Tag Archives: Prayer

God Doesn’t Play Fetch

Our God has been so wild lately. He doesn’t seem to listen, he doesn’t obey my commands, and we can’t even bribe him with treats. He’s gotten so out of hand, he may even have to be put down.

You ever notice how we often treat God as some sort of pet, perhaps a dog or a horse? Barking orders at him, offering bribes and compromises, and then getting upset when our pathetic efforts fail to achieve their desired effect? What? You don’t do that? Oh, my bad. Or maybe you have. I know I have. In fact, I probably still do it on occasion. That old Adam likes to butt in whenever he can. I’m willing to bet you’ve probably done the same at some point too, perhaps without realizing it. I believe we often do it in our prayers during out time of need. Now, this is not to say we are mistaken when do these things. In fact, scripture tells us cast our burdens upon the Lord. I think the problem is when we expect him to answer us the way we want him to.

For example, imagine one who is going through a rough time. So they pray, “God, grant me X so that I may be well.” This person is asking for something from God. This is what he wants and it is a perfectly reasonable thing to pray for. But let’s say in his heart he is expecting God to do this, it’s not so much a begging but a command. Who is he to order around God? Then again, we have such a forgiving God that it’s easy for us to attempt to take advantage of him even without our realizing it. Of course we can’t take advantage of him, but that’s not the point.

So this prayer goes seemingly unanswered and the man decides may he have done wrong by not offering something in return. “God, grant me X and I shall give you Y.” It seems like such a reasonable thing. Surely if he is offering something it must be for the greater good. Perhaps he will give up pornography or become a missionary or slaughter a lamb on the altar. Except his sacrifices do no good because God doesn’t want them.

As time passes, the man see’s those whom he deems vile and wicked enjoying life and gaining all they desire while his own life crumbles before his eyes. Dejected, he’s had enough of God. He kills him in his heart and finds a new one.

What the poor man doesn’t see is that God has already answered his prayers roughly two thousand years ago on a cross with his own son. A sacrifice that no other can compare to.

This fictional man I told you of is just one of many thousands of examples. Whatever your prayer, God has already answered it with the death of his son, Jesus Christ. Whatever your trial, cast it upon the Lord, but don’t be upset if you don’t get the answer you want. Whether you do or don’t get it delivered in your preferred method doesn’t matter because God has answered it how he sees fit. Honestly, any prayer that is answered as we want is simply just icing on the cake. Perhaps…

God is not the problem. The problem is the people who want to be the leader of the pack. We reintroduce God. We retrain people.

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Actions, Minds, and Perceptions

Though the tale is amusing, it’s a good lesson about our actions and perceptions. Though my positive actions made this tale somewhat heartwarming, my negative actions (which may be partially what led to this) could’ve made this for a very different story. It’s good food for thought, and I hope you’ll head over to bradgrierson.com to read the whole thing.

bradgrierson dotcom

A week or so ago, we as a family were sitting down to a dinner. As it was, we happened to be consuming pizza. As we were eating, my wife and I were discussing our day as our daughter sat in her high chair eating her portion. As my wife conversed, we suddenly heard loudly from the direction of our child, “Oh God!”

We stopped suddenly and looked at each other, eyes wide with shock. I could tell by looking at my wife that she was thinking the same thing as I was. Our thoughts were, “Oh no! Our daughter must have heard one of us in some moment of frustration saying something we ought not say.” It was a perfectly reasonable thought. Everyone says things they wish they didn’t when they’re mad or frustrated and I don’t exactly have the most delicate tongue when I am such a state. This isn’t…

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Why I am a Christian and more

This is a must read for any Christian. I must say that Greg is a far better man than I and that I can only hope to practice my faith at least half as well as he does. The beauty of this post is that it’s not law. It’s just good habits that he practices. I see a lot of areas where I can greatly improve on (namely all of them) and changes I should be making, not because I have to, but because it is good.

Eilers Pizza

Why I am a Christian

This is my essay about why I am a Christian.

I am a Christian because I am going to die and only one person, God-in-the-flesh Jesus Christ, has beaten death with His death and resurrection, which means He is the only One who is able to offer the cure for death, which is His gift of my own resurrection to eternal life.

That was my essay about why I am a Christian.

Of course, there is more to the Christian faith, and you might even argue that I am a Christian because I was born into a Christian family. Every other thing aside—how I was reared, what else the Lord does for me—is in the shadow of this shining light: Jesus Christ gives life which transcends this life, the resurrection to a life when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or…

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My confession and faith

Eilers Pizza

The most important thing I could ever write
The problem of God: part three

The problem with God is me.

I know what His Word says. I believe every word of it. I know that, because of Adam’s sin, I was born with Original Sin and, therefore, I am by this nature sinful and unclean, which causes me to sin in thought, word, and deed. I know that Jesus Christ paid for my sins, that believing in Him I have eternal life (John 3:16) and being baptized into His Name I am clothed with Him (Galatians 3:27) so that God the Father sees me as holy as the Holy One, His Son.

I know that the Lord made us male and female. I believe what He says about marriage. I know that I am a man, married to a woman, the father of five children, an ordained minister in a…

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Not everything is a blessing

Mustard Seed Budget

discernmentMany things are said to be blessings, but not all comes from God. If you swallow the wrong stuff, it will be bitter. I guess that’s why Rom. 12:2 says we should pray for discernment. The fact that the majority says something is good does not mean that it is in fact good. As human beings, we want to receive true good from God, not a something that looks like it.

Comic source: pinterest

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A right way to pray?

Sometimes I ponder if I am praying in a right way. I open my mouth and start to speak and for one reason or another, I am simply at a lose for words. In those cases, I often just repeat things I’ve said many times in the past. It doesn’t always sound sincere, but when I’m at a loss, I just kinda go with whatever comes out. But just because they’ve been repeated doesn’t make them any less important. If the words are honest and truthful, does the tone of sincerity really matter? I would presume not because these prayers are not for the adoration of others but for the sake of prayer. And with some prayers, they are repeated because we are commanded to (IE, the Lord’s Prayer) or because they instill in us good Christian thought. What I mean by that last part is that they edify us in the way of Christ and scripture.

None of this to say that spontaneous prayer is bad. I will at times just start praying with no Apostles Creed or Lord’s prayer. My mouth just opens and I speak my prayers and needs to God. Nothing fancy. No formalities. Just simply praying what needs to be prayed. My speech in these instances are generally not carefully thought out and in some cases, not always proper, but they are honest and good prayers heard by God in the highest.

I hear people talk about one form of prayer being better than the other. Those who dislike formal prayer because it doesn’t feel as though it is from the heart and those who dislike spontaneous prayer because it lakes the structure and edification that the formal prayer contains. I feel that neither is wrong and both have their place. When one just simply needs to pray and pray right then, then perhaps in these cases spontaneous prayer may be for the best. Sometimes one just needs to get prayer out right away without distraction. On the other hand, in instances where one has the opportunity to be more thoughtful or needs to be put in a better frame of mind, then the formal prayer is much preferred. It clears ones head and speaks biblical truths to the person praying. This allows the person speaking the prayer to be more thoughtful and mindful with his words and perhaps even pray with greater reverence than he would otherwise.

In so many words, I do not feel that there is a wrong way to pray. Some ways that may perhaps be better than others, but what is most important is that you pray. Pray with a Christian mind and your prayer will be a good one. Don’t worry about getting it right or wrong. A Christian prayer is always the right prayer.

EDIT: I had link to this post on Tsu.co and a fellow poster over there provided some scripture that had slipped my mind which I felt was very relevant to this post, so I would like to add his comment to this. Acts One Eight Ministry says this:

Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” The Spirit prays for us. He prays with us. That doesn’t cover this whole article, but it does address the section about our inclination to repeat words without heart.

I felt his comment was very good and wanted to include it in the post for supporting scriptural reference. Thank you.

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A clean heart

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.

 Oh, what a wonderful verse. Sometimes, we focus so much on certain portions of scripture that we forget other equally important ones. The Psalms are a wonderful thing and contain great words. I had this on my mind late last night. These words ring strong as something we should pray everyday. Our hearts are filthy, wicked things which taint our spirit. Yet we are washed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is simply one man’s opinion, but since the old Adam is constantly tearing away at the Christian, we should pray daily that God puts in us a clean heart and renews our spirit that we might not be tempted to fall away and that we always look to the cross for our hope.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me that I may always do what is pleasing in your eyes and call upon you in my times of trouble and distress. Amen.

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Thank God for great preachers

In a day when the good sermons seem to be outnumbered by the bad, we should give immense thanks to God for the great pastors that he has blessed us with.  It is here that I would just like to name a few.  Pastor Bill Cwirla of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, CA.  Pastor Craig Donofrio of God Whisperers fame.  Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church of the AALC in Oslo, MN.  Retired Pastor Greg Eilers, formerly pastor in Port Hope Michigan.  He should totally come out of retirement and plant a new church.  Perhaps in Maine because three is far too few.  Pastor Jonathan Fisk, host of Worldview Everlasting.  LCMS President Matt Harrison, may his reign be long and fruitful.  Pastor Todd Wilken of Issues Etc.  And my own Paul Nielsen of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Waterville, ME.  These are men that every time you hear them preach, you are guaranteed both law and gospel, exactly what every sermon should be.  There are many others out there and if you’ve got a pastor that preaches like these do, hang on to them.  They’re giving you exactly what you need.

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Thanksgiving

The Lord Jesus Christ has defeated death.  He has triumphed over sin. As such, we should be joyful with thanksgiving always. For without Christ there is no hope. We would be slaves to our sin. And though the Devil makes repeated attempts to catch us in his snare, we can rest assured that Jesus Christ has already cut the rope. Sure, we might trip over it as we sinful beings are wont to do, but it will not fling us into the air and dangle us from our ankle.

Lord Jesus Christ, it is with great thanksgiving for your shed blood on the cross that we come to you. Without your sinless life combined with your sacrifice and resurrection, we would be rightfully cursed to the pit where Satan and his angels reside. Thank you for Holy baptism that when I stumble, I can look on it and say, “Yes, Christ died for me. I am saved.” There is none greater you. May your Holy named continue to bless us all. Amen.

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Pray in good cheer and then some

I admit, I am very bad at prayer.  For whatever reason, I almost never do it except for Sundays at church.  Perhaps it’s a lifetime of not praying that I can attribute this too.  Old habits are tough to break and all that.  And then, if I do pray when I’m not in church, it’s usually because I’m having a rough time.  I know I’m not the only one.  So many of us pray only in times of trouble.  When life is going grand, when everything is awesome, prayer just kinda gets shoved to the side.  But that’s not how it should be.  Ephesians 6:16-18 says we should be praying at all times and in all circumstances.

Yesterday I had a wonderful day with my wife.  I went to bed happy, perhaps the happiest I’ve gone to bed in quite some time.  I was so grateful for such a wonderful day that I had to pray about it.  I had to give thanks to God for the wonderful day I had.  That’s a start.  But what about when I’m simply having a bad day?  Or a good day?  Or even a day that just kinda meh?  I am to pray then too as are we all.  In every trouble, in every joy, and in every situation, we should pray.  I need to get better at it, and I bet you do as well.

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