Showing posts from July, 2012

What should we pray for and how should we do it?

This entry isn’t for the prayer specialist.  I thought it might be helpful for those who have never done a synthetic study of prayer in the New Testament.

The New Testament has several different words for prayer, each nuancing various meanings (e.g., intercession or thanksgiving).  Yet, I’m not interested in talking about every instance of prayer in the New Testament right now.  Of course, prayer is most certainly not about asking God for a bunch of stuff. In fact, communion with God doesn't have to involve one question at all. Remember when you used to court your spouse or romantic interest? We didn't sit around asking for stuff all the time. The other person's presence and approval was paramount, not having the person do something for us. Simultaneously, however, there are time when we are encouraged to approach God the Father as a God who wants to give us Himself. And giving Himself will involve doing certain things for us. So, for this post, I am only interested in aski…

Not moods, but God

Having faith in God is just that, not having faith in my moods about God.

I’ve seen it all of my life, both in my own introspective reflections and in the spiritual habits of others. There seems to be a common sentiment among the “average” Christian that faith can be judged by the amount of emotional fervor I feel in the moment.

I’ve seen it in two major areas of Christian life: (1) prayer/devotional life and (2) worship. I think the average person (especially the young person) thinks that in order for our prayer to “matter” to God or to us, we need to conjure a certain emotion. We need to grunt. We need to squint. We need to cry. We need to say, “Thank you, Jesus,” every other phrase. We need to hurt on the inside somehow. When we read the Bible, we need to want to read the Bible or feel sincere when we do it. But, this is all wrong.

Of course we should be honest when we pray, read the Bible, and worship. To do otherwise is to be lying or disingenuous, which is a sin. Of course we are…

A means to an end

A man sees a woman from afar. He finds her very attractive. He asks around and finds people who know her. He learns things about her. The more he learns, the more he likes what he discovers. In fact, he begins to love those aspects of the woman he learns. From afar, he has already begun falling in love.
Then the day comes. He finally meets her face-to-face. Sparks fly. Everything he learned was right: she is awesome. Her aspects and character are a perfect match for him. Perfect. They fall in love completely. It changes his life.
He abandons all other loves and commits himself just to her. They get married and he’s thrilled. He tells all his friends about her. He plays with her, makes decisions with her, and spends every second he can with her. He simply can’t get enough of her. He says no to friends he used to say yes to. He turns down invitations to things that take him away from her. She is the object of his affection.
Then a little times go by. She notices that he doesn’t talk much a…