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On Pastoral Prayer

Some thoughts on a decline in deep and focussed prayer as part of corporate worship from an article by Jesse Johnson at the Cripplegate blog.

Terry Johnson—who wrote When Grace Comes Alive and When Grace Comes Home (two books about theological prayers), points out that through church history, pastoral prayers have been a mark of healthy churches, but particularly during the Reformation. They are common today because they remain embodied (if neglected) in most liturgical churches.
By deep I mean that the prayer is profound. That it takes some truth of the Bible, or a pair of truths often in tension, and prays through their application. It causes to the congregational prayer to move past the sick list and the immediate, and instead strengthens our understanding of how we relate to God. Of all places, church is the place where people should be exposed to carefully crafted and deep prayers. It is helpful to know that the pool we are in has a deep end, and that it is ok to swim there.
By over/for/with I mean that the prayer draws in the congregation. It is done on their behalf, with them in mind. It exposes the pastor’s heart in a personal way, but beyond that it exposes the pastor’s care for his people. It gives them a window to the pastor’s prayer life, and to specifically how the pastor prays for them. It is with them, in that it draws them in, and they begin praying the same thoughts as well.

Read the whole post here.

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My Phone Spies On Me

I’ve got an ‘up next’ message about a flight to Sydney that I’m just about to get on.
My phone is reading my email.
And it’s trying to organise me.

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A Faithful And Glorious God (preparing for mgpc 29/1/17)

Songs of preparation: Rock Of Agesand There Is A Redeemer.
Call to worship:
Praise: Build Your Kingdom Here.
Prayer of adoration and confession:
Scripture assurance, confession of faith, doxology: Amazing Grace; The Apostles’ Creed; Unto God Be Praise And Honour.
Continuous reading: Daniel 7: 1 – 28 – Recalls Daniel’s prophetic vision given in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign (c. 552 B.C.) of four beasts representing four kingdoms: the Medo-Persian, the Greek, the Roman, and a final kingdom of ten horns, all of which are superseded by His vision of the everlasting kingdom ruled by the Ancient of Days.
Bible Memorisation:
Praise: King Of Kings, Majesty.
Scripture reading: Haggai 1: 1 – 15.
Sermon: A Faithful And Glorious God – Mark Lewis.
Tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Bless The Lord, O My Soul – 10,000 Reasons.

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The Good Shepherd by Kenneth Bailey

9780830840632I saw The Good Shepherd by Kenneth Bailey mentioned on one of the blogs on my feed reader.
It’s now on my acquisitions list.
Some observations by the author:
“For nearly fifty years, Middle Eastern shepherds with their flocks were a part of the larger context in which I grew up and then lived and taught the New Testament,”
“It was my privilege to have laymen and clergy in three countries as my students who had herded sheep for extended periods in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“Regarding the good shepherd, the Bible invites its readers on a thousand-year theological journey that can be likened to a movie consisting of nine major episodes. Anyone who enters the movie theater in the middle of the showing of a film may find the scene on display of interest—like watching a preview of some ‘coming attractions.’ Yet the viewer knows that the full story can only be understood when one views the film from the beginning to the end.”

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Corgis Pulling Another Corgi In A Sled

One of my daughters will love this video so much she may have already seen it.
But she’d probably watch it again anyway.
Two corgis pulling their sibling around in a sled.
Which they do about as well as you’d expect corgis might.

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Black River by Sierra Hull

Sierra Hull is a bluegrass prodigy grown up.
She was a protegé of Alison Krauss, among others.
Here’s a track called Black River in which you may hear some of that, but the styles’ all her own.
The vocals and mandolin work are Hull’s.