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Answers to life's questions, meaning of life, and Christian faith

What Is Prayer?

Prayer is as essential to knowing God and growing spiritually as breathing is to living and staying healthy. Interestingly, according to recent studies, prayer is more popular than ever among Americans today. One recent poll showed that 8 out of 10 Americans pray regularly. Another poll found that . . . Read more ›
Prayer is not some mystical process whereby we call out to some force. Nor is it a kind of power with which we create things or speak them into existence, ordering God around like some bell-hop who art in Heaven. Prayer is communicating with and hearing from God. True prayer is what happens when our . . . Read more ›
Perhaps you used to pray when you were a small child, or you started to pray as a young Christian, but it seemed as though God always answered your prayers with a resounding “No!” Frustrated by unanswered prayer, you decided to stop praying. In doing so, you have unwittingly fallen into . . . Read more ›
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). Notice the use of the word “all” in this verse. We are to pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayer . . . Read more ›
The Bible identifies several different types of prayers we can pray. One model for how we should pray is captured in the acronym ACTS. Each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer, arranged in a very natural order. A: Adoration (worship) C: Confession (of specific sins) T: Thanksgiving . . . Read more ›
Someone has said, “If you are swept off your feet, it’s time to get on your knees.” Scripture backs up this claim. In the pages of the Bible we find ample evidence that prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and sometimes even the course of nature. Consider the prayers . . . Read more ›
When we read the stories of these great men and women of faith, we may think that these people were super-spiritual, that our prayers could never be answered like that. But look at how Scripture describes Elijah: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would . . . Read more ›
No one is better qualified to teach us about how to pray than Jesus Himself. We often read of Him spending the night in prayer. Even on the night before His crucifixion, we find Jesus praying. This may have been one of the reasons His disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke . . . Read more ›
Jesus gave this incredible promise concerning how to have answered prayer: “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). This verse can be literally translated, “If you maintain a living communion with me . . . Read more ›
You might ask, “If God already knows what we need before we ask, why even bother praying?” Scripture makes a very strong case for prayer in the life of the believer. Jesus told us to pray. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” . . . Read more ›
“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). The disciples brought this request to Jesus after they had witnessed the countless times He went out to spend time with His Father. Likewise, this should be the heart cry of every child of God. Jesus’ response to the disciples’ request is . . . Read more ›
“Our Father in Heaven” Jesus begins His model prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) with the phrase, “Our Father in Heaven.” This was a revolutionary thought to the Jewish mind. The Jews feared God and attached such sacredness to God’s name that they wouldn’t even utter it . . . Read more ›
As we continue studying Jesus’ model prayer for us in Matthew 6:9–15, we now come to the second set of three petitions of the prayer: requests for daily bread, forgiven debts, and the avoidance of temptation. All three, interestingly enough, deal with man’s need. “What is man, that . . . Read more ›
Since Jesus placed such an emphasis on forgiveness, you would think that forgiving others would easily be at the top of our list of priorities. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Pastor John MacArthur gives three reasons, or incentives, for forgiving others. You are never more like God than when . . . Read more ›
Prayer is one of the Christian’s most powerful spiritual assets, yet some are missing out on its effectiveness. No, I am not merely speaking of some clever tactic of the devil that prevents our prayers from reaching God. There is a prayer killer on the loose, and we are the ones primarily . . . Read more ›
Selfishness “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3 NIV). When we pray for God to use us, is it for His glory or your own? Whenever we pray with some hidden motive (e.g., praying for . . . Read more ›