Often times Christians struggle with prayer because they forget the wonderful intimacy that comes from their relationship to God. In prayer we crawl upon our Father’s lap where he unties the knots of our hearts.
The Bible instructs both to pray and to expectantly watch. Both are demonstrations of faith.
Prayer is that which buckles on all the Christain’s armour. Since the Christian must wear God’s armor at all times, he must pray without ceasing.
This was one of the best books I have ever read on prayer. Practical – Theological – Historical — It made me want to pray.
To avoid stagnation in prayer consider being more intentional with scheduling your times to pray and using the Bible as your prayer book.
“giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (Col. 1:12)
Paul here takes a biopsy of the prayerful heart of the Christian. What is to be found? The believer is to be filled with gratitude to our infinitely kind Father and his love towards us. He is demonstrating that the Christian’s thanksgiving is rooted in their Father’s action. In other words, this thankful walk is a gospel-informed walk.
Our kind Father has ‘qualified the unqualified’ to share in his glorious inheritance. This inheritance is sin proof, death proof, and time proof. It is laid up in heaven for Christ’s followers. It has been graciously purchased, lovingly applied, and sovereignly protected. And so we are…thankful and continue to be thankful.
This posture of thankful prayer is to continue as long as God is worthy of our praise. The same Spirit that God has sent into our hearts and causes us to cry “Abba Father” is the one that sings joyfully to heaven with intimate thanksgiving for his great work of love towards us in Christ Jesus.
As we in the US prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, this prayer from Valley of Vision will doubtlessly bless you:
O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
I bless thee for body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigour, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
I bless thee for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness;
I bless thee for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express, for …
It is Sunday morning, nearly 168 hours from the beginning of last week’s sermon. It is about time for you the preacher to take that walk again. You are going to walk alone to the sacred desk to preach. Are you ready? As you reflect on this question you realize that your mouth is dry and don’t have any water. Your opening to the sermon just got eclipsed by the reminder of a heavy pastoral concern. But you have to take this solitary walk. It is time. Are you ready? As you walk you throw up a petitionary flare, “God, help me.”
This question of readiness is really subjective. Some guys will answer it by considering what they have done in sermon prep. They have spent adequate time in prayer, studied the text, made a sensible outline, drew out some practical implications, and are ready to help people to understand God’s Word.
These are all good, even very good things. I aim to do them all each and every week. However, I wonder if sometimes we miss a very important aspect to sermon prep. Preachers should be wrecked and rebuilt by the text before preaching the text.
Be Wrecked by the Text
When you are wrecked by the text you have been stripped of your pride. Like a divine power-washer, the Bible has blasted off the mildew, dirt, and residue of self-reliance. The text has shown you God’s character and made you feel very small. You have been made to see something of …
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections,
open my lips,
supply words that proclaim ‘Love Lustres at Calvary.’
There grace removes my burdens
and heaps them on thy Son,
made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man,
There thy infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.
Are you supportive of Kim Davis?
As most people are aware, Kim Davis is the county clerk in Rowan County Kentucky who is now sitting in jail because she refused to sign marriage certificates that would violate her conscience informed by her religious (Christian) beliefs.