Sunday, November 8, 2009


Have you ever heard a little child say the prayer for a meal? Usually it is short, but those short lines are filled with a special reverence and passion that we could learn from. If we do not speak as though we mean what we say, we are being hypocritical.
We also need to live righteously. Proverbs 15:8 says that "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight." God listens to our prayers if we live uprightly in Christ. This should be an encouragement to us to walk in His footsteps.
Prayer is not a thing to be sneezed at. In James 5:16-17, it says to "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Prayer does much to help others. We should pray for our fellow Christians, national leaders, and even our enemies. Why should we pray for our enemies? This verse should make it clear:
Matthew 5:44-45:
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
If we pray for our enemies, Jesus says that we will be "sons of our Father in heaven". This is a wonderful promise to us, and a reminder that we should not just pray for those who are easy to pray for. It is easy to pray for our fellow Christians; it is hard to pray for terrorists that have killed innocent people. Let me share a big passage on this.
Luke 6:33-36:
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
This should be fairly obvious, so I won't comment on this :)
Lastly, I want to point out King David. He is a great example on prayer. He was oppressed, ill-used, and a lot of his life he was running away. But he still puts his trust in God and prays. A lot of these prayers we can read in Psalms. This is also a good reason to read Psalms (read previous post), as David's prayers are a good example of a good prayer. It is a good example for us to trust wholly that God will answer our prayer, even if that means the answer "no".
God does not need our prayers. He already knows what is to pass. But please do not think that all I have said to this point was in vain. Prayer helps to change our minds and bring us closer to God; and God in His sovereignty has ordained that our prayers "avail much".
There is much more to say about prayer that I haven't already said. I hardly touched on the matter of prayer. Let me summarize what I said to this point:
  • We need to pray with a right heart, otherwise we become hypocritical
  • God listens to the prayer of the upright
  • We need to pray for our enemies, not just those whom it is easy to pray for
  • We need to trust that God will answer our prayer
  • Prayer helps bring us closer to God
These things are good things to dwell on.

Thank you,


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Importance of the Psalms; an expansion of a letter from my brother Corey, to his friend Nick

I thought I would expand on something Corey wrote to Nick a couple months ago. Here goes...

Corey: "Sometimes we overlook the Psalms... but they are important...Many times we overlook the psalms of David and his music men, thinking that they are not as important as the deep theology of Romans or the overview of many points of the Christian faith laid out in John. But if you think of the little Bibles handed out to new or unbelievers, they contain the New Testament and, out of all the Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. Because Psalms is so long we might start out really thinking about the passages but towards the end we start skimming or not paying as much attention to what the verses are saying. The truth is, Psalms is like essential oils. Essential oils are supposed to be good for almost any sickness or disease. The difference between the two is that Psalms is good for any condition: depression, joy, temptation, you name it. Psalms talks about Christ’s coming and His death and though it was written thousands of years ago, still seems like they were written today to address or at least state the feelings of modern people. So far I’ve only talked about the goodness of the Psalms. What I really wanted to do in this letter though was to encourage you to make the Psalms part of your daily Bible study. Read the Psalms, meditate on the Psalms, and believe the Psalms. May they bring you joy and refreshment in such abundance that you are never without a Christ-like attitude and encouraging word. God Bless!"

As my brother said, Psalms is extremely important. In fact, out of all the books Jesus quoted, He quoted Psalms the most. There are treasure troves of scriptural truths in Psalms. For example, from the Psalms, we can learn the following about the whole Word of God:
  • The word helps us not to sin; Psalms 119:11: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
  • The word gives us understanding; Psalms 119:104-105: Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
  • The word brings us joy; Jeremiah 15:16: Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.
The word is almighty, as is God. The word endures, despite innumerable attempts to destroy it. The word is, as God is. It will not fail with God's power.

The Word is! That is something to tell your friends and neighbors!