Top Quotes from Answering God by Eugene Peterson

“Prayers are tools, but with this clarification: Prayers are not tools for doing or getting, but for being and becoming.”

Over the last few years the Psalms have become a consistent and cherished part of my life. All the ups and downs of life, the spectrum of emotions, the heights of praise and the valleys of fear and despair, they’re all in the Psalms. Most of the Bible recounts history or offers teaching, but in the Psalms, we also get a window into how some of God’s people have processed, praised, and prayed through life as God’s people.

Continue reading Top Quotes from Answering God by Eugene Peterson

Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 107: How Pain and Problems Lead to Prayer

Psalm 107 encourages God’s people to give him thanks for his steadfast love and wonderful works. Though we get ourselves into an array of difficult circumstances, some caused by our sin and others brought on by the trials of life, God is faithful to come to our help.

The psalm centers on four vignettes of groups in exile facing a struggle.

  • Weak and Weary Travelers Lost in the Desert (4-9)
  • Prisoners in Darkness and Bondage (10-16)
  • Sick Sufferers on the Brink of Death (17-22)
  • Overwhelmed, Storm-Tossed Sailors (23-32)
Continue reading Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 107: How Pain and Problems Lead to Prayer

Say Grace: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 8)

(This devotion is day eight of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read John 6:11, 23; 11:41; Acts 27:33–38; 1 Timothy 4:3–4

In A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Charlie and Snoopy sit down to eat with their friends for a Thanksgiving meal. As they gather around the table—not yet aware the feast will be popcorn, pretzels, buttered toast, and jellybeans—and prepare to chow down, Peppermint Patty suggests they say grace first. Linus offers a prayer of thanksgiving representative of what the first pilgrims might have prayed. Now they eat.

Continue reading Say Grace: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 8)

Personal Study Questions & Prayer Guide for Colossians 1:9-14

Each week at Pennington Park Church, we provide a Sermon Discussion Guide for Small Groups to use in their time together. Below are some additional questions to study in advance to help you dive deeper in Colossians 1:9-14. Since this week will focus on prayer, we’ve also provided a five day prayer guide.

Continue reading Personal Study Questions & Prayer Guide for Colossians 1:9-14

Learning to Pray from Paul

Paul’s prayers—like his letters in general—so overflow with richness that you feel like you’re working to catch every drop as it pours out. There’s always more to be seen and acted on than what you find in the moment. This makes studying the Bible exciting, knowing there’s always more to be found later when we return. We never run out of “fresh grass” to feed on. Continue reading Learning to Pray from Paul

A Prayer of Lament

(One of the ways we bring our hurts, confusion, and frustration to God is through prayers of lament. We lament the brokenness of our world to God because we trust him, and we know he alone can comfort us in our pain and bring justice where it’s needed. For a helpful resource on how lament can be a bridge for racial reconciliation, see Mark Vroegop’s upcoming book Weep With Me.)

“I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.” Psalm 77:1-2

Continue reading A Prayer of Lament

A Prayer to God Our Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Ps. 46:1-3)

Continue reading A Prayer to God Our Refuge

10 Ways to Renew Your Mind

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?” Martyn Lloyd Jones

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Growing in Christ includes putting off sinful behaviors and putting on Christ-like ones, but it begins with battling at the levels of the heart (desires) and mind (thinking). The two are inseparable (Matt. 15:18-19). The heart leads our head down certain ways of thinking, and our wrong thinking reinforces wrong desires.

Continue reading 10 Ways to Renew Your Mind

Persistence in Prayer

“Prayer is not helpful. Prayer is not supplemental. Prayer is essential.” Ray Ortlund

(Below is the transcript of a recent sermon preached as part of a morning prayer service. It’s shorter in length and is part of our series on Desperation.) 

Luke 18:1-8—Prayer: The Voice of Desperation

Continue reading Persistence in Prayer

What the Bible Says about Prayer

The Bible says a lot about prayer. You don’t have to know all these things to start praying, but they can help us better pray in line with God’s will and desire. Below are condensed, summary statements on prayer in the Bible. This list is a taken from a Group Study Guide on Spiritual Disciplines. This might help us know ways to pray, what to pray about, how to approach God, or why some things might not be answered. Hopefully the list frees us up as we see how different praying can look and how God is at work in and through our praying.

Continue reading What the Bible Says about Prayer