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Paul’s prayers for the church are strewn throughout the New Testament, and in those prayers, we see the heart of Paul for the early believers, and I believe, by extension, for the entire church throughout history. This week, we are looking at several of Paul’s prayers, though not all, and not in their entirety. As…

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Soldiers, war, battle, fighting, standing firm, armor, victory, and defeat. The imagery of war and conflict is strewn throughout the pages of scripture. There, the Christ-follower is repeatedly characterized as a soldier. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please…

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Not too long ago, I had a brief exchange with someone who excitedly exclaimed that the Greek language was so cool because the Greeks had four words for “love.” “No,” I responded. “They don’t. Rather, English is such a limited language that it has only one word to convey four different Greek concepts.” That’s not…

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“Text out of context is pretext,” our instructor said with resounding forcefulness. He was right, of course, and much misinterpretation of scripture has resulted from passages being ripped from their context and twisted to mean something wholly other than what was originally intended. Take prayer as an example. The Bible speaks extensively of prayer, how…

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Those of you familiar with my writing and speaking know I am nowhere near even the outskirts of the “name it and claim it” movement. Abusing scripture with this theological construct is both insulting to the sovereignty of God and depressing to the one naming and claiming when their claims go unfulfilled. For the eyes…

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If there were any area of my life in Christ I would like to heal, it would be my prayer life. I know brothers and sisters in Christ who pray with such ease – as easily and naturally as I converse with Alean. My prayer life is not like that. But as tattered as it…

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Just this morning I read a heartbreaking thread from a young woman on Twitter who has decided that prayer is pointless and she has stopped praying as a result. Not cut back. Stopped. Completely. Several others chimed in with some form of, “Yeah, me too. Gave up praying years ago.” I’ll admit that I struggle…

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I preached a sermon recently as part of a team preaching through 1 Peter. The second point of that sermon was, “Life is Pain.” That’s just a fact. Life is pain. Peter jumps with both feet directly into that reality. Jesus modeled a life of prayer for us. The apostle Paul directs us to “pray…

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My prayer life is a true struggle for me. I pray, but I wouldn’t say I pray well … whatever that means. (How does one “pray well?”) Jesus prayed often. This is so much the case that Luke 22:39 describes Jesus as going off to pray and characterizes that with the phrase, “…as was his…

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