Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saved By Faith Youth Challenge (SBFYC 2011)

Check out the SBFYC site here for next year's conference info.

Conference #25:  Paul Washer is speaking. 

Mark your calendars and save your money!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"The Prayer of the Lord": A Book Review

It is probably safe to say that Christians who read contemporary literature of any depth or worth are familiar with the name of R. C. Sproul.  Dr. Sproul, founder of Ligonier Ministries, is a well known author as well as a well known speaker in Christian circles.  Many, including myself, recognize his writing not only as bringing glory to our Lord Jesus Christ but also nourishing our souls.  "The Prayer of the Lord" is no exception.

This particular work focuses on what we commonly know as "The Lord's Prayer".  It recognizes the prayer to be a model for the prayers of all believers, an example for us on how to prayer.  The prayer was given by our Lord in response to a request from His discisples to teach them how to pray.

The book is a mere 130 pages (including indices) but is loaded with a wealth of practical advice.  There are 10 chapters, 8 of them focusing on the actual phrases of the prayer (e.g., "Hallowed Be Your Name").  Dr. Sproul begins the book by discussing what prayer is not to be  since that is where the Lord began his response to His own disciples.  The 10th and final chapter are questions and answers on the matter of prayer.

Here are some samples from this work:

"You should remember who is being addressed and who is doing the speaking.  That is, the first thing you are to remember in prayer is who it is you're talking to, because nothing will condition your prayer life more deeply than remembering that you're in conversation with God, the sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe.  Second, you are to remember who you are.  You are not God.  You are a creature.  So prayer is not a conversation between peers; it is not a fireside chat among equals.  This is the creature speaking to his sovereign Creator." 

"Thus, far from teaching the universal fatherhood of God, the Bible teaches the particular fatherhood of God.  Therefore, to call God 'Father' in the New Testament sense of the word, in the sense of the word the way the church expresses it as the family of God, is to affirm the very uniqueness of Christianity. ...The brotherhood of which the New Testament speaks is the brotherhood or sisterhood of fellowship enjoyed by all those who are adopted into the family of God and who are in Christ. ... Not all men are my brothers, only those who are in Christ.  However, all men are my neighbors, and I am required by God to treat these people as I would expect them to treat me.  I am required to love my neighbor as much as I love myself.  Jesus made it clear that the neighborhood is not restricted to the brotherhood."

"...come to God in a spirit of humble dependence, asking Him to provide what we need and to sustain us from day to day.  We are not given license to ask for great riches, but we are encouraged to make our needs known to Him, trusting that He will provide."

"Jesus taught His disciples that their prayers should be centered on the glory of God, and it is only after we spend time praising on the glory of God, and it is only after we spend time praising and adoring Him that we should shift to focusing on our needs..."

"We may come to God and speak to Him in these terms of personal intimacy, in a familial way, for we are part of His family.  However, we must keep the rest of the character of God in mind.  We must always remember that this One whom we address as Father is holy."

Yes, I loved the book.  Get it.  Read it.  Learn from it.