Category Archives: Prayer

PRAYING THE LORD’S PRAYER

I am currently reading through all my sermons.

One from 1993 was on The Lord’s Prayer. An early church document for worship (Didache) said we ought to pray The Lords Prayer three times a day. I also had a note that the Lord’s Prayer has become rote for many people when ironically the purpose of the Lord’s Prayer was to protect us from simply going through the motions! See Matt 6:7,8.

OREGON SHOOTINGS

An excerpt from my forthcoming book, God, What on Earth are You Doing? an Honest Conversation:

I often say that we Americans know how to cry, but not lament.  Crying can simply be sadness over circumstances we do not like.  Lament is a deeper cry of the soul that brings one’s sorrow to God and wrestles with it there.  One wise pastor says, “In this fallen world, sadness is an act of sanity, our tears the testimony of the sane.”[1]  Those in this category have internalized the great themes of the Bible, not in the stereotypical Sunday school sort of way, but in a way that has produced lasting fruit over the course of many years. 


[1] Zack Eswine, Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those who Suffer from Depression (Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2014), 30.

TESTIMONIES OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS CAN BE TRICKY TO COMMUNICATE

As Christians, we love hearing testimonies of God’s faithfulness.  It encourages us when our own faith is failing.  We are reminded that God still works in peoples’ lives.  All this is good.

The tricky thing is the hearer must be careful to not become like Simon Magus.  You may recall how he wanted to do miracles just like Peter and John.  Simon erroneously thought he could pay for something like this.  We are not as crass, but we hear how God answered someone’s prayer and we look for the secret which made it all come about.  Let’s say the person communicates that God convicted her to fast one day a week.  Ah, that is the trick.  If I fast one day a week, I can also count on God answering some of my most cherished prayers.

SUFFERING LIKE PAUL

File:The Apostle Paul - Rembrandt.jpg

It is often missed, but should be underscored: Paul needed the prayers of others (II Cor. 1:8-11).  He was “despairing even of life.”  At another low moment, he greatly benefited from the encouragement of Titus (II Cor. 7:6). 

I have often shared the following to Christians who are so deeply troubled they can’t even muster the motivation to pray:  Don’t worry.  Simply ask others to pray for you.  Give us the privilege of holding you up.  You may need to return the favor someday!