Prayer Tip #56: The Infinite-Personal God

[From Lauris Shepherd, one of our Elders]

We tend to have “bi-polar” responses to the infinite-personal God. On one hand we feel we are too insignificant and our needs too puny for an infinite God to bother Himself with our cares. On the other hand, a personal God who knows my thoughts and the words I’m going to say even before I say them is scary. We don’t like a God who is so close and knows us so well and a Deity we can’t control. We’re much more comfortable with a god we can invite into our daily living as we choose and yet retain ‘veto power’ on the surrender part.

No wonder Jesus said we are to become like little children. A child is undaunted by those things when approaching a loving parent. He blurts out what he’s thinking and what he wants just as he is, believing his parent can and will do what is best.

Ps. 139:4-6 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. 5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Don’t over-spiritualize. You can be real with God. “When we stop being ourselves with God, we are no longer in real conversation with God.” Miller

Prayer is a balance of freely, yet humbly, expressing our desires (being real) in an attitude of surrender (wanting what God wants, confident we can fully trust Him).


For more information on the GBC Prayer Team, visit begrace.org/ministries/prayer-team.
For more information on GBC, visit begrace.org.

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Preparing Our Hearts for Worship, 04-29-2012

This Week’s Songs of Worship:

Each week, we like to give the members of Grace a chance to learn the songs we will be singing on Sunday. Please use these lists as a way to ready your heart and mind, to come willing and able to worship our God in spirit and truth.

  1. All Creatures – David Crowder version [Listen]
  2. How Great Thou Art – Traditional
    We’re doing it soft, but Aaron Ivey has a great rock version: listen.
  3. Rock of Ages – Original arrangement / James Ward melody [Listen]
  4. Lord I Need You – Passion Band [Listen]
  5. Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin [Listen]


For more information on Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

Prayer Tip #55: Desperately Needy People

[From Lauris Shepherd, one of our Elders]

“Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.”
– Paul Miller

Jesus, contrasting God’s willingness to a pagan judge’s response to a widow constantly coming to him with a desperate need, declared, “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? ” Luke 18:7

If you had a critical need that you were totally helpless to do anything about and you had a friend who you knew could easily meet that need and was even eager to do so, what would you do? Would you hesitate to ask? Would you keep on asking ‘until you got an answer’?

Desperately needy people who believe God, do not need to ‘discipline’ themselves to pray. It just comes naturally. Are you aware that you are desperately needy?

  • John 15:5 …for apart from Me you can do nothing.
  • Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Acts 17:25,28 …He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;… for in Him we live and move and exist…

Why not breathe a prayer giving thanks to Him for all His goodness that we take for granted. And then interact with Him over the tasks, cares, concerns, needs that are ‘on your mind’ right now.


For more information on the GBC Prayer Team, visit begrace.org/ministries/prayer-team.
For more information on GBC, visit begrace.org.

Preparing Our Hearts for Worship, 04-22-2012

Each week, we like to give the members of Grace a chance to learn the songs we will be singing on Sunday. Please use these lists as a way to ready your heart and mind, to come willing and able to worship our God in spirit and truth.

This Week’s Songs of Worship:

  1. Greatly to be Praised – Fee [Listen]
  2. NEW! Glory to God Forever – North Point Live [Listen]
  3. Lift Us Up for We are Heavy Laden – Original [Listen]
  4. Isaiah 43 – Unknown [Listen]
  5. My Soul Waits – Original [Listen]
  6. Rise – Robbie Seay Band [Listen]


For more information on Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

Prayer Tip #54: How to Ward Off Cynicism

[From Lauris Shepherd, one of our Elders]

In his book A Praying Life (I recommend it to you), Paul Miller states the opposite of a childlike spirit of trust is a cynical spirit. He points out that cynicism along with defeated weariness questions the goodness of God, or at least His willingness to act on our behalf.

Do you struggle with believing that God really does hear your prayers and will answer?

“Our personal struggles with cynicism and defeated weariness are reinforced by an increasing tendency toward perfectionism in American culture. Believing you have to have the perfect relationship, the perfect children, or a perfect body sets you up for a critical spirit, the breeding ground for cynicism.”
– Miller

How to ward off cynicism?

  • Get to know God as He is.
    Heb. 11:6 …He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
  • Hope in the Lord.
    Rom. 10:11 …whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.
  • Humble yourself and approach Him with a childlike spirit.
    I Pet. 5:5 …clothe yourselves with humility… God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
  • Have a spirit of thankfulness.
    I Thess. 5:17-18 Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.
  • Ask God for the gift of ongoing repentance.
    Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, … in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord..
  • Keep looking for Jesus happenings in everyday life.
    Psalm 23:4 …for You are with me…

Our only hope is to follow Jesus as He leads us out of cynicism.


For more information on the GBC Prayer Team, visit begrace.org/ministries/prayer-team.
For more information on GBC, visit begrace.org.

Prayer Tip #53

[From Lauris Shepherd, one of our Elders]

Being messed up people, do you doubt that the Father desires communion with you?

…Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
– Mark 10:14

Do you have kids…anyway, you’ve been a kid. When you needed something from your dad or just wanted to talk, did you always clean yourself up first and get your ‘act’ squared away? No. (at least not in your earliest years. It’s only we earthly fathers that respond with reproach. God doesn’t do that Jas. 1:5 …who gives to all generously and without reproach…) Little children come just as they are and blurt out exactly what’s on their mind.

That’s how we are to come to our Father…messy, helpless, weary, overwhelmed, with ADD wondering thoughts…just as we are. And God delights in us when we do.

Little kids don’t (can’t) clean themselves up and when they try they just make things worse. Neither can we. Our Father wants to do that for us…if we’ll let Him.

And that’s the key…we must believe that our Father wants us to come and will love on us when we do. And because He loves us and we desperately need it, He will ‘clean us up’ as we let Him.

Run to Father right now if you like. He’s always available.


For more information on the GBC Prayer Team, visit begrace.org/ministries/prayer-team.
For more information on GBC, visit begrace.org.

Preparing Our Hearts for Worship, 04-15-2012

Each week, we like to give the members of Grace a chance to learn the songs we will be singing on Sunday. Please use these lists as a way to ready your heart and mind, to come willing and able to worship our God in spirit and truth.

This Week’s Songs of Worship:

  1. Ancient of Days [No audio available.]
  2. Bless Your Name – Eddie Kirkland [Listen]
  3. From the Depths of Woe – Original Arrangement [Listen]
  4. 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman [Listen]
  5. The Solid Rock [Listen]


For more information on Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.