Categories
Christian Blog

Notifications Silenced

I expected an important call earlier this week, so I turned my phone off vibrate. The call came and went.

Later, that same day, I kept hearing a peculiar sound: “Buh-ding!” What’s that and where’s it coming from?

It was my phone telling me I had a message. I hear it so seldom I didn’t know what it was!

Remember the Bible story about young Samuel, who ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest?

In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

1 Samuel 3:1 (NIV)

The Israelites had their notifications from God silenced.

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

1 Samuel 3:7 (NIV)

The young prophet-to-be was off vibrate—tuned in to God— but when he heard the heavenly equivalent of “Buh-ding!” he didn’t know what it was. Yet later, after Eli clued Samuel in to the unique sound of a “Most High” phone on full alert, the Bible says this:

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.

1 Samuel 3:19 (NIV)

Kind reader, whether our spiritual phones are on vibrate or going “Buh-ding!” all day long, the most important thing is to never turn them off completely.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ Prayers and love.

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 Prayer

A Tale Of Two Churches

The massive church, I visited while on a trip, was a sight to behold. The multi-acre campus was dominated by a circular building; one that looked more like a convention center than a traditional sanctuary.

The decor inside was just as grandiose. It was very “mall-like,” with lots of church folk wandering through a bookstore and lined up at a coffee shop.

Being a first time visitor, I decided to give myself plenty of time to find the sanctuary. I found it alright. It was a cavernous theater-style setup. I’m guessing 2000 seats.

With time to spare, I decided to wander around for a bit. Just outside the worship center, I noticed a single door with a sign that read, “Prayer Room.” Intrigued, I ventured in.

It was a comfy little nook, softly lit with trendy table lamps. The room smelled like fine leather furniture. But the most notable thing about this would-be-sacred space was what was missing: people. Unlike the bustling book store and coffee shop, the prayer room was empty.

I could hear the praise band warming up the crowd next door, but there was no one–this side of the wall–to warm God’s heart.


I heard a story about some Christians from the states who visited a large evangelical church while vacationing in Hawaii. It was ten minutes before the worship service but the sanctuary was half empty. Most of the regular attenders were in two large adjoining prayer rooms, lifting up their hearts to God.

The guests from the states found out later this was indicative of Polynesian culture. Many of the faithful at the church had been redeemed from a polytheistic background. Once, they had believed in many gods, but now they knew the one true God. For them, to come into His presence unprepared was unthinkable. “We need to set our hearts to worship God,” said one of the elders.

I bet the Lord came to THAT worship service!

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.