Your reign above all of creation, you are beyond our capacity to approach.
Let your power and reign come into our world, into our lives; let you plan and desire become our plans and desires; let our world become good, true, and beautiful like your paradise.
Bless us beyond our wildest imagination, Papa God; give us all that we need and more.
Hold not our wrongs against us; don’t punish us where we go astray, but empower us to live out your mercy, love, compassion, and forgiveness in every aspect of our lives.
Papa God, protect and preserve us—save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil; let evil and wickedness have no place or power in our lives.
For yours, Papa God, are all good things—all power, all goodness, all praise, all majesty, all glory, and all beauty—your truly are all these things, now and forevermore.
Let it be so.
Papa, you reign above all creation, you are beyond my capacity to approach.
Let your power and reign come into our world, into our lives; let your plan and desires become our plans and desires; let our world become as good, true, and beautiful as your paradise.
Bless us beyond our wildest imaginations, Papa; give us and others all that we need and more.
Hold not our wrongs against us; don’t punish us where we go astray—but empower us to live our your mercy, love, compassion, and forgiveness in every aspect of our lives.
Papa, protect and preserve us—save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil; let evil and wickedness have no place or power in our lives.
For yours, Papa, are all good things—all power, all goodness, all majesty, all glory, and all beauty—yours truly are all these things, now and forevermore.
Let all these things be so.
Based on the Lord’s Prayer.
Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray
We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing
We’re slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold
But Lord, we’d like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what we’re thankful for
For our family, our health, a nice soft bed
Our friends, our freedom, a roof over our head
We’re thankful now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they’ll ever possibly know
Thankful Lord, that You’ve blessed us beyond measure
Thankful that in our heart lives life’s greatest treasure
That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And we’re ever so grateful for Your unending grace
So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You’ve provided
And bless each and every person invited
Adapted from a prayer by Scott Wesemann
God, bless to me the new year,
Never vouchsafed to me before;
It is to bless Thine own presence
Thou hast given me this time, O God. Continue reading
In “Getting Saved in America: Conversion Event in a Pluralistic Culture,” Bill Leonard outlines the history of the salvation conversion experience in the American context, more specifically the history of the eastern “evangelical protestant” conversion experience. Tracing the event from its Puritan beginnings in the New World to its current usage among American church people, Leonard writes in such a way as to both describe and problematize the process and actions of the current “conversion experience.” As a result of this article, a number of important questions need to be asked regarding the history of the experience. Continue reading
Few people have shaped contemporary Christianity more than Billy Graham. Though not as active, popular, or visible as he once was, Graham’s decades of evangelism, writing, and preaching continue to influence Christians around the world. Even in retirement, Graham continues to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. It was thus with eagerness that this reviewer engaged one of his latest books, The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson: 2013). Continue reading
This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday for many Christians, very often the day of the year when the Trinitarian nature of God and Christian theology are most clearly discussed. This post reflects on how the early Church grappled with the complexities of Trinitarian theology.
The doctrine of the Trinity–espoused by the Cappadocian Fathers as “God is one object in Himself and three objects to Himself”–is commonly understood to be one of the more difficult concepts to grasp in Christian theology. Much of Early Church history revolved around debates concerning the Person of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the Father, and doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit was often not explicitly discussed. However by the time of the Cappadocian Fathers and Augustine, an explicit doctrine of the Trinity was emerging in Christendom (Kelly, 252). In her essay entitled “Why Three?” Sarah Coakley engages the Maurice Wiles’ perspective on the Trinity as espoused in his The Making of Christian Doctrine. Continue reading
A Prayer for Students by Thomas Aquinas
Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
When you want to understanding something, you look for information. When you want to make sense of a story, you ask people to explain things from the beginning. When you want to comprehend a complex event, you consult eyewitnesses and experts. In an age of self-help, independence, internet “research”, and self-sufficiency, however, fewer people take the time to consult someone other than themselves when it comes to questions, even questions regarding something as profoundly personal as religious faith. Yet there are many who would suggest that, in a marketplace of ideas as varied and complex as the 21st century, we should be willing to consult something other than ourselves for insight into reality. One such voice is John Michael Talbot, who along with Mike Aquilina argues that contemporary Christians must return to the wisdom of the Christian past in his book, The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today (New York: Image, 2015). Continue reading
There are few times in history so important and yet so obscure as the years following the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, when the movement bearing his name transformed from a band of several dozen followers hiding in terror into an international community that would shape the subsequent history of the world. Despite the paucity of evidence from this period, historians and theologians alike continually return to the earliest years of the Jesus Movement, attempting to ascertain precisely who was doing what and how they were doing it. To help bring clarity to the all important aspect of Christian worship from this period comes Andrew B. McGowan’s masterful Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014). Continue reading