Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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The Power of Prayer
by Tom Goodman
August 31, 2011

According to one of the search-engine giants, "How to Pray" is one of the top searches on their site.  This Sunday we'll begin a 4-week study designed to answer that question.

The study comes just in time, because the Hillcrest Family will be spending a lot of time in prayer across the next few weeks.

For one, there's a new prayer focus called First Wednesday starting September 7.  The first Wednesday of every month in the 2011-2012 year will be dedicated to praying for those who need to come to Christ or return to him.  Next week, join me in my office at noon for a First Wednesday prayer meeting.  If your schedule won't allow you to attend, send in the names of those you want us to pray for (

Also, we expect to receive 1200 prayer requests from our Connection Campaign.  Our Prayer Team will lift up these requests regularly throughout the Campaign.

I'm encouraged by Pete Greig's image of intercession as water working slowly into rock.  In his book, God on Mute, he wrote (157):

In prayer, we appeal to the gentleness of Christ's nature as well as His power and engage with the complex free will of people He loves.  That's why prayers for people generally work slowly, like water seeping silently into the tiny cracks of a vast boulder.  For a long time, nothing may appear to have changed.  Our prayers, resembling mere dribbles of water, appear to be of an entirely different nature than the substance of the rock.  But then there comes the first great freeze of winter -- some circumstances beyond human control -- and overnight, as if by magic, as if struck by lightning, the vast boulder splits open.

I hope the sermon series and the prayer activities across the next few weeks will get you back into that rock-splitting work that we call intercessory prayer!

Grateful for our Ministry and Mission Fair!

What a great experience we had last Sunday!  My thanks to all who made our Ministry and Mission Fair a success!  Keep in mind that every booth you stopped at and every mission representative you talked to is supported by our church budget.  You're already supporting these ministries and missions when you give your offering to Hillcrest!

With that in mind, stay faithful in your stewardship.  We're behind in budget support as we enter the Fall calendar.  Your generosity makes possible all the ministries and missions you saw on Sunday.


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