I Want to do The Daily Prayer Project!

Okay! So you are ready to get going with The Daily Prayer Project. What now? It is simple! Just fill out the form below and in the comment box just say,

“Traditional at SGT”

“Traditional at my church”

“Peer Group”

“Online”

“Individual”

“Not sure”

Some will get to you the next business day to help you go from there. Easy!

The Fragrance of the Secret Place

It may be that you are really making an effort to cultivate “your secret life in God” as Bob Sorge puts it in his book The Secrets of the Secret Place, but maybe not everybody else in your home is ready for it yet. That is not uncommon. Click here for an excerpt from Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer, Revised and Expanded concerning spiritual legitimacy. That may or may not be going so well. However, there is no need to argue or to defend yourself. As you pursue intimacy with Jesus and as you cultivate the Secret Place, your life will begin to take on the fragrance of having been with Jesus. Look for that fragrance to attract your family and friends, especially those who observe you actually making time for the pursuit of Jesus in the Secret Place. Yes, in some cases, that fragrance may repulse others who encounter it. But, in most cases, others are going to want what you have! Just keep pursuing intimacy with Jesus and let God work on your friends and family

Living from the Secret Place

I love teaching in The Daily Prayer Project for many reasons. But one of those is that it sharpens and inspires me!

Anticipatory Living

In one of my after-class discussions a couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a project participant, whose name is Ogo, about the importance of interacting with people in such a way that we can maintain connection with God. Here’s what I mean by that.

In my book, Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer, Revised and Expanded, Chapter 14, I make the claim that you can’t really  be defensive and humble at the same time, or angry and thankful at the same time. You have to leave one behind in order to engage in the other. So, if we are going to live out of the Secret Place, we will have to choose, like Jesus, to empty ourselves (see Philippians 2:6-7).

Imagine instead that we have a personal place carved out in the Secret Place where we live and move and have our being in the Presence of God. Now, imagine that every call for our involvement with people and the things of the world comes to us while we are in that hallowed place with God. We know that we cannot bring our fallen reactions into the Presence of God and leave them unchecked, so, since the Presence of God is too precious to sacrifice, we choose to process everything in His Presence. This may mean sustaining some abuse or mistreatment for the sake of staying our minds on Him.

(Contending…page 137)

The typical experience–for people living a harried Christian life–is we look back after a bad interpersonal interaction, realizing only then that our actions created a wedge between us and God. I am happy to report, however, that we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, learn to anticipate situations that threaten our ability to live from the Secret Place, thereby giving us the opportunity to choose the Presence of God over the temporary  satisfaction of giving someone “a piece of our mind.”

Ask the Lord to help you live out of the Secret Place. But let’s be clear: I am not saying we should learn how to live outside of the Secret Place! I’m saying cultivate the Secret Place–at all costs–and stay there even when you have to go about the business of the day!

A Common Room Made Uncommon

Matthew 6:6 says,

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“Go into your room”

The word for room is ta-meh-ee-on (ταμεῖόν), “room, store room, barn, etc.,” suggesting that it refers simply to a common room. And yet, when we make it a place for prayer, it becomes a common room made uncommon by the fact that the Father is there! He sees what goes on there in secret and rewards us.

“Sometimes we talk about waiting on the Lord. How long has He been waiting for you in the Secret Place?”

God’s Confidant?

There is precedent in Scripture for this concept of God meeting in secret with His children.

In both Psalm 25:14 and Amos 3:7 we get insight into God’s desire to confide in those with whom He has a covenant. Have you ever considered that Almighty God might want to confide in you?

Psalm 25:14 says,

The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

In the Hebrew, the word here for “confide” is Strong’s (5475) “sode” which means, “a session, i.e. company of persons (in close deliberation); by implication intimacy, consultation, a secret:—assembly, counsel, inward, secret (counsel).”[1]

So, we could rephrase this verse to say, “The Lord is intimate with those who fear him” or “The Lord consults with or shares secrets with those who fear him”

Amos 3:7 says, Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. In this verse, “sode” is translated “secret counsel.”

The Secret Place

The Secret Place, far from being simply a place where we share our laundry list of needs with God, is a place of intimacy and secret counsel with God! Sometimes we talk about waiting on God but how long has He been waiting for you in the Secret Place?

Get started now in the Secret Place!


 

NOTES

[1] Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 2, p. 82). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

 

The Daily Prayer Project

This June I will begin…

…a “perpetual” offering of my prayer class based on my book, Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer (Revised and Expanded). The class has always borne fruit, in some way helping someone who was struggling to maintain a dynamic, meaningful, genuine, daily time in the Secret Place to begin doing so. The class has not been offered very often. But, starting on June 4, that is going to change!

The class will be titled The Daily Prayer Project. It is a five week class so my intent will be to have the class, break for three weeks, and then do it again with a new group. There will be sign-ups and only six people will be allowed in the class per five week cycle.

Click here for the calendar with dates and locations of the classes.

As I said above, the text for the class will be my book, Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer, and it will be required reading. It will be made available at an affordable price to all who start and finish the class. All monies received from the book will be used to promote and carry out various goals of The Daily Prayer Project. The book will need to be in before class begins so that you can come to the first class having done the initial section of reading. It can be purchased from Amazon (allow three weeks or so), on Kindle from Amazon, or at the SGT church office.

Class attendance for the entire five weeks will be mandatory so please sign up for a class cycle that you know you can complete. Prayer is that important!

Once we are underway, we will expand the class to our CLM Online site so that those whose schedule’s don’t permit them to attend the class on Sunday and Monday mornings can participate. Also, those outside the Long Island area will also be able to sign-up and participate on line.


So, why the ramping up of prayer class offerings?

I am convinced more than ever that our chief goal should be to cultivate the Secret Place and pursue intimacy with Jesus. Everything else we do , everything else we pray about should flow out of that place of intimacy with Christ.

Here’s a timely excerpt from the Revised and Expanded version of Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer:

We have been granted a purchase in the Secret Place. Our experience of it at the first is that it is very small. Not much room to stand. In fact, however, it is not small, but large and significant. The problem is that it has not been cultivated for our use. The reason it is uncultivated is because we have spent little time there, or we have not known what to do when we are there. We have much important work that needs to be done in the Secret Place. We have petitions, we have intercessions, and we feel these things to be very important. And so they are. But we don’t have much room for our feet to find leverage so that we can do the hard work of petitions and intercessions. We need for the Lord to increase our purchase in the Secret Place!

Offering many petitions and intercessions won’t increase our purchase in the Secret Place. Only one thing can do that—increased intimacy with Jesus. Jesus is our Secret Place! As our intimacy with Jesus increases, we go higher and deeper in Him. We find room to run in Him!  Room to flow in the Holy Spirit. Now, our petitions and intercessions flow out of our intimacy with Him and with the power that comes from knowing Him.

So, when we pray, “Father, increase my purchase in the Secret Place,” we are committing ourselves to pursuing intimacy with Him first and we are trusting that He will lead us by His Spirit into the petitions and intercessions that He desires us to offer. Now we can make petitions and intercessions with anointing and compassion!

For Those Who Struggle to Pray

Do you find prayer to be a difficult habit to maintain? Maybe the word “habit” bothers you. The bottom line is we know that prayer is the means by which we can maintain an ever-deepening love relationship with Jesus Christ.

The book Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer was written to help people discover how they too can learn how to cultivate a meaningful, dynamic, daily habit of prayer. But, it’s not just a book! It is a plan! That’s what this website is all about. Here’s how it works…

Step 1

Find a few friends (preferably at least four plus yourself but no more than eight) who also struggle with prayer in one way or another and read the book together. (You can purchase the book through Amazon in paperback or for the Kindle and soon in an audio book. You can also purchase it directly from Issachar Imprints. Or, if you are on Long Island, you can purchase it at the Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle offices. For more information about the book, its author, or to read an excerpt, click here!)

Step 2

Meet once a week for five weeks to honestly answer the questions based on the guidelines laid out in Chapter 4 and the weekly assignments in APPENDIX 2, and to encourage one another.

Step 3

Repeat as needed. I love teaching this class because it helps me to stay sharp in my prayer life!

You can get started right now by clicking here!