Grocery List Prayer

June 30, 2014 at 9:29 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, It's All About God, Prayer | Leave a comment

I have always believed in praying the scriptures, and have tried to learn more about that practice in recent days.  I have been using scripture-based prayer in all of our church prayer sessions since I took over that area of ministry a few months ago.  Daniel Henderson, prayer pastor at Mission Hills Church here in Colorado, has had a positive impact on my thinking in this regard.  Here is a great quote from an article he wrote n the “Prayer First” Newsletter from Converge Worldwide (June 2014).  It talks about “grocery list” prayer, coming to God only with a list of my requests.

Grocery list prayer, while very common, is an approach to God that stems from our persuasion that prayer exists for us to inform Him about our problems, hoping He will order the universe according to our expectations.  These expectations are usually rooted in our desire to avoid suffering or difficulty.  God is reduced to a heavenly vending machine that exists for our temporal satisfaction.

Prayer is so much more than our list.  Praying through the Psalms has been a huge help to me.  Don’t just read the Bible, pray it back to God as you read.  It might just transform your thinking about prayer, about yourself, about life, about God.

If you are interested in a conference on scripture-based prayer, check out the 64 Fellowship website.  Cathy and I are attending the conference in Denver on July 30-31.

On Preaching the Word: Christ Does the Work

June 20, 2014 at 8:20 am | Posted in Books and Movies | Leave a comment

Here is a great quote from a book I’ve been reading.  It describes what preaching is about from two successful preachers.  We expound the Word, and we must let Christ do his work through it.

This is what happens when the Word is preached in the power of Christ.  Christ himself addresses our minds, speaks to our hearts, draws out our affections, and brings us to faith and repentance.  .  .  .

This is not confined to the beginnings of our Christian life.  It is an ongoing reality in worship.  Indeed if it were not an ongoing reality we ourselves would be inclined to abandon preaching.  For without this dimension we would look out in our congregations each week, full of so many and varied needs, and simply despair.  Our sermons cannot address all of these needs, nor do we have the ability to address them all in a single sermon.  But when Christ comes to church and preaches his own Word, when the one who speaks to us “is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him” — then all needs can be met by him!

You don’t come to believe in Jesus Christ until you have heard him.  Until then he is simply a character in a book.  But then you become conscious that there is a totally different accent speaking to you.  This is why preachers find people saying to them at the church door, “Has somebody been talking to you about me?”  The answer is always, “No, but perhaps Someone else has been talking to you about you!”

When Christ opens, or speaks through, his Word, he begins a dialogue with the soul.  He engages us at the deepest level, and we bow before him to say, “Lord, Jesus, you have ministered your Word to us.”

From Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson, Name Above All Names (pp. 68-70)  The context is an exlanation of Jesus’ ongoing priestly ministry.  So far it’s been a good read

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