Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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A Praying Church
by Tom Goodman
May 11, 2011

What a great church family I get to lead!  Thank you so much for the party you threw for my 50th birthday!  It was a lot of fun to endure the teasing, and I'm still in blissful shock over the gift of the iPad from my Common Ground group!  I should have gotten a pretty big hint it was coming when I saw Jean Murray's famous "iPad cake" (you can see a photo of it on my blog).

Prayer Vigil

As we turn our attention to this upcoming weekend, one way to prepare our church spiritually is to bring Hillcrest to God in prayer.  I hope you'll go online right away and sign up for one of the remaining spots in our Prayer Vigil.  We want an unbroken chain of prayer rising up from our Prayer Room during the sixty hours between our "Beautiful Thing" banquet and the start of our Commitment Sunday worship service.

Some of you might be thinking, "I'd never be able to pray a whole hour.  I have a hard enough time sticking to a 10-minute devotional in the morning."

Don't worry.  When you arrive for your "sweet hour of prayer," you will push "Play" on an audio player, and you will be given step-by-step directions.  You will be led through a process of spiritual preparation, and then you will be directed to pray for specific neighborhoods and concerns and ministries.  You will even be asked to "consecrate" a prayer kneeler that will later be put in my office as a symbol of my prayer ministry on behalf of the church.

An hour of prayer for our church may be the start of greater faithfulness to the work of prayer.  Have you noticed how often the Apostle Paul spoke of this work?  He used phrases like "without ceasing" and "always" and "steadfastly" and "constantly" and "night and day" when he spoke of his labor in prayer for God's people.  (See Romans 1:9-10, 1 Corinthians 1:4, Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 1:9 and 4:2 and 4:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:2 and 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, and 2 Timothy 1:3, for a few examples.)

Your Stories

We're almost through with the 30 days of devotionals from our members.  But now it's your turn!  Do you have a story of how God has spoken to you during this campaign?  Write me right away.  I want to read as many of your stories as I can in next week's sermon!


Beacon Articles Available Online:  The staff newsletters that appear each week in the Beacon are also available on our website.  You can find them at

Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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