A message presented at Gateway Church in Franklin, TN.
I have practiced praying the Scriptures for many years. Following is a compilation that I have been praying morning and evening during Lent 2015.
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
- “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
- “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
- “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing… To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever” (Revelation 5:12-13).
No, I’m not talking about President Obama, who has been insisting that Islam is a religion of peace (like President Bush before him). I’m talking about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who has called for a “religious revolution” within Islam.
As a child I thought Ash Wednesday was part of the anti-smoking campaign of the government. Pentecostals didn’t observe Lent, but every year I noticed “Ash Wednesday” on the calendar. It was during this time that the government began to encourage people to quit smoking. So, in my childlike mind ash corresponded to cigarettes.
I often read stories of believers who “flirted” with Pentecostalism only to “marry” a different Christian tradition. Some of these people were reared in Pentecostalism, only to defect later in life. To be fair, I understand their stories. But, I am disappointed. After a lifetime of ministry in the Pentecostal movement I have many criticisms. But I remain an unrehabilitated Pentecostal.
Last Sunday, February 1, I preached the hardest sermon I’ve ever preached. I’ve been preaching a series on the beatitudes (Matthew 5) called “The Blessed Life.” The text last Sunday was “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5, ESV).