Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Moving for the Moment

Hi everybody,

I am moving for the moment to a facebook page for corporate prayer.  Come check us out at

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What could be better than Monday Night Prayer ?

The only thing that I can imagine that would be better than the hour of corporate prayer we have on Monday nights is having two nights of corporate prayer.  This past Tuesday we started the corporate prayer gathering at our Downtown campus, 1313 13th street, in Lubbock.  We had 131 people come out and help us dedicate these new facilities to God.

We have seen the power of corporate prayer at our southwest campus and now we want to implement the very same thing at the downtown campus.  In four years we have seen how corporate prayer has brought many people to commit their lives to Christ for the first time.  We have seen how people are excited about getting baptized.  The 646 we saw baptized the past two weekends could only be explained by God people coming together to pray consistently.

If you live in Lubbock and can't make it to our prayer gathering on Monday nights from 7:15 - 8:15 at the Sportsplex, now you can go downtown and pray at our downtown campus on Tuesday nights from 6:15 - 7:15.  Childcare is provided.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Art of Giving Thanks

There is some art to helping people express thanksgiving.  I am learning more about that.  When you have something really exciting to tell people, it is good to build up the anticipation a little before you share.  We had the opportunity to share with our people this past week that we had 326 baptisms and 21 salvations the previous week.  To help build toward some excitement, we shared some facebook posts from people who had been baptized and some comments put on comment cards in our services to stir peoples hearts.  I then had everyone stand up and roll their necks.  The thought was to loosen them up a little.  I then had them roll their arms.  I told them I was concerned about them hurting themselves when they began to cheer about the news I had.  I also encourage them not to hurt their neighbors.

Then I had them hold applause until I had told them four sentences.  The final sentence had the 326 total baptisms on it.  Then I could say "Somebody need to give God praise."   People were so excited about he baptisms and salvations that they went into cheering and clapping.  The band was ready to take off on a fast song as that happened and we got to spend some great time giving God thanks for the remarkable things He is doing among us.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Corporate Prayer Gathering

The corporate prayer gathering is part of our dna at Experience Life.  It was the first meeting we had as a church and continues today as a primary weekly meeting.  

Famous Prayer Quote

The discipline of prayer and the discipline of Gods word must work hand in hand.  When we give up one we are in danger of losing both. - John Wimber

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Highlights from Prayer Recently.

As I reflect back over the past couple of months, I am reminded that the key element of corporate prayer is communion with God.  The whole idea of prayer is about us connecting with God on a personal intimate level.  We come into His presence and are involved in a dialogue.  He speaks to us and we speak to Him.  We make requests to Him according to His will.  The very nature of prayer is the communion of a relationship.

Here are some highlights from our corporate prayer gathering recently.

  • Seeing 100 or more people come up to the mics and give a one sentence of thanksgiving to God. (Seems like this is what church should be)
  • During worship seeing hundreds of people come forward and write the names of lost people they know on canvases so we can pray that each one would commit their lives to Christ.
  • Having jr high and high school students come forward and take a stand that they would be willing for God to use them this year in their schools and in their lives. (So cool to see tons of people surrounding about 50 students praying over them.)
  • Over and over hearing stories of answered prayer in peoples lives.  People having "ah hah" and realizing they needed to be saved or being convicted of their selfishness and submitting their hearts more fully to God.  We heard how high school students served the homeless and grew in boldness as they prayed for people in parks.
  • Having a local mission partner, the Dream Center, join us one night and being able to pray for them as they serve our city.
  • Seeing 732 people fill the Rink the first week in June giving us our largest prayer gathering so far.
  • Having a communion service at prayer and seeing people get prayed for by our prayer teams as they came up for communion. (Another picture of the body of Christ working as it should)
  • Seeing the continued results of salvations happening in our weekend services as we pray. (we understand there is a direct correlation between the numbers of salvations and  our prayers.)
  • Seeing people commit their lives to Christ during prayer.
Closet prayer changes lives but corporate prayer changes cities.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Famous Prayer Quote

Intercession executes the will of the King, ripping into the strongholds of hell with the two-edged sword of God's Word. - Jack Hayford.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thoughts on Our Prayer Gathering

I think that Monday Night Prayer for me has not only stepped up into a new level of intimacy between me and the Lord in those corporate times, but it has overtaken my personal prayer life. Every answer to prayer we have seen corporately has awakened my heart to not give up on the thing the things that i have been praying for in my personal life. That persistency has taught me to completely understand that "holy stubbornness" Carl Toti talked about in his sermon. I want to see prayers answered in my life no matter how silly they seem to me letting go of my fear of migraines, seeing my dreams come true, and to the prayers are not so silly to me like seeing my family members saved, even the ones that seem to have the hardest hearts. 

I do not know how long some people have been praying for some things to come to pass such as revival or their love ones to come to Christ, but I do know  that God is walking among us. He is changing the heart of those willing to listen and seek his face and that excites me. There seems to be alot of attacks and tears being shed, but I think the Lord is using this time to draw us closer to Himself. What the enemy is meaning for bad the Lord is turning and using for good and his Glory. I think as we keep praying and seeking for revival and rain, the Lord is going to become evident and intimate to those willing to see Him. Mathew 6:33 says "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" 

Erin Mullins (Elife prayer teams)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Famous Prayer Quote

William McKinley, Jr. (1843-1901), 25th President of the United States

Let me repeat the oath administered by the Chief Justice: “I will faithfully administer the oath of the President of the United States…” This is the obligation I have reverently taken before the Lord this day. To keep it will be my single purpose and my prayer. Our faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers…who will not forsake us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in His footsteps.  From his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1887

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Multifaceted Nature of God

I have watched this month as God has shown up in different ways at different times at our prayer gathering.  You begin to realize how multifaceted God is.  Two weeks ago there was such an excitement about the gathering.  People would clap during a prayer because they were so excited about what was being prayed.  You just sensed faith in the place where we gather.  The energy of God was in the place as He was empowering and encouraging us.

This past week though was so much more of a peaceful night.  We had an acoustic set from our worship team and you could sense peace over the skating rink at the end of prayer.  So much so I encouraged our people to take some time and just be still and let Gods peace encourage them.  During that time I quoted some verses that came to mind like 1 Peter 5:6 & Matthew 11:29,30.  The peaceful nature of God was the encompassing feel of the night.

I am glad God knows what people need and at the right time they need it.  Some nights it is empowering, other nights compassion, some nights peace and others joy.   I love is how multifaceted God is and how He comes each night with the part of His nature we need most.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Right Presentation

I went to a ordination service for a pastor in another denomination the other day.  I realized in that place the appropriate attire for me to present myself with was a suit and tie.  I rarely ever wear a suit and tie anymore, but  it was the the right presentation for that day in that place.  

I think there are appropriate ways to present ourselves to God in prayer. Humility is an important way to present ourselves to God when we come to prayer.  2 Chronicles 7:14 says "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."   and   James 4:6b“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you.  ...10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

I am convinced that we learn to by humble before God.  It is something we can equip people to do.  We can't force them to do it, but we can help them understand how to go there.  A few of the ways we try and help people practice humility as our Monday night prayer are: 

  1. Encouraging people to have postures of prayer.  
  2. We encourage people to kneel from time to time.  
  3. We let people know that raising their hands in worship is an expression that is welcome at prayer and is also biblical.
  4. Letting people turn their palms up in an expression of "I need you God" is something we do from time to time.  
  5. Letting people pray on a mic who will model humility.  
  6. Encouraging leaders to model vulnerability if they are leading prayer.
  7. Model authenticity in prayer (being real) and not posturing.   This is a value we teach in our prayer training.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

24 Hours of Prayer

This past Easter season we wanted to stretch our faith and pray for 500 first time commitments to Christ.  This is over double the numbers of FTC at last years Easter weekend.  We knew it was a big prayer goal.  An increase in prayer would be needed to meet this challenge God had put in our heart.  We doubled our staff prayer times on the week preceding Easter and this year we added 24 hours of prayer during the weekend.  We have intercessors praying during each of our services so we decided to have 24 straight hours of intercession.

We did sign ups for our whole church and had about 70 sign up to participate.  We scheduled people on hour blocks.  We had a handout in our prayer room that people went through as they prayed.  So from 12:30 pm on Saturday to 12:30 pm on Sunday people were praying.  In the night many would walk through the skating rink (place where we have worship services) and pray or would stay in our prayer room and pray through the agenda.  We had live worship at two of those hours.

On Easter week and the following week we had well over 500 first time commitments to Christ.  I think 24 hours of prayer will become an important part of our prepartion for key weekends where we target the lost.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pray with Patience in Trouble

Romans 12:2 says “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

I find all too often I think of trouble as a virus to dealt with and get out of my system immediately.  Lately I have recognized that trouble can be a true catalyst for the maturing of my faith.  I wonder if trouble is a tension to be wrestled with rather than a problem to be solved.  If we recognized that trouble was a part of our existence, a part of our pathway to maturity we might be more apt to take Paul's advice in Romans 12.  Be patient in trouble (it is maturing your faith) and keep on praying (not just to get out of trouble but pray to hear God on how you can mature in the midst of trouble.)

Prayer is so much more than looking for God to be our cosmic Santa Claus giving us whatever makes us feel good.  Prayer is encountering the God of the universe who wants to mature us into the image of Himself, an image that loves greatly, is rich in mercy, and willing to persevere to a wise end.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Getting People Involved in Prayer Gatherings

Prayer gatherings are about getting many people involved in prayer and taking their next steps in growing in prayer.  Here are a few ways we try and do that at our Monday night prayer gatherings.

1. Prayer Ministry Time
    Having people stand for various needs and all the people around them gather around them to pray. This helps everybody be involved.  We usually encourage 1 or 2 of these people to pray out loud for that person.  This involves the people praying out loud but also models for those who have never prayed out loud how to do that.  We might pray for single moms one night or people dealing with hopelessness or people who are dealing with illness, etc.  We often do this toward the end of our prayer time.

2. Open mics.
    We may pray for a particular topic for the night such as revival.  We let people come to the mics at will and pray.  We do have parameters.  People are encouraged to pray sentence and paragraph prayers and not pray chapter prayers.  We have some people assigned to mics to lay a hand on the shoulder of anyone who is going too long and straying away from the topic that night.  On another night we may have people give thanks to God as we did this past Monday night.  We asked people to pray sentence prayers beginning with "God I am thankful for..."

3. Specific people praying.
    We may pray through various topics in a given night.  I may say take a moment and pray for people to get saved this coming weekend.  We give everyone a few minutes to pray and then someone that has been asked beforehand will pray on a mic to close that topic.  If you aren't a large prayer times you can do the same thing with just having those people specified to pray out loud.

4. Prayer Teams
    At the end of our corporate prayer we have teams of people up at the front to pray for anyone who wants to come forward and receive prayer.  We have worship music praying in the background for 15 minutes after prayer has dismissed.  Our prayer teams have gone through a 1 and 1/2 hour prayer training before they can be on a prayer team.

These are just a few of the ways we try and get people involved in our prayer gatherings.  We know that Jesus said his house should be a house of prayer.  We are trying to get as many people involved in helping that happen as we can.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Setting an Environment for Prayer

We have found that a little preparation before the gathering on the environment makes a big difference in the gathering itself.  One of the elements we put into play in our weekly prayer gathering is playing worship music 15 -20 minutes before prayer begins.  We have found that this little thing begins to move peoples hearts towards a focus on God before we begin the corporate gathering.  We have people that will come and just sit during this time and be with God or pray as they wait for the gathering to begin.  Another thing we do is turn the lights down as the music begins.  This helps the mood of the evening.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Highlights from this past month

Monday nights at Experience Life continues to be the fuel that drives our engine.  In the past weeks we have focused on larger topics God has given us to pray; salvation for our city, revival for West Texas, power for our local and foreign missions partners, and Gods continued guidance and empowering of our own vision.  Here are some highlights.

  • Showed a video of the account of the Asbury seminary revival.  People were moved by it.  We opened the mics and people openly confessed sin and came up to pray.
  • Brought out canvases filled with people who we are praying get saved.  Used worship time to come up front and pray for names
  • Prayed for couples going to unreached people groups
  • Shared a powerful email from a missionary who God delivered from the hands of bandits.
  • Began praying for an impossible request: 500 saved at Easter.

Some comments from this past month or so:

  • Phenomenal! ..... I don't know why I even bother wearing makeup!
  • After the open mics for confession - Monday Night Prayer at eLife tonight was one of the most powerful times we've ever had together!
  • Amen! To both most powerful and not wearing makeup :) lol
  • it was my first time i usually go on sat nite but we decided to go tonitw to try itvout i absoulutly loved it i have goose bumps the whole time i felt Gods presents there ....i will b there again on moday nite.
  • 3 people committing their life to Christ on Monday nights the past six weeks.
  • such a good night at prayer...taste and see the Lord is good

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Focus of Corporate Prayer

I read an article on prayer by Jonathan Graf recently.  He made a point about corporate prayer that I thought was important.  His article was on the focus of corporate prayer.  Here is what he said.

Most prayer that takes place in church settings is not corporate prayer. It is more often individual prayer in a corporate setting. Let me assure you that individual prayer in a corporate setting is not wrong. It is an important, valid, needed kind of prayer. But it's not corporate prayer. True corporate prayer seeks God's face as one body in one voice about one thing.
How often do you hear people who gather for prayer praying about 1000 different topics.  This is valid prayer but not corporate prayer.  Corporate prayer is when the group has a focus and is praying together for that focus.

I am convinced God wants the church to pray big focused prayers together.  We should pray for salvations, we should pray for revival, we should pray for vision, we should pray for missions.  This focus of corporate prayer will bring big results.  Many times we are thinking too small as we pray.  If we can get Gods heart for our corporate prayer times I think He will lead us into requests that are bigger than we could think of and bigger than we could complete on our own.

Let your corporate prayer times be a time of being one body in one voice about one focus.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Specificity Helps Repentance

From time to time at our corporate prayer gathering we have times of repentance and confession.  We had one of these times recently and it seemed to go well.  As i was talking to some of our prayer people they let me know they appreciated the specificity of the repentance time.  I read from 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is.  I would read a verse at a time:  "Love is patient" then I would say "have you been impatient in the past week at any time?", then read "Love is kind" and "Have you been unkind to anyone this past week.  People can review the week and think of specific situations when you give them some direction.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monday Night Prayer

Here are some highlights of Monday night prayer this past month.

  • Seeing hundreds write the names of lost friends, family, & hardest hearts in our city on a canvas so that we can continually pray for their salvation.
  • Hearing hundreds pray out loud for those lost ones.
  • Hearing Erin and Casey's story about a young relative who died and their remorse at not sharing with him the gospel and their new commitment to be involved in the lives of their families to share the gospel.
  • In worship singing "In their lives be glorified, in their world be glorified, in their love be glorified" as we prayed for the lost.
  • Having communion at prayer and inviting all to be prayed for by one of our prayer teams.
  • Having one of our prayer team ladies lead her first person to Christ while on the prayer team for  Monday night.
  • Hearing of God speaking to various people at prayer.
  • Watching a clip of a Shelly Hundley video where she shares how she came to Christ.  "I was the hardest heart on my campus".  "Go after the hardest hearts".
  • Asking God to give us his understanding and heart to pray for the lost.
Coming up at prayer
  • Feburary 21st - our first extended prayer time of the year.
  • February 25th - Prayer training for intercessors, prayer teams, & anyone who wants to know more about prayer.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Focus and Guidance in Prayer

Recently I was reading the story of a young black man growing up in the south.  He lived in times of great racial prejudice which could have dramatically destroyed his life.  This young man surrendered his life to Christ.  He sensed God was giving him a life verse of Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  He was trained as a scientist.  One day in the lab he asked God "What was the universe made for ?"  He sensed an impression in his heart, "That's too much for your little mind.  Ask for something more your size."  He then asked "Tell me what man was made for ?"  Again he sensed, "little man you are still asking for too much."  So then he asked "Tell me why the peanut was made ?".

This man who could have been overwhelmed by the life situations of the times ended up inventing 300 uses for the peanut.  This young Christians name was George Washington Carver and he invented a little food product called peanut butter.

God not only uses prayer to help us do impossible things in this life.  God uses prayer to guide us to where he wants us to influence others.