Here are some very fun and informative articles I have recently come across.
I am a perfectionist at heart. I like to have a controlled environment. I want to be able to see my dreams and endeavors to their proper conclusions. There is a sense of satisfaction in that, a sense of accomplishment. To be in a state of disorder or incompleteness is one of the most stress inducing experiences for me. And yet it seems like these days in ministry, all my work is all rough drafts. Its all starts. Its all important things that need beginnings but that I am not allowed to see through to the end. This is really challenging for me. To live in a life of labor all surrounded by rough drafts. It is unsatisfying. It is anxiety inducing. And it is very formative.
What does it mean to pray “in Jesus name”? What is the significance of this phrase in our prayers?
Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.
The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.
Jesus’ seal not only guarantees that my package gets through, but it also transforms the package. Paul says in Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Paul E. Miller. A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World (Kindle Locations 1798-1809). NAVPress – A. Kindle Edition.
Last Wednesday after work, as I am entering the house my younger son runs toward me with a red face and tears in his eyes. The two words he manages to scream are, “not fair!” Over and over. “What’s not fair?” you may wonder. Is it that his brother got more sweets? Appears to have more toys? Got to spend more time with his friends? Is choosing what activity they do together next? Nope. He found out that the night before, after he fell asleep, his brother spent an hour of one-on-one time with me. It is not fair that he didn’t get such treatment. Tonight, he must have his one-on-one with me, and his brother can disappear, for all he cares. By the way, this was not the first round of such provocation, and not the last.
Few things are as precious as that for a dad.
“Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place.” (Exodus 13:3)
Something that caught my attention in devotional reading last week is just how much of God’s grace is present in the Old Testament. And not just grace itself, but how much the Old Testament talks about our response to that grace. For example, in the book of Exodus, God tells His people to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a reminder that they left Egypt in haste – which in turn was a reminder of the great salvation that He had worked for them in their lives.