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Tag: Prayer

God’s heart for all humanity (1 Timothy 2:1–7)

Tensions are very high in our community at the moment. Take the illegal anti-lockdown protest on 23 July 2021 in Sydney. The protesters were expressing a fear and anger that’s clearly present amongst many. They were wrong to express it in this way. But you can feel it, can’t you? I know right now many of us are feeling the frustration. Some of us are in almost impossible situations: climbing the walls! And it’s hard. The catch-cry of the protest was freedom: freedom of movement, of work, of association. And while the protest itself was way out of line, freedom does matter, doesn’t it? It matters for us and our community. The Bible teaches us to live as humans among humans and human authorities, by helping us to see God’s heart for all humanity, as we pray.

What’s the point of theology? (Ephesians 1:17–18)

The full name of the college I teach at is “Moore Theological College”. That word “Theological” says something important about who we are. It reminds us about what we’re on about. Yes, the Bible is at the centre of everything we do. Yes, we seek to train people for ministry. Yes, we’re driven by the worldwide mission of Jesus Christ. Yes, we’re committed to learning together, and having our characters formed in loving Christian community. But our careful study of the Bible, and our pastorally-motivated ministry and mission training, and our encouragement of one another in our community, all matter because of something more basic: theology. Unfortunately, the word “theology” can be misunderstood. It sometimes gets used to mean something like “technical details about spiritual things that experts argue about and isn’t much practical use to regular people”. But that’s just a caricature. It’s not what theology is. Theology is something far more profound, far more life-changing, and far more fundamental—not just for people at a college, but for everyone. In Ephesians 1:17–18, Paul prays for his readers—people who have come to believe in and live for Jesus Christ. It’s a prayer for more theology.

Prayer: What are we actually doing? (Ephesians 1:15–16)

“A Muslim, a Jew and an Anglican Minister walk into a classroom”. This was the advertising blurb for a local Community College seminar I participated in a few years ago. I joined a Muslim educator and a Jewish academic (who is also a friend of mine) to give a series of presentations on different aspects of our three religions to interested people from the community. When we came to the topic of ‘prayer’, I was fascinated to hear what my co-presenters had to say. Even though we were all using the same word, ‘prayer’, the word meant very different things in the different religions. As a believer in Jesus Christ, what did I have to say about what prayer is? What would you have said? Christians, too, can often be a bit confused or unclear about what prayer actually is. That’s where the Apostle Paul really helps us. In these verses in Ephesians, Paul starts telling his readers about his own prayers for them.

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