Prayer

Meditation and Contemplation: Framework for a Coping Mechanism Among Small Groups at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Author
Gary W. Jordan
Abstract
“Don’t say God is silent if your Bible is closed.” - Church Sign This project aimed to encourage and enable a small group class at Mount Moriah Baptist Church to adopt meditative and contemplative prayer as a framework for a coping mechanism. In practicing this type of prayer life, participants anticipated to receive the benefit of being better able to cope with stressors of life. Utilizing a small group study, Lectio Divina, biblical examples, breathing techniques and various surveys, participants were enabled to experience a deeper interaction with Scripture, aided by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to hear God speaking to them and transforming their lives to the image of Christ.

How Selected Members from Life Church in La Vernia Pray After Considering Jonathan Edwards on Divine Glory

Author
John Frawley D.Min.
Abstract
How Selected Members from Life Church in La Vernia Pray After Considering Jonathan Edwards on Divine Glory

The subject of “the glory of God” feels hopelessly abstract to many Christians. Though the Bible has much to say about the glory of God, many cannot see how it is relevant to everyday living. This project attempted to correct this error of thinking among eleven volunteered participants from Life Church of La Vernia, TX (EFCA). This group evaluated both Scripture and selected writings from Jonathan Edwards on God’s glory. A practical assessment was measured by ongoing evaluation of participants’ prayer life throughout the project as it related to delighting in God.

Equipping the congregation of East Belmont Baptist Church in Belmont, N.C. for outreach through the development and implementation of an active prayer ministry.

Author
Jeffrey Dean Taylor D.Min.
Abstract
In a local congregation, joining the spiritual practice of prayer with the ministry of outreach provides the church with an effective ministry tool to connect the congregation to its community and beyond. The East Belmont Baptist Church searches for effective ways to carry out the mission of making Christ known to others by equipping themselves through study and sermons to use prayer as a ministry in the community. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, congregational members meet people where they are and minister to them through intercessory prayer. This allowed the congregation to minister to others through outreach and prayer.

Developing a Prayer Strategy to Enhance the Christian Spiritual Formation of High School Students at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School, Belden, Mississippi

Author
William Casey Hughes
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a prayer strategy to enhance the Christian spiritual formation of high school students at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School, Belden, Mississippi. The project explored research in the field of prayer; constructed an distributed a survey to determine the beliefs and practices of Tupelo Christian Preparatory High School students related to prayer; led a workshop for a select group of students, parents, and faculty in the formulation of a prayer strategy; developed a multimedia presentation of the prayer strategy; and led the strategy team to prepare for a presentation to the Tupelo Christian Preparatory School Board for consideration. The evaluation methods for this project included expert opinions in the researched sources, the development of a prayer survey, the training materials, the formation of the strategy, and the presentation methods used for the strategy. The project director utilized the Strategy Model for this project.

A Resource Created for Formational Prayer in the Training of Salvation Army Cadets

Author
David E Antill
Abstract
A Resource Created for Formational Prayer in the Training of Salvation Army Cadets:
The project's purpose was to create a resource on formational prayer that will equip cadets at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training to lead people in the formational prayer experience. The scope of research included biblical, theological, historical and contemporary writings on formational prayer. The project's design included the development of a curriculum reviewed by a panel of experts.
The results reveal that synthesizing Terry Wardle's formational prayer work with Salvation Army beliefs and practices produces useful material for training in formational prayer ministry. The most prominent finding recognized the curriculum's use of community in formational prayer.

An Exploration of Spiritual Formation to Increase Awareness and Attachment to God, Self and Others

Author
Susanne Ursula Baldeosingh D.Min.
Abstract
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this portfolio was to explore spiritual formation through lectio Divina, spiritual direction and a focus group to increase awareness of attachment to God, self and others. The portfolio includes a spiritual autobiography (Chapter 2) that traces my life story and God’s presence in it. This is a wonderful tool in becoming more spiritually aware of the many movements of God throughout one’s lifetime. This is followed by a spiritual formation model (Chapter 3) that helps believers to answer the question Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Along with, “Who do you say that you are?” The model assists believers to explore their responses to these questions. Then a field research project (Chapter 4) is offered that tests the effectiveness of the model through the experience of five participants over a ten-day period.
The results of the project found in Chapter 4, points to a more secure attachment to God, self and others which was reported by four out of the five participants. Spiritual direction was well received by all participants. Participants also appreciated the mentoring provided and having the experience of someone listening with them for the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives. All participants felt they would have benefitted more if the project was longer in length. They suggested a time span of three months. Four of the five participants expressed a desire to continue studying using various components of the project. They stated it provided what was missing in their ability to increase attachment to God, self and others.

Learning to Pray Without Ceasing: Instilling the Importance of Prayer and its Connection to Social Justice in Youth

Author
Wesley Brian Jamison D.Min.
Abstract
Progressive churches continue to struggle with retaining youth, who often seen little merit in the church's traditions and rituals. These spiritual practices are essential to nurturing the strength and vision necessary to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This project offers a model for integrating these practices into the regular activities of youth ministry as a way of reconnecting them to the struggle for justice. It was tested by adding the observance of the daily offices of prayer to a youth mission trip and examining the views of participants concerning prayer and its connection to justice before, during, and after the trip. Noticeable changes were measured during and after the trip, indicating that youth came to see spiritual practices are more important to the work of justice. These findings suggest that the church would do well to look to its own history of monasticism as a model for youth ministry in the post-Christian era.

Laying a Foundation for Nurturing Experiential Communion with the Word of God for Soul Formation through Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships.

Author
Jeffrey William Roy Rev. D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, three projects form the basis in developing this new pathway to nurture formation. The author’s spiritual autobiography recounts his journey into two-way communion with the Word of God and gives readers opportunities to reflect accordingly. The AESA model (Awareness, Encounter, Surrender, Abide) is presented as a cyclical four-step process designed to help nurture experiential union and spiritual formation. This model incorporates the authors’ own experience, an analysis of how the Word of God is depicted by the Scriptures and in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, four existing contemplative models of formation, and the experiences of those who participated in his research project. The project tested follow up material designed to help people take home and form habits (Contemplative Prayer Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships) that would help them experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. The project found that these spiritual disciplines can be helpful in nurturing experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. Two months after the study twelve of the sixteen participants were journaling once a week and nine of the sixteen participants had established some form of weekly inner circle relationship with the desire to be more aware of God’s presence.

Pray for reign : the eschatological Elijah in James 5:17-18

Author
James Marion Darlack
Abstract
James uses the prophet Elijah as an example of righteous prayer. This thesis explores the possibility that James may have intended his readers to recognize both historical and eschatological imagery associated with the biblical prophet. First, it shows that in early Jewish literature the eschatological and historical Elijah traditions were not held in isolation of each other. Imagery from descriptions of Elijah’s eschatological return is used to describe the pre-ascension ministry of the prophet, while the eschatological mission of the prophet is described using elements of the historical narrative. Second, the thesis demonstrates that James’ prescript “to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion,” sets a tone of inaugurated and yet-to-be-consumated eschatology, and that the mention of Elijah helps form an eschatological inclusio that frames the letter. Third, the New Testament use use of Elijah’s drought outside of James is explored showing again that elements from the Elijah’s drought in 1 Kings were used in eschatological contexts, and that Elijah’s three and a half year drought, as mentioned by James, is used to illustrate a period of judgment for the sake of effecting repentance in these contexts. Fourth and finally, the images of rain and drought are viewed through an eschatological lens, revealing their role as covenant blessing and curse, and eschatological judgment and restoration. It is concluded that James’ readers could have recognized the eschatological implications of using Elijah as an example of faithful, righteous prayer, and that James assigns his readers a role similar to that of the eschatological prophet. They are called to endure in the midst of eschatological trials and to effect repentance before the arrival of the soon-coming King.

Promoting the Psalms as prayer through Bible classes and preaching

Author
David H. Petersen
Abstract
The goal of the project was to increase the Redeemer Lutheran Church congregation's knowledge and appreciation of the Psalms and of their use of the Psalms as prayer. Research was conducted on a Lutheran definition of prayer for the Psalms, the use and role of imagination in interpreting the psalms, and on homiletic strategies tailored to the Psalms as prayer. The research method was to take surveys and observation notes throughout an intensive period of Bible classes and sermons and then again at a later date. The results were positive but most pronounced in those for whom the concepts were new.
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