William Hybels (born December 12, 1951) is an American church figure and author. He was the founding and former senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, one of the most attended churches in North America. He is the founder of the Willow Creek Association and creator of the Global Leadership Summit. Hybels is also an author of a number of Christian books, especially on the subject of Christian leadership.
== Quotes ==
=== Too Busy Not to Pray (2008, InterVarsity Press) ===
Prayer is a bridge from despair to hope.Perfect peace comes only through relating with the Peacemaker himself.Prayerless people cut themselves off from God's peace and from his prevailing power, and a common result is that they feel overwhelmed, overrun, beaten down, pushed around, and defeated by a world operating with a take-no-prisoners approach.The idea that God doesn't care about his children is rooted in a lie, plain and simple.God is righteous and just, holy and tender, responsive and sympathetic. He is willing--anxious even--to hear from you. Moreover, he is willing to act on your behalf.The reality is that our God is good. It's in his nature to be good; it's who he is--a giving God, a blessing God, an encouraging God, a nurturing God, an empowering God, a loving God. This is the God who willingly waits for your call.Creating planets didn't seem to be much of a problem for God. Neither was raising the dead. Nothing is too difficult for God to handle, but we won't see much proof of this until we actually ask him to handle it.Our spirits, like our bodies, have requirements for health and growth. Some people don't want to pay the price of developing good spiritual habits.When we make a habit of prayer, we stay constantly tuned to God's presence and open to receive his blessings.People who are serious about something always make room for it in their schedules. If prayer is important to you, then you'll find time to do it.God doesn't want us to pile up impressive phrases. He doesn't want us to use words without thinking about their meaning. He wants us to talk to him as to a friend or father - authentically, reverently, personally, earnestly.Don't ask God to bless junk food and miraculously transform it so that it has nutritional value. That's not how God works.God isn't interested in stock phrases. Talk to him. Talk to the Father sincerely.Never forget that if you are God's child through Jesus Christ, you are praying to a Father who couldn't love you more than he already does.Don't let your prayers turn into a wish list for Santa Claus. Worship God and praise him when you come to him in prayer.God-honoring prayers are not simply shopping lists. They are more than cries for help, strength, mercy and miracles. Authentic prayer should include worship, submission, requests, and confessions.The Lord's Prayer is an excellent model, but it was never intended to be a magical incantation to get God's attention. Jesus gave this prayer as a pattern to suggest the variety of elements that should be included when we pray.If Christ's followers aren't growing, it is because they are not making a habit of evaluating their lives. They don't step back and ask, "What's working and what's not working?"I soon began writing out my whole prayer and reading it back to God. Previously I'd get no further than "Dear God" and I'd already be thinking of the person I was going to meet for lunch or the board meeting agenda or what my family members and I would be doing later that evening. But when I began to move pen across paper, it became much easier to remain focused.The key is to practice praying - and to practice praying regularly, privately, sincerely and specifically.I can write about prayer, you can read about prayer...but sooner or later you have to fall to your knees and just plain pray. Then, and only then, will you begin to operate in the vein of God's miracle-working ways.Playing around is one thing; following an established regimen is quite another. It's true with exercise equipment and it is true with prayer.Developing prayer fitness is similar to developing physical fitness: we must follow a pattern in order to stay balanced.Sensing the carelessness and one-sidedness of our prayers, we start to feel guilty about praying. Guilt leads to faint-heartedness and that in turn leads to prayerlessness.Out-of-balance praying leads to no praying at all!One prayer routine that is balanced and easy to remember is found in the word ACTS, an acrostic whose four letters stand for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.Adoration in prayer reminds us of God's identity and inclination. As we list his attributes, lifting up his character and personality, we reinforce our understanding of who he is.When the spirit of adoration takes over and we begin pondering God's attributes, we soon say from the heart, 'I am praying to a tremendous God!' Which only motivates us to keep on praying.Adoration in prayer purges our spirit and prepares us to listen to God.Confession is probably the most neglected area of personal prayer.When I lump all my sins together and confess them en masse, I neglect to feel the pain or embarrassment or shame that should be elicited in me.We don't take confession seriously enough. If we did, our lives would be radically different.If you're a parent, you know how incredibly good it feels when one of your children spontaneously thanks you for something. God is our Father, and he, too, is moved when we express our thanksgiving.Supplications are requests that you make of God. And truly, nothing is too big for God to handle or too small for him to be interested in.I sometimes wonder if my requests are legitimate. So I'm honest with God. I say, "Lord, I don't know if I have the right to ask for this. I don't know how I should pray about it. But I hand it over to your now, and if you'll tell me how to pray, I'll pray your way."When I pray, I'm not just telling God my problems, but rather I'm turning over my biggest concerns to him. It's only when I've put them in his capable hands that I can go about my day in his strength and freedom.Our prayers can be more than empty wishes, vain hopes or feeble aspirations – but only when they are prayed from faith-filled hearts.There are two main principles I've picked up over the years as they pertain to cultivating the type of faith that moves mountains. The first is this: Faith comes by looking at God, not at the mountain. The second is this: God gives us faith as we walk by his side.How do you pray a prayer so filled with faith that it can move a mountain? By shifting your focus from the size of your mountain to the sufficiency of the Mountain Mover and then stepping forward in obedience.As you walk with God, your faith will grow, your confidence will increase and your prayers will have real power.If the request is wrong, God says, "No." If the timing is wrong, God says, "Slow." If you are wrong, God says, "Grow." But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, "Go!"If the disciples were capable of making wrong requests - requests that were self-serving, patently materialistic, shortsighted or immature - I feel sure that we are too. Fortunately God loves us too much to say yes to inappropriate requests.Before bringing a request to the Lord, it's a good idea to ask: If God granted this request, would it bring glory to him? Would it advance his kingdom? Would it help people? Would it help me to grow spiritually?By forcing us to look closely at our requests, prayer purifies us.God is no more intimidated by childish demands for instant gratification than are wise parents.Be wary of insisting that you know better than God about when a prayer request should be granted. God's delays are not necessarily denials. He always has reasons for his 'not yets.'A lot of spiritual gains come through pain, hurt, struggle, confusion and disappointment.The greatest prayer motivator in existence is answered prayer.The most common cause of unanswered prayer is prayerlessness.Are you expecting God to fill your needs? Are you asking him to do so - regularly, earnestly and persistently?Unconfessed sin cuts off our communication with the Father.If you let even a little sin into your heart, it's going to contaminate your prayers. Your Christian life will not achieve its full potential.If you're tolerating sin in your life, my friend, don't waste your breath praying unless it's a prayer of confession.Prayer busters (causes of unanswered prayer) are prayerlessness, unconfessed sin, unresolved relational conflict, selfishness, uncaring attitudes, and inadequate faith.How would you feel if your prayer requests were made public, displayed on a billboard or marquee? "Dear Lord, make me famous. Make me rich."When Jesus prayed the model prayer we call the Lord's Prayer, his first requests were that God's name be shown reverence, that his kingdom come, that his will be done.God is committed to developing a people who will reflect his character in this world, and his character always expresses concern and compassion for the afflicted.If your ear is open to the afflicted, God will keep his ear open to you.One reason we stop praying or let our prayer lives fade is that we are too comfortable.The time of day we choose for prayer doesn't matter, so long as we keep it faithfully. Prayer must be part of the rhythm of our daily lives.Sin is plenty strong enough to create an ever-widening gap in one's relationship with God. The wider the gap, the less likely we are to pray. And the less we pray, the wider the gap becomes.We can have no deep, ongoing fellowship with God unless we obey him - totally.If you have pumped your fist at God, the good news is that you can come back into fellowship with him right this minute.Keep on praying because the Father does listen. He loves our company, he wants us to endure in prayerfulness and he is eager to do whatever is best for us.Most of us are far too busy for our own spiritual good.Authentic Christianity is a supernatural walk with a living, dynamic, communicating God.The heart and soul of the Christian life is learning to hear God's voice and then developing the courage to do what he asks us to do.Authentic Christians are persons who stand apart from others. Their character seems deeper, their ideas fresher, their spirit softer, their courage greater, their leadership stronger, their concerns wider, their compassion more genuine and their convictions more concrete.Busyness is the unrivaled archenemy of spiritual authenticity.A key ingredient in authentic Christianity is time. Not leftover time, not throwaway time, but quality time. Time for contemplation, meditation and reflection. Unhurried, uninterrupted time.If your life is rushing in many directions at once, you are incapable of the kind of deep, unhurried prayer that is vital to the Christian walk.
== External links ==
Willow Creek Community Church official website
Bill Hybels bio
Full summary of Too Busy Not to Pray