The Prayer Closet, Posture, Patterns, and Props – Lord Teach Us to Pray by Richard R. Blake


The Prayer Closet, Posture, Patterns and Props – Lord Teach Us to Pray

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray… Luke 11:1-3 (NKJV)

It has been over 2,000 years since the disciples came to Jesus to ask Him “Lord, teach us to pray.” Apparently there are many who have been and are asking that question ever since.

I entered the phrase Lord Teach Us to Pray on Google search. The response read, “About 4,850,000 results (0.25 seconds!” Amazing! My first memories of prayer are the childhood prayers learned by rote. Since that time I have asked many times, “Lord, teach me to pray.”

Jesus taught his disciples, “…But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…” Matthew 6:6 KJV

While in the Navy, I often enjoyed the solitude of the base chapel as my prayer closet. Later, during my college years, I sometimes found a church whose doors were open as my “secret chamber”. By the time Thelma and I had a family of four active boys, I often retreated to the privacy of our furnace room to cry out unto God in earnest prayer.

More recently I followed through on a suggestion from Pastor Charles Stanley. He suggested literally going into a closet, placing a towel at the base of the door to ensure absolute darkness to help cut out distractions as you approach the Lord in prayer. I tried this. I suggest you try it too! An interesting experience. During our recent ABF study Experiencing God It was suggested we take a prayer walk. I chose to walk on the shore of Weco Beach. This proved to be another blessed prayer experience.

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go…..” – Abraham Lincoln

It is a blessing to be a part of WSBC where Fervent Prayer is an important element in the church purpose statement. I am learning that it is not the place (a closet) our posture, a pattern of prayer, nor any props or formulas that we use when we pray; it is the truth that we can approach a Holy God,, creator of the universe, who is desirous of a relationship with us as our Heavenly Father, who promises to meet us in our every need, and to provide us His strength through our ever trial.

From the September 29, 2013 WSBC Prayer and Praise

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True Stories of he Miacles of Azusa Street and Beyond by Tommy Welchel and Michelle P. Griffith – A Book Review


True Stories of Azusa StreetTrue Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond
By Tommy Welchel and Michelle P. Griffith
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
9780768403510, $ 15.99, 2013,176 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Azusa Street an Exciting Inspiration to Revival Today

For many the Azusa Street revival has become a personal spiritual marker, the Genesis of the Charismatic movement as we know it today. Tommy Welchel and Michelle Griffith capture the excitement and enthusiasm of the miraculous mighty works of God during this unique time in the history of the Church; a time often compared to the event recorded in the second chapter of Acts.

The True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond is made up of testimonies of the supernatural acts of an All-powerful God through a miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit during a three and one half year period from April 1906 until November 1909.

While reading the introduction to the book I became intrigued with the way the Holy Spirit brought together the gift of storytelling of Tommy Welchel with the writing skills of Michelle Griffith for this anointed project to accomplish a far reaching impact of the written record of these stories through the medium of the printed page, in the form of this book.

True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond is a powerful prophetic testament of spiritual awakening and a supernatural breakthrough worldwide.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Calloused Soul by Evelyn Watkins – A Book Review


the Calloused SoulThe Calloused Soul: Uncovering the Real woman Behind the Hardened Heart
By: Evelyn Watkins
Destiny Image Publisher, Inc., P. O. box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768403534, $ 11.99, 2013, 126 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Healing That Leads to Wholeness

Evelyn Watkins knows the reality of pain. Within the first two pages she engages the reader with an analogy using the process of developing a callus. She goes on to ask a series of probing questions which encourage an in depth honest self-examination which leads to the recognition and reality of a calloused heart.

Evelyn, the sixth child in a family of nine, describes the turning point in her life; brought on by verbal abuse, physical pain, and emotional trauma. Her story is told in vivid word pictures that create unimaginable descriptions of physical punishment and the sting of emotional trauma she experienced as a young child, adolescent, and into early adulthood.

Although the book is written expressly for women anyone reading Evelyn’s story will resonate with all readers; bringing to mind similar incidents and experiences from their personal experiences or those of friends or family members.

The Calloused Soul: Uncovering the Real woman Behind the Hardened Heart is written with a balance of personal stories of the pain and scars of abusive experiences, disappointing relationships, and unfulfilled dreams. Watkins provides the reader with help to heal theses wounds and scars, using practical steps to be taken and stories of the beauty of grace relationships. These are reinforced with positive examples from the scriptures, and an invitation to embrace the truth of stepping out in faith ready to experience the freedom to love again with an open uncallused heart.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Power of Uncommon Unity by Joey Letourneau – A Book Review


Uncommon UnityThe Power of Uncommon Unity: Becoming the Answer to Jesus’ Final Prayer
By: Joey Letourneau
Destiny Image Publications, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768403497, $ 15.99, 2013, 192 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Challenge to Experience the Powerful Dynamic of Unity within the Church

Eureka, an “Aha” moment, an epiphany. My eyes were opened to a new understanding of Jesus’ prayer recorded in John, chapter seventeen. Jesus lifted His eyes toward heaven in prayer for the disciples: He was also praying for me and for you, that we might be one even as He and the Father are one in a unique unity.

In his book The Power of Uncommon Unity: Becoming the Answer to Jesus’ Final Prayer, Joey Letourneau helps the reader discover how to become the answer to this prayer. God wants our generation and generations to come to establish and experience the power of this supernatural unity on earth as was demonstrated by the Christians of the New Testament Church, recognizing our role in a worldwide community.

Letourneau is a vision-caster. His writing is filled with Biblical examples, personal stories, and scriptural challenges to be renewed, transformed, and empowered to pursue His purpose by becoming participants experiencing the benefits and power of unity in our churches.

The Power of Uncommon Unity: Becoming the Answer to Jesus’ Final Prayer is an extraordinary revelation of the opportunity to become a part of the body of believer’s in an “uncommon unity.”

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Spirit of Adoption by Randy & Kelsey Bohlender – A Book Review


The Spirit of Adoption: Winning the Battle for Children
The Spirit of AdoptionBy: Randy & Kelsey Bohlender
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. P. O. 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768403503, $ 14.99, 2013, 137 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Inspiring Story – The Challenge to Embrace the Call to become a Pro-Child Advocate

The Spirit of Adoption: Winning the Battle for Children is a clarion call to the church and its members to stand as a unified body in embracing the call to be Pro-Child. This is the story of Randy and Kelsey Bohlender’s experiences after they responded to the call of God to go beyond their convictions – to act on them.

The authors introduce disturbing parallels which demonstrate the political impact of slavery in America during the 1800’s with the value of life take by the Supreme Court in their decision of Roe versus Wade in 1973.

A new awareness of the plight of the thousands of orphans in Haiti, after the devastating earthquake in January 2010 dramatically illustrates battle waging over the destiny of children. First, the Haitian government benefit financially through state control of the adoption process. Second, there are the sex traffickers who exploit the children for profit, and third is an awakening awareness of the church to assume responsibility by answering the call to become pro-child.

The Spirit of Adoption: Winning the Battle for Children is a sobering, but rewarding read. Heartbreaking stories illustrate the redemptive benefit that accompany the choice of a full term pregnancy and adoption over the life-long trauma and guilt that accompany abortion. The reader will be better informed, challenged to action, and committed to pray, with a deeper understanding of what it means to be pro-life.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Loving our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk – A Book Report


Loving our Kids on PurposeLoving Our Kids on Purpose, Making a Heart to Heart Connection
By Danny Silk
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
9780768403527, $ 16.99, 2013, 185 pages
Reviewed by: Richard R. Blake

A Model for an Intentional Parenting Lifestyle

Loving Our Kids on Purpose, Making a Heart to Heart Connection provides the reader with a practical and powerful tool for raising children in a warm secure environment where they can develop strong Christian character while discovering God’s purpose and will for their lives.

Danny Silk is intentional and intuitive in his resolve to impact not only his family but also the parents within his church, his community and beyond. He describes a far-reaching paradigm shift in the way parents can approach family roles and goals in parenting by looking through “a new set of eyes.”

The pages are filled with practical illustrations and scenarios that the reader can identify with which demonstrate the importance of “training up a child” in the nurture of the Lord, and guidelines for motivating obedience, approaching discipline, handling stress, and improving family relationships.

Danny is an articulate communicator; his writing is clear and arresting filled with practical applications and principles for raising kids. His writing is direct; his content chock-full of valuable principles for equipping parents to accept the spiritual challenge to incorporate Biblical ideologies and standards into their parenting approach.

Loving Our Kids on Purpose provides the reader with important guidelines and ideas for forming a child’s character, connecting, and communicating with toddlers, children, and teens in ways that will model effective future generations to come.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Discovering Joye – Uncovering the Treasures Inside Ordinary People, Places, Things, and Ourselves – By Jim Stovall – A Book Review


Discovering JoyeDiscovering JoyeUncovering the Treasures Inside Ordinary People, Places, Things, and Ourselves – By Jim Stovall

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768403541, $ 14.99, 2013, 174 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

Poetic Insight Which Insures Success in Every Facet of Life

Bestselling author Jim Stovall’s lifelong appreciation of poetry led to the discovery of the writings of Joye Kanelakos.  Stovall compiles her poetry into a topical arrangement of nineteen discoveries titled simply Discovering Joye.”

In this melding of art and scholarship, Jim adds a story from his personal experiences to produce a beautiful life-changing gift of practical motivation and inspiration. The combination Joye’s poetic expression and Jim’s remarkable insight become a vast treasure house of sage advice and profound wisdom for ordinary people to uncover guidelines for living successfully in the frenetic complexities of contemporary society.

I found Stovall’s observation especially intriguing, “Joye captures the essence of the fleeting nature of the family as the generations pull together, stretch apart, and eventually release from one another while still remaining connected in special and lasting ways.”

Stovall adds this bit of observation as his suggested discovery. “Celebrate your family, not in spite of their imperfections but because of them. If families were perfect, they could never include people like you and me.”

Discovering Joye provides inspiration and motivation worthy of reading, re-reading, personal contemplation or sharing with others in reading groups. This edition is beautifully bound making it ideal as a meaningful, memorable gift for any and all of those special occasions.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

My Heart Cries Abba – Discovering Your Heavenly Father in a More Personal Way by Hank Kunneman – A Book Review


My Heart Cries Abba

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Discovering More Personal Relationship with Abba God

I experienced a new, more personal and intimate way to approach the all-powerful God, creator of the universe and discovered Abba God, “My Dearest Father,” as I read Hank Kunneman’s book, My Heart Cries Abba – Discovering Your Heavenly Father in a More Personal Way.

Pastor, author, and founder of One Voice Ministries, Hank Kunneman presents the all-powerful, all knowing, and omnipresent God we worship, as a loving, affirming father, eager to connect heart to heart with His children, as a father to turn to in time of trouble, as a provider, and protector who expresses his love, affirmation, and affection to his sons and daughters.

Kunneman’s writing is clear, convicting, and convincing. Power truths from the Scriptures are carefully examined as Kunneman traces the character of God as Abba throughout the Old and New Testaments. His skillful use of word pictures encourages the reader to create visual portrayals of these passages. An in depth study of the life of Jesus demonstrates how his life revealed Abba God.

My Heart Cries Abba is must reading for anyone desirous of a more powerful, personal, and profound relationship with the heavenly father.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Books are available through: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768403558, $ 15.99, 2013, 190 Pages