“Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29, NIV).
This verse is a part of a passage from the Gospel according to John in which Jesus teaches a lesson on faith to one of his 12 chosen disciples. Although the described event took place newarly 2000 years ago, Jesus’ answer is just as relevant to us today as it was back then to Thomas. Let us question ourselves sincerely – do we walk by faith or by sight? Do we pray by faith or by sight?
The truth is, for many Christians the saying “Gotta see to believe” has become a way of life. Don’t also skip the fact that the society around us encourages us to not trust anything or anyone, before we can touch and see first… And that goes on daily basis. Thus, slowly but steadily many forget about the true meaning of the word faith. This becomes an even greater problem when it comes to prayer. There is a real danger that each of us can lose faith if it is not being nurtured by a continual fellowship with God through His Word. One day you or I can wake up with an unsolvable problem in our lives and offended or even angry turn to God with the words: “Show me and I’ll believe that you have not abandoned me!” read more
Almost each prayer ends with this word. Every Christian uses it at least several times per day. It sounds almost the same in a whole lot of languages, which otherwise have nothing in common… And yet, it seems that this is the most misused word among believers today – amen…
The word Amen has a Hebrew origin and after it has entered Greek through the first century Church, today it is a part for almost every language. Generally speaking, Amen means a strong agreement with something, or a strong affirmation. It can also be translated as “verily”, “truly”, “let it be” or “so let it be.” The use of this word as a part of God’s worship dates back to the times of the Old Testament. This is where today’s Christian use is inherited from – its use in the Hebrew synagogues. Just as back then, today we say Amen at the end of prayers as a symbol of our affirmation thereof, as well as after we have accepted a blessing from an elder or another person, even outside of the context of the church gathering.
For many Christians, however, this small word has lost much of its meaning due to its almost automated daily usage. The question we ought to ask ourselves now is “Do we even think about what we mean by saying Amen, or do we just do it because it’s become a habit?”
In his letters, through his own experience, apostle Paul reveals to us the importance of the correct understanding of the word. And in order to understand the power of this affirmation at the end of prayers we need to listen carefully to the preceding words. read more
The book of prophet Jonah is often considered to be more or less a children’s book. Perhaps due to its content or the length of it… In any case, however, this book still remains God’s Word to us, and the least we can do is pay attention to what it says. For the rest God will use His Spirit to work in us through it.
Now you are probably asking yourself “But what can this book teach me on prayer?” At first glance soma may say “Little!” A careful reading of the text, however, will reveal to you that nearly half of the time of the story Jonah spends in prayer or talking to God. The second and fourth chapters of the book describe two prayers which are very important to learn from, and at the same time – very different from each other. read more