“If you want to convict a congregation, preach on prayer.” This is what we were taught in seminary and what I’ve experienced in my own life.

There are countless reasons why our prayer lives become anaemic. But the one factor that haunts us like no other in this crazy busy world is perceived lack of time. I say “perceived” because we have the same twenty-four hours that every prayer warrior has, and that all our forefathers had. And yet William Wilberforce confessed in the late 1700’s,

This perpetual hurry of business and company ruins me in soul if not in body. I suspect that I have been allotting habitually too little time to private devotion and religious meditation, Scripture reading, etc. Hence I am lean and cold and hard. I had better allot two hours or an hour and half daily…[For] All may be done through prayer, mighty prayer.”

And if we’re honest, the real paucity of time for prayer is self-imposed (and selfie-imposed), as John Piper sagely warns:

One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

In this post I’d like to offer a beginning therapy to help rehabilitate your prayer life. This is a five minute template of prayer, with a five simple segments, each of which can easily be filled with one minute of prayer. And then the idea is that you increase the time you spend on each segment; twelve minutes per segment fills an hour.cactus

This suggestion is meant to help Christians who are already convinced of the need to pray, who perhaps pray sporadically throughout the day, but would like a more structured plan on which to build.

If you feel that you are too busy for five minutes a day to start this exercise then you are simply too busy for what God created you to do. Rework your priorities (you’ve spent some precious minutes reading this blog post already; I’d be happy if this was your last time on our blog if it meant more prayer to God for whom we maintain this site).

I call it the CACTIS method, and that’s not because I misspelled a plant that can thrive in desperately dry conditions (though that metaphor does seem apropos). It’s a variation on the common ACTS plan.

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Apple and SnakeThe last few months have been emotionally tiring for Christians in America.

Though many debate whether the United States was ever a “Christian nation,” there can be no denying that a Christian worldview and biblical principles were fundamental in the formation of this country. Indeed, the founding fathers understood this even as they crafted the charter documents of our government. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” which mark the ideals of every American, are endowed to us by our Creator. John Adams wrote, “We have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

And for many years, America seemed to be comprised of a largely “moral and religious people.” That’s not to say that everyone was a Christian, or that outward morality or religiosity was equivalent to having truly been born again by the Holy Spirit. But for so many years, this nation that was built upon the freedom of speech, expression, and religion has provided a conducive environment for the Church of Jesus Christ to fulfill her mission: to freely proclaim the Gospel of forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and to make disciples of those whom the Lord saves. This symbiotic relationship has resulted in a general moral consciousness in society that has made it suitable to be governed by our Constitution, according to the vision expressed by Adams above.

But as I said, the last few months have been particularly tiresome for Christians in America, as our society continues to give indication after indication of increasing hostility against the very values that our country was built upon.

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I have talked to a few people who don’t understand why many pastors are so angry with Planned Parenthood. There are many companies and doctors that do abortion, so why does so much of the anti-abortion effort get directed at Planned Parenthood? After all, they also do cancer screenings, STD tests, adoption referrals and birth control prescriptions…so what gives?

The video released this week provides a perfect explanation. Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to making money of the abortion industry. Our culture is a culture of death, and we have institutionalized the idea that a woman can kill a child as long as that child is inside of her. That is sick, evil, and an affront against the dignity of the image of God.

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But Planned Parenthood goes beyond simply participating in the abortion industry. They not only embody the evil of our country’s Moloch worship, but they refine it. This is why:   Continue Reading…

A few months ago I got to sit next to Congressman John Lewis on a flight from Atlanta back into Washington DC. If you are not familiar with him, Congressman Lewis is civil rights leader, and deserves much of the credit for getting African-Americans the right to vote. In 1963 he led the march across the bridge in Selma, was tear gassed by state troopers, and when he kneeled down to pray had his skull fractured by a police officer’s night-stick.

He is the one who, instead of being taken to the hospital, groped his way over the TV cameras and appealed directly to President Johnson. With his face covered in blood he plead for the President to call off the police, and to grant black Americans the right to vote.

Lewis has been beaten by a police officer on a horse, fire bombed while ridding on a bus, and attacked by a mob for riding a bus with white people. In fact, I recognized him when he sat next to me mostly because the scar from his skull fracture is still visible, even after 50 years.    Continue Reading…

In the course of His earthly ministry, Jesus

  • healed diseases
  • cast out demons
  • calmed storms
  • raised the dead
  • fed thousands at one time
  • walked on water
  • turned water into wine
  • and even controlled the placement of fish (e.g. Matt. 17:23–27; Luke 5: 1–11).

Because His miracles were so well-known, Jesus Himself pointed to them as verification that He came from God. As He told His critics, “For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me” (John 5:36; cf. Matthew 11:5; John 10:38). Continue Reading…

Sgt Charles Daniels, a NYPD police officer, got an unusual call in the early morning of August 7, 1974. Someone had spotted a man standing on a wire suspended between the two tallest buildings in the world, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. He ascended to the tower roof by elevator, which took several minutes. In his words, this is what he saw:

I observed the tightrope ‘dancer’—because you couldn’t call him a ‘walker’—approximately halfway between the two towers. And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire….And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead he turned around and ran back out into the middle….He was bouncing up and down. His feet were actually leaving the wire and then he would resettle back on the wire again….Unbelievable really….Everybody was spellbound in the watching of it.”

PetitPhilippe Petit, a petite Frenchman, had planned this illegal 45 minute stunt for six years, including taking aerial photos of the towers being built, studying the swaying of the towers, and designing a 200kg cable and a 25kg balancing pole that he would need to traverse the 61m gap. When asked why he risked his life he replied, “When I see three oranges, I juggle. When I see two towers I walk.” Fair enough.

Amazingly all charges were dropped and he was even asked to autograph the roof beam from which he had stepped onto the cable.

The only balancing act that I can think of that deserves more attention is the tightrope Christians need to navigate in their daily walk to Christlikeness: the balance of our responsibility and God’s sovereignty in sanctification.

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Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

This is expressed in His creation mandate to Adam and Eve, in which He commissions man, as those uniquely made in His image, to rule over the earth in righteousness (Gen 1:28). Man is to bring glory to God by their manifesting His presence as His vice-regent throughout all creation.

But immediately Adam and Eve fail in their commission. The serpent deceives Eve, Adam eats of the forbidden tree, and in that moment the human race is catapulted into spiritual death and damnation (Gen 3:1–7).

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Part of stewardship is caring for what the Lord has entrusted to us. Elders and pastors have a stewardship to shepherd their people, and they also have a stewardship to protect their church’s property and resources (building, finances, etc.) from lawsuits.

When the same-sex marriage case was argued before the Supreme Court this year, the US Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, said that if the court rules for same-sex marriage (which they did) then tax-exempt status for churches “is going to be an issue.”

With that kind of clarity, churches really have no excuse for being unorganized.

[As a side note, I’m old enough to remember when the mantra of the gay-rights movement was “don’t like gay marriage? Don’t have one!” Ha. Those were the good old days].   Continue Reading…



A few months back, I was diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder, called Loeys-Dietz syndrome. One of the common complications, which I have developed, is an aneurysm on the aorta near the heart. So, tomorrow I will have surgery to cut out that particular portion of the aorta and replace it with a synthetic one. It’s sort of like repairing a broken irrigation line, but a few bucks more.

But this type of heart-related surgery reminds us of a far greater need inherent, not to a small portion of the population, but all humanity. Prior to becoming a Christian, we are unable and unwilling to please God. The reason being goes deeper than defiant behavior. Our behavior is symptomatic of a dead spiritual heart.

Our diagnosis is not pretty:

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July 8, 2015

Heart Surgery

by Jesse Johnson

Eric Davis normally blogs here on Wednesdays. He pastors Cornerstone Church in Jackson, WY, is married to Leslie, and has three daughters.

Eric Davis' Heart Surgery (Eric and Leslie Davis)

Last year Eric  found out that he was born with a rare genetic condition that affects his connective tissue. It’s called Loey’s Dietz Syndrome, and this condition has led to an aneurysm on his heart. His doctors at Stanford Medical Center have strongly recommended that he have an aortic root replacement–open heart surgery. His surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (July 9) in California. His recovery time is unknown, but will likely be a few months.   Continue Reading…