Praying for Peace (amidst Strife)

The life of peace on earth is lived by prayer. When we feel wounded by lies and deceit, prayer directs our focus from ourselves to God, from self-pity to God’s glory. Obsessing over lies and deceit breeds bitterness; prayer fosters forgiveness.

Let Us Worship God

Of the many things we take for granted in the Christian life, worship is certainly one of the greatest, which is quite curious given the privilege we have been given. In his song of deliverance, David describes the Lord as “worthy to be praised” (2 Sam. 22:4), further confirmed by John’s revelation of the throne room of heaven, where those who cast their crowns before the Lord cry out, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God” (Rev. 4:11). If God is worthy of earthly and heavenly, universal and eternal, praise then worship is not only a necessity for all of creation but is a privilege of the people of God.

Living Today as Kingdom Children

In love, let us learn to respect the convictions of one another. Some are ready to enjoy all the liberty the gospel gives. Some are not, and “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. This calls for sanctified patience with one another. As one commentator puts it, “For a Christian not a single decision and action can be good which he does not think he can justify on the ground of his Christian conviction and his liberty before God in Christ.”[4] Or to put it simply, “If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong” (Rom. 14:23, MSG).

Praying for the Lost

You may say, “If I pray believing the lost will be saved, am I not undermining the doctrine of God’s sovereign election? But what has that to do with you? Are you the Lord’s keeper? The mystery of predestination God is revealed in Scripture for the praise of his glorious grace not our decision making. We are called to pray, and we pray believing that God will save the lost, perhaps through us. This was Paul’s heart’s desire and prayer, and it should be ours too.

The Power of God for Salvation

Yet how often are we prone to look at, or even obsess on, the evidence of the Fall in our daily lives rather than the redeeming work of God in our midst? How quickly we complain, embrace anxiety, even encourage conflict, as if we are glorifying God by saturating our hearts and minds with the trite, trivial, and temporal. Now before you begin to think that I am adding shame to your guilt for not giving thanks in all circumstances, let me offer this helpful observation: I think we are not consistent in our thanksgiving to God because we do not look to the gospel to empower our praise. Praise is not an obligation accomplished but a response enjoyed.

Prayer from the Depths of Woe

Indeed, salvation belongs to the Lord, for our Lord said, “just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). Yet, unlike Jonah, the Lord Jesus regarded the Scriptures as the very breath of God, down to the iota and dot.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

No longer spiritually blind and lame, we have been given eyes to see our Savior and to walk in newness of life. We have been healed to worship him, not indignant like those who have no hope, but celebrating the goodness of God’s mercy and grace. Out of the mouth of babes, like you and me, we sing praises to our Lord Jesus Christ, who delights in the praise of God’s children.