June 29, 2017

What Truly Matters about This Year’s Election

My heart is heavy as I consider tomorrow's election. Whatever the result, our nation will suffer. We are being torn apart year by year as we fight our way to subduing the opposing parties. I can't think of a single friend who is truly happy about how things have progressed in this election. Even those who stand firmly behind a particular candidate have expressed frustration at some of that candidate's actions and attitudes... never mind the interchange between staunch supporters of the two main candidates and the problems inherent in the parties themselves. Those who dislike the winning candidate will point fingers at whoever voted for him/her, and blame those who chose not to vote for [...Read More]


6 Things to Do While You’re Waiting for Healing

Imagine you're dealing with a serious physical illness or injury that's life-changing in some way. You recognize God's sovereignty, yet naturally, you want to be healed of it. So you pray faithfully for healing. You remain steadfast in faith. You prioritize your spiritual well-being, but also use the gift of medicine that God has provided. And yet, you're still waiting for God to answer. He hasn't said no to your pleas for healing -- but He hasn't said yes either. So now what? Do you get overwhelmed with the seeming delay? Shrug your shoulders and "grin and bear it"? Retreat into some hiding place, whether books or movies or shopping therapy? Make demands of God to heal [...Read More]


What About Medical Means of Healing? (Part 5)

In addition to the spiritual principles given in His Word (see parts one, two, three, four), God has also provided medical aids we can use to seek healing. Doctors and medicines can often help us determine the physical cause of our suffering, remedy various problems, and help alleviate some of the symptoms. Even when we cannot discern the spiritual purpose for our illness, these medical means can often help us find a physical cause for whatever we are suffering -- and thus provide a way of relief from that suffering. And as long as we seek our Creator’s help first, we can certainly take advantage of other legitimate aids that He has provided through His marvelous creation! Let's take [...Read More]


Does the “Prayer of Faith” Bring Healing? (Part 4)

We’ve been looking at the Scriptural principles for seeking physical healing. If you missed the first three posts, start here: Should we pray for healing?, How to Pray for Healing, Is Faith Required for Healing?.  Consistent personal prayer and continued faith in God are the main criterion established in Scripture for seeking physical healing. We must also consider James 5:13–16, one of the few Scriptural passages which directly mentions the issue of seeking healing: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise [...Read More]


How to Pray for Healing (Part 2)

Previous posts in this series include: Should we pray for healing? Not only are prayers for physical health exemplified in God’s Word, but even common sense suggests wherever there is lack or need, there is reason to pray. For instance, in times of war we pray for peace, and in times of drought we pray for rain. Thus, it follows that in times of sickness, we ought to pray for healing. But it's not enough just to utter words asking God to heal -- we must pray according to the standards set forth in God's Word. In order to pray for healing, we must not only experience redemptive cleansing by Jesus’ blood, but we must also daily keep our hearts pure and righteous before Him. If we [...Read More]


Should We Pray for Healing? (Part 1)

Should we pray for healing? If so, are there any guidelines given in Scripture to help us pray for it more effectively? Where does faith come in? And what about traditional medical resources? Over the next six weeks, we'll consider how the Bible guides our answers to these challenging questions, and how we should apply its truth to our own unique encounters with physical suffering. When your body feels miserable, your spirit will respond by feeling miserable with discouragement, despondency, or doubt.  While we certainly suffer afflictions stemming from purely physical causes, God has created our bodies and spirits to be so intricately conjoined that what affects us in one area [...Read More]


How to Pray for Missionaries Who Return Home

It's my honor to introduce you to Deb Crawford, a fellow blogger with a heart for missions. She and her husband spent several years sharing the Gospel in South Africa. I asked her to share some thoughts about better supporting missionaries. She offers a unique perspective here, as she knows firsthand the challenges of returning from the field.  Returning missionaries are too often simply overlooked. We cross them off our prayer lists and forget how hard it must be to recalibrate so unexpectedly. But I hope you'll take her suggestions to heart -- and offer her your support too! Be sure to leave a comment, and take a moment to check out her blog. I know you'll be blessed by [...Read More]


Too Busy to Pray?

How have you been lately? Wait, let me guess... busy, right? Seems like we're all running crazy, trying to cram far more in a day than can reasonably fit within 24 hours. Between family schedules, work requirements, church commitments, medical appointments, and connecting with friends, our spare time is at a minimum. When that happens, we start thinking about what we can let go. And the first things to go are usually the disciplines that require consistent time and energy, but little or no participation from others - things like exercise, healthy eating, Bible study, prayer time. But prayer is not just "one more thing" to on your to-do list -- it is the foundation of your list! [...Read More]


7 Practical Tips for Intercession

Time is valuable. And sharing your time is one of the more valuable gifts you can give. But even more valuable is sharing your time in prayer for that person. To spend time earnestly interceding for someone (whether they know it or not) is one of the greatest ways to demonstrate love for another: to "spend and be spent" for the sake of another. It is costly: it requires time and energy and forethought. It is sacrificial: we spend time praying for others instead of praying for ourselves. And it is worth doing -- but like anything else worth doing, it is worth doing well.  Here's some suggestions to pray well for others: 1. Do it. Don't just talk about it, or listen to others talk [...Read More]


5 Ways to Pray for Election Day

Tuesday is election day. Are you planning to vote? I'm not going to get into the politics of it all, but I will say this about voting: We will never have a perfect leader here on earth until Christ establishes His millennial kingdom. Remember the stories of Israel's kings? Even the best of them (David, Solomon) committed terrible sins! So stop waiting for Mr. Perfect and simply choose the best of what we've got. To choose nobody (aka, to choose not to vote) is to nod approval to the way things are going. And the way things are going is down the path of least resistance -- declining morally and spiritually -- because that is what depraved humanity does. Depravity is like a fire that [...Read More]