Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Post

Okay this is a new post. I am actually going to start posting some stuff again but mainly on my other blog. So if you are interested you can check out a new post. Wow!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Art of Prayer

Matt Chandler is going through a series on sanctification at The Village Church. I just recently listened to his excellent sermon on prayer, The Art of Prayer. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Col 4:2

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Col 4:2

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Isa 38:1-6

1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover." 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3and said, "Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5"Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will addfifteen years to your life. 6 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city. Isa 38:1-6

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Phil 1:19

19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance Phil 1:19

Your prayers are crucial!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eph 3:14-19

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph 3:14-19

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lam 3:55-57

55 "I called on your name, O LORD,
from the depths of the pit;
56 you heard my plea, 'Do not close
your ear to my cry for help!'
57 You came near when I called on you;
you said, 'Do not fear!'
Lam 3:55-57

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Romans 12:12

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prayer and Disciples

Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, only how to pray. To know how to speak to God is more important than knowing how to speak to man.
Andrew Murray "With Christ in the School of Prayer"

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Sinner's Prayer

I could have given a similar testimony. I don't post this to make anyone mad but because I have a great love and concern for people in churches that have heard this false gospel for so long.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Prayer and Predestination

A Conversation Between Prayerful and Prayerless
By John PiperFebruary 14, 1996

Prayerless: I understand that you believe in the providence of God. Is that right?

Prayerful: Yes.

Prayerless: Does that mean you believe, like the Heidelberg Catechism says, that nothing comes about by chance but only by God's design and plan?

Prayerful: Yes, I believe that's what the Bible teaches.

Prayerless: Then why do you pray?

Prayerful: I don't see the problem. Why shouldn't we pray?

Prayerless: Well, if God ordains and controls everything, then what he plans from of old will come to pass, right?

Prayerful: Yes.

Prayerless: So it's going to come to pass whether you pray or not, right.

Prayerful: That depends on whether God ordained for it to come to pass in answer to prayer. If God predestined that something happen in answer to prayer, it won't happen without prayer.

Prayerless: Wait a minute, this is confusing. Are you saying that every answer to prayer is predestined or not?

Prayerful: Yes, it is. It's predestined as an answer to prayer.

Prayerless: So if the prayer doesn't happen, the answer doesn't happen?

Prayerful: That's right.

Prayerless: So the event is contingent on our praying for it to happen?

Prayerful: Yes. I take it that by contingent you mean prayer is a real reason that the event happens, and without the prayer the event would not happen.

Prayerless: Yes that's what I mean. But how can an event be contingent on my prayer and still be eternally fixed and predestined by God?

Prayerful: Because your prayer is as fixed as the predestined answer.

Prayerless: Explain.

Prayerful: It's not complicated. God providentially ordains all events. God never ordains an event without a cause. The cause is also an event. Therefore, the cause is also foreordained. So you cannot say that the event will happen if the cause doesn't because God has ordained otherwise. The event will happen if the cause happens.

Prayerless: So what you are saying is that answers to prayer are always ordained as effects of prayer which is one of the causes, and that God predestined the answer only as an effect of the cause.

Prayerful: That's right. And since both the cause and the effect are ordained together you can't say that the effect will happen even if the cause doesn't because God doesn't ordain effects without causes.

Prayerless: Can you give some illustrations?

Prayerful: Sure. If God predestines that I die of a bullet wound, then I will not die if no bullet is fired. If God predestines that I be healed by surgery, then if there is no surgery, I will not be healed. If God predestines heat to fill my home by fire in the furnace, then if there is no fire, there will be no heat. Would you say, "Since God predestines that the sun be bright, it will be bright whether there is fire in the sun or not"?

Prayerless: No.

Prayerful: I agree. Why not?

Prayerless: Because the brightness of the sun comes from the fire.

Prayerful: Right. That's the way I think about the answers to prayer. They are the brightness, and prayer is the fire. God has established the universe so that in larger measure it runs by prayer, the same way he has established brightness so that in larger measure it happens by fire. Doesn't that make sense?

Prayerless: I think it does.

Prayerful: Then let's stop thinking up problems and go with what the Scriptures say. Ask and you will receive. You have not because you ask not.

From Desiring God

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Proverbs 15:8,29

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. Proverbs 15:8

The LORD is far from the wicked,but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29

Friday, August 28, 2009

2 cor 1:8-11

8For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Cor 1:8-11

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Prayer

O Lord, in prayer I launch far out into the eternal world, and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs over all evils on the shores of mortality. Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments never appears so inconsiderate as then.

In prayer I see myself as nothing; I find my heart going after Thee with intensity, and long with vehement thirst to live to Thee. Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.

In prayer all things here below vanish, and nothing seems important but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.

In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear, and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.

In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts at what Thou art doing for Thy church, and I long that Thou shouldest get Thyself a great name from sinners returning to Zion.

In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys; entering into the eternal world I can give myself to Thee with all my heart, to be Thine for ever.

In prayer I can place all my concerns in Thy hands, to be entirely at Thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own.

In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers, sinners, the church, Thy kingdom to come, with greatest freedom, ardent hopes, as a son to his father, as a lover to the beloved.

Help me to be all prayer and never to cease praying.

From "The Valley of Vision"

Psalm 145:18

18The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

Friday, August 21, 2009

John Piper on His Prayer Life

Adrian Warnock's interview of John Piper a year or so ago. He spends about the first 5 minutes talking about his private prayer life.

Psalm 139:1-6

1O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
5You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalm 139:1-6

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prayerless Christians

" A prayerless Christian is like having your room wallpapered with Saks Fifth Ave gift certificates but always shopping at Goodwill because you can't read." John Piper

This is a quote from the chapter on prayer in John Piper's classic, "Desiring God". This book is still one of my top 10 and I go back to it often for encouragement.

Can you get what you want from God

1.21 Blog on "Getting What You Want From God".

Psalm 138:3

On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
Psalm 138:3

Sunday, August 16, 2009

John Calvin and Prayer

NOT PREDESTINATION. The longest chapter in Calvin's Institutes is devoted to PRAYER. III.20.1-52.
John Piper tweet Aug 14

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Psalm 66:20

Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!
Psalm 66:20

Prayer and the Gospel

"Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of help. We look at the inadequacy of our praying and give up, thinking something is wrong with us. God looks at the adequacy of his Son and delights in our sloppy, meandering prayers."

From "A Praying Life" by Paul Miller

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Messy Honest Prayers

"My best friend is one of those who is okay with mess ups. And I realized while I was driving yesterday that I've never felt the need to edit myself for him. Sometimes I hesitate in my words because I want to get them just right, but I don't leave parts out. Isn't that the best kind of honesty? The unedited, ink blotted, messy, real honesty? Not even when we first met and we kayaked around the lake, not even then did I think I had to change my answers to say what he wanted to hear me say. I can't think of any words to explain the gratitude that wells up inside me when I think about that."

As I read my friend Hope's blog post this morning I thought about how I am always trying to clean up my prayers to make them appropriate for God when in reality He just wants our messy honest prayers. If we are blessed to have a friend or family member that we can talk to like this how much more does our Father want us to talk to him like this. The weird part is that He already knows it all anyway but I still try to put on a religious show. I have not been keeping a record but I really think that over the years that my desperate, honest, no mask prayers are the ones that God has answered the most.

Here is the rest of the post from "Hopeful"

Monday, August 10, 2009

1 Timothy 2:1-2

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
1 Tim 2:1-2

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Psalm 86:9-13

8There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Psalm 86:9-13

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here is the link to the prayer page of This is one of my all time favorite websites!

Francis Chan on Praying Boldly

"If I was on a desert island reading the Scriptures, what would I believe about prayer, and how would that change my church? Think about the change that happened the day Elijah prayed in front of the 450 prophets of Baal. He tells them, “My God is going to take you down.” They’re dancing all day long and screaming out, and at the end of the day, Elijah gets on his knees and prays, “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I know you’re there.” And fire comes down! These prophets see this, and they just keep saying, “The Lord, He is God. He is the real God!” They didn’t walk away that day, commenting, “That Elijah, he’s so funny, and he gave such a great message.”

When was the last time people left your services saying, “OK, your Jesus—He’s the real one. Give me that Spirit. I want whatever you have!” My fear is that sometimes we may sound like the prophets of Baal more than we resemble Elijah. The prophets had a great worship time that day. They sang and clapped and yelled. But the Bible says that when they were done, no one answered and no one listened.

Or do our worship services look more like what Elijah did when he got on his knees and boldly prayed and fire came down from heaven? It wasn’t just a bunch of people rallying themselves and getting fired up.

One of my favorite verses is James 5:17: “Elijah was a man, just like us.” But Elijah prayed, the Bible says, earnestly. He didn’t even pray that long. He just laid it out and quietly said, “God, show them who you are.”

We desperately need the boldness of Elijah. I want that. I’m tired of just creating hype. We need to be planting and raising up churches that trust, act and pray boldly—where people walk away saying, “The Lord, He is God!"

Here is the rest of the article.

Psalm 86:6-7

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.
Psalm 86:6-7

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

John Piper on Practical Ways to Help Your Prayer Life

Psalm 86:3-5

3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
4Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Psalm 86:3-5

Monday, August 3, 2009

Psalm 86:1

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Psalm 86:1

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Praying Life

I just finished reading an excellent book on prayer, "A Praying Life" by Paul Miller. This is a highly practical book looking honestly at the way most Christians pray.

"Jesus want us to be without pretense when we come to him in prayer. Instead, we often try to be something we aren't . We begin by concentrating on God, but almost immediately our minds wander off in a dozen different directions. The problems of the day push our well-intentioned resolve to be spiritual. We give ourselves a spiritual kick in the pants and try again, but life crowds out prayer. We know that prayer isn't supposed to be like this , so we give up in despair. We might as well get something done. What is the problem? We're trying to be spiritual, to get it right. We know we don't need to clean up our act in order to become a Christian but when it comes to praying, we forget that. We, like adults, try to fix ourselves up. In contrast, Jesus wants us to come to him like little children, just as we are."

I will be posting some excerpts from this book along the way but I highly recommend that you buy a copy a read it. I believe your prayer life will change dramatically.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Romans 10:1

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
Romans 10:1

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Praying in Faith

In the spring of 2004 I went with a mission team to Haiti to look at some projects that the mission's agency NDI was involved in. While we were there we got to know a young man named Michaux Pierre. Michaux lived with his mom and if I remember correctly about 10 other brothers and sisters. His home had recently washed away during some rain storms and he was really begging us to help rebuild it. It was a one room cinder block structure about 8x10 feet with a hole in one corner of the floor as a toilet.

Of course they had no money and all of them were sleeping in a nearby "house" with several other children.

NDI was swamped with requests for aid and this was really not even something that could be considered but we decided to ask our local church for help when we returned home.
We told Michaux that we would see what we could do and maybe on our next trip we would try and help out.

We came back in October and some of the members of our church had given money to help rebuild the house but as we considered the overwhelming needs of so many other people in the area the team leadership decided that the house might not be the best use of the money. We knew the folks back home would understand.

We decided to tell Michaux that we were sorry but we just could not justify rebuilding the house when we had so many other more important requests for assistance. I will never forget Michaux's face when we told him the bad news. I can still see it vividly 5 years later. He looked at me with tears streaming down his face and said "but I prayed for it". Michaux was a new Christian with all of the confidence in the world that the Lord answers prayers. He knew that it would happen if he prayed for it to happen.

Nevertheless, we told him that we just could not do it and he left in a very dejected.

That night our team leader was up praying and reading Scripture much of the night trying to think things through and the next morning he came to me and said he had really been convicted to reconsider helping Michaux. He asked me what I thought and I showed him a verse that I am sure God led me to in my morning devotions

" And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Gal 6:9-10

We decided to go ahead with building the house.

I cannot find pictures of the house when it was completed but it was just a very simple block structure with no furniture. The family was able to move back in and Michaux knew that God had answered his prayer.

I do not know how prayer works. I have given up trying to figure it out. If Michaux had not told us he had prayed for it would we have built it? We will never know. If he had not gotten so emotional would we have built it? We will never know. Did he pray, did the house get built? Yes. That is all he needed to know. That is all I need to know.

Psalm 66:19-20

19 but God has surely listened
and heard my voice in prayer.

20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!

Psalm 66:19-20

How many times has God answered your prayers this week? Are you keeping up with it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Matt Chandler-Joining in with the Groaning of Creation

1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 42:1-2

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prayer and the Gospel

"No one had a deeper insight into the gospel and prayer than Jonathan Edwards. Edwards concluded the most essential difference between a Christian and a moralist is that a Christian obeys God out of the sheer delight in who he is. The gospel means that we are not obeying God to get anything but to give him pleasure because we see his worth and beauty. Therefore, the Christian is able to draw power out of contemplation of God. Without the gospel, this is impossible. We can only come and ask for things- petition. Without the gospel, we may conceive of a holy God who is intimidating and who can be approached with petitions if we are very good. Or we may conceive of a God who is mainly loving and regards all positively. To approach the first "God" is fearsome; to approach the second is no big deal. Thus without the gospel, there is no possibility of passion and delight to praise and approach God."

Excerpt from "Prayer and the Gospel" by Tim Keller.

Here is the excellent web page on prayer from Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

Psalm 102:1-2

Hear my prayer, O LORD;let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Winning Battles Through Prayer

Here’s another classic message to add to “Boasting Only in the Cross.”

John Piper delivered “Winning Battles Through Prayer” on July 19, 1990, at Wheaton College to ACMC (Advancing Churches in Missions Commitment). Here’s how John remembers it:

I recall that this message came together in a dorm room at Wheaton College quite late the night before I was to speak.... What had gripped me and demanded fresh attention was the fact that one single prayer from one man for the glory of God and the protection of his people resulted in 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers. This is the [portion of the message] that captures my stunned heart that night:

Now the tremendously important point of this story is seen in the words of Isaiah in Isaiah 37:21-22: “Because you have prayed to Me concerning Sennacharib, King of Assyria, this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him.”

Because you have prayed! Because you have prayed, 185,000 enemy soldiers lie dead on the plans of Judah.

Think of it! Just think of it. Does prayer win battles?

Hezekiah, because you have prayed, the strongest king in the known world is gone—off the scene of history. Hezekiah, because you have prayed, the witness of my covenant love for David and my zeal for my name has spread throughout the nations.

Because one man prayed.

From Desiring God

Psalm 67:1-3

1May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
2that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Psalm 67:1-3

Why should we pray for God to be gracious to us and bless us? For His glory!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Matthew 18:3-4

"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Mt 18:3-4

I was recently talking to my grandson Connor about us spending some quality time together. I told him that one day soon I would come pick him up and we would go do something special for the day, just the two of us. I asked him what he would like for us to do on our special day. He thought about it for a couple of minutes and then looked at me with a serious face and said, "I think we should go to Disney World".

I think when I talk to my Father in Heaven I should be more like a 5 year old.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our Prayers are Too Weak

"Our cup is small, and we blame the fountain."
Charles Spurgeon on the weakness of our prayers.