Prayer is powerful because God is powerful. And prayer is effective because God is good. Not only does God hear our prayers. He responds to our prayers. It is an incredible thing to realize that the God of the universe hears and cares and responds to our petitions.
But prayer is challenging. We often need a reminder about the power of prayer to stay disciplined in prayer.
Here are three vital lessons Jesus teaches us about prayer.
Sin is a common theme in the Bible. That’s because sin is the fundamental problem you and I face every single day. And sin is the chief obstacle God is working to overcome through the good news of Jesus Christ.
We have kind of erased sin from our vocabulary in today’s culture. We don’t like the way it reflects badly on us. But if you are sick, ignoring your illness doesn’t lead to your health. It leads to your destruction.
We need to come to grips with our own sin so that we can be delivered from it.
And the Bible talks about two different ways you and I sin.
I have a clock on a shelf in my office that belonged to my great-grand parents. It was their fiftieth wedding anniversary present. It’s not the most expensive clock ever made. It’s not the most ornate or complex clock of its kind. But it’s a special clock to me, and I value it greatly.
This clock fascinates me because it doesn’t use battery or electricity to operate. (Amazing, right?) It has no track pad. No touch screen. No Thunderbolt 3 ports. It cannot connect to wifi.
I guess by today’s standards, it’s a dumb clock. But this dumb clock is a masterpiece.
If you’re a Christian, then you understand the importance of prayer. Jesus expects us to pray. He even teaches us how to pray. The Bible itself is filled with many examples of prayer. There is even a book called Psalms entirely devoted to worship and prayer.
Perhaps you have tried prayer. Maybe even you pray regularly. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself wondering from time to time whether or not your prayers are effective.
If that’s you, then keep reading.
I didn’t always find the Bible to be remarkable. In fact, for most of my life I found it mysterious and next to impossible to understand. That changed for me around the age of twenty-two when I encountered God in an unmistakable way that left me forever changed. After that, I no longer saw the Bible as an irrelevant, ancient book that could be left confined to a shelf collecting dust.
From that moment forward I just couldn’t put it down. And I didn’t. And I haven’t.
I love the Bible. And I pray to God I continue loving the Bible until the day I die.
Mark Batterson On Why You Should Find The Bible Remarkable
I recently listened to a sermon by Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., and author of several books including New York Times Bestseller The Circle Maker.
In his opening statements he unpacked some of the truths that make the Bible so remarkable–for believers and unbelievers alike.
Here’s what he said,
The last two weeks have been tough. We lost a sweet lady at my church who was an inspiration to many. And my wife’s uncle passed away after a grueling battle with cancer. Being near two deaths in such close proximity to one another really took its toll on me. That’s why I haven’t written in almost two weeks. There has been a lot going on.
But I’ve spent some time reflecting on life and death. And as I have witnessed and walked with others through loss and grief, I am reminded of four gospel truths that shape the way Christians grieve.
I am a Christian. A father to four. And I’m a pastor. As a Christian and as a father, I understand how important it is to disciple my kids. I’m sure you do too. As a pastor, you would think I’m equipped to do this. And in a lot of ways I am. Maybe even more so than a lot of people.
But here’s a fact. I’m human. And I struggle just like you.
From my own experience and from conversations I’ve had with other parents, here are two of the greatest challenges we parents face when it comes to investing spiritually in the hearts and minds of our children.
Every year people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Usually that involves wearing green, pinching people and consuming massive amounts of alcohol . I’m not really sure how those things fit into celebrating the life of Saint Patrick. It’s kind of like Easter and the Easter Bunny. There is really no correlation.
But we’ve all heard of Saint Patrick.
Unfortunately most people don’t know the first thing about him.
So I wanted to take a moment to share four facts about Saint Patrick you probably didn’t know.
Growing up in I sang in the kids choir at church. And I remember singing this Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith song from the eighties called Thy Word. It’s based on Psalm 119:105 which says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (NLT). The point of the song and of the Scripture is that we need God’s word to guide us through life. It was true for me as a kid. But as an adult I understand my need more than ever.
Life is a journey. And a lot of times it feels like we’re stuck, trying to find our way in the darkness. God’s word provides the light we need to make good choices and live the life He has called us to live.
The best way to stay on the right track is to memorize passages of Scripture.
Here are 4 encouraging Scriptures every Christian should memorize.
Have you ever wondered, “What is God’s will for my life?” Or have you ever asked yourself, “What does Jesus want me to do?” If you have, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I think a lot of people wonder the exact same thing.
What you may not know is that two days before Jesus was betrayed by one of His closest friends, tried in secret, falsely convicted and unjustly killed, He answered that question. You can read it in Matthew 25.
It can all be boiled down to three things.
Here they are.