Anybody There? The Problem of Unanswered Prayer

One of the biggest challenges to the faith of the average disciple is unanswered prayer.   Why didn’t God answer my prayer?  Why didn’t God heal my loved one who was suffering from cancer?  Why didn’t God help my addicted child in the manner I asked him?  Why am I still jobless (or single, or childless, […]

Deliver Us From Evil

The seventh and final petition of the Lord’s Prayer (and the original concluding words of the prayer) are “but deliver us from evil.”  This petition stands in parallel to the preceding petition, “lead us not into temptation.”  Each helps interpret the other.  We are to live lives of continual vigilance, recognizing the ongoing danger of […]

Lead us Not Into Temptation

“Why does Jesus teach us to pray, ‘lead us not into temptation’?  God wouldn’t lead us into temptation anyway would he?  Isn’t it Satan who tempts us?”  This conundrum was posed me in a recent Sunday school class. It’s a great question, especially given the biblical context of a text like James 1:13-15: 13 When […]

Lead us Not Into Temptation

No one plans on tramping through a poison ivy patch (at least not anyone (like me) who has a known poison ivy (hyper)sensitivity!).  No one purposes to swim in shark infested waters, or in a toxic waste dump site.  No one intentionally gets ambushed by banditti.  These dangers befall the unaware, the unsuspecting.  It isn’t […]

Forgive Us Our Debts As We Forgive Our Debtors

The fifth petition is “forgive us our debts.”  A consideration of God and his holiness, will, and kingdom will necessarily make us cognizant of our own sin and need of forgiveness.  We can’t draw near to God without simultaneously recognizing how far we are from him.   Repentance is always the appropriate response to a holy […]