Book Review: Strategies for Prayer

Strategies for Prayer by Dag Heward-Mills is a 40-page book, very succinct, straight-to-the-point, yet, makes some powerful revelations on the need for Christians to pray and do it effectively. It can easily be read at a sitting, but, it is important to go through this book slowly, so, to digest its content and apply it to one’s prayer life.

The book, divided into four chapters, introduces the reader to the Daniel’s Principles of Prayer and also, The Timothy, Ephesians and Lord’s prayer formula. What the first chapter does is to admonish Christians, among other things, that they are never too big, blessed or busy to pray.  It primarily establishes the importance of prayer to the life of the believer.

In the subsequent chapters, the reader is introduced to the other prayer strategies/formula. The book also raises important subjects like the need to pray for our leaders, praying always and for long hours which also summarises the Timothian Prayer in Chapter 2 of the book. The other two chapters introduce Ephesians 1 and Matthew 6 as prayer guides/strategies for the Christian.

Bishop Dag, as an author, puts his points in plain language probably for easy memorisation. If you have ever listened to any of his sermons, you’d realise he writes just like the way he speaks – concise, straightforward and instructive. He also makes emphases on some of his points by relating them to his personal life experiences. As a reader, I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the scenarios he provided in the book. One of such was when he recalled his days as a medical student with a tight schedule but still made time to pray. On one of those occasions, he nearly walked into a wall because he was tired. Although this was easy to picture, it drives home the point that he consciously made time to pray and gave himself no excuse and looking at where he is now, that serves as a source of motivation for the reader.

The aim of the book was to ginger the reader to adopt praying strategies which will enable him/her to pray for long hours and that was successfully achieved. As Christians, we may have several reasons for not praying and even reading, the author recognises that, therefore, he provides several motivations in a few pages to help us adopt a healthy prayer life. This book is highly recommended for anyone having a hard time praying and for long hours. It is also great for Christians of all ages and for people who do not want to read huge volumes of books.

There were some powerful quotes in the book but below are three of them:

  • “My friend, if you cannot find something to thank God for, for at least ten minutes, then you have an ungrateful heart.”
  • “If you want to have peace and confidence in this life, spend time praying that the will of God comes to pass in your life.”dag

 

© picasion.com_9CWp

3 Life Lessons to Take from Anas’ Number #12 Documentary

Whether you are a Ghanaian football fanatic or not, in the past weeks, there have been two names in the trends of both mainstream and social media – Anas and Kwesi Nyantekyi. The former is an investigative journalist while the latter tripled as the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council Member of FIFA.

For the purposes of those who do not know these two, Anas conducted an investigation into football administration in Ghana and came out with evidence that indeed there are corrupt officials who were ‘spoiling’ the beautiful game including the latter. After the documentary was aired, one of the questions people kept asking was why the former GFA President, in particular, allowed himself to be caught in such a compromising situation. Before you try and pass any judgements, please read three key lessons we have compiled from the above expose:

Lesson #1 If You do not stand for something, you will fall for anything

During an Ethics class back in school, our lecturer kept hammering on the importance of culling personal statements. In short sentences, these statements should include everything we stood for as individuals and should have the ability to govern every area of our lives, especially, when we are caught up in difficult situations. If you are Christian in any institution, perhaps, what should guide your personal statements are some of the prescriptions in the Bible. For instance, the Bible says we should obey those in authority so you can go with that. The Bible also says we should love our neighbours as ourselves, therefore, the last thing you’d ever do is to consciously hurt anyone. Practically, even when you are caught up in a queue at the bank, you wouldn’t cross the line while ignoring all those who have been in the hall. Before you take a bribe to influence a football match decision, as an official, you’d probably think of all the people seated in the stadium who are passionately supporting their teams. There are several biblical principles which we can adapt to guide our lives. Even if you not a fan of the Bible, adopt some good life philosophies (normative ethics) and let them shape your decisions. Yes, some institutions have Code of Ethics designed to define what constitutes right and wrong, but as an individual, allow some personal principles to guide the decisions you take.

Lesson #2 Whoever loves money never has enough – Ecclesiastes 4:10

We are living in a society where people are abandoning their purpose/passions and chasing after money and power because that is the new definition of success. We say ‘people are making it big’ when they are driving the latest cars and living in big houses. We give people respect when they are able to give fat tips or are dressed in the most fashionable clothes. No wonder we hardly get satisfied with what God provides for us and will go to all levels to enrich ourselves. After the documentary was aired, most people were shocked at the former GFA President in his pursuit to become rich despite all his credentials. Perhaps, if society shifts its focus off money and physical possessions as being the measure of success, individuals will be more patient, more content with the little they have and spend more time seeking and proudly running with their purpose, and that will ultimately eschew corruption in all its forms.

Lesson #3 Do not judge, or you too will be judged – Matthew 7:1

Put yourself to the test, before you cast a stone at Kwesi Nyantekyi or any of the officials who were caught on tape in compromising situations, ask yourself if you are an angel. Conceivably, you are seeing yourself as ‘holy’ because you haven’t been tested at that level. Personally, when I cast my mind back, there were positions I have held where I had to compromise a little bit to make the people around me ‘comfortable.’ It was a difficult decision and my conscience was severely pricked but I did that. Probably, you have not been presented with a huge ‘deal’ that when you pocket a small amount, nobody would notice. That pending contract which has the potential of changing your fortunes forever has not presented to you so we are unsure if you’d pass the test. Thus, let us be more circumspect in the words we use on the people who have been caught on camera while we pray we aren’t presented with such a test.

Have you seen the documentary? Are there any lessons you picked? What are your general views on corruption? You’d definitely love to hear from you. 

© picasion.com_9CWp

7 Christian Radio Shows you’d Absolutely Love

Listening to sermons on the radio is a great way to keep your mind focused on God but, sometimes what the Christian need is a variety of programmes to prevent monotony. Different radio stations, in their programming, are coming up with some of these shows and below is a compilation of seven of them. These programmes are different, provides you with that variety, keeps your mind fixed on God and the church and above all, you’d absolutely love to listen to them over and over again. Here is the list:

  • Digital Church with Maximus Ametorgoh on Sunny 88.7 FM

In this technological era, where social media has become a great communication tool for individuals and organisations, most churches are adopting them as well. However, are these tools being used in their optimum form looking at their functionalities? That is exactly what the Digital Church addresses on Saturdays at 10 am on Sunny 88.7 FM. It takes listeners through what churches need to know about using these new media forms in their communications. The host, Maximus Ametorgoh, who is knowledgeable in this field walks listeners through the various processes, uses and benefits of using new media as a church. In his presentation, Mr. Ametorgoh lists points and addresses each of them within 30-minutes and it almost feels listeners have attended a free seminar. This is a highly recommended programme for members of the media and communications teams in every church as well as anyone interested in the use of this tool.

  • Easy Sunday with Kwabby on Class 91.3 FM

After the close of church services on Sundays, you sometimes need some good gospel tunes to keep meditating on the word of God while you plan for the new week and that is exactly what this show helps you do. What makes it different from the other programmes is that listeners determine the tracks which are played. They do that by sending their requests via the station’s Whatsapp lines and the host, Kwabby (Kwabs for short) does well to go through all the requests no matter the number he receives. His monotone and the manner in which he handles each request makes the two-hour show so short. You should probably tune in this Sunday at 12 pm.

  • The Reason is Jesus with Rev. Mike Nii Abossey on Joy 99.7 FM

This show is like old wine (gets better with time) and could easily qualify as one of the longest running Christian programmes on-air. It starts airing immediately after Pastor Mensah Otabil’s broadcast at 7:30 am on Joy 99.7FM with soothing sounds which keep your mind focused on God while you prepare for your Sunday service. At 8 am, there is a break for the news and Rev. Mike Nii Abossey comes back to play more gospel tracks which are a mixture of both local and foreign tunes. The two and a half hour-programme is never complete without the usual altar-call and sometimes he has guests passing through to inspire listeners or give updates on upcoming programmes.

  • Rivers of Worship with Joojo Bediako on Citi 97.3 FM

On the other side of the dial is Rivers of Worship on CITI 97.3 which runs concurrently with the Reason is Jesus on Joy 99.7 FM. The concepts are similar, therefore, listeners have the choice of flipping their dials when the other station is not doing what they really want. Joojo Bediako, as a host, always has an impressive play list which will keep you glued till 10 am when there is a repeat of The Big Issue.

  • Toe Tapping on Sweet Melodies 94.3 FM

to tapping.jpg

This music programme provides listeners with the alternative of hearing good gospel tunes on weekdays from 9:30 am until 11 am. The show has had a number of presenters over the years and has segments like daily health tips, beauty and style tips and refreshing moments. Listeners also have the chance to send shout outs but this happens on days when the show doesn’t need to break for Prophetic Turning Point.

  • Positive Soul Food with JJD on Sunny FM 88.7 FM

Positive Soul Food runs every weekday between 12 pm to 2:30 pm. This programme offers the alternative for individuals who may not be interested in the regular political and sports shows which air around that same time on other stations. If Jennifer Jessica Danquah is not in the seat to soothe you with inspiring tracks and her voice, there are other ladies like Baaba and others who sit in and do the job quite well. The song selections are beautiful and the presenters interact very well with their listeners. The only negative with the Positive Soul Food is the number of commercials aired at a time. There are too many of them and they have the tendency of pushing listeners to flip their dials. Apart from that, it’s another great show.

  • Sunset Drive with Fiifi Folson on Sunny 88.7 FM

How can we discuss outstanding Christian radio programmes without mentioning the Sunset Drive on Sunny FM which runs every weekday, from 4:30 pm to 8 pm. The host, Fiifi Folson, selects a theme each day and selects tracks based on the theme. It is not only a great show because of the song selection, but Fiifi Folson is an interesting guy with the great voice who has the ability to keep you glued to your radio set. He also has segments on the show where he gives prizes to listeners who may be celebrating their birthdays and those who answer his questions accurately and fast.

There are other wonderful Christian programmes on-air and they will be featured in subsequent posts. We’ll definitely keep our ears on the ground and keep you updated.

Do you have any favourite shows on Radio? Share with us and we’ll do the listening with you.

Book Review: Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul

For the Christian going through challenging times and looking for testimonies to rekindle their faith or that person who keeps wondering if God is still performing miracles as He did in the Biblical era then the Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, is the book you need to read. I chose this book purposely to improve upon my Christian storytelling ability but as I went through the pages, I realised that the Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul was not just a book, but an epistle to the modern Christian which leaves an indelible mark on the heart.

The 378-page book is filled with 101 short motivational stories under the headings of ‘giving,’ ‘love,’ ‘facing obstacles,’ ‘parent and parenting,’ ‘dealing with death,’ etc. The stories are written so clearly that it is almost impossible to decipher who the target readers are. This probably indicates that the book can be read and assimilated by anybody in any age group.

When going through the book, you can almost feel your soul moving along with the different characters and some of the stories are filled with so many emotions that if you are the type who is easily moved to tears, you need to psyche yourself up for that.

It is quite challenging to select the most inspiring story from the book but being a new parent myself, stories under the ‘parent and parenting’ and ‘facing obstacles’ categories blessed me tremendously. One of the most touching stories titled ‘Medicine’ almost moves the reader to tears. The story is narrated by a single mother whose child had developed an ear infection. She had no money and because she lived on the outskirts of town and it had snowed heavily, it was almost impossible to take the child to the hospital. She made an urgent call to a doctor who prescribed a drug and listed places where she could get it from. She made frantic phone calls to all of these places but they all asked for money.  After several attempts which failed, the mother decided to break into one of the pharmacies and steal the drug since perhaps, that could save her child. When the option of stealing occurred to her, another voice immediately directed her to make one last call to a pharmacy which she obliged. She made the call and this time, the pharmacy decided to give the drug to her on credit. Not only that, one of the workers drove through the snow, to her location to deliver the said medicine. If this is not the work of God, then tell me who else can cause such a turn-around in someone’s life.

There are several stories in that book and it is not far-fetched to say the reader can see him/herself in at least two or more of them. As Christians, the Bible even admonishes us to encourage each other and build each other up (1 Thessalonian 5:11) and Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul did exactly that to me and I highly recommend it.

NB: I would like to see the African or probably the Ghanaian version of this book so that we can relate properly to the characters and the environment better (maybe I will do that collection).

Be Frank: What will you do in these instances?

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest– and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man – Proverbs 6:10 -11

This is one very popular verse in the Bible, quoted by a lot of people to remind
Christians not to be lazy. The high rate of unemployment in Ghana is real; a lot of people complete college and finding a job becomes a nightmare. To find any job as a graduate from the university is a prayer answered. What are some of the attitudes we put up when God provides us with a job? Let’s be frank, what will you do in the following instances –

1.

You have prayed for a job and money and you now have both. You were sent on an assignment and have been provided with some amount of money. You did not use all the money you were given, will you bring the money back to the company or keep it?

2.

You find yourself in a work environment where about three quarters of the workers are unbelievers, will you quit the job or what?

3.

You have a job which prevents you from attending church service on Sundays. You have stayed in the house for such a long time and your current employees were the only ones who contacted you and offered you this job. What will your do?

4.

What if you job allows you to promote all the things the Bible speaks against – pre-marital sex/adultery, alcohol, drugs, lottery etc.

5.

You are the leader of a group in church. Your pastor needs you immediately. Your boss is a non-christian and has given something to do which is not too pressing. What will you do?

We would really, really love to know what your reactions would be in these instances. Please comment directly on the blog. Thanks 🙂