Designing Discipleship Systems: from the Introduction 1.1
 
QUOTE In the beginning, west of Eden, humanity began to fulfill the command of God: “be fruitful and multiply.” God’s creation is continually fruitful in a continually changing environment. To adapt and be fruitful is natural to all creation.
In the beginning, north of Calvary, the disciples began to fulfill the command of Jesus Christ to be fruitful and multiply:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20) [2].

In the following twenty centuries the pace of change has accelerated as the population of the world has increased. Each new generation of Christians has flourished relative to their obedience to everything that Jesus commanded. As Donald McGavran said, “It is God’s will that his Church grow, that his lost children are found” [3] The foundational principle of church growth is “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10). The Great Commission is more than a principle; it is a pattern for the Church of Jesus Christ to obediently practice in order to fulfill God’s will to be fruitful and multiply. [1]

NOTE
QUESTIONS
RESOURCES
The photo …
[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, page .
     It is shared here in recognition of its 10th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled  Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology
[2] Genesis 1:28. Cf. Genesis 8:15-17. All quotations of the Bible are from the Revised Standard Version of
the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
[3] Win Arn, “The Donald McGavran I Knew,” Ministry Advantage 7, no. 4:6.
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Designing Discipleship Systems: The Abstract

ABSTRACT

Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision:
A Threefold Process of Revitalization
For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference
David O. Kueker
Doctor of Ministry
School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
2007

In 2004, I was one of six certified consultants working with the Office of Congregational Development of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, a judicatory unit tasked with the responsibility of responding within the twelve months to over 120 requests for consulting in church growth and revitalization with individual churches.

The large number of requests threatened to overwhelm the capacity of these part-time consultants to respond in a timely and effective manner. In order to meet this need, this study guide has been developed as a seminar-based Self-Study Process for church growth and revitalization combining my research as a Doctor of Ministry student at Fuller Seminary with the policies of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and its Office of Congregational Development. Seminars can absorb large numbers of participant churches and allow every church to receive some consulting support.

The first seminar, Diagnosis, will help churches understand their situations compared to the principles which guide the largest and fastest growing churches in the world, and particularly the discipleship system of the Yoido Full Gospel Church of Seoul, Korea.

Grace, whether prevenient, justifying, or sanctifying, is a process of change; therefore, grace and the gospel are always extraordinary, entering systems as foreign influences contrary to the status quo. The second seminar, Dialogue, will blend insights from Peter Senge, Everett Rogers, and Geoffrey Moore in order to help churches understand how to overcome systemic resistance to change, including systemic resistance to the gospel, to grace and to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The third seminar, Decision, will offer examples of tools that make disciples and disciple makers and which integrate and apply the principles taught in the previous two seminars. The entire project will function as a gentle antithesis to homeostasis in order to provoke multiple conversations that lead to the adoption of disciple making innovations.

The seminars will incorporate the vision, mission and goals of our conference leadership and the Office of Congregational Development. This will facilitate outcomes congruent with these criteria and prepare pastors and participating churches for long-term cooperation with the Office of Congregational Development.

Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson Words: 379  [1]

NOTE
QUESTIONS
RESOURCES
The photo …
[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, page iii.
     It is shared here in recognition of its 10th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled  Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology.
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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.9

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.9
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1:

QUOTE #2:

QUOTE #3:

QUOTE #4:

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The image is from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2]

[3]

[4]

 

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.8

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.8
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1: [1]

 

QUOTE #2: Senior Pastor Michael Slaughter was appointed to Ginghamsburg in 1979 as the church’s first full-time pastor. At the time, the church averaged approximately 90 people in attendance. Since Slaughter’s arrival, the mission of the church has been to “win the lost and set the oppressed free,” leading to the church’s exponential growth. Today, approximately 5,000 people are on Ginghamsburg’s campuses each week. Slaughter has become a leading figure in the missional church movement and a popular author and speaker, and has repeatedly been named one of the most influential Christians in America. [2]

QUOTE #3: Emptying my office has served to remind me of a few things. First, God has truly brought about a miracle in this place! A two-room country church of 90 folks has multiplied into a missional movement of thousands. But, when well-meaning sisters and brothers commend me over the weeks ahead for the accomplishment of a great work, I will have to put a hand up and confess, “Hey, it wasn’t me! I am just the donkey that Jesus rode in on.” In a sense though, what Ginghamsburg has become hasn’t surprised me in the least. I saw it 38 years ago when I spent a day alone in the field behind that little country chapel telling God I wouldn’t leave until God gave me a vision for what was to lie ahead. And, God did. Otherwise, I never would have made it through those early days when the negative resisters and naysayers called in my district superintendent trying to get rid of me. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).

While digging through the papers in my office cabinet, I also found evidence that I recognized from the early days on that a vision is simply a wish unless you put together a strategy for accomplishing it. A yellow, legal pad (circa 1981) surfaced, listing the early start of my strategy for bringing about God’s vision for Ginghamsburg.

QUOTE #4: [YouTube Video] In the early 1990s, Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church was outgrowing its campus in Miami County, Ohio. The Pastor, Mike Slaughter had a vision for a new campus. A design team set out to find the site and lay out plans. Mike Scinto says “We were blessed when we learned the land directly behind our property would serve as that campus. As I sat on our deck one evening and looked out across the field it was one of the few times I remember getting a direct message from God.” “Field of Dreams” fit perfectly. The recent Kevin Costner film said “Build it and they will come” … Scinto shared it with the team and “Field of Dreams” put a name to Mike Slaughter’s vision. In 1993 Scinto was asked to co-produce and co-write this video showing the need for the new expansion and how it could be achieved. What memories came back when he found this in a box in the lower level of their home recently.

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The image is from Pixabay.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2] Ginghamsburg Church, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginghamsburg_Church

[3]  “The Power of the Plan” by Mike Slaughter, http://mikeslaughter.com/blog/the-power-of-the-plan

[4] Ginghamsburg Church Field of Dreams Campaign 1993, YouTube video by Mike Scinto   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajnKgQSwzZY

 

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.7

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.7
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1: [1]

QUOTE #2: The Western Wall … is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the “Western Wall”. The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a large rectangular structure topped by a huge flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself and its auxiliary buildings.

The Western Wall is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though it is not the holiest site in the Jewish faith, which lies behind it. The original, natural and irregular-shaped Temple Mount was gradually extended to allow for an ever-larger Temple compound to be built at its top. This process was finalised by Herod, who enclosed the Mount with an almost rectangular set of retaining walls, built to support extensive substructures and earth fills needed to give the natural hill a geometrically regular shape. On top of this box-like structure Herod built a vast paved esplanade which surrounded the Temple. Of the four retaining walls, the western one is considered to be closest to the former Temple, which makes it the most sacred site recognised by Judaism outside the former Temple Mount esplanade. Just over half the wall’s total height, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, and is commonly believed to have been built around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, although recent excavations indicate that the work was not finished by the time Herod died in 4 BCE. The very large stone blocks of the lower courses are Herodian, the courses of medium-sized stones above them were added during the Umayyad era, while the small stones of the uppermost courses are of more recent date, especially from the Ottoman period. [2]

QUOTE #3: The term Western Wall and its variations are mostly used in a narrow sense for the section traditionally used by Jews for prayer, and it has also been called the “Wailing Wall”, referring to the practice of Jews weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples…. The term “Wailing Wall” is not used by Jews, and increasingly not by many others who consider it derogatory. [3]

QUOTE #4: Visitors to Jerusalem often place written prayers in the cracks of the Western Wall. But what happens when those crevices get too full? Ten million people visited the Western Wall (called the Kotel in Hebrew) last year. Many of them tucked prayer requests between the ancient stones. “This Wall is very famous for Jewish people to come and pray and to put requests even in writing to God, and this is a tradition for thousands and thousands of years,” Avi Hochman, president of the Israel Postal Service, told CBN News.

It is the retaining wall of the plaza of the Second Temple from 2,000 years ago. When King Solomon dedicated the First Jewish Temple, God said His eyes and heart would always be there. “That’s why traditionally Jews, and those of other faiths, put their prayers in the Wall. If they can’t make the trip to Israel, they send their requests via post, email, or text.

So, what happens when those cracks get too full? Twice a year, the prayer slips are removed from the cracks between the old stones. Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said no one reads the papers because they’re notes between man and his Creator. Workers collect the notes, bundle them in bags and later bury them in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. According to Jewish religious practice, it’s forbidden to destroy anything on which the name of God is written. That means these little prayer slips are treated with the same respect as worn or damaged Torah scrolls and prayer books. [4]

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The photo “Soldiers at the Wailing Wall” is by Mor
and is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmoorr/68203306/ courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2] Western Wall, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

[3] Western Wall, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

[4] What Happens to Prayers at the Western Wall? by Julie Stahl, June 08, 2012 at http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2012/May/What-Happens-to-Prayers-at-the-Western-Wall/?mobile=false

 

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.6

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.6
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1:

QUOTE #2:

QUOTE #3:

QUOTE #4:

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The image is from Pixabay.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2]

[3]

[4]

 

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.5

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.5
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1:

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The images are from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2]

[3]

[4]

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.4

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.4
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1:

QUOTE #2: “When you realize how desperately you need God’s fullness, you will want to take time to meet with Him each day. Realize, however, that finding that time will not be easy. The hymn Take Time to Be Holy [2] expresses the hardest thing about spending time with God. We will most likely never find time; we will have to take it from the other demands that crowd and press on us.

Paul Cedar, a well-known pastor and Christian leader, confessed this: I had been establishing appointments for every person and every event that was important in my life. . . . I realized that I rarely if ever scheduled an appointment with God. That recognition transformed my schedule and my prayer life. I began to schedule time alone with God every day. In fact, whenever I buy a new date book now, I always set my regular appointment with God first. . . .” [3]

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES

The image is from Pixabay.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2] The history of the hymn can be found here:  History of Hymns: “Take Time to Be Holy” by C. Michael Hawn at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-take-time-to-be-holy.

[3] An Appointment with the King: Ideas for Jump-starting Your Devotional Life by Joel Comiskey – Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/briY6Xz.

 

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.3

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.3
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1:  [1]

QUOTE #2: “One night in 1989, my newlywed wife and I were on our way home from a church service in Escondido, California. Just as darkness descended upon a deserted stretch of Freeway 15 our old Toyota sputtered to a stop. Out of gas. I had been busy that week and had forgotten to fill the tank. There we were, no telephones, no houses, nothing nearby. I opened the car door in a state of numbness, shocked by our bleak circumstances. “I guess I’ll just have to put out my thumb,”I mumbled to myself.

Within three minutes, a smiling person stopped, introduced himself as a Christian evangelist, drove us to the nearest gas station (many miles away) and back again to the car. Unforgettable. A miracle straight from the throne of God—yet I dare not tempt God again by purposely running out of gas on a dark highway just to see if another evangelist, or perhaps this time an apostle, would stop!

Just as cars need gasoline, Christians will stop functioning spiritually unless we receive fuel from above. Even those who show up on Sunday, glory in God’s grace and consider themselves card-carrying evangelicals will have little impact on society if they are running on empty. Time with God provides the spiritual sustenance necessary to fill up our souls.

A miracle straight from the throne of God—yet I dare not tempt God again by purposely running out of gas on a dark highway just to see if another evangelist, or perhaps this time an apostle, would stop! Just as cars need gasoline, Christians will stop functioning spiritually unless we receive fuel from above. Even those who show up on Sunday, glory in God’s grace and consider themselves card-carrying evangelicals will have little impact on society if they are running on empty. Time with God provides the spiritual sustenance necessary to fill up our souls.” [2]

QUOTE #3: Recent studies indicate that Americans work the longest hours in the industrialized world—nearly 2000 hours per year! Between 1977 and 1997, the average workweek among salaried Americans was lengthened from 43 to 47 hours. Over the same years, the number of workers putting in 50 or more hours a week jumped from 24 to 37 percent. Scarcely a decade ago, Americans were horrified with the work habits of the Japanese. Now, according to a recent report of the International Labor Organization, the United States has slipped past Japan to become the longest-working nation in the world (note 4). The average American works eight weeks more per year than the average western European, and the same report says that Americans run a risk of burning out (note 5). Working hard is not wrong; burning out while working hard is the problem. When we work hard without God’s joy and peace controlling our lives, we build up stress and worry that result in burnout and dysfunctional behavior.” [3]

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The photo “Out of gas” is by Don Harder  and is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/dharder9475/16424160062/
courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2] An Appointment with the King: Ideas for Jump-starting Your Devotional Life by Joel Comiskey – Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/briY6Xz

[3] An Appointment with the King: Ideas for Jump-starting Your Devotional Life by Joel Comiskey – Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/briY6Xz

 

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MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.2

MONDAY SCHOOL for July 30, 2017, #4.2
from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

QUOTE #1:

QUOTE #2: An interesting bit of science attached to this ethnocentric and geocentric evolution of prayer comes out of Duke University Medical Center, where a study found that, within a group of 150 cardiac patients who received alternative post-operative therapy treatment, the sub-group who also received intercessory prayer (they were prayed for) had the highest success rate within the entire cohort. The fascinating thing about the study is that it was double-blind – neither the researchers, nor those on the receiving end of the intercessory prayer knew that these patients were being prayed for — suggesting an intervening variable.

A comparable double-blind study, conducted at San Francisco General Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit, demonstrated similar results. Those patients “prayed for” showed a significantly diminished need for imminent critical care, maintenance medications and heroic measures, as well as witnessing fewer deaths – again, suggesting an intervening variable.

Clearly, the intervening variable implied by these studies isn’t a case for God. It does suggest, however, some relationship between the states of consciousness experienced by those praying, and the subjective experience of those prayed for. [2]

QUOTE #3: Our species has probably been praying for as long as we have been able to contemplate our existence. And though we may never be able to establish evidence that a deity or spiritual force actually hears our prayers, in recent years, scientists have begun to consider the potential tangible (i.e., measurable) effects of prayer. And this research suggests that prayer may be very beneficial. So here are five scientifically-supported benefits of prayer:

1. Prayer improves self-control …
2. Prayer makes you nicer …
3. Prayer makes you more forgiving …
4. Prayer increases trust …
5. Prayer offsets the negative health effects of stress …

As I have discussed here and here, religion is complicated. It can be both good and bad for your health depending on a number of variables. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that prayer, a behavior often associated with religion, can be beneficial for individuals and society. [3]

QUOTE #4: Prayer is the practice of connecting to something deeper and more meaningful in life. It is rooted in a sense of spirituality. Prayer has two dimensions, one internal in the form of self-reflection and self-awareness, and the other external in a sense of connection with a depth, something bigger than the self and an inner dependency with all the other creation. Prayer, when done with the right awareness and intention and in moderation, can be beneficial in a number of ways:

1. It can give people a moderate sense of optimism and a healthy dose of hope. Optimism that there is more than the tip of the iceberg to life, and hope that when things do not go the way one wants despite reasonable effort, that there are other options.

2. It can help people cultivate a sense of gratitude. Prayer gives the person a quiet moment to use the time to appreciate the positive in life and to remember that at any moment, there is so much more positive than negative to life. And that sometimes, what seems negative may be otherwise.

3. It can help people delay gratification and control impulsive actions. By using this time to calm your mind, you can evaluate situations to see if it would create any harm and if it does, to stop yourself from doing it.

4. It can give people time to be able to see things from a broader perspective and that by itself can help with obsessive acts and compulsive thought or limited thinking. [4]

QUOTE #5: Researchers from Baylor University found that people who pray to a loving and protective God are less likely to experience anxiety-related disorders—worry, fear, self-consciousness, social anxiety and obsessive compulsive behavior—compared to people who pray but don’t really expect to receive any comfort or protection from God…. For many people, God is a source of comfort and strength, says researcher Matt Bradshaw, Ph.D; and through prayer, they enter into an intimate relationship with Him and begin to feel a secure attachment. When this is the case, prayer offers emotional comfort, resulting in fewer symptoms of anxiety disorders….

The findings add to the growing body of research confirming a connection between a person’s perceived relationship with God and mental and physical health. In fact, a recent study by Oregon State University found that religion and spirituality result in two distinct but complementary health benefits. Religion (religious affiliation and service attendance) is linked to better health habits, including less smoking and alcohol consumption, while spirituality (prayer, meditation) helps regulate emotions. [5]

THINKING IT THROUGH
What gets your attention? Why?
What is the human need or problem here?
What is that like?

SOW: What does it SAY?
What does it say that I should OBEY?
WHO needs to hear this?

What is the divine solution?
How can we visualize it?

How can we make it happen? What are the steps?

RESOURCES
The image is from Pixabay.

FOOTNOTES

[1] This post is based on the sermon series: The Normal Christian Church – Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Sermon #4 from The Place Of Prayer In The Normal Christian Church Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to … prayer.

[2] The Science, Psychology, and Metaphysics of Prayer by Michael J Formica MS, MA, EdM Posted Jul 28, 2010 at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/enlightened-living/201007/the-science-psychology-and-metaphysics-prayer.

[3] 5 Scientifically Supported Benefits of Prayer by Clay Routledge Ph.D. Posted Jun 23, 2014 at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-mortal/201406/5-scientifically-supported-benefits-prayer.

[4] The Positive Psychological Effects of Prayer by Michelle Roya Rad.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roya-r-rad-ma-psyd/prayer_b_3055127.html. Dr Rad lists 14 psychological benefits of prayer in her article.

[5] Praying to a Loving God Guards Against Anxiety Disorders by Traci Pedersen, September 09 2014 at http://spiritualityhealth.com/blog/traci-pedersen/praying-loving-god-guards-against-anxiety. “The study, entitled “Prayer, Attachment to God, and Symptoms of Anxiety-Related Disorders among U.S. Adults” is published in the journal Sociology of Religion. For the research, investigators looked at the data of 1,714 volunteers who participated in the most recent Baylor Religion Survey. They focused on general anxiety, social anxiety, obsession and compulsion.”

 

 

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