Tag: Prayer

Cairns of Prayer

CAIRNS OF PRAYER

I recently reached a new milestone and marked it with another cairn. A cairn of nexus prayer. A cairn on my prayer timer.

Cairns¹, from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn, are human-made piles of stones that have been used from prehistoric times and that are still being used today for many and varied purposes, including landmarks, milestones, monument markers, and sometimes for ceremonial purposes such as identifying a famous gravesite or significant battle ground. For example, cairns or milestones were used to mark key distances and landmarks along the Appian Way² (Rome’s oldest road), and are still used today to indicate important or dangerous paths along remote jungle, densely forested, or mountainous areas such as some of the trails I’ve hiked leading to a few sacred spaces in Switzerland. Interestingly, for centuries historical monument markers were so prolific in Europe that in ancient Roman religion the Romans even had their own god, Terminus³, whose sole purpose was the protection of boundary markers. Of course, in everyday circumstances from the time we enter this world to the time we depart it, the term “milestone” is used in more casual ways to mark special occasions along our journey in this life such as the birth of a child, graduation, an engagement or marriage, job promotion, or significant awards and achievements.

All of that said, and as mentioned earlier, I have a personal cairn of my own to share – a cairn of prayer. Please know this is no humblebrag (though it’s true I’m both happy and humbled), but just last week I surpassed the 5,000 mark for completed individual nexus prayers. Sure, there’s good reason to celebrate because, after all, it took me the better part of three years of multiple daily nexus prayers to reach that number. However, the primary reason I’m so happy to have hit that marker is not because five thousand is the largest isogrammic³ number in the English language, but because it means that while on my nexus prayer journey over the past 1,453 days, I have spent almost 800 hours making a personal connection with God using nexus prayer. And surprisingly, most of those times of prayer were done in five-minute increments – the 5-minute nexus prayer.

So why am I writing about this milestone and sharing it with you here? The answer is because the most common excuse I frequently hear from people (Christians and non-Christians alike) about prayer in general and nexus prayer in particular is “I’m just too busy to stop and pray.” Of course, we all know that we make the time for the things that matter most to us – time for work, meals, sleep, romance, sporting events, recreation, television, social media, family time, and sometimes even church. What or, more importantly, who is missing in that litany of activities? God. God gives us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to use as we choose. I’m simply challenging all of us to prayerfully look at our daily lives – our schedules and action lists – and find a five-minute time slot at least once a day to just “be” with God in the quietude of nexus prayer. To listen to God’s still, small voice.

Five minutes doesn’t sound like much, but even a single five-minute nexus prayer once a day – every day – will provide you with more than 30 minutes spent in quality, one-on-one time with God each week. Do that twice a day and you just spent more than one hour with God that week. I encourage you to make this a part of your regular daily routine, leaving markers along the way, and before you know it you too will have 5,000 cairns of prayer – cairns that will continue to lead you to the heart of God. Cairns that will show others the Way.


NOTES & REFERENCE

1 Cairn | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

2 Appian Way | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

3 Terminus – Ancient Roman god of boundary markers. | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

4 Isograms| An isogram (also known as a “nonpattern word”) is a logological term for a word or phrase without a repeating letter. | Source: Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia.

5 Photo Credit: “Stones in Balance” by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash | Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

6 Photo Credit: Design for a stained glass window with Terminus Hans Holbein | Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Modified with permission – Nexus Prayer International,

7 Photo Credit: © Copyright 2018 Nexus Prayer Timer 5K by Allen Aaron White. | Used with permission Nexus Prayer International.

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”  ― Mother Teresa

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.

Bipedal Praying

Nexus Prayer Walk

 

Nov. 3, 2016

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25

nxp_prayerwalk1

As some of you may know, my wife and I have been without a car for a couple of months due to an auto accident that totaled our vehicle. With our rental and loaner benefits long since exhausted, I’ve become “very good friends” with many an Uber driver as we shop around for our next set of wheels.

Last night a local church here in Spring, Texas held a special event dedicated solely to prayer. Desiring to participate, I had the option of either walking or hitching a ride from my house to the church. So, choosing to turn the proverbial lemon into lemonade, I decided to walk the 1.37 miles to the church prayer meeting…and turn that walk into a “bipedal prayer meeting” for our neighborhood.

Dubbed my first official Nexus Prayer Walk, it immediately reminded me of the countless prayer walks taken by my musical muse and mentor, John Michael Talbot, whenever he visits a local community leading up to his concerts.

Fittingly, my walk “just happened” to fall on November 2, All Souls Day. And so it was, that during my solo sojourn to the church, I prayed for all of the souls in my neighborhood represented by the parked and passing cars, people working and playing in their yards, joggers, dog walkers, houses, and streets. From Singing Creek Lane to T.C. Jester Boulevard, from Butteroak to Windypine, Pamela Way to Winding Ridge, and every street in between – my soles did the walking and my soul did the praying.

As I left to make it to the church on time, I wasn’t out the door of our house for even ten seconds when there was a loud clap of thunder. As I looked up to the clouds above, feeling the light, misty rain fall on my face, it was as if God himself – like the children of Israel centuries ago being led by a pillar of a cloud by day Exodus 13:1,2 – was not only leading me to the church by the clouds above, but also listening to my every petition every step of the way.

So, I prayed for my neighbors with every step. But since my prayer walk was piggy-backing the church prayer event, I also prayed for everyone preparing to gather at the church for that very special prayer event.  Not a surprise to anyone who knows me, I also included a ten minute nexus prayer during my walk – with a special emphasis on the “know component” of nexus prayer – praying for every family, house, and street by name that those who dwell there would come to KNOW God and Jesus Christ. As diverse as the houses I passed, so too are the needs of all of the people who live within. With the song “People Need the Lord” on my heart, my prayer, like Steve Green’s song, was that “… my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Although this was my first nexus prayer walk, it certainly will not be my last. In fact, I’m already planning other walks until I’ve prayed for every house and street in our neighborhood. This time was a solitary walk (with God), but who knows? Maybe you’ll join me next time for some serious bipedal praying?

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 & CREDITS:

Photo Credit – “Spring Creek Oaks Prayer Guide.” by Allen Aaron White. © Copyright 2016 Nexus Prayer International. Used with permission.

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