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Prayer is a good habit


to have in our lives! Often we don't because all of our bad habits distract us from having a consistent prayer life to make praying a habit. Maybe you're like me in that I would pray and shortly after closing my eyes I would be distracted by things in my busy schedule and life. Or maybe you desired to pray for another person but often failed to truly pray for them as you had committed because you forgot. Now none of this was from lack of caring but more from lack of focusing while praying and not developing any kind of consistency.
I was re-introduced to the concept of focusing prayer. No, this is not some meditation or deep spiritual theology, but simply a prayer journal. I have introduced this concept to the church here and in fact we are going through a series on prayer during our Wednesday evening Bible Study entitled "Defining & Refining Prayer." Last night, I passed out the "Little Blue Book of Prayer" which was just a plain old little blue notebook. I also passed out a sheet with categories ideas to use to separate the areas of the notebook and to focus specific prayer time.

Here are some of the headings that I offered:
Praise & Thanksgiving
Character Changes
My Personal Growth
My Finances & Giving Goals
My Spiritual Goals
Family Needs
Physical Healing
Witnessing Goals
Divine Appointments
New Believers
The Lost
Church Leaders
Church Ministries
Sunday School Classmates
Community Leaders
Church or Community Events
Other Believer's Needs
"Wisdom" for Decisions

I am encouraging my church to follow the ACTS system for prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. So I would suggest that you spend the first 5 or 10 minutes just praising God. I personally read poetry or psalms that speak about the greatness of God and I am trying to memorize verses out of the book of Psalm that are praises to God and find that 10 minutes is often not enough time once I get going. I often feel so unworthy after adoring God that I naturally want to confess my sins (naming them is important) and this causes a feeling of humility and unworthiness for being called a Child of God which leads naturally into thanksgiving for his mercy and grace to adopt me into His family. After most of my prayer time is spent in these three categories (Adoration, Confession & Thanksgiving) I'm able to pray through my journal reading the lists that I've developed making supplication to God for my needs. I find that I have more requests and things to say than time and have to divide my categories up by days. For example, Monday & Tuesday is taken up of my personal and immediate family needs. Whereas, Wednesday & Thursday are set aside for my church ministry and church family needs. And Friday & Saturday are set aside for my 'others' days which are those outside of my church (e.g. community leaders and events, missionaries, etc). As a Pastor, some days I can pray straight through my journal and have spent an hour plus just praying. Please understand that I don't share this to highlight myself but to show that I could barely make it through a 15 minute prayer time before and now an hour flies by. I can honestly say that this has had a profound impact on my life and has turned prayer into a good habit. I also find that I worship and praise the Lord a lot more and keep a much shorter list of unconfessed sins.

I would encourage you to get a notebook and start a prayer journal. I guarantee it will change your life! If I can be of assistance in getting started or you would like more info please feel free to contact me.

PS. If you have a request or need that you would like me to pray for please email me at pastor.coon @ I would love to add you and your specific need to my prayer journal. We never know what God will do to answer our requests if we don't develop a prayer habit!

Camp Meeting Time


Well, we (the whole family) went to Walterboro, SC to attend the Lowcountry Baptist Camp meeting this past Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This is not a picture of the camp meeting we attended...I forgot to take my camera. Anyways, it was a big metal type tabernacle for the camp meeting. It was a fun time to meet and fellowship with the many of the area pastors and evangelists. It was also interesting to see how the south hold camp meetings. It was quite a fun experience with all of the praising and shouting! We even had a runner and a hugger! I even raised my Bible in the air and let out a few overly loud AMENs and PRAISE THE LORDs! It was also a time of conviction as we pastors were preached at and faced with the reality that we need to practice what we preach. As pastor after pastor preached the sermons were refreshing and invigorating even with the conviction that came with them! I truly enjoy preaching but it is nice to be preached at and to just soak up the Word of God and let it speak to my heart. Remember the Word of God is our yard-stick by which all ministries, activities, and individuals are to measured.

So if you get a chance to go to a good, old-fashioned Baptist Camp Meeting you had better go and had better be prepared for some exciting singing, loud preaching, and most likely some shouting!

What a busy month...


...since my last post. We have closed things out in our ministry up in Massachusetts, packed up the house, loaded up a 28 foot trailer, moved to South Carolina, repaired the parsonage, unloaded the trailer and are currently trying to unpack boxes. It feels like it will never end. It also makes me appreciate what a benefit it was for the government to move us while we were in the military...because if I had to move myself I would not have served nearly as long as I did.

The parsonage is a module home (or double-wide depends on where you're from) and need lots of help. I want to thank my brother, DJ, for coming down from Greenville to help us repair the parsonage. We took out the old nasty, smelly, stained carpet and put in new wood floors in the entry-way, living room, dining room, hallway, and the kitchen. Lowes will be installing new carpet in the 4 bedrooms on Friday. We also put in new paneling on nearly all of the walls with trim and such. We painted everything from the floor up to include the ceiling with Kilz to cover stains, prep the walls and give us a starting point for Kimberly's decoration ideas. We still have exposed cabinets in the kitchen because we don't know what we are going to do about the doors and drawers. And we still have a few minor plumbing and electrical issues that are being checked out. The Lord has blessed us and we are excited that this house will become a home soon and that this effort will be a blessing to us and the church. With our two weeks here focusing on the parsonage I have not had much time for visitation or surveying of the community, but I hope to resolve this throughout this week.

PS. Michele, DJ's wife, even was motivated enough to paint my future office at the church so it is just a matter of time this week to get the desk and office setup and ready for business.

Keep praying for us as we settle in and get out into the neighborhoods shortly. The Lord has already blessed with visitors nearly every Sunday and for that we are thrilled! God bless you and expect to see more postings from me now!

Martin R Coon, Pastor
Gosepl Light Baptist Church
Orangeburg, South Carolina