Prayer

Most online lists covering what children need most include things like education, good health, and self-esteem. These are all good, but something’s missing . . . prayer. Yet when it comes to praying for our children in the midst of our hectic daily lives, it’s often difficult to know where to start. That’s where Melissa Kruger comes in.

A Christian author and mother herself, Kruger has many helpful insights on biblical ways to pray for our children — many of which are captured in her book 5 Things to Pray for Your Kids. In this episode of the Great Stories Podcast, she reminds us that our children’s spiritual health comes first. She also offers tools to help the busy parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle begin praying more intentionally for the kids God has placed in our lives.


More from Melissa Kruger


You can also find the podcast on …

If you liked what you heard, please write a review and help new listeners discover the show!

Sign up for the Great Stories Podcast newsletter to get a weekly update on new episodes each Wednesday. 

Whether you pray regularly or you’re struggling to keep Christ at the center of your life, we can all benefit from a more vibrant prayer life. The problem is, the distracting world we inhabit makes it nearly impossible to make this happen. Paul Miller, author of A Praying Life, illustrates the challenge well:

“We are so busy that when we slow down to pray, we find it uncomfortable. We prize accomplishments, production. But prayer is nothing but talking to God. It feels useless, as if we are wasting time. Every bone in our bodies screams, ‘Get to Work.’”

So how do we turn to the Lord in prayer when so many other things are pulling at our attention? How do we pray without the anxiety that we are wasting our time? Listen in to this week’s episode to find out.

This interview with Paul Miller was recorded in 2009, but its call to cultivate a praying life is more relevant today than ever. Paul is the son of Charles Morris’ old pastor and mentor Jack Miller. Here, he explores how Scripture, coupled with the Holy Spirit and spiritual willingness, gives us the tools we need to commune with God.


More on A Praying Life


You can also find the podcast on …

If you liked what you heard, please write a review and help new listeners discover the show!

Sign up for the Great Stories Podcast newsletter to get a weekly update on new episodes each Wednesday. 


Prayer is an essential part of every Christian’s life. It’s also a mysterious and intimidating practice for believers both young and old. What’s the problem? Nancy Guthrie says, “Praying to God is so simple a child can do it, but grown-ups often make it needlessly complicated. God wants an honest conversation.”

To help you get a better handle on what every Christian — both young and old — should know about prayer, Charles Morris invited Nancy Guthrie to join him for an insightful conversation on prayer. Even if you already have a healthy prayer life, this interview will help you gain a deeper understanding of what we are actually doing when we talk to God.

More from Nancy Guthrie


You can also find the podcast on …

If you liked what you heard, please write a review and help new listeners discover the show!

Sign up for the Great Stories Podcast newsletter to get a weekly update on new episodes each Wednesday. 


The Asbury Revival may have officially begun on February 8, 2023, but the roots of this spiritual phenomenon began long before those few students lingered after chapel to pray. On today’s episode of the Great Stories Podcast, you’re going to meet the Asbury Seminary students who have been diligently praying for this very thing since 2019.

From the living room of New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Keener, these few seminary students have been holding weekly prayer meetings with one bold request in mind — Lord, bring about a revival at Asbury. They’ve asked us not to share their names, but they do share their stories, as well as an oral history of how the Asbury Revival began.

If you’ve been watching from the sidelines through news coverage and social media commentary, then this episode will be a wonderful way for you to become intimately acquainted with the roots of the world’s newest spiritual revival — a revival that we hope is only just getting started.


More on the Asbury Revival


You can also find the podcast on …

If you liked what you heard, please write a review and help new listeners discover the show!

Sign up for the Great Stories Podcast newsletter to get a weekly update on new episodes each Wednesday. 

NEW YORK CITY, 1857 — Jeremiah Lanphier opened the North Dutch Church on Fulton Street in the financial district of Manhattan for a prayer meeting. Six showed up a half-hour late. 14 came the next week. 23 after that. Then 40. Next, revival spread like wild fire.

Soon, this once meager weekly prayer meeting mushroomed to 10,000 people gathering for prayer daily. What would eventually become known as the Businessmen’s Revival saw 1 million converts throughout the United States, with countless others around the world.

What does it take to bring about revival?

D.L. Moody said “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” That becomes evident when you begin looking more closely at other great revivals throughout history.

In the U.S. alone, the Great Awakening, the Civil War Revival, the Urban Revivals, and the Azusa Street Revival — all were preceded by prayer. The same has been true in countries like Ireland, Poland, China, South Africa, Columbia, and Cuba.

Today, another movement of God is stirring in Wilmore, Kentucky. What started as a few people staying late after a worship gathering on Wednesday, February 8, hasn’t stopped. Day and night, Asbury students and pilgrims from around the world have been worshiping and praying. And it shows no signs of slowing any time soon.

The New York Times has dubbed what’s happening at Asbury University as a “‘Woodstock’ for Christians,” but I’d like to counter that they have it backwards. Revivals like this have been happening for centuries, with far greater geographical and generational implications.

Woodstock was a flash in the pan compared to what the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of believers in a time like this.

The university reported 50,000 people from around the country have descended upon the chapel since those first students lingered to pray after a typical chapel service.

It’s typical for older generations — myself included — to fear for the faith of the younger generation. Year after year, surveys have only indicated that Christianity in America and the Western world is dwindling. And yet . . .

And yet here we are. An unprecedented, non-personality driven revival led by Generation Z. And at the center of it all: prayer.

Of course, this is nothing new. The Bible includes many examples of God moving powerfully through prayer as in Nehemiah 1:5-11 and several Acts passages (1:13-14, 2:1-4, 2:37-47, 8:5-8).

I spoke with Byron Paulus, founder of OneCry and CEO emeritus of Life Action Ministries, about revival on Haven Today in 2007. Here’s what he said then:

“Boy, when God births a genuine, authentic work of his Spirit, the generational impact is felt forever. Now the excitement of the revival can often times be just a few years. The first Great Awakening was longer, the second Great Awakening strung out over a period of a couple decades. But the longterm, eternal impact goes on forever.”

I’m not surprised to see him covering what’s happening in Asbury today:

A Call to Prayer

The message for you and me today? Pray vigilantly.

  • Pray for the little town of Wilmore, Kentucky (population 6,000) as they take in a constant flood of pilgrims and spiritual seekers.
  • Pray for the people touched by this revival as they return to their own communities.
  • Pray for the churches receiving their own flood of baptisms and conversions as a result of this movement spreading.
  • Pray for all who are looking on with skepticism. May the Spirit open their hearts to the possibility of another Great Awakening in our time.
  • Pray that this movement of the Spirit will return the church to what it is ultimately meant to be. As Howard Snyder, a retired professor of Asbury Theological Seminary across the street says: “The people of God faithfully following Jesus.”

As you pray, perhaps you can ask others to join you. What might God do through the collective prayer of you and your community? You never know what sort of revitalization of faith in Jesus may come of it!


About the Author

As the leader of the Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” A former secular journalist, Charles has worked for United Press International, and as a press secretary for two former U.S. senators. He and his wife, Janet, have authored several books, including Missing Jesus. Charles’ latest book is Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus: The Real Story of God At Work.

**Portions of this article were drawn from Haven’s March 2022 Anchor Devotional by Glen M. VanderKooi: Prayer and Revival.


Revival (DVD)

What is revival? Should we expect it today?

This high quality film tells the true stories of how God has worked in revivals in the past. Journey through church history, from the Pentecost to present day. Go back in time to visit key places like England during the Reformation, America in 1734, Wales in the Evangelical Awakening, Northern Ireland in 1859, and the Scottish Hebrides in 1949.

Expert contributors expound key lessons we can learn for today about the means and instruction the Lord provides in his Word for seeking him. God has done mighty acts in the past, and he can do so again.

This post first appeared on The Good Book blog; used with permission.

The following piece is an extract from 5 Things to Pray for Your Kids by Melissa Kruger. In the book Melissa suggests fresh, biblical ideas to help you pray for tots, teens and all ages between. Today we wanted to give you a sneak peek at what the book looks like. This chapter uses psalm 121 to help you pray for God’s care of your child…

Father, I pray that you will help my child by…

1. Encouraging me

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD” (Psalm 121 v 1).

Being a parent is a wonderful gift, but it is also difficult. There’s no owner’s manual to guide us in all the choices we face each day. Praise God that we can turn to him for the help we need! Pray that he will guide your steps and lead you as you parent today.

2. Watching over them

“He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121 v 3-4).

As parents, we are limited. Even with modern technology, we can’t watch our children at every moment (although we certainly try!). Thank God that he is always watching over them, and that he never slumbers or sleeps. Pray that your child will know God is with them, no matter where they go or what they face.

3. Providing refreshment

“ The LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night” (Psalm 121 v 5-6).

We all need a place of refuge. The world can be difficult and lonely. Pray that when life is hard for your child—when they experience a broken heart, a difficult illness, or a painful consequence—they will turn to the Lord and find comfort in him.

4. Keeping them from harm

“The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life” (Psalm 121 v 7).

While we want to keep our children safe, we know we are often powerless to protect them from skinned knees, harmful gossip, and their own mistakes. Pray that the Lord will use the trials they endure to draw them closer to himself, and that he will keep them from all that he sees is harmful.

5. Protecting their future

“ The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121 v 8).

Our children make choices each day. As they grow, these choices increase in significance. Pray that the Lord would guide your child in the future as they choose what to study, which church to be part of, who to marry, or what job to pursue.

About the Author:

Melissa Kruger is the author of Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know as well as several books for adults. She blogs at Wit’s End, hosted by The Gospel Coalition. Her husband, Mike, is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary, and they have three children.


5 Things to Pray for Your Kids

Our culture says that the most important things for children are education, good health, treats, entertainment, and material things.

Yet as Christians, we know that children’s spiritual health is the most important thing. So we need to pray for them, but where do we start?

This little guide is both deep and easy to use. Melissa Kruger takes us back to the Bible to show us what God’s will for children is, so we can pray in line with it.

She selects 21 key areas of spiritual growth and character development. For each one, there are five short prayer prompts drawn straight from the Bible.

The only thing spreading faster than the coronavirus (COVID-19) is the news coverage. Reports about the stock market, air travel, hygiene concerns, mortality rate, and faulty screening equipment are popping up multiple times a day. Commentators spar about how serious this is, leaving many viewers with a sense of uncertainty about what’s really taking place.

To address the growing concerns, I have spent the last few days speaking with doctors, professionals, and people living in the epicenters in both North America and Asia. I wanted to find out for myself what’s really going on, what precautions we should take, and how Christians can pray.

The message I came away with is that you and I must find strength in God’s Word, the power of prayer, and the arms of Christ. You can click here to listen to the interviews. In the space below, I’ve listed a timeline that will be updated periodically with new bullet points covering relevant updates regarding the coronavirus.

[ Click here to view an interactive map by John Hopkins showing live updates of global cases as they are confirmed. ]

It is my hope that you will use this page to get a concise understanding of what we know so far. But I also hope you will use this as a springboard for prayer. Remember, Christians are not called to have a spirit of fear, but a spirit of faith (see 1 Timothy 1:7).

April 2, 2020

April 1, 2020

March 30, 2020

March 27, 2020

  • U.S. House of Representatives approve $2 trillion economic stimulus bill. President Trump signs the bill on the same day.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he has tested positive for COVID-19.

March 26, 2020

March 25, 2020

  • U.S. Congress and White House settle on a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill in an attempt to stave off recession, offering cash assistance to regular Americans and businesses.
  • Italy continues to be the current epicenter of the pandemic. Spain trails shortly behind. About half of confirmed cases in the U.S. are located in New York.
  • According to Johns Hopkins, there are 466,955 confirmed cases worldwide, more than 21,000 deaths, and 113,770 recoveries.

March 24, 2020

  • The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are officially postponed to 2021 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

March 23, 2020

  • The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • A Christian infectious disease expert and bio-tech CEO joins Charles Morris on today’s program to talk about the Coronavirus Pandemic, how viruses like this function, what we can expect in the future, and how we can ultimately put our hope in Christ. Listen to the full interview here.

March 20, 2020

  • New York, California, and Illinois are now telling all non-essential workers to stay home.
  • Confirmed cases in the U.S. pass 16,000.

March 19, 2020

  • Italy records 627 deaths in 24 hours, making it the the most COVID-19 related deaths for the country in a single day. Italy has now surpassed China for most known deaths, totaling 3,405 killed out of 41,035 known infections (8.3%).

March 18, 2020

March 17, 2020

  • All 50 states in the U.S. now report at least one confirmed case of the virus. South America reports more than 1,000 cases.
  • The U.S. death toll hit 114, with more than 7,900 killed worldwide.

March 16, 2020

  • The White House calls on all Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people for the next 15 days.
  • As of this morning, the U.S. death toll rose to 69, with more than 3,800 known cases as of Monday morning. The global deaths surged past 6,500.
  • Haven Today begins a new series in response to the worsening Coronavirus pandemic that looks to answer the tough question, “Where is God when it hurts?” 

March 13, 2020

March 12, 2020

March 11, 2020

March 10, 2020

  • More than 4,000 people have been killed by the coronavirus, out of 116,000 infections. Johns Hopkins reports more than 64,000 people with confirmed infections have fully recovered.

March 9, 2020

  • Trading halts Monday morning as the stock market continues to plummet due to coronavirus fears and low oil prices. The DOW plunged about 2,000 points. Experts suggest this trend may lead to another recession.
  • The Diamond Princess cruise ship docks off California coast in Port of Oakland. Thousands of passengers prepare to disembark. The nearly 1,000 crew members will be quarantined on board.

March 6, 2020

  • Cases worldwide top 100,000.
  • President Trump approves $8.3 billion spending package to combat worldwide spread of coronavirus.
  • Even as cases increase, so do the recoveries. At least 15 of confirmed coronavirus patients in the U.S. are said to have fully recovered.

March 5, 2020

  • The death toll in the U.S. passes 11.
  • COVID-19 is now present in 80 countries and territories, the global death toll rising past 3,000 people.

March 4, 2020

February 26, 2020

  • The CDC announces the first case of coronavirus contracted from an unknown origin.

February 14, 2020

  • Passengers testing negative are allowed to disembark the Diamond Princess.

February 10, 2020

  • 43,000+ cases are reported with the death toll passing 1,000.

February 4, 2020

  • 10 people infected with the virus are found aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan, leading to the 3,500 passenger vessel to be placed under quarantine.

January 30, 2020

  • The U.S. reports the first person-to-person transmission.
  • The WHO announces this is now a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

January 21, 2020

  • The first case is discovered in the U.S.

January 16, 2020

  • The first case is discovered in Japan.

January 11, 2020

  • The first death is reported in Wuhan.

January 7, 2020

  • Chinese authorities confirm the identification of a novel coronavirus as the cause of the unknown pneumonia cases in Wuhan.

December 31, 2019

  • The WHO receives word that cases of pneumonia are springing up in Wuhan, China.

As 2023 came to a close, 2024 began with new promises and possibilities. These first few weeks of a new year mark a time when many of us reevaluate the way we did things in the past in order to change and make life better in the future.

It should come as no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, read more, watch less, or simply become a more pleasant person. All of these are good aspirations, but it’s hard to find the perfect goal that you can stick with till the end. Instead, this list of resources are here to help promote practices that will benefit your body, mind, and soul.

However you choose to carry out the new year, it is our prayer that you will draw nearer to Jesus in 2024.

1. Read Through the Bible

Even though most Christians desire to read God’s Word all the way through, most of us simply haven’t been able to do it. The Haven Original book, Christ in All the Scriptures: Reading and Praying Through the Bible in a Year, is designed to help you do just that. It’s an easy‑to‑navigate, hardback book that contains overviews of each book in the Bible and prayers centered on each reading. We would like to challenge you to make 2024 the year you read and pray through God’s Word — and this book will help you do just that, all while finding Jesus on every page of your Bible.

2. Memorize Scripture

Many of us have tried to memorize short Bible verses in Sunday school, but this ambition usually isn’t prevalent among adults. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” and Paul also writes in Colossians 3:16 to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.”

To help you memorize portions of God’s Word, we recommend you listen to this podcast with Aaron House on how to memorize Scripture simply and effectively. You can also get a copy of his book on the topic here.

3. Pray More Consistently

Many of us pray at night as we fall asleep or when we need an immediate helping hand, but God desires that we continually communicate with Him. The trouble is, we so seldom do it.

Sherry Harney wrote a remarkable book on how to make continuous prayer a natural part of our lives rather than something on our daily spiritual checklist. Praying with Eyes Wide Open is a resource for anyone who wants to better understand what prayer is and why we need to do it continually.

4. Take Care of Body & Soul

This wouldn’t be a “New Year’s Day” post if we didn’t have one category on improving our health. But this topic is much more significant than looking better and feeling more energetic. When we take care of our bodies, we are being good stewards of the way we live and serve Christ in this world. Read about the practice of replacing your unhealthy cravings for certain foods with a healthy craving for God with Lysa TerKeurst’s bestselling book Made to Crave. Or simply follow your favorite blog or eating/workout plan to live healthier the life God has given you.

5. Take Care of Your Money

It is no secret that the Bible has a lot to say about how we use the very thing we often feel we can’t get enough of. But that’s the thing–there is always room for us to better handle how we look at the money we earn and what to do with it once we have it.

Dr. Ben Witherington is a New Testament scholar at Asbury Theological Seminary, and he’s paid close attention to what Jesus said and didn’t say about money. Here’s an interview with Dr. Witherington on the topic with links to help you use your money in the coming year the way Jesus would want you to use it. Here’s his book.

In the spring of 2008 I first prayed for a baby, and in the spring of 2011 God answered that prayer with the birth of our beautiful daughter.  My joy was full but so were the fears I wrestled.  In some ways I felt like a baby Christian again, caught in a whirlwind of emotions, learning and applying what I have known and trusted into a completely new life – I know I’m definitely not the first to feel that!

Friends of ours had given us a card when their first son was born; it was full of prayer requests for his little life, a prayer for every day of the month. My prayers were not quite as coherent as those, especially at first, but the urgency of the moment drove me to my knees.  “Help her, help me” baby prayers at 3am; prayers as I heard the baby monitor light up in the morning; prayers when I thought of her safety, her soul, her future; prayers  with my husband; prayers while Eliza listened in.

When people found out that I was pregnant one of the most frequent comments I received was how my creativity would discover a whole new vista of inspiration as I became a mother.  So, when Eliza came I was anticipating a fresh flow of profound poetic thought, but instead I was swept up in the constant flow of changes and feedings and “Old MacDonald had a farm!” I was expecting full sentences, but I was blubbering looking at my beautiful girl! I actually wondered if I’d ever be able to write again.  I just about tucked some thoughts away to ponder later when my brain would start to fit itself back together again (still nowhere near a completed process!). As I continued to learn the wonderful balancing act and privilege of mothering, homemaking, writing, traveling and singing, Keith and I began to write a song for Eliza choosing this theme of praying for her, and the end result was “A Mother’s Prayer.”

(A Mother’s Prayer is featured on the Getty’s “Hymns For the Christian Life.”)

My parents have faithfully prayed for me my whole life, and I remember when I was younger my mum met with other mums to pray for all their children – a “Moms in Touch” group in Belfast. Even just the knowledge of that helped me, and I want Eliza to know we are praying for her and trying to guide her in this context that reaches to the call and purpose of her whole life and an understanding of the Lord’s grace and faithfulness. We’re now in the toddler stage and some of the prayer needs are shifting.  We wanted the song to reflect the different seasons – ones we had discovered and then those still to come.  We also wrote it to remind us of our promise to pray for her through all the years we’re given.  We hope this song for her – and even more our praying for her – might catch her ear and help guide her heart as she grows up.

 

 

Keith and Kristyn Getty, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, have been writing modern hymns for the church for more than a decade.  Their latest album release, Hymns for the Christian Life, features new hymns for congregations and soloists such as “Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed” and “A Mother’s Prayer” as well as a ten-year anniversary recording of ”In Christ Alone” (written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend).  When not touring, the Gettys live in Nashville with their daughter, Eliza, where they manage the work of Getty Music.