Menu Close

Just Pray // Praise & Shine

How is your prayer life? Would you be surprised to learn that many believers relegate their prayer time to Sunday morning church? Even more surprising is one survey from Pastor Dave Early said the average pastor prays only seven minutes a day! Another said that 80% of pastors surveyed spent less than 15 minutes a day in prayer. The most generous survey said that pasters pray 37 minutes a day. [1] This is a sad statistic for those who are supposed to be leading others to a deeper relationship with the Lord. At best pasters are spending 9 1/2 days a year in prayer.

Author Lowell Snow writes, “The land is ripe for spiritual harvest, yet the church seems to be powerless to reap it because the people in the pews are not experiencing an authentic encounter with God. […] The major roadblock isn’t the lack of desire or effort, but the absence of effective prayer…” [2] Christians understand they should pray, and they want to pray, but they don’t know how to pray.

Daniel Henderson gives the 4/4 prayer pattern, which can help lead us in prayer. It follows the same pattern as a conductor: Upward, Downward, Inward, Outward, Upward. [3]

Upward. Focus on Reverence and Adoration.
Downward. Focus on our response through confession, allegiance, and recommitment to God.
Inward. Focus on Requests. Trust in the provision of God, pray for the lost, and forgiveness and purity.
Outword. Focus on Readiness. Praying to prepare for spiritual tests.
Upward. Reverence. Ending where you began, focusing on the greatness of God.

There are many ways, patterns, and methods to get us on our knees in prayer; however, knowing a lot of techniques is useless unless we simply pray. Take some time to pray right now.

[1]Dave Earley, “Creating a Passion for Prayer,” (lecture, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO).
[2]Lowell Snow, Prayer Guide: A Manual for Leading Prayer, Stonehouse Creations: Prairie Grove, AR. 2006. p.141.
[3] Daniel Henderson, Fresh Encounters. NavPress: Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2008. ch.13.

Forgiveness // Praise & Shine

Have you been wronged by someone? Of course you have, but what do we do with the feelings we may have? Anger can consume us, forgiveness on the other hand is the key to healing. God has forgiven us, and as Christ followers we are called to live lives like Christ. If we have been forgiven, we to must forgive.

Simple As ABC // Praise & Shine

The Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ is described by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Jesus Christ came, He was crucified, He was buried, and He rose again on the third day. That is the Good News, our blessed hope, our only hope!

Salvation isn’t anything we can do; it’s what He already did. He paid the price. It is finished. It is as simple as A B C. Admit you’re a sinner, believe Jesus is Lord, and call upon His name.

A. Admit you’re a sinner – Romans 3:10, “…No one is righteous, not even one.” All our good works will never be enough. Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin, is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

B. Believe Jesus is Lord – Romans 10:9, if you, “…believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved…”

C. Call upon His name – Romans 10:9-10, “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved.” Here’s why “for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Finally, Romans 10:13 seals the deal, “All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” It’s that simple.

Armor of God // Praise & Shine

There is spiritual warfare going on all around us. We must prepare ourselves for this holy battle.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:11-17

David Chadwick said it this way in his Moments of Hope devotional:
“The first piece of the armor is the belt of truth. Truth, by its very definition, is exclusive. It means something is true and other things are lies. The evil one is the father of lies (John 8:44). Every lie finds its origin in him.

“Every other piece of the full armor of God is attached to the belt of truth. If you don’t begin with truth, you’ll never defeat the enemy. And Jesus said God’s Word is true (John 17:17).”

Next, we have the Breastplate of Righteousness. Righteousness means being made right. In daily spiritual battles, the enemy tries to tempt us but righteousness protects the heart from being wounded by sin.

Peace is an attribute of the Lord’s very person and character (Galatians 5:22). The gospel is the forgiveness of sins and access to and oneness with God through faith in Christ. When we stand strong, we prevent the enemy from shaking us loose with worry.

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Replenish your faith by spending time in God’s word.

The battlefield of our mind is the primary place spiritual battle is fought. The helmet of salvation (like the breastplate of righteousness) protects us from the enemy. Surrender thoughts that don’t line up with Scripture. As Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

The explanation of this piece of armor is right there in the verse – it is the word of God. And it is the only piece of armor that is both defensive and offensive. As Greg Laurie explains:

“When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

The Armor of God reminds Christians about the reality of spiritual battle and describes the protection available to them.