A Picture Of Prayer

The story of Hezekiah can be found in 2 Kings 18-20 and 2 Chronicles 29-32.  Hezekiah was a good man who lived during a bad time. Nonetheless, he stood for God and made sweeping religious reforms in Israel’s worship. He went after the high places (often neglected by other “good” kings), sacred stones, and Asherah poles. He evenContinue reading “A Picture Of Prayer”

Praying Wisely

A couple in their sixties is walking along the beach when they spy an object hidden in the sand.  The uncover it, knock the sand off, and identify it as an old, old lamp.  Before they know it—POOF! —a genie appears to grant them three wishes.  They would like to travel the world they tell him andContinue reading “Praying Wisely”

Israel, the Pharisees, and Prayer

Israel wanted a king (1 Samuel 8)! There were some legitimate reasons why they needed a king. A king would help them to be something more than the loose confederation of tribes that they were—characterized by infighting and the failure to come to the aid of each other when under attack (see the book of Judges).Continue reading “Israel, the Pharisees, and Prayer”

Giving God Fast Prayers

It’s important to note that the record of Jesus’ teaching that Matthew relates to us in 6:1-18, is given in response to Pharisaical abuses (5:20,21,27,31,33,38,43). If the “hypocrites” of 6:2,5,16 aren’t exclusively Pharisees, it certainly would include them (see 23:13,15,23,25,27,29). So we shouldn’t approach the text as an open forum on the subjects of giving, fasting, andContinue reading “Giving God Fast Prayers”

“God Answered Our Prayer!”

“God answered our prayer!” we proclaim as someone who has been in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers is brought to better circumstances. We mean well by such a statement. We mean to bring glory to our Father and recognize what He has done. But the truth is, these words can be a poor way of expressing our joy.  Church bulletins,Continue reading ““God Answered Our Prayer!””

Nice Prayers or Good Prayers?

When we have prayed over every wart, pimple, and problem of people both known and unknown, have we really ministered to them? Have we done what God would have us to do for them? Is this the essence of what the church is to be about? Curiously, there’s nothing in the New Testament to sanction the fervorContinue reading “Nice Prayers or Good Prayers?”

Merging Our Letter With God’s (2)

Hayley Smith and Harrison Waldron met at Harding University, married in 2014 and graduated the following spring. That summer while attending a wedding in New York, Harrison was involved in an ATV accident. The injuries he received cause immediate death 90% of the time but he survived and was med-flighted to Erie, Pennsylvania. Today, overContinue reading “Merging Our Letter With God’s (2)”

Merging Our Letter With God’s (1)

Hezekiah’s prayer in the temple is a powerful example of reliance upon God. Hezekiah was a righteous king who nonetheless had a penchant for trusting in foreign alliances rather than Yahweh. In order to protect Judah from the Assyrians, he made alliances with Egypt (2 Kings 18:21) and Babylon (Isaiah 39 along with 2 ChroniclesContinue reading “Merging Our Letter With God’s (1)”

Living A Fast Paced Life (2)

Fasting slows us down. Busyness is not the same thing as holiness. Most of us are in need of wait training. But we’re not alone. The book of Acts begins with the disciples being told to wait (1:4). By helping us to humbly focus on God, fasting slows us down and can serve as part of the renewal process (Romans 12:1-2). The disciple’sContinue reading “Living A Fast Paced Life (2)”