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Bulletin Blurbs

In the articles I will be writing over the next several weeks, we will be continuing to explore the answer to the question, “why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” This week, I would like us to turn our attention inside of our heart. One of the reasons we may not be seeing our prayers being answered the way we would like, is because of our own faith. There is a correlation between the effectiveness of our prayers and the faith that we have when we utter them.  Consider Daniel 10:12, where a messenger of the lord tells Daniel that his prayers are answered because of his humility and belief. His prayers were heard only after he humbly approached the throne of God. Thus, it was the faith of Daniel in the ability of God to answer prayers , that the prayer was answered. But this is not a unique event, James tells us as much in James 5:16, as the Psalmist does in Psalm 34:15.

Jesus takes this one step further in John  9:31 when He informs us that our prayers will be most effective when we are “God-fearing” and we “do His will.” The Psalmist in Psalm 66:18 goes so far as to say that, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” So this morning if you are wrestling in your prayer life, and you feel that God is not listening to you, take a moment and examine your heart. Do you believe in God? Do you trust in His ability to answer prayers? Do you pray with conviction?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these, that may be a cause for your discontentment with your prayer life. Call on God, and ask Him to help your doubts and fears. If you answered ‘yes’ to all these but still feel dissatisfied with your prayer life, fret not! There are still many other possibilities we will explore together. For now pray with conviction, belief, and trust in the power of our Lord.


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Good morning!

Once again, I’m happy that all of you are here this morning! As you read this, I am likely in Henderson, Tennessee for the annual FHU Lectureship. I look forward to seeing you in person again this time next week! It’s always an encouraging thought to know that, though I’m 716 miles away, we’re both worshipping the same God on the same day. Though we’re apart, we’re all part of the same family.

It’s hard to believe we are already a month into this New Year. It seems like every February, I have that overwhelming feeling that time really goes by too quickly. I want to express what we discussed last Sunday at our youth devotional. Often in our New Year, we discuss new beginnings and how, if the last year was not our best, we can “turn over a new leaf” this New Year. Well, now we’re 1/12 into the year 2014, and my guess is we’ve all fallen to a sin or temptation at some point. We’ve all proved that we aren’t perfect. Luckily, God does not measure time in years, months, weeks, etc. like we do. We always have the opportunity to change for the better.

David, after being confronted by Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba, wrote the 51st Psalm. In verses 10-12, he prays this: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

We, like David, can and should pray this prayer. Unfortunately, we are imperfect. We have a Heavenly Father who understands that, and sent his perfect Son to die for us, so that we have a chance to come back to him, have our hearts made clean, and have our spirits renewed, not at the start of each new year, but whenever it is needed. Isn’t it a blessing to be a child of God?!