'Prayer' Tagged Posts

'Prayer' Tagged Posts

Men of Prayer

Christians have the privilege and duty to pray. This includes all Christians – no matter class, ethnicity, or gender. However, until recently it never occurred to me that men have a specific call to pray unlike women. In a study of 1 Timothy, I was struck by this verse: “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension” (2:8). The word “men” in this verse is not the generic word for…

Prayer Is the End

We live in a culture of productivity. And one thing is for sure: a culture of productivity makes prayer challenging. Since we thrive on accomplishments, it is often hard to see what prayer accomplishes when prayers are not answered in the way we want. And when we cannot measure and quantify tangible results of prayer, prayer is often neglected. When we do not get what we want, we give up asking or get frustrated and impatient. But this is exactly…

God’s Omniscience Motivates Prayer

God is omniscient. This means that God knows all things past, present, and future. As this relates to prayer, it means that God, as Jesus says, “knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Notice carefully that Jesus does not say God knows what you need if you do not ask. Instead, Jesus says God “knows what you need before you ask.” While it is certainly true that God knows what you need if you ask or do…

Annihilating Anxiety

During this unprecedented time associated with COVID-19, we can be tempted to fall into various sins. While there are many that I could mention, sinful anxiety comes to the surface. We are tempted to be anxious in this current situation, not only because we are afraid of getting very sick, but because of the pressure it is placing on relationships and on our finances. In fact, I think the tendency towards anxiety in our lives is often directly connected to…

How Long, O Lord?

Recently, I have been asking myself the question, as I’m sure you have too: “How long, O Lord,” will this social distancing/shelter-in-place order last? At this point, we do not know. And not knowing is driving us crazy! Of course, if you have read the last paragraph with attentiveness, and if you’re familiar with the Bible, particularly the Psalms, you know that I made an allusion to an often repeated line: “How long, O Lord” (Psalm 13:1; 79:5; 89:46). Take,…

God’s Grace and Sovereignty in Troubled Times

Charles Spurgeon observes of 2 Kings 6:6 that no matter how many of life’s heavy burdens threaten to overwhelm us, we can take it to the Lord in prayer. Perhaps you are facing desperation in a relationship, job, or an unimaginable task that is just too heavy for you to bear, where are you to turn? Too often we only turn to prayer when we are in agony because our own abilities to resolve the situation to our liking has…

Why Is Prayer Hard?

Prayer is hard. Not technically hard, for a young child can pray. Prayer is practically hard. Why? Here are four reasons why: 1. We are self-sufficient. When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11), the disciples needed that day’s bread. They did not have weeks and weeks of food stored up in a refrigerator or pantry. It’s not only economic self-sufficiency that makes it hard to pray. It is spiritual self-sufficiency. We…

Are Your Prayers Powerful and Effective?

We hear about amazing answers to prayer in history and in our lifetime. These answers to prayer encourage us to pray with new resolve. But when we ourselves pray, nothing happens. It seems God is silent. Over time, we grow cynical about prayer until we are reminded again of a great answer to prayer, which fuels our prayers once again. And the cycle continues. Though answers to prayer are a great encouragement to pray, God has given us a “more…

The Great Ejection: Praying for the Persecuted Church

In the United States of America, we have freedom of religion and worship. We often take these freedoms for granted and complain about government intervention in religious matters. Nevertheless, we have a measure of freedom. Compared to our brothers and sisters in persecuted countries, we have much to be thankful for. We also have much to be thankful for compared to our brothers and sisters in the persecuted past. On August 24, 1662, 357 years ago today, more than 2,000…

Spiritual Breathing

Prayer is like breathing – spiritual breathing. This analogy came to me via J.C. Ryle: “Prayer is to faith what breath is to life. How a man can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a man can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.” Ryle’s statement is based on 1 Thess 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.” Often 1 Thess 5:17 is seen as a command. And it is a command. But more than a command,…

A Listening God

Sometimes, in the course of life, you only want someone to listen to you. You don’t want them to fix you or fix your problems. You want them to listen. When you find a person who listens to you, maybe a spouse or a friend, you know that person is expressing love. One day I was reading the Bible and came across a verse that teaches us that God is a listening God. He has a listening ear. And this…

Five Reasons God May Delay in Answering Your Prayer

God always answers prayer. Period. Yet, he does not always answer in the way we would like. Sometimes he answers with a “yes” or “yes and even better.” Sometimes, however, he answers with a “no,” or “not yet.” Why does God answer with a “not yet?” Why does he delay in answering prayer? Puritan Richard Sibbes helped me to see four reasons God may delay in answering prayer. I’ve added a fifth. To try your faith. Like the Canaanite woman…

Is Prayer Caught or Taught?

The answer is, “Yes!” However, I think prayer is more caught than taught. Here’s why. When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, do you remember what Jesus does? He doesn’t lecture for forty five minutes. He doesn’t require them to read a book and write a book report. Jesus teaches them how to pray by giving them a model prayer (Luke 11:1-4). Granted, Jesus did not pray the “Lord’s Prayer,” because Jesus could not have prayed “forgive…