Some time ago I was speaking to a young Christian who admitted he was afraid to lead in worship. “Everybody is looking at me and I forget what I was going to say.”
“You can lead in prayer then,” I joked. “Everyone’s eyes will be closed.”
More seriously I added. “Why don’t you write your prayer out on Saturday night, and you can simply read it Sunday morning.”
He agreed to try that. Continue reading “Reading in prayer”
Luke introduced the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector in Luke chapter 18 by writing, “And he also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt” (Luke 18:9 NASB). Continue reading “Pharisee and tax collector”
Often the flowers that bring the most joy are also the most common. Daisies, zinnias, and marigolds are some of my personal favorites. And what is autumn without chrysanthemums?
Once in a while, I like to add something really different to the garden. REALLY different. The kind of “different” that requires some intensive shopping. Continue reading “By special request”
Talking to the Creator is beyond human comprehension. We’re lifted up when we humble ourselves before him (James 4:10), because our sins can close the ears of God (Luke 18:9-14; Isaiah 59:1-2).
Prayer requires preparation because approaching God isn’t a casual affair. The solemnity and reverence in the Father’s throne room in Revelation 4-5 can touch us deeply.
Let’s pause and consider the beauty of God’s creation. Continue reading “Preparing for prayer”
A friend of mine once asked, “Why does God refuse to listen to my prayers?” He said he had prayed very steadfastly for several days for a specific purpose and “nothing happened.”
Many people have experienced such feelings, and they have difficulty understanding why God does not operate on the same time frame as they would like.
Very often, our preconceived ideas of God are quite different than his. Continue reading “In God’s own time”
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Luke 22:40, ESV)
When Jesus faced the trial of his life, he requested Peter, James and John to enter that trial with him in prayer (Matthew 26:37-38). Unfortunately, they slept while he suffered alone (Matthew 26:40), some of the most unfortunate moments in the life of Christ. Continue reading “Are we stronger than he?”
Since Satan is always putting obstacles in our way, we should pray that the Lord will be with us in our challenges because the Christian life is very difficult (Matthew 6:34).
While it may seem an unexpected question, should we pray for our blessings in the same way?
God blesses us immeasurably if we’re in Christ (Ezekiel 34:26; Ephesians 1:3). He wants to open the windows of heaven for his faithful children (Malachi 3:10). But with blessings come responsibility. Continue reading “Can we handle our blessings?”
Prayer is a blessing beyond human comprehension (Psalm 145:8). God said to continually bring our requests to him (Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We need Christ because without him, we can’t be saved (John 14:6). Only in him do we find all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Children will benefit from learning about Jesus because their morals and decision making will improve dramatically.
In 1962, prayer in schools was declared unconstitutional because some were offended by petitions to God. However, in the mid-20th century, Christian values were far more common than they are today in our increasingly pagan society. Continue reading “Dangers of restoring prayer to schools”
“What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36, ESV) This is an interesting question for the omniscient Jesus to ask. Once he asked this in response to James and John, who wanted guaranteed positions of authority when Jesus’ kingdom was finally established. Another time, (Matthew 20:29-43; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43) Jesus asked this of two blind men, who were calling out for him as he passed by. There is quite a contrast between these two incidents, and Jesus’ answers to them. In the first instance, Jesus told James and John they really had no idea what they … Continue reading What do you want?
Understanding the urgency of our spiritual life… Continue reading If you can, do