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The Lord’s Prayer: Something is Missing

It turns out that the Lord’s Prayer does not model every aspect of prayer. Thanksgiving and intercession, two aspects of prayer which characterize both Christ’s and Paul’s prayers, are strangely missing. A key may be in Mt. 6:8 just before the model prayer: “FOR THE LORD KNOWS WHAT YOU HAVE NEED OF BEFORE YOU ASK HIM.” It appears that the model prayer demonstrates sincerity and brevity related to our prayers about our NEEDS. ——- “And when you pray, you must…

Losses of a Prayerless Christian

Though God is sovereign over all things, He ordains the means of prayer. There are some things He will not do unless we pray, though He always does all He purposes (Psalm 135:6). The mystery does not change this truth: You do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2). If you do not ask . . . 1. Evangelistic work will be hindered. “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of…

Audacious Prayer

Christians must be people who pray with audacity, not because we deserve an answer, but because God will give it. When one of Jesus’ followers requested of Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples,” Jesus’ response was two-fold. He first gave an example of how we ought to pray, and then he told a story about a man who desired bread from a friend. “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to…

Nine Characteristics of Biblical Prayer

True prayer is not merely a matter of saying the right words. Biblical prayer is characterized and motivated by the right attitude-right thinking about the greatness of God, the beauty of Christ, and our own unworthiness and weakness. Ask yourself if your prayers are characterized by: An Understanding of Your Own Insignificance and Sinfulness When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought…

A Brief Review of D.A. Carson’s A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers

D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1992, 230 pp.   D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois). He is also the author of numerous books that have reliably served followers of Christ for several decades. This trend continues with A Call to Spiritual Reformation, a book in which the pastor’s heart of the author beats loudly as he…

Better Prayer Meetings and Prayer Groups: Less Confusion, More Communion

Most of us have experienced both “good” and “bad” prayer meetings. Eventually we may find out that the “good prayer meeting” which seemed to go very well was actually tainted. Those who prayed sounded spiritual, but they were full of pride. And Peter tells us, “God is opposed to the proud” (1 Pet. 5:5). Alternatively, a seemingly “bad prayer meeting” which felt totally flat might one day be revealed as the time when God heard the prayers of a meek…

The Whisperer, The KJVer, and Other Types of Group Prayer Participants You Dont Want to Be

My first opportunity to pray in a group came when some of my fellow students and I were standing in a circle, holding hands. The leader told us we could either pray or squeeze the hand of the person next to us. I was a squeezer that day. Since then, I have enjoyed praying and hearing others pray hundreds of times in both planned and impromptu settings. However, I have learned through my mistakes and the conduct of others that…

Introduction to A Million and a half in answer to prayer by George Muller

The following article is an introduction written by Jim Elliff for the book Autobiography of George Muller, or, A Million and a Half in Answer to Prayer by George Muller Hardcover | 736 pages | Westminster Literature Resources ________________ On November 8, 1840, a slender, 35 year old man with wiry black hair held a diamond ring in his hand. His wife, a Brethren woman, would certainly not have worn it—much too audacious for a woman of God of her…

A Spinning Fox – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, Please read the poem. It isn’t what you have ever been called perhaps — “a spinning fox.” But it may describe you at times. Demons are real and they are spirits that have the nature of their father, Satan. Like that father, they are riled by righteousness. They cannot help this; and, they will never reform. Like their father they wish to destroy you in every way they can. Jesus called Satan “a liar and a murderer”…

Vain Salvation – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, A well-loved Christian conference speaker once posed this question to me after his message: “Is there any sin in trusting God?” Strange question, isn’t it? The answer has to be, “No.” I know that. You know that. The man who posed the question knew it also. He only wanted to emphasize that the best action all the time, regardless of the circumstance we might be in, is to trust God. But . . . is that what…

Always Present: A Letter From Jim

Always LordAlmighty Jim Elliff O God, my ever present helpIn floods of pain and trouble,You are my refuge and my strength,Though earth’s foundations crumble.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord Almighty! O God, in You I cannot fear,Though mountains fall around me,Though waters of adversityThat roar and foam surround me.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord Almighty! O God, while kingdoms rage,My secret doubts may overtake me.But You are here; I will not fall;At break of day You’ll save me.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord…

Let Us Resolve This . . . A Few Thoughts About Personal Resolutions

As this year draws to a close and the prospect of a new year reminds us again that time marches on, many will see the turning of the calendar as a their annual stimulus for personal change. Those who are stirred in this way will often try to make January 1st the day to make significant and hopefully lasting improvements in health or physical fitness, or in the area of personal or spiritual disciplines. We have come to call these…