The Parables of Jesus: Lesson 13: Two Parables on What Someone’s Prayer Reveals

The Parable of the Unjust Judge: Luke 18:1-8 Background in Luke Luke 17: 11-18: 8 is a significant unit focused on the “end times” with four major parts: Jesus heals the ten lepers: 17: 11-19, Jesus answers a question by some Pharisees about the coming of God’s Kingdom: 17:20-21, Jesus instructs His disciple on the […]

Luke 18:1-8: Persistence in Prayer

Oh, how discouragement settles in our bones.  We quit when details don’t go our way.  We leave when life gets uncomfortable.  The pain stabs us, our lungs burn, our legs become a lead weight, and we stop running the race.  We pray, but when God doesn’t deliver on our terms, we pout and quit talking […]

Esther, Lesson 5: Going to See the King

Confronted by Mordecai’s veiled threat that Esther will not survive Haman’s purge of the Jews, Esther decides to act.  She will go see Ahasuerus unannounced, which can mean execution if he is not pleased by her showing up without earlier approval.  Both Mordecai and Esther prepare.  What we now explore are the prayers of Mordecai […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 9: Christian Prayer, Pt. 3

We now look further into prayer, looking at specific verses that help shape our life of prayer. Fervent Prayer The traditional wording of James 5:16 is this: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  This has fostered in some that if your prayer isn’t fervent enough (with intensity, with genuine heart-felt passion), […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 8: Christian Prayer, Pt. 2

Last week, we looked at the Lord’s Prayer as a model prayer and a prayer to say verbatim.  Today, we continue looking into why we pray when our Father knows what we need ever before we pray—and other topics.   Why Pray?  “Grace Alone” Jesus doesn’t command prayer (just like He doesn’t command helping the […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 7: Christian Prayer

If we want to know about Christian prayer, then we turn to the Christ, who gave us His prayer. Read Matthew 6:5-6 When Jesus says, “When you pray,” what does He assume is part of His disciples’ lives?   What does Jesus NOT want our prayers to become?   Read Matthew 6:7-8 “empty phrases”: Greek, […]

1 Timothy, Lesson 3: Faithful Worship—Paul’s Pastoral Instructions to Timothy

Having commanded Timothy to “wage the good war” against the false teaching and teachers, Paul now shifts his focus to the Church and worship, “so you may know how someone should conduct himself in God’s household” (1 Timothy 3:15).   The Church in Prayer  Read 1 Timothy 2:1a Paul begins this section with a “so […]

John 16:23-33: In Jesus’ Name

When our fallen flesh thinks of prayer, it merely sees it as a means to an end—a way to get what you want! And such sinful thinking is also rampant in the Church. After all, every member of Christ’s Church in the world is not just a saint, but also a full-fledged sinner. Haven’t you […]

Acts, Lesson 23: Paul Gives Godly Counsel to Fellow Pastors

Paul is still on his third missionary journey. Having left Ephesus, his longest stay during his missionary travels, he makes a final sweep through Greece before going to Jerusalem. During this time, he was collecting donations to help “the poor among the saints in Jerusalem” (Romans 15:25-27, 2 Corinthians 8-9). Paul may also have traveled […]

Vain Repetition

This lesson is born from a concern about “vain repetition” in our worship liturgy. In our Divine Services on Sunday, we rotate settings of the Liturgy based on the season. However, during our midweek Advent and Lenten services, we have used the exact same service, Evening Prayer, for the last few years. Thus, are we […]