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Having a Good Self-Image

A good self-image is important if we are ever going to be successful. This is just as true in God’s work as it is in any other area of life. When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses tried to excuse himself by saying, “Who am I, that I should go unto the Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11) Mark that question “Who am I?&rdquo...

Shoe Leather Christians

There was once a group of Bible society trustees who could not decide what material to use to bind a new issue of the Bible they had just printed. Should they bind it in paper? Cloth? Persian leather? Moroccan? One of the trustees rose and said, “Mr. Chairman, I move that we bind these Bibles in shoe leather and walk out their teachings into everyday life.&rdquo...

How to Live, How to Die

20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I...

A Life Worth Living

10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Introduction Some time ago a man just dropped in my office who obviously was despairing of life. It did not take long for me to know that he had virtually come to the end of his rope. He had no meaning, no purpose in existence. I had just been teaching to our church the Roman road o...

Spiritual Burnout

2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to rem...

Moving on to Maturity

1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also h...

Living Above the Mountain...

1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. 5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upo...

Triumph Out of Tragedy

God’s purpose for our lives involves more than our physical ease. It also involves our spiritual development. His aim is not primarily that we be comfortable on earth but that we be conformed to the image of his dear Son in heaven (Romans 8:29). To this end God uses even the troubles of life for our good. What are some of the good things that can come out of th...

Weekday Christianity

A young fellow applied for a job furnishing references from his minister and Sunday school teacher. “These are good,” said the interviewer, “but we’d like a letter from someone who knows you on weekdays too!” What the world wants to know about our Christianity is whether it works on weekdays as well as weekends. Does it affect the way we...

Today's Devotional

What Is Prayer?

What is prayer?

First, it is asking God for what we need. Jesus taught us to ask for things (Luke 11:2). If God is really our father and we are really his children, it cannot be wrong to ask him for things.

Second, it is praising God for who he is. Jesus often turned to God for gifts, but at times he turned to him just for the sake of fellowship. Prayer is not merely asking God for things. We do not make our human friendships mere matters of convenience, approaching a friend only when we desire a favor from him and never going near him at any other time. No friendship could survive long under these mercenary terms. Nor can our friendship with God survive on this basis.

Third, prayer is thanking God for what he has done. Gratitude and praise often drove Jesus to his knees. His prayers were not marked by quarrels, protests, and aggravations.

Prayer must go beyond our own needs. Jesus taught us to pray for others. He prayed for little children, for his disciples, for Judas, for Peter, and even for his enemies at the cross.

We aren’t trying to coerce God. Instead we are trying to be open with him. We are not telling God what to do—we are telling him what we think we need. Prayer is not an effort to change God but it is loving communication with him. God has linked himself to prayer and works in response to it. And he is pleased when we pray.

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