Prayers God Answers: Prayers Prayed According to the Will of God

We’ve been considering the necessary ingredients for prayers God answers.  We considered in our last post the essential ingredient of relationship: God answers the prayers of his children.  We turn now to a second essential ingredient: Praying according to the will of God. Let’s begin with Jesus (you can always do worse than begin with […]

The Lord’s Prayer: Parallel Petitions

I’ve never considered myself to be especially strong as a poet.  I love to write, but I’m far more prosy than otherwise.  But I can appreciate poetry, and the Bible is certainly full of loads of it.  The Psalms take a poetic form, obviously, but so too do the wisdom books, huge swaths of the […]

Thy Kingdom Come

The greatest theme of the teaching of Jesus was not love.  Nor was it forgiveness.  Not heaven.  Not salvation.  The central theme of Jesus’ teaching (and whatever comes in second isn’t even close) is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God (or the kingdom of heaven in Matthew’s gospel) occurs at least 81 times […]

Hallowed Be Thy Name

An athlete focused on things other than training isn’t going to be a very good athlete (at least not for too long).  A musician who doesn’t devote her primary energies to practicing will never be a great musician.  Devote the scraps and leftovers of your energies to your relationship with your spouse and you will […]

Teach Us to Pray: Model Prayer

Christianity isn’t magic.  God’s not a genie.  There is no necessary correlation between performing certain religious ceremonies and experiencing good things.  If we think about any prayer in this way (including the Lord’s Prayer), we’ve got it all wrong.  This is superstition. Perhaps one of the great tragedies of the Lord’s Prayer is that it […]