Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Jon L. Dybdahl
S. Joseph Kidder
Problem. Daily, disciplined personal prayer is one of the most difficult, yet important exercises the Christian can undertake. Many Christians today talk about prayer more as a burden than as a pleasure. Even many pastors, including myself, have been frustrated about their prayer experience. I discovered very few of my church members or leaders spent much time in prayer on a daily basis.
Method. A ten-month sermon series and curriculum was formed and delivered during 2009. Its purpose was spiritual enhancement. It included ten sermons on the prayer life of Jesus and the early church, and ten interactive discussion periods geared to challenge the participants into a more knowledgeable, active, and effective prayer experience. The success of this journey was measured by a questionnaire given during the first afternoon seminar and again at the last afternoon seminar. Comparison of results yielded some interesting insights.
Results. Twenty people voluntarily attended the first afternoon seminar and eight the final session. A comparison of the results of the questionnaires from the first afternoon session and the last session showed that an increase in time in personal prayer was associated with an increase in feelings of satisfaction in personal prayer. The increase of time in prayer was also linked to an increase in confidence in one’s relationship with God. Overall those in the final group spent considerable more time with God on a daily basis, which created a deeper desire to spend even more time with Him!
Conclusions. The combination of time, learning, and practice seems to have contributed to an increase in satisfaction with personal prayer. It seems clear that the real benefit to the participants was not my expertise, but their willingness to explore, experiment, and wrestle with the challenges of prayer. This journey contributed to their growing closer and more confident in their relationship with God.
Prayer, Seventh-day Adventists Prayers and devotions
Mix, Robert D., "Evaluating and Enhancing the Personal Prayer Life of the Members of the Standifer Gap Seventh-day Adventist Church" (2013). Project Documents. 84.