31 Days of Prayer: Day Ten – Delighting in the Lord

Psalm 73“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37:4)”

Yesterday, we looked at how pursuing the pleasures of this world as our driving desire can be fatal to our prayer lives. ‘You do not have, because you do not ask,’ is James’ blunt way of putting it. (Sorry for making you think of James Blunt just then.)

Isaiah puts it equally bluntly: Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isa 59:1-2) The Psalmist raises a similar idea in Psalm 66: “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” Continue reading

31 Days of Prayer: Day Nine – Our passions or our prayers?

Pray - James 4“You do not have, because you do not ask.” (James 4:2)

“I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.” So said C.S. Lewis in Surprised by Joy 1955. Over the last six decades, surely our world has become more filled with trinkets and tools that offer us more instant gratification (pleasure, as Lewis put it), but dissuade us from the pursuit of real, lasting joy – the kind of joy that God offers us in the gospel.

The book of James has a particular concern for showing that a driving desire for the pleasures of this world can be fatal for our prayer lives. Continue reading

Don’t Waste Your Vote – Part 2

Badge - 2008 election

Four tips on how to vote

In this series, I’ve been aiming to help you put together the biblical pieces on how God thinks about government, and how Christians should therefore think about and interact with our governments. Last time, we looked at seven ways not to vote. In this post, we’re looking at four ways to vote. Continue reading