Archive for the Prayer Category

Really, Really Long Prayer Guy

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Prayer, Religion on November 18, 2008 by Scott

Every church has one.  If you don’t think so, look in the mirror.

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Pulpit Poltics: Losing Focus

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, God, Prayer, Religion on October 4, 2008 by Scott

From Randall Faulkner, Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK.

James M Boice, in his book on Christianity and culture, “Two Cities, Two Loves,” wrote that believers have two weapons in our arsenal: persuasion and prayer. When it comes to influencing society, churches should rely on persuasion, not coercion or political power. If believers trust in the sovereignty of God, then they will rely more on the power of prayer and less on the power of favorable legislation.

I attended the National Day of Prayer service at the state Capitol in May. One of those who led in prayer was Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, a Democrat. She led the gathering in a beautiful prayer for our nation’s president, a Republican. She prayed for members of Congress, our governor, and member of the state Senate and Legislature. She mentioned leaders of both political parties in her prayer.

This was a reminder to me that there are people of faith and goodwill in all political parties. In an atmosphere as politically charged as the present, it is good to remember that there are believers who are as devoted to their faith as I who disagree with my political views. I must be careful not to equate commitment to faith with commitment to a particular candidate or party.

We need good people serving in government, and that is why most of us think it is good for people of faith to serve in politics. Our two candidates for president have given public expression to their faith. But believers who serve in politics aren’t chosen on the basis of their religious preferences alone. Nor are they serving in government to seek a favored position for one religion over another. They are called to work for justice for all citizens, whatever their religious beliefs.

Churches should not be perceived as endorsing political candidates. In a recent pastoral letter to my congregation, I wrote that it is possible, even likely, that cars in the church parking lot will carry bumper stickers promoting candidates of both major political parties. I think that would be a good thing, because it would mean that the church’s message is reaching into the culture, bearing witness to all kinds of people, Republicans and Democrats.

The church’s primary loyalty is to the Lord. If the church is perceived as politicizing the pulpit, or aligning itself with particular candidates, it could seriously restrict its ability to influence the culture at large by deflecting attention from the church’s supreme message, which is God’s good news. This is of transcendent importance.

James Boice was right. The church’s main strategies in an election year, or any year, are persuasion and prayer, not political power.

Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

Posted in Christianity, God, Prayer, Religion on August 4, 2008 by Scott

This from David at Naked Pastor.

What If His People Prayed?

Posted in Christian Music, Christianity, Church, Faith, God, Prayer, Religion on August 2, 2008 by Scott

From Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns, talking about his inspiration for the song What If His People Prayed?

What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His faith, yeah
And turn from their old ways

And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day

What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the family turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

“It seems as though everything I heard was, “What’s wrong with the world? It’s the governments fault that this is happening. The schools are doing this, and the politicians are doing that. The government, the schools, and the media were always the problem.

I’m all for speaking the truth, but we seem to forget one obvious truth; They’re lost. Lost people sin. That’s what they do. There is no compass in them telling them to do anything else. We, however, have a compass that points to true north.

2 Chronicles 7:14If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Look at God’s promises…He will hear our prayers. He will forgive our sins. He will heal our infirm nation...And we’ve forgotten the first half of what he says. It’s an if/then statement. It’s conditional. He says, “If MY people…” God is calling His people to follow him, strip off all of the facades and lay aside all of the sin and start loving him with our lives.

It’s really not the world’s fault. The world is the world, although it will be held accountable in the end. But the Church’s accountability supersedes that of the world: “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).”

Almost Saved

Posted in Christianity, Discipleship, Jesus, Prayer on July 22, 2008 by Scott

I’m reading through Acts currently and had to read through this in chapter 8 a few times Monday morning. I’m not sure how you process this in conjunction with Romans 10:9-10 but it implies belief and baptism don’t quite get you there…

But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

He believed…he was baptized…he turned from his sorcery but his heart was not right before God. Why? …no repentance. And Peter…what was he doing telling that guy the truth…Peter’s a sinner too, what right does he have?

People are the same today…they want the magic of belief and baptism but renouncing and repenting from sin is something we want to ignore..God doesn’t.

This is more than a Christ crescendo…more than jumping into the pool.

Kendall Payne…Pray

Posted in Music, Prayer on July 15, 2008 by Scott

I listened to her sing this recently…there is great theology in some music. Here’s to praying for trust instead of clarity.

I will pray for you now, for you have been my faithful friends
While the road we walk is difficult indeed
I couldn’t not ask for more than what you’ve already been
Only that you would say these prayers for me
May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strength all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head
May they all fall, come crashing down around your feet
May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater every stride
May your company be of human insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride
What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the One who made us
And see Him smile when life is through
May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they’d be
And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see
May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you’d learn to trust the plan He has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true
I have prayed for you now all my dear and faithful friends
But what I wish is more than I could eever speak
As the way wanders on I’ll long to see you once again
Until then, would you pray these prayers for me?
Oh, that you would pray for me

Turning on the Lights

Posted in Christianity, Faith, God, Prayer, Religion on July 9, 2008 by Scott

Ever get the feeling that God isn’t listening? It’s frustrating because I am trying to do everything I am supposed to do. I’ve got my “God list” and most of the boxes are checked.

So God leads me to Isaiah 58:3-5:

…The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit. You drive your employees much too hard.

You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won’t get your prayers off the ground.

Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like?

Alright… I get it. It’s not about me. So now what?

God’s answer (Isaiah 58:7-9):

What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage.

Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.

What a great analogy…”Do this and the lights will turn on.” Start making it about others and you’ll finally get it.

Guess I have been working off the wrong list.