The mission of Mary's Place is to provide ideal opportunities for people and churches to reorient their lives around the priority of prayer and the Word of God.
What We Offer
- SEMINARS AND RETREATS. We offer customizable seminars and retreats that guide people in the process of reorientation
- RESOURCES. We create resources that transform people's understanding and practice of prayer.
- CHURCH TRANSFORMATION. We show churches how to engage a much larger portion of their congregation in the ministries of prayer, and become a true "house of prayer."
- SABBATICALS. We offer free or low-cost accommodations for spiritual retreat and renewal at our beautiful Deer Ridge Lodge in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
- NETWORKS. We network people and churches in national and global prayer efforts.
OUR TWO SECRETS OF SUCCESS
Secret 1: Adding Motivation and Competence
Think about it. Most of the time when you hear the church talking about something that is important for a Christian to do--like prayer--you hear a sermon about the urgency of the matter and then the message, "Now go do it." In other words the church is counting on you to figure out how to move from the sense of "I need to do this" (urgency) to "I will do this" (commitment). But as we all know, that rarely works. Even the most rousing sermon about the urgency of prayer results in people making commitments that have the lifespan of a fruit fly.
That's because there are two other elements that are as important as urgency that too often go neglected. Look at this diagram.
Whenever a person is moved by a sense of urgency ("I need to"), before they try to make a commitment they need help with motivation ("I want to"). It is the "I want" that sustains the momentum of the initial burst of urgency. One of the secrets of our reorientation ministry is that we spend a lot of time helping people move from "I need to" to "I want to." We do this by inspiring people with a broader, richer and more exciting view of prayer than they probably have ever seen before.
However, even inspirational motivation is still not enough to move people into making commitments that last. You see, there's another hurdle to overcome, especially when it comes to prayer. Lots of people who sense the urgency and have the motivation necessary do not feel competent. They think: I know I need to pray, and I want to pray, but I'm not sure I can.
Because of that, Mary's Place spends a lot of time helping people build a sense of competence ("I can do this") by exposing people to the biblical basis for and practice of praying with confidence. That rounds out the picture of what is necessary before you try to lead a person to make a commitment. All four elements must work together: I need to (urgency). I want to (motivation). I can (competence). Then and only then, I will (commitment).
Secret 2: Making Logistical Commitments
Even when people feel motivated and competent to pray, they still often struggle to be consistent in prayer. Why? Because life happens. Full of distractions. Everyone feels like a "Martha" in the Luke 10:38-42 story who had all sorts of responsibilities to care for that interrupted her desire to be with the Lord. That's never going to change. But what can change is how we organize our lives to put first things first.
In other words our problem with praying is often not a "heart" problem, but a logistics problem. Mary's Place recognizes this and takes people through unique and effective reorientation process that focuses on how commitments that last are made. It's a four-stage process that deals with competing longings (desires) and personal obstacles. Then we help people build their commitment from the ground up with creative techniques like learning to ask "the relentless how." These steps move toward developing a plan that includes practical elements most people never consider when they try to make important commitments.
Almost invariably we find that the process itself invigorates a person's relationship with the Lord and builds their confidence in prayer, because they find themselves meeting God in their times of reflection and find Him giving them creative ideas about how to make space in their busy lives for sitting at Jesus feet--the place we call "Mary's Place."