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"Prayer Coach" author James Nicodem shares thoughts -- and book

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 - 2:45 PM CST

Recently, National Prayer Center Director John Maempa spoke with Dr. James Nicodem, pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Illinois, for the "Interviews on Prayer" segment at www.prayer.ag.org. The interview focuses on the need to strengthen personal and corporate prayer and how that can be accomplished.

Nicodem launched Christ Community Church with six couples in 1984; the church now numbers more than 5,000 members on various campuses. Nicodem attributes a strong focus on prayer as a key factor in the life and growth of the church. This focus serves as a backdrop for Nicodem's recent book, Prayer Coach. A "kicker" following the title captures the book's focus: "For all who want to get off the bench and onto the praying field."

"Prayer Coach is one of the most engaging and practical books on prayer I have read," states Maempa. "It is filled with practical insights and how-to's that will coach readers in their personal prayer life and help develop a strong culture of prayer in the local church."

Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer

In partnership with Gospel Publishing House, Crossway Books and the NPC, content from the first two chapters of Prayer Coach has been extracted for the 2010 Week of Prayer booklet titled Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer. The Week of Prayer typically is observed during the first week of January though some churches schedule the observance at other times.

Information about Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer, other Week of Prayer resources including a poster, bulletin covers, bookmarks, Prayer Coach, and more can found by visiting, www.prayer.ag.org, www.gospelpublishing.com or by calling 1-800-641-4310.

Among many insights shared in the interview, Nicodem states, "We tend to see prayer very 'transactionally.' We come to God with our lists and if we don't have anything on our list, we don't pray. If something is pressing us and we want to get something from God, then we pray.

"We need to approach prayer relationally. Jesus said in John 15 that we are to remain in Him and He is to remain in us. Then He says that if we ask whatever we will, He will give it to us.

"We must remember, however, that the promise to answer prayer is premised upon the fact that we're remaining in Christ, that our relational bond is growing deeper and bearing fruit. God wants us to desire more of Him before we get more from Him."

Nicodem notes further that while there are many books on prayer that relate why we should pray, the theology of prayer, stories of great prayers, etc., there are not a lot of books that convey the how-to's of prayer. Maempa states that Prayer Coach and the Week of Prayer booklet, Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer, will provide tremendous help for any who are seeking to strengthen prayer personally and corporately.

The full interview with Nicodem can be accessed by clicking the "Interviews on Prayer" banner on the NPC's home page.

 


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Recently, National Prayer Center Director John Maempa spoke with Dr. James Nicodem, pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Illinois, for the "Interviews on Prayer" segment at www.prayer.ag.org. The interview focuses on the need to strengthen personal and corporate prayer and how that can be accomplished.

Nicodem launched Christ Community Church with six couples in 1984; the church now numbers more than 5,000 members on various campuses. Nicodem attributes a strong focus on prayer as a key factor in the life and growth of the church. This focus serves as a backdrop for Nicodem's recent book, Prayer Coach. A "kicker" following the title captures the book's focus: "For all who want to get off the bench and onto the praying field."

"Prayer Coach is one of the most engaging and practical books on prayer I have read," states Maempa. "It is filled with practical insights and how-to's that will coach readers in their personal prayer life and help develop a strong culture of prayer in the local church."

Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer

In partnership with Gospel Publishing House, Crossway Books and the NPC, content from the first two chapters of Prayer Coach has been extracted for the 2010 Week of Prayer booklet titled Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer. The Week of Prayer typically is observed during the first week of January though some churches schedule the observance at other times.

Information about Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer, other Week of Prayer resources including a poster, bulletin covers, bookmarks, Prayer Coach, and more can found by visiting, www.prayer.ag.org, www.gospelpublishing.com or by calling 1-800-641-4310.

Among many insights shared in the interview, Nicodem states, "We tend to see prayer very 'transactionally.' We come to God with our lists and if we don't have anything on our list, we don't pray. If something is pressing us and we want to get something from God, then we pray.

"We need to approach prayer relationally. Jesus said in John 15 that we are to remain in Him and He is to remain in us. Then He says that if we ask whatever we will, He will give it to us.

"We must remember, however, that the promise to answer prayer is premised upon the fact that we're remaining in Christ, that our relational bond is growing deeper and bearing fruit. God wants us to desire more of Him before we get more from Him."

Nicodem notes further that while there are many books on prayer that relate why we should pray, the theology of prayer, stories of great prayers, etc., there are not a lot of books that convey the how-to's of prayer. Maempa states that Prayer Coach and the Week of Prayer booklet, Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer, will provide tremendous help for any who are seeking to strengthen prayer personally and corporately.

The full interview with Nicodem can be accessed by clicking the "Interviews on Prayer" banner on the NPC's home page.

 


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Survey Reveals What Americans Pray For

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 - 9:07 PM CST

Americans tend to be self-focused in their prayer life, asking God for personal desires more often than people in crisis or the unsaved, according to a recent survey from Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Research.

"Most people pray when they need the red phone for help," says Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. "But their prayer life isn't a habit rooted in a relationship with God."

John Maempa, director of the AG Office of Prayer and Spiritual Care, says, "While for many people praying tends to be a pragmatic means to an end, according to Scripture we are invited to ask for things we need and perhaps even want (Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:33; 7:7; etc.). However, the key to effective prayer is relationship — drawing close to God so He can draw close to us."

In the online survey, Americans spend the most time focusing on friends and family (82 percent of all respondents) as well as their own problems (74 percent). Just over half (54 percent) pray for good things to happen in their life, while more than one third (36 percent) ask God to bless them with future prosperity.

"James Nicodem, in his book 'Prayer Coach,' states that Jesus readily responds to our prayers when we 'start to value our relationship more than our requests; until we want more of Him than we want from Him.'" Maempa observes. "When we're in proper alignment with God's relationally, we are more inclined to pray His will than focus on things we want."

But not all prayers are self-centered. Americans say they also spend time petitioning God about their own sin (42 percent), those in natural disasters (38 percent), people of other religions or no faith (20 percent), and government leaders (12 percent).

And as Jesus' taught, 41 percent say they have prayed for those who mistreat them while 37 percent acknowledge praying for enemies.

On the other hand, 21 percent admit to asking God to win a lottery, 13 percent have sought the Almighty's help for their favorite team to win a game, and 7 percent have wanted God's favor in finding a good parking space.

About half of Americans (48 percent) say they pray at least every day, while a third (31 percent) say they pray repeatedly during the day.

Authors: Pentecostal Evangel and AG News


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