How do you keep your prayers from sinking into mindless ruts of repetition?
One way is to make a list of what they prayed for in the New Testament, and pray that.
That’s what I did for myself. I keep the list at my prayer bench and review it periodically and sometimes pray right through it.
You might want to print it out and do the same.
Here are some of the reasons you should pray and meditate over biblical truth.
1. Biblical truth saves.
Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)
2. Biblical truth frees from Satan.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
3. Biblical truth imparts grace and peace.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2)
4. Biblical truth sanctifies.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)
5. Biblical truth …
If you knew the struggles of the greatest of saints you might be heartened to press on in prayer in 2009.
John Newton (1725-1807)—slave trader, convert to Christ, author of “Amazing Grace,” pastor, fellow struggler—on a morning in April sometime between 1752 and 1756 wrote this:
Prayed over a part of the eighth of Romans in a way of paraphrase with some readiness. I greatly fail in the duty of meditation and am forced to use some artifice with myself to do it at all; thus sometimes I turn them into a prayer form, sometimes I suppose myself in imaginary conversation, sometimes that I am called upon to speak to a point.
Without something of this sort I am not…
At Bethlehem Baptist Church this is the beginning of prayer week. This is our way of encouraging each other to pray more consistently, more earnestly, more hopefully, and more biblically in 2009.
The best way to strengthen our faith and our resolve is to read what God has promised to those who pray. Here is a sampling:
Promises of Answered Prayer to Encourage Us to Pray with Hope
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.13 You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, …
My grandson Morrow and I imitate Joseph and Jesus on Christmas morning:
Merry Christmas to you all!
There are good reasons to dream of a white Christmas.
For one, God created crystal, blinding-white new snow to help us understand the contrast between our sinful old selves and the new persons he has made us into: “though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
For another, the first Christmas was one of the times that angels spoke to humans on God’s behalf. And one kind of snow fun reminds us of those Christmas angels.
May your CHRISTmas celebration be blessed. Have fun and give thanks for the birth of our Savior, whether or not you have snow!
…is my big brother, Jim. He has been since I was young. Being five years older than me, he was always the epitome of what it meant to be big.
But when he was in college (and I in Jr. High) he was dramatically converted. And he became the most significant model for me in my teens and 20’s of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. He really lived what he believed.
He still does. He and his amazing wife, Raquel, have been church planters among the urban poor of Minneapolis for the past 15 years. I know the work they do. It is hard. It doesn’t garner much attention.
A call to preach to and live out the gospel with those struggling with generational poverty, life-controlling addictions, a…
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 3: Contemporary Articulations
From the New Testament to the present, Christian theology has celebrated that Jesus is forever the God-man. In this series, we saw first what the apostles had to say in the New Testament. Then we picked up the theme of Jesus’ continuing humanity in church history. Today we'll conclude with four present-day articulations of this doctrine.
Jesus’ Body: Not Just a Memory
Donald Macleod’s The Person of Christ is a wonderful book. If you’ve found this series on Christology interesting, Macleod’s book would be a great place to go next. There Macleod writes on Jesus’ continuing incarnation:
The body is not just a memory f…
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 2: Church History
Throughout church history, the best of Christian theology has recognized and affirmed the truth of Jesus’ continuing incarnation—the idea that Jesus didn’t simply make a 33-year cameo in the created world, but rather forever joined our humanity to his divinity and will always be fully God and fully man.
Here’s a sampling with help from Gerrit Scott Dawson’s Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation.
Second-century apologist Justin Martyr is explicit in affirming that after the resurrection Jesus ascended in “the flesh in which He suffered.” Justin also maintains, in opposition to his critic…
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 1: Biblical Foundations
Advent is a chance not only to celebrate Jesus’ taking of human flesh but also his keeping of it. It wasn’t a mere 33-year stint—impressive as that would have been. Jesus is forever the God-man. He is glorious not merely in assuming our human nature but in remaining our brother and continuing as the visible “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
To put it in the apostle John’s language, the Word became flesh (John 1:14). His humanity isn’t a costume. The eternal divine Son didn’t simply make a cameo in the created world. He forever joined our humanity to his divinity and for all eternity will be fully God and fully man.…