Many people have been guided in a prayer where they repeated words they had been given. Many of these people have come to saving faith in Christ. However, it seems reasonable to assume that there are plenty of people who have held to a formatted prayer as a type of incantation—even if only in practice. Obviously nothing should ever be pointed to as resulting in salvation other than the Gospel. In one section of a recent SBC resolution, the author wrote:
That a “sinner’s prayer” is not an incantation
that results in salvation merely by its recitation and should never be
manipulatively employed or utilized apart from a clear articulation of the
Gospel (Matthew 6:7; 15:7–9)
In this section, as in most of the others in the resolution, there seems to be a clear divide between what was resolved in the resolution and what is practiced in the churches of the SBC. For example, no one would readily admit to believing in the supernatural power of a formatted prayer. It would be said that it was the heart or belief behind the words. However, on a functional level, this is exactly what is happening and the reason that so many church members can only point to the recitation of a formatted prayer as the evidence that they are believers in Christ. Many cannot articulate the Gospel or even the points of the formatted prayer that they hold as substantiation of their faith. Fellow pastors, we must vigorously fight to ensure this is not so in our churches.
Tomorrow, at high noon, I defend my dissertation. This is the culmination of 23 years of schooling. It’s so odd that so many hours of work comes down to a two hour defense. Pray for me.
Also hope you will be in prayer for the services on Sunday at Ringgold and Fairview!
Since I preached my first sermon seven years ago, I have had a passion for sharing God’s Word. I’ve had the opportunity to speak in around 25 churches and traveling to preach remain one of my favorite things to do. I’m looking forward to preaching in two of these settings next weekend, November 18.
Ringgold Baptist Church
Fairview Baptist Church
If you’re in the area, come worship with us.
One of the most surprising results from my recent study, The One Another Project, was the result that 83% of respondents have shared their faith through social media. Not only did the study reveal an overall positive view of social media’s effect on relationships but students are also using social media to share the Good News. This is an encouraging result. I wish I had asked the participants in the study if they had shared their faith in person, as this would have given me something to compare this result to. However, four out of five students sharing their faith with others is always a positive results. Christian colleges and churches should be mindful of this result and strategize how they equip their students to continue spreading the message of Christ.
I am in the last days of my dissertation. Seven months of work and countless years of preparation and it has come down to just a few more days. Very soon I’m going to begin posting some of the results here and on www.oneanotherproject.org. Hope you’ll check back to see the results of this exciting study.
With comps behind me, all that is left is to knock out these last pages of my dissertation. 23 years of school culminate in this last month of work.
I took five of my eight comprehensive exams today. My hope after 11:30 tomorrow is to be Ed.D. ABD (all but dissertation). This thing is almost done and there is no one happier!