Perspective

25 03 2009

matthew-henry1Many years ago, Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar, was once robbed of his wallet. Knowing that it was his duty to give thanks in everything, he meditated on this incident and recorded in his diary the following:

Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.





Uncommon Prayer

23 05 2007

Will you help me to be less quick to judge
……and less righteous in my indignation?
Will you help me to be more open to life
……and to other people?
Will you give me confidence enough to be less defensive
…..and less ready to react to rebuffs?
Give me steadiness and firmness
…..and true commitment to the life of faith. Amen.

A Book of Uncommon Prayer
Kenneth G. Phifer





Fire-Breathing

11 04 2007

“Lord, teach us to pray.”
(Luke 11:1)

Love is kindled in a flame, and ardency is its life. Flame is the air which true Christian experience breathes. It feeds on fire; it can withstand anything, rather than a feeble flame; but when the surrounding atmosphere is frigid or lukewarm, it dies, chilled and starved to its vitals. True prayer must be aflame.

–E.M. Bounds, “The Necessity of Prayer”





If Men Would Pray

2 04 2007

“If men would pray as they ought to pray, the marvels of the past would be more than reproduced. The Gospel would advance with a facility and power it has never known. Doors would be thrown open to the Gospel, and the Word of God would have a conquering force rarely if every known before.”

–E. M. Bounds





For The Tired Of Pacing

9 03 2007

I found Foster’s prayer refreshing. I’m making it my prayer today…perhaps it is yours as well…

Blessed Savior,

I pace back and forth at the altar of commitment. I really do want a fixed habit of prayer. At least, that is what I want right now. I’m not sure if that is what I will want two weeks from now. I do know thatfeetandsurf.jpg without some kind of consistent communion with You I will not know holy obedience. So, as best I can, I promise to set aside time regularly for prayer, meditation and spiritual meditation. Strengthen me in this covenant. Help me to so delight in Your presence that I will want to come home to You often.

In Your Name and for Your sake I make this covenant.

Amen.

–Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p77 (Chapter Seven: “Covenant Prayer”)





Quit (And Ask)

24 02 2007

“You do not have because you do not ask.”
(James 4:2)

child-praying.jpg

Sometimes you will hear people stand up in a meeting, not so frequently perhaps in these days as in former days, and say, “I am trying to serve God in my poor, weak way.” Well, if you are trying to serve God in your poor, weak way, quit it! Your duty is to serve God in His strong, triumphant way. But you say, “I have no natural ability.” Then get some supernatural ability.

The religion of Jesus Christ is a supernatural religion from start to finish, an we should live our lives in supernatural power, the power of God through Jesus Christ; and we should perform our service with supernatural power, the power of God ministered by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is promised to every believer in order that he may obtain the supernatural gifts which qualify him for the particular service to which God calls him (1 Corinthians 12:11). It is ours to have the power of God if we will only seek it by prayer in any and every line of service to which God calls us.

–R.A. Torrey (successor to D.L. Moody, Moody Memorial Church, Chicago)
Ask? You Have Not Because You Ask Not





Standing Close To The Flame

22 02 2007

“For our God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 12:29)

burns_for_you.jpgThere comes a time in the life of faith when Jesus must die. For many people, the Christ who dies is an amalgam of their fantasies and our culture’s fancies. In our time, that often means this: Jesus is the nicest person we can imagine. He is a kindergarten teacher of humanity that is as vulnerable as a group of five-year-olds. So, of course, He does not raise His voice. He affirms and re-affirms our fragile self-esteem…

…This Jesus puzzles us, of course. He seems so nice; we can’t imagine why He doesn’t answer all our prayers or why He allows evil to run free. Consequently, we have our doubts, like everyone else in this age, wondering how a congenial Lord can be, well, so inattentive. Maybe He’s not really in charge after all. Then suddenly our faith is bolsetered by an inspirational best-seller about the best life of the purpose-driven life or the border-expanding life, and we’re ready to be patient with Jesus a little longer—as long as He keeps us feeling good about ourselves and optimistic about the tomorrow…

…Our culture would have us put our faith in a Jesus who is a mere bed of carnations. Interesting. Pretty. He adds color and fragrance to life and little more…The vision of the true Jesus compels reverence, silence and, yes, fear.

…We should be afraid…But we are nonetheless drawn near to the very thing that can hasten our death if we are not careful. We are sane to be afraid. And we would be fools not to draw closer.

–Mark Galli
Jesus, Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God, pp175-9