Hallowed Be Thy Name


Growing up, I said the Our Father prayer a lot.

A lot. Multiple times a day.

It was part of my religious tradition. Most of the time, I mumbled it as quickly as I could.

For what it’s worth, my Dad tried to help me understand that mumbling the prayer without understanding what it really meant wasn’t the goal. He wanted me to understand it. He wanted me to mean it.

I remember sitting with him in the car one afternoon while we went through every phrase. He did his best to explain to me what the terms meant. Why we would say these things. Why it mattered.

It didn’t take. Continue reading

Show Me Your Glory!

Show Me Your Glory

If the Bible recorded your life story how would it describe you?

David is described as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Joseph, Mary’s husband, is simply described as a righteous man (Matthew 1:19).

Nabal lived up to his name which simply means “fool” (1 Samuel 25:25).

So how would the Bible describe you if your life was recorded in its pages? Continue reading

Praying For You

hypocritesI don’t want to be a hypocrite. Do you?

Merriam-Webster gives a simple definition: “a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.”

The full definition?

Full Definition of hypocrite


  1.   a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

  2.   a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

If I say I am praying for you but I don’t actually take the time to pray for you then I am putting on a false appearance of religion. I am acting in contradiction to my stated belief by stating that prayer for you is important then not following through.

If this is true for me then it is also true for you.

Continue reading

Different Pursuits

two points of view

Earlier this week I attended a prayer rally with one of the elders of our local church and two of my children. It was a great event at the capitol of our state. There were thousands of people there. We all prayed for our nation. Our prayer followed the pattern Nehemiah prayed in Nehemiah 1.

We started by confessing the sins of our nation. There are many.

We then moved to a time of confessing our own sins. These, too, are many.

Then we confessed the sins of our fathers. You guessed it. Many.

We were seeking the grace and favor of the living God in obedience to His commandment to His people to pray for our leaders.

First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NET)

In the midst of praying for this it struck me that while many of us were praying the same things we were not necessarily praying in unity. Our prayers were on the same topic. They were not necessarily for the same pursuit. Continue reading

Worthy of the Lord

Blessed road

Jesus is not a supplement. He is not an additive. He did not come to enhance or improve your life.

Jesus came to give you a new life.

When we get this confused we may offer a version of Jesus to people that will make them comfortable. Happy. Satisfied. Sometimes people try to convince others that Jesus is worthy of being included in their current life.

Jesus is much, much more than a life-enhancer. He is the life-giver.

Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father. Our sin separates us from our Creator. Jesus willingly gave His sinless life as a substitute on the cross to endure the wrath we deserve and give us the gift of His perfect righteousness.

He makes those who receive Him worthy by His life. He qualifies us to receive an inheritance in the kingdom of God. As a result we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

Many people don’t truly understand grace. They think grace is primarily permissive. They think it allows us to sin and be forgiven. This is only partially true. Continue reading

The Power of Unbelief

Mr. Skeptic

Unbelief is one of the most powerful forces on earth.

That may seem odd. But it’s true. There is a section in Mark’s Gospel that makes this so clear. Read it for yourself in Mark 4:35-6:6.

Mark records Jesus calming the wind and sea with a word. The disciples respond to this display of power with fear. They ask one another,

“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:41)

It’s a good question. The demonstration of Jesus’ power is just beginning. The answer will become more and more clear to them. Continue reading

Will Jesus Find Faith?

I’m not the first person to ask this question.

Jesus asked it Himself.

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b, NET)

Jesus wasn’t having a crisis of faith. He wasn’t experiencing doubt in His identity or mission. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b, NET)

Jesus wasn’t asking if He would find faith internally. Jesus asked if He will find faith objectively and externally to Himself on earth. So, will He?

What exactly is Jesus looking for? Continue reading

Politics & Religion


When I was growing up I was taught that you don’t talk politics or religion. At least, not with strangers. Better to keep these topics “in-house.” Only bring either of these up when you know the people you are conversing with already agree with you.

If you’re not careful these two topics can be polarizing. It can get heated pretty quickly.

After becoming a Christian, I found out that followers of Christ are commanded to talk religion. It’s the Great Commission. We are supposed to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.

We can’t do that without opening our mouths. We have to talk about it. We have to tell people about Jesus. Who He is. What He taught. Why it matters.

I also found that when followers of Christ are humble and loving in their evangelism that many people – even strangers – don’t mind the conversation. Surely, some people still get pretty upset whenever someone talks about Jesus. But this isn’t new.

Experience has taught me that politics can sometimes be much more treacherous territory than religious talk. That’s not what concerns me. Continue reading

Growing in Prayer

Personal and corporate prayer is an area that I always want to be growing in. I hope the same is true for you.

Over the years I have encountered a few good resources that have helped me move in this direction. I’ve encountered many others that were not so good. For me, anyway.

I’ve suggested previously that one of the best ways to grow in prayer is simply by praying. The more time we spend in prayer the easier and more natural it becomes.

This is not only true of private prayer. It is also true of praying with others. The more we pray together the more natural it becomes.

I especially enjoy praying with others who have been walking with the Lord longer than I have and who I know have spent a lot of time in prayer themselves. I am encouraged to hear what they pray about. Often, the content of their prayers causes me to grow. Usually the Lord has put some different things on their heart and mind than He has put on mine. When we pray together our perspective is increased.

In addition to praying alone and praying together I wanted to recommend three resources that have been a great blessing and encouragement to me with the hopes that they will be an encouragement to you in your prayer life. I would also like to invite you to let me know any resources that have blessed you in the area of prayer. Continue reading



As a father of six children (so far) that is a familiar sound for me. It is especially joyous to hear the excited shouts each time I come home. No matter how difficult the day may have been it lifts my heart to know that my children are happy that I am home. They are excited to see my face. They want to spend some time with me.

It is also a humbling experience. It strikes me that this joy may not last forever. My children are still young. The likelihood that they will express such exuberant joy at my returning home into their teenage and young adult years is doubtful.

Another reason this is humbling is because I see the excitement that my children have to see me, their earthly father, but I know that God’s children are not always this excited to spend time with their heavenly Father. I don’t need to look any further than in the mirror to know this is true.

Why should it be that we lose the excitement of knowing that God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ? Why should we lose the awe in knowing that our heavenly Father loves us and paid a tremendous price so that we could have the privilege of boldly entering into His presence and spending time with Him in prayer? How can this ever get old?

As I’ve been in ministry these past seven years I’ve learned two things again and again:

  1. Prayer is important and necessary.
  2. Prayer is easy to drift from.

Maybe you can’t relate. Perhaps you exemplify the scriptural command to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17).

I wish I did. But I don’t.

Studying the Scriptures comes easily to me. It’s how I’m wired. Most people who know me know that some of my best relationships are with books!

However, I know I should never settle for simply knowing about God when He has so graciously invited me to know Him. Don’t get me wrong – reading the Bible is a wonderful blessing. It is a blessing that directs us to the Living God Himself. Knowing the Scriptures should enrich our prayer lives. But it can’t replace it.

Fortunately, the Lord consistently draws me back to Himself. Recently, I have been enjoying a renewed sense of urgency and joy in spending time with our Father in prayer.

Are you?

If not, there is no better time than today to get started. It has been said well and often that the best way to learn how to pray is by praying. There are many methods and models of prayer. Let me suggest that the best way to pray is in line with who you are. Pray in a way that comes relatively naturally to you.

If you hate to write, then journaling is probably not for you even if this is a great method for others. Attempting to pray in ways that are completely contrary to the way you are built is a good recipe for disappointment. It’s a surefire way to ensure that your season of devoted prayer will be short-lived.

All of my children want to spend time with me. They don’t all want to spend it with me in the same ways. If you are a Christian then your heavenly Father made it possible for you to enjoy Him both in this life and the life to come. For me, spending quiet time alone and praying while walking provide great times of fellowship with me and our Father.

There are many biblical examples of how others have prayed. The most important thing to realize is not how they prayed but that they prayed.

Let that lift your spirit and encourage you to take full advantage of your opportunity today. Then, again tomorrow. Learn to pray by praying. If you already are a prayer warrior, then consider encouraging others you know by sharing how the Lord has worked in your life to bring you where you are today.

Feel free to share encouragements and thoughts on prayer in the comments. Be blessed as you walk with the living God today!