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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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Coins for Kids Giving Sees Results in Alaska

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 - 5:04 PM CST

Jim and Linda Schulz
Missionaries Jim and Linda Schulz.

Missionaries in Venezuela, South Africa, Alaska, Belgium, India, Bolivia, Romania and more have benefitted greatly from the $200,000 the annual national Girls Ministries Coins for Kids missions giving program typically raises each year.

Yet, with new annual focuses every year, past years' projects can sometimes be forgotten. But in the land of the midnight sun, Alaska, the Coins for Kids 2012 giving project to help build a permanent building at a camp for children, has come to pass.

But it was more of a miracle in the making than anyone ever imagined.

The creation of Camp "Agaiutim Nune," which means "The Place of God," and is also known as Camp AN, began with a miracle. The pristine property was donated to AG missionaries Jim and Linda Shulz to create a camp for children.

Camp AN David Huff
Volunteer David Huff with wood beams traveling up the Yukon River to Camp AN.

However, Camp AN may also be a dictionary's definition of "middle of nowhere." Located on the banks of the Yukon River in Western Alaska, with no roads in or out, and accessible only by boat, Camp AN's nearest neighbor is a small village 17 miles away . . . the nearest city is 500 miles away.

But not to be detoured, the Schulzes have been operating the annual camp since 1996. Their focus is on demonstrating God's love and compassion to girls and boys, who are mostly from the Yupik Eskimo tribe, and introducing them to Christ.  However, with limited resources, the camp has had to utilize tents for church services, cooking, eating and sleeping, which had to be shipped in, set up, taken down, and stored every year.

Middle of Nowhere
Where is the "middle of nowhere"? How about Western Alaska, on the Yukon River, 500 miles from the nearest city with the only access being by boat? That is Camp AN!

In a more temperate zone, tents may be the ideal camp experience. But at Camp AN, the temperature sometimes drops below 40 in the summer. The building of a permanent multipurpose building that would protect campers and staff from nature seemed like the best of plans.

Yet even the best of plans hit roadblocks. After the strong giving effort through Coins for Kids to make the building possible, the Schulzes learned that barges couldn't navigate the river to their remote location — there was no way to transport the large, heavy steal beams or other equipment and supplies necessary to the building site.

But where barges failed, God prevailed.

"The very logistics of this projected indicated that it was impossible," Jim Schulz admits, "but God gave us wisdom, creativity, and sheer manpower to move and handle extremely heavy pieces of building materials without the use of heavy equipment."

Steel floor supports
Wood beams and steal floor supports are in place, awaiting layers of decking.

Schulz says that with the help of many volunteers and using their two relatively small camp boats, they transported 80 tons of building materials to the project site. From the ground to the locked doors, it took just 32 days to put the building up.

"Many men and church groups from both Alaska and the 'Lower 48' worked extremely long hours to accomplish the task," Schulz says. "So many miracles happened before and during construction that a brief statement like this could never begin to enumerate."

Volunteer David Huff, who attends Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri, learned about the Camp AN project through a Pentecostal Evangel article. He agrees with Schulz, stating that the miracles that took place for the building to be completed are too numerous to name.

Nearing completion of building
The building nearly enclosed.

"Even though I have a background in carpentry, this project was very unlike anything I had ever done, due to the remote location and lack of equipment," Huff recalls. "There were lots of challenges that seemed insurmountable, but God provided solutions at just the right time.  

"We had 10 very large and heavy beams and 26 large red iron trusses that we had to move by boat, and unload them without equipment," Huff explains. "At one time it seemed completely impossible, but God gave the answer how to move them." 

Huff even praises God for the weather, explaining that typically August is a very wet month in Western Alaska, but during the two weeks he was there, the building effort was blessed by only two short periods of rain. "It was really amazing and incredibly unusual," he says.

Enclosed building at Camp AN
Through the efforts of missionaries and many volunteers, the Camp AN camp building is built in just 32 days.

Schulz says that the new building will house the chapel, dining hall and kitchen. 

"We have used the tents for 19 years and they show much wear," Schulz says. "Now we will be able to continue with a safe, dry, warm facility to continue reaching and disciplining souls for Christ. Next summer we have some 'finish' work to complete — outside steps, windows, two side doors, electrical work and insulate. We are confident God will continue to help us with this as well."

To view additional pictures of the building project in different stages of completion, see the Schulzes' Camp AN Flickr pages. To learn more about Coins for Kids, click here.

 

Authors: Dan Van Veen

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