The Practical Disciple |

Dog-Weary and Ready for a Sabbath

A number of years ago I asked a medical doctor,  “What is the most common reason people come to see you?”  She talked about a variety of health issues and then said something to the effect of, “While those are the things people come to see me, by far the most common problem I see in my office is depression.  People come to me for other things, but a huge number of them are suffering from depression. It’s just not the presenting condition that brought them in.”

We proceeded to discuss why so many people were depressed.  I proposed that a major contributing factor is that we have lost any sense of

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A Protestant Novena, A Dose of the Ghost

The following post was originally published May 12, 2010. I’ve republished this along with a related devotional series now compiled into one convenient nine day prayer guide about the Holy Spirit. The video is a recording of a live Facebook Session, done God-incidentally almost 7 years ago to the day of the original post. You can download your free copy of the prayer guide at the bottom of the post.  Blessings.


“Protestant novena” may be an oxymoron, because as far as I  know a novena is a totally catholic thing.  I wonder how many people reading this have even heard of a novena.  I never had until this morning.  Or, at least

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Are you hearing these three calls to action in scripture?

God's Calling...

God calls us through his Word to grow as disciples. You will encounter three basics calls to action in scripture: principles, tasks, and changes.  Recognizing these three ways God calls us is the bridge between bible study and application.

Why?  Because when you read scripture daily and actively look for these three calls, you will more often hear and apply God’s Word to your life. Here are the three types of calls:

PRINCIPLES to implement


“Love you neighbor as yourself” is an example of a principle for Godly living. Scripture is filled with basic commands and guidelines for how we are to live faithfully. Principles tend to be timeless maxims

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Prayer Instruction: How to Respond When God Answers

When God responds to a prayer it is a gift that we need to honor.  Here are three distinct ways that I try to respond to answered prayer.
 

1) Give thanks.  Give credit where credit is due.  When you see that God has done something acknowledge it.  Say to God that you realize He is at work in your life and you are grateful.

 

2)  Tell the story.  When God answers prayer share the story.  The psalms speak repeatedly about praising or thanking God publicly.  When we share stories about what God has done, we strengthen our faith and the faith of others.  When someone asks you how you are, if God has been evidently at work in your life, you can respond,

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Praying Scripture, Two Quick Prayer Techniques

Praying scripture can be a fantastic way to enrich your prayers.  Specifically, following scripture can move you to pray about things you normally wouldn’t, thus broadening your prayer life.  Also, praying scripture can help you focus and pray for longer periods of time.

Two simple techniques for praying scripture are:  1) Using scripture as a topical guide and 2) Paraphrasing Psalms.  Here are some example…

1. Using Scripture as a Topical Guide

Recently, scripture guided my prayers as I was sewing baby quilts and praying over them for the next generation.  I sew for about 30  minutes which can be a super long time to focus on a single topic.  I was struggling to keep praying until the Sermon on the Mount came to mind.  Last year I had memorized the Sermon on the Mount during Lent

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How to Keep a Daily Prayer Time Even if You’re Crazy Busy


When you’re crazy busy how you spend your time should be about clearly knowing your highest priorities and placing those things first. Unfortunately, too often the squeaky wheel gets the grease or we follow the path of least resistance toward immediate gratification.

These human nature impulses don’t have to be the downfall of making prayer a priority. In fact, the key to keeping a daily prayer time in the midst of competing priorities is to full on exploit our human nature. Specifically, the key is to intentionally make prayer the squeaky wheel and make the path as clear and wide as possible to it.

So how do you make prayer the squeaky wheel?

Turn up the volume. Right now prayer must be

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