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  • Dr. Craig L. Oliver
Dr. Craig L. Oliver

Dr. Craig L. Oliver

The article, The Importance of Prayer by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir highlights the preeminence of prayer in the lives of the children of God and its critical importance.  It is my intention to highlight certain aspects from the article and share them with you over the course of the next few weeks as I believe they will be a blessing to your lives.  In this second installation from the article we will focus on Practical Strategies for Praying for Evangelism.  I pray that it blesses you richly and serves as an impetus for a renewed hunger for His Presence.   

  • Craig L. Oliver, Sr.

Practical Strategies for Praying for Evangelism

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Colossians 4:2-3

During my reading, I came across a leadership article on prayer entitled The Importance of Prayer by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir.  The article highlights the preeminence of prayer in the life of the children of God and its critical importance in our lives.  Moreover, it was an inspirational and informative lesson that I believe should be shared abroad.  Over the course of the next few weeks I will share from this article and I believe it will incite you to pursue our Heavenly Father in a greater way in prayer.  I pray that it blesses you richly. 

  • Craig L. Oliver, Sr.

Understand the Importance of Prayer!

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Luke 11:1-4

“Dear Woman, here is your son….Here is your mother.”    

  • John 19:26-27

You can tell a lot about a man or woman by the way they respond to adversity or high pressure circumstances.  Some people crash and burn under the pressure.  Others lash out or become defensive.  Still others become highly agitated and/or completely stressed out.  In extreme cases there can be a tendency to define everything and every moment by the pressure of our circumstances to the detriment and neglect of everything else in our lives.  If ever there are moments when compassion for others would seem counterintuitive, it would be in moments of extreme adversity.

“Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me.”          

-          Archibald Hart

In our discussion and exposition on forgiveness the past few weeks, we discussed the power of forgiveness to free us from bondage. We would be remised, however, if we simply stopped at being released from bondage. Many slaves who were newly freed by virtue of the Emancipation Proclamation found themselves juxtaposed between the fear of the unknown that freedom made available to them and the bondage of slavery which for many had become comfortable. For many of them the next step beyond freedom involved the ability and courage to forge ahead into waters uncharted.  Courage to turn the page was requisite for the furtherance of their journey into freedom and victory.

Over the last few weeks I have led a teaching series during our Bible Study at Elizabeth on the healing power of forgiveness.  We have seen lives transformed as they have empowered themselves through forgiving others as our Heavenly Father has forgiven them.  Most recently, our teaching focused on learning to forgive ourselves.  An article that I came across on the Psychology Today website entitled How to Forgive Yourself and Move on From the Past by Dr. Matthew James, seems to underscore the principle of that teaching.  I thought it would be apropos and enlightening to share it with you.  Read through it thoughtfully and critically and allow it to bless you.

  • Craig L. Oliver, Sr.

Many of us know that forgiveness is a good thing, right? It frees us from bitterness and anger, two emotions that not only don’t feel good but they can also ruin our physical health and hold us back from all the good we might achieve and experience. I know that many of you have worked on forgiving others.

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” 

  • Robert Brault

One of the gross misconceptions about forgiveness is that it is a one-time thing or an act relegated to a specific period of time.  You can somewhat hear the tenor of that narrative in Peter’s question to Jesus recorded in Matthew 18:21 “How many times must I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”.  The question itself seems to infer an assumption that forgiveness should be limited in both its duration and scope.  

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”  

  • Paul Boose

The idea that we can selectively obey the God-given command to forgive our brothers and sisters is a faulty narrative that must be debunked and reframed.  Instead of seeing it as a command that we can casually obey at will, we must begin to understand forgiveness in the context of the purpose and will of God.  Forgiveness in the life of the child of God strategically operates to facilitate the will of God.   

“Having an unforgiving heart leads to bitterness, and a heart that is bitter is incapable of love.”         

  • Anonymous

With so much emphasis placed on the benefits of forgiveness and our Heavenly Father’s desire for us to operate from that space, it is easy to overlook the dangers associated with living with an unforgiving heart.  If ever there was a message that must be conveyed to the world it is that forgiveness is as much for the giver as it is for the recipient.  As a matter of fact, given the insidious dangers of an unforgiving heart it is appears that it is actually more beneficial to extend forgiveness than it is to receive it.    

“Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me.”          

  • Archibald Hart

To live is to forgive! Life will constantly present you with opportunities for offense through which you will either navigate successfully by way of the virtue of forgiveness or unsuccessfully via the lack of forgiveness.  It is the will of the Father and His command through scripture that we operate with a heart that forgives. 

During my reading, I came across a leadership article entitled 7 Qualities of an Eagle Every Smart Leader Develops.  It was featured on a Nigerian website by one of their contributing writers.  Last week I shared the third, fourth and fifth qualities of the eagle listed by this inspirational and relevant article.  This week I will share the sixth and seventh qualities of an eagle that aspiring leaders should develop.    

-          Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.   

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