Tell us a little about yourself and your ministry.
I was born into a life of ministry. I was six months old when my parents settled in Alexandria, Louisiana. My first message was preached in Louisiana. From local to general to ordination, my licenses have all been granted by the Louisiana District UPC Board.
My wife, Mickey, and I married in May of 1972. In those early years, I evangelized with our home base in Alexandria. In 1976, we moved to Plano, Texas and began to pour our lives into building a work for the Lord there. Our daughter, Miquell, was born there. We were committed to the people and to the community of Plano — heart and soul. Then I began to sense that change was coming, and, indeed, it was. When my father called for me to return to Alexandria and assume the pastorate here, there was prayer and fasting, as I had been taught to do about any life decision. God’s answer was clear. It was time to go home. So in 1981, Mickey and I moved to Alexandria. I now serve as senior pastor with my son in the role of associate pastor.
You come from a rich heritage of prayer warriors. Tell us about the example your mom and dad set for you and the church in prayer.
Some of my earliest memories are of the sounds of my mother and father in prayer in our home, in the church, and in the car. They were always people of prayer. While I was just an infant, they came to Alexandria and built this church on the strong foundation of daily prayer and weekly fasting. My father’s motto was “pray ever’ day.” He did, and he taught me, as his son, to pray every day and our church too, as saints of the most high God.
Following his death in 2010, I focused again on his exampled prayer time spent praying through the Old Testament Tabernacle. Last year, I was able to capture that plan in book form to share it with anyone who is interested in pursuing that unique and in-depth prayer pattern to revolutionize their own personal prayer lives.
How important is prayer in the life of an Apostolic Christian? Why should it be our top priority?
- F. Tenney, one of my mentors, said, “There is no time in life when prayer can be eliminated.” I believe that. You don’t get old enough, or strong enough, or smart enough to ever be able to function in the Kingdom without a strong foundation of prayer.
What are the dangers of having a weak or ineffective prayer life? What happens to Christians that fail in prayer?
Prayer is what strengthens your walk with God. Prayer is what drives away the forces of the enemy that come against us. Prayer is what keeps us in His presence and protected from the wiles of the enemy. Without it, we become weak and, when attacked, will not be able to stand.
The coming of the Lord is eminent. We must do all in our power to reach the lost with the message of His Gospel. Prayer is what empowers us to be His witnesses. Without prayer, we ultimately will not ever reach Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and the uttermost.
What are the most common excuses you see for people not praying regularly and effectively, and what can help them overcome these challenges?
I think probably the most common excuse is usually, “I don’t have time.”
We live such busy lives. Yet, in reality, we don’t have time NOT to pray. It becomes a matter of discipline. We all have as much time to pray as we want to devote to prayer. Understand, it may mean giving up time spent otherwise in order to pray, but the hours and minutes are there for the praying.
Get up a little earlier. Stay up a little later. Cut your lunch hour down to 45 minutes. Use your drive time to and from work to talk to God.
What are the best ways to establish a consistent and successful prayer life? How does one go about developing a daily habit of prayer?
I have found the best plan of action is to set a time and a place for daily prayer. Just as you are committed to being to work on time, show up for prayer on time.
In Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus was pretty clear in His instruction about the place of prayer. When you pray, “enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” While it doesn’t necessarily need to actually be a closet, it should be a quiet place of prayer and meditation where the things and people of your life cannot interrupt.
Tell us about your new book, Heaven to Earth. What is it about? And what is the story behind its development?
Heaven to Earth is, in fact, a guide book for anyone seeking to learn and follow the Tabernacle Plan of prayer. Underlying the instructions God gave to Moses for the Tabernacle in the wilderness is a pattern for prayer that, when followed, takes us from entering into His courts with praise through repentance and washing of the Word, specific prayers that lead us ultimately through the veil into the Holy of Holies.
This plan of prayer did not originate with my father, G. A. Mangun. However, there are aspects of Heaven to Earth that include his personal prayer plan. The book is basically in three sections. The first few chapters are about my parents and their stories, as well as the importance of prayer in our lives. Then, piece by piece, the furniture of the Tabernacle is described, including its importance in terms of today and our personal prayer lives. Then, the final section, called “Ever’ Day,” contains a fairly detailed description of how I personally pray through this Tabernacle Plan.
Who is the target audience of this book and would pastors find it helpful in teaching about prayer?
I think the target audience is all prayerful readers, from teens to seniors, new converts to seasoned saints, lay ministers to ordained pastors. It is for anyone who has, or desires to have a regular and powerful prayer life.
Pastors and teachers can certainly use it to teach about the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, as well as the prayer plan found in its types and shadows. One pastor ordered copies for each family in his church, then taught the book in a series of Wednesday night lessons.
Individuals can use it for the development and enhancement of their personal prayer lives. Prayer ministers and prayer leaders can use it as a guide for leading prayer meetings. It really is for everyone.
Where can the book be purchased?