Let’s face it: for some of us, praying for the nation is hard. Sure, it’s a nice idea, and the Bible talks about here and there. But just what is it about the nation that you feel the need to single-handedly bring to the attention of the God of the universe? Maybe someone already beat you to it. And which of the thousands of problems of the nation should you be bringing to God in prayer?Continue reading How to Pray for the Philippines
Worship is one of the ultimate themes of this life, regardless of whether you are a religious person or not. Many of us may find that hard to believe but it is true. It is never a question of whether we worship or not because in reality, we do worship someone or something. We simply don’t call it worship. We prefer to use neutral terms like passion, commitment, or focus.
I believe one of the ways we can identify the object of our worship is to see our reaction when it comes up in a conversation. Whatever that thing is, it always triggers our strongest reactions— our greatest joy or fiercest anger. It’s that topic we passionately talk about for hours on end. It is that person or thing that answers this statement: If only I can have ________, then I would finally be happy, or fulfilled, or satisfied. Put another way, it is the thing that if taken away from us, we will be truly devastated. Continue reading That Thing That Triggers Your Strongest Reactions
Worship is fueled by sound theology. The more you understand the self- revelation of God through His Word, the more your heart responds in genuine worship.
The heart of a worshiper doesn’t soar high if you try to stir it up with hype and tired clichés. Loud shouts and clanging cymbals can’t create spiritual fire. Smoke machines and sophisticated guitar riffs can’t generate zeal. All these musical instruments are tools; the real fire of our worship burns when our hearts are gripped with a revelation of who God is. Continue reading We Don’t Need a Louder Band
Worship leader, the important thing is not whether you can call down thunder and set hearts aflame with your songs, but whether you have personally felt the thunder and the flame of the songs you are singing. Does your heart burn with the gospel you are singing about?
–Adapted from Jared C. Wilson
It used to be that prayers were done in humble postures of the heart: asking, requesting, begging, like a servant bowed before the throne of a great king. Today, much of our prayers are about boldly declaring, decreeing, and commanding the blessings of God to go this way or that way. When did we start taking charge of God’s graces? When did we become too presumptuous?
Convicting words from Lee Eclov’s book Pastoral Graces:
Praying publicly is an occupational hazard for pastors because it is so easy to pray on autopilot. We pray so often for the same things that it is hard to be thoughtful and focused. I’ve stood before the church and said, “Let us pray,” bowed my head, and realized in that instant that I had no idea of what we actually needed to say to God. I wonder if such prayers are not a nuisance to God. They call for His attention but then have nothing to say. Continue reading Praying Cliché Prayers