Read the New Issachar Book by Barbara Stephan!

Issachar Imprints is proud to announce the release of its newest title, Return to First Love, written by Barbara Stephan!

Her book was born out of a renewed intimate love relationship with Jesus!

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

A few years ago, Barbara attended a class on prayer that helped her to begin cultivating a life-transforming relationship with Jesus in the Secret Place. She fell in love with Jesus all over again and one of the products of that renewed relationship is this fine book.

Barbara’s transparency in the book is amazing, her advice to new Christians is spot on, and the sentiments the Lord has given her to share will soften your heart and prepare you for prayer.

One of the great needs for most people is some tool that can help to quieten their minds so that they can submit their hearts to God in prayer. Barbara’s mix of prose and poetry will be used by the Lord to do just that!

 Here’s an excerpt: 

I was in the Secret Place with Him—this personal, passionate Jesus—who was now crashing into my life and sweeping me up in His love.  He awakened me to His beauty, His holiness, His absolute power and gentleness.  I began to see the same God who spoke the world into existence, who spoke to Moses and Abraham, who called the twelve—speak to me.  He was interested in me and cared about me.  I mattered to Him. He loved me.  I felt safe and secure with Him now—still in reverent awe of Him and overwhelmed by His presence and holiness but confident He enjoyed being with me.  He looked forward to our time together as much as I did.  He was my first thought when I woke up each morning and my last thought as I fell asleep each night (Page 53).

Jesuslover of my soul

Come to me and take hold of my heart

Take it apart

Apply Your scalpel and Your skill

My corruption I bid You kill

 Let me be fashioned to Your likeness

My heart like Yourssteadfasttriumphant

Ascending upward on Your holy hill

Loving our Fatherseeking only His will

 I hear Your call to come up higher

But without You I have no desire

I need You Lord to help me reach

You keep me LordI cling to Thee

 My heart is Thine and Thine alone

I humbly kneel before Your throne

To worship Youmy Holy God

And go wherever You may call

(Page 82)

Barbara Stephan is a native New Yorker who makes her home on Long Island.  She has been married to Chuck for forty-six years. They are the parents of three wonderful children: Brett, Faye, and Jackson, who is in heaven. Through her church Barbara helps facilitate two ministries: Beauty for Ashes, a post-abortion ministry, and the prison ministry.  She has known the Lord for thirty-eight years and falls more in love with Him every day.

 

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New Release by C. Scott Fowler!

Issachar Imprints proudly announces the release of a new title, Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer, by C. Scott Fowler! Contending

Click here to read an excerpt and here to purchase on Amazon or from Issachar Imprints’ online book store.

Here’s a description from the author…

“This book was born out of my own struggle to establish a meaningful, dynamic, genuine prayer life. If you do not have a daily prayer time, or are struggling to maintain one, I have written this book for you. I have also written in order to cast a vision for an approach to prayer that is different than the petition/intercessory-laden prayer so common in our churches today. It is also a challenge to leave behind the “pray-as-you-go” approach to prayer in favor of a meaningful, genuine, daily, dynamic prayer life.

“The genuine prayer life is dynamic—marked by energy and progress! It is alive! It requires an outlay of energy, introspection, and a willingness to be searched out by the Holy Spirit of God! It requires tenacity to press through our own flesh, and a heart that desperately desires not to be desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)! It requires a fresh approach every day because it is the pursuit and cultivation of a relationship!

“In the end, the goal of Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer is to lift up a fresh vision for daily prayer and to help the reader make and maintain a commitment to it. I am convinced that your life will be transformed as you enter into the genuine prayer life just as I am convinced that that this book, when used to its fullest potential, can help you enter in to just such a life.”

Here’s an Excerpt from Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer

To purchase Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer click here for Amazon and Issachar Imprints' online bookstore!

From Chapter 1…

If modern statistics are correct, the average Christian is attempting to walk in fellowship with Jesus without ever talking to Him. It is widely reported that the average Christian prays only one minute per day (which makes one wonder what the below average Christian is doing). Though I have never been able to find the poll touting that statistic,[1] it sounds about right; in the ballpark at least. If it is even anywhere close to being true, what it really means is that many Christians are simply not praying at all. And yet, we know that God wants us to pray, for prayer is the primary means we have of spending time with Him!Contending

Since prayer is the way in which we enter into fellowship with God, there can surely be no credible argument against a renewed call to prayer in the Church. This book assumes that the reader agrees that Christians should pray, and has been written for those who have no prayer time or who struggle to maintain a viable, living commitment to the secret place.

The “Pray-As-You-Go” Oxymoron

So, we agree that we should pray. But what does prayer look like once we have accepted our responsibility to do it? A popular, sometimes subconscious, approach to prayer is what I call the “pray-as-you-go” method.[2] It gets justified in a couple of different ways.

First, many use Paul’s call to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) as justification for avoiding the discipline of daily prayer, in favor of constant prayer, or praying all the time. At first blush, it sounds extra-spiritual to “pray without ceasing.” But upon further examination, most attempts at constant prayer fall far short of the kind of prayer envisioned in Scripture, and, in fact, may be a subconscious attempt to side-step the strenuous process of travailing in prayer before the Lord.

A second, common justification for the pray-as-you-go method of prayer is the claim that we do not have enough time to pray. Setting aside the obvious reality that we all start each day with the same amount of time, the truth is that we cannot find time to pray because we are not convinced that it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, we would make time! When we list the hard-and-fast, time-crunching commitments that keep us from praying, we find that many of those commitments were optional at one time (until we made a decision to commit to them), demonstrating that we are capable of committing to the things that we consider to be priorities![3],[4]

If this is the average Christian’s approach to prayer, and if we add together the above justifications for the pray-as-you-go approach, what emerges is the oxymoronic statement, “I don’t have time to pray, therefore, I will pray constantly.” A picture emerges of someone trying to cultivate a walk with Jesus by praying for one minute or less as they drive their car to an appointment, or trying to “pray without ceasing” while answering calls at work. Granted, we should remain prayerful throughout the day. But if, as E. M. Bounds wrote, “Prayer . . . is a most serious work of our most serious years,”[5] then making a serious commitment to do it seems reasonable.

[1] George Barna usually gets the credit for this but I have seen no evidence of that.

[2] I offer a semi-apology for striking a slightly sarcastic tone here. I have known some Christians who I thought actually achieved this feat to some degree. In general, however, I think we all need a daily, set time in the Secret Place. It does seem ironic that we do not have the discipline to enter the closet and pray for an hour but we feel we can successfully be at prayer all day; we can’t do it for thirty minutes but we can do it for twenty-four hours!

[3] If you are a “pray-as-you-goer,” take a moment to do the introspection necessary to determine if you have come to that approach in a genuine attempt to remain in prayer all day or if you have been led to that path because of the difficulties of maintaining a vital, daily prayer time.

[4] Imagine if, before we ever made a commitment to a new thing, we asked ourselves, “How will this new commitment effect my daily commitment to prayer?”!

[5] E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer, 115.