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From the Introduction: When I read the Book of Acts, I am embarrassed. Why does our brand of Christianity look so insipid compared to the be-lievers of the First Century? Where has the power gone? Has God changed, or have we? We've all heard the cop out that says, "The Book of Acts represents a different dispensation." What a sad, self-serving attempt to excuse our current state of spiritual impotence When we read Acts, we should yearn to experience a return to their brand of Christianity. Yet, instead of copying them, we seem content with copying other modern churches that are "growing." But why copy a copy, when you can copy the original (the Book of Acts)? In Acts, God was saving people every day. Communities were transformed. People were healed. Demons were cast out. Miracles were commonplace. Churches sprouted up across the Roman Empire. Persecution was faced and overcome. What made them so different? Some say they preached a purer Gospel. I disagree. Modern Evangelicals preach the same Gospel that was proclaimed in the First Century. We preach that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died an atoning death, and rose bodily from the grave. We preach that man is a sinner and stands guilty before God in need of salvation. We preach that God offers salvation by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ alone, and the moment anyone repents of his sin, puts his faith in Jesus, and calls upon His name, that person is born again. That's the Gospel they preached, and the Gospel we preach. Our lack of spiritual power in Christianity today is not due to the sermons we preach or the songs we sing. Rather, it is due to our lack of prayer. We do not pray like it matters. Jesus and His earliest followers prayed like it was important. We pray like it is inconvenient or inconsequential. Prayer was their priority. It is our postscript. We plan more than we pray. They prayed more than they planned. We gather to minister to one another. They gathered to minister to the Lord in prayer and fasting. Our focus is earthly, horizontal. Theirs was heavenly, vertical. They were wise enough to "pray the price." All of this is why I have written this 12-week Bible Study en-titled, "Pray Like It Matters." I want to demonstrate from Scripture that every prayer we pray is significant. Through our prayers, God changes things. One life dedicated to prayer can do more good than any life dedicated to other so-called "noble," worldly causes. An individual follower of Jesus who is committed to prayer is a fountain of life in a world of death. Likewise, the local church that becomes a house of prayer will be a spiritual powerhouse from which God's mighty miracles will flow exponentially. PRAYER is what modern Christians and churches are missing - frequent, fervent, faithful prayer Most Christians want to pray but don't know how. They are unable to carry on a simple, sustained, satisfying conversation with God. Thus, after a few minutes in prayer, they run out of things to say, get frustrated, and give up. Sound familiar? Just as infants must be taught to talk, Christians must be taught to pray. Once you know how, prayer will be fulfilling, refreshing, and even fun. A growing number of Christians today are aware that some-thing must be wrong. They know there has to be "more" to the Christian life than what they have experienced. That "more" is found through the discipline of prayer. These les-sons are a wakeup call for each individual, family, and church to become a "house of prayer." When we begin to pray like Jesus and His early followers, then we will witness the power they experienced. Today, we embark on what could be the greatest adventure of your life. Before we start, let's pray the prayer of the early disciples: "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1).
Pete Greig has been teaching on prayer - and leading a non-stop prayer movement - for twenty years. Now, for the first time, he puts his life's work into a simple book written for everybody - an answer to the question everyone ultimately asks: how do I pray? This down-to-earth introduction to prayer will guide you deeper in your relationship with God - making you more centred, more aware of God's voice, more likely to see breakthroughs and more able to make sense of your unanswered prayers, too. It's full of honest, hard-won wisdom interspersed with real-life stories - some humorous, others moving - to equip and inspire your prayer life. Journeying through the Lord's Prayer, and accompanied by online videos and discussion starters, it unpacks nine important themes: stillness, adoration, petition, intercession, perseverance, contemplation, listening, confession and spiritual warfare. From one of today's most gifted and visionary communicators, for those who've been praying for years as well as those who want to pray but don't know where to begin, HOW TO PRAY is the simple, inspiring guide you've been waiting for.
“I want to believe, I want to have hope, but…” Pastor and bestselling author Craig Groeschel hears these words often and has asked them himself. We want to know God, feel his presence, and trust that he hears our prayers, but in the midst of great pain, we may wonder if he really cares about us. Even when we have both hope and hurt, sometimes it's the hurt that shouts the loudest. Can God be good when life is not
In Hope in the Dark, Groeschel explores the story of the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus, saying, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” In the man's sincere plea, Jesus heard the tension in the man's battle-scarred heart. He healed not only the boy but the father too, driving out the hopelessness that had overtaken him. He can do the same for us today.
As Groeschel shares his pain surrounding the current health challenges of his daughter, he acknowledges the questions we may ask in our own deepest pain: “Where was God when I was being abused” “Why was my child born with a disability” “Why did the cancer come back” “Why are all my friends married and I'm alone” He invites us to wrestle with such questions as we ask God to honor our faith and heal our unbelief.
In the middle of your profound pain, you long for authentic words of understanding and hope. You long to know that even in overwhelming reality, you can still believe that God is good. Rediscover a faith in the character, power, and presence of God. Even in the questions. Even now.
A prayer to encourage meditation, every day of the year. Arm yourself with prayer rather than a sword; wear humility rather than fine clothes. --Saint Dominic Seek relief from the frenetic pace of daily life and turn inward to prayer and meditation. For anyone seeking inspiration, contentment, and solace, here are hundreds of prayers culled from holy books, songs, novels, and more. Adapted from The Little Book of Prayers, this calendar is a surprising, accessible collection of common and uncommon prayers, including beautiful Celtic prayers, African American spirituals, and excerpts from the Bible and the Qu'ran, as well as insights from Saint Augustine, Jack Kerouac, and Frank Herbert: Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. A welcome gift for seekers and the spiritually hungry.
Mindfulness is considered the heart of Buddhist meditation but its essence is universal and of deep practical benefit to all.& nbsp; In essence, mindfulness is about wakefulness.& nbsp; Our minds are such that we are often more asleep than awake to the unique beauty and possibilities of each present moment as it unfolds.& nbsp; In WHEREVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE, Jon Kabat-Zinn maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one??'s own life.& nbsp; It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.& nbsp;
A disciplined study that reveals the many contributions of Jews throughout the history of rock 'n' roll.
These short board books, with bright, vibrant, and playful illustrations,
introduce young children to important parts of our
Faith the Mass and prayer. The tabs help children pick out
elements in each of the spreads, making this book an interactive experience as well.
Centred around three journeys to Mount Athos, one of the most important places in Orthodox Christianity, this is both a beautifully nuanced travel book and a journey of self-discovery in a world beset by violence and fear. Mount Athos is the spiritual home of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and for more than ten centuries this monastic community in northern Greece has been a centre for contemplative life, a staging ground for mystical visions and teachings, and a watch tower for Byzantium. A world unto itself, which has existed almost unchanged since medieval times, the theocratic state of Athos is a spiritual haven which stands in dramatic counterpoint to the contemporary world. Even time is calculated differently here -- Athos rejects the Julian calendar and clocks are reset every day to Byzantine time -- midnight falls at sunset. Christopher Merrill travelled to Mount Athos in search of spiritual renewal and a vision of eternity. At this unique intersection of modernity and Biblical tradition he discovered not only the enduring value of faith but also how much Athos has to teach us about the contemplative life, and found that eternity is located in the here and now. Journey to the Holy Mountain is a book rooted in spiritual crisis, which explores a route to salvation hitherto undocumented in a mainstream Western context. Out of spiritual desolation Merrill came to a deepening sense of the religious life, learning to recognize what have been described as 'the distinctive challenges and calls' of each monastic hour. The world of Mount Athos is closely guarded against intrusion by monk-policemen: no women, or even female animals, are allowed on Athos and the number of visitors is severely restricted. Christopher Merill describes, in vivid scenes and stories, the daily life ritual and scenery of a place which most will never be able to visit.
Bonnie Thurston is the author of many books and articles about spirituality and prayer. In "For God Alone"she shows us, clearly and practically, how to pray. The result is a unique introduction to prayer that will encourage all Christian readers seeking to deepen the life of prayer."For God Alone"introduces three traditional trajectories of Christian prayer: "oratio," "meditatio," and "contemplatio." Thruston guides the reader from familiar "voiced prayers" through the prayer of thought and intellect to the less familiar prayer of quiet or listening. Thurston concludes each chapter with practical exercises for the practice of prayer, suggestions for further reading, and space for reader's notes. Drawing material from both Eastern and Western traditions, "For God Alone"is learned but conversational in tone and thoroughly accessible to the general reader. Adult education classes in various denominations will profit from reading this book. It will also be used in practical ministries courses, spirituality courses, and courses in the theology and practice of prayer.
"From the Bible to Buddha, Bonnie Thurston probes deeply into the theology and practice of prayer, with particular weight on the latter. I doubt if any reader can put the book down without finding himself or herself thinking about prayer in new and surprising ways." --Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary"Bonnie Thurston is an accomplished scholar and teacher as well as a profound person of prayer and Christian witness. In this volume she wears her considerable learning lightly, such that the witness of her own practice comes through both lucidly and with quiet passion." --Lawrence S. Cunningham, O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
The trend towards a more secular culture in Western society means that there can be greater flexibility in a wedding ceremony, but couples are often faced with the challenge of preparing a meaningful celebration outside the traditional religious framework. This hands-on, practical guide demonstrates how to approach and prepare a secular wedding ceremony that honours a couple's relationship with honest vows and rituals true to their shared values. In addition, it provides guidance on structuring a ceremony for couples that come from very different cultural or spiritual backgrounds. Includes the tools necessary for the creation of a ceremony, such as a Ritual Identity Questionnaire, checklists, and many other resources.
Lorna Byrne has helped millions of people around the world by calling on them to realise that they each have a guardian angel and by showing them that can ask for help from God and the angels. Lorna is often asked for help on how to ask and how to pray, so in this new book she gives detailed advice and also includes prayers for different occasions. She says: 'Sometimes our prayers are so focussed on asking for things, we forget to listen out for what God, the angels and our love ones are trying to tell us. God always has this abundance of blessings prepared for us, small blessings and great blessings. He wants to give every individual great life-changing blessings, beginning when that individual is born. God will do everything to make it happen, but He will never infringe on an individual's free will, which a good reason for us to engage intelligent conversation with him - listening as well as asking - in prayer.'
The internet has changed every aspect of life in the modern world, providing us with myriad new ways to communicate, work and learn. For a growing number of people it is also transforming the way they practise their religion. In America today, online spaces serve as critical alternatives for tech-savvy Muslims seeking a place to root their faith, forge religious identity, and build communities. With a particular focus on the Inayati Order, a branch of the oldest and most prominent Sufi order in the West, Robert Rozehnal explores the wider trends emerging where digital and religious worlds meet. He examines how the Cyber Sufis are revolutionising internal communication, spiritual pedagogy and public outreach, and looks ahead to the future of digital Islam in the age of Web 3.0. The first introductory roadmap to navigating this new landscape, Cyber Sufis will be a vital resource for students and general readers interested in how the internet is reshaping religious practice in the twenty-first century.
This ground-breaking book contains contributions from 12 different religious traditions: Hinduism, African Traditional Religion, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Unitarianism and Baha'i. Interfaith worship and prayer can be complex, but this book demonstrates that in a world of many cultures and religions, there is an urgent need for religions to come together with trust and communication, especially when there is a crisis. Full of insights and examples of practice, the book demonstrates how religions can be a powerful means of unity and compassion. The book opposes the 'clash of civilisations' model as a way of interpreting the world and promotes peace, hope, and the possibility of cooperation. Religious believers can be sincere and committed to their own faith, while recognising the need to stand firmly together with members of other religious traditions.
Here is a book that can be used by individuals or groups to make the experience of prayer come alive. This six week prayer adventure features daily commentary on a particular facet of prayer, scripture readings, and reflections by the author.
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