The short answer, I believe, is that there is nothing wrong with offering a prayer to the Holy Spirit since God the Spirit is, of course, fully God, just as is God the Father and God the Son. However, most prayers in the New Testament and in the church of the second and third centuries … Continue reading Should You Pray to the Holy Spirit?
How to Change from a Prayer Worrier into a Prayer Warrior
Are you a Prayer Worrier or a Prayer Warrior? What’s the difference? Prayer Worriers only pray about things that they’re worried about. The only items that some people pray about are the matters that make them anxious. A person who only prays about their worries is a classic Prayer Worrier. Prayer Warriors, in contrast,battle in … Continue reading How to Change from a Prayer Worrier into a Prayer Warrior
Does Your Mind Wander in Prayer?
This past weekend I participated at a conference on prayer with my colleague David Talley. One of the questions I was asked during a Q & A time had to do with mind-wandering during prayer. Does your mind ever wander when you’re trying to pray? Here are ten suggestions that might help you when your … Continue reading Does Your Mind Wander in Prayer?
One Thing You Can Do to Improve the Way You Pray for Other Christians
Do you ever struggle to know how to pray for other Christians? One possible (and common) approach is simply to pray for whatever people ask you to pray. That’s fine, as far as it goes, and we do see the Apostle Paul sometimes asking people to pray for him (Col 4:3; 1 Thess 5:25). Another … Continue reading One Thing You Can Do to Improve the Way You Pray for Other Christians
Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11
Twenty years ago, my wife and I were living with our two daughters in a suburb on the northern edge of New York City. The shock waves from the two planes that slammed into the World Trade Towers reverberated across the nation—and indeed, around the world—but it was categorically different living in New York on … Continue reading Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11
An Ancient Prayer to Help Us Pray into Our Cultural Moment
Sometimes we need to spiritually step outside of our historical and cultural setting to adequately engage the demands of our own cultural moment. To this end, I offer you the earliest Christian prayer after the time of the New Testament, 1 Clement 59.3-61.3. 1 Clement is a lengthy letter written by the church in Rome to … Continue reading An Ancient Prayer to Help Us Pray into Our Cultural Moment
Humility and Prayer
Humility supports prayer, and prayer supports humility. First, humility supports prayer. Suppose that I enter into a time of prayer arrogantly. When I address my heavenly Father—who, by the way, is also the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all the world!—I might start addressing him casually, as though he’s my homeboy. I might start thoughtlessly … Continue reading Humility and Prayer
Recently, just after morning prayer at “The Birdhouse” community where Trudi and I live, I got into a short conversation with a couple of our residential college students about 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing.” We realized as we talked that we often tend to think of this command as pointing toward some sort of … Continue reading Iterative Prayer
A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer
I recently participated in A Call to Fast and Pray at Biola. This event was the vision of Peter Brown (a current graduate student at Biola). Fifty or so Biola students gathered to eat dinner together at the start of the fast and to listen to a message by Biola professor Jon Lunde. At evening’s … Continue reading A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer
Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers
I am regularly vexed by how shallow my prayers can become. When I pray for something—and I know that all prayer is not for things—what should I pray for? Only for my family? For someone I know who is ill? For God to help me in the day ahead? For God to resolve whatever problem is currently … Continue reading Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers