Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

prayer

April 08, 2009

In the past week or two I have been thinking a lot about my times of personal devotion, trying to see where I have allowed them to become just the “same old”—where I may have fallen into bad habits or lazy customs. I have been thinking about what I can do to make these times that will serve to help me grow in godliness while at the same ensuring that they are opportunities to bring worship to God. This is something I find that I need to do on a regular basis. My reflections on prayer coincided with reading 1 Timothy in my times of personal worship. In 1 Timothy we read Paul’s command that “in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.” This set me to thinking about the posture of prayer. The chapter has quite a few things to say about the content of prayer (e.g. “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…”) but it also includes these words about posture, the actions of a person’s body in prayer. I began to think about how I pray; not just the words, but also the posture.

Of course we need to affirm that God is far more concerned with the content of our prayers than the posture of our prayers. It is far more important to examine the heart than to examine the feet or the hands. At the same time, there is no doubt that our bodies can be an expression of our hearts (as you see when you shake your fist at the car that cut you off or when you clap your hands at the end of an inspired performance). And so it is useful, I think, to examine what the Bible says about our bodies during prayer.

I turned to Philip Ryken’s excellent commentary on 1 Timothy and found that he highlights several of the ways the Bible tells us to pray. I will summarize them just briefly, hoping that you find it useful, as I have.

Bowing

The Bible, and the Psalms especially, describe bowing during prayer. This is a posture we often use today and one we teach our children when we tell them to bow their heads (out of respect) and to fold their hands (probably out of respect and so they do not fidget!). Psalm 5 says “I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you” while Psalm 95:6 says “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Bowing is a sign of respect and honor. Even today we may bow toward a king or dignitary, expressing in that action our respect for that person.

Kneeling

The Bible mentions several people who knelt during prayer, among them Daniel (Daniel 6:10) and Stephen (Acts 7:60). And of course Jesus himself knelt to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. He “withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed” (Luke 22:41). Kneeling is a sign of humility and a sign of dependence. A person might kneel in the presence of a king or queen and he would do so as a sign of his deference to that person. It is difficult to be proud when kneeling before another. And so kneeling is a very natural posture for the Christian as he prays to the Lord. It seems a very natural position for bringing petitions to God, acknowledging God’s superiority and our utter dependence on him.

Standing

The Bible often mentions people standing to pray in public worship. When Solomon dedicated the temple, he knelt before God to pray while all the people stood (Chronicles 6:3, 13). In the same vein, Jehoshaphat “stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 20:5). It became customary for Jewish people to stand for prayer while in their synagogues. Such posture has roots in the Christian faith as well. Ryken shows that Justin Martyr, Origen, Jerome and Augustine all wrote of standing for public prayer. Today we stand in the presence of a judge when he enters his court room. Until recently students would stand when their professor entered the room. And, until recent days, many churches encouraged people to stand during prayer. Standing is, of course, a sign of respect. We stand in the presence of those we respect (or at least as a sign of our respect for their position or their authority). And so standing for prayer is a natural position especially for times of corporate prayer as the people stand in God’s presence out of respect for his authority.

Lying Prostrate

Scripture also mentions people praying flat on the ground with their faces pressed to the earth. Moses fell in the presence of the Lord (Numbers 16:22, 20:6) as did Joshua (Joshua 5:14). Job fell to the ground and worshiped when he was in the depths of his despair. And, of course, the angels and elders who pray before God’s heavenly throne fall on their faces. “And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”” (Revelation 7:11). This is a sign of utter respect. A man may fall to the ground before another person when that other person has absolute power of life or death. To do so is to acknowledge one’s absolute unworthiness and to beg the grace of the other person. And so in prayer laying prostrate is a natural position for those who are overwhelmed either by trouble and woe or by a sense of the glory and majesty of God (or both!).

Hands Raised

And Scripture describes those who raise their hands in prayer. This was the way the priests worshiped in the temple (Psalm 134, 141, etc). And from extra-Scriptural sources we know that raising hands in prayer was customary in the early church. Ryken quotes Tertullian who said, “We Christians pray for all emperors, &c., looking up to heaven, with our hands stretched out, because guiltless; with our heads uncovered, because we are not ashamed.” Early Christian artwork often portrays those who prayed doing so with their hands raised. Such a posture signifies praise. Think today of a rock concert where people may raise their hands toward the stage in what looks almost like an act of praise and worship. And, of course, many Christians raise their hands when they sing, using this as a physical manifestation of their praise. Raising hands is appropriate in prayer especially during times of praising God. Ryken says “This posture is especially appropriate for the minister who leads in public prayer. When he stands in God’s presence to offer prayer on behalf of God’s people, he may raise his hands to show that the church’s prayers are offered to God as a sacrifice of praise.”

Nowhere does the Bible command us that we must set our bodies in one position or another during prayer. Yet it does describe a variety of positions that each have their own significance. You may find it useful to practice some of these postures in your times of private prayer, allowing that posture to be a reflection of your heart, whether it is a heart overwhelmed with the cares of life, a heart rejoicing in the majesty of God or a heart quieted in humble obedience to God.

March 08, 2009

While Charles Spurgeon has justly gone down in history as “the Prince of Preachers,” he was also a man who prayed very powerfully. Tony Capoccia has gone to the trouble of updating just a few of Spurgeon’s prayers, removing some of the antiquated language and replacing it with language that is a bit more familiar to us. Though these prayers are clearly geared to corporate prayer, they are valuable even to individuals as we seek to pray better, more powerfully, to our God. Here is one that Tony has titled “The Wings of Prayer.” I marked with bold type my favorite portion of the prayer.


Our Father, Your children who know You delight themselves in Your presence. We are never happier than when we are near You. We have found a little heaven in prayer. It has eased our load to tell You of its weight; it has relieved our wound to tell You of its hurt; it has restored our spirit to confess to You its wanderings. No place like the mercy seat for us.

We thank You, Lord, that we have not only found benefit in prayer, but in the answers to it we have been greatly enriched. You have opened Your hidden treasures to the voice of prayer; You have supplied our necessities as soon we have cried to You; yes, we have found it true: “Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.”

We do bless You, Lord, for instituting the blessed ordinance of prayer. What could we do without it, and we take great shame to ourselves that we should use it so little. We pray that we may be men and women of prayer, taken up with it, that it may take us up and bear us on its wings towards heaven.

And now at this hour will You hear the voice of our supplication. First, we ask at Your hands, great Father, complete forgiveness for all our sins and shortcomings. We hope we can say with truthfulness that we do from our heart forgive all those who have in any way trespassed against us. There lies not in our heart, we hope, a thought of enmity towards any man. However we have been slandered or wronged, we would, with our inmost heart, forgive and forget it all.

We come to You and pray that, for Jesus’s sake, and through the virtue of the blood once shed for many for the remission of sins, You would give us perfect pardon of every sin of the past. Blot out, O God, all our sins like a cloud, and let them never be seen again. Grant us also the peace- speaking word of promise supplied by the Holy Spirit, that being justified by faith we may have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us be forgiven and know it, and may there remain no lingering question in our heart about our reconciliation with God, but by a firm, full assurance based on faith in the finished work of Christ may we stand as forgiven men and women against whom transgression shall never be mentioned forever again.

And then, Lord, we have another mercy to ask which shall be the burden of our prayer. It is that You would help us to live such lives as pardoned men should live. We have but a little time to live here, for our life is but a vapor; soon it vanishes away; but we are most anxious that we may spend the time of our sojourning here in holy fear, that grace may be on us from the commencement of our Christian life even to the earthly close of it.

Lord, You know there are some that have not yet begun to live for You, and the prayer is now offered that they may today be born again. Others have been long in Your ways and are not weary of them. We Sometimes wonder that You arc not weary of us, but assuredly we delight ourselves in the ways of holiness more than ever we did. Oh! that our ways were directed to keep Your statutes without slipping or flaws. We wish we were perfectly obedient in thought, and word, and deed, entirely sanctified. We shall never be satisfied till we wake up in Christ’s likeness, the likeness of perfection itself. Oh! wake us to this perfection, we beseech You. May experience teach us more and more how to avoid occasions of sin. May we grow more watchful; may we have a greater supremacy over our own spirit; may we be able to control ourselves under all circumstances, and so act that if the Master were to come at any moment we should not be ashamed to give our account in His hands.

Lord, we are not what we want to be. This is our sorrow. Oh! that You would, by Your Spirit, help us in the walks of life to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. As men of business, as work-people, as parents, as children, as servants, as masters, whatever we may be, may we be such that Christ may look on us with pleasure. May His joy be in us, for then only can our joy be full.

Dear Savior, we are Your disciples, and You are teaching us the art of living; but we are very dull and very slow, and beside, there is such a bias in our corrupt nature, and there are such examples in the world, and the influence of an ungodly generation tells even on those that know You. O, dear Saviour, do not be impatient with us, but still teach us at Your feet, till at last we shall have learned some of the sublime lessons of self-sacrifice, of meekness, humility, fervor, boldness, and love which Your life is fit to teach us. O Lord, we beseech You to mold us in Your own image. Let us live in You and live like You. Let us gaze on Your glory till we are transformed by the sight and become Christlike among the sons of men.

Lord, hear the confessions of any that have backslidden, who are rather marring Your image than perfecting it. Hear the prayers of any that are conscious of great defects during the past. Give them peace of mind by pardon, but give them strength of mind also to keep clear of such mischief in the future. O Lord, we are sighing and crying more and more after Yourself. The more we have of You the more we want You; the more we grow like You; the more we perceive our defects, and the more we pine after a higher standard to reach even to perfection itself.

Oh! help us. Spirit of the living God, continue still to work in us. Let the groanings that cannot be uttered be stilled within our Spirit, for these are growing pains, and we shall grow while we can sigh and cry, while we can confess and mourn; yet this is not without a blessed hopefulness that He that has begun a good work in us will perfect it in the day of Christ.

Bless, we pray You, at this time, the entire church of God in every part of the earth. Prosper the work and service of Christian people, however they endeavor to spread the kingdom of Christ. Convert the heathen; enlighten those that are in any form of error. Bring the entire church back to the original form of Christianity. Make her first pure and then she shall be united. O Savior, let Your kingdom come. Oh! that You would reign and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We pray You use every one of us according as we have ability to be used. Take us, and let no talent be wasted in the treasure house, but may every dollar of Yours be put out in trading for You in the blessed market of soul-winning. Oh! give us success. Increase the gifts and graces of those that are saved. Bind us in closer unity to one another than ever. Let peace reign; let holiness adorn us.

Hear us as we pray for all lands, and then for all sorts of men, from the Sovereign on the throne to the peasant in the cottage. Let the benediction of heaven descend on men, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

February 28, 2009

Many weekends I like to post a prayer from that collection of Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision. I do this because I need to learn to pray and because I know there is much I can learn from this book. Though it is not an instruction manual, there is a sense in which is serves in just that way. Most of us (perhaps all of us) learn to pray by imitating others. And the people who prayed these prayers and recorded them for us are worthy of imitation. These are not prayers to be read as if just reading the words has any power or worth; they are prayers to be prayed as if they were your own words. As you speak them, offering them to God, they become just that.

This is the prayer that gave its name to the book. It is called “The Valley of Vision.”

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.

February 22, 2009

It was a long but beautiful day today. I spent just about all of it, from beginning to end, with God’s people—time spent with them worshiping God, time spent with them in fellowship. Early this morning I had hoped to post a prayer from the Valley of Vision but time got away from me. It seems even more appropriate to do so now, with the day drawing to a close. Here is “Evening Praise,” a prayer that brings to a close a glorious day.

Giver of all,
Another day is ended
and I take my place beneath
my great Redeemer’s cross,
where healing streams continually descend,
where balm is poured into every wound,
where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood,
assured that Thou seest in me no spots of sin.
Yet a little while and I shall go to thy home
and be no more seen;
help me to gird up the loins of my mind,
to quicken my step,
to speed as if each moment were my last,
that my life be joy, my death glory.

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world—
the refreshing air,
the light of the sun,
the food that renews strength,
the raiment that clothes,
the dwelling that shelters,
the sleep that gives rest,
the starry canopy of night,
the summer breeze,
the flowers’ sweetness,
the music of flowing streams,
the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends.
Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort.
My cup runs over.
Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies.
Thy hand bestows blessings:
Thy power averts evil.
I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces,
the full warmth of faith,
the cheering presence of thy Spirit,
the strength of thy restraining will,
thy spiking of hell’s artillery.
Blessed be my sovereign Lord!

January 25, 2009

Today is widely regarded as the best Sunday of the month at Grace Fellowship Church. We gather in the morning for our regular morning service but afterward, instead of going our separate ways, we enjoy a potluck fellowship lunch. Following that, we have a brief second service that culminates in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. I thought this was an appropriate prayer for any of us who are preparing to enjoy Lord’s Supper on this Lord’s Day. It is drawn from The Valley of Vision.

God of all good,
I bless thee for the means of grace;
teach me to see in them thy loving purposes
and the joy and strength of my soul.

Thou hast prepared for me a feast;
and though I am unworthy to sit down as guest,
I wholly rest on the merits of Jesus,
and hide myself beneath his righteousness;
When I hear his tender invitation
and see his wondrous grace,
I cannot hesitate, but must come to thee in love.

By thy spirit enliven my faith rightly to discern
and spiritually to apprehend the Saviour.
While I gaze upon the emblems of my Saviour’s death,
may I ponder why he died, and hear him say,
‘I gave my life to purchase yours,
presented myself an offering to expiate your sin,
shed my blood to blot out your guilt,
opened my side to make you clean,
endured your curses to set you free,
bore your condemnation to satisfy divine justice.’

Oh may I rightly grasp the breadth and length of this design,
draw near, obey, extend the hand,
take the bread, receive the cup,
eat and drink, testify before all men
that I do for myself, gladly, in faith,
reverence and love, receive my Lord,
to be my life, strength, nourishment, joy, delight.

In the supper I remember his eternal love,
boundless grace, infinite compassion,
agony, cross, redemption,
and receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life, glory.
As the outward elements nourish my body,
so may thy indwelling Spirit invigorate my soul,
until that day when I hunger and thirst no more,
and sit with Jesus at his heavenly feast.

December 31, 2008

Yet another year is giving us its last gasps. Tonight we’ll celebrate the passing of an old year and the dawning of a new one. It is a good occasion, a good opportunity, to reflect on the year that was and the year that will be. To that end, here is a prayer drawn from The Valley of Vision. It shares hope and encouragement for the new year. It is a good one to include in your prayers as you look forward to 2009.

O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me They grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.
May Thy fear by my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.

December 28, 2008

Let me share again today a prayer from The Valley of Vision that great collection of Puritan prayers. This one seems appropriate as we approach the end of another year and look forward to the year beyond.

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
when thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.
November 22, 2008

Here is another prayer from The Valley of Vision. I think this one has somehow struck me deeper than any other in the book. This confession both shames and encourages me: “I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.” Here it is, a prayer that God would remove the dark guest who haunts me.


O Lord,

Bend my hands and cut them off, for I have often struck thee with a wayward will, when these fingers should embrace thee by faith.

I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.

Let me not only speak the word sin, but see the thing itself.

Give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified they are never wholly mortified.

Hatred, malice, ill-will,vain-glory that hungers for and hunts after man’s approval and applause, all are crucified, forgiven, but they rise again in my sinful heart.

O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!

Destroy, O God, the dark guest within whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.

Yet thou hast not left me here without grace; The cross still stands and meets my needs in the deepest straits of the soul.

I thank thee that my remembrance of it is like David’s sight of Goliath’s sword which preached forth thy deliverance.

The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls, bring afresh into my mind the remembrance of thy great help, of thy support from heaven, of the great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.

There is no treasure so wonderful as that continuous experience of thy grace toward me which alone can subdue the risings of sin within:

Give me more of it.

November 16, 2008

I have the privilege of preaching tonight on the topic of the Trinity. It seemed appropriate, then, that I would combine this topic with the prayers I often post on Sundays—prayers drawn from The Valley of Vision. This prayer is the first in the book and is known simply as “The Trinity.” What a great prayer it is.

Three in One, One in Three, God of my salvation,

Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,

I adore thee as one Being, one Essence,
one God in three distinct Persons,
for bringing sinners to thy knowledge and to thy kingdom.

O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;

O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,
shed thine own blood to wash away my sins,
wrought righteousness to cover my
 unworthiness;

O Holy Spirit, thou hast loved me and entered
my heart, implanted there eternal life,
revealed to me the glories of Jesus.

Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise thee,
for love so unmerited, so unspeakable,
so wondrous, so mighty to save the lost
and raise them to glory.

O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me to Jesus, to be his sheep,
jewel, portion;

O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;

O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of
grace thou hast
exhibited Jesus as my salvation,
implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him for ever.

O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,

O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my
 petitions,

O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my
infirmities, to show me my need,
to supply words, to pray within me,
to strengthen me that I faint not in
 supplication.

O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,
thou hast commanded me to ask for those
things that concern thy kingdom and my soul.

Let me live and pray as one baptized into the
threefold Name.

October 01, 2008

The best defense is a good offense. You’ve probably heard that phrase before. As far as I can tell, it was coined by the Prussian military historian, theorist and tactician Carl von Clausewitz (a name I’m quite sure I haven’t written since military history classes way back in my college days). Since then it has been applied to all kinds of situations far beyond the military. It has also been turned around so occasionally you will hear people say, “the best offense is a good defense.” Today we most often hear in the phrase in the context of sports and this was the context in which I heard it applied in a sermon a few weeks ago. I got thinking about the phrase and realized how applicable it is to the Christian life.

When it comes to sports, it is often the case that a strong offense is the best defense. After all, a team with strong offensive production denies the other team the ability to control the ball and to tally points. The phrase works well in sports like soccer or hockey where, especially in the game’s closing minutes, a team will attempt to control the ball (or puck) for long periods, knowing that this will keep the other team from scoring. But maybe it works best in football. Football is a sport I used to watch a lot (far too much, really) and there were several occasions where I saw those games where the first possession would last an entire quarter, or very close to it. As the team marched slowly up the field, with play after play, they maintained possession of the ball. The defensive team remained on defense and had no opportunity to put any points on the board. Of course many teams have this down to an art and in the game’s closing plays have mastered the ability to take large chunks of time off the clock while accomplishing little more than keeping the ball out of the other team’s hands. In this case offense serves as defense. The offensive team plays defensively, not attempting to score points as much as they try to keep the other team from getting control of the ball.

The more I live this Christian life, the more I see that there is truth in that old and worn phrase. The best defense really is a good offense. The best way to protect my heart and life is to be constantly on the offensive. It is in those times that I ease off, those times where I grow complacent and disinterested, that I am most prone to sin. It is in those times that I begin to lose battles. The words of 1 Corinthians 10:12 come to mind: “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” When I think I can stand on my own power I am priming myself for a great fall.

Remaining on the offensive is a lifelong process and one that is surprisingly uncomplicated, at least the way I see it. I thought about it for a time, asking “how can I stay on the offensive?” It’s simple, I think. God gives us the tools we need to stay on the march (You’ll be glad to note, no doubt, that I resisted retaining the sports metaphor and saying that he gives us the “playbook…”). He gives us his Word, the Bible, which is the sword of the Spirit. He gives us prayer which helps us submit ourselves to his will and to plead for those things which please him. He gives us Christian community as the natural context to grow in our knowledge of him and to grow in personal holiness as our sin is lovingly brought to our attention. And he gives us the preaching of the Word which pierces our hearts and arms us for conflict.

So if I wish to remain on the offense and thus maintain the best defense, I need to study the Bible, asking God to help me understand and apply it. I need to remain in a constant posture of prayer, sharing my burdens with God and seeking His face. I need to commit to my local church and to the community God has established there. And I need to rejoice in the preaching of the Word, letting God’s Word penetrate my heart and my life.

In all of these things I am actively putting aside sin, actively seeking God, actively pursuing holiness. I am on the offensive against sin, against Satan and against the old man. I am depending on God, relying on his strength, and trusting in his sovereignty.

It is a worthwhile question, I think. Am I on the offensive or am I showing complacency, allowing myself to fall back to a defensive posture? It is a question I have to ask myself often.

Pages