Prayer

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.

Praying the Church Beyond the Walls

Author
Redonia M Thomas
Abstract
What kind of intercessory prayer ignites and energizes a church to become more engaged in the community? Research shows there is a consistent decline in people attending church. The two congregations I serve are experiencing this decline. They were more inward focused and less missional minded. At one time, the four walls of the church were sufficient for ministry, because people came to the house of God. However, there has been a shift in the demographics, the attitudes and behaviors of the community. This project focuses on how intercessory prayer helps congregations seek the welfare of the city.

Prayer agreement: a strategy for multigenerational health and growth

Author
Gideon A Thompson
Abstract
Gideon Thompson researched the principles supporting multigenerational local church health and growth and concluded -- the missing link is prayer agreement. In this thesis, he outlines by biblical precept and example the structure and strategy for building a "House of Prayer;" this became the foundation for building a mega-church of thousands in New England from a handful of faithful believers meeting in a downtown hotel functional meeting room. The structure of prayer agreement supported by godly character and accountability has created an "open heaven" atmosphere in his local church empowering truth to penetrate and transform multitudes. Praise the Lord!

The association between prayer and evangelistic attitudes in selected evangelical churches

Author
Paul L Utnage
Abstract
Few pastoral leaders include evangelistic prayer as a strategic methodology for motivating evangelism. This project studied the association between prayer for non-Christians and evangelistic attitudes and behaviors. Does a directed focus upon evangelistic prayer increase intrinsic evangelistic attitudes and behaviors toward people without faith? Does prayer increase receptivity towards non-Christians -- an attitude change that leads to behavior change? Research focused upon qualitative analysis in case study methodology. The researcher discovered that directed prayer efforts for the lost increased intrinsic and sustained receptivity towards individuals who do not share one's faith, thus encouraging evangelistic prayer as a strategic methodology.
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