Do You Pray for Spiritual Gifts? Here are Two Reasons Why You Should

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

9780310533849I would imagine many of us earnestly pursue the first part of Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian believers. Pursuing love we get, and probably seek more often than not. But earnestly desiring the gifts of the Spirit? And “especially” prophecy? Perhaps not as much.

Yet Sam Storms urges in his new book Practicing the Power that this is exactly what we’re called to do as Christians.

the Holy Spirit wants to be pursued and will not be pushed. This is just another way of saying that if we want to see and experience the full range…

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The Pastor’s Prayer [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong. (Romans 1:9 – 11)

Now you have called me, Lord, by the hand of your bishop to minister to your people. I do not know why you have done so, for you alone know that. Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I…

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Enlarge Your Desires [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Augustine

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

It might perplex us that God asks us to pray, when he knows what we need before we ask him, if we do not realize that our Lord does not want to know what we want — for he cannot fail to know it — but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we can receive what he is preparing to give us. His gift is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it. That is why we are told, “Enlarge your desires, do…

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The Dictionary of Christian Spirituality – Blog Tour

ZA Blog on 5 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Dictionary of Christian Spirituality Today I am excited to announce a blog tour for the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality

This reference work includes substantial reflective essays on major themes in Christian spirituality, and sharply focused articles on major figures and topics. It provides readers with a global, biographical, historical, topical, and biblical developments and expressions of Christian spirituality. The Dictionary of Christian Spirituality is a unique and valuable resource for teachers and scholars.

Spirituality’ can be a subject that wafts into the ether, but in this broadly ecumenical and very well-balanced work, it is presented with real substance and genuine edification.” — Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

Reviews for the blog tour will need to be…

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Common Prayer – A Daily Liturgy

ZA Blog on 6 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Common Prayer

“O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us sing to the Lord : let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.”

-From Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals 

Prayer is central to the Christian life, but for many of us it can also be very difficult to enter into the rhythm, or even to know what to say. 

Shane Claiborne, Enuma Okoro, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove understand these difficulties, and have created Common Prayer

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James 1:5-7
Commentary and Discussion with Craig Blomberg

ZA Blog on 8 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

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Over the next five weeks, Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell will be blogging through the book of James. Their commentary, the first in the ZECNT series, will release at the ETS and SBL annual meetings, beginning Nov. 19. This first post by Craig looks at James 1:5-7.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; they are double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:5-7).

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism, describes in his autobiography that it was this passage that led him as a teenager to ask God which Christian denomination he should join. He claims that he received the answer, “none of them,” but was instructed to await further divine revelation. The “prosperity gospel” regularly appeals to this text to support its “name it and claim it” approach to prayer, especially in the areas of health and wealth. What about all of those who don’t receive what they ask for in prayer? The text of James gives them the debilitating reply: “you just didn’t have enough faith.” The average Christian intuitively recognizes that these applications of the passage are probably wrong, though he or she might not always be able to explain conclusively why. But many believers count on these promises for “routine” prayer. Yet they are troubled because it can sound like James is requiring them to know in advance how God will answer their prayers if they are to have sufficient faith, without doubting. What exactly is James teaching here?

To begin with, it is important to note that James is talking about asking for wisdom. Not health, not wealth, not even a job or a spouse or a car or a child or any other specific “thing” we might wish we had. He promises to give us wisdom, to guide us, to help us apply the large body of truth in his revealed word to our current circumstances.

What then is the doubt that we are to avoid?

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