Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Here are 10 prayers with Bible verses to pray for those who do not yet know God personally:

1.  That God draws them to Himself

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…”  John 6:44

2. That they seek to know God

God did this so that men would seek him and perharps reach of r for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”  Acts 17:27

3.  That they believe the Scriptures

And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of man, but as it actually is, the word of God…”  1 Thessalonians 2:13

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

4. That Satan is bound from blinding them from the truth

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and doesn’t not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart…”  Matthew 13:19

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ,  who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4

5. That the Holy Spirit works in them

When (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement…He will guide you into all truth…” John 16:8,13

6.  That they believe in Christ as Savior

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  John 1:12

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed from death to life.”  John 5:24

7.  That they turn from sin

…God commands all people everywhere to repent.”  Acts 17:31

8.  That they confess Christ as Lord

…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9-10

9.  That they yield all to follow Christ

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

10. That they go public with their faith through baptism

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”  Acts 2:38,41

Let’s keep circling and trusting God to do what only He can do!

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ChangedWe’re trusting God that this Sunday is the biggest Sunday of the year at Graystone Church.  We are not trusting God for the highest attendance of the year but for the most LIFE CHANGE.  We are praying for dozens of lives to be CHANGED for all eternity.

In order for this to happen, EVERYONE needs to do his or her part.  I’ve asked each of you to circle at least one person in prayer and invite them to Graystone.  I will do my part by clearly and passionately sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and brining EVERYONE to a point of decision. And ultimately, it will come down to God.   God is the only one who can CHANGE a person’s heart.  And that is what we are trusting God to do.  We can plant seeds and water them, but God causes the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

So hopefully, each of you has a person you are circling in prayer and inviting to come this Sunday.  And I would say, do whatever it takes to get them to church as long as it is legal, moral, ethical and Biblical.  If you need to pick them up in a hummer limo, buy them lunch, or promise to go to their child’s U6 soccer game or piano recital, then do it.

As we have learned and discussed during our 40 Days of Prayer, we need to claim God’s promises from His word as we draw prayer circles.  Remember, if we pray according to God’s will, He hears us and answers our prayers (1 John 5:14-15).  So, let me give you a few Bible verses to claim for the person in your prayer circle and for this Sunday at Graystone.

I’m personally claiming Romans 1:16 for my message.  Please pray this one with me.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,  because it is the power of God that brings salvation to EVERYONE who believes:  first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”  Romans 1:16

Here is one to pray for your friend, neighbor or loved one.

for, “EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13

Here is a verse to pray for Sunday, October 20 at Graystone Church.

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is THE DAY of salvation.”  2 Corinthians 6:2

Let’s do our part and trust God to do what only He can do!

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Here’s Jenny Smith’s incredible prayer testimony:

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Holy Land Trip

isra-MMAP-mdJennifer and I are heading to Israel today with a group of around 30 folks including her parents and sister.   It is the trip of a lifetime, and we are looking forward to touring many famous Biblical sites.  We are trusting God for a life-changing experience and for Him to give us a better and deeper understanding of Himself and His word.  Thank you so much for your prayers.   We return home on Saturday, October 12.

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Night of WorshipIf you haven’t heard, we are pretty pumped about the Night of Worship on Wednesday at 7:00PM at Graystone Church.  I am almost as excited about it as I am the 12:00PM service each week.  Actually, I’m even more excited about the NOW (Night of Worship).  And as I talked with people at both campuses yesterday, it sounds like EVERYONE is jacked about it.  I think Graystone Church is even more excited about the NOW than the LSU vs UGA Football Game.  And we should be!

Here are 5 FYI’s you might want to know about the NOW:

1.  Some people are coming early to tailgate before the Night of Worship.  They told me that they want to get here early, so they can get a good seat.  I’m confident that not EVERYONE will get to sit in “their seat”, but chances are better if you get here early.   Everyone can gather in the lobby and front patio until the doors open.

2. We are closing the doors at 7PM.  If you get here late, you will not be able to get in until after the first set of songs.  We will let late-comers in during the welcome/opening remarks before we start the second set of songs.  If you are late and cannot get in for the first worship set, please do not take it out on our staff or ushers.  If you want to complain to someone, you can talk with me afterwards or send me “one of those emails”.  We are recording a live album, so we need as few people coming and going as possible.  Come to think of it, maybe I will get my bodyguards, Benji Laws and Billy Brice, to watch the door.

3.  We are not letting kids under the age of 10 in the auditorium.  Again, we will be strict about this (See above).  We have childcare available, and the children can play in the kids area with their friends.  If this is going to keep you from coming to the NOW, let me apologize in advance.  Again, you can send me “one of those emails”.

4.  We’ve asked the students (middle and high school), to sit/stand in the front of the auditorium as close to the stage as possible.  They have a heart for worship, and I am hoping and praying their passion for God will encourage all of us.  And this will free up more seats in the auditorium.  So people think it will be standing room only.  We will see.

5. Please come prepared to celebrate and worship God. It is going to be a really special night.  We have so many reasons to worship and thank God for who He is and all He has done in and through our lives and church.  May He have all the glory!

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23

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As the pastor/shepherd of Graystone Church, I carry everyone’s burdens.  I daily give them to God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  Sometimes my prayer time can be a bit overwhelming, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  I believe this is partly why I am so quick to shed a tear (Although, I am not a crier).  The joy of getting to carry the weight of the church (the people) is seeing God move and answer prayers.  One of the reasons my faith is so strong is that I’ve seen God answer hundreds of prayer and make the impossible possible.

Now, I’m not great at journaling.  And over the years I’ve been sporadic.  Organization and details are not my strengths.  Anyway, yesterday in preparation for Sunday’s message I was having a hard time remembering some examples of God answering prayers at Graystone.  So, I started thumbing through my old prayer journals, and I was blown away.  If you are not in the habit of specifically writing down your prayers, let me encourage you to make an effort.

Here are just a few of the answered prayers from my prayer journal:

  • Shannon Ayers- save her life (multiple answers to this one)
  • Heal Julie Peterson from cancer (God has answered this one 3 times)
  • Heal Maci Wilson- she was completely healed from “BPT” (benign paroxysmal torticollis) during a prayer service at Graystone that God led me to lead.  And we haven’t had one since?
  • Paula Conn – save her life, heal her, complete recovery
  • Melinda Hollandsworth- pray for a healthy mom and baby (Will)
  • Josh Clark- God, bless him with a son (Colt)
  • A loan to build Graystone Church – Jimmy Gardner, private investor, loaned us $2.1 Million
  • A Campus Pastor for Graystone Walton- Ken Sirmans
  • A location for Graystone Walton – Loganville High School (and still praying here)
  • $400,000 cash to finish the building on Ozora- Over $500,000 given in 6 months (All In campaign)
  • Francis Hanley- save his life, heal him, salvation in Heaven (He was at Graystone in July to hear Mark preach.)
  • Heal Jennifer Howes of Melanoma skin cancer- She is 100% cancer free.
  • Purchase the 7 acres next the church property- a family at Graystone mortgaged their home to purchase/secure the house (intern house) and land.  The church has since bought it from them.
  • Provision for the Hope Center/Path Project- Jim is now full-time, and they have multiple staff and locations.
  • $200,000 for 2012 Christmas Offering (school in Haiti, first expansion campus, bball court and new ball field)- YES!
  • Ben Presten- Confirm his call to pastor and plant a church (Valley Town Church in Vermont)
  • Student Pastor who is passionate about students – Alan and Allison Smith (double answer here)
  • Eric and Mandy McKnight- provision and adoption of a child (Anna Faith)
  • A wife for Heath Hollandsworth- Heath and Ashley just got married and are on their honeymoon.  I also prayed for a husband for Ashley.
  • $100,000 for Project Kids Space – cool God story here that I might tell Sunday
  • Chris and Katie Landress – Bless them with a miracle child (Baby Anna is due around Jan 1)

The list could go on and on of the prayers God has answered at Graystone.  I’m not even including all the home runs that my kids hit and the tennis matches that they’ve won (just kidding).  God has answered some of my prayers through people who knew nothing about me even praying the prayers.  I have a another cool story to tell on Sunday that happened last week.

I hope this encourages your faith and challenges you to pray.  I’m going to close with posting an excerpt from my prayer journal from September 1, 2003…10 years ago.  You probably cannot read my handwriting.  Neither can I.  At the time, we had not officially launched Graystone Church, and we had been living in Grayson for a little over 1 month.  Our core group Bible Study was meeting in our living room.  In the journal, I am praising God for providing Discovery Point Daycare on Rosebud Road for us to meet as a church core group on Sundays.  In my journal, I wrote a prayer that “Graystone would overflow with kids.”  I think God has answered this one and is continuing to answer it every day.

I can’t wait to see what God does through our 40 Days of Prayer.  Thank you for stepping out in faith with me as we seek God together as a church family.  The best is yet to come!

Sept 1, 2003

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During the 40 Days of Prayer, I’ve asked the elders and staff team to pray with me every morning at 6:33 AM.  We are not physically getting together but are corporately praying at the same time.  We’ve chosen 6:33 AM based on Matthew 6:33:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33

I would like to open the invitation up to ANYONE and EVERYONE to pray with us.  At 6:33 AM wherever you are, simply get on your knees (if possible) and pray.  You could pray for 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes.  At this time, I would like us to pray specifically for Graystone Church.  Pray for revival.  Pray for our staff and their families.  Pray for God to use us to DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ.

 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

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