Author Archives: Ron Hughes

#UTCOP – How to Pray Anyway

How to Pray Anyway

by Ron Hughes

Pray,-regardless-of-how-you-feel-Albrecht

by Albrecht Durer



The other day I took note that biblical writers used two different verbs relative to the believer’s communication with God. In Numbers 11, we read of the judgment of the Lord coming among His people because of their complaining. They appealed to Moses and verse 2 records that “when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched.” (NKJV)

Most Christians have found themselves in roughly similar situations—ones where someone’s distress moves them to bring that person’s predicament to the Lord for resolution. Note that Moses seemed to be somewhat detached from the circumstances. The people were desperate, but we see Moses “praying,” no doubt fervently, but apparently dispassionately.

In the next chapter, judgment fell specifically on Miriam, Moses’ sister, because of her speaking against her brother. This time, we find Scripture using a different word regarding his approach to the Lord: “So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘Please heal her, O God, I pray!’” (Nu 12:13 NKJV) In due course, Miriam was restored to her place in the community.

Most of us have also found ourselves in situations where our emotional involvement with a sufferer intensifies our prayer to the point of “crying out to the Lord.” (Perhaps too many of us only pray when we are in the throes of emotional turmoil because of suffering that afflicts us or those we love.)

As I read of the constant stream of misery regarding our Christian brothers and sisters in troubled parts of the world, I shake my head in disbelief that such cruelty can be perpetrated against the innocent and harmless and the rest of the world be untouched by it. Now, you may be preparing yourself for a lecture on how we should identify with these suffering saints and be moved to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. Certainly, I commend that to you.

However, let me point out that in both scenarios in Moses’ life,
the Lord answered his prayer.

Many of us in the West cannot relate to the kind of suffering we encounter in the news. Some of us shut down as to avoid entering into emotional turmoil at the hideous images.  

May I urge the Lord’s people to pray,
regardless of their personal emotional response.

If you are deeply moved and cry out to God on behalf of the suffering, wonderful! The Lord hears and responds to those heart cries. But if you find yourself, for whatever reason, less emotionally involved, having a more cerebral response, pray anyway. The Lord also hears and responds to prayer that arises in the mind.

  Pray, regardless of how you feel.

Prayer:

Father, I confess that I often pray capriciously. Forgive me for neglecting prayer for justice to be done and righteousness to prevail in the world around me. Today, I specifically lift up my suffering brothers and sisters, wherever they are. Stimulate my mind. Stir my emotions.  Let me not rest in intercession, today. In Jesus name, amen.

Tweetable:

May I urge the Lord’s people to pray, regardless of their personal emotional response. (tweet this)

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts. Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

How One Labours in Prayer

How One Labours in Prayer

He labours in prayer. Watch carefully. The old man rises while it is still dark. Gathering a worn robe around his thin shoulders, he glides, silent as a shadow, to the kitchen table.

by Ron Hughes

labours in prayer

 

This is his time to work.

From between the back page and cover of his Bible, he withdraws several pieces of paper and a map, and spreads them strategically before him. When everything is in its place, he picks up the stub of a pencil and begins to review their contents.

His lips move silently as he makes notes beside names. Sometimes a smile tugs at his lips. At other times, a tear slips unheeded from his eye. Occasionally, a deep groan breaks the silence. Dots, checkmarks, and underscores reveal his careful attention to every person, project, and passion on the pages before him.

Once-strong fingers flutter over the map as he remembers fellow-servants of His Lord seeking to make a difference in the strongholds of enemy territory. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear him speaking aloud now — challenging the evil one to remember his ultimate defeat and beseeching the Spirit to move in power in the lives of His people and in the communities where they live.

We didn’t notice the mounting tension in the small frame, but intensity grew from the moment he sat down.

Now suddenly, we are aware of release.

His face leaves the cluttered surface of the table and rises to see beyond the confines of the room. Shoulders relax. His face beams. Upturned hands resting on the table turn palm-up to receive the invisible strength refreshing him after his labours.

They say he is too old to work now. He knows he has never worked harder.

He labours in prayer.

Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12 NKJV)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me that spiritual work is done by your Spirit.  Thank you for giving me a part to play through prayer even when the people and situations in which You are working are far away.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tweetable:

How one man can seek to make a difference in the strongholds of enemy territory. (Tweet this)

 

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

 

Wow! What Happened?

Wow! What Happened?

by Ron Hughes

Psalm-37-4

For those of us who resolutely subscribe to the “we pray to align ourselves with God’s agenda, not to get Him to do our will” philosophy, answered prayer can come as a bit of a shock. There we are, earnestly seeking the Lord and trying our best not to tell Him what to do when, all of a sudden, the outcome we were inwardly hoping for becomes reality.

I have come to understand these situations as evidence of the Lord drawing close to us as we seek Him.

As we know Him better, our will is more perfectly lined up with His so that the outcome He ordains is the very one we have come to desire.

Example: A man whose son was not walking with the Lord prayed frequently and longed for an opportunity to talk to him. Entirely unexpectedly, the Lord arranged for them to be alone together for 2 hours and got things started by prompting the son to raise the very spiritual issues the father wanted to address with him.

But there’s more.

Let us never forget that God delights in blessing His children beyond the limits of their imaginations.

I suspect that sometimes we think God has not answered our prayer because He gives us something so far beyond what we expected that we fail to make the connection.

Example: a friend went to emergency over the Christmas break with a severe lung infection. The attending physician ordered tests and x-rays which revealed a chronic condition with which the woman had been living as a symptom of advancing age. The doctor was able to treat both the acute and the chronic problems and now my friend is rejoicing in the goodness of God experienced in a way she hadn’t even considered.

Sometimes God wants to use our circumstances to shape us into the very image of Jesus — something that most of us can’t see very well in ourselves at all.

Example: An elderly widower who has lost much of his vision, hearing, mobility, and independence, had a health crisis. When he was discharged from the hospital and well enough to get back to his beloved church family, he was overwhelmed as one after another confided in him how much they had benefited from his spiritual interest and care for them over the years.

The examples mentioned here all took place in the lives of believers I know personally in the last six weeks. God’s promise to respond to us when we delight ourselves in him and leave the outcomes Him is still good.

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NKJV).

Tweetables:

As we know Him better, our will is more perfectly lined up with His.  (tweet this)

God wants to use our circumstances to shape us into the very image of Jesus. (tweet this)

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

Am I Praying with My Whole Heart?

Am I Praying with My Whole Heart?

by Ron Hughes

Am-I-Praying-with-my-Whole-Heart

One of the great things about prayer is that it can be informal and intimate. Because Jesus opened the way for us into the throne room of God, we come with confidence to our Father. Our spontaneous outbursts of dismay or sorrow are heeded just as our more eloquent, well thought out expressions of thanksgiving or worship.

Occasionally, spiritual dryness prompts me to reflect on my relationship with God. Often at such times, I discover that the informal and intimate moments of prayer are entirely about me. To be honest, though my vocabulary may be that of a grown-up, my attitude is more like that of a whining child.

The sense of distance from God comes, not from His withdrawal from me, but my self-absorption.

I’m not really so much praying, as talking to myself. I’m not seeking God with all my heart to express my concerns and hear from Him; I’m just having a personal gripe session.

While many of us love, and rely on the truth of Jeremiah 29:13:

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (NIV).

we overlook Proverbs 1:28:

Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me (NIV).

When is the “then” of this statement? It is when we ignore what God is saying to us, when we will not accept His rebuke, when we exchange seeking Him for seeking our comfort and pleasure.

Today we can be thankful that God not only gives us His promise to reveal himself when we seek him with all our heart, he also helps us understand what that is.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, the influence of the world around me and the distraction of my own troubles often draw me away from seeking you with my whole heart. Open my heart to respond to You wholeheartedly. Be Thou my vision. Because of Jesus, amen.

 Tweetables:

One of the great things about prayer is that it can be informal and intimate.

The sense of distance from God comes, not from His withdrawal from me, but my self-absorption.

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

HOW CAN I PRAY MY WAY THROUGH THE DAY

How Can I Pray My Way Through the Day?

by Ron Hughes at FBH International

prayer Hands

“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17 – NKJV).

Many of us were taught to “say our prayers” before going to bed, giving us an opportunity to reflect on the cares, challenges, successes and failures of the day.  Releasing them to our loving heavenly Father allows us to slide into slumber with forgiveness and thankfulness in our hearts.

With yesterday’s issues dealt with the evening before, our morning prayer invites the Lord to open our minds to see what He sees as we traverse the opportunities and challenges of the new day.  This broadens our focus to include the spiritual realm before we launch into the demands ahead.

I suspect that our prayer during the day depends on whether or not we engaged in morning prayer.  When we’ve done that, we find our conversation with God expanding throughout the day as we include Him in the decisions that confront us.

By now, you’ll have noticed that prayer is a cycle
with each phase affected by the one before. (tweet)

Evening prayer closes our attention on the day that is past and clears our mind for rest. Morning prayer, refreshed by the peace of God through the night, keeps us aware of His presence as we begin the new day.  Noon prayer, keeps us in constant touch with our Father and conscious of His guidance as we respond to the situations that arise around us.

Today, I’m remembering that:

      • prayer sets my orientation toward God and
      • enhances my awareness of His presence

as I make my way through this day.

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

 

CAN GOD BE MY FRIEND?

Can God be My Friend?

by Ron Hughes

QUESTION

CAN GOD BE MY FRIEND?

I’m always nervous when I talk about my friendship with God because it seems so presumptuous.  Talking about God as my King, Master, Teacher, Judge, Creator, or Father is easy because those relationships are clearly defined and nicely hierarchical—the way a relationship with God should be. Somehow to call God my “friend,” even though I’ve known him for more than 50 years, may strike some as taking liberties.

Yet, I have to say that God is the truest and best friend I’ve ever had. It’s not that my human friends have been a bunch of flaky people who continually betray and disappoint me.

But compared to God – as a friend -,
nobody comes close to measuring up.  Tweet this.

Of course, I realize that part of God’s provision for me has been the human friends He has brought into my life.

In various stages in life they have offered me encouragement when I desperately needed it. I credit some good friends with saving my life because they pulled me back from the brink of doing exceedingly stupid things. But God, my great Friend, sent them along as “friends with skin on” so that they could speak to my heart in a way I couldn’t hear any other way.

I have experienced some alienation in my life and I thank God that He’s been there in those times, because having that relationship has kept me from doing hurtful things in response to being hurt. Sometimes when I’ve been let down, I have longed for the sweet taste of revenge—to settle the score and make things right, by my standards.

Knowing God accepts me even though I’m a broken human being, allows me to accept that those who hurt me are made in the image of God.
Tweet this.

That fact alone makes them deserving of the same acceptance and love that God offers me, though I don’t deserve it.

To read the entire post please go to FBH International

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

9 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PRAYING FOR PEOPLE

I would like to welcome Ron Hughes as a new contributor to Under the Cover of Prayer. 

Jan

9 Things to Remember When Praying for People

by Ron Hughes

Spiritual Practice of Prayer

Most Christians are asked to pray for others from time to time. Sometimes we volunteer to do so.

How do you go about doing that?

Do you just add a line, “and dear Lord I pray for John Smith,” somewhere between “Heavenly Father…” and “…in Jesus’ name, Amen?”

I like to hear tips from others about how they improve their spiritual exercises, so I thought I’d risk sharing some of mine. We would love to hear your thoughts, too.

1) Keep a Prayer List

I’ve resorted to keeping a prayer list, which my spontaneous side thinks is mechanical, but my mechanical side knows is necessary. If you’re young with a fabulous memory, you might not need this. I’m not and I do.

2) Recall a Face

When I know the person for whom I’m praying, I take time to recall his or her face, even briefly. This little bit of effort focusses my mind better than simply speaking, or thinking, a name. On a few occasions when the Lord has brought someone to mind, but not shown me what to pray for, I simply hold that person’s face in my mind and trust the Spirit to pray through me.

3) Align Prayer with God’s Will

Sometimes, prayer requests are specific. When they are on target, it’s easy pray for them. But sometimes, the prayer request is clearly way off base—motivated by the flesh. I’ll still pray for the situation, but not hesitate to bring it into alignment with God’s stated will. On more than one occasion I’ve been asked to pray that a Christian’s unbelieving love interest would resume their relationship. No can do. Though I can pray about this person’s loneliness and the other person’s salvation. Praying contrary to the will of God has always struck me as somewhat insane.

4) Pray as Paul Prayed

Sometimes, prayer requests are vague. Recently, a man sent me a note asking me to pray for him. I phoned him and asked what he wanted prayer for. He said, “Nothing special, just pray for me.” Hmmm. In such cases, I ask the Lord to show me if there’s anything beneath the general perception of need, and until I sense some direction I pray for some of the things Paul prayed for as he thought of his friends.

5) Pray with a Sensitive Spirit

Sometimes people aren’t very in touch with spiritual realities and their perceptions may be distorted. I try to be spiritually sensitive to the person requesting prayer, recognizing that there may be issues under the surface that are the “real problem” and pray accordingly.

6) Pray for God’s Glory in the Situation

All kinds of problems come into the lives of people—illness, accidents, loss of a job or a relationship, financial hardship and so on. Naturally, their first response is for their distress to be alleviated. Ours will typically mirror theirs. However, God’s plan may be to glorify Himself, by revealing His faithfulness, or His provision, or His comfort, or something else as they pass through a time of trouble. When in doubt, pray for the glory of God to be manifested in the situation rather than just that the pain would go away (though it’s also good to pray for relief and comfort).

7) Pray Aloud When You Can

Whenever possible, I try to pray aloud. Forming words and expressing them slows me down a bit and helps me to concentrate. When I just “think” my prayers, I tend to get distracted (or drift off to sleep).

8) Be Thankful

Don’t neglect the thanksgiving which Paul tells us should accompany our supplications. By all means, bring your cares and concerns to God. Then release the one you’re praying for to Him and begin to thank Him that as He works, His intervention will bless the person you have on your heart and will glorify Him. Endlessly rehearsing someone’s misery to God and crying out for a specific outcome suggests a lack of faith in our Father, who does all things well.

9) Your Faith is in God

Remember that your faith is in God—not in what you consider to be the ideal outcome. The real power in prayer comes from aligning our will with the Father’s, not convincing Him to do ours. How God deals with a situation may not be our first choice, but it will always be the best choice.

Because prayer is such a common thing in the life of many Christians, we can fall into habits which limit our effectiveness. May I encourage you to occasionally think about prayer as a spiritual exercise as well as engaging in it. When my own prayer life gets stale, it is often because I’m neglecting to do it consciously and intentionally. Praying without ceasing may seem like a tall order, but take heart: the fervent pray of the godly is powerful.

Related articles

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

THE PRAYER ROOM – part two

The Prayer Room – part two

by Ron Hughes

On Monday Ron Hughes gave us an overview of prayer discussing the biblical background of prayer and exploring prayer in detail.

Today Ron discusses practical tips to help us enhance our prayer lives.

Over the years, I’ve collected some practical tips to enhance my prayer life. I hope you will find them useful.

✦    Be specific. God is glorified by our gratitude for the things He does for us. When we are specific in our prayers, we can see specific answers, and we’ll give specific praise.

✦    Listen as much as you talk. One-sided conversations are singularly dissatisfying for the listener. Take time to listen for God’s voice as you pray. He may have some things to say.

✦    Confess your sins. Sin always interferes with our intimacy with God. If you are serious about listening to God, He’ll bring to your mind the sins that are getting in the way.

✦    Be patient. We are usually in a bigger hurry than God is. Understand that He not only has the right to answer in His time, He will answer only in His time. Timing is part of His answer.

✦    Use a list. A list is useful for overcoming memory weaknesses and recording answers. Over time, as you align your will with God’s, it will change from a prayer list to a praise list.

✦    Pray aloud. Verbalizing our prayers has real benefits. When we discipline ourselves to form words and speak them aloud, we’ll find it easier to stay focussed on the things we are trying to present to the Lord.

✦    Pray for inner change. Frequent, sincere prayer regarding the “restricted areas” of your life is crucial if you are going to become more like the Lord Jesus. Ask God to make you the person He intends for you to be.

✦    Pray with faith. Faithless prayer is an oxymoron. The key here is to remember that our faith is in God, not in a specific outcome which we have decided will be best. Let God choose the best outcome. His will be better than ours!

Potential pitfalls

Because of our tendency to sin, even a serious approach to prayer can be tainted. This emphasis may lead to our limiting prayer to a structured time and form. But prayer needs both spontaneity and structure. We lose out if we practise one at the expense of the other. Prayer can also degenerate into the subjective ramblings of a dissatisfied soul trying to get God to give it what it wants. In some cases, prayer can also be pressed into service as a vehicle of self-promotion in the Christian community, used as nothing more than a mechanism for showing off our supposed spiritual depth in public.

A word of encouragement

I hope I’ve communicated that prayer is not one of those things in which we observe one-to-one relationships (as in when I say this, God does that). Prayer is a conversation characterized by both communication (in both directions) and a deepening of the relationship between the participants.

Ron Hughes is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog. He is also involved with an outreach site called Talk on the Way.

THE PRAYER ROOM

The Prayer Room 

by Ron Hughes

Prayer: What are we talking about?

Prayer is sometimes seen to be nothing more than saying words without paying attention at all. Rote prayers like “the Lord’s prayer” or “Hail Mary” are not the only form of this kind of prayer. A friend of mine told me how, on one occasion, he knelt beside the bed with his wife at the end of a long day. He was weary beyond belief and, unthinkingly, said, “Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for the food we are about to receive…” and was interrupted by his wife’s giggle.

Mere repetition of words, however biblical they may be, is not our area of interest here. We’re looking at real communication, specifically between us and God. Prayer embraces a number of distinct activities – confession of sin, asking for needs to be met, intercession for others, adoration, and thanksgiving. These are all significant and each adds its own contribution to the whole. For our purposes we will cast the net as widely as possible and simply define prayer as spiritual communion with God.

Biblical background

We know prayer is important because of the biblical emphasis on it. We see Jesus as a man of prayer. For example, in Luke 6:12 we read of him going out to a mountain to pray all night long. Jesus also taught about prayer. He said things like: “when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:5-7 ESV).

The apostle Paul also set an example by recording several prayers in his letters and he, too, taught about the importance of prayer, the need for prayer, and the effects of prayer. I won’t even attempt to convince you that Christians should approach prayer seriously. Most of us instinctively know it, even if we would condemn ourselves regarding our diligence in practising it.

Exploring prayer

“How’s your prayer life?” A friend loved to ask questions like this to make me squirm. When I had suffered enough, he said, “I’ve asked that question of all kinds of people and every one has expressed some kind of dissatisfaction about the quality or quantity of prayer in his or her life.” This is probably true for all spiritual activities, but because we see prayer as pivotal, it serves as a lightening rod.

We take a disciplined approach to prayer for several reasons. The easiest one is to follow Christ’s example and obey biblical commands. A little beneath the surface are some other reasons. Prayer allows us to engage personally with God, to practise His presence. Disciplined prayer also makes sure that time with God is not crowded out of our lives by sloth from within or urgencies from without. Most of us pray because we sense a need of some sort. When trouble comes, praying is as instinctive for the Christian, as crying is for the child. We hurt; we want God to do something about it. As we mature, though, we discover that our agenda may not fit perfectly with God’s. Only after we spend a great deal of time with Him, do we internalize His values, priorities and will.

Some of us love to measure progress. We like to see positive change in our lives. We seem to need that encouragement to keep on. For those who fall into this category, we’d like to be able to evaluate our prayer life. I’ve learned that success in one’s prayer life is not measured by the degree to which we can get God to react to people and circumstances as we see them, but the degree to which we come to react to people and circumstances the way God sees them. This is counterintuitive for most of us. Even the most godly tend to see answers to prayer only when their own will is done in their lives or the lives of others.

In fact, while it is not usually wrong to pray for things to go the way you would like them to, the goal in prayer is for us to get to the point where we are asking God how we can conform to His purposes in the circumstances in which we now find ourselves, even if they include things we would naturally want to avoid. We limit the benefit of the exercise if we insist on God doing what we think is best for us and those we love. We will be much better off if we let Him set the agenda and we seek to fit into it.

On Wednesday, Ron will discuss practical tips to enhance our prayer lives.

Ron Hughes is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog. He is also involved with an outreach site called Talk on the Way.