Mar 26 2012

Evangelism is for Everyone

by Doug Wolter

This past Sunday I preached from Colossians 4:2-6 and unpacked these two simple points:

1) Evangelism is for Everyone

2) Evangelism Happens Every Day

You can listen to the message here.  John Dickson’s book, Promoting the Gospel, was a valuable resource as I prepared for this message.  I highly recommend it.

Oct 26 2011

Paul Miller Podcast on Prayer

by Doug Wolter

Paul Miller’s book, A Praying Life, literally changed my life and how I look at prayer. Listen in to this short podcast as he discusses the doctrine of prayer.

Jul 18 2011

Is it Taking Away Your Love for Prayer?

by Doug Wolter

If ever you are so much engrossed with any enjoyment here that it takes away your love for prayer, or for your Bible, or that it would frighten you to hear the cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh—then your heart is “overcharged”. You are abusing this world.

R. Murray M’Cheyne, Watching Unto Prayer

This is an old clip from a prayer conference I attended in February. But after doing a funeral this past week I was struck with the reality of eternity again. What really matters when it’s all said and done? Let’s listen to God this week and “set [our minds] on things above” (Col. 3:2).

Mar 20 2011

Prayer Guide for Japan

by Doug Wolter

Free download here.  And please pray for my brother and family as he gets ready to leave to the Sendei area for some relief work in the coming weeks.

Feb 8 2011

Seeing God’s Face Before Anyone Else’s

by Doug Wolter

Whether you’re a morning person or a night person, there’s something to be said about giving your eyes the habit of looking upward from the minute you wake up. As John Piper said, “it’s not about legalism, it’s about desperation!” Here’s one snippet of his message on Robert Murry McCheyne:

McCheyne’s scheduled disciplines aimed at fixing the habit in his heart of living in constant communion with Christ. He had formed the habit of rising early to read the Scriptures and pray, and he tried to maintain this to the end of his life. He loved to meet Jesus early. He journaled, “Rose early to seek God and found him whom my soul loveth. Who would not rise early to meet such company?” He wrote to a student, “Never see the face of man till you have seen his face who is our life, our all.” Or in another place, he said, “I cannot begin my work for I have not seen the face of God.”

Feb 7 2011

How do you develop a life of prayer?

by Doug Wolter

This week I hope to post some of the highlights from last week’s DG Conference on prayer. After reading Paul Miller’s book, A Praying Life, I was excited to hear him speak on this topic in person. His approach to prayer is so freeing! Here are some notes from his message:

How do you begin to develop a life of prayer? The feeling of helplessness is necessary. Feeling that you are completely unable to do life on your own, to do life without Jesus. God needs to be active in all of the details of your life. I think that is a big reason why Jesus tells us to be like little children. Here are some passage regarding this call: Mark 10:13-16Mark 9:33-37Matthew 7:7-11Luke 10:21Matthew 21:14-17John 5:19Matthew 6:9-13, andMark 14:36.

What does it mean to come like a child in your prayer time? You get out of bed and start praying. It is not long until your mind begins to wander to the problems that you have. You think there is something wrong with you, and there is! You need Jesus. Being a child in prayer means to just come. Children are not tied up in all the details when they come to their parents. They just come.

Jesus says those are weary and heavy laden are to come to him. He doesn’t call the organized and fixed up but the broken. Why do we forget that when it comes to prayer? The dirty, muddy you is the real you. Don’t try to put on the spiritual façade in prayer. You can talk to God about whatever is on your heart, so just come as you are. Be weak and open in prayer before God. It is the same as the gospel. I’m just applying the gospel to your prayer life. We need to learn helplessness. That is what a child reflects.

You can watch/listen to his entire message here.

Feb 4 2011

Francis Chan’s Humble Confession

by Doug Wolter

One of the most encouraging parts of the DG conference for me happened during the Q&A time with all the speakers. The panel was asked the following question: Should we be having a daily quiet time or prayer time with our wives? Here’s Francis Chan’s humble response:

FC: I’m learning a lot from this conference and especially from Joel’s talk last night (on Family Worship). I want to build up and so I don’t want you to follow my example. My wife and I don’t pray regularly together. When needs arise, we pray. I don’t have a regular family worship time. I spend a lot of time with children one-on-one. I’m thinking of Ephesians 4:29—I don’t want to say anything that won’t build you up, but I want to be honest with you. I look at what Joel was saying and I want that. I have issues in my life. But I almost feel weird sometimes talking about spiritual things with my family. Maybe it has something to do with my upbringing. When I do pray with my wife, it is awesome. I just have this weird block with praying with my wife.

Later he added this:

FC: We prayed a lot when we were dating. When we got married, she told me honestly that she thought we would pray and read more together. I was concerned for her walk and that everything was through me. I told her if I saw her praying and reading on her own more often, then it would be easier for me to do that with her. I have some great examples here and I’m going to go home and start trying this daily thing.

I got the opportunity to meet Chan after the conference, and I let him know how much I appreciated his honesty and vulnerability. I told him that we (as young leaders) need to see models of broken, humble leaders like himself. He said that he already called his wife and prayed with her on the phone. Wow. I am convinced that Chan’s confession will have a ripple effect on hundreds-perhaps thousands-of men who struggle to pray with their wives.

I’ll end with Piper’s challenge to the pastors (and all of us men!):

JP: Try this: go home, and if you never regularly pray with your wife, tell her you are going to try some new things. When you wake, roll over, take her hand, and say a short prayer before getting out of bed. Start there. Praying together is an awesome barometer of how things are going. If you can’t talk to God together, you can’t talk to each other. This is important for Francis and me and you to start doing this. Just take thirty seconds when you go to bed and commend both of you to the Lord. “Lest your prayers be hindered” should start at home. This is the most intimate relationship you have on the planet. Jesus is the most intimate vertically. If those don’t connect, there is something wrong.

Jan 30 2011

Robert Murray M’Cheyne Quotes

by Doug Wolter

As I get ready to leave for the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference on Prayer, I’ll leave you with these quotes by Robert Murray M’Cheyne. John Piper will do a biographical message on his life on Tuesday afternoon. Should be good. Thanks again for your prayers. I’ll be back on Wednesday.

“A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more.”

“For every look at self, take ten looks at Christ.”

“The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness.”

“Live near to God, and all things will appear little to you in comparison with eternal realities.”

Jan 28 2011

Going to DG Prayer Conference

by Doug Wolter

On Monday morning I’m heading up north (I know, I’m crazy) to Minnesota for the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference on Prayer. I’m really looking forward to it – not just to hear the great line-up of speakers, but to hear from God and grow in what it means to be a man of prayer. I long to know God more deeply, and as a husband, father and pastor, “devote myself to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).

Would you pray for me this Mon – Wed? And if you’re going to the conference, let me know!

Jan 19 2011

It took me 17 years to realize I couldn’t parent on my own …

by Doug Wolter

Paul Miller:

It took me seventeen years to realize I couldn’t parent on my own. It was not a great spiritual insight, just a realistic observation. If I didn’t pray deliberately and reflectively for members of my family by name every morning, they’d kill one another. I was incapable of getting inside their hearts. I was desperate. But even more, I couldn’t change my self-confident heart. My prayer journal reflects both my inability to change my kids and my inability to change my self-confidence. That’s why I need grace even to pray…

It didn’t take me long to realize that I did my best parenting by prayer, I began to speak less to the kids and more to God. It was actually quite relaxing.”

–Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2009), 59-60.