Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category

The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked.  But this is a most dishonouring and degading conception.  The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires.  No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best.

—Arthur W. Pink

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Philippians 4:6 (New American Standard Bible)

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer. I believe we can overcome any doubt, fear, or obstacle through prayer. Prayer is the building block for a victorious life in Christ. I cannot stress the importance of prayer enough.

Matthew 21:22 (New American Standard Bible)

22″And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

In order to draw closer to God, we must go to Him in prayer. We must seek His will for our lives by seeking His guidance daily. Through prayer, we can do more than petition the Lord for our own needs, intercede for our loved ones, and seek direction for our lives. We can also praise and worship Him for His mercy and grace.

Romans 12:9-21 (New American Standard Bible)

9 Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute  you; bless and do not curse.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly Do not be wise in your own estimation.

17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.

20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The type of love described in Romans 12:9-21 is a love that only the Holy Spirit can manifest in our hearts if we truly seek God’s will in our lives.

These are the things we must cling to in order to overcome evil and be a witness for Jesus Christ:

  • Devoted prayer
  • Bible study
  • Meditate upon God’s Word
  • Encourage each other
  • Help each other and help those in need
  • Love those who hate us
  • Abhor evil
  • Do not be taken captive by the world

Let us walk in a way that reflects the love of Christ(1 Thessalonians 3:11-13). Let us walk in a way that shows we are in the world but are not of the world(1 John 2:14-16). Let us always remember Jesus’s example when He washed the feet of his disciples(John 13:3-17) as we ponder Romans 12:9-21. We must remember that our faith is often reflected in our works(James 2:14-26). Let us always strive to follow Jesus in everything that we do.

1 Therefore if you have been araised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, bseated at the right hand of God.

2   1aSet your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

3   For you have adied and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4   When Christ, awho is our life, is revealed, bthen you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

5 aTherefore 1consider bthe members of your earthly body as dead to 2cimmorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which 3amounts to idolatry.

6   For it is because of these things that athe wrath of God will come 1upon the sons of disobedience,

7   and ain them you also once walked, when you were living 1in them.

8   But now you also, aput them all aside: banger, wrath, malice, slander, and cabusive speech from your mouth.

9   1aDo not lie to one another, since you blaid aside the old 2self with its evil practices,

10   and have aput on the new self who is being 1brenewed to a true knowledge caccording to the image of the One who dcreated him—

11   a renewal in which athere is no distinction between Greek and Jew, bcircumcised and uncircumcised, cbarbarian, Scythian, dslave and freeman, but eChrist is all, and in all.

12 So, as those who have been achosen of God, holy and beloved, bput on a cheart of compassion, kindness, dhumility, gentleness and 1epatience;

13   abearing with one another, and bforgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; bjust as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

14   Beyond all these things put on love, which is 1athe perfect bond of bunity.

15   Let athe peace of Christ 1rule in your hearts, to which 2indeed you were called in bone body; and 3be thankful.

16   Let athe word of 1Christ richly dwell within you, 2with all wisdom bteaching and admonishing 3one another cwith psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, dsinging 4with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

17  aWhatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, bgiving thanks through Him to God the Father. [1]

All this begins with seeking God first and by:

  • prayer
  • studying the Bible
  • repentance from sin
  • allowing the Word of God to consume our heart and our mind

If we seek God, then the Holy Spirit will work in us to reveal the fruits of the Spirit.


aCol 2:12

bPs 110:1; Mark 16:19

1Or Be intent on

aMatt 16:23; Phil 3:19, 20

aRom 6:2; 2 Cor 5:14; Col 2:20

aJohn 11:25; Gal 2:20

b1 Cor 1:7; Phil 3:21; 1 Pet 1:13; 1 John 2:28; 3:2

aRom 8:13

1Lit put to death the members which are upon the earth

bCol 2:11

2Lit fornication

cMark 7:21f; 1 Cor 6:9f, 18; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19f; Eph 4:19; 5:3, 5

3Lit is

aRom 1:18; Eph 5:6

1Two early mss do not contain upon the sons of disobedience

aEph 2:2

1Or among these

aEph 4:22

bEph 4:31

cEph 4:29

1Or Stop lying

aEph 4:25

bEph 4:22

2Gr anthropos

aEph 4:24

1Lit renovated

bRom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:16; Eph 4:23

cGen 1:26; Rom 8:29

dEph 2:10

aRom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:28

b1 Cor 7:19; Gal 5:6

cActs 28:2

dEph 6:8

eEph 1:23

aLuke 18:7

bEph 4:24

cLuke 1:78; Gal 5:22f; Phil 2:1

dEph 4:2; Phil 2:3

1I.e. forbearance toward others

e1 Cor 13:4; 2 Cor 6:6

aEph 4:2

bRom 15:7; Eph 4:32

1Lit the uniting bond of perfection

aEph 4:3

bJohn 17:23; Heb 6:1

aJohn 14:27

1Or act as arbiter

2Lit also

bEph 2:16

3Or show yourselves thankful

aRom 10:17; Eph 5:26; 1 Thess 1:8

1One early ms reads the Lord

2Or in

bCol 1:28

3Or on another, singing with psalms…

cEph 5:19

d1 Cor 14:15

4Or by; lit in His grace

a1 Cor 10:31

bEph 5:20; Col 3:15

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Col 3:1-17). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

My grandmother used to say, “Well, doubting Thomas!” when I would question her as a child when she was giving me instructions. She would laugh and always explain why I should not be doubting her words by showing me that she was right. To most, when we speak of Thomas in the Bible, the image of Doubting Thomas is generally how we remember him and with good reason. Do we ever remember Thomas as Thomas the Believer? Should we remember Thomas as Thomas the Believer? I want to look at a few passages from John and examine the example Jesus left when He was dealing with Thomas’s doubts.

John 14:1-6 (NASB)
14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
4 “And you know the way where I am going.”
5 Thomas said* to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
6 Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

In John 14, Jesus is encouraging His people and preparing them for for His death and resurrection. The question Thomas asked was very reflective of simply being human. The answer that Jesus gave Thomas is perhaps one of the corner stone Scriptures that has been used to show that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Jesus did not turn to Thomas and say, “Did you not listen? I just told you that you must believe in Me, and I will come to get you!” Jesus simply summed up salvation for Thomas by saying, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 20:19-25 (NASB)
20:19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said* to them, “Peace be with you.”
20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said* to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

In this passage Jesus appears to disciples when they are in one of their darkest hours. They are afraid for their lives because they feared the wrath of the Jews coming down upon them. The had just seen Jesus put to death by the Jews who used the Roman Empire to murder Jesus. These men were afraid, and probably wondered what to do. Once again in the Scriptures we see that Jesus never fails and how Jesus came at the right time to encourage His people and to give them peace. I find it interesting that in verse 19, “Jesus came and stood in their midst and said* to them, “Peace be with you.” and then in verse 20, “And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” Do you think one of these men might have asked the same question that Thomas asked if Jesus had not shown them His hands and His side? Have you ever thought about this story from that perspective and wondered if these other disciples might have asked Jesus to see proof that He was who He said He was? Either way, Jesus in His grace and mercy would have comforted them and given them peace.

In verse 25 we see the other disciples going to Thomas to tell the good news that Jesus was risen from the dead. One thing that stands out to me is Thomas’s human nature and how he was in great distress. I do not see Thomas as angry, but I see him as hurt and confused. I see a man who watched his Lord die and a man who had become hard with his emotions, fear, and doubt.

John 20:26-29 (NASB)
20:26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came*, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
27 Then He said* to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said* to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

What I find interesting is that Jesus appeared to Thomas in the same manner He appeared to the other disciples 8 days earlier. Thomas did not repeat, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” to Jesus. Jesus, in His grace and mercy, knew what Thomas needed and told him, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Jesus gave Thomas exactly what He needed and told Him to believe. Yet again in a passage dealing with Thomas, Jesus gave us another example in verse 29 that we use today to talk about faith and hope.

Thomas knew who Jesus was, but Thomas allowed his human nature to creep in and cause doubt. We are no different than Thomas in many ways in our lives. We all at times doubt and question God in our hearts concerning our needs, our wants, and when we observe the world around us. The story of Thomas is one that shows the grace and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we are in need and full of doubt, Jesus will never fail us. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Jesus will comfort us and encourage us when we seek Him. In this account, doubting Thomas was still with the disciples eight days even after his famous statement in John 20:25, we know this by simply reading John 20:26. So we see Thomas hanging around with fellow believers and these believers hanging around with Thomas. I’m sure these men were trying to encourage Thomas about the risen Lord Jesus Christ as they fellowshipped together. What I see is Thomas not withdrawing back into the world and sinning, but I see a man who had some doubts and needed Jesus to comfort him. What I see is an example of our Lord Jesus Christ coming and comforting His child by giving Him advice about faith and believing in Him. Not only did Jesus comfort Thomas, but He left us with a teaching concerning faith and believing in Him.

When we are doubting God and we are questioning why things are happening to us, let us always continue to seek His wisdom through faith and prayer. Let us uplift each other through fellowship with fellow Christians, and let us always encourage each other that Jesus never fails. When we are in need, let us remember how Jesus dealt with Thomas and reflect upon the grace of God. Let us seek His face and seek His wisdom in all things.

I try to remember Thomas as Thomas the Believer who said, “My Lord and my God!” when Jesus revealed Himself to him. I try to see Thomas in the light of simply being a man who, like myself, is faulty and at times full of doubts. In the end, Thomas’s doubts were laid to rest because Thomas believed in his Lord and His God.

CS009556

Many times in discussions about God’s grace the subject of Calvinism surfaces. There seems to be a lot of energy put into this debate over how God uses His grace to save people. The question of the elect is a hot spot for debate by non-Calvinist. The point of this blog is not to debate the Doctrines of Grace or to debate the subject of God’s elect. Over the years, I have talked to many Christians who do not claim to be Calvinist, who openly reject all aspects of TULIP, and are humble godly Christians who love the Lord. One ironic thing I have found in common with those who reject Calvinism is when they are praying for salvation and how it reflects a Calvinist type of prayer.

Lord please reach down and save “insert name”. Save him/her Lord. Convict them and save them.” a non-Calvinist

Do you see anything a little odd in this example? I don’t personally know of a non-Calvinist who would not pray that God saves someone. When these people pray do they not understand that this is a Calvinist type prayer in asking God to save someone? Should the prayer be worded like this?

Lord please reach down and convict “insert name” of their sin. Lord allow the Holy Spirit to convict them so that they may accept You“. a non-Calvinist

I know this may seem to be a play on words, but I believe that we should be very clear in our words concerning our beliefs and faith. My point is I wonder how many non-Calvinist say a prayer asking God to save a person without thinking about what they are actually asking God to do. I’m not saying these people are not saved etc… Even thought I disagree with them, I can see their points about salvation and why they reject Calvinism.

Romans 3:10-11

10. as it is written,

aThere is none righteous, not even one;

11.  There is none who understands,

There is none who seeks for God; [1]

I’m I way off on these points?

Any insights?


aPs 14:1–3; 53:1–3

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ro 3:10-11). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

man-praying

1 John 1:5

5 aThis is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that bGod is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

6   aIf we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we blie and cdo not practice the truth;

7   but if we awalk in the Light as bHe Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and cthe blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8   aIf we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the btruth is not in us.

9   aIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and bto cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10aIf we say that we have not sinned, we bmake Him a liar and cHis word is not in us.

The simple messaged I pulled from this passage is when we sin (not “if” we sin) that we are to ask Jesus to forgive our sin. If we refuse to repent of a sin problem, thus continuing to walk in sin, we walk in rebellion which brings reproach on the name of Jesus Christ. We show the world an image of God that is sinful by claiming fellowship with Him while openly living in sin. God cannot sin, and God will never approve of sin because God is holy. Since we are human we are not perfect. Our imperfection does not grant us liberty to sin just because we are not God.

The solution to our sin problem is very simple . When we sin, we must ask Jesus to forgive our sins so that we can walk in fellowship with Him. Jesus is faithful to forgive us if we will go to Him in repentance. By admitting our sins we show our love for God and His Word.


aJohn 1:19; 1 John 3:11

b1 Tim 6:16; James 1:17

aJohn 8:12; 1 John 2:11

bJohn 8:55; 1 John 2:4; 4:20

cJohn 3:21

aIs 2:5

b1 Tim 6:16

cTitus 2:14

aJob 15:14; Prov 20:9; Rom 3:10ff; James 3:2

bJohn 8:44; 1 John 2:4

aPs 32:5; Prov 28:13

bTitus 2:14

aJob 15:14

bJohn 3:33; 1 John 5:10

c1 John 2:14

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Jn 1:5-10). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.