Found this…

The Lord’s Prayer in Ps
February 5, 2010, 9:07 am
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags:

Privilege or maybe something to do with Paternity! – “Our Father in heaven”

Priorities – “hallowed be your name, your kingdom come”

Provision please – “give us today our daily bread”

Pardon & pardoning – “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”

Protection – “lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil”

Praise / Perpetual Power – “for yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


8 key points for personal prayer
October 28, 2009, 10:23 pm
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The Bible gives us the keys we need to develop a powerful prayer life. Scripture is full of examples of men and women who walked with God and used prayer to impact their world, and you can do the same thing through prayer.

The following are Scriptural ways to develop a deeper, more fulfilling personal prayer life.

Keys to Personal Prayer

  1. Pray In Jesus’ Name. Real prayer is Christological. There are numerous New Testament references that talk about the importance of praying in the name of Jesus. Jesus even said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you” (John 16:23). When we pray in the name of Jesus, God the Father hears us. He responds to the prayer that is offered in the name of his Son Jesus.
  2. Pray According to God’s Will. God is not a Santa Claus in the sky; he does not give us just anything we ask for. But in 1 John 5:14 it says, “If we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” This means that when we pray in accordance with his will we can expect an answer.
  3. Scriptural Prayer. One the best ways to pray is to pray according to Scripture. John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my word abides in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” If God’s word is in us then his desires become our desires, and we can have the assurance that he will answer our prayers. Make sure that your prayers are in line with Scripture.
  4. Keep Commandments. “And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:22). God honors those who honor his commandments. If you keep his commandments and do what is pleasing, then you can be assured that he will hear your prayers.
  5. You Must Believe. “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matthew 21:22). The Lord wants us to have faith that he will hear our prayers. Hebrews says, “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). The Lord promises to respond to our prayer of faith.
  6. Pray in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prayer. Paul tells us to pray at all times in the Spirit. Romans 8:26 reads, “Likewise the Spirit also 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.” We don’t always know how to pray or feel like praying, so we need the Spirit’s power to help us.
  7. Be Persistent. Don’t give up if you haven’t received an answer to your prayers. Throughout the Bible there are stories of men and women who persevered in prayer. In Luke 18:1-8, there was a little old widow who did not lose heart. James tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
  8. Humble Yourself. One of my favorite parables about prayer is in Luke 18:9-14, where the Pharisee and tax collector come before God. The Pharisee was proud and boastful, while the tax collector was humble and asked for God’s mercy. We are told that God hears the prayer of the humble. If we humble ourselves in the sight of God, he will lift us up.

Amen… What you say before this…
May 31, 2009, 1:26 pm
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“God is always within call, it is true; His ear is ever attentive to the cry of His child, but we can never get to know Him if we use prayer as we use the telephone – for a few words of hurried conversation.  Intimacy requires development.”

(E.M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer)

How do you feel about sin?
April 5, 2009, 9:19 am
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags: , ,

How do you approach God when you feel like everything is bad? You have had the worse day. You think you’re not worthy because of sin.

Recently I read a blog of John Piper’s that said “A vague feeling that you are a crummy person is not the same as conviction for sin. Feeling rotten is not the same as repentence”. This sentence puts it into perspective. It raises the question do you feel bad about the thing you’ve done solely or are you truely repentant?

How can someone that feels so unworthy come to the Father time and time again? I mean I’m talking to the creator of the universe!

Feelings are great servants but terrible masters. These bad feelings are useful but they shouldn’t be the be all and end all. What I mean is that if you’re feeling like crap because of sin then if that leads to repentance then AWESOME. Bad feelings need to translate into conviction for sin. If you just have the feeling and don’t do anything with it then what’s the point.

Getting specific to God is the first thing we all need to do. How often do you pray some times and just be general on prayer points, some times you get into the nitty gritty. Of course God already knows but its for you to acknowledge to Him that matters. John Piper puts it like this “The fog of unworthiness needs to take shape into clear dark pillars of disobedience. Then you can point then and repsent and ask for forgiveness and take aim to blow them up”.

Another quote I like to use that’s related to all this is “Starve what you want to kill and feed what you want to grow”.

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart (Matt 22:37)
  • Love your neighbour as yourself (Matt 22:39)
  • Do all things without grumbling (Phil 2:14)
  • Cast all your anxieties on Him (1Pet 5:7)
  • Only say things that give grace to others (Eph 4:29)
  • Set your mind on things above (Col 3:2)
  • Rejoice always, and again I say rejoice (Phil 4:4)
  • Give thanks in ALL circumstances (1 Thes 5:18)

I need to be more convicted of my sin, more sorry for not keeping God’s will. This makes me a broken man, angry at my sin. I want to starve the sin so that it can’t grow. Do you hate sin? Or enjoy it now and then? Read Col 3:5 “So put to death what is earthly in you”! Or if you prefer Romans then 8:13 “Put to death the deeds of the body”!

A great verse to end with talks about us coming to God in prayer. How should we do this? Well in 1 John 1:9 it reads “If we confess ours sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. How thankful do you have to be!

Thanks a million God!

One on One prayer and Bible reading
March 30, 2009, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags: ,

I think praying with fellow Christians and reading the Bible is at the core of what we believe. It creates a great foundation for your walk with God and it just works. This is a great article I found in the briefing.

The following is a true story. Last Friday, two friends met to read the Bible, pray and drink coffee, like they do every week for about an hour. They go to the same church, and decided they needed some accountability in their lives as Christians. Last week, they were up to Philippians chapter 2 in their reading programme. They read the chapter out loud, then talked about its implications for their thinking and prayers. They are doing detailed Bible study in small groups, so the focus of their time was on application and encouragement. From Philippians 2, they talked for a while about Jesus’ priority of service over status and their struggles to help others when there is no recognition involved. They confessed their tendency to complain and argue, and the conversation moved to wider issues of status seeking in the church. This gave them plenty to pray about, and they concluded their prayers by remembering two missionary families. Next week they will read chapter 3.

So what?

This doesn’t exactly grab you as one of the great stand-out events of last Friday. Even within the Christian world, on a scale of 1 to 100, it doesn’t rank more than a 0.01 in importance.

But think about the long-term effects of meeting like this. The two friends will know the Bible better, pray regularly and deepen their friendship. They will encourage each other to deal with God and his word with integrity. As they open their lives to each other before God’s word, they will “spur one another on towards love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24-25). They will strengthen each other to resist sin and remain faithful to Christ.

Why do it?

At the core of all Christian ministry is Bible reading and prayer. We are united with Christ by hearing his word and responding in faith, and that is how we remain in Christ. We can never progress beyond these basics—teaching each other the word of God; calling upon each other to believe and repent; bringing our lives, our churches and the world before God in prayer.

But we can do all this in three broad contexts: large groups, small groups and one-to-one. We choose different contexts on totally pragmatic grounds. There is a certain efficiency of gathering people together, and there are various educational advantages in each context. However, all ministry is ultimately to individuals, even when we are dealing with groups. Our concern is for the salvation and growth of each one.

So what are the benefits of reading the Bible and praying one-to-one? It is:

  • convenient: arranging to meet one Christian for one hour weekly is realistic, even in the busiest lives. It’s easy to get started, with minimal organization required.
  • personal: the discussion and prayers can address particular individual concerns. In groups, it is impossible to deal with everyone’s issues and questions.
  • accountable: meeting one-to-one is an ideal way of holding each other accountable to read and obey the Bible. It is hard to meet each week and pretend to be serious about submitting to Christ while playing around with secret sin. In our perversity, this is not impossible, but it’s hard to sustain the performance.
  • strategic: this is a basic ministry to master, and will be useful in many contexts. Wherever we go in church life, we can find a Christian with whom we can read and pray. Sometimes at work we will find a Christian who would love to meet with us. In some ministry contexts, such as the military and educational institutions, it is almost impossible to gather Christians into groups, and personal ministry is the only option. For some Christians, the only opportunity for fellowship is with individuals due to family restrictions and persecution.

Why we don’t

If I had to hazard a guess as to how many Christians engage in one-to-one Bible reading and prayer, I would say less than 1%. I have no data on this; it’s just a hunch. This seems strange if it is such a simple and convenient way of spurring each other on in the faith. Why don’t we do it?

We are too busy in Christian service

The old cliché is true: “the good is the enemy of the best”. One reason we don’t read and pray with each other is our devotion to other Christian activities.

There are limitless opportunities to serve Christ and his people, and Christ has given a diversity of gifts to edify his church. However, certain ministries, such as prophecy, have priority over others because they are more useful for edifying the church. Whatever else Paul means by prophecy, fundamentally it is speaking the word of God, and we are to “excel in gifts that build up the church” (1 Cor 14:12). Speaking the word of God to each other is the way we are strengthened, encouraged and comforted, and the way the church is built. One-to-one Bible reading and prayer is, therefore, a very high ministry priority.

Most of us have little discretionary time where we are free to choose how we use it. We have fixed priorities that absorb most of the 168 hours in the week. Sleeping, eating, travelling, working, family responsibilities, chores and ‘personal things’ take around 140 hours, if you have anything like a ‘normal’ life. The 28 hours remaining is your discretionary time—time that you can divide between leisure, study, socializing, hobbies, and so on. Christians will devote some of these 28 hours to specifically Christian activity. This will include private Bible reading, prayer and study of Christian literature, as well as service to others. When we look at it realistically, there are only around 5-10 hours per week available for Christian activity with others, and most of this time is taken up with church meetings, a Bible study group or committees. And, as the years roll on, there is even less time at our discretion, with increased family and work responsibilities.

Maybe we need to rethink our ministry responsibilities and withdraw from some tasks in church life in order to read and pray with others.

We put structures before people

If we are asked about the ministries of our church, we usually answer in terms of structures and programmes: men’s fellowship, Sunday School, Youth Club, women’s Bible study, and so on. If our pastors ask us to be involved in ministry, they usually mean taking on a particular task to keep the programme running. These kinds of programmes are often good—some may be essential—but our thinking is back to front. The reason we run ministry activities is for people—their salvation and maturity in Christ. After a while, the programme attains a validity in itself; the means becomes the end. For example, ee run a drop-in centre because we have always run a drop-in centre.

If, instead, we start with people and ask how we can win them for Christ and establish them in the faith, we might end up spending our ministry time differently. We might cancel some programmes, and start meeting with individuals for Bible reading and prayer. Or we might build this one-to-one ministry into our existing programmes.

We seek recognition for our ministry

There is no kudos or notoriety in private meetings with individuals reading the Bible and praying. There is a type of career path in churches—from pew sitter to welcomer to assistant Bible study leader to Bible study leader to board of elders to chair of the board. Just adjust the titles for your particular church. One-to-one ministry doesn’t advance our career at all.

We don’t feel qualified

This is one of the advantages of one-to-one Bible reading and prayer: it is simple; everyone can do it. We are not taking over the minister’s job to teach the Bible, and we don’t have to have all the answers. Together, we can wrestle with understanding God’s word and changing our lives. We are not setting ourselves up as the fount of all knowledge and virtue. All we need is the heart to know God better and to encourage one another.

We never thought of it

Now you have!

How to do it

Here are some tips to get you started. You will develop your own patterns along the way.

  • Decide to meet for a specified period of time—say, six months—so it is easy to stop if you need to.
  • Give priority to reading the Bible rather than Christian books.
  • Try a variety of methods for Bible reading:
    • Verse by Verse: read the text verse by verse, and work out what it is saying. Using a Bible with marginal notes and cross references will deepen the discussion.
    • QUIT: look for QUestions that need to be resolved, Implications for life and major Themes in the passage.
    • Interactive Bible Studies: prepared studies, such as those published by Matthias Media. You can do some preparation before meeting, or just work through the material together.
  • Leave plenty of time for prayer. Pray about the implications of your Bible reading and the current concerns in your lives. But also pray beyond your own horizons for unbelievers, your church and gospel ministries around the world. If you can’t work out who to pray for, ask your pastor or get some newsletters from evangelists and church planters in Australia and overseas.

Who to meet with

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

  • Christian friends for mutual encouragement at church, work, school, college, university or in the neighbourhood—anyone who is ‘spiritually hungry’.
  • Young Christians to build foundations in the faith.
  • Potential leaders who need nurturing and training in Bible reading and prayer.
  • Christians who want to do some deeper Bible study.
  • Your pastor who would love to read and pray with someone.
  • A friend going through a crisis.
  • Christians who are struggling with faith.
  • Non-Christians who want to work out systematically what the Bible is saying.
  • Christians who are restricted in some way from attending church or groups.

Some warnings

The priority of God’s word, not our problems

Have you ever noticed how people with problems absorb your time and energy? You feel the energy drain out of you as they enter the room. In groups, they dominate the discussion. We all have problems, but some people become problem-centred because of the severity of their needs. One mistake in personal ministry is to be dominated by such people. They are so needy that, in our compassion, we feel guilty if we don’t give them all the energy they demand. We end up visiting them again and again, or meeting them regularly at the expense of others.

It sounds harsh at first, but there is a better way. Firstly, if you do meet with such a person, set a different agenda. Instead of starting with his or her problems, start with Bible reading and prayer. He or she will then start to see how God views their life and problems, and thus they will make some progress in dealing with life under God’s word. Secondly, give priority to training others in ministry. Meet with a spiritually hungry, ‘problem-free’ person who will mature and begin to serve others. Then you can give better care to those with problems because there will be more carers. Investing time in training others in service multiplies the workforce in the church.

The spiritual guru syndrome

We don’t want to become spiritual guides for people and make them dependent on us, rather than God. Meeting regularly with someone and drawing them into close relationship can be highly manipulative. Some have never had such close attention from anyone, and they will agree to anything to protect the relationship. You can reduce such dependency by deciding to meet for a specified time period and by ensuring they relate to other Christians in church and small groups.

The cults have deliberately exploited the power of personal discipleship to control their members and movements. We need to ensure our personal ministries are characterized by freedom and flexibility. Some people should never be invited to regular personal meetings because of their insecurities.

Gender issues

One-to-one ministry tends to suit women better than men. Women enjoy the intimacy and are more articulate, which is a boon to conversation.

In general, men find it difficult to start these one-to-one meetings. They are more comfortable doing something together, like sport, fixing things or watching TV. Men don’t just sit down and bare their souls to each other. Some men will find it easier to meet in threes or fours to reduce the intensity and so they feel less threatened and exposed. Meeting in a familiar context, like a club or McDonald’s, may work better. For many men, they will learn more by having a healthy argument over the Scriptures, and they will let down their guard once they get drawn into the fight! You may not like these cultural stereotypes, but men do need to work out their way of meeting one-to-one.

Pepper the earth

If you meet with a Christian for Bible reading and prayer for the next 12 months, what will happen? You don’t know exactly, but you can have certain hopes and prayers. Both of you will grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Perhaps you will encourage others to start meeting one-to-one. Perhaps you will both continue to meet with different Christians for the next 40 years. Just imagine what could happen if it was commonplace for Christians to meet for one-to-one Bible reading and prayer! What would happen if our society was peppered with thousands of such meetings? What growth in godliness might we see?


Use these questions as starters for group discussion or personal reflection:

  1. What are the unique advantages of one-to-one ministry?
  2. Is there anything which makes you hesitant about doing it?
  3. What changes might you have to make to your Christian programme to do one-to-one Bible reading and prayer?

What to pray for…
March 30, 2009, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags: ,

John Piper has written a article titled

What Should We Pray For?

By John Piper January 1, 1995 

One way to answer this question is to look at what the early church prayed for. Here is a list gathered from the New Testament. It can guide you in how you pray. I suggest that periodically you pray through this list just to test whether your prayers are leaving out anything the New Testament included. We don’t have to pray all of these each time we pray. But over time it would be good if our prayers had the breadth and depth of the New Testament prayers.

They called on God to exalt his name in the world.

Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9).

They called on God to extend his kingdom in the world.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10 ).

They called on God that the gospel would run and triumph.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

They called on God for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13; cf. Ephesians 3:19).

They called on God to vindicate his people in their cause.

And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? (Luke 18:7).

They called on God to save unbelievers.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved (Romans 10:1).

They called on God to direct the use of the sword.

“Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying through all prayer and supplication on every occasion . . .” (Ephesians 6:17-18)

They called on God for boldness in proclamation.

Pray at all times in the Spirit . . . and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:18-19)

And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness (Acts 4:29).

They called on God for signs and wonders.

And now Lord . . . grant your servants to speak thy word with boldness . . . while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:30).

Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit (James 5:17 -18).

They called on God for the healing of wounded comrades.

Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up (James 5:14-15).

They called on God for the healing of unbelievers.

It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery; and Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him (Acts 28:8).

They called on God for the casting out of demons.

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29)

They called on God for miraculous deliverances.

So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church . . . When he realized [he had been freed], he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying (Acts 12:5,12).

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake (Acts 16:25-26).

They called on God for the raising of the dead.

But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up (Acts 9:40).

They called on God to supply his troops with necessities.

Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

They called on God for strategic wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him (James 1:5).

They called on God to establish leadership in the outposts.

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed (Acts 14:23).

They called on God to send out reinforcements.

Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:38).

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off (Acts 13:2-3).

They called on God for the success of other missionaries.

I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, (Romans 15:30-31).

They called on God for unity and harmony in the ranks.

I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:20-21).

They called on God for the encouragement of togetherness.

[We are] praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thessalonians 3:10).

They called on God for a mind of discernment.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more in with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).

They called on God for a knowledge of his will.

And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).

They called on God to know him better.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10 ; cf. Ephesians 1:17 ).

They called on God for power to comprehend the love of Christ.

I bow my knees before the Father . . . that you may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:14,18).

They called on God for a deeper sense of assured hope.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:16,18).

They called on God for strength and endurance.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:11 ; cf. Ephesians 3:16).

They called on God for deeper sense of his power within them.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers . . . that you may know . . . what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:16, 19).

They called on God that their faith not be destroyed.

I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren (Luke 22:32).

Watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36).

They called on God for greater faith.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ; cf. Ephesians 3:17).

They called on God that they might not fall into temptation.

Lead us not into temptation (Matthew 6:13).

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

They called on God that he would complete their resolves.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

They called on God that they would do good works.

[We have not ceased to pray for you that you] lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work (Colossians 1:10).

They called on God or forgiveness for their sins.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12).

They called on God for protection from the evil one.

Deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13).

Legalism vs Discipline
March 22, 2009, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags: , , , ,

John Piper wrote the following and it’s just gold. Titled – Disciplined Duty vs. the Lie of Legalism. It’s about how we look at prayer and how we do it. Please read…

But the hard truth is that most Christians don’t pray very much. They pray at meals—unless they’re still stuck in the adolescent stage of calling good habits legalism. They whisper prayers before tough meetings. They say something brief as they crawl into bed. But very few set aside set times to pray alone—and fewer still think it is worth it to meet with others to pray. And we wonder why our faith is weak. And our hope is feeble. And our passion for Christ is small.

And meanwhile the devil is whispering all over this room: “The pastor is getting legalistic now. He’s starting to use guilt now. He’s getting out the law now.” To which I say, “To hell with the devil and all of his destructive lies. Be free!” Is it true that intentional, regular, disciplined, earnest, Christ-dependent, God-glorifying, joyful prayer is a duty? . . . Is it a discipline?

You can call it that.

  • It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater.
  • It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers.
  • It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns.
  • It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food.
  • It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water.
  • It’s a duty the way a deaf man puts in his hearing aid.
  • It’s a duty the way a diabetic takes his insulin.
  • It’s a duty the way Pooh Bear looks for honey.
  • It’s a duty the way pirates look for gold.

I hate the devil, and the way he is killing some of you by persuading you it is legalistic to be as regular in your prayers as you are in your eating and sleeping and Internet use. Do you not see what a sucker he his making out of you? He is laughing up his sleeve at how easy it is to deceive Christians about the importance of prayer.

God has given us means of grace. If we do not use them to their fullest advantage, our complaints against him will not stick. If we don’t eat, we starve. If we don’t drink, we get dehydrated. If we don’t exercise a muscle, it atrophies. If we don’t breathe, we suffocate. And just as there are physical means of life, there spiritual are means of grace. Resist the lies of the devil in 2009, and get a bigger breakthrough in prayer than you’ve ever had.