The first rule for prayer, the most important first step, is not about how to do it, but to just do it; not to perfect and complete it but to begin it. Once the car is moving, it's easy to steer it in the right direction, but it's much harder to start it up when it's stalled. And prayer is stalled in our world.
Now suppose both death and hell were utterly defeated. Suppose the fight was fixed. Suppose God took you on a crystal ball trip into your future and you saw with indubitable certainty that despite everything "" your sin, your smallness, your stupidity "" you could have free for the asking your whole crazy heart's deepest desire: heaven, eternal joy. Would you not return fearless and singing? What can earth do to you, if you are guaranteed heaven? To fear the worst earthly loss would be like a millionaire fearing the loss of a penny "" less, a scratch on a penny.
suppose quotesdeath quoteshell quotesutterly quotesdefeated quotes quotessuppose quotesfight quotesfixed quotesgod quotescrystal quotesball quotestrip quotesfuture quotesindubitable quotescertainty quotessin quotessmallness quotesstupidity quotesfree quotescrazy quoteshearts quotesdeepest quotesdesire quotesheaven quoteseternal quotesjoy quotesreturn quotesfearless quotessinging quotesearth quotesguaranteed quotesheaven quotesfear quotesworst quotesearthly quotesloss quotesmillionaire quotesfearing quotespenny quotesscratch quotespenny quotes
Remembering the facts of death and Heaven gives us an even more pressing reason to learn to pray: We do not have an infinite amount of time. We are one day nearer Home today than we ever were before. I guarantee you that after you die you will not say 'I spent too much time praying; I wish I had watched more TV instead.'
Prayer is essentially the practice of the presence of God, and that is the road to Heaven. There is no alternative. God is the only game in town. All other roads are dead ends. Since we must give our all to the one true God, we must not give any part to idols, to the many false gods that now bite away at our lives.
Americans' deepest religion is often equality. The notion that Christ alone is God-superior, authoritative, supernatural-and that Christ's teaching and person is far greater than Buddha's, or Muhammad's, or Moses's, no matter how much great and good wisdom may be contained in those others, is scandalous.
americans quotesdeepest quotesreligion quotesequality quotesnotion quoteschrist quotesgodsuperior quotesauthoritative quotessupernaturaland quoteschrists quotesteaching quotesperson quotesgreater quotesbuddhas quotesmuhammads quotesmosess quotesmatter quotesgreat quotesgood quoteswisdom quotescontained quotesscandalous quotes
I think nobody alive today is a more powerful agent of conversion than someone like Mother Teresa. You can refute arguments but not her life. When she came to the National Prayer Breakfast and lectured President Clinton about abortion, he had nothing to say to her. He can't argue with a saint. It's too bad there isn't an easier way, because becoming a saint is not the easiest thing in the world. It's much easier to become an apologist or a philosopher or a theologian.
alive quotestoday quotespowerful quotesagent quotesconversion quotesmother quotesteresa quotesrefute quotesarguments quoteslife quotesnational quotesprayer quotesbreakfast quoteslectured quotespresident quotesclinton quotesabortion quotesargue quotessaint quotesbad quoteseasier quotessaint quoteseasiest quotesthing quotesworld quotesapologist quotesphilosopher quotestheologian quotes
No books is more fascinating than the Bible. And no books are less fascinating than most of our commentaries on the Bible. Nothing is more formidable and unconquerable than the Church Militant. But nothing is more sleepy and sheepish than the Church Mumbling. Christ's words roused His enemies to murder and His friends to martyrdom. Our words reassure both sides and send them to sleep. He put the world in a daze. We put it in a doze.
books quotesfascinating quotesbible quotescommentaries quotesformidable quotesunconquerable quoteschurch quotesmilitant quotessleepy quotessheepish quotesmumbling quoteschrists quoteswords quotesroused quotesenemies quotesmurder quotesfriends quotesmartyrdom quotesreassure quotessides quotessend quotessleep quotesput quotesworld quotesdaze quotesdoze quotes
If Christianity is true, this changes EVERYTHING. Christ's very last words to us in scripture were: "Behold, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5) I hope you remember that most moving line in the most moving movie ever made, The Passion Of The Christ, when Christ turns to His mother on the way to Calvary, explaining the need for the Cross and the blood and the agony: "See, Mother, I make all things new." I hope you remember that line with your tear ducts, which connect to the heart, as well as with your ears, which connect to the brain. Christ changed every human being he ever met. In fact, He changed history, splitting it open like a coconut and inserting eternity into the split between B.C. and A.D. If anyone claims to have met Him without being changed, he has not met Him at all. When you touch Him, you touch lightning.
christianity quotestrue quoteschrists quoteswords quotesscripture quotesbehold quotesmake quotesthings quotesrev quotes215 quoteshope quotesremember quotesmoving quotesline quotesmovie quotesmade quotespassion quoteschrist quoteschrist quotesturns quotesmother quotescalvary quotesexplaining quotescross quotesblood quotesagony quotesmother quotestear quotesducts quotesconnect quotesheart quotesears quotesbrain quoteschanged quoteshuman quotesmet quotesfact quoteshistory quotessplitting quotesopen quotescoconut quotesinserting quoteseternity quotessplit quotesbc quotesad quotesclaims quotesmet quoteschanged quotestouch quoteslightning quotes
No story is more beautiful than the Gospel, even though it is a story full of pain and nails and hate and blood and sin and murder and betrayal and forsakenness and unimaginable agony and death. It is the story of what happens to the most beautiful thing, Perfect Love, when it enters our world: it comes to a Cross, to the crossroad between good and evil. All our most beautiful stories are like the Gospel: they are tragedies first, and then comedies; they are crosses and then crowns. They are crosses because they are conflicts between good and evil. That is the fundamental plot of every great story. To say "that story is beautiful" means "that story resembles the Gospel." If you are bored by the Gospel, that puts no black eye on the Gospel, but on you. Most likely, it means you have never listened to it. You must have heard it, but hearing is far from the same thing as listening...
story quotesbeautiful quotesgospel quotesfull quotespain quotesnails quoteshate quotesblood quotessin quotesmurder quotesbetrayal quotesforsakenness quotesunimaginable quotesagony quotesdeath quotesthing quotesperfect quoteslove quotesenters quotesworld quotescross quotescrossroad quotesgood quotesevil quotesstories quotesgospel quotestragedies quotescomedies quotescrosses quotescrowns quotesconflicts quotesfundamental quotesplot quotesgreat quotesstory quotesbeautiful quotesmeans quotesresembles quotesgospel quotesbored quotesputs quotesblack quoteseye quoteslistened quotesheard quoteshearing quotesthing quoteslistening quotes
Not all who listen, believe. If you call the Gospel a crazy fairy tale, a far-too-good-to-be-true myth, an insane extension of wishful thinking, or even a blasphemous lie, I will respect you and argue with you. But if you call it a platitude, I can only pity you, for that means you have never listened to it.
When we pray, instead of trying to produce love in our souls toward God, we should be basking in God's love for us. How foolish to stay indoors in the cold, dark little room off the self, trying to turn on the light and turn up the heat, when we can just go outside into God's glorious Sonlight and receive his rays! How silly to fuss with artificial tanning salons and lotions and lights when the Son is out!
pray quotesproduce quoteslove quotessouls quotesgod quotesbasking quotesgods quotesfoolish quotesstay quotesindoors quotescold quotesdark quotesroom quotesturn quoteslight quotesheat quotesglorious quotessonlight quotesreceive quotesrays quotessilly quotesfuss quotesartificial quotestanning quotessalons quoteslotions quoteslights quotesson quotes
To invoke Jesus' name is to place yourself in his presence, to open yourself to his power, his energy. The prayer of Jesus' name actually brings God closer, making him more present. He is always present in some way, since he knows and loves each one of us at every moment; but he is not present to those who do not pray as intimately as he is present to those who do. Prayers a difference; 'prayer changes things.' It may or may not change our external circumstances. (It does if God sees that that change is good for us; it does not if God sees that it is not.) but it always changes our relationship to God, which is infinitely more important than external circumstances, however pressing they may seem, because it is eternal but they are temporary, and because it is our very self but they are not.
invoke quotesjesus quotesplace quotespresence quotesopen quotespower quotesenergy quotesprayer quotesbrings quotesgod quotescloser quotesmaking quotespresent quotespresent quotesloves quotesmoment quotespray quotesintimately quotesprayers quotesdifference quotesprayer quotesthings quoteschange quotesexternal quotescircumstances quotessees quotesgood quotesrelationship quotesgod quotesinfinitely quotesimportant quotescircumstances quotespressing quoteseternal quotestemporary quotes
If one Egyptian tailor hadn't cheated on the threads of Joseph's mantle, Potiphar's wife would never have been able to tear it, present it as evidence to Potiphar that Joseph attacked her, gotten him thrown in prison, and let him be in a position to interpret Pharaoh's dream, win his confidence, advise him to store seven years of grain, and save his family, the seventy original Jews from whom Jesus came. We owe our salvation to a cheap Egyptian tailor.
egyptian quotestailor quotescheated quotesthreads quotesjosephs quotesmantle quotespotiphars quoteswife quotestear quotespresent quotesevidence quotespotiphar quotesjoseph quotesattacked quotesthrown quotesprison quotesposition quotesinterpret quotespharaohs quotesdream quoteswin quotesconfidence quotesadvise quotesstore quotesyears quotesgrain quotessave quotesfamily quotesseventy quotesoriginal quotesjews quotesjesus quotesowe quotessalvation quotescheap quotestailor quotes