Articles/talks by Ann Fitzgerald regarding the power of prayer,
the daily reading of the Bible (The Word of God)
along with seasonal church related observances
EMPOWERED PRAY 5-16-21
Magazines as prayer books?
Magazines tend to pile up in messy stacks on chairs and tables throughout my house. Eye appealing pictures printed on glossy paper show dedicated work of many people in hopes that we will respond to God’s call for action. PRAYER IS ACTION IN RESPONSE TO NEEDS AROUND THE WORLD. Here is one idea to pray using magazines.
Page through your chosen magazine, until an image catches your eye. Tear out the page and then the picture. This can be a bookmark for prayer reminder.
Next study the picture for anything that points to a prayer concern. Here is an example: using a picture of a little girl carrying water back home in a bucket on her head. Prayer ideas?
- Pray for the little girl as an individual, for girls in her home and in her community etc. pray for safety, physical health and opportunity etc.
- Even the bucket on her head can be a reminder to pray for necessities in daily living and the knowledge of how to use them
- Pray that this child will come to know the grace and love of Jesus Christ, and to embrace his truth.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you every prayer need represented and to empower your prayer with compassion from this picture.
Dear God, all praise to you glorious King. All praise and glory for your wisdom, your strength, your ability and willingness to provide care for people around the world. Thank you, Lord for giving us the ministry and opportunity to help supply those needs. Holy Spirit empower our prayers and in doing so fulfill your great commission to spread the good news around the world. Amen
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NAS)
Prayer Corner May 9, 2021
The hand of a child is among the sweetest memories of motherhood. The weathered hands of my grandmother told a story about harder times as a widow raising three children in the years of Depression. Hands folded in prayer is the most powerful action of the Christians life.
‘The Word Hand’ is a prayer tool created by the Navigators Ministry, dedicated to sharing the gospel and encouraging spiritual growth. This is another great resource for prayer and spiritual discipline as we grow in our relationship to Christ. The following is taken from the Navigator website, providing a print-friendly PDF (and a great image of the word hand). https://www.navigators.org/resource/the-word-hand
The Word Hand illustration is an easy-to-remember tool highlighting five methods of learning from the Bible. We encourage you to use it to spur your own spiritual growth and to inspire others.
Pastors and teachers teach from the Word provides fresh insight into the Scriptures. The weakest finger (the pinkie) represents hearing, because we retain only five percent of what we hear. Romans 10:17
Reading gives us an overview of the Bible and is the foundation of a daily quiet time. This is represented by the ring finger. We generally retain 15 percent of what we read. Revelation 1:3
Studying the Scriptures deepens our convictions. It requires greater time and effort but results in increased knowledge of the Bible. Most people retain 35 percent of what they study. This is represented by the middle finger. Acts 17:11
God’s Word enables us to use Scripture, “the Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17), to overcome temptations and to have verses readily available for ministering to others. The index finger, our strongest finger, represents memorization. We remember 100 percent of what we memorize if we consistently review it. Psalm 119:9-11
Meditation is the process that accompanies each of the other four methods of Scripture intake. This is why meditation is assigned to the thumb. Only the thumb can touch all the other four fingers. By meditating on God’s Word as we hear, read, study, and memorize, we discover its transforming power at work in us. Psalm 1:2-3
The Word Hand by The Navigators, ©1964. All rights reserved.
Prayer corner May 2, 2021
There are many different resources to help us in prayer around the world. World mission prayer league is one my favorite sources to learn how to pray, prayer needs and thanksgiving for prayer answered.
Standing in the gap in prayer for those with limited or no access to the gospel
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come before him. Worship the LORD in holy splendor… Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD is king!” 1 Chronicles 16:28-31 NRS
Heavenly Father, may the families of the Peoples yet-to-be reached by the Gospel be among those who ascribe to You, the LORD, all glory and strength. Lord of the harvest, enable those You call to bring Your Good News to the Unreached People Groups around the globe to bear much fruit for Your Kingdom. May whole families, neighborhoods and communities grow in their knowledge of Christ and ascribe to You the glory due Your Name. Father, as the heavens are to be glad and the earth to rejoice, so lead all the tribes, peoples and nations to say among themselves, “The Lord is our God, the LORD reigns.” Amen!
Prayer Corner, 4-25-21 Praying through scripture
Psalm 23:1 Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need. Living Bible
- There are times that we are not sure what to pray and cannot find words to express our thoughts to God. Scripture prayers can help us in times like these when our small human words just aren’t enough to express the immensity of our hearts. Here is a simple way to help us as we learn to use scripture for prayer using 4 basic questions. I am using 1 verse (Psalm 23:1) as an example, but, of course, every chapter is filled with prayer.
- Read the scripture carefully asking for help from the Holy Spirit who teaches us and then use the following questions as a guide for prayer.
- What is God’s action? (praise God for who he is). God is my shepherd and because of this He cares for, protects and provides all my needs.
- What are my actions? (confession). I depend on God for everything I need in this life.
- What does this realization mean to me? What would you ask God for to help you grow into His likeness? (intercession)
- What and how can I pray for others using these words? (outreach)
Let’s try this out. “because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything
I need.” Psalm 23:1
- I give praise to you, glorious Lord, for your unending grace and mercy to us, your erring children. Gracious Father, thank you for loving me when I didn’t even know you and providing my needs through Jesus Christ, my shepherd who cares for me.
- I often think I can take care of myself and need to be reminded that I am totally dependent on you for all my needs during this time on earth.
- It is a sobering thought when I realize that you, great Lord, have sought me out and rescued me and cared for me even in the midst of my rebellion. Help me, Holy Spirit, to be more aware of your presence in my life and restore to me the joy you give through salvation.
- God, in your mercy, I pray for those seeking you as they come to this church for food, or for rest or peace, or to have care for their children. Help them find more than their physical needs but that they would encounter your great love and mercy in their lives.
This is just the beginning. Step 4 is an
open door for reaching out to the lost around the world through prayer. This is
just 1 small verse, a few words that can grow into a movement of God around the
world through the Holy Spirit. Amen
Prayer Corner, Palm Sunday March 26.2021
Dear Jesus, our King and gracious Savior, we rejoice as you ride into our presence on a donkey but confess that our hosannas can easily be swallowed up in doubt. Have mercy on us, give us grace to walk
through this week of your sacred passion with awareness that every tear, every beating, every drop of your blood that hit the ground was given so that we could have peace and freedom from the guilt of our own sin and have life in abundance. Thank you, precious Jesus. Amen
This week is the most intense, sorrowful and horrifying week in the Christian calendar as we hear the story of Jesus in his last days as he journeys toward Golgotha and crucifixion. It is a time of meditation and prayer as we recognize the amazing grace of God anticipating the joy of Easter.
There will be/were six Bible texts read in today’s service which can be used for daily prayer, a different text each day. Read each day, pray through God’s word and spend time writing out the heart’s meditations.
The Text as as follows:
Prayer corner 4-11-2021
PSALM 67 – The Message (MSG)
God be gracious and kind-hearted to us and bless us,
And make His face shine [with favor] on us
2 That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation and deliverance among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
For You will judge the people fairly
And guide the nations on earth. Selah.
5 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
6 The earth has yielded its harvest [as evidence of His approval];
God, our God, blesses us.
7 God blesses us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder].
Psalm 67 is an anonymous prayer for God’s blessing on us so that we are able to show the world God’s ways of mercy and grace. It is a prayer of joy and praise because God is a fair and righteous judge who leads his people into a joyful place. It is a prayer of thanksgiving for the bounty of Gods goodness. We can see the similarity in the prayer Jesus taught us (the Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:9-13) and psalm 67 in the desire to see God’s name be kept holy and that his kingdom comes.
Psalm 65:8 (amplified version AMP) Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.
Now, you can return back to the Psalm above (67) and pray it with the excitement and the joy that God has when he hears the prayers of your heart.
March 21, 2021
This week was a difficult week. I tripped on a water spigot during a walk and fell flat on my face leaving me with a swollen nose, a small fracture that promises to heal in its own time and a heavy weight of discouragement. In times like this I wonder how God can hear my prayers. I think that If I could get my heart right or mouth the words of thanksgiving then surely, he would hear me, but I just can’t make it work. My shoulders droop a little further as the weight in my chest continues to sink. How can I write about prayers when I can see only pewter skies and the taste of dirt in my mouth?
Psalms 145-150 are psalms of praise. I read aloud Psalm 148 taking comfort in the lyrical music of a universe honoring their Creator. As I read aloud, breathing deeply, the praises of all creation cooled the feverish places in my heart.
The last verse of Psalm 148 proclaims. “He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones – the people of Israel who are close to him.” My face is still bruised, my nose still swollen and the skies still heavy with clouds but my heart is light and I rest assured that surely God is in His Heavens and all is right with the world.
Be comforted in the knowledge that it is God who makes his people strong and hears us in our weakness. We can always turn to the Psalms for prayers when words are scarce in our own mind.
Prayer Corner 3-14-21
Breath Prayer is a way to meditate and pray with scripture while slowly breathing in and out. It is the whispering of God’s word in repetition with the rhythm of our own breath, the awareness of abiding in Christ. These quiet reflective prayers help us overcome the mind’s tendency to wander.
To practice: Take 3 deep breaths as you ask God to calm your mind. Choose a bible prayer or verse. As you slowly draw in your breath repeat the 1st part of a bible prayer or verse, pause, then as you exhale whisper the 2nd half of the same verse. An example: using Psalm 46:10 as a Breath Prayer:
Slowly breathe in the 1st half: “Be still and” pause then slowly exhale the 2nd half: “know that I am God.”
Scripture for Breath Prayer from 1 Corinthians 13
Give me grace to love: to be patient & kind
Give me grace to love: without jealousy
Give me grace to love: without arrogance
Give me grace to forgive : grace to let go
Give me grace to love: to rejoice in truth
Give me grace to love: grace to believe
Give me grace to love: grace to hope
Give me grace to love: grace to endure.
And from Psalm 62:5
Breathe in: my soul finds rest
Breathe out: in God alone
Prayer Corner 3-7-21
Romans 8:26 (new living version)
In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us where we are weak. We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words.
The world is a big place, the complexity of the problems can be overwhelming and the voice of doubt whispers in the shadows. Sometimes my voice cracks when I try to pray aloud for somebody in need and sometimes my words are not refined. We are called to be God’s witnesses in this world and to speak His name into the darkness, even when we doubt our abilities.
Remember this in times when the need of the moment seems bigger than our small voice; I am going to say something to you, because I need to hear it so badly for myself Our words are just brown paper bag words, but when touched by the Holy Spirit they become the powerful message that people need to hear. God has set the stage, prepared the receivers and empowers the word givers .
Pray boldly – in the midst of this world’s clamor – pray boldly and without ceasing.
Prayer Corner 3-1-2021 Prayer technique: Curiosity
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Romans 4:13-25, Mark 8:31-38
Some paper, a good pen, scripture and curiosity are great ways to have conversation with God. I gathered these words and thoughts from the assigned scriptures in today’s service. I asked God to help me discover connections between the verses, similarities of words or contrasting ideas to give me new insights that would grow my faith. I picked up my pen, followed my curiosity, and wrote out a prayer of praise and wonderment to God and a plea that I would have the faith to follow Him.
Almighty God, truly you are the master of the universe, ruler of every nation, and lover of my soul. I am not able to understand the mystery of your plans or make sense of the things that happen in this world today and back through all of history. You promised Abraham and Sarah a baby in their old age and gave them the grace to embrace the truth. Mary sang praises at the news of her virgin pregnancy but the Pharisees refused your truth, and beloved disciple, Peter, refused to accept your plan and was sharply reprimanded.
And Jesus, my Lord, I too am faced with choices to believe your words and follow you in humble obedience or to stand against you as this world demands. Give me the faith of Abraham, the joyful praise of Mary, and the undying devotion to your call in my life to go into my family, my neighborhood and around the world, to love, to serve and to tell the good news of your great love.
So... find a comfy place to sit, find your favorite pen, paper and a Bible – ask God to come and talk for awhile using your curiosity as a guide.
Prayer corner 2-21-2021
The solemn season of Lent is a time observed to honor our King, Jesus Christ, through the last weeks before his betrayal and torturous death on the cross. Lent is the preparation of the heart in recognition of our total dependence on God’s grace for everything in this life. It is the recognition of our sin that brought on the death of Christ in anticipation of the life given to us when He rose again on Easter morning.
...and during this time, we pray for revival in our churches, our communities and the world. The prayer book ‘Seek God for the City’ is an excellent resource and prayer guide for the 40 days of Lent and through the days leading to the ascension of Christ.
You can get your own copy by requesting it of Pastor Pat and he’ll find a way to get it to you.
I have copied a piece of the 1st prayer, p 3. This is a copy and not to be reprinted but I want to encourage you to get your own book to follow the prayers during our Lenten journey.
“We seek You now, mighty Shepherd God, so that you would seek and find Your lost ones as only You can. Many have distanced themselves far from You, enticed by glowing delusions of self-made goodness... O Shepherd, restore your lost ones soon, before more sinister evil befalls them. Feed the hungers of their hearts and heal them. Re-gather and revive Your people as your flock .” (copied from “Seek God for the City 2021”)
Prayer corner – Valentines day 2021
The world tries to convince me that chocolate says “I love you”, the world would have me believe that
being married determines my worth, the world shouts that I am unlovable. The world lies. But I have
learned that there is a love this world does not know. – The love of God
The following verses speak of Gods love and gives us a resource for praying scripture by filling in the
desires of our heart. Pray in whispers, shouts, song, or with pen and ink. God longs to be with you, longs
to hear your voice. Just come.
1st Corinthians 13 describes God’s love for us, and models to us our love for others. Love is patient, love is
kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the
truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where
there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is
knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness
comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see
only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. — Isaiah
54:10 English standard version.
“The Lord your God is in your midst — a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will
rejoice over you with singing.” — Zephaniah 3:17
“I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all
believers. I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled
entirely with the fullness of God.” — Ephesians 3:18-19
“Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God
and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” — 1 John 4:7-8
Prayer Corner 1-31-2021
In the middle of my busyness I took a moment to pray and it made all the difference. In the middle of scattered notes and spilled ink I took a moment to pray and it made all the difference. In the middle of counting out my gold I took a moment to pray and it made all the difference.
What pursuit surrounds you? Take a moment to pray and it will make all the difference.
The following prayer was written by Anselm (1033-1109)
O Lord our God, grant us grace
To desire you with our whole heart,
That so desiring we may seek and find you,
And finding you, may love you,
And loving you, may hate those sins
From which you have redeemed us.
Psalm 42:1 (Christian Standard Bible)
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God.
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God
Ann Fitzgerald says "Jerusalem is behind me overlooking the gate that Jesus would have entered riding on the donkey."
Posted: Palm/Passion Sunday 4-5-20