Entrust Equipping Leaders
What's wrong with having prayer on your to-do list?
January 20, 2023
Guest Anne Graham Lotz encourages us to make prayer more than a checklist item.
Guest Anne Graham Lotz. Bible teacher and author Anne Graham Lotz reflects on Moses and Joshua, great leaders who spent much time in God's presence. Anne describes her prayer team and her own prayer life. From ministry in Eastern Europe and Russia to the U.S., through illness and loss and her need of a loud alarm clock, you'll find challenge and inspiration as you listen to Anne's candid thoughts about the joys of connecting with God through His word and prayer.

Anne Graham Lotz' website https://www.annegrahamlotz.org

Anne's Entrust Equipping Leaders article https://www.entrust4.org/post/prayer-is-not-just-an-option-it-s-the-very-core

Entrust https://www.entrust4.org

Speaker Name  | Start Time  | Text
Todd (intro/outro)  | 00;00;05;00  | Welcome again to Entrust Equipping Leaders. Get ready to be challenged and encouraged as today, we talk about prayer with our special guest Anne Graham Lotz.  Anne is an international Bible teacher and the bestselling author of Jesus in Me and Jesus Followers.
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;26;15  | Well, I'm glad to talk with you today, and thank you for joining us on our Entrust podcast.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;00;32;11  | I'm glad to do it, Laurie. Thank you.
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;34;09  | We'll just sort of jump in our topic overall is prayer. And I know you were involved with us back a long time ago when we were called Biblical Education by Extension. How did you come to be involved with BEE?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;00;49;03  | Laurie, I actually can't remember. I think I just received an invitation. It seems like I was doing something else at the time I was in Wroclaw, Poland, opening a seminary and somehow be contacting me at about the same time to come to Vienna and train some of their leaders. And I actually was very, very sick. I don't know if it was like a pneumonia kind of thing.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;01;16;09  | I had a high fever. I was really sick. But and I had a friend with me who was very capable. And she helped. But but I led, I believe it was a a day or two, four days of training. And so that was my initial introduction to be and then I can't remember when it was later I was invited to come to Moscow and help with the graduation ceremony for some of the women.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;01;40;26  | And that also piggybacked on our speaking to the Baptist north of St. Petersburg. And so I went up there and did that. And then I came back to Moscow and and spoke at that graduation ceremony. And I think that's the last interaction I've had with BEE.
Laurie Lind  | 00;01;59;27  | And also, you did some teaching in Romania, I believe, about inductive Bible study.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;02;05;05  | Yes, that's right. So I didn't forget that event, but I forgot that BEE was involved in that. But yes, and that was an incredible event. It was held in the former Communist Party headquarters. And but it was filled with women who wanted to draw nearer to the Lord to get into their Bibles, to turn around and and help other people read their Bibles and as a result, know Jesus and grow in their faith.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;02;34;05  | It was it was an incredible experience. And I loved it because we stayed there. And so I was able to interact with some of the women, you know, mealtimes and other times. And I really they captured my heart. So that was a very blessed time.
Laurie Lind  | 00;02;52;27  | And as you met some of those women, whether it was in Russia or Romania or even in Vienna, did you see some examples of prayer fulness among those women that struck you? Or might you have a story about someone you met and and her own prayer life?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;03;11;17  | I actually don't. Not that I can remember, because my whole emphasis was to get them into the to the word in or to get them into their Bibles and help them understand how to read their Bible so they could hear God speaking to them through it. I do remember the interpreter as being a family member. She was a history professor.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;03;29;29  | And and she and I, of course, would spend time and prayers would go over the message before presenting it. And and it's just like that article I wrote for you without Jesus, we can't do anything. So as much as I want to get women in the word and I want them to hear God speaking to them through it, but it really isn't possible unless God, the Holy Spirit, would come down and clothe it with this power.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;03;58;21  | And I think that's an answer to prayer. I know he honors God's word because he's the spirit of truth. He works through God's word. But I think it requires us to be very, not only dependent in our spirits, but even verbally in prayer, that we would seek his blessing and his help.
Laurie Lind  | 00;04;18;05  | And so you said, like yourself, you did pray with your interpreter. Was that in Romania?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;04;23;26  | Yes. Yes.
Laurie Lind  | 00;04;24;22  | How how do you pray ahead of a teaching or a training event like that?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;04;32;20  | Any event that I do, any time I speak on a platform, actually, anything that I live, you know, it's it's so prefaced about prayer. And then as I go through the day, you know, I pray throughout the day when I know that I'm going to speak on on a platform. It just goes back several weeks. Like I just spoke with someone this morning.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;04;58;05  | I'm going to speak for him, I think in two or three weeks. Big convention he's putting on. And so I called him. I want to get a sense of who the people are going to be, who are going to be sitting in front of me and and then from from now. And I've been praying. I prayed as to whether or not I should even accept the invitation extended.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;05;18;06  | But now my prayer becomes more focused and praying that God would put his message on my heart that He wants these people to hear. And then I'm going to be praying not only for the people going to be there, but for myself as I prepare the message that God would give me, the examples, the illustrations, the applications that would be relevant for that specific audience.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;05;38;21  | And then close to the time, I'll begin preparing the message itself. And so, you know, when people invite me to speak, I think they think it just requires the time I spend in their venue or on their platform. But actually it backs up for days and even weeks in advance, as I even if it's a message I've given before, I have to prepare it in relation to that particular audience and and just have, as I pray that Lord confirm in my spirit that that's that's the message you would have me give to that particular group.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;06;12;16  | And then the morning that I speak, whether I speak in the morning or speak at night or a speaker, and I get up early and pray through the message and and then when I stand up on the platform, I do it in total dependency upon him. I never write up things word for word. I expect that he would use that preparation time so that he can bring to my mind what he wants me to say to those in front of me.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;06;38;01  | And so prayer is it's not that I spend. How do I pray before an event is like? Prayer just saturates and interweaves everything. And it doesn't mean that I don't go to the grocery store and I don't, you know, take care of my kids or grandchildren or clean my house or whatever. But but in the back of my mind, just like this event I'm going to be doing in two or three weeks, it's in the back of my mind.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;07;06;21  | So even as I'm going up about my day and I'm thinking about it, I'm asking God questions about it, you know, beginning to meditate on it, I guess you would say it's sort of like a I love coffee and coffee percolates and so and so it just sort of begins to percolate so that I can deliver it. And my aim, of course, when I speak, is that people would forget about me and they would hear God speaking to them through his word.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;07;31;19  | I never I told the organizer this morning, 99.9% of the time I speak straight from Scripture. Very rarely do I speak other than that. And that might be the exception, might be a word of testimony or something. You know, that's not exposition.
Laurie Lind  | 00;07;48;25  | Do you recruit a band of prayer warriors to pray for you during times of teaching like that?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;07;56;01  | Absolutely. Not only times of teaching like that, but when I started, I taught a Bible class in my city for 12 years. But when I stepped out, God called me clearly from Scripture that I was to step out and go into what I call an itinerant ministry that was worldwide. And when I did, I felt burdened to ask.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;08;16;28  | I felt like I needed a prayer team. And actually I hadn't thought about it until a woman came up to me. I'd been in my class and she said, And I think you need a prayer thing when you go out. And so I started to pray about that. And then I asked God to bring me women who would be willing to commit to praying for me every day and then once a week bring together.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;08;37;15  | And, and I thought, you know, I have a class Bible, class of 500. I thought I might have dozens of women come. Actually, I only had seven women come forward. And so I invited them for coffee and explained to them what I was asking and then asked them to go back to their homes and pray about it for a week and then get back to me.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;08;57;08  | And they did and all seven got called of got into that prayer team and that was I want to say that 35, 40 years ago and as I still have that protein, but not that I only have two ladies in that prayer team who have been consistent through, you know, 35, 40 years. Two of them have gone on to heaven.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;09;18;12  | Then some of them, the newest ones, have been in maybe 7 to 10 years. But my youngest daughter now heads up that prayer team. And so once a week I send to her to distribute to the prayer team prayer requests for the immediately for this week. In other words, they they're praying for you and for this interview. They meet together on Thursday morning.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;09;40;26  | So this morning they were praying for us as we do this interview. And then next week, on Wednesday, I send them another prayer letter that has the updates for the requests I gave them this week. So then the answers to prayer, and then I give them the prayer requests for the next week. And so I've done that now 35, 40 years.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;09;58;26  | And, and what it's done is encourage them when we pray specifically. So in other words, the prayer requests I give them are ones that that if God answers, you'll know it this week. You know, specific like this interview would be an example and or the conversation I had earlier with them, the man I'm going to speak for, just asking God to use that conversation to help confirm in my heart the message and the give and and God answered that prayer, assuming he's going to be answering the prayer for this interview and so so to be on.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;10;31;07  | And then they pray not only it's mainly ministry centered, but if I'm you know, we all in ministry have are under attack. I know. And so health issues that I've had or, you know, if I just go a week and I can't sleep or or I have other things that I feel are hindering me or coming against me and what God's called me to do that I'll put that in the prayer letter too.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;10;57;18  | So they pray for me personally like that. And so it's I want it to get on a platform. Can I tell you, I would not step out in ministry. I wouldn't even feel good about taking this interview if I didn't know. Not only I had prayed, but that I had this this team of women there, now ten of them in the because it just fluctuates.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;11;19;11  | It's not the numbers, Larry. So it could be three. It could be you know, it doesn't, but it's never been more than ten. And so I wouldn't want to attempt ministry without their prayer covering and without my own prayers, because without Jesus, we can do nothing.
Laurie Lind  | 00;11;38;13  | It's a very serious commitment when they agree to pray. You're like you said. Just one more question back in history, if you remember at all with the Russian or Romanian ladies or whatever, did any advice you gave them about prayer or any teaching you gave them about that?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;11;56;21  | No, I don't think I did, because I believe I spoke from if I remember right and I could be wrong. I believe I spoke from second Timothy, first or second Timothy. One reason I wrote the article for you the way I did, just to try to emphasize that, you know, you have all these leadership principles and then you tack prayer on to it.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;12;15;22  | You can't do that. You know, it's I was reading this morning in my devotional in my devotions, look, chapter six, I believe it was where Jesus was talking about, you know, you judge a tree by the fruit and and out of the heart comes on, you know, your words, your actions and the same thing. I mean, that's true in anything, but it's true in leadership.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;12;40;02  | So your heart needs to be on fire for in your relationship with Jesus. You need to love the Lord, your God with all your mind, heart, soul and body and your neighbor as yourself, and have a passion for his word, a passion to reach other people. And that comes out. And so to me, that's basic, fundamental leader ship, without which you can become mechanical and perfunctory, and you can go through all the leadership techniques and you can gain your confidence and you can come across, you know, the way I see a lot of women coming across, but it's not spirit led and it's not spirit filled.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;13;16;00  | So, you know, I don't want to do that right.
Laurie Lind  | 00;13;19;01  | Yes, you did make that point in the article. And we definitely want our listeners to read that article because I had asked you my question to you had been what is the role of prayer in leadership training? And you very clearly said that's the wrong question. So do you want to expound on that thought a little bit more for our listeners here?
Laurie Lind  | 00;13;39;18  | Why? That's the wrong question.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;13;41;15  | Well, I thought it was a good question, because what it did was expose what's wrong and and so without being offensive, you know, it's just I think I use the example of Moses in the wilderness when he set up a meeting in the middle of the Israelite camp and he would go in and that tenor meeting was, of course, the tabernacle, but that's where God would come down.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;14;06;24  | And Moses would meet with God. It says, as with a friend face to face. And when Moses came out, he had no idea his face shown, you know, just just from having been in the presence of God. And he was one of surely one of the greatest leaders in all of human history, certainly one of the greatest in scripture.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;14;24;06  | And then his protege, Joshua, says that he went into that ten hour meeting and Moses would leave and go out in the camp. But Joshua stayed in the tenor meeting, and so he he dwelt, in a sense, in that place of prayer, that tenor of meeting. And he became the leader, of course, that took over after Moses that led the children of Israel into the promised land.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;14;46;08  | And so as leaders, both Moses and Joshua were phenomenal leaders. Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage to slavery in Egypt, and then they went nowhere with God for 40 years. They just went in circles and but he still got them out of bondage. And Joshua was a leader who took those children of Israel who were going nowhere with God.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;15;09;09  | And he led them through the Jordan and tackled Jericho and into the Promised Land where they were able to possess what God had promised them. And and so I feel like as leaders and both Moses and Joshua were saturated in prayer and and as leaders, our aim is twofold. One, we wanted to get people out of bondage, the sin, the lead them to the cross, where they can test their sin to tell God they're sorry, believe he died on the cross to take away their sin, to forgive them, receive the eternal life he offers through the resurrection, and and open up their hearts, and receive him by faith in the Person of the Holy Spirit
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;15;48;09  | so that they're born again into God's family. That's that's a primary basic aim of any Christian leader. The second one is to be like Joshua and to take people who have put their faith in Jesus and help them grow up in their faith so they can possess the blessings of God, so they can live out what God's called them for.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;16;07;14  | So, so not my point. I guess in that article was on if you just consider prayer a role, just something, a discipline that you to do, you know, then you're probably going to fall short of what your potential would be as a leader. And I use the personal example because I had been in ministry, I don't know how long, but a long time.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;16;35;20  | And God seemed to speak to me from Revelation three, the church at Sardis. When you told Sardis to wake up and strengthen the things that remain, and I went on with the rest of the letter, but God kept bringing me back. And then I began to hear that whisper of the Spirit and you have a it says you have a reputation for being alive, but you're dead.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;16;57;17  | You need to wake up. And I knew I had a worldwide reputation for somebody who was spiritual alive. But what Jesus was saying on the inside, he saw me. I wasn't dead, but I was not as alive. You would want me to be. I was dying because I wasn't getting up to spend time with them. So I went down to the mall, bought an alarm clock with a long that went so loud of woke me up in the morning you knew your heart bound and I couldn't go back to sleep and and I just began waking up every morning to spend time with him.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;17;32;22  | And as my children have grown, as my schedule changes, you know, that time early in the morning fluctuates. And after some of the health issues I've had, I've struggled with early morning time because my body just doesn't cooperate. But first, first thing in the morning, whatever, it may not be as early as I would like it to be, but when I get out of bed after I wash my face, brush my teeth, gotten a cup of coffee, I have my quiet time with the Lord.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;18;00;10  | And and one thing I've loved about Calvin, you know, has a silver lining to that dreadful disease, but it locked us all down so I could have an extended time with the Lord. I didn't have to look at my watch, you know, I could just sit there and just be in his presence as long as, you know, you don't ever want to leave his presence.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;18;17;15  | But at least I felt I had spent time with him each morning in a way that was satisfying, if that makes sense. So. So in a way I just put that in the article because I feel like prayer is prayer in God's word. And it says in that passage about Moses that he would go in the tent of meeting and he would hear what God would say to him.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;18;41;23  | So prayer is not just talking to God. Prayer is listening to what he says. And that means we have to open our Bibles and we have to read our Bibles listening for his voice to speak to us. So I do that in the morning. I take a little paragraph of verses. I'm going through the Gospel of Luke and and I just list the outstanding facts.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;19;02;08  | I don't paraphrase just nouns and verbs and, you know, and then try to find a spiritual lesson from each fact and then put those lessons in the form of a question I would ask myself. And so, so often when I do that, I feel God's just whispering to me and and speaking to me. But that night I started several years ago, reading the Bible through which every year and I don't really like it because I like to meditate on a passage in this way.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;19;32;13  | You're right, you're sort of racing through it. But last night I was in First Corinthians and and felt as I dived into it and read my five chapters, which I'll do each night as I go to bed, I could hear the whispering, the spirit, you know, it was just so sweet because I wasn't expecting it. I was just expecting to read it through and be familiar with.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;19;53;13  | But what he was whispering and I and I'll tell you what it was. It was in the first chapter and the world is. So we're living at a very dangerous, critical time. And and at the very same time, I'm not as strong physically as I would like to be. And but in that passage, he said that he would keep me strong to the end.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;20;20;14  | I just could hear that little whisper, you know. And don't worry, I got it. So.
Laurie Lind  | 00;20;24;19  | You know, I'm glad you mentioned that first of all, thank you for your honesty about even buying that loud alarm clock. I think a lot of us even struggle there. And so I was going to ask you, you began to kind of answer it that you did say prayer is not only talking, it's listening, it's letting the Lord speak to us.
Laurie Lind  | 00;20;43;19  | He does that through Scripture, the Holy Spirit speaks to us. And yet I know when I pray, sometimes I, I struggle with am I, is it God's voice I'm hearing or my own? Like, am I? I may think I'm hearing something, but is it just me? What thoughts do you have about really recognizing the voice of the Holy Spirit in our our souls or our hearts?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;21;07;09  | You know, I think some of that, Larry, comes from experience so that as you develop your relationship with him, when you take action on something that wasn't his voice, you'll find out it was. And then you take action on something that and we go by faith so we never know for sure. All right. So but then you take by faith and what you believe is God's word and and then you find out that that indeed is what it was.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;21;35;00  | And and you begin to discern the difference between other voices. And he is for myself. He speaks to me through his word. And I know I've got friends, precious friends who are godly and spiritual, and they can go according to an impression or, you know, sometimes other things. For me, I and when God speaks to me, he speaks through his word.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;22;01;02  | But it's just like when I was reading that passage from First Corinthians, it's like it just jumps up off the page and, and it was interesting. He addresses something that maybe I hadn't even prayed about, just the dress or actually I have prayed about that, but not at that moment. But but he knows the thoughts in our mind and the emotions in our heart and what we're facing.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;22;24;15  | And so my daughter, my youngest daughter makes it a habit. She talks to him about what's on her heart before she opens her Bible and then what he seems to say to her. You know, it just seems to be more applicable to what she's just been burdened about for me. I read my Bible first and then prayed, pray about what he said to me.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;22;49;06  | But then, for instance, last night I just wasn't expecting that. But I'm glad I recognized it as a whisper because sometimes it's so gentle you just unless you're paying attention, you know, you may miss it. So I don't I think it's just on I don't want to say trial and error, but as you as you follow the shepherd, you'll learn to discern his voice and and and for me, he speaks through his word.
Laurie Lind  | 00;23;18;09  | So that's true. Yes. And just speaking of that, as the Lord was reassuring you that you're going to be okay, just I would like to ask, how are you? I know you've been through cancer. Your husband passed away a few years ago. You've had some hard things. How are you doing personally?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;23;36;09  | You know, I'm doing very well, Larry, for the condition I'm in. I'm 74 years old. And so I'm just experiencing some things that I think that come with probably the age that I am. But I'm not worried about what to say. I don't want to submit to it. So I'm doing some things to try to fight the you know, and I think it's very easy at this age if you let go of some of your disciplines, whether it's floor exercise or walking or whatever you do to try to keep yourself physically fit, if you if and I've had to stop a lot of that since November because I've had some surgeries for skin cancer.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;24;23;01  | I skin cancer that just will not go away on my legs. So it's crippled me to an extent. And and it's amazing how quickly I lost some of my physical strength. And so I'm fighting to get that back. I'm not I'm not willing to succumb to some of this weakness. And so I'm doing all sorts of things to try to get my physical.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;24;44;05  | I'll never be where I was, you know, 20 years ago. But I'm I want to be better than I am today. And and I and my aim, besides always wanting to feel better and feel stronger, I want to finish strong. And I believe Jesus is very soon to come back. And this is not a time to wimp out, to stay seated, to pull back in ministry.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;25;07;27  | So, you know, I want to go all out and he knows that. I've told him when he comes back, I want him to find me. And I believe it'll be in my lifetime. And that's a whole nother subject. But I want him to find me on the cutting edge, the sharp edge of commitment, you know, with sword in hand and on the front line of the battle for this generation.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;25;32;03  | And I know I'm going to be bruised and battered and I already am, but I want to be standing I want to finish strong. So that's what I think he was promising me last night.
Laurie Lind  | 00;25;40;26  | So I love that, you know, you talk about it, prayer just needs to be an outflow of our whole entire life and it isn't a checklist item. And so and I'm so grateful you've reminded me of that. How do you see that working? I like what you said about how your daughter brings to the burdens of her heart, to the Lord first and then opens the Bible.
Laurie Lind  | 00;26;00;27  | You might do it in a different order. Are there other just very practical things you've learned over the years about prayer that might be helpful for our listeners?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;26;11;08  | I always begin prayer with worship because I think when I worship the Lord for who He is, that whatever I bring to him seems to fall into perspective. You know, it's sometimes what we're facing seem so daunting and but when we begin in worship for who he is, his power, His Majesty, his grace is faithfulness is goodness is kindness is righteousness is holiness is just as, you know, whatever it is, and you you begin in worship, then that helps put your prayer in perspective.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;26;53;22  | And then also, even if I'm saying a blessing for me, I want to spend time thanking him for the blessings that he's given. And and I did that. You know, going through, as you pointed out, the cancer, the surgery, the chemotherapy, the radiation, all of that. But but with my two daughters went with me to just about every session.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;27;18;04  | And but we focus on the blessings, you know, because if you focus on the pain and the suffering, then you just go right down. But you focus on the blessings of God. And they're all around you. They're there and and what it does is just lift your spirits. And so to thank him for his blessings. And then, you know, there's something that comes to my mind that I need to set.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;27;44;13  | Right. And had somebody this morning, I felt two days ago I had been very short with the person because I you know, you get under pressure, you've got so much to do. And then you just sort of I don't snap, but I was just very abrupt. And so I had to call the person and and explain that and offer an apology.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;28;07;26  | And and so I think setting things right, you know, if if it comes to your mind, I know last year or two years ago, I felt like there was somebody that I'd worked with internationally eight, 17 years ago. And God brought that person to my mind and at a challenge trying to find how to locate that person. But I did.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;28;32;01  | And I got a phone appointment and told the person I was sorry I was for and it wasn't so much what I did, although it was some people did in my name and I had allowed it, you know, and a person couldn't have been more gracious and and so just so if there are things in your life you need to clean up, you know that just that time and prayer of confession, you just clean up and then then and all that don't have to take that much time.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;29;00;29  | You know, your worship, your Thanksgiving confession is you bring something to your mind and then then you talk to them about what's on your heart. But but when I read read my Bible, I also want to know what's on his heart. So prayer is not so much getting God, putting our burdens on his heart. He already knows is having his burdens placed on our heart is like Abraham, you know, gone before God in Genesis 18 and knowing that God was going down to Sodom to see what was going on and God knew.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;29;33;10  | But I guess He wanted Abraham to know what was down there. And then Abraham began interceding and I think one reason God was imparting to Abraham the burden for his nephew and for a lot. And Abraham prayed it through. And then, of course, God answered in a different way than Abraham had asked. And that's something we need to recognize, that God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we asked or when we asked or how we asked them.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;30;00;29  | And so Sodom wasn't saved, which is what Abraham was asking. But Abraham's family was saved out of Sodom, which I think is bottom line what he was asking. And God saved Abraham's family out of Sodom. So as we pray, I think God is able to put on our hearts the burden that's on his heart, and then we pray that back to him.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;30;23;24  | So prayer is not just getting from God, but we want, but it's coming alongside God. So He, if we can put it that way, He gets from us what He wants.
Laurie Lind  | 00;30;35;28  | And as we are investing in leaders of the next generation or disabling new believers, followers of Christ, how do we pass along these wonderful old understandings about what prayer really is to our next generation of people?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;30;52;10  | Probably the primary way is to live it out, you know, to set the example, I don't know who listens to your podcast or but if you're a parent in a home, you're a leader. And so what are you doing to teach your children how to pray? And my mother, when I was little, she gave me a little white leather notebook, and in it she told me to list my prayer requests, but to intimidate them and then to leave a couple of ones underneath so I could go back and put the date when they were answered.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;31;20;15  | So she taught me when I was very young to pray specifically and to look for the specific answers. And then my mother was also somebody, my bedroom was above hers in the house and didn't matter what time I went to bed at night I could look out my window. I see the lights on reflected on the trees outside.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;31;41;20  | I could slip down to her room, found her on her knees in prayer, and if I did, I might as well go back up to my room because she wasn't getting off her knees, you know, to be interrupted. And in the morning I could see those lights on the trees again are good answer should be at her big flat top desk.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;31;56;10  | She had 14 different translations of the Bible should be studying her Bible reading and then every morning she called the whole family. Everybody was in the house together for prayer before we went to school. I never like those times because I was always in such a rush to get to school and find my books and I was free to be light.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;32;11;26  | And but it didn't matter. Mother called everybody to the kitchen and she she led in a brief Bible reading and prayer. And she taught me by her example that every day should begin in prayer, no matter how busy we are, how pressured we begin every day with prayer, we can't go forward in the day without that dependency and that and that prayer.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;32;33;10  | And so just just by her example, you know, she taught me and but as well as teaching me personally so so as leaders in the home, I think we need to set that example. We first of all need to get our own prayer life in order and and then share with our children when they're little, to teach them to pray and sincere prayers, you know, real prayers.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;33;00;11  | And if they're older, then just pray with them and for them and teach them to pray for others and and and pray specifically. So they get answers. So I will tell you that I struggle with three areas in prayer. One is concentration. And so sometimes I write my prayers down in order to help me stay focused. I recently published some of those prayers and a book called The Light of His Presence, and it's just a collection of my prayers that I wrote in order to help myself with concentration and then also content.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;33;38;08  | I can struggle with content. When I wrote those prayers, I made sure that I was spending time worship, Thanksgiving confession and then intercession and and consistency. So that's what I try to get up every morning and spend time with them. So those three areas are the biggest battles for me in prayer, but it's worth just making my biggest picture as I keep on battling.
Laurie Lind  | 00;34;01;19  | Keep pressing on. Do you still have that little white leather notebook? I do, yeah. Any other advice you would give us? Are there ways, pitfalls we should avoid? Like ways that we may be again, think about prayer or seek to pray that are maybe not quite on track in your understanding.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;34;21;19  | I think one of the things we need to remember is that our relationship with the Lord is a love relationship. So if I oversleep and I rush through my day without that prayer time, you know, not to feel so guilty that you can't come back. Then the next morning. And it's a love relationship. It's not legalistic, it's not you know, he's not going to blame you or punish you because.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;34;51;10  | You slept overslept and you didn't have your prayer time. So that's one thing. And just to remember that it's a love relationship, but because it is, you want to spend time with the one that you love. So and then I think you can also mix up your prayer. So that's in the summertime. You know, I like to go outside early in the morning when it's warmer and have a praise and worship time just outside.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;35;15;29  | You can change where you are. I have a particular place in my home where I pray at. That place is not devotional Bible. It's not the one I travel with or the one I read before I go to bed or or the one I speak from. It's just a devotional Bible has tears stained, marked up on all the margins and starting to fall apart.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;35;34;28  | But in the margins are right. The date and the verse that seem to speak to me and while and so it's just got that in all the margins of the Bible but and but I have that Bible I have a reading glasses I repent, I have a pencil, I have notepaper, maybe not other devotional materials so that when I get up in the morning, I don't have to go looking for those things.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;35;58;08  | You know, they're right there. So they're easily accessible because if you start looking for them, then you know you're going to get distracted by the things you need to do in your house. So I tried to set a time which is first thing in the morning. The prophet Daniel was somebody, if you remember, you know, he prayed three times a day and he had a designated places that upstairs room with the window focus towards Jerusalem, which to me just gave him sort of an eternal perspective.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;36;25;15  | And and he spent time with it didn't matter, you know, what his critics were saying or or what was going on. He was disciplined. And prayer does require discipline. So I don't want to make light of it. It's not an emotional, sentimental exercise. It requires discipline and it's also hard work. At least for me. It's been hard work.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;36;45;05  | But but it's worth the work that you put into it, because that's where your relationship with the Lord is developed and enriched, and that's where you draw alongside is heart and that's where you get your marching orders for the day. If prayer is getting not stale, but sort of like you're getting in a rut, then I'll just suggest, you know, switching it up and change the place where you pray.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;37;11;01  | Or even if you play the piano or if you have a hymn book, you can use that for your praise and worship, where you can play a song that's been meaningful and use that in your praise and worship time. And so just, you know, to keep it fresh. So I don't know if that helps or not, but but over the years I've changed and I've I've kept a list of people that I pray for.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;37;36;21  | I've kept card files, I've kept notebooks. So whatever helps. But you can be creative. Important thing is that you spend you consistent so that every day you're spending time with the Lord and you determine whether it's going to be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour, whatever it is. But you just keep it like a a commitment that you would make to your doctor's appointment or business appointment or teacher's appointment.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;38;02;27  | You just keep that time with the Lord and and it'll bear fruit.
Laurie Lind  | 00;38;08;04  | And that is really good for personal prayer and our personal walk with Christ and our, our just continuous being with him and learning from him and letting him speak to us. And then what about like group prayer, praying with a prayer partner? Small group. I've often wondered like some people will say, Well, I need to get as many people praying about this as I possibly can.
Laurie Lind  | 00;38;31;01  | And I've wondered, well, does it matter in God's eyes if one person is praying or 50 or 500 or. And I'm kind of asking a very vague thing here, but your thoughts about corporate prayer, group prayer in terms of how that works. So how does the Lord desire that to happen? I guess?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;38;51;11  | Well, it may depend on what you're focused on. You know, nationally, I feel like it's not getting as many people in prayer as we can, but as many people as we focused on our need for God to the point that they would intercede for our nation. So I can see that. But but, you know, Jesus said, and we quote that verse so many times, you know, where two or three are gathered together.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;39;19;11  | And so it's not the big group. And I love James when it says the prayer of one righteous man is powerful and effective. And so for myself, I don't look for a big group. My protein right now has ten. I have I have another team that covers my office ministry. So my staff and people like that. There's seven in that prayer team and and so they pray for my ministry staff and, and once a month, I'll have one of the staff people come in and share with them whatever they're going through and they pray over them.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;39;55;01  | And so I very much believe in corporate prayer, but I don't think it has to be I don't think the numbers. But I want our righteous people, people who really know how to pray and are right before the Lord and feel burdened to pray for whatever it is that we're up to. And I have noticed and I just had both of my prayer teams for coffee two weeks ago, and and so we just gathered and I wanted to hear from them what was going on.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;40;22;20  | And then we had a prayer time. And it's and it's so special to hear people praying. And the very thing somebody praises, the very thing that was on my mind, you know, and it's how the Holy Spirit, you just have a sense of the Holy Spirit is moving. And then sometimes and then our office actually on Monday mornings we begin the week with prayer.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;40;41;12  | Just we have a room called the meeting place and it's in the heart of our office. And so our staff comes in on Monday mornings and we just have prayer. And, and this last Monday, I notice when people are praying, it's interesting how as the spirit moves, it puts on one person's heart and the next person prays that and the next great.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;41;02;17  | And it's just the Holy Spirit can stimulate our thinking and our intercession when we're praying in a group. So and I appreciate corporate prayer and I very much appreciate it, but for myself and my ministry, it's it's been necessary.
Laurie Lind  | 00;41;23;17  | What are some resources you might recommend to any of us about prayer, whether that's books or things that might help us learn more about how to pray and the value of prayer if we're feeling a bit stagnant in our prayers, maybe.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;41;38;04  | I'm not good, Larry. In formulas and self-help books and prayers that I did write, and I don't have that here, but the light of his presence, which is just a you know, it's not prayers that I pray written down. And I know I've had people say that they're using that as their own prayers. And I had the Valley of Vision.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;42;03;02  | Are you familiar with that? It's a Puritan. It's a compilation of Puritan prayers. And and it's just called The Valley of Vision. And they're they're powerful prayers, but old timey people and and it's a comfort to know that some of those people wrestled with some of the same things I've wrestled with, you know. And so so that's sort of what prompted me to allow the publisher to publish my prayers, because I thought the prayers of these old army people in the Valley of Vision could help me express our my prayers.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;42;33;01  | Then maybe my prayers could help somebody else. And but that's actually what the Psalms are. So the Psalms, so many more David's prayers. And then afterwards, you know, we get into others. But but you can pray it. You can take the words of those psalms or the words of somebody else's or the prayers. I did a study this past spring was on the prayers of Paul and and the New Testament and just went through one by one.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;43;01;19  | Just what does it say? What does it mean? What does it mean? In my life, they're just listing the facts and listing the lessons from the facts and then coming up with questions that I would ask myself. And and so you can do that with prayers and scripture. So I'd rather do that than read somebody else and fill in the blanks.
Laurie Lind  | 00;43;18;09  | And then I would take it. You do simply pray Scripture back to God.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;43;23;00  | And he loves to be held to his word. It gives strength. But you can also, of course, put your prayers in your own words. I don't mean that all you can do is praise Scripture back, but but there's a strength, I think, that comes when we hold God to his word.
Laurie Lind  | 00;43;40;24  | What else? Time is nearly finished. But if there's anything else, what else would you like to say to our listeners about prayer in any aspect?
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;43;52;00  | I'm just trying to think of something that would come to mind. And what's come to mind is in Revelation five, when it's perhaps the most thrilling chapter, I think in the Bible other than the resurrection, you know, but it's that it's the description that John gives of when Jesus asserts his right to rule the world. And so John looks and he sees the lamb standing in the center of the throne and the lamb, you know, the narrow prince and his hands and feed the lamb that was slain.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;44;22;24  | But he's no longer hanging on a cross, standing in the center of the throne, and he's getting ready to come back and rule the world. And it says that the bowls of incense reform and the bowls where the prayers of the saints and so in some way prayer seems to be something God uses to usher in not only in application, not only his lordship and his authority in our own lives, but actually in the world, that when those bowls of incense are full, that's when Jesus comes back.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;44;59;22  | And that's when you have that fabulous passage where there's the lamb who's slain to receive all glory and wisdom and power and honor. And then all the angels bow down and worship and all the people on the earth, under the earth and the whole universe just rocks and praise. But it seems to be triggered by these prayers, all the bowls of incense full of prayers.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;45;19;04  | And so I wondered whose prayer would be the last one to come in so that God would say, now it's cool. And so I don't want to fall short. I want to make sure that I'm doing my part in praying. So that's soon. And very soon those bones would be filled and Jesus would say, I've got enough, you know, Father's or he would use, as the father tells the son to come back, it's time.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;45;44;08  | It's time to go. So I believe for a living very close to that time. And so when you I don't know how you catch the news. I've read the headlines on the phone or the computer or sometimes watch the news at night and and there's so much suffering in our world, so much lying, so much deceptions, so much corruption, so much greed and those things, you know, if they grieve us, then they grieve the heart of God.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;46;12;19  | And I think it's it's appropriate. Now, my father used to do this. He was a news addict. You know, he loved the news. And of course, it wasn't as bad in his lifetime as it is today. But but he would just break out in prayer. You know, just praying for what he was saying, praying for the burdens that those news headlines gave him.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;46;34;18  | And so, you know, prayer prayer is devotional. It's it's our relationship with the Lord. But it also is a weapon. And it's one of our two offensive weapons prayer and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. So we need to pick up our weapons and pray against this evil that's coming in like a flood.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;46;58;10  | There's a wonderful illustration of Robert Louis Stevenson when he was little and apparently he was in his nursery in London and he was staring out the window and his nanny called him to go to bed. And he just was staring out the window. And she came over and she said, Robert, she said, What are you looking at? And he said, Nanny, look, you said, I'm looking at that man.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;47;18;28  | He's putting holes in the darkness. And it was the lamplighter coming down the street, you know, and and I think sometimes our prayers or our word, God's word, that we give out, maybe we won't change the world, but we can put holes in the darkness. And the darkness is just descending and oppressive, just thick. But but it has not overcome the light.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;47;43;14  | And so we need to turn on the light through our prayers and through giving out God's word.
Laurie Lind  | 00;47;49;07  | Amen.  Jesus has won the victory.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;47;52;03  | That's right. Amen.
Laurie Lind  | 00;47;54;03  | Well, thank you, Anne, so much for your time today and your insights into and expressing your heart and I trust that what we've talked about will be encouraging all of us to pray, pray, pray.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;48;09;01  . So let me just pray for a moment. Can I do that?
Laurie Lind  | 00;48;12;06  | Yes, please. Thank you. Thank you.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;48;14;09  | So, Father God, we come before you and we thank you and worship you as our other father, one who has ears to hear, and a mind to think and a heart, the love and arms to embrace. And we come before one that we know loves us so much that you gave Heaven's Treasure as a sacrifice for us to open that way into the meeting place, Lord, that we can go in to the Holy of Holies through the Blood of Jesus, knowing that you'll receive us and you'll hear us.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;48;48;24  | And so, Lord, I pray for all those who will be watching, listening to this podcast, that you'd give them a hunger and thirst for you, that they would want to draw near to you. They would want to hear your heartbeat, would want to know what burdens your heart that they might come alongside and pray back to you, what it is that you're wanting to do for us and through us.
Anne Graham Lotz  | 00;49;11;25  | So we just pray Your blessing on Laurie. We pray Your blessing on this podcast we ask that you would use it please for your glory. And we ask this in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.
Todd (intro/outro)  | 00;49;23;26  | Thank you so much for listening to Entrust Equipping Leaders today with your host Laurie Lind and our special guest Anne Graham Lotz. Find links to Anne's website, our web ite and to the article Anne wrote for us about prayer in our show notes. While you're there, please take time to leave a review and share this podcast with others.
Todd (intro/outro)  | 00;49;47;05  | Next time we get to learn more about prayer from Entrust's own Lynn Blase, who serves with her husband in Serbia. She's learned a lot about prayer from both local  Serbian and the local Roma Christians. Subscribe now so you don't miss any new episodes of Entrust Equipping Leaders.