Why a “Word of Prayer” and what is this site really about?
Short answer: God’s word gives us the best training and guidance in how and what to pray, so “word of prayer” is a fusion of God’s word (scripture, the Bible) and our communication with God in prayer. This site is about how to pray God’s word so that we grow closer to God and gain more spiritual power to do His work here on earth.
When you combine the Word and prayer, you increase focus and depth and power in your prayers, and you also grow in your spiritual understanding and application of scripture.
The longer version involves a few stories.
The story from boyhood
I recall when I was young that at holiday dinners or in church meetings the adults around me would turn to one of the people they respected and ask, “Would you lead us in a word of prayer?” In the faith tradition I grew up in, that meant a heartfelt prayer you made up in the moment (the formal term for this is “extemporaneous”). We didn’t have set prayers, and that is how I learned to pray.
The boy becomes a young man
I eventually studied the Bible at university to get the tools to do this, but my real education started after I left the university and went to Singapore and started teaching the Bible to adults in another culture.
It was during that time that I started giving more attention to my prayer life and spiritual growth. I began praying parts of the Bible, using the words of scripture to guide my prayers. I started with the Psalms, and for a number of years I simply prayed through the Psalms on a regular basis.
The merger of Word and prayer
Gradually, prayer from God’s Word and the word of prayer merged. I came to see that Bible study by itself is good and has its place just as prayer from the heart or using set prayers can also be helpful. However, when you combine the two, you increase focus and depth and power in your prayers, and you also grow in your spiritual understanding and application of scripture.
For those looking for a little more personal information: My name is Ron Oltmanns, I am a student of God’s Word and enrolled in Christ’s school of prayer. I have been married over twenty-five years to Angela, have two sons–Markus and Titus–and I started this site a year after returning from living and working in Shanghai, China a few years. The experiences there are featured in a book Back to the Cross: Surprising Truths from Shanghai.
I have also authored a four volume work called Journey with Jesus: Praying Your Way through Matthew’s Gospel and God Help Me Grow: Learning to Pray through the Psalms. All of these are available on Amazon.
I have worked as a management consultant, executive coach, teacher, publisher and author. We currently live in Houston, Texas, and our mission is to train, outfit and encourage the global band of those who are seeking God and trying to share his good news with the world.