Tag: Happy New Year!

Resolutionary Praying

RESOLUTIONARY PRAYING

When the brother of Jesus¹ wrote in James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”, perhaps he had in mind the rhetorical question, “Where does all the time go”? I find myself asking that same question about 2017 with a hot cup of tea and a warm bagel on this first cold January morning of 2018 – the first day of a new week of a new month and a new year.

Like most years, and as I mentioned in my post Praying Resolutely exactly one year ago today, I don’t make resolutions per se. Instead, each year around the time the first cold front arrives, and usually during my evening prayer walks, I begin conducting my personal and spiritual inventory of what I accomplished (or did not accomplish) in the previous year.

Now, don’t get me wrong, like most everyone else I do have a long list of personal, family, home, business, and even financial goals I’d like I need to accomplish this year, but I prefer having one larger all-encompassing resolution – a theme as it were – for my year. Last year it was to pray more. This year, though I doubt I’ll pray less, my main aspiration is to draw close – even closer – to God. Needless to say, I plan on accomplishing this through nexus prayer, which brings me back to James …

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” – James 4:8

Just like Psalm 46:10 in the Old Testament, this short verse in the New Testament – another command with a promise – is pregnant with meaning. Simply put, if we desire to have more of God in our lives in 2018, then we only need to initiate our intention – through prayer – to be present to God and He will meet us there. Jesus referred to it as going to pray in our inner room (the subject of a future post), Matthew 6:6, and I know of no better way to connect with God there than through nexus prayer, but I’ll let my fifty-two journal posts this year (I plan on writing one a week, of which this is the first) explain how this may best be achieved.

I look forward to sharing these spiritual insights with you throughout 2018 right here on the Nexus Prayer website and through our local prayer group gatherings, but for now, I’ll close with arguably the most important lesson of Psalm 46:10 found in Step 4 of nexus prayer. Namely, being still or letting go. If you are like me, 2017 was filled with many blessings, achievements, and successes, as well as a few disappointments along the way. That said, last night during my prayer walk and after taking one more long good look in my mental rear-view mirror, I left the not-so-great parts of 2017 behind me, while carrying forward into the new year all the goodness of last year – the people, the experiences, the memories, lessons learned, and wisdom gained.

May all the blessings of Emmanuel – God with us – be yours not only today, the eighth day of Christmas and first day of the new year, but every day of 2018 as you draw closer to God through nexus prayer. Amen.

Now, just for fun, and thanks to Statistics Brain, here are the results for 2017’s top ten resolutions in America.² And just in case you are one of those people who actually enjoy making New Year’s resolutions, how about this one? Resolve to join me in praying no less than a five minute nexus prayer 365 times (once each day) in 2018. I’ve made that commitment, and hope you’ll join me in adding more prayer in general, and more nexus prayer in particular to the top of your list! Happy New Year!

AMERICA’S TOP TEN NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017

1 Lose Weight / Healthier Eating | 21.4%
2 Life / Self Improvements | 12.3%
3 Better Financial Decisions | 8.5%
4 Quit Smoking | 7.1%
5 Do more exciting things | 6.3%
6 Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends | 6.2%
7 Work out more often | 5.5%
8 Learn something new on my own | 5.3%
9 Do more good deeds for others | 5.2%
10 Find the love of my life | 4.3%

NOTES & REFERENCES

1 James the brother of Jesus | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia | There is disagreement about the exact relationship of James to Jesus. The presumed author of the Epistle of James is also sometimes identified with James, son of Alphaeus, James, son of Zebedee, and James the Less.

2 Top 10 Resolutions for 2017 | Statistic Brain Research Institute

3 Photo Credit: Happy New Year 2018 | By Nordwood Themes in Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

Praying Resolutely

“2017 Sparkler” by Brigitte Tohm| Used and modified with Permission via Unsplash | Nexus Prayer International

LEAPING INTO 2017
Right on the heels of my New Year’s Eve post on The Arithmetic of Prayer, I want to wish everyone a 2017 that is filled with God’s blessings, happiness, love, success, health, meaning, purpose, peace, and … prayer. Happy New Year!

And since it is that time when most of us make our annual New Year resolutions, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Top 10 New Year resolutions made for 2015, with thanks to Statistics Brain for the assist.

TOP TEN NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS OF 2015

1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

That’s the good news. A couple of those are even on my list for 2017, maybe yours too? The not-so-good news, according to Statistics Brain¹, is that only 8% percent of Americans were successful in achieving their resolution, and only 46% were successful in maintaining their resolution longer than six months. But I noticed an even more alarming fact from reading that list. Did you notice that reading the bible, going to church, drawing closer to God, serving others, and PRAYING MORE did not make the top 10?

RESOLVING TO PRAY MORE IN 2017
It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that prayer – all types of prayer in general and nexus prayer in particular – are at the top of my New Year’s resolutions list. Specifically, and with God’s help, I am asking Him to help me spend more time connecting with Him, my family, my church, and my local community through prayer in 2017. Here’s how …

  • Nexus Prayer – Launching the Nexus Prayer website last September went very smoothly, but there are still quite a few sections that need to be completed. Likewise, so far so good in introducing nexus prayer to my “… Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth” Acts 1:8. Local classes, presentations, and starting of Nexus Prayer Circles are all planned for 2017. On a personal note, and according to my iPhone prayer timer, last year I connected with God through nexus prayer 1,478 times for 366 consecutive days (leap year) with a total duration of 214 hours and 31 minutes. Not bad, but with God’s help I want to do better in 2017. My personal nexus prayer goal this year is to pray no less than three times a day for a total of no less than an hour a day. God gives me 24 hours a day; it’s the least I can do.
  • Prayer Wall – The infrastructure for the Nexus Prayer wall got installed , but still needs more tweaking and beta testing. Until I officially launch it on this website, you are invited to submit your prayer request 24.7.365. It would be my privilege to pray on behalf of you, your family, or friends.
  • Prayerwalking – Last November I conducted the first ever Nexus Prayer Walk for our community (with many more planned.) Since that time, I have continued my regular weekly prayer walks every evening for the individuals and families (represented by their house numbers, cars, and street names) in the neighborhood immediately surrounding our home here in Spring, Texas. I also just completed a study of Randy Sprinkle’s excellent book and six week course on prayer walking entitled Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayerwalker. In 2017 I look forward to continuing my prayer walks as often as possible, and both introducing and conducting prayer walk practicums for local groups and churches in our area.
  • Sacred Spaces – For years I have sought out sacred spaces – both indoor and outdoor – to serve as places of retreat for both contemplation and special praying. Starting this year, I will be identifying my finds and hosting public gatherings for nexus prayer at sacred spaces locally, nationally, and internationally. Have a favorite “hiding place” of your own you’d like to recommend? Send me a note.
  • Book on Nexus Prayer – The manuscript of my first book on Nexus Prayer is well under way with a goal of completing it, an eBook, and a “real” book before the end of next year. Thank you in advance for your prayers that God gives me the spiritual insights, wisdom, time, and resources to complete this project on schedule.

I haven’t listed all of my New Year’s resolutions here, just my No. 1 – spend more time with God in prayer – along with a few nexus prayer goals. The bottom line for me is that I’m “all in” to do everything that I can to improve my relationship with and better connect to God through prayer in 2017. My daily prayer to God is “Lord, teach me to pray.” Luke 11:1 and to learn how to “pray without ceasing” I Thessalonians 5:17.

My prayer for you? That “more prayer” also makes it into your top ten resolutions this year. Have you made praying more one of your resolutions for 2017? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it. Happy New Year!

Ready to begin? Nexus prayer can be done in as little as five minutes a day and The Steps are easy to learn. Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime!

NOTES & REFERENCES

1 “New Year’s Resolutions Statistics– Statistic Brain.” | 2016 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. | Research Date: December 12, 2016 | http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

2 Photo: “2017 Sparkler” by Brigitte Tohm | Used and modified with Permission via Unsplash.

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The Arithmetic of Prayer

“New Year’s Eve Watch” – Copyright © 2016 Nexus Prayer International.

 

LEAPING INTO 2017

Christmas and gift giving are now behind us, but thanks to Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory XIII¹ we will all be receiving a very special gift – the gift of time – this New Year’s Eve when on December 31, 2016 at precisely 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds everyone’s day and year will officially become one second longer. That’s because, as announced last July, a leap second² will be inserted at the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Master Clock Facility in Washington, DC.

So, how will you use your extra second of life? May I suggest prayer? Right before you pop the cork on your bottle of champagne, steal a New Year’s kiss, watch the Waterford crystal ball drop in New York City, or blow your party horn with a shout of “Happy New Year”, why not use your extra second to send up a little prayer to God?

NO TIME TO PRAY
Most people think of prayer in terms of minutes, rather than hours. Truth is, I often hear people say, “I don’t have one spare minute in my day for anything, let alone prayer.” Ironically, we can all find the time we need to eat, sleep, watch television, or attend a concert or sporting event, but we can’t find a single minute for prayer? Okay, for arguments sake, I’ll accept that. No doubt we’re all busy. But what if I could show you that it is possible to connect with God via prayer in no more time than it takes you to blink³ your eyes? If you don’t have a minute, can you spare a second? (If your answer is “no”, then you get an extra second tonight absolutely free, so no excuses!) “What”, you say? You can’t say a prayer in one second? Sure you can! In fact, I’m going to show you how you can say three prayers in only 1/60th of a minute. Just for fun, let’s do the math to show that a second is more than enough time to “upload” a prayer, or two, or three to God…

THE ARITHMETIC OF PRAYER
In a previous post, I mentioned that the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at USC has calculated that, on average, we humans have 70,000 thoughts per day. Now, we know that there are 86,000 seconds in a day, so if we take those 86,000 seconds God has given us and divide that number by the 70,000 thoughts most of us have in a day, we get one thought per every 1.234285714285714 seconds. BUT we can send God a thought (a prayer) in even less time than that! Scientists have shown that the blink of the human eye takes only 300 to 400 milliseconds. Since there’s 1,000 milliseconds in each second, that means a blink of an eye takes around 1/3 of a second, just enough time for three prayers in one second! But wait, there’s even more! Remember, God is not bound by our human limitations of time and space. For example, in I Corinthians 15:52 we read that the Lord will one day descend from heaven to resurrect “in the twinkling of an eye” all those who have believed in Him, and will do so in only eleven one-hundredths of a second³ – the amount of time it takes for light to enter and “bounce off” the back of the human eye. Now, that’s fast! Impressed? Then consider the fact that because God is omniscient and omnipresent, He is able to receive, process, and even answer our prayers in less than a nanosecond³ (one billionth of a second.)

A BLINK AND A PRAYER
So, are you ready to use that leap second for prayer tonight? Here’s how to do it. Prepare your prayer in advance, then associate a key word with your prayer. For example, just before the stroke of midnight tonight, and borrowing from Psalm 46:10 and nexus prayer, my prayer will be asking God to help me be still (let go) of all – the good, the bad, the ugly – of 2016 (the past), the present, and all of 2017 (the future). In other words, letting go of all of me, and letting God have all of me – my yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. With that prayer I have associated the word “Be”, so when I say (pray) the word “Be”, it contains all the intent and content of my specific prayer entirely. In this way, I can pray my prayer in the blink of an eye. Similarly, if I also want to pray for all the members of my family, I simply have to list all their names in advance and ask God’s blessing and protection for them in 2017, then associate the word “Fam” (family) with that prayer. And if I want to be really ambitious, I can also pray for my church – every single ministry, pastor, director, and volunteer. Like before, I simply enumerate them by name and associate the word “church” with it. Because our mind is faster than our mouth, at the appropriate time I can simply pray “Be, Fam, Church” – all three in one second – and by pushing the “send button” on the computer of my mind, upload in the blink of an eye my prayers to God. (Try it!)

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
Okay, time for a reality check from this tongue-in-cheek kind of post as I do have a serious point that I’m trying to make. Namely, we can all do better in 2017 in communicating with God, so why not place that New Year resolution at the top of our list? Praying in a second may be possible, but it’s not very practical or meaningful. One thing is certain. God gives us 24 hours every single day – in fact he’ll be giving us 365 more of them at the stroke of midnight tonight. Whether a second, five minutes, thirty minutes, or even an hour a day, why not join me in making more time for prayer your first resolution of 2017? Take a second to think about it. You’ll be glad you did.

Ready to begin? Nexus prayer can be done in as little as five minutes a day and The Steps are easy to learn. Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime!

NOTES & REFERENCES

1 The Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar in October 1582 |Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

2 World timekeepers are adding a leap second on December 31, 2016 | via EarthSky

3 “How Long is a Blink of an Eye?” – William M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars

4 A nanosecond (ns) is an SI unit of time equal to one billionth of a second. One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.71 years. |Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

5 According to Jack Van Impe, an Evangelist and expert on Prophecy and the End Times.

6 Photo: “New Year’s Eve Watch” Allen Aaron White – Copyright © 2016 Nexus Prayer International.

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