Categories
Christian Blog Prayer

Safe Prayers are Dangerous

The Altar, St.Martin Of Tours, West Coker by Jeanette Rendell is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Imagine you visit a church for their mid-week prayer service. Walking in the front door you notice the spacious sanctuary, dark and empty. Down one hall, there’s light coming from an open door. You hear the unmistakeable sound of people praying.

Entering the smallish room, you are surprised to find only a handful of the church’s faithful. And what are they praying for? You read the prayer requests on the white board: “Bob has cancer. Theresa had a heart attack. Deacon Sam is under hospice care.

“This is well and good,” you say to yourself. “But is that all?

Fellow blogger Gary Fultz commented on one of my recent posts, “Safe prayers are dangerous.” Immediately, I thought of how the corporate prayer ministries of many churches are a mile wide and an inch deep.

Shallow prayers are relatively “safe,”after all. I mean, who could be offended by them? But this also makes them dangerous. Because if it’s all we do, are we truly covering God’s Kingdom work?


WAIT. Hold the presses! I read a first draft of this post to my wife and she said, “Sweetheart, you’ve described a problem but offer no solution. “Well, uh….,” that’s me talking.

“So, how do YOU pray?” she asked. (Please imagine the sound of crickets chirping).🦗🦗🦗 I had no immediate response. Most of my prayers aren’t all that deep, either.

“Ok, how did Jesus pray?” she followed. 🦗🦗🦗 Despite being a former seminarian, I drew an almost complete blank. All that came to mind was The Lord’s Prayer, from Matthew 6:9-13. Well, it was a good start.

A little biblical digging revealed that Jesus said prayers of adoration, like when He praised God for revealing Himself to ordinary people (Matthew 11:25-27).

Christ also offered up prayers of intercession, like His High Priestly Prayer (John 17:1-26). Here, He prays for Himself–that He will complete His mission–and for His followers–that they will live in complete unity. Why? So that the world will know God sent Him.

Lastly, Jesus said prayers of thanksgiving, like when he thanked God for hearing His prayer to raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11: 41.42). This is by no means an exhaustive list. Perhaps you can add to it?

Oops, I’ve rambled on for over 400 words. That’s not like me! I’m usually “Hemingway like” in my succinctness. Perhaps the following scripture sums up what I hope to say, after all.

For my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.

Isaiah 56:7b (NASB)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love

Categories
Christian Blog Protection

Big Dog Watching

Sheep Dog or Collie (Rough), from the Dogs of the World series for Old Judge Cigarettes by Goodwin & Company is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

The man who does our income taxes lives on a little farm near our town. Yesterday, when I went out there, it looked like a baby farm animal zoo!

In a side pasture next to the house there were several chickens pecking at the half-green grass. Right in the middle of them was a little pot-bellied pig, rooting around and running in all directions. The girls paid him no mind.

Suddenly, the baby pig took off running towards the middle of the pasture. “Where is he going?” Then I saw them, four baby goats grazing contently. They and the pig engaged in a brief stand off, before he scrambled back to his lady chicken friends.

When I picked up our completed taxes, I commented to our accountant’s wife about the unfenced animals. “How do you keep them safe?” I asked. “There are plenty of critters out here who’d like to eat them for dinner.” “Baxter keeps an eye on them,” she said.

Sure enough, as I drove away, I saw a large dog lying next to an out building. He’d positioned himself where he had a commanding view of of the whole scene. The little animals were covered.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.

Psalm 36:5-6 (NIV)

Occasionally, I see posts where fellow believers write as if God has walked away from His creation. Things are getting so bad, they imply, He must no longer be keeping an eye on this world.

Kind reader, this is untrue. As the scripture above says, the Lord’s great love, faithfulness, and righteousness surround us. He has a commanding view of everything. We are covered.

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

Categories
Brokenness Christian Blog

Open to Be Broken

Picture a younger man standing on the church steps with an older man. He’s a new believer, while the grey haired guy has followed Christ for many years.

“How do I grow in God?” you overhear the young man say. And the older man says, “Son, there’s only one way.”

“Are you open to be broken?”

This statement speaks to me on a deep level. Maybe that’s why I made up a story about two guys talking on the church steps.😇 As a Christian I expect to be molded—conformed to Christ—but broken?

Yet the Bible is filled with stories of folks who didn’t get much done for God until they came to the end of themselves. The he-man Sampson comes to mind (Judges 13-16).

This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

Isaiah 66:2

In reality, the purest form of worship is repentance. It’s seeing who we are, knowing who God is, and recognizing the difference.

We can’t stay the way we are and go with God.

Henry Blackaby

Kind reader, for you and me to continue to grow in Christ, something’s gotta give. And that would be our hearts.

Are you open to be broken?