Concerning Prayer 09-23-12

Lesson: Doctrines which Hider Genuine Prayer.mp3

Key Text: Rom. 8:26

Olive green – is always scripture.

In the Words of Paul, “…we know not what we should pray, nor how to offer that prayer in a worthy manner as we must…” Romans 8:26.



A question came up at the beginning of class which focused on an “old pattern” of prayer we used to teach and practice for many years. That topic was, “Are we able to command and give assignment to the angels?” Now, this probably sounds ridiculous to anyone outside of our “Word of Faith” or “Charismatic” roots, but believe it or not, many, MANY Christians believe that commanding angels is not only a right but a responsibility. So far as I know, this entire concept is loosely based upon a misunderstanding, mis-interpretation and mis-appropriation of the following verse n Hebrews…

“But to which of the angels has He ever said: “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, TILL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES YOUR FOOTSTOOL”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” ~ Heb. 1:13-14

Okay, I know…but I did say LOOSELY based upon!

“The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.” ~ Psa. 103:19-20

Here it is clear that angels are committed to doing the bidding and will of God.

Throughout the rest of the class we worked our way through Ps. 31, drawing particular attention to the relational and intimate way in which the psalmist praysand how his focus is always on the person and glory of God instead of his own self-interest.


  • Never asking God to do things entirely for his own benefit, but for “Thy Names’ sake”
  • Committing his spirit and life into God’s hand.
  • Never asking God for safety, but to BE his strong tower.
  • Though he wanted safety he did not look for it in externals but in the face of his God.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!