Sometimes phrases just stand out on my screen and almost shout at me to think about them. These are "Really?" moments, and the title was one of these. Every day I look through a list of ebooks under the broad umbrella of "Christianity." Usually there are 60 or more and sometimes up to 300. A thumbnail of the cover is shown, the title in large type and some lines of description.
The quickest way to scan the list is by the title. One title, "When Prayer Fails, Try Praise," stuck in my mind and started to concern me. I wondered how many Christians would take it as truth and not see any error there. It is a catchy title, and as an author I know the importance of a good title. Yet I can agree with only two words in it: "Prayer" and "Praise!" I believe in both of those wholeheartedly.
So as the modern generation of preachers would say, let's "unpack" the title and see what it is really saying. Would it be good for all Christians to believe that phrase? Later we will see if that is what the author is teaching.
First let me remind you what is true prayer. I just love to ask for a show of hands in a seminar in response to the question, "Who loves to pray?" And then I quote a few words from Matthew 6:5 about hypocrites, "For they love to pray..." It needs the whole context, of course, but the people laugh and get the point I'm making. Hypocrites love to pray so that others see they are pious and Jesus said that the only reward they get is that of others looking at them. Read More
The apostle Paul, in recounting his ministry to the Christians of his day, said, “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19). I believe that on this website and in my books and spoken ministry I have shared more than you need to know to live a successful Christian life and to maximise your potential for the glory of God.
Just what is this “full” or “complete” gospel of Christ. What is its foundation? I need to remind you that Jesus said He had not come to talk about Himself, but that He came to reveal the Father (John 14:9. The crux of the good news of Christ was actually good news about God. I, too, want to tell you about “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
God is a good God
I believe the basic good news about God that I share is that God is a good God. “God is a good God and the devil is a bad devil. There is no badness in God and there is no goodness in the devil. God is totally good and the devil is totally bad, for God is a good God and the devil is a bad devil”, as Oral Roberts often described it.
Psalm 34:8 instructs us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” This is an invitation to get into a relationship with God, to test Him out to see if He is really good. In Psalm 100:5 we are also taught “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting” (NKJV). Read More
Self-image psychology has become popularized in recent years under a variety of names. A simplification of the principle might go like this: "You are what you think you are." It is not at all surprising to find that God's Word gives much more information concerning who we really are and who we think we are. One aspect of this truth is brought to life in an incident recorded in the Book of Numbers. It concerns the ever-present problem of people who will always speak and think less of themselves than they really are. There is a term for the condition: self-denigration. This means to blacken your own reputation. In the light of the record I want to share with you, I will use the more expressive term, the Grasshopper Philosophy.
The record in Numbers chapters 13 and 14 concerns the nation of Israel immediately after their deliverance from Egypt. There are some matters in the record that are not applicable today in the Church age, but many things apply to every age or administration. I want you to keep your eyes open to the principles demonstrated, and to especially notice the consequences of the attitudes held by the various people.
"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.' So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel" (Numbers 13:1-3 ESV). Why did God give Moses permission to send out men to search Canaan? God's original command as declared by Moses was this: "See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 1:21). But the leaders of the people, the heads of the families, came to Moses and suggested that he should send some men ahead and find out what the country and its inhabitants were like. Then the whole nation could go into Canaan. Read More