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September 26


Boiling Prayers


We face two dangers whenever we talk about prayer. We can make prayer seem so difficult that only the “super-Christians” can pray effectively while the rest of us just muddle along. Sometimes the stories we tell about saints who spent hours on their knees crying out to God end up discouraging us because we’re busy and tired and the kids are wearing us out and our job is a hassle and life feels like a burden, so even if Luther prayed two hours every morning, that…

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“Humble yourself!”
He shouted it a second time.
“Humble yourself!”

It happened just after the end of the college football playoff game between Georgia and Oklahoma. As the two teams exited the field, after Georgia defeated Oklahoma in a thrilling double-overtime victory, one of the Georgia players spotted the Oklahoma quarterback and shouted those two words at him:

“Humble…

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How to Love Your Enemies


You never know what will grab someone’s heart.

 

Mosab Hassan Yousef grew up as a Muslim. From an early age, he studied the Quran, memorized its teachings, said the daily prayers, and followed the way of Islam as faithfully as he could. In that respect, he was like many other young men growing up in Palestinian towns in the West Bank, with one important exception.

 

His father was one of the founders of Hamas, the militant…

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How to Pray When Life Blows Up


“Prayer is not everything but everything is by prayer.” So said Ray Ortlund. All Christians would agree with that statement. No matter what our background, instinctively we know prayer is central to the Christian life.

 

We all know we ought to pray.

We all feel we should pray more than we do.

 

Life can change so quickly. The phone rings and a voice says, "I've got bad news." It could be anything:

 

            A failed…

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Where Revival Begins


The Scottish poet Robert Burns said it this way: 

“Would some power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!”

 

It’s a gift most of us need to receive more often. We all want to believe the best about ourselves. That’s natural, and it’s even healthy. But it’s also healthy to have someone hold the mirror in front of your face and say, “This is what you…

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If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?


“I listen more than I talk.”

That’s how a well-known pastor described his prayer life in a sermon I heard recently. It was the reason he gave that arrested my attention.

“After all, it seems like God is going to do whatever he wants to do anyway.”

There are various ways to respond to that statement, including simply nodding your head in agreement. If we don’t dispute the sovereignty of God (and we don’t), then where and how does prayer fit into God’s plan? Or…

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The Mystery of Unanswered Prayer


“You won’t believe the things that have happened to me."

The man stood over my desk as he spoke those words. Then he proceeded to tell a tale of woe the likes of which I had not heard in many years. As I listened, it seemed to boil down to three basic parts. First, he had lost his promising career through a complicated series of cunning plots against him. Then his wife left him for greener pastures and more securi­ty. And now he was facing a mountain of legal bills. He seemed…

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I talked to Peter Wang Last Night


Wednesday night

 

I had a Skype conversation with Peter Wang in Dalian, China tonight. He told me that Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the first time the police tried to shut down his church. They first raided a prayer meeting and later interrupted a Sunday church service, eventually forcing his congregation to move into Peter’s apartment and then forcing Peter’s family to move to a different apartment. Those were dark, hard days for Peter and his family and his…

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When last we left Jonah, he was in the belly of the great fish. He was in a bad fix and a bad way. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, “Nothing clears the mind like the certain knowledge that you will be shot in the morning."

That’s obviously true.

If a man knows he is going to be shot very soon, it has a way of clearing the mind of trivial details. You don’t worry about washing the car if you know you’re going to be shot at sunrise. Someone else can wash the car. You’ve got bigger…

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  • Hi Ray. I invite you to join a group. We are worshiping Christ and praying for His lordship in every part of our lives and across the nation, using 153 names and attributes of Christ (one for each day, Aug. 1 - Dec. 31). You can go to: http://www.prayersummits.net/articles.html, then click on daily names of Christ. CHRIST IS ALL, Steve Hall
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