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A Public Confession of Sins and Prayer Before the Sermon

Heavenly Father, eternal and merciful God, we acknowledge and confess before Thy divine majesty that we are poor miserable sinners. We were conceived and born in utter wickedness and corruption and are prone to all manner of evil and incapable by nature of doing any good. By our sinful life we transgress Thy holy commandments without ceasing, and thereby […]

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Deacons at Prayer

In the last issue, I challenged the eldership to prayer: specific, diligent and faithfully practiced prayer. In this one, I direct that same challenge to the deacons in the church. A couple of introductory comments are in order. With the elders. a warning needed to be sounded about the danger of forgetting that their work is […]

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The Dynamics of Prayer

Prayer is the greatest subject of spirituality in the Bible. It deals with our communication with God and how God and His plan, purpose, power and priority can be known in our lives and circumstances. But where did the idea of prayer come from? And how does the origin of prayer affect the way we […]

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Pray for the Flock

Over recent years, this column has sounded a call for pastoral care by elders (especially). For that period of time, I have argued that many Reformed churches are losing touch with the divine pattern for the care of Christ’s church precisely because we have allowed ourselves to think of the eldership as an administrative board […]

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Effects of Prayer are Evident

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail asking for prayer. David Allen, a young missionary to Malaysia, had contracted a rare (possibly unknown) disease that was killing him. He couldn’t keep anything down and his body was literally wasting away. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta said it would be two months before […]

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John Murray: Man of Prayer (I)

John Murray was born in Badbea, Magdale, Scotland, on October 14, 1898. We think of him today, therefore, on the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth. Thousands know him through his writings, especially Redemption Accomplished and Applied (1955); Principles of Conduct (1957); and his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (1959, 1965). Since his death […]

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John Murray: Man of Prayer (II)

PRAYER ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE John Murray’s practice of prayer was the outpouring of his devotion to the Triune God revealed in Scripture. The language of his prayer was the language of Scripture, for his prayer reflected what God says to us in His Word, and what we say to Him, guided by His Word and […]

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Parental Prayer is Power!

If we were to select two dominant themes of discussion in the world and church today, no doubt the current breakdown of the home and the work of the Holy Spirit would rank high. At first glance these two topics seem to be picked at random, but actually there is a very close relationship between […]

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Looking Back

A few words about preaching and praying within the worship service. There has been in the past, and still is today, a notion that sermons have to be long in order to be good. A long sermon is a mark of orthodoxy. This idea is especially found in more “conservative” churches, including the URCs and […]

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The Prayer of Jabez

And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bear him with sorrow. And Jabez called on God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep me […]

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