Our Hearts Are Restless

Sometimes we all need just a little bit of help when we pray. Sometimes it is good for us to borrow the prayers of other people and put them to use ourselves. And for just that reason, here’s a lovely prayer from St. Augustine (as found in the excellent little book Fount of Heaven. Perhaps it will give you words to pray today. Great are you, O Lord, and greatly to be praised. Great is your power. Your wisdom is …

The Happiest Christians and the Happiest Missionaries

Who are the happiest Christians? Who are the happiest missionaries? And what is it that makes them so happy? This is a question Daniel Hames and Michael Reeves answer in their book What Fuels the Mission of the Church? Here’s what they say… If someone were to ask us, “What is God like?” the answer must be “Jesus Christ.” And this is the beating heart of mission. God’s glory—his own naturally overspilling life, seen in his Son—is mission’s rationale and its …

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The Earliest Prayer Ever Prayed

Here is a question worth asking: Outside of the Bible, what is the earliest prayer we know? Of all the Christians who lived after Christ, who was the first to have a prayer recorded that has endured through the ages? The answer, it seems, may well be  Clement of Rome. In the new book Fount of Heaven which shares prayers from the earliest Christians, you’ll find this sweet prayer which dates from late in the first century. Yet, like any good prayer, …

What You Can Take With You Into Eternity

We’ve all heard it said that no one has ever seen a hearse towing a trailer. We’ve all been challenged to consider that we leave this world as we entered it—with empty hands. As Job exclaimed in the depths of his misery, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.” But as J.R. Miller reminds us in this old quote, there actually is one thing we can take with us. There are virtues, fruits of character, …

I Pray That This Sinner May Be Saved

We all know people who don’t know the Lord and, therefore, we all know what it is to plead for their salvation. This prayer by Philip Doddridge is drawn from Tim Chester’s new collection Into His Presence and gives words that can perhaps guide you in your prayers of supplication. Almighty God, with you all things are possible. To you therefore I humbly apply myself on behalf of this dear immortal soul, this person who is perishing in their sins, and hardening themselves against …

The Signal Gun of the Gospel

We must always preach the gospel and always do so with some measure of urgency. De Witt Talmage was particularly adept at preaching with urgency as this excerpt from one of his sermon illustrates. He tells of the sinking of the ship Arctic and the heroic actions of one young man who was aboard it. And as Talmage does that, he warns his listeners not to delay but to turn to Christ at that very moment. I remember the story …

God Has Thrown Some Husks

Does a story have to be true to serve as an illustration? I don’t think so! And neither did Spurgeon, apparently. I found this illustration in a volume of his sermon notes and rather enjoyed it. (A note in the text says that he drew the illustration from John Spencer.) The Jewish rabbis report (how truly is uncertain) that when Joseph, in the times of plenty, had gathered much corn in Egypt, he threw the chaff into the river Nile, …

God Means To Make Something Of Us

We pray that God will deliver us from our trials, but sometimes he does not. We pray that he will relieve us of our burdens, but sometimes they remain pressed hard against our shoulders. Why? J.R. Miller provides a helpful answer in this brief quote. Some think that whenever they have a little trouble, a bit of hard path to walk over, a load to carry, a sorrow to meet, a trial of any kind, all they have to do …

Prayer That Pleases God

We pray. We pray because God tell us to. We pray because we need to. We pray because prayer matters. But do we pray with confidence that God is pleased with our praying? Do we pray with confidence that God is pleased with our praying even when he does not grant our petitions? Charles Spurgeon addresses those questions in this brief excerpt. We have been pleading with God. Prayer after prayer has knocked at Heaven’s gate, entreating for the conversion …

The Most Important Part of Every Prayer

Sometimes custom causes us to neglect beauty. Sometimes we are so used to doing or saying something that we forget the sheer wonder of it. Such may be the case when we end our prayers with the words, “for Christ’s sake” or “for Jesus’ sake.” Don’t miss what De Witt Talmage has to say about these simple words. The most important part of every prayer is the last three or four words of it—” For Christ’s sake.” Do not rattle …