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The 700 Club

Dick Eastman on, “Talking With God”

Talking with God

When Dick was in his early thirties, he was deeply struck by a verse in God’s Word, which changed him forever. He was reading Matthew 26:40, which says, “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, 'So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?'" Dick told the Lord, “If You’ll give me the strength, I won’t let a day go by without spending an hour in prayer.” And he hasn’t in all the years since then. In the beginning of this new habit, Dick says he wrote himself a reminder on a 3x5 card: “Don’t forget today’s most important appointment.” 

Talking with God is a condensed version of Dick’s 1978 book, The Hour That Changes the World. In the foreword of the 25th anniversary edition, famous Christian speaker Joni Eareckson Tada wrote, “Dick Eastman's book is arguably the most significant book on prayer written in modern times.” He says the 2021 version is a simpler, more concise gift book with the aim of launching younger believers into the daily habit of talking with God. “I believe God is raising up an entirely new generation of faithful, fervent warriors of worship and intercession who will truly change our world through their prayers. If they are like me when I started out, they will appreciate a few guidelines to help them begin and to stay faithful.” Regarding spiritual discipline, Dick points to a quote from pollster George Barna, which says that only 12% of Christians read their Bible daily. He adds to that, “Facebook proves that Christians have plenty of time to read and pray!”  

The Circle of Prayer 

At the heart of Dick’s practice of hour-long prayer is a circle with twelve biblical focuses. He believes praying according to this helpful guide will empower and transform one’s prayer life as they help him revere God’s nature, wait in silent surrender, pray Scripture, intercede for others, give thanks, receive spiritual guidance, and magnify our loving Creator. “Nothing is beyond your reach when you talk with God through prayer.” For example, the second focus of the circle is “waiting.” Dick explains, “Waiting on the Lord is basically the silent surrendering of the soul to God. Waiting requires our total attention, focusing on hearing the voice of God. Being alone with God is the central issue of waiting. Genuine prayer is not merely asking for things; it is a relationship. Asking is only a part of prayer, and asking must come later. Strong relationships are best cultivated in silence.” Drawing on the Psalmist’s words in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God,” Dick says stillness is a prerequisite to knowing God. “Intimacy takes time and concentration. This is why these early moments of prayer need a careful silencing of the mind, with all thought directed toward God alone.”   

Countless others have found the circle of prayer helpful, too. Joni Eareckson Tada, during a time of deep depression due to her quadriplegia, asked her husband to copy the circle and post it above her bed. She used it to guide her prayers upon waking, and said it changed her life. The circle of prayer has been reprinted in magazines, newsletters, prayer guides, church bulletins, and photocopied all over the world, even in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Cuba. Some say it’s the most duplicated diagram of a plan for personal prayer ever published. 

Every Home For Christ

Since 1946, Every Home for Christ teams have planted gospel messages to homes worldwide, reaching as many as 300,000 homes a day in more than 150 nations. As the International President for the past 33 years, Dick himself has travelled around the world approximately 130 times to meet with indigenous leadership, and train partner ministries with whom they work. Because there are often no churches within 50 miles of those who respond to the Gospel, they are gathered into “Christ groups” to worship, pray and hear the Bible taught. Dick is deeply grateful for two major milestones that will come this year for Every Home for Christ: They will mark five billion gospel messages given out to 2.5 million homes, and 250 million people converted to Christ! 

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