alternate with the rhythms of sharing and service. By praying with every part of who we are, we allow the grace that pours from the well of living water to trickle through all the aspects of our being, nourishing and hydrating that which was parched and dis-eased."     
     
         A great introduction to several long-standing prayer practices.   
    OFFICE OF PRAYER UPCOMING EVENTS
     
    Western Pastor and Staff Prayer Retreat
    August 25-26, 2008
    Ridgecrest Conference Center, Asheville, NC
    Roy Fish, John Franklin and J. Chris Schofield. 
    For more info: Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513, 800.395.5102 x5513, www.PrayNC.org 
    Women's Prayer Evangelism Conference
    September 12-13, 2008
    Ridgecrest Conference Center, near Asheville, NC
    Join Vickie Courtney, Babbie Mason, Esther Burroughs and many more to experience the joy of prayer and sharing your faith.
    For more info: Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513, 800.395.5102 x5513,
    www.PrayNC.org
    Eastern Prayer Conference
    September 19-20, 2008
    Nags Head Church
    Join Richard Blackaby, Mike Cummings, John Franklin and J. Chris Schofield. 
    For more info: Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513, 800.395.5102 x5513, www.PrayNC.org
    Eastern Pastor and Staff Prayer Retreat
    September 22-23, 2008
    Fort Caswell, Wilmington, NC
    Roy Fish, Alvin Reid and J. Chris Schofield. 
    For more info: Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513, 800.395.5102 x5513, www.PrayNC.org 
    Extreme West Pastor and Staff Prayer Retreat
    October 17-18, 2008
    Truett Camp, Hayesville, NC
    John Franklin, Bob Lowman and J. Chris Schofield. 
    For more info: Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513, 800.395.5102 x5513, www.PrayNC.org 
    Central Pastor and Staff Prayer Retreat
    November 17-18, 2008
    Caraway Conference Center near Greensboro, NC
    Allan Blume, John Franklin and J. Chris Schofield. 
    For more info: Contact Devon Bagwell, 919.459.5513, 800.395.5102 x5513, www.PrayNC.org 
    UPCOMING EVENTS
    Listing is for informational purposes only. This is not an exhaustive or recommended list. 

    The Gathering: Pilgrimage: An Ancient Path of Transformation
    June 11-14, 2008

    Living Waters Catholic Reflection Center, Maggie Valley, N.C.
    Registration: $150 due May 13 Housing and meals fee: $150 due May 27
    Advent Spirituality Center, 828-689-8320
    http://www.adventcenter.org 
    adventcenter@verizon.net
    Read on about this retreat...

    Clergy Day: Fear and Worry in the Service of Christ - Is it an Intimacy Issue?
    June 12, 2008

    Fee: $30 (includes lunch) Deposit: $10 due May 31st
    The Anchorage, PO Box 9091, Greenville, SC 29604
    864-297-5308,
    www.theanchorage.org
    Leader: Mike Flanagan
    Five-Day Intensive Centering Prayer Retreat
    June 16-20, 2008
    St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, Stoneville, NC
    Retreat Leaders: Joan Ricci Hurst, Paul Supina
    The 5-Day Intensive Centering Prayer retreat is an in-depth experience into profound stillness and silence. 
    $385 for single occupancy. $100 deposit. Due by May 1st.
    For More Information: Contact Joan Ricci Hurst, 336-765-0865 or jrh9540@earthlink.net
    Becoming a Praying Congregation
    July 15-17, 2008
    Presenter: Jane Vennard
    The Alban Institute
    2121 Cooperative Way, Suite 100
    Herndon, VA 20171
    703-964-2700, 800-486-1318, Fax - 703-964-0370
    webmaster@alban.org
    Read on about this retreat...

    SoulFeast
    The Listening Heart: Wisdom for Living and Leading
    July 20-24, 2008

    Five Days of Rest, Renewal, and Creative Insight for Ministry.
    Lake Junaluska, NC
    Contact Lake Junaluska Retreat and Conference Center for or go to website for additional information.

    Baptism and Eucharist: Ancient Practices in a Time of Renewal
    July 28-30, 2008
    Summer Scholars Conference 2008
    Columbia Theological Seminary, PO Box 520, Decatur, GA 30031
    404-378-8821, www.ctsnet.edu

    3rd Bi-Annual Renovare, Covenant Retreat
    August 3-7, 2008

    Renovare
    Life with God: Celebrating Lifelong Discipleship

    October 2-4, 2008

    Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
    11612 Memorial Drive
    Houston, TX 
     
    Keynote Speakers:
    Dallas Willard, John Ortberg, Lauren Winner, Ron Sider, and Richard Foster
     
    www.renovare.org/lwgc.htm.

    Spiritual Leadership
    Oct. 23-26, 2008
    Montreat Conference Center
    Reflect on the framework for spiritual leadership.  
    Lifelong Learning Seminar
    Columbia Theological Seminary, PO Box 520, Decatur, GA 30031
    404-378-8821, www.ctsnet.edu
    Read on about this retreat...
    2008 North Carolina Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

    Oct. 26-31, 2008
    Trinity Center, Atlantic Beach, NC
    Topics and Faculty: Traditions of Christian Spirituality - Dr. Loyd Allen, Spiritual Friendship: History, Models, Experience - Margaret Guenther
    Contact Robin Harry at 919-832-9560, ext. 252, or email at rharry@nccumc.org
    Read on about this retreat...
    Making Room in the Inn (XI) An Advent Retreat
    December 13, 2008
    Retreat Leader: Catherine Skinner Powell
    The Anchorage, PO Box 9091, Greenville, SC 29604
    864-297-5308,
    www.theanchorage.org
    Fee: $15.00, Deposit: $10 due by Dec. 6
    FORMATION THOUGHT TO PONDER
     
    "You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless still, until they rest in you."  
     
    Augustine of Hippo as quoted in Active Spirituality: A Guide for Seekers and Ministers. Kent Ira Groff. Bethesda, MD: The Alban Institute, 1993, p. 2.  
     
    Holy God,
     
    I confess that I am undone. I am incomplete. I am totally lacking. My heart is heavy, yet it is not full. And my soul is plagued with discontent, restlessness, and a dull relentless ache. O God, I have discovered the source of my trouble. My need is for you and you alone. O God, as I gradually learn to yield to your Holy Spirit, I invite, yea, I beg you to dwell in fullness within me. I pray that you will take up residence within me and completely make yourself at home. Indeed, I pray that my heart will be a hospitable place and it will completely become filled with your holy presence. Yes Lord, you are all I need.  You are all I desire. I am complete and totally whole only through you. Amen.  
     
    How are you inviting God to fill the void in your heart? How is your congregation assisting you and other spiritual seekers to experience the fullness of God?  

    Wendy Minton Edwards

    Wendy Minton Edwards
    4684 Sheep Pasture Rd.
    Spring Hope, NC 27882
    1-877-459-1766
    wmedwards@touchnc.net

    Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening
    Baptist State Convention of NC
    PO Box 1107, Cary, NC 27511
    1.800.395.5102,
    www.PrayNC.org