PrayBox+ Reaches Across The Planet

Over the past several months, I have been working on what has become the PrayBox project. Originally, my vision was that it would become an anonymous prayer request exchange network and that it would attract prayer warriors who were interested in the business of lifting up the needs of others to the Author of Creation.

Eventually, it became clear that this application would be better implemented as an application used by churches, ministries, and other faith-based organizations to build community and increase the opportunity for outreach.

Today, as I’ve been reading through emails I have received over the past few months, I have been overcome by humility, realizing that the inspiration that came to me so many months ago and the hard work that I have put into developing this tool have been used to touch lives and serve ministries across the planet.

Praise God for his faithfulness and willingness to use His people to fulfill his plans!

Sincerely,

The PrayBox Team

Why Should We Believe in the Bible?

1. Despite having been written over a span of 1,000 years, the Bible possesses a unique continuity: The Bible, a collection of 66 different books, was written by approximately 40 writers of different backgrounds and professions. Although these works were written independently, they show an amazing congruency and they never contradict each other. There is one central message consistently carried by all 40 writers of the Bible: To tell us who God is, who Jesus Christ is and to show us how we can be saved from our sins and attain eternity.

2. The Bible is the only book which contains absolutely fulfilled prophecies. There are over 30 other religious books that people of faith believe are divinely inspired. Of these books, none of them contain any specific, trustworthy prophecies. None. These are just a few of the prophecies related to the coming of the Messiah. For example, the Old Testament prophesied that “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), and “He would be born in Bethlehem” (Micah 5:2). And in the New Testament “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary . . . was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit . . . But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus” (Matt. 1:18,25), and “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem” (Matt. 2:1).

3. The Bible is the most widely printed and published book in the world. Every time we reread a passage, new ideas and cross-references to other texts come to mind. This leads us come to an important conclusion: the Bible is the only divine book. Its truth has been guaranteed and authorized by God.

Our answer to this question will not only determine how we view the Bible and its importance to our lives, but also it will ultimately have an eternal impact on us. If the Bible is truly God’s Word, then we should cherish it, study it, obey it, and fully trust it. If the Bible is the Word of God, then to dismiss it is to dismiss God Himself.

For more on the manuscript evidence, I recommend:
10 Reasons to Believe In The Bible

How Do I Start My Journey with Christ?

Our purpose in these pages has been to encourage a thoughtful, daily heart to heart relationship with God. But some of you may not yet know God in a personal way through His Son. Family and church connections are an important part of religious life. But these experiences don’t make a person a Christian.

The following points will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ:

First, we must admit that we are sinners and can not save ourselves. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Second, we need to recognize the seriousness of our sin. The Bible says that “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

Third, we must believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead. This means that Jesus Christ, who never did anything wrong, gave His own life on the cross so that the penalty of sin could be paid and His righteousness applied to us (2 Cor. 5:21).

cross

Fourth, We need to confess and receive Him as Savior and Lord. “If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9).

Are you ready to make that decision? If you are, you can go to Jesus in prayer and tell Him your desire to receive forgiveness for sin and the start of an eternal relationship with Him.

Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived. Thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I now receive You as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life and make me the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Did you pray that prayer? If you did, you can have the assurance that Christ is in your life. The Apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (I Jn. 5:13).

The Amazing Names of Jesus Christ

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet made this question famous. A name is important. From the day of our birth, our parents use our name to link us to their own preferences and values. The significance of a name was particularly true in Bible times. In both Old and New Testaments, names were used to reflect personal experience or express or influence character. Jacob, which means “supplanter”, The name Naomi means “delightful one”, Samuel, which means “heard of God” and Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement”. So names are important to the people of the Bible.

But nowhere is this more significant than in the one who, according to the New Testament, has a name that means Savior. In Matthew 1:21, we read: She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

Whether or not we have accepted the claims of the New Testament regarding Christ, it is important for us to see that the Scriptures honor the name Jesus for several reasons. According to them:

  • It is the name by which we must be saved. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
  • It is the name at which, one day in the future, every knee shall bow. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father” (Phil. 2:10-11).
  • Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.“Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
  • By discovering that He is a person of many names, we will be led deeper into an understanding of who He is and why He deserves our trust.

    Reflections: What does each of Jesus’ names mean to you personally?

    How to Install PrayBox+ Plugin

    In this step by step guide, we will show you how to install PrayBox+ Plugin.

    First, you need to have the plugin file (which will be a zip file). Next, you need to go to WordPress admin area and visit Plugins » Add New.

    After that, click on the Upload Plugin button on top of the page.

    uploadpluginwpadmin

    This will bring you to the plugin upload page. Here you need to click on the choose file button and select the plugin file you downloaded earlier to your computer.

    pluginuploadpage

    After you have selected the file, you need to click on the install now button.
    WordPress will now upload the plugin file from your computer and install it for you. You will see a success message like this after installation is finished.

    activate_plugin

    Once installed, you need to click on the Activate Plugin link to start using the plugin.

    Praise Reports feature

    Here’s how the “Praise Reports” feature works:

    • Requestor submits a prayer request and an email is sent to the Requestor which contains a private link that they can use to edit/close their prayer request and submit a Praise Report.
    • When the prayer request has been answered, the requestor can click on that link, check the box that says “I would like to close this prayer request,” enter the text for their praise report, and submit that form.
    • Prayer requests that have been closed are added to the list of available praise reports, which is accessible by the site administrator by logging into the WP Dashboard and clicking on the “Praise Reports” item in the PrayBox+ menu.
    • To show a particular praise report, the administrator clicks on the “Show” button corresponding to the request/praise report that has been submitted. To hide a particular praise report, the administrator clicks on the “Hide” button corresponding to the request/praise report.
    • The praise reports that the administrator has selected to be shown are displayed on the page containing the
      Prayer RequestPraise Report
      prayer for my brother ChuckSubmitted By: Anonymous
      Please pray for my brother Chuck. He's in severe pain and went to the hospital last night. They are scheduling for his gall bladder to be removed. He is not employed and neither is his wife Diane. If you could please keep Chuck, Diane and their daughter Sophia and Sunny in prayer I would really appreciate it.My brother is doing well as he has healed nicely from this surgery. Thank you for all of the prayers!
      HealingSubmitted By: Anonymous
      Having eye surgery needs healing - please also pray for friend Jan has just hurt her back - please pray healing of back & skin irritation & pray for miracle breakthrough in finances so business does not have to go bankrupt. Note this sister does tithe & faithfully bless others so in need of a breakthrough miracle. Thank YouThank You for praying surgery succesful. Jan also healed & had small breakthrough still believing for total miracle so does not have to declare bankruptsy. God is faithful Amen
      dying of AIDSSubmitted By: Joyce Jacobsen
      A friend's son, 47 years old, who as a child professed Christ, is now dying of AIDS and refusing to let anyone come pray with him. The mother is asking Jesus to speak with him and soften his heart.The morning of his death, he said he did not want morphine and asked his sister to call his mom to come. The mother sat at her son's bedside and during his last hours, he received forgiveness for his sins and turned back to Christ. She is a dedicated Christian and says that she is rejoicing in God. God had told her 6 months ago that "nothing is impossible for God". This has also been a testimony to his twin and a lesbian friend that was present at his bed side. The mother and I thank you for the prayers on her son's behalf.
      Healing for Edward and BobSubmitted By: Cathy Cornett
      Edward Harris (58) had a massive stroke and is on life support - we are speaking healing and restoration over him.
      Bob has battled brain cancer for about 3 years - doctors said he should be dead, he's determined to beat it. Current tumor is on the brain stem and inoperable, now affecting his motor skills on his left side. Wife doesn't want him back home, he's in a nursing home - in his 50's. Healing and restoration needed. Both men are believers.
      Both have moved to Heaven!
      Prayers for Healing and restored healthSubmitted By: Anonymous
      I have a serious back condition as well as fibromyalgia and sciatica. I have been in pain and restricted physically for over a year. Please ask our wonderful Lord and Savior for Healing. thank you.The prayers have helped tremendously, my pain is reduced and finally able to rebuild some strength and stamina. Thank you so much, you are wonderful.
      Miraculous Total Healing for Kelsie!Submitted By: Anonymous
      Please Blessed Jesus, I pray for a miracle healing for your daughter Kelsie Lee. She has suffered through 3 bouts of breast cancer and is now in hospice. I know Jesus it's still not too late for you to touch her and heal her fully here and now. I stand in total faith for her healing and I give you praise and thanks for healing her and restoring her to health and life through Your Precious Blood I pray. AMEN and AMEN!

      Kelsie passed away a few days ago. We thank all who prayed for her. She is no longer suffering and we are eternally thankful to Our Lord!
      University OffersSubmitted By: Aagi Jacob
      Please pray for me so i can get an offer from one of my chosen universities. Thankyou so much i received three offers from which one of the offers being my first choice. May God Bless You
      shortcode.

    NOTE: Praise Reports must be manually selected to “show” in the praise report list by the administrator. This is on purpose. As the developer of this plugin and a Christian, I have carefully considered my responsibilities and feel that it is important to be diligent in protecting the reputation of our Lord. Sometimes, when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way that we would like him to, instead of giving him praise, we doubt his wisdom and lash out against him. To keep your websites from potentially displaying someone’s anger towards the Lord, I have made it necessary for praise reports to be selected by the administrator before they are shown to the world on your sites. This also allows you to weed out the junk that is sometimes submitted by amateur comedians who haven’t thought things through before submitting comical, silly, or otherwise inappropriate praise reports.

    What To Do Before Upgrading To Premium

    Did you have a fatal error occur right after upgrading to that fancy premium plugin?

    Chances are, it’s not the plugin. There is one step many people seem to overlook when upgrading to the premium version of a plugin – uninstalling the free version!

    That’s it! Do that one step and the installation process will go smoothly and those sweet, juicy premium features will be impressing your audience before you know it! But just in-case you didn’t catch it the first time:

    Uninstall the previous version of a plugin BEFORE installing the premium one!

    Cacheing and WordPress Plugins

    Help! For some reason my plugin hasn’t been updating correctly!

    Well my friends, that may very well be the result of using a cacheing plugin on your WordPress website. While it’s true that using a cacheing plugin can help decrease the loading time for your website, it’s only truly helpful if you use it correctly. Let’s take some time to discuss these cacheing plugins and what they can do to your WordPress plugins.

    What exactly does cacheing do?

    It takes information and stores it so that the website doesn’t have to load that information the next time you view it. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on how it is used.

    For instance, if one were to cache his or her javascript, that would be a good thing. The javascript remains static unless changes are deliberately made. However, for more dynamic content (like our PrayBox+ or Paid Business Listings+ plugins), cacheing can actually prevent your plugins from working properly.

    But why?

    The cacheing plugin will do exactly what it was made for, storing data so it won’t have to load it again at a later time. Since the information has already been stored, it won’t bother updating it, even when new information comes around.

    So cacheing plugins can be helpful to websites with a lot of content, but only when used correctly. Otherwise it may actually inhibit some of the more dynamic plugins’ abilities to function.

    Why Aren’t My Praise Reports Showing Up?

    Having trouble getting your Praise Reports to show up?

    Well, first let’s go over what Praise Reports are exactly. The opportunity to display Praise Reports is a feature that comes with the premium version of PrayBox, (PrayBox+). This unique feature allows an admin to display Closed or Archived Prayer Requests on a separate page. This is an excellent way of showing your church or ministries’ most sincere and special Prayer Requests.

    So how do I use Praise Reports?

    All it takes to display your favorite Prayer Requests is to make a page titled “Praise Reports” or something similar, then put in the appropriate shortcode

    Prayer RequestPraise Report
    prayer for my brother ChuckSubmitted By: Anonymous
    Please pray for my brother Chuck. He's in severe pain and went to the hospital last night. They are scheduling for his gall bladder to be removed. He is not employed and neither is his wife Diane. If you could please keep Chuck, Diane and their daughter Sophia and Sunny in prayer I would really appreciate it.My brother is doing well as he has healed nicely from this surgery. Thank you for all of the prayers!
    HealingSubmitted By: Anonymous
    Having eye surgery needs healing - please also pray for friend Jan has just hurt her back - please pray healing of back & skin irritation & pray for miracle breakthrough in finances so business does not have to go bankrupt. Note this sister does tithe & faithfully bless others so in need of a breakthrough miracle. Thank YouThank You for praying surgery succesful. Jan also healed & had small breakthrough still believing for total miracle so does not have to declare bankruptsy. God is faithful Amen
    dying of AIDSSubmitted By: Joyce Jacobsen
    A friend's son, 47 years old, who as a child professed Christ, is now dying of AIDS and refusing to let anyone come pray with him. The mother is asking Jesus to speak with him and soften his heart.The morning of his death, he said he did not want morphine and asked his sister to call his mom to come. The mother sat at her son's bedside and during his last hours, he received forgiveness for his sins and turned back to Christ. She is a dedicated Christian and says that she is rejoicing in God. God had told her 6 months ago that "nothing is impossible for God". This has also been a testimony to his twin and a lesbian friend that was present at his bed side. The mother and I thank you for the prayers on her son's behalf.
    Healing for Edward and BobSubmitted By: Cathy Cornett
    Edward Harris (58) had a massive stroke and is on life support - we are speaking healing and restoration over him.
    Bob has battled brain cancer for about 3 years - doctors said he should be dead, he's determined to beat it. Current tumor is on the brain stem and inoperable, now affecting his motor skills on his left side. Wife doesn't want him back home, he's in a nursing home - in his 50's. Healing and restoration needed. Both men are believers.
    Both have moved to Heaven!
    Prayers for Healing and restored healthSubmitted By: Anonymous
    I have a serious back condition as well as fibromyalgia and sciatica. I have been in pain and restricted physically for over a year. Please ask our wonderful Lord and Savior for Healing. thank you.The prayers have helped tremendously, my pain is reduced and finally able to rebuild some strength and stamina. Thank you so much, you are wonderful.
    Miraculous Total Healing for Kelsie!Submitted By: Anonymous
    Please Blessed Jesus, I pray for a miracle healing for your daughter Kelsie Lee. She has suffered through 3 bouts of breast cancer and is now in hospice. I know Jesus it's still not too late for you to touch her and heal her fully here and now. I stand in total faith for her healing and I give you praise and thanks for healing her and restoring her to health and life through Your Precious Blood I pray. AMEN and AMEN!

    Kelsie passed away a few days ago. We thank all who prayed for her. She is no longer suffering and we are eternally thankful to Our Lord!
    University OffersSubmitted By: Aagi Jacob
    Please pray for me so i can get an offer from one of my chosen universities. Thankyou so much i received three offers from which one of the offers being my first choice. May God Bless You
    . But you’re not done yet! After this step, you have be sure to go to the “Praise Reports” section of the PrayBox+ plugin and click Show or Hide on any Prayer Requests that you want to display.

    But my Prayer Requests aren’t in the Praise Reports section?

    If this is the case, chances are you haven’t Closed or Archived that particular Prayer Request. Remember, you can only show a Praise Report on a Prayer Request that is no longer active, otherwise the Report would be liable to change which would defeat the purpose!

    Further Questions?

    For more information, try checking out our PrayBox+ Documentation.

    Maintaining WordPress And WordPress Plugins

    Are you experiencing issues with any of your WordPress plugins that seem intermittent or unpredictable?
    Do you find that some of the WordPress plugins you are using seem to be behaving oddly and you can’t seem to find out exactly what the problem is?

    First of all, let me explain that a WordPress-based website is not necessarily something that you can just set up and forget about. Theoretically, it’s possible to set up a WordPress website, add your content, and just let it go, but for a variety of reasons, it’s important to make sure that you do some regular maintenance on all of your WordPress sites to keep them running optimally:

    Ongoing WordPress Maintenance Suggestions:
    • At least once a month (if not more frequently) make sure you update the WordPress core and any plugins for which updates are available. This will keep you up to date with the advanced functionality provided by WordPress and any plugins you have installed, as well as make sure that you have the latest security-related updates that may be in the code (this may keep your site from being hacked).
    • At least once a month, click through your WordPress site and make sure everything looks right. Sometimes, you may notice that a widget or plugin or some other aspect of your website isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, and if you discover this, it’s a good opportunity to do a bit of research to see if you may need to replace a plugin with something that provides better features or may be updated more frequently (frequent plugin updates are often a sign that the developer is either adding functionality or fixing bugs… both of these are good things).
    • At least once every 3-4 months look through your plugins and see if any of them have become obsolete because of some advanced functionality that has been built into the WordPress core or is better provided by another plugin that you’re using. WordPress custom menus, for instance, made a TON of WordPress plugins obsolete because it allowed folks to create custom menus that only show links to certain pages… so if you were using a plugin that “hid” pages or rearranged your nav menu, it’s possible that this new WP core functionality provided you with a better way to achieve this.
    • Delete unnecessary plugins. While providing WP support for some of my clients, I often log on to their admin dashboard and see that they have WAY TOO MANY plugins installed or activated. It’s very normal to have a bunch of plugins installed during the development phase of a new WP site, because you often have to test functionality and usability of different plugins and want to compare features and stuff, but once you’ve identified the plugins you want to use, delete the ones you’re not using. This will help you keep your WordPress plugins list pretty and concise.
    • Don’t use too many plugins if you can help it. It’s my personal opinion that if you have to use 12 plugins to achieve the functionality that you want for your website, then use 12 plugins… If you start to see your plugins list grow to 20 or 30 or … 50 (yikes), you’re getting in way too deep. It’s probably very likely that there’s a way that you can consolidate some of your plugins (i.e. find a single plugin that does what 5 of your plugins do together…).

    In closing, I’ll point out that I’ve logged into more than one admin dashboard where the site owner has installed 5 different SEO plugins, for instance… because they figured that it would somehow magically drive millions of hits to their website. Without going into unnecessary explanation, and keeping with the SEO plugin example, I’ll say very simply that 99.9999% of the time, using a single SEO plugin correctly will give you infinitely better results than using 5 SEO plugins incorrectly… and it will most likely perform better than the 5 plugins EVEN IF you use them correctly.