Praying in the New Year with The Godfather II

A reminder of our prayers at the end of each year…

Rent Hearts

Psalm 51:17 (HCSB) The sacrifice [which is] pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise [or turn away] a broken and humbled heart.

  • Movie:…..Godfather II
    • Michael Corleone grips Fredo by the cheeks and looks into his eyes and says, “Fredo, you broke my heart.”
      • We look at a broken heart as something to stay away from, something to run from, as Fredo did.
  • Background for Today’s Prayer:
    • Does God hear your prayers?
    • 1 Peter 3:7 tells us that if there is anything between you and your spouse your prayers will be hindered.
    • Proverbs 28:9 tells us that sin keeps our prayers from being heard.
    • As we begin this new year, let’s get serious about sin in our lives.
  • Today’s Prayer:

Lord, as we come to You, thinking about this new year, Oh Lord we want You to hear our prayers. So Father, show us where our hearts need to be broken before You. Lord, we know that the sacrifice You want is a broken, a contrite, a humbled heart. Lord we know that You will NEVER turn aside a humbled heart. Thank You for that promise Father.

To see all five of these prayers click here.

Mark S Mirza
Common Thread Ministries

Common Thread Ministries

We Are 4 Today



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.


Greg Nicholaides

CEO, CTM Advisory Board

Common Thread Ministries

Praying For The Elections


Yesterday on FB I had the opportunity to express my views on how and why I believe we should pray for the elections. Those of you who have heard me speak on this subject know that my ideas are not necessarily what we want to hear. Of course I do not share this to make you angry, I’m just sharing what I believe the Lord is laying on my heart.

So here it is in a nutshell; If you want to pray Biblically for the elections, then ask for forgiveness, and mercy.

I believe that we, the Christians in the USA are being judged by God…NOT the unsaved. Us, HIS CHURCH, we are the ones being judged. Peter made it clear when he said that Judgment Begins in the Church House (1 Peter 4:17)…And I would add, not the White House. Further, if Romans 13:1-2 are true, then the ones in authority are there because GOD Has Put Them THERE, not because somehow “His will was thwarted!”

I think that God is longing for us, His people, to INDIVIDUALLY seek Him for complete forgiveness, but NOT ONLY forgiveness, we need to also forsake (or turn from) our sins! We have spent too long asking for forgiveness, but not forsaking our sins. It will only be then, that I will be able to call upon Him to be merciful to us as a nation. I do not believe that I can ask ANYTHING for my nation, while there is sin in my life, personally.

I was in Kenya recently and was asked about some of the BIG sins that we are “accepting” in the church. I responded with, “Scripture is clear what it says about all sins. Our problem in the USA is that we do not forsake the “little” sins IN OUR LIVES. And because we are not faithful (we don’t care) about the “little” sins, we are not faithfully forsaking the “bigger” sins.

I personally do not think that God is interested in “blessing” the land where I walk, and live, until I seek Him for forgiveness, forsaking sin in my life, personally.

What I’ve stated above, is, I believe, the real meaning of 2 Chronicles 7:14. We quote that verse as if IT IS the prayer, but that verse is simply God telling us what to do, BEFORE He’ll listen to us. In verse 15 He says, “NOW I will listen to your prayers!” And while we’re at it, let’s look at verse 13, where God says, basically, “IF, (meaning WHEN) I BRING natural disasters, IF, (meaning WHEN) I BRING the things that impact your income, IF, (meaning WHEN) I BRING illnesses…” God is the One sovereignly orchestrating events! So while I may or may not agree with what is done in our congressional halls, my Saviour is bringing and allowing these things, because He wants MY ATTENTION. And I believe the reason He wants my attention, is because He wants me focused on cleaning up MY LIFE. And right now, He wants me to repent!

Finally, why does He want repentance FIRST, before we pray for His mercy? Because sin has an impact on our prayer life. Your sin, and my sin separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2). When sin is in my life, my prayers will not penetrate the clouds above me (Lamentations 3:44). If there is anything between my spouse and me, my prayers will not be heard (1 Peter 3:7). Unfortunately I could go on and on about sin having an impact on our prayer life. Remember that John was concerned enough about sin to give the Christians 1 John 1:9.

Do you want to pray Biblically for the elections? Then ask for forgiveness, and mercy.


Mark S Mirza

Common Thread Ministries





Our latest book is being presold at significant savings.

Buy it now for the children in your children’s church or your grandparents Sunday school classes.

The current price is $3.00 each and NO SHIPPING. It will ship to you this month as it is currently being printed right now.

When the book is published it will sell for $4.00 each PLUS shipping.

This book is designed for children to read it themselves or for parents and grandparents to read it to their little ones.

CLICK here for book details.

Remember that as a 501(c)3 your donations are completely tax deductible.
CLICK here for donations.

Mark S Mirza

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (43 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:19-20 (NASB)
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Matthew 5:23-26 (NASB)
23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25  Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.

Father, we so often stray from the truth in ways that are more subtle to us that we realize. Forgive us Father, as a nation and as Your church, for not helping others reconcile with their brethren. Cause us Lord to see, with discernment, how we can help our brother, by encouraging him to make right, a bad relationship that he keeps ignoring. In the Name of Your Son, the great Reconciler, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (42 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:15-16 (NASB)
15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Matthew 6:12-15 (NASB)
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] 14  For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Father, You have so clearly shown that the words we speak to one another are so important. Lord, we have forgotten that what comes out of our mouths are what is in our hearts (Matthew 15:19). Father, forgive us as a nation and as Your church for not realizing that our ineffective prayers are due to our unrighteous lives. Cause us Lord to be delivered from evil, forgiving others of their transgressions, just as we expect You to do the same for us. In the Name of Your Son, who took all of our sins, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (41 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:12b (NASB)
12 …or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

Matthew 5:37 (NASB)
37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

Lord, so closely tied with the idea of “swearing an oath” is the idea of our words, “Yes, Yes,” or “No, no!” Father, forgive us as a nation and as Your church for NOT being trustworthy. So many of us, in the church, can not be relied upon, with our words and promises. Cause us Lord to be pricked in our heart, and to no longer be untrustworthy, but to in fact be counted upon, when we say, “Yes,” or No.” In the Name of Your Son, who died and promised to build us rooms in heaven, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (40 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:12a (NASB)
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth…

Matthew 5:34 (NASB)
34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

Lord, we have become a nation and a church where the idea of the oath is something that we do simply because  it is what someone wants to hear. Father, cause us to live a life, that is, in itself, an oath of trustworthiness. Father, it does not matter what we swear, if our life does not exemplify our oath. Thank You Lord that You see the heart, and judge our motives. In the Name of Him who died for all, amen.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying James & Sermon/Mount (39 of 43)

As prayed during the Ranger Joe’s God and Country Show

Click Here to View All of the James Prayers

James 5:10-11 (NASB)
10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NASB)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Oh Lord, suffering patiently is so contrary to our thinking, forgive us Father, as a nation and as Your church for not recognizing that we are blessed, when we are persecuted. Father, cause us to be glad, and rejoice, recognizing that our rewards are in heaven. And keep us able to endure, just as Job did, because You are full of compassion and are merciful. In the Name of Your Son, the One who died that we might have the security of eternal life, amen.

Common Thread Ministries