Day 9: Responding to an Objection

Many people find it difficult to pray to God as heavenly Father. Their earthly fathers were so bad that they cannot conceive of a heavenly Father in anything but negative terms. Additionally, some object that since God is neither male nor female, it is inappropriate to think of him in masculine terms. Either we should stop thinking of God in terms of sex, or we should start balancing masculine terms with feminine ones, praying to God as both Father and Mother. Both points of view share a mistake. They assume that our God-talk is the result of projection rather than … Continue reading Day 9: Responding to an Objection

Day 8: Who You Pray to Matters

The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9–13) consists of six petitions. When we pray, we ask God that his name be hallowed, his kingdom come, his will be done, our needs be met, our sins forgiven, and our souls protected. Notice the order of these requests. First, we direct our attention to God and his concerns; then—and only then—we direct God’s attention to us and our concerns. When we prioritize God, we receive his blessing: “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [food, drink, clothing, etc.] will be given to you as well” (Matt 6:33). Notice also what … Continue reading Day 8: Who You Pray to Matters

Day 7: What Should We Pray For?

In Matthew 6:9–13, Jesus teaches us the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Notice the pattern of this prayer and the specific requests it makes. The pattern is vertical and horizontal. First, we direct our attention to God and his concerns; then, we ask God to direct his attention to us and … Continue reading Day 7: What Should We Pray For?

Day 6: Your Father Knows What You Need

Four how questions arise from Jesus’ discussion of prayer in Matthew 6:5–15: How often should we pray? Where should we pray? Should we use patterned prayers? And what should we pray for? We have answered the first three questions, but before answering the fourth, I want to take a look at something Jesus says in Matthew 6:8: “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Later, he says, “your heavenly Father knows that you need [food, drink, and clothing]” (6:32). Why does Jesus tells us that God knows what we need even before we pray to him? For … Continue reading Day 6: Your Father Knows What You Need

The Long African Day

Check out The Long African Day event on March 28, 2011, in Dallas, Texas. “On any given day in Africa,” says Mike McClafflin, Africa area director for AG World Missions, “there is more trial, more death, more brutality, more hunger than any other land mass on the face of the earth. There’s also probably more revival.” The Long African Day, posted with vodpod Continue reading The Long African Day

UPDATED: (More) Free Books for Review on

If you are a subscriber to, I may have a free book for you. To claim your free book, email me at [email protected] with your contact info and book preference. I will send you the book via snail mail with the understanding that you will read and review it on within 30 days of receipt. Here are the books: Keith Meyer, Whole Life Transformation: Becoming the Change Your Church Needs (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2010). Gregory Spencer, Awakening the Quieter Virtues (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2010). Gary Tyra, Defeating Pharisaism: Recovering Jesus’ Disciple-Making Method (Colorado Springs, … Continue reading UPDATED: (More) Free Books for Review on