When the Devil Seems to Win


A little country church tucked just off Main Street, Trinity Fellowship had served the community for years and did it well. They had experienced growth over the last year—eight new families—but they had also experienced something less encouraging.

Rebecca Simms worried that her youngest daughter would end up in jail. She did.

Mike Travers heard about the layoffs a month ago. The pink slip came yesterday, his third in three years.

Emma Andersen, two semesters away from graduating from college (the first in her family), got that fated letter saying her full-ride scholarship money had dried up due to tough economic times.

Bryan and Lydia Preston found out two weeks ago they were expecting their first child. This morning, they learned something was wrong with the baby.

Between the six people on the leadership team at Trinity, they suffered a miscarriage, cancer, a bankruptcy, the suicide of a child, crippling depression, and an affair that led to divorce. Three are no longer in ministry and may never return.

Last Sunday, Daryl Wells, the worship leader, led a song that contained a lyric out of Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon formed against you shall prevail.” More than one person singing that morning wondered if the words were true.

Sometimes, the Devil seems to win.

Trinity Fellowship and the people who comprise it are the product of this writer’s imagination. But they might as well be real, because their stories are. Every Sunday in America, someone, somewhere, is sitting in church wondering how it all went wrong. For some, it’s a question asked many times.

It’s not enough to say we live in a fallen world. That brings no comfort at all. Nor does it make sense of the mountain of Scriptures that say that God rescues His people from calamity. Let’s be honest here: More than once, you’ve wondered why the Scriptures don’t line up with your experience of life.

I’m not wise. I make a lot of mistakes wise people wouldn’t make. But several decades of observation take me back to the same answer for this issue.

The Devil seems to win for one major reason: We don’t pray.

I think we’ve all learned that when someone says he will pray for us, he probably won’t. It’s not a malicious promise, though. The intent is there, but we all know how life intrudes and the best of intentions remains nothing but intentions. Angelic warfareIt seems to be the human condition.

Succumbing to the human condition is not what the Church is supposed to be about, though. Our God is not a god of settling.

I used to think that my condition was largely due to my own prayers—or the lack of them. I don’t believe that anymore.

Sure, what we pray for ourselves matters. But God means the Church to be a Body, a collective, a community that lives and dies by what the whole does. If I’m not praying for you and you’re not praying for me, then the Devil wins.

Several years ago, I attended a Christian Camping International conference, with Leighton Ford as the keynote speaker. He told us about a flight where he sat next to a man who prayed the entire flight. Ford assumed the man feared flying, so he broke in at one point to offer some comfort. Only then did he notice the sheet of paper the man clutched. On it were the names of many prominent Christian leaders. When Ford questioned him about this, the man confessed that he had been praying for the downfall of the people on the list.

Ford informed us that, with the passage of time, all but one of those leaders had seen their ministry—and their personal lives—destroyed.

I don’t think Evangelicals take the Devil seriously. We don’t see life as a battle. We blithely float here and there, mostly prayerlessly, and let the river carry us wherever it may. Then when we wash up on the rocks, we wonder what happened.

It’s not enough that we pray for ourselves. We need others to watch our backs for us, because many times we are too close to our own lives to see where we may be exposed to enemy fire.

People in ministry positions are the prime targets of the Enemy. Take down a pastor and an entire church can go down with him. I recently heard that a thriving, well-known church my wife and I visited a few years back blew up entirely after the pastor screwed up. And don’t think that doesn’t wreck a lot of bystanders, because it does. Maybe not at first, but that kind of disaster eats at people’s spiritual guts, fosters corrosive cynicism, and does enormous damage.

Really, how hard is it to pray for others in our churches, especially for those in prominent roles? Isn’t it much harder to fix the craters and wounds from shrapnel when a life blows up due to the lack of a prayer covering?

Kind of a Pentecostal term there, prayer covering. Regardless of whether or not it’s Christianese, it’s reality. When bad things happen to people, be they lost or saved, the holes in their prayer covering—if they even have a prayer covering at all—may explain everything.

I’m to the point in my life where I honestly believe that almost all of the hardship we see in life is due to a lack of prayer. Those Scriptures that don’t align with life don’t because we’re just not taking prayer as seriously as the Scriptures do.

Book Review: “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller


_A Praying Life_ by Paul E. MillerOne nonfiction Christian book I’ve consistently encountered on “Top 10” lists is Paul E. Miller’s A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World. Given the paucity of great books on prayer, I kept the book in mind and finally ordered it through my library.

I’ll jump right to the point: This is good, contemporary book on prayer that you should read.

Given the number of reviews I’ve read elsewhere that credited the book with transforming readers’ entire outlook on prayer, that expectation of greatness seemed assured. Yet as I delved into A Praying Life, my hope for a personally transforming read got mired in the book’s many frustrating inconsistencies and Miller’s ultimate concessions to the good when the best was in reach.

But let’s start with the pros of the book first.

Miller hits the mark immediately by using his own prayer life and family situation as a framing mechanism that runs throughout the book. That personal vulnerability mirrors Miller’s primary statement about how we should approach prayer: We must come to God transparently, just as little children do.

I’ve long thought that pretense destroys the prayer lives of more people than nearly anything else. We formalize our prayers and put on airs, yet the most primal prayer in the Bible is simply “Abba, Father.” (Any of us who have been around in the Faith long enough have heard that abba is the equivalent of daddy.) Miller rightly saves us from grandiosity in prayer by relentlessly going back to this truth that we are the children of God and that coming to Him as children with a childlike faith is what frees us to truly pray.

And just like children who are so powerless to control their own lives because they are dependents, we are to understand that we cannot control our adult lives, either. God is ultimately in charge, so our dependence on Him to meet our needs is natural and must be embraced.

Yet how we fight against surrendering our mistaken notions of control! Praying “give us this day our daily bread” goes unheard throughout much of American Christianity, given that our ideology is based more on bootstrapping and being self-made rather than dependent and God-made. We may say it, but we don’t actually live as if “give us this day our daily bread” is a prayer necessity. We instead rely on our own smarts, abilities, and money, and we turn God into some second-rate grandfather who we come to only when we need more than what we can already provide for ourselves. (On the other hand, Miller also warns against overspiritualizing our practice of the faith, which tends to defeat childlikeness.) Miller insists self-centeredness keeps us from enjoying the life we could truly live in faith, a better life than we can make on our own and the only life worth living.

Inevitably, this self-reliance results in cynicism when the wheels fall off. Life eventually shatters our can-do optimism. We begin to question God’s love for us, and our intimacy with Him crumbles. Our lives start overflowing with snarky responses and wry smiles at those who truly try to live by faith.

(In my own life, I’ve seen this response constantly in other men. By nature, we men are rational fixers. Why default to prayer when a methodology or practical “duct tape” response can fix the problem? Nearly every time I get together with men to pray over issues, the result is 55 minutes of advice on how to fix the issue and 5 minutes of praying. Inside this thinking, cynicism reigns: Practical, man-made answers mean more than pie-in-the-sky prayers.)

Miller blames our culture for promoting cynicism. He portrays cynicism as a perpetual critique of the world, one that is detached and distant (and therefore powerless) in dealing with the larger problems that face us. It leads to paralysis, darkness, and hopelessness, which often manifests as depression and other psychiatric disorders.

In contrast, the praying life actively fights evil and won’t take no for an answer. This response, again, is found in childlikeness. Children continue to believe even when faced with the “facts.” Creating time for thankfulness and repentance also works to break cynicism’s hold on us.

Up to this point, Miller has hit all the right notes. But even this early in the book, cracks begin to show. The chapters afterward reveal an increasing tendency to undermine what was written previously.

Miller continues by assaulting rationalism and its effects on believing for great things in prayer. He covers our bifurcated view of the realms of the “real” world and the spiritual world and how we’ve suffered for that split. He tosses the Enlightenment into the mix and blames it for the overly scientific way we view our lives and the world around us.

In the midst of this failure, Miller returns to the faith of a child, telling the story of the son of two rational New York Times journalists who chronicle, to their own amazement, the faith of their 4-year-old son. When the boy’s father ends up embedded with troops in Iraq, the boy prays. His mother questions this, yet the child cannot reject his belief that God is there for his dad. (The child as father to the woman would be the natural subtitle to this story.) Again, Miller reinforces that asking for big things falls into the realm of the childlike.

Miller then takes issue with scientific studies that attempt to show that prayer doesn’t work. He deflects these attempts by invoking prayer as a mystery, equating its otherwordly nature to quantum physics and Schrödinger’s cat. Putting prayer under a microscope obfuscates rather than clarifies. Miller later notes that attempts to systematize prayer also lead us away from genuine meaning.

At the conclusion of this section, the train of Miller’s thoughts starts to go off the rails. He writes about motives in prayer, how asking for the wrong things will inevitably lead to disappointment, and how we sometimes forget to pray for the little things (even those that seem highly materialistic or self-serving, such as a vacation home or parking space). Also, he notes that we don’t pray for the Kingdom to come or for God to change us because doing so threatens our little kingdoms and our self-righteousness.

The concluding chapters of the book discuss the practical ways in which Miller prays. He keeps prayers on note cards, tracks answers to prayer, and maintains a prayer journal. He also advises that we refrain from making any statements that “God told me to do such and such.” Rather, we should sit back and see how God weaves the story of our lives around our prayers.

As I noted, A Praying Life is a good book that fulfills its mission to provide practical advice on prayer.

That said, I had many problems with the book that I feel ultimately diminish its usefulness.

I mentioned internal inconsistencies. Sadly, they are many. In addition, Miller omits what I believe to be essential aspects of understanding prayer. He also sets up a gotcha that makes the book impervious to review. To me, these problems make it much more difficult to apply the good parts of the book to one’s prayer life.

Let’s start with the gotcha.

Critiquing A Praying Life runs the risk of violating Miller’s definitions of cynicism. In essence, his definition takes on the Evangelical equivalent of the charismatic’s “Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed.” But honestly, I think the book has problems. If that makes me a cynic, I’m sorry. I guess that label has to stick, even if I don’t believe it’s true.

The omissions also bother me.

Miller had almost nothing to say about the role of the demonic in actively opposing prayers. He mentions Satan a few times, but little is said about the invisible war that goes on in the heavenlies when we pray. (Daniel 10 immediately comes to mind.) How can we understand prayer, especially negative replies or long-running prayers apparently stuck in limbo, without some understanding of the opposition to our prayers?

The Holy Spirit’s role in our prayers is also underdeveloped. In what ways does the Spirit guide us in prayer? How should we understand that the Spirit prays in groans deep for words (Rom. 8:26)? And what does Miller understand 1 Cor. 14:15 to mean? As redeemed saints who now have the infinite God dwelling within us, these questions matter. Failing to address them in depth, especially in a book on prayer, seems like a huge oversight.

I was also bothered by those omissions that failed to delve into the harder questions behind the author’s premises. The major one for me concerned cynicism.

Miller places the blame for cynicism on a number of secular sources but never asks the killer question, especially in light of his premise about childlikeness: Aren’t repeated disappointments in prayer outcomes as a child the genesis for adult cynicism?

I know that when I was a young, baby Christian I prayed relentlessly and with full, childlike faith that one of my favorite relatives, a young woman with a hearty laugh and a zest for life, would beat her leukemia. She didn’t. That was a crushing blow.

While I have moved on from that episode and many other disappointments in those early days of my young faith, resisting cynicism was almost impossible. I think that is the case for many Christians.

And yet Miller didn’t truly visit this as a reason for cynicism, nor did he show how to combat it. We can blame any number of sources for cynicism in our society but we simply can’t ignore that one. The 4-year-old mentioned above may one day see his dad come home from the Middle East in a body bag. It happens. What then? What happens to that youngster and his prayer life?

A final underdevelopment is the reality that prayer is meant to help us possess God Himself. Miller does an exemplary job discussing presenting our needs before God but not nearly enough on prayer as a means of dwelling in God’s presence and abiding in Him. Yet this is the one aspect of prayer I believe most people struggle with more than any other. God alone as our sufficiency is a foreign concept to too many of us, but this book doesn’t fully address that most vital aspect of prayer.

The inconsistencies in the book also left me puzzled.

If we’re analyzing our motives in prayer, in what way is that childlike? Does a child ever question his own motives or whether he’s being greedy? I would contend that some of the most sensitive Christians among us perpetually worry about their motives, which would seem to utterly defeat childlike prayer.

In fact, the further one reads in A Praying Life, the more it seems Miller takes his original assertion about childlikeness and tacks on so many qualifiers that the entire idea of coming to God as a child gets swamped by all the “adult” things one must take into account when praying to our Heavenly Father. Where does this leave the reader? Perhaps Miller should have stopped writing past the end of Part 2 of the book.

Another problem arises when Miller says that we should not attempt to put prayer under a microscope, yet he keeps track of his prayers and their outcomes. So we can’t allow scientists to test prayer, yet we can do it ourselves? Hmm. And how childlike is a prayer journal? Isn’t that a bit systematic, too? Weren’t we warned earlier against such things? (Likewise, Miller omits the downside of prayer journals:  spending all of one’s time journaling and almost none actually praying. Been there, done that, and I’m not the only one, I’m sure.)

Critiques of those who overspiritualize the practice of the faith abound in the book, yet Miller falls prey to this problem repeatedly. First, he attempts to find meaning in everything that happens, yet the Bible tells us in the Book of Ecclesiastes that some parts of life are meaningless. Sometimes the race is not to the swiftest runner. The strongest don’t win the battle. Sometimes, stuff just happens. My spilling my cup of coffee in the morning may NOT be God’s way of telling me I ‘m too harried and need to slow down. It may just mean I’m clumsy because I’m still groggy because I haven’t had my coffee yet.

In that same way, trying to ascribe meaning to unanswered prayers or prayers that seem to go in ways we did not predict doesn’t always mean that God is trying to teach us something. Or He may be. Wisdom is in seeing this for what it is. That’s another avenue for the Holy Spirit’s inner revelation.

I was also mystified by Miller’s story about his daughter having a fondness for certain cars the family once owned or were thinking of buying, and he and his wife’s purposefully trying to weed that out of her lest she become materialistic. If that’s not overspiritualization, I don’t know what is. I mean, I have fond memories of my mom’s old station wagon and my dad’s Datsun 200SX, but neither turned me into a slave of the material. Worse, this story undermines Miller’s point about it being okay for him to pray for a vacation home. I realize that illustrations may not always correlate, but this was still strange.

Miller’s contention that we should avoid saying that “God told us _____”  is also problematic, as Miller repeatedly tells readers how God gave him insights into various aspects of his prayers, especially when the result didn’t come out exactly as hoped. This is the classic dilemma of those who don’t want to appear to be a charismaniacs yet who still need to find a way to explain life. Nonetheless, God either tells us things or He doesn’t.

But the 800-pound inconsistency in the book comes from the many life illustrations of Miller’s interactions with his autistic daughter.

I must be careful here. I don’t want to write anything that becomes unkind, as I mean no ill toward Miller or his family.

I will also add that I have a situation of my own life that is similar to Miller’s great struggle. I understand the pain. I know how hard it can be.

Miller writes a section dealing with Jesus’ bold assertions about prayer: Ask and you shall receive. He writes throughout the book of the little things he and his wife have prayed regarding their daughter and how they received positive responses.

But the question I have, and this impinges on all prayer requests all Christians everywhere make, is why not ask for the big one? Ask God for complete healing this side of heaven for the daughter and trust Him for it.

That’s a tough one. And it’s a tough one because no matter how much we  may beat on rationalism, the Enlightenment, and the concession of the West to science, we American Christians are scared to death of being a little child that asks God for the big thing only to have it not come about. Miller notes that when people ask him why an ill Christian who had thousands praying for him dies anyway, he sidesteps the question by stating that it’s not his life story so he can’t comment. Would the Apostle Paul not comment? I don’t think so. I believe he would have an answer, so we must—or else we are forced to question everything.

We have not because we ask not. Jesus says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7). There are no qualifiers beyond the first two. That statement by Jesus is how Peter was able to say to the beggar outside the Beautiful Gate, “…rise up and walk!” We either take the words of Jesus at face value or we construct all manner of theological treatises to make them so conditional that we never have to worry ourselves about big prayers in the face of enormous problems. We simply find an end run around the big problem instead.

We are still enslaved by the rational, so we fear the big prayer. Because the big prayer, if it doesn’t come about, exposes something in us that we don’t want to face.

But folks, we have to face it.

The default position is to ascribe failure to suffering, which is what many of us (including Miller) do. But suffering is an aberration. The mark of the Kingdom of God is not suffering but wholeness. This is not to say that we will never suffer this side of eternity, but the New Testament repeatedly shows Jesus and the Church manifesting the Kingdom of God in the here and now by alleviating suffering.

Instead, some of us have embraced suffering. We make easy peace with it. But this confuses the Scriptural view and endorses a new asceticism.

When we embrace suffering, we read portions of the Bible in ways that were never intended. The narrative of blind Bartimaeus takes on a reversed moral. It’s as if we see this man’s blindness as the glory of God working in his life. But that’s not what the Scriptures say. God’s glory was made manifest in Bartimaeus’ healing, not in his suffering. The distinction is key, yet we miss it.

The Bible says this:

And [Jesus] could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.
—Mark 6:5-6a

Again, we can overspiritualize. We can settle for a little and claim it is a lot. Then we are proud of how we’ve taken something less than ideal and transformed it into something wonderful. But in the end, that’s not faith.

We should always pray the big prayer. And we shouldn’t settle for anything less than a big, positive answer. That is faith. That we see so little of that kind of boldness in our modern American churches says more about us than it does about God.

100 Truths in 30 Years with Christ


'The Thinker' by Auguste RodinThis year (2007) marks my 30-year anniversary of coming to Christ. I met Him at a Lutheran camp on a confirmation retreat weekend. Even to this day, I can remember much of that evening.

I’ve kept my eyes, ears, and spirit open over that time, storing away what I’ve learned. Obviously, what I share here isn’t the sum total of all I’ve learned, just some basic truths God taught me that inform my every day.

I hope these observation get you thinking and praying. Most of all, I pray that they are a blessing that brings lasting fruit for the Kingdom. Thanks for being a reader.

In no particular order…

  1. Love God. Love people. It’s that simple.
  2. Anytime we interact with another person, we should ask the Lord, In what ways can I help this person grow closer to You?
  3. Christians who take time to observe the world around them see God and gain wisdom.
  4. The most worthy lessons of the Kingdom take the entirety of one’s life to fully learn.
  5. You are never more alone than in an unfriendly church.
  6. God could directly feed the widows and the orphans with manna from heaven, but He instead chose us in the Church to bake the bread through the resources He’s already given us and then distribute it.
  7. The world is tired of hearing Christians talk about the Gospel; they want to see it actually lived.
  8. In the end, nothing in life satisfies but Jesus.
  9. It’s a terrible indictment against men and young people in the American Church that old women are praying most of the intercessory prayers.
  10. Always lead with love. Love should precede every act we perform in the name of Christ and love should be the finale.
  11. Small home groups are fantastic for relationship-building, prayer, and sharing, but usually not the best venue for serious Bible study (especially if they’re co-ed).
  12. Admonish an adult once, perhaps twice, then turn the issue over to the Lord in prayer. Never hound people.
  13. We won’t find ourselves transformed, much less change the world, if we pray less than an hour a day.
  14. Most Evangelicals have little or no understanding of the Holy Spirit.
  15. The American Church needs to learn a truth Ben Franklin uttered at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”
  16. Too many Evangelicals long to see Jesus thrash those they view as heretics rather than help them come to a better understanding of truth.
  17. One of the most easily seen fruits in mature Christians is that they pray for people who oppose them rather than complain about them.
  18. A simple truth we constantly forget: Do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
  19. If all other aspects of Sunday meetings were removed, prayer would be the one untouchable, yet we spend less time doing it in our meetings than anything else.
  20. The mature Christian is more concerned with being loving all the time than being correct all the time.
  21. Each of use should know our neighbors’ names and the names of their children. We should also know their birthdays, if possible, because the card we send might be the only one they receive. And that’s a powerful witness.
  22. It is a sign of our trustworthiness as Christians that other people seek us out when they need help. If that’s not the case, then something is wrong with our witness.
  23. There is no shame in confessing a need, especially before fellow believers. That’s one reason why the Church exists.
  24. Many of Evangelicalism’s most intractable problems would vanish if we adopted the confessional booth.
  25. We must start seeing discipleship in terms of an entire lifespan and not what we can accomplish in the moment.
  26. Preaching is most effective when it’s lived by the preacher.
  27. We do a great disservice to families in our churches when we split them up the second they hit the lobby.
  28. If we wish to see the American Church be all She can be, then let’s welcome persecution.
  29. A youth minister’s primary responsibility isn’t to teens directly but to their parents. A good youth minister teaches parents how to teach their own teens, leaving the bulk of the responsibility to them.
  30. The way we so easily judge people offends the One who said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”
  31. We are too obsessed with heretics and not concerned enough with understanding what their heresy says about our own shortcomings and failures.
  32. It costs us nothing to judge others, but an enormous amount to walk beside them and help them grow.
  33. Bible study works best when led by highly-trained, Scripturally-knowledgeable people who have lived what they believe.
  34. Busyness is crippling the effectiveness of the American Church, but no one wants to fix the root causes because doing so would call into question the very nature of our modern society.
  35. True love is laying down our plans and schedules to help a person in need.
  36. One of the worst things a Christian can be is unteachable.
  37. God never rescinded His first command to Man: Steward the Earth.
  38. The man who recognizes the goodness of God in nature and sees Christ in the stranger has the more complete theology.
  39. A man is only as deep as his prayer life.
  40. A message every church in America should learn: You never have to advertise a fire.
  41. The more we restrict God in what He can and will do, the more He’ll honor that restriction.
  42. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman; He only shows up where He’s gratefully invited.
  43. Our neighbors should know that our houses are always open to them.
  44. Love truly does cover a multitude of sins.
  45. If we haven’t died at the cross, we’re worthless to the Kingdom.
  46. Who we are in secret is a better gauge of our spiritual maturity than who we are in public.
  47. Not seeng results in prayer? Better check how grateful we are to God for the little things He gives us.
  48. We never know enough of someone else’s story to judge them perfectly. Better to listen carefully, then admonish…carefully.
  49. No great, wise saint of God started out that way. We never know at what stage we meet one of those future saints, so we must always be gracious when interacting with others.
  50. The perfect recipe for helping someone grow in Christ: Six parts love to every one part admonition.
  51. God makes all things beautiful in His time, not ours.
  52. If there were no people, there would be no reason for the Gospel.
  53. If we are unwilling to help others work through the admonitions we give them, we should instead remain silent.
  54. On Judgment Day, God will be far less concerned with how well we knew the Scriptures than how we practiced what we knew.
  55. Too much of what we supposedly do for the Kingdom comes from the arm of flesh, not from the power of the Spirit.
  56. There’s no reason each of us can’t lead at least one person a year to Christ.
  57. Most churches never once consider what it feels like to be an outsider, which is why so few visitors take root.
  58. Most of the West has heard about Jesus (even if they’ve heard incorrectly), which is why our practice of our message is as vital as our pronouncement of it.
  59. A person may have perfect doctrine and a form of religion, but if he doesn’t care about his neighbor, it’s all for naught.
  60. The reason we learn the Scriptures is to be equipped for every good work.
  61. The more tender my heart is toward the least of these, the more tender it is toward God—and vice versa.
  62. We minister best from the overflow of our Spirit-filled hearts, not from being poured out until empty.
  63. For some reason, we stopped making heaven the ultimate destination.
  64. Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain.
  65. We make an idol of the nuclear family if we raise it above the needs of the household of Faith.
  66. If a fellow Christian has a financial need, forget about buying that plasma TV. And remember this: someone is always in need.
  67. The first thing the new Church did after being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was to see that no one among them lacked for anything.
  68. Fear drives almost all human failings. The opposite of fear is love.
  69. You can tell the effectiveness of a church’s discipling program by noting how many of the leadership staff came from within.
  70. A king’s ambassador, when sojourning in a foreign land, is the full representative of the king and wields his complete power and authority. Never forget that we are Christ’s ambassadors.
  71. We perpetually underestimate Satan’s wiles; at the same time, we underestimate our authority over him in Christ.
  72. Most lost people aren’t consciously looking for ways to sin; they’re only trying to get by.
  73. You and I have benefitted greatly from the prayers of others, but most people have never had someone pray for them.
  74. Because our God is a God of beauty and truth, we Christians need to honor our artists and intellectuals as much as our pastors and preachers.
  75. Most of the Lord’s finest servants labor in obscurity.
  76. We Christians should spend every day working to depopulate hell.
  77. We may know what it means to be a sinner, but few of us have appropriated what it means to be a saint.
  78. Our communion meals should be feasts as big as we eat on Thanksgiving Day.
  79. Wine is the drink of celebration, not Welch’s.
  80. A church-hopper is a carrier of dissension.
  81. We need to treat our pastors as imperfect fellow laborers, not as Grand Exalted Poobahs.
  82. Without the Lord, we can do nothing.
  83. If we Christians stopped worrying about what others think of us, the Church would be transformed and the world along with us.
  84. We spend too much time trying to keep our youth from sleeping with each other and not enough time teaching them to be husbands and wives.
  85. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
  86. We were all born to serve.
  87. American Christians are more concerned about what’s in their bank accounts than in their treasure chests in heaven.
  88. Joy can only well up in a grateful heart.
  89. Gossip destroys anyone it touches.
  90. In Christ, there is no shame or guilt.
  91. Christians who pray prayers with enormous faith get enormous results.
  92. If we don’t reach people with the Gospel before they are 21, most will never come to Christ.
  93. We have not because we ask not.
  94. It is best to think of the Scriptures not as what we can read through in a year, but as what we can read through in an entire lifetime.
  95. We come to Christ full of holes. Whatever hole we forbid Christ to fill will instead be filled by the world.
  96. If we’re discipling correctly, no Christian in a church should be irreplaceable.
  97. A community of Christians is only as strong as its weakest members.
  98. If our lives are filled with everything but Christ, then we are impoverished indeed.
  99. We are all dust.
  100. God is always nearer to us than we believe Him to be.

Blessings! Have a great day.