In 2012, I met the Rev. Dr. Ted Goshorn as my classmate at license to preach school. Ted was one of the nicest humans I have ever met. Since our licensing school, our families have become great friends. I’m also honored to have him coming on season two of the David Donnan Podcast.

In November of 2022, Ted released his first published book Prayer Changes Us. As Ted’s friend I did my duty to read it. I was blown away by the depth and practical application offered.

Here are four reasons Prayer Changes Us can transform your understanding of this vital Christian practice.

#1 Ted Models Continual Learning in the Journey of Prayer

There is no master teacher here. Instead, we catch a glimpse of someone who is still on the journey with us. Ted shares stories about his personal and professional life. He explains the journey he has been on that has led him to move into more contemplative practices

#2 Ted is a Powerful Storyteller

One of my favorite stories is about losing power and the lesson he learned about God. Here is what he says:

“It’s like when the power went out one night at our house. A storm raged such that the only light in the house was when a flash of lightning struck. But in the laundry room, where I thought the flashlight was stored, there was absolutely no light because there were no windows. I grasped around the cabinet, trying to find the flashlight, but to no avail.

Jackson, my oldest son, knew just where the flashlight was. Had been playing with it, but had (not) always put it back where I’d left it: not in the laundry room but the pantry. He went into the pitch-black pantry and came back out with the flashlight, knowing exactly where it was.

That’s what life is like in the darkness when we’re disciplined in prayer during the good times. We know just where the flashlight is because we’ve been going to it over and over again before the darkness settled in. God is our light in the dark times. If we’re good about going back to the light in prayer over and over again when times are good, if we maintain discipline, it’s very easy to find the light when the darkness settles into our lives. And finding the light means we’re safe, secure, unmoved, unshaken, unterrorized.” (34)

#3 Ted Has One of the Greatest Practical Appendixes of Any Book I have read. 

In the back of the book Ted has summarized different forms of prayer, has historical Wesleyan small group questions, and offers ways to read through the Bible in a year. It is a great reference tool for a seasoned pastor as well as a guide for a beginner.

The Prayer Changes Us appendix includes:

  • Different types of prayer and resource guide
  • Elements of prayer form the Lord’s prayer
  • John Wesley’s Self-Examination Questions for Holy Clubs
  • Praying the Psalms Schedule
  • Daily Bible Reading Schedule

#4 Ted Connects to the Overall Narrative of Scripture

One theological skill that is undervalued is having the ability to show how a certain passage connects to the wider Biblical narrative. Ted does this throughout his book. Here is one example:

“Throughout scripture, we hear this pledge from God: I am with you, always. In the garden, God is with Adam and Eve. Even after sinning and being banished from the garden, they still have God with them. God is guiding the generations that followed, through Abraham, through Joseph, through Moses and Joshua and David and the kings and the prophets, including Elisha.” (p. 55)

Overall, Prayer Changes Us is an enjoyable read that adds value to the spiritual formation of the reader. It will help almost anyone learn more about prayer and how to practice prayer.

This is a prayer I wrote for the cover of our local church newsletter and will read during the week. Please consider personally or having your church donating to UMCOR (More Below on UMCOR).

Heavenly Father,

While we know the name of this storm as Ian, we also know the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who loves and cares for us even in the storms.

You are the God who longs to come and cover us “just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:27b CEB). God, would you do that now?

We remember your words “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown…” (Isaiah 43:2a NLT).

In the middle of this storm, may we cling to You and Your promises.

We intercede on behalf of all who have experienced Ian’s wrath and those yet to experience this storm.

Lord, would you protect all those in danger. Help the first responders, emergency managers, and meteorologists work to the best of their ability to rescue, provide assistance, and keep people safe.

Holy Spirit, help us to consider how we may play a role in healing the areas that are devastated, whether that be by our prayers, our resources, or our time in the future.

We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.


The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the humanitarian and relief arm of the United Methodist Church. While I am no longer United Methodist I am still proud to partner with several United Methodist Ministries including UMCOR. Please consider making a donation to them or another non-profit to help with relief work.

Fiddler (on the floor) with the team.

This past weekend I had an opportunity, along with a few of my church members, to attend a Spirit and Truth training event at Metter United Methodist Church (Metter, GA).

Spirit and Truth is “a movement of Wesleyan-minded Christians seeking to awaken and equip the 21st century church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to share the Gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ.”

We attended one of a several day renewal conference they were leading. The teaching that day was focused on evangelism and prayer. We had great leading and instruction from their team. We heard from Matt Reyonolds, president, Maggie Ulmer, director of education, and Tony Miltenberger, director of leadership and discipleship. There was great worship led by United Theological Seminary Chapel Dean, Tesia Mallory. It was a delight to meet Emma Winchester, the administrative coordinator who helped the day run smoothly.

After one of our exercises we had time to debrief. Metter United Methodist Pastor, Allen Cason, said something profound. He talked about what we, the church, need to do is “simple and beautiful.” 

So often we try to come up with the perfect scheme on a white board or power point presentation (and I do love those). However, this weekend was a reminder how our means of God’s grace such as scripture, prayer, worship, and evangelism are sufficient enough for effective and fruitful ministry.

I can not recommend Spirit and Truth highly enough to come to your church or retreat. I only have one request: Let me know about it so I can come.