On the 4th anniversary of the launch of Common Thread Ministries, I would like to comment on how it has impacted me and how God is using it to impact many others.
I first met Mark Mirza at a Sons of Thunder men’s prayer meeting at First Baptist Atlanta in early 2008. The practice of men praying together in small groups was new to me. At first I was a little uncomfortable but after a few weeks it became something that I looked forward to. As the director for the Sons of Thunder ministry, Mark was responsible for the execution of the bi-weekly prayer meetings as well as the Under the Pulpit ministry which called men at FBA to pray in a small group during worship services in a tiny room below the pulpit. By the end of 2008 I joined the Under the Pulpit ministry and witnessed first-hand the incredible power of prayer.
By the time Mark answered God’s call to launch Common Thread Ministries in 2010, through his influence; I had acquired several new insights on effective prayer. I had a new appreciation for just how personal God wants us to be with Him when we pray. I also had a better understanding of what “praying expectantly” meant. It then occurred to me just how important was the ministry to which God had called Mark – helping church leaders begin and grow prayer ministries by “Rebuilding the Foundations of Prayer”.
It’s been amazing to see how God has equipped Mark for this ministry and has used him vigorously. Over the past four years Mark has spoken in nearly 200 churches, averaging over two messages per visit, including numerous 3 and 4-day revivals. Over the past two years, through CTM Conferences Mark has led 12 Pastor’s and Lay Leader Prayer Conferences in Georgia, impacting another 300+ churches. Already, there are another 6 CTM Conferences planned for 2015 with more contemplated. Each conference requires an investment of $750 to $1,500, depending upon travel expenses. As you pray for us and with us, we trust God to take care of these financial needs.
As the CEO of CTM’s advisory board, I’m excited to share with you the rest of what God is doing through Common Thread Ministries.
We have seen CTM Kenya form as a result of Mark’s two visits to Kenya. In fact, the formation of an indigenous CTM team is developing there. Please pray for David, Lawrence, Eric, John, Evans and Zachariah. These men live in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu and have different responsibilities, including administrative oversight, planting men’s prayer groups, preaching, and IT Support.
As a result of these efforts in Kenya, we plan to start CTM Missions whereby we will take prayer warriors to locations within the USA and abroad in order to encourage others to replicate the application of the prayer ministry principles of CTM. It’s our hope that CTM Missions will be launched in 2015.
The ongoing effort of encouraging CTM Conference Calls will continue. This is simply about men praying together by conference call. We have seen conference call prayer grow into a movement that is picking up steam in numerous locations, most of which has nothing directly to do with Common Thread Ministries. We see this as just another unique way in which God is moving. In fact, Mark has recently noted how the men he’s heard on some of these calls are growing and maturing spiritually. Mark sees conference call praying as a way for men to regain the lost art of corporate prayer which he encourages when he exposes churches to “An Old Fashioned Prayer Meeting.” Please help us pray that more and more believers will commit to praying in this unique way.
CTM Resources have been a real blessing to men and women. And now, children will be blessed with Mark’s latest book, Rainbows of Promises, Book 1, The New Testament. This is a children’s book intended to be read by adults to small children. It’s a mixture of an 1887 book of verses and Mark’s prayers for kids, based on those verses. The objective is for both the reader and the listener to associate prayer with the Word of God. Mark’s other books include Prayer Made Alive, Book 3, Praying the Prayer Cards, which takes each of his prayer cards and gives examples how to pray them back to the Lord. With Book 2, Praying Psalm 119, Psalm 119 becomes alive and personal for the reader. This book contains a couple of bonus sections as well – one in which Mark puts the Christmas story in chronological order with 25 Days of Prayer DURING the Christmas Season as well as Praying in the New Year. Both of these sections, at the end of Book 2, add unique perspectives on payer. Mark’s first book, Book 1, Prayer Made Alive, was written prior to his first mission trip to Mexico and has since been translated into Spanish and Swahili. Close to 500 copies of the Spanish edition have been given away and the Swahili version is ready to be printed. Praise the Lord with us that Mark is able to write new and unique books. He’s committed NOT to write what has already been written. As he likes to say, “There are lots of excellent writers out there already, I don’t need to reinvent the wheel in my writing.”
In fact, this reminds me of something to which Mark is particularly committed. He gives away nearly as much product as he sells thereby making certain when he speaks that nobody walks away empty-handed because they couldn’t afford it.
God blessed Common Thread Ministries earlier this year with its 501c3 designation. This means that your contributions are now tax deductible. Despite the numerous financial needs of the ministry, we continue to trust that the Lord will address them in His way and in His time.
Thank you for your prayers and contributions to God’s work through Common Thread Ministries.
CEO, CTM Advisory Board