For Christian parents, there is no greater concern than to provide their children with a Christian education. The first public demonstration of this concern is the blessing of children at young ages, in various ways: the baptism of children in traditional churches, or a simple prayer of blessing in Protestant churches. Dedicating their children to God, one way or another, gives parents a sort of certainty, and begins to form the child's identity: they are Christian!
God reveals Himself through the Bible, the person of Jesus Christ, nature, and our conscience. Prayer is not revelatory. If it is neither revelatory for humans nor for God, what is prayer then?
Renee James was 18 when she decided to stop praying. If God was going to be silent, she thought, she would be silent too. She had been praying for years for the healing of her brothers, Sean and Niall, one suffering from autism and the other from Down syndrome. Yet there had been no answer.
The stakes are high when it comes to identifying the one to whom we should pray, and we can discover who by answering an apparently simple question: Can we expect prayers to be heard no matter who we address them to?
In talking to pastor Cristian Modan, the religion teacher and chaplain at Mihai Ionescu School in Bucharest, I wanted to find out how we should teach children to communicate with God.
The realm of tears is so mysterious! - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
What do Protestants have against the intercession of saints? If, during their lives on earth, the saints interceded with God for their fellow men, after they’ve gone to heaven would they be wrapped in holy indifference? Or would their intercession continue?
Many people know the Lord’s Prayer, having learned it from a parent or grandparent. But few know that it was given as a response to the disciples’ request for Jesus to teach them how to pray.
The imbalance between the requests and the thanksgiving we bring into our worship is a topic any Christian can talk about, and not just based on other people’s experience. As long as we approach praise and thanksgiving as duties to be fulfilled, we will miss the greatest blessings that can rest upon a heart full of gratitude.
In a conversation with Dr. Shelly-Ann Bowen, we discussed her research on what determines whether someone will be active or passive in the face of catastrophic events—fires, floods, or a cancer diagnosis. Social injustice, a lack of self-awareness, and even an immature understanding of faith paralyse action. But there are ways to make positive changes.
No one has ever seen God, but the One who knew Him before He was born on this earth taught us all to address Him in prayer.
The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer. – F. B. Meyer
The words God is not listening! He is not answering! are the essence of one of our most troubling complaints. Is there an answer to it powerful enough to pull us from doubt’s darkness?
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. – Matthew 3:11
Many times we don’t have the patience to wait for an answer to our prayers, and other times we don’t even know when we've received it. For the ten Boom family, the answer to some prayers came 100 years later.
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