Category: Theology For Life

How I Started Praying the Bible

Engaging with God: A Forray into Prayer and Spiritual Warfare It was the 1st of March, 1985. I remember where I was sitting when it happened. I was Pastor of a church in the western suburbs of Chicago. A guest preacher was speaking on a series of meetings at our church. He was teaching on the prayers of the Apostle Paul found in his New Testament letters, and encouraging us to pray these inspired prayers as our own. Then, at one point, he held up his Bible and said, “Folks, when you pray, use the prayer book.” In that...

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Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks: A Way of Life in Christ

Engaging with God: A Forray into Prayer and Spiritual Warfare Near the end of his first letter to the church of Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul issued an exhortation that at once seems inviting and impossible. He writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18). This exhortation seems inviting because it calls us into an ideal and fruitful way of life, and it is a fitting response to all that God accomplished for us and granted to us in Christ. However, it...

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Elijah’s Suicide Prayer and the Whisper of God

Engaging with God: A Forray into Prayer and Spiritual Warfare The book of James gives remarkable insight into the prayer life of the great prophet Elijah. James 5:17-18 says Elijah controlled the weather with his prayers. He prayed, and it did not rain. For three and half years not a drop fell from the sky. Elijah prayed again, and it rained. This New Testament insight about the power of Elijah’s prayer life makes 1st Kings 19:4 all the more shocking. In 1st Kings 19:4 Elijah prayed to God and asked him to take his life. It’s a suicide prayer....

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Passionate Prayers

Engaging with God: A Forray into Prayer and Spiritual Warfare This particular season of ministry has been at times very difficult for me, and I’ve found that this is typically a result of not being focused on my prayer life. For me, praying in general has always seemed like a chore. I know that you do not want to hear that from a pastor or theologian, but it is true. Prayer has always bored me, not because I find talking to God—the  Creator of Heaven and Earth—boring, but because I always bore myself with my own prayers. I find...

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Pastoral Ministry and Four Strategies for Spiritual Warfare

Engaging with God: A Foray into Prayer and Spiritual Warfare Pastoral ministry is unrelenting spiritual warfare. There was a time in Protestant history when an emphasis on spiritual warfare in the Christian life and in pastoral ministry was standard fare. Such works as Richard Gilpin’s Daemonolgia Sacra, Thomas Brooks’ Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armor, and John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress reveal that the Puritans were no strangers to deep study on, long meditation upon, and conversation about Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare. The depth of insight they articulated in their writings shows how prevalent this subject...

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