Tag Archive: Prayer


Jason Wisdom, in his blog Because Its True, takes on a meme, captured in the image on the right: Picture

I have recently come across several different incarnations of the image shown at right. The message is the same, but the pictures vary: “What Christians say: ‘I’ll pray for you.’ What I hear: ‘I’ve got magic thinking powers.'” I chose this particular one because I liked the wizard. Anyway, it popped up enough times in my web-browsing last week that I thought I would make it a journal topic for my 11th grade students on Friday. I simply attached the image and asked the students to respond. After giving them a few minutes to think about it, I asked, “What would you say if one of your friends posted this on Facebook?” None of my students really knew what to say. I don’t really blame them. After all, it isn’t really an argument or an assertion, but a just sort of existential observation. One could simply respond by saying, “Good to know. So what about this weather lately?”  Why then do many atheists find it so appealing and many Christians find it so intimidating? I think there are a few reasons.

And then further down:

While I think the main issue shown in the original image is the rejection of belief in God, and the basic claims of Christianity, I don’t think that we can fully escape at least some blame for the perceived silliness. Many, if not the majority of atheists that I interact with come from Christian backgrounds. I think it is fair attribute at least a portion of the sentiment they are expressing in memes like this one to a flippant, and even sometimes un-biblical approach to prayer in many Christian circles.

See the rest of his thoughtful article here: http://www.becauseitstrue.com/blogarticles/the-silliness-of-prayer-and-how-to-use-conditional-agreement

 

Do you find devotional “quiet times” difficult?  Take some pastoral instruction from Greg Koukl:

Instead of trying (unsuccessfully) to have devotions every morning, I have devotion. That is, I take five to ten minutes early in the day to focus on God—not to get something from Him, but to actively devote myself to Him for the day. After I sing a hymn or two, I use a biblical prayer (I’ll share it with you in a moment) as a guide to express my dedication to the Lord.

The rest of the article is here: http://www.str.org/articles/devotion-not-quiet-time#.VBDHIvldV8E

Another post by Greg Koukl giving good advice if you find prayer difficult:praying_hands

For a few hardy prayer warriors, talking with God is as easy as breathing; it happens almost effortlessly. When you ask them how they do it, they simply shrug and reply, “I just pray.” Unfortunately, that’s about as helpful as John McEnroe saying “I just hit the ball,” when asked for some tips on more effective tennis. It may be easy for him to “just hit the ball”, but most of us hackers need a little more fundamental instruction to get the job done. With that in mind, we’ve included here some practical guidelines that might make your time with the Lord more fruitful. Not all of the suggestions will apply to your particular situation, but if you begin by incorporating a few of them, I’m confident your prayer life will improve.

Read more at http://www.str.org/articles/ten-tips-to-help-your-prayer-life#.VBDFJvldV8E

Greg Koukl on prayer:

Let me start with a frank admission: Prayer is difficult for me. Some things come easily, but prayer is not one of them. Of course, this does not make prayer optional in the least. It simply means I have to work harder at it to be consistent and effective.

I suspect there are many Christians just like me in this regard. Maybe you would include yourself in that group. If so, these thoughts on prayer might be helpful to you.prayer

Read the rest here: http://www.str.org/articles/a-principle-for-conversational-prayer#.VA3nQPldV8E

I’m concerned

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)  26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

If you are of a mind to, please join me in my prayers for this, my worry list.  I’ve been plain overwhelmed with thoughts about these things lately.

I’m concerned about a family member who is under the influence of deceptive spiritual entities, and in pride, she thinks she is in control of it.  I want to be available as a positive voice of Godliness and reason.

I’m concerned about our country and politics.  I see deception and corruption and apathy, yet I feel impotent to do anything about it.  I’m scared for the future, and the condition of the country to be left for our children.  I’m not even nearly certain what I should do about it.  What ought my political priorities to be as a Christian?  I’m not sure what my expectations should be of government by fallen man.

I’m concerned about the subtle and insidious spread and influence of cults and other religions, and their easy acceptance in a postmodern culture which relativizes all religious and moral truths.

I’m concerned about my influence in my church, and its influence on me and my family.  Surely we have things to learn from each other.  Should I consider relocating?  There are some discrepancies of belief between me and my church.  Should I hope to change these beliefs in the church, or ought I go find a church that already shares my beliefs?  What if I’m wrong about my beliefs anyway?  Why do I have to choose between emotion/experience and theology/apologetics?  I want opportunities to make a difference.  I am frustrated by divisions and denominations and lack of unity.

I’m concerned about my family.  What was I thinking bringing children into this world?  I want to shelter and protect them from the nasty, but I can’t do so without stunting and damaging them.  I’m terrified when I think of the fights and heartaches to come when my kids become teenagers, and the consequences of bad choices they will make.  I love them so much, and when they hug me and say “Daddy,” it melts my cynical heart.  I want their faith to be strong, and their minds to be sharp.  I want them to be wise, and persevere in school, and to make smart dating choices.  I want to be a better father and husband.  I want to be closer to Amy, and us closer together with God.  I want to care for her needs and concerns like she does herself.  I want to make wise spending choices, giving and modeling generosity for my family.

I’m concerned about my friends.  I want to be an example to them of the love of Christ, growing in relationship and influence with them.

I’m concerned about myself! I want more wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  I want a daily renewal of commitment to truth and the clear thinking to discern it in the midst of plurality and relativity.  I want peace and direction about my future career and ministry opportunities.  I need encouragement that I’m on the right path, and energy, strength, and health to see it through.  I need humility to present the truth in a winsome way.  I want spiritual growth to better know and trust God and his ability to handle for the best the things that I’m concerned about.  I want to rest in the peace of God’s sovereignty as I trust in Him.