Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bookstores Carrying - More Questions than Answers, Sharing Faith by Listening

I promised to list on my Blog all of the Canadian Bookstores carrying More Questions than Answers, Sharing Faith by Listening. It is also available on Amazon.

The bookstores that I know are carrying More Questions than Answers are listed below. If you are carrying the book and are not included on the list, please contact me at and I will be happy to add your store to the list.

La Lumière Librairie Chrétienne

271-A St Jean, Pointe-Claire, QC H9R 3J1

Librairie CLC

4257 Ouest Ste Catherine

Westmount QC H3Z 1P7

Librairie CLC

650 Gouin Est

Montréal QC

H2C 1A6

Inspirations Christian Resources Inc.

#40, 130 Broadway Blvd

Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2A3

Ph: 780-449-0455

Fax: 780-449-0415

Heaven Sent Books

903 Main Street

Box 3158

Melfort Sk

S0E 1A0

Faith Family Books & Gifts
45 Milner Avenue
Unit 102
Toronto, Ontario
M1S 3P6

V9W 5T5

N6G 4W3

The Practice of Intercession

Now that I have told you about all of the tools that I use for my intercession, you may be wondering how I proceed. What are the things that I talk to the Lord about in this time when I arise and settle down on the couch in the den with my lap desk? I am usually accompanied by our cat, Belle who initially jumps up on the lap desk to see what I am going to do and when she finds that it is not that interesting to her, she moves over to the chair at the desk and curls up there to wait until I have finished.

The order of the topics I cover has no particular significance and changes frequently. I mentioned earlier that I begin with the large folder of current topics for prayer that are most urgent, as well as the lists of requests. These days the first topic is our personal prayer requests. If you have read my book, More Questions than Answers, Sharing Faith by Listening, you may remember that when we were responsible for the work of The Salvation Army in France, a decade ago, we faced some significant challenges in our ministry. It became clear to us that we needed additional prayer support, so I organized our prayer support team. That was when we started the prayer team. These people pray for us on a regular basis. We prepare and send out our prayer newsletter to them every month, outlining the specific needs that we have in our ministries and in our lives. The prayer support team really proved its worth at the time of our son’s accident, eight years ago. A traffic accident when the vehicle he was driving hit black ice on the highway in northern Vermont left him a quadriplegic.

As well as asking others to remember our prayer requests, I also pray through the list myself, praying for one request each day. Since there are seven prayer topics in the list, I can cover them four times each month.

Praying about the concerns that we have also reminds me to pray for those who are part of our prayer network. I have listed all of them by name and the second list in my folder is the names of all the members of our prayer support team. I pray for a different person or couple each morning. Since the list is quite long, it takes me a while to work through the list. Some of the names also appear on other lists in my folders for various other reasons. We will eventually come to those.

The third page in my current acute prayer list is the name of a little boy, whose parents are part of our congregation. He has been having seizures and there are still a lot of questions about what is causing these and how to treat them. His father is the one who does the translation from English into Spanish for those who come to worship with us but are still learning the English language. This is their first child and they are worried about this health concern of their little boy.

As we continue this journey of intercession, I will share with you some of the other concerns that occupy this valuable part of my day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The How of Intercession

In my last blog, I promised to tell you about the method that I use to determine the appropriate Scriptures for a person on my prayer list. For several years now I have been doing what I call “praying the Scriptures.” What I mean by that is that I read the Bible as I pray. I read each sentence and if I feel that sentence is particularly appropriate for the person I am praying for, I will note the Scripture reference beside the date. Sometimes I will have the opportunity to share these Scriptures with the person for whom I have prayed. When I do so, it is an encouragement to them. I keep these lists and I hope one day to be able to share verses with many more people for whom I have prayed.

These various lists make up the contents of the right pocket of my lap desk. On the left side, I keep other material. When I have finished praying for those listed on my intensive care and request lists and my day of the week lists, I then open a book from the left pocket, where I have a three-day rotation list of requests. Thee are people who I have been praying for a long time. Some have ongoing health concerns. Some are those I mentor spiritually. Others are close friends, whom I want to support in their spiritual journey by my prayers.

Tucked inside this book is also a list that I consult daily with three sections. The first is a group of young adults from Africa that I had the privilege of mentoring when I met with them at the African School o Youth Leadership in 2006. I remember one of the four of them each day by name. Another of the lists includes current spiritual leaders (pastors or corps officers as we call them in The Salvation Army) of the congregation that Glen and I attend. I pray for them in rotation with the leaders that preceded them,. I also pray for the leaders of the congregation that Glen and I were part of before we left Toronto to move back to Montreal. I feel that it is important to uphold those in spiritual leadership. The final list tucked inside the book is one that includes family members by name. They are also remembered every day.

With this list, my daily prayer requests conclude. However, I have also incorporated into this time a practice of Scripture memorization. I use a book that lists verses of Scripture appropriate for different situations. I repeat a number of these verses daily and write out one verse every day, to try and not only commit them to memory but also think how to put them into practice in my life. As I get older, I find it harder to commit things to memory, so I rely on constant repetition to try and get these thoughts imbedded in my mind.

Finally, I have been trying to learn Spanish, as my current ministry has given me the opportunity to travel to Latin America and I want to be able to communicate with those I meet. I finish my prayer time by reading a devotional from the Spanish version of Our Daily Bread and the appropriate Scripture portion from my Spanish Bible.

I have outlined the activities that constitute my time of intercession. In my next blog, I will walk you through some of the requests, so you can get an idea of the content. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Content of Intercession

One thing that I have learned over the years of intercession is that taking the same time every day to engage in prayer certainly does not mean it is necessary to slavish follow the same routine. I have tried a variety of different approaches over the years. At one time, when we lived next to a park, I tried going out for a walk in the early morning and praying while I walked. For now, my preferred style is to sit on the couch with a lap desk. The lap desk has pockets built right in, on each side where I can store my papers and books.

I have always been a person who writes lists. I find that if I do not write something down, I am liable to forget it. For that reason, I began many years ago to write down the prayer requests that I wanted to remember. Otherwise, I would nearly always forget them and feel a lot of guilt about that.

What is in those pockets of the desk? On one side are file folders with my lists. There is a large folder that I consult every day. This consists of what I would call my intensive care needs. These are the immediate concerns of people that are of a more urgent nature. I feel I need to remember them every day. I will give you some examples as we go along. The other lists in this folder are people who send me their prayer newsletters or lists of requests and I pray for one of their requests each day. For example, I belong to the prayer team of The Word Guild. Once a week I receive a list of prayer requests for our members. Each morning I will pray through one page of requests on that list. It is usually six to eight pages long, so that system just works out right over the course of the week.

As well as what I consider the daily folder, I also have folders for each day of the week. These contain requests that are less urgent and I remember them once a week. Continuing the hospital analogy, these people are the ones in the sections where they require less intensive care. They may be folks with an ongoing challenge that need prayer support just to keep going.

One other folder that I keep in the right side pocket contains the sheet that I have completed, that is there is no more room to write on them. On these sheets are listed the dates and Scriptures that I have recorded for that particular prayer item. I will tell you more about that in my next blog, as well as fill you in on the items in the left pocket of the desk. Keep tuned and thanks for walking with me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Call to Intercession

I have been taking you on a journey with me to discover my life as an intercessor. This morning I will tell you about my call to intercession.

We were living in Rueil Malmaison, France at the time. This is one of the western suburbs of Paris. I had begun attending Bible Study Fellowship, an English speaking Bible study group that met in a Baptist church in Rueil Malmaison. A friend from the Bible study was driving me home after our meeting and in the car we chatted about what was happening in our lives. I happened to mention that for some strange reason I had begun to wake early in the morning, and was not able to get back to sleep.

To my surprise, she said to me, “ Do you think the Lord might be calling you to prayer?”

I had to be honest and say that I had not thought that might be a possibility. However, I certainly was willing to consider that. So the next morning when I awoke, I quietly slipped out of bed, crept downstairs so I would not arouse anyone else and settled in a chair in the living room to spend some time in prayer. It was like I had come home. That day I began a routine that has continued every day since. It was over twenty years ago and every day, He awakens me to come and meet with Him. I have never had to depend upon an alarm clock. He knows how much time I will need and awakens me accordingly.

I have to admit there are times when I have arisen reluctantly, only doing so out of obedience. There have been times when I have felt physical exhaustion. Yet, I would not ever want to give up this precious time.

As we continue to travel together, I will try to share with you some of the content of these valuable hours that I am able to spend in intercession.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Journey to Intercession

I promised yesterday to tell you how I became involved in the intensive intercession ministry that I now have. Today I will begin to do that.

Prayer has always been a part of my life. Like most people in my generation, my first memories of prayer are being taught to kneel by my bed as a little child and repeat a rote prayer. “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” This was followed by requests for God to bless all my family and friends. Early on, I began to name them off. I guess that I wanted to be sure the Lord knew the exact people I was asking Him to look after. It was also useful to me to help me remember family members who lived far away and who were not part of my daily life.

Later on, the family would all gather at the dinner table and after the meal, we would each take a turn and pray, my brothers and I taking our turns. We went through a rotation, beginning with my father and finishing with my younger brother. There I learned from the example of my parents to not only think about asking God for the things I wanted, but to have an awareness and concern for the needs of others.

I think that I must have been in my late teens or early twenties, when I decided to keep track of my prayers. I read somewhere that this was helpful, because you could then note when these prayers were answered. So, I started my lists. Usually I just entered the date and made a list of people that I was praying for. At times, I would also add specific requests for them beside their names in a word or two. These I kept in tiny spiral notepads.

As a young mother at home with my children, I remember always trying to take time for prayer in the morning, before I got into the activities of the day. As the children grew, it became more difficult to keep the discipline, but I usually managed to find some time in my day to spend in prayer. Having a list was helpful, as it gave me something tangible to go back to. I never devoted a great deal of time to prayer. In those years, it really was often prayer on the run. There were quiet times for prayer that I could somehow fit into my day, like when I was driving my children somewhere or waiting for appointments of various kinds.

It was really when I was in my early forties that I sensed the call to intercession. I will tell you more about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Life as an Intercessor

There is a significant part of my life that I have never written about. Now I feel that the time has come to do so. One of my greatest joys comes from my life as an intercessor. Probably the reason that I have not written about it is that it is so personal. Yet, it is also the most other oriented thing that I do. I am able to forget about myself when I am praying for others and to concentrate on them, on their needs, and on what God can and is doing in their lives. So I invite you to go on this very personal yet what I have found so enriching journey with me, as I try to share something of what my life is like as an intercessor. Tomorrow I will tell you how I started this incredible journey many years ago.