Author Archives: Marilyn

IS IT TRUE or NOT? – Intro Lesson 1 – Sept. 17 – 24

Perhaps it has always been true, but would you agree that these days it is extremely hard to know whom or what to believe? Human beings are born with an innate propensity to interpret evidence in ways that support or are consistent with one’s present or existing views and values.  We have what is known as a “confirmation bias”, which means that it is much more likely that you and I will choose to accept as true whatever confirms or affirms our present beliefs and identity or is consistent with our desires.  Rather than seek out information which could open our minds to expanding our understanding or help us to see beyond our present reality, it is no doubt easier to simply reinforce what we already assume is truth.

If it is true that “the more we believe in something, the more likely we are to seek even God’s confirmation for our opinion”, how does this impact the way that we communicate with God?  Some of the earliest prayers recorded for us in the Old Testament are between God and Abram – a man who was willing to listen to God and follow His instructions.  Isn’t it interesting that at very strategic moments Abram chose to be obedient and to trust God while at other times he took his safety or well-being into his own hands?  While not perfect, he became, over his lifetime, a great example of a man who valued God’s truth and promises over his own logic, reasoning, and common sense.  He believed what God had promised to him!

When you “call on the name of the Lord”, how eager are you to listen, to let Him change your mind or to move you out of your preconceived ideas of what is true?  What will your descendants remember about you?

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?

It takes effort.  It takes thought.  It takes a willingness to listen and to care about the hopes and desires of others.  Sometimes it means changing your mind or incorporating new ideas.  It doesn’t matter whether you are embarking on an adventure, starting a new job, furnishing a new living space, or forming a small…Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU EAT . . .

What do you call it when you pray before a meal?  In your mind is it “saying grace”, “giving thanks” or a “blessing”?  Is it a spontaneous or a memorized prayer, a song, or simply a time to bow silently and individually before the Lord?  In the Christian tradition a grace is explained as “a…Continue Reading

IN ANTICIPATION . . .

As we look forward to the new study on prayer this fall, here are some thoughts from an “unnamed old preacher” who Spurgeon quoted in one of his sermons.    “Remember, the Lord will not hear you, because of the arithmetic of your prayers; He does not count their numbers.     He will not hear…Continue Reading

When You Pray . . .

To View or Print Study Guides Have you ever thought of prayer as both a window and a mirror?  As Max Lucado said, “Prayer is the window that God has placed in the walls of our world.  Leave it shut and the world is a cold, dark house, but throw back the curtains and see…Continue Reading

ANNOUNCING – OUR NEW FALL STUDY

“WHEN YOU PRAY . . .” When do YOU pray?  Why do YOU pray?  What difference does it make? As we look at the prayers of 10 different men and women in the Old Testament, you’ll not only discover some answers to these questions, but you will find your desire to talk with and listen to…Continue Reading