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Archive for February 19th, 2013

Why isn’t God answering

Aaron reviews Brass Heavens by Paul Tautages, a recently released book on prayer:

“Why won’t God answer? Is He not listening?”

How many of us have asked this question, whether openly or in secret? There’s something so disconcerting when we pray earnestly, confidently, possibly desperately, and yet it seems to go unanswered.

God is silent. Or so it seems.

Why?

Paul Tautges, in his new book, Brass Heavens , examines several reasons why our prayers may go unanswered. The result is a book that serves as much as a treatise on sin as it does on one of prayer.

This is important for us to keep in mind as our sin does directly affect our prayer life—because Christians have a real, living, active relationship with our Father in Heaven, we can expect what we do to either strengthen or weaken that relationship.

So what are the causes of unanswered prayer? Tautges identifies six reasons why we might not receive an answer to our prayers:

Keep reading for an overview and review of the book.

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When tempted in our season of overwhelming sorrow to say, “Never has there been so dark a cloud, never a heart so stripped and desolate as mine!” Let this thought hush every murmur, “It is your Father’s good pleasure!” The love and pity of the most tender parent — is but a dim shadow compared to the pitying love of God. If your heavenly Father’s smile has for a moment been exchanged for the chastening rod — be assured there is some deep necessity for the severe discipline. If there are unutterable yearnings in the soul of the earthly parent as the surgeon’s scalpel is applied to the body of his child; infinitely more is it so with your covenant God as He subjects you to those deep wounds of heart! Finite wisdom has no place in His inscrutable ordinations. An earthly father may err; is ever erring; but “as for God — His way is perfect!” This is the explanation of His every dealing: “Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.

John MacDuff, The Rainbow in the Clouds, (Monergism Books edition)

 

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I am very concerned about this issue.  I would encourage you to be informed, pray, and get involved in stopping human trafficking.

Here are 14 ways to get started and keep going.

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“I am persuaded that I shall obtain the highest amount of present happiness, I shall do most for God’s glory and the good of man, and I shall have the fullest reward in eternity, by maintaining a conscience always washed in Christ’s blood, by being filled with the Holy Spirit at all times, and by attaining the most entire likeness to Christ in mind, will, and heart, that it is possible for a redeemed sinner to attain to in thisworld.”

— Robert Murray M’Cheyne, quoted by Andrew Bonar in Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1960), 174

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Abraham Lincoln:

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.

You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.

But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest; you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.

Amy Hall comments:

The arguments for slavery were the same as the arguments now for abortion: Human beings are only instrumentally valuable. Some people are worth less than others because they lack particular qualities that I have. Therefore, my desires trump their rights.

The arguments against slavery were the same as the arguments now against abortion: All human beings are intrinsically valuable and have equal natural rights, regardless of their characteristics.

The arguments are the same then and now because the two options presenting themselves to us haven’t changed and won’t ever change. Slavery and abortion aren’t just random, unconnected controversial issues, they’re rooted in our view of human beings, and they illustrate the two possible directions in which our country can go as we move forward. Will we embrace intrinsic human value or instrumental human value?

Whatever we decide as a nation, don’t think for a moment that the principle we settle on will only be applied to abortion.

Read the rest.  HT:  Z

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A Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer by the preacher and churchman Petrus Dathenus (1531–1588) who put together the first complete church songbook for Dutch Reformed Christians in 1566:

O merciful Father, we thank Thee that Thou didst keep watch over us this past night, in Thy great faithfulness. We pray that Thou mayest strengthen and guide us henceforth by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may put this day as well as all the days of our life to the service of holiness and righteousness. Grant, we pray Thee, that in all our undertakings we may always have an eye single to Thy glory. May we ever labor in the consciousness of our dependence upon Thy beneficence for the success of our work.

We beseech Thee to forgive all our sins according to Thy promise, for the sake of the passion and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we are truly sorry for all our transgressions. Illumine our hearts, we pray Thee, that we may lay aside all works of darkness and as children of light may lead new lives in all godliness.

May it please Thee to bless us also as we engage in the proclamation of the divine Word. Frustrate all the works of the devil. Endue all the ministers of the Church who are faithful to Thee with strength, and make the magistrates of Thy people strong. Instill comfort in the hearts of all that are distressed, through Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son. For He has assured us that thou wilt surely grant us all that we ask of Thee in His Name, and has enjoined us to pray after this fashion, saying: Our Father who art in heaven, etc. Amen.

May grace also be given us, we pray Thee, to order our lives according to Thy will which thou didst reveal in Thy law as contained in the Ten Commandments: I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me, etc. Amen.

 

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