Daniel’s Prayer, Part 1

One of the most remarkable prayers in Scripture is that of Daniel in Daniel 9:1-18 in which the prophet prays for the restoration of his beloved Israel. In this prayer are principles that we can use as we pray for the restoration of the American church.

Daniel’s prayer comes about as Daniel studies the writings of the prophet Jeremiah concerning how long Israel would be held captive by Babylon. The length of Israel’s captivity, Daniel reads, was to be seventy years. Daniel is now an old man, having been brought captive to Babylon in his early teens; he is probably now in his eighties, and soon this length of seven decades of Israel’s captivity would come to a close.

Visual Arts and the Bible

Pop Quiz: Who is the first person that Scripture tells us was filled with the Spirit? (The answer appears below.)

A Trip to the Museum
My wife and I recently visited New York City. While there we decided to go to the Guggenheim, a museum dedicated to modern art. The building was put up by Frank Lloyd Wright and is a large spiral ramp. My mother, who grew up in New York and was quite a personality, said that when she was a girl, she always wanted to roller skate down the Guggenheim.

God-Sized Prayers

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14

Cold War Memories
In 1995, I made the first of several short-term mission trips to Belarus. That year, my translator was a woman named Luda, who had become a Christian as a child thanks to her grandmother. Since Luda’s parents were atheists (in keeping with their standing in the Communist Party), she could not share her faith with them.

Music and the Bible

Music is, or should be, a vital part of the Christian life.

Isuspect most Christians have never considered how big a role music plays in Scripture. Our ideas of “Christian music” tend to focus in on the particular genres of music that we like, whether classical (for example, Handel’s Messiah), hymns (“And Can It Be” is a particular favorite of mine), or contemporary (“We believe” would be an example here). These preferences have led to the “worship wars” of the past decades in American Evangelicalism, as advocates of one style of music are pitted against others over what is the “proper” or “best” way to worship.

Psalm 90, Part 3 - We Are But a Dream

In the previous two articles on Psalm 90, we discussed how Moses, the author of this psalm, makes a contrast between the brevity of human life and the eternality of God’s life. We also discussed that the brevity of our life is due to sin and that we are all under the wrath of God.

Paul teaches us in Romans 3 that Jesus took upon himself the wrath of God that each one of us justly deserves because all of us have sinned and under the law of God, the penalty of sin, any sin (even the “smallest” sin breaks the whole law of God, James 2:10), is eternal death.

Praying for the President

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Struggling to Pray
How do you pray for leaders whose beliefs and policies you disagree with?

In November 2009, I wrote an article for the Colson Center entitled “Dear Mr. President” in which I promised to pray for President Obama – even though I didn’t vote for him and I disagreed with many of his political stances. In my mind, praying for the president is not an option, but an imperative. It’s something we are commanded to do so the people in our nation “may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” At least, that’s what praying for our leaders is supposed to accomplish in the long run – even if (and especially if) current peace and quiet eludes us.

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