Hebrews  4:13 (HCSB)
13  No creature is hidden from Him, but
all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an

Father, I praise You that You are the all-seeing God.  I praise You that You see everything we
do, and that You are with us at every moment.

Teach me to love what You love, and hate what You hate.

 Psalm 139:23-24 (HCSB)
23  Search me, God, and know
my heart; test me and know my concerns.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in
the everlasting way. 
Am I asking the Spirit to convict me of sin?

Do I have an accountability partner that can show me any sins gently and

 James 1:5-8 (HCSB)

5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives
to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. 
6  But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and
tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8  An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways. 

Teach me to listen to Your “still small voice,” as I seek Your guidance throughout
  the day.

I  am asking You for wisdom and trusting You to answer.

1.       Prayer is not a waste of time.

A church that believes in prayer, spends time in prayer.  Prayer matters. It is not a waste of time. 

Do you struggle with prayer because you are not fully aware of your utter dependence on God?  Does  Prayer often seem passive?  Prayer is a gift to the church.  Prayer is a discipline that enters the throne room with our brothers and sisters and petitions the King to act on our behalf.  

2.      Prayer should be about affirming one another.

Prayers should never individualistic when the church gathers to pray.  Praying out loud gives the congregation the ability to carefully listen and affirm the requests of the person praying.

The Pray-er: “Oh Father, we praise you for our salvation.”  Affirmation (Agreement): “Yes, Lord.”  “Amen.”

This allows for total church participation and allows the pray-er to feel like he is being held up by brothers and sisters in Christ, and carried to the throne room of God.

Trevin Wax states, “Praying together isn’t just taking turns. It’s affirming each other’s requests, so that what the other is saying is also being delivered as the cry of our own heart.”

3.      Prayer is for all Christ-followers

Prayer embodies the priesthood of all believers.  Are we not family?  Therefore, everyone can pray and everyone should pray, preferably out loud.  Prayer is not exclusive to leadership.  Remember, even the rocks would cry out if they could.

Luke 19:40 (HCSB)
40  He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!”

Are we not all granted equal access to the throne of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ?

 4.      Prayer should be of heart and mind.

Don’t worry about what you will say.  The best way to pray is by praying the Word.  Open up the Bible, read it, and pray it back to God.  It’s not about being theologically precise or super-spiritual, but real.  The more you immerse yourself in God’s truth, richly theological prayers pour forth from the heart spontaneously.

 5.      Prayer should teach us.

Prayer should teach us not to be self-centered but gospel-centered.  Pray more for the lost to enter heaven, than the saints to be kept out of heaven.  Prayer should preach the gospel.  Prayer should be bold and passionate to see the Spirit move among the nations.

10  ways parents can cause their children to lose heart 
Adapted from John MacArthur 

Overprotection—strict  rules about everything.  No  trust—parents must communicate to their children that they trust them.  Can lead to despair and rebellion. Rules and guidelines are good, but not as a noose.

Favoritism—Comparing a child unfavorably to siblings or other peers—black sheep of the family

Lack of Worth—Your not important, parents not listening—leads to kids becoming discouraged, shy, and withdrawn.
Unrealistic goals—Never rewarding them, Parent can never be pleased—leads to a sense of utter worthlessness
Affectionless—must communicate love both verbally and physically—lack of pushes child away.

Lack of Provision—Must provide for their needs.—privacy, a place to play, clean clothes, a place to study, their own
possessions, and good meals. 
Lack of standards—raise the bar. Discipline with consistency.  Children are not to raise themselves—this is too much freedom and can lead to insecurity and feeling unloved.

Criticism—A critical attitude belittles, condemns, creates distrust and destroys—a  positive, constructive attitude builds

Neglect—You can’t be indifferent.  Be God-fearing, responsible, and involved.

Excessive discipline—abuses either verbally, emotionally, or physically.  Are you saying things to your kids you wouldn’t sat to anybody else? Anger or lovingly correction?

Forgiveness is not for our personal freedom and happiness alone.  It's to bring freedom and restoration to all, especially to those who owe  us. It's to bring the mercy of God among us frail humans, waiting for redemption in a broken world. 
Biblical forgiveness releases us from our own anger and hurt.  Biblical forgiveness also releases us to bring the mercy we received from God out into the world to others. Forgiveness does simplify: the more forgiving we become, the less offense we take from others. Forgiveness does liberate: it opens our hearts rather than closes them to the suffering of others. Forgiveness does empower: it enables us to heal families and break generational sins.  Adapted from http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/may/forgiving-sins-of-my-father.html

Ephesians 4:32 (HCSB)

32  And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Thom Rainer states the following:
I am continuing to study those churches that were in doldrums, decline, and despair that are now making an exciting gospel impact. What did God do in those churches to guide the turnaround? What can we learn from them? Are there common elements in revitalized churches?
One factor I can share with you at this point is simple but profound. In each of those churches, a group of leaders began to dream again. They began to dream about what God could do through them. They began to see God’s possibilities for impacting the community. They asked God how they could be a part of His dream and His vision for a revitalized church. They stopped looking at their own limitations and began to see God’s possibilities.

My prayer is that we would be a place where godly people are dreaming big dreams, because we are following a big God who wants to use us in proclaiming the gospel to the nations.  God’s dream for MHBC begins right here in our own community. 

·         How does God want to use you to reach this community? 

·         What active part are YOU taking in being used of God to revitalize MHBC?

·         Are you looking at your own limitations or the possibilities of an ALL powerful God?