Mike Giebink and his wife Brenda have been part of Edgewood since our first public service in 1996. He was hired as Associate Pastor in the summer of 1998, about half a year before the Knowltons came around. You can read a little more about him and his family here. He has a real pastor’s heart, and in different ways, he has been a model to me of discipline and consistency in the various areas of his life. Along these lines, recently he agreed to answer some questions about his life of prayer:
What Bible verse motivates you about prayer and why?
I’ve always loved Philippians 4:6-7: “ 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This verse encourages me to replace worry with prayer and then experience God’s peace of heart and mind as I trust in and depend on Him.
What’s a big thing you are praying for lately?
We’ve been walking through cancer with Brenda’s mom. There is always much to pray for with that. Wisdom is always a big request on my list as well, whether it be for leading my family, my ministry at Edgewood, or for the many decisions facing me and my family.
Where have you learned about prayer? Is there a book or a person who influenced you in a significant way?
Certainly my parents were great influences in my life in regards to prayer. They modeled a life of faithful prayer as I grew up – and still do today. Early in ministry I remember reading and being inspired by Bill Hybels’ book Too Busy Not to Pray. Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? helped me think through some tough issues related to prayer also.
What frustrates you about prayer?
It is easy to feel like prayer is not an active enough way of helping someone, however, I am becoming more and more convinced that praying for someone earnestly is perhaps the most beneficial and productive thing I can do to help them.
Is there something you’ve been praying for a long time?
Brenda and I have been praying for the salvation of extended family members for decades. It has been encouraging to see them one by one, in God’s way and time, come to faith in Him. We are still praying for some of them. We’ve been praying, and continue to pray for godly, Christian spouses for our kids as well.
How do you keep fresh in prayer?
One of the things that helps me most is checking in on prayer requests so that I can pray more specifically and hear how God is at work in the situations for which I am praying. For a long time now I have tied a large chunk of my prayer time in with my work-out time , combining physical and spiritual elements. It keeps me strong and consistent in both areas.
How does your family pray together, or do you pray with your kids?
Actually we do quite a bit of short, impromptu prayers. We pray with our kids before they head off to school, especially including prayer for test, projects, special events, friendship issues, they are facing that day. When I used to drive the kids to school we always prayed on the way. If we gave someone a ride, they were included as well. When our kids have something heavy on their hearts and talk with us, we usually pray with them about that. Our goal is to teach them to turn to God in whatever they face.
I also pray with Brenda most nights before bed and at other times during the day as we face issues and decisions. Brenda keeps a praise and thanks journal. Often we recount specific praises together before bed as well.
What format of prayer do you use?
My concentrated time of prayer is while I walk in the morning. I like to start out praising and thanking God. I try to be specific and varied in these. From there I move on to confession, asking God to reveal sin in my life and examining my life for areas displeasing to Him. Finally I move into requests. I have a mental list I go through that includes categories like family, extended family, church needs, people I am/ have counseled, special needs/issues God lays on my heart, the church staff, my life group members, and friends. Often during the day I pray short, focused requests to God in quick thoughts and blurbs. In regards to prayer, I recently heard Philip Yancey comment, “Keep it short; keep it honest; keep it going!” I like that!