Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Necessity of Prayer

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said:
“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.
And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ”
(Luke 18:1-4)

“If we don’t pray according to the needs of the heart, we repress our deepest longings. Our prayers may not be rational, and we may be aware of that, but if we repress our needs, then those unsaid prayers will fester.” (Madeline L’Engle from Two-Part Invention)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
(Psalm 25:6-7)

If you are like me, there are things in your life I would rather forget. But we can’t. Things we’ve done wrong or failed to do right can haunt the corners of our minds. They can grab us when we are least prepared, crippling us from moving forward in faith.

When we feel crippled in guilt and shame, we need to turn to prayer. Abraham Kuyper writes –

"Prayer is impossible without an act of the memory, by which we recall our sins and the mercies of God." (Abraham Kuyper)

The good news is we don’t have to be crippled by memories of things we regret. Like the Psalmists, as soon as our sins enter our minds, we can likewise recall the mercy and love of the Lord. In Jesus Christ, we don’t get our just desserts. Instead, we receive God’s loving mercy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Foundation of Humilty

The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33)

God has no tolerance for those who attempt to take His place. When we try to play God, we are bound to lose. God won’t allow it, not just because He is a jealous God we need to be deathly afraid of, but also because God is a loving Father who knows we can’t handle it.

In the face of this, we need to be humbled. The best we can do is bow down to the only One who can and will lift us up.

I like what St. Augustine writes –

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


[Jesus said] “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

When we have genuine love – unconditional (agape) love, with no strings attached – we naturally obey God. We do what God wants not because we have to, but because we want to.

I like what St. Augustine wrote about love –

"Love and do what you like."

When we have the love that comes from above, God’s desires become our desires.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Loving One

[Jesus said,] “…even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30)

As a parent of four children, I sometimes worry that I might express love more for one than for the others – that I might play favorites. I pray I don’t do this, but this is a concern I have. It’s hard to love all your children and love each of them at the same time.

Not so with God. God’s love for His children is both universal and particular. St. Augustine put it this way –

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”