Book Review: Pray Big by Alistair Begg

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God is pleased with a praying believer. That’s a fundamental truth. It should bring a believer joy because not only that God is listening to our prayer, He is also pleased when we pray. There is no question that whatever prayer we bring to God, He will give His attention. But is there a specific prayer God wants us to pray? Of course, we are not here to discover a prayer that is much like casting a spell or some sort of code, once prayed, God will gladly obliged. Our aim is to further please Him and in the process bless us.

In Pray Big, Alistair Begg  encourages us in these pages to pray a more profound prayer from this beloved apostle. While Begg doesn’t discount other prayers specially those personal ones,   Pray Big demonstrates a prayer what is more needed that will bring a much more blessing to us, to others and glorify God. He starts by showing the Christian on the relationship he has with God and the benefits of being in union with our Creator. That is the jump off point to which this book further unleashes the prayer most needed to be on the lips of every believer.

This is not an epic read with all dramatic and moving stuff. It’s a plain excursion through one prayer of the apostle to the Gentiles that reminds us the big prayer we should meditate and pray. But that doesn’t mean that the simplicity of book means less. It does make room for awe and praise for God who wants us to pray the prayer that matters to Him. It’s plain but it’s what prayers should be . It’s simple but it’s essential. Definitely, Begg is spot on here when it comes to prayer.

Pray Big is a short easy read with a simple message, that is to desire to pray as Paul did for the believers in Ephesus. Simple yet we would likely to forget that these words. Begg’s book help us so we will keep it in mind. Paul’s prayer being moved by the Holy Spirit is essential for us in the Christian life. So start praying like an apostle today!

My verdict:

4 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Pray Big” by Alistair Begg

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In these troubled times, we need God’s sovereign hand. Nothing in this world can be more comforting than seeking God who holds and sustains everything. Whether it’s the pandemic or as personal as asking for provision, God will surely listen to our petitions.

Here’s some quotes from the book, Pray Big by Alistair Begg published by The Good Book Company. If you like these quotes, please get the book by clicking here.

“Our conversation with others declares what is on our minds. But our conversation with God in private reveals what is in our hearts. Listen to someone pray—or listen to yourself pray—and you gain a window into the very center of the being.”

“The Christian knows that the Creator of everything is not a father; he’s their Father. That’s not a metaphor—that’s a reality.”

“A self-assured person is not going to pray prayers of petition; there’s no need to pray if you think you have got it all covered. A self-righteous person is not going to pray prayers of confession; there’s no need to pray if you think you’re good enough to earn God’s blessing. But the person who knows their heart before God—the person who knows the depth of their need of forgiveness and help from God.”

“If Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher in the world, followed up his instruction by prayer, what of us? If Jesus Christ, who was set on a mission that changed not just world history but all of eternity, took time to pray, what of us? If Jesus Christ, the Son of God, knew that he needed to pray, what of us?”

“Christ has gone ahead, and Christ has prepared your place. It’s hard to see day by day. Even when we understand intellectually, we may give in to fear emotionally. That’s why you need to ask God to make your hope real to you, and ask God to make it real to those around you. Pray for a focus on your hope. “

“Our knowledge of the love of Christ, in our heads and our hearts, is an experiential knowledge, but it can never be an exhaustive knowledge. We cannot exhaust the knowledge of the love of Christ. There are dimensions to his love that will always remain beyond us, even as we come to appreciate more and more how vast it is.”

“My prayers—whether I pray, how much I pray, about what I pray—reveal my priorities. And they reveal how much I really think I need God, or whether I am, deep down, in fact self-assured and self-righteous. “

“Prayer reminds us who we are, and who our Father is. Prayer expresses our dependence and it reinforces our dependence.”

Book Review: “Enjoy Your Prayer Life” by Michael Reeves

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Before you dig in with this review, I would like to invite you to read my favorite quotes from this book by clicking this link just in case you missed it.

The first book I read from Michael Reeves is Delighting the Trinity which is awesome. Reeves wrote it as if it’s not introducing the doctrine of the Trinity for the reason he lifts up the preconceive burden of understanding a complex doctrine. Instead, he pointed out the relationship of the between the Godhead. In similar vein, the same treatment can be found with this short book, Enjoy Your Prayer Life

  Reeves acknowledge that we struggle with prayer. The reasons might be the lack of time, becoming a dead routine or just plain boring. Reeves attempts in this book to convince us that prayer is not just important but it is enjoyable. Enjoyable? Yes, prayer is enjoyable. Well this book doesn’t present a new method of prayer or drive some guilt for your lack of praying. Instead, Reeves states that prayer is more than an abstract thing. It’s  a natural expression of faith that flows from the relationship of the Godhead. Reeves focuses on how each of the Godhead relates to the praying believer. Like what Reeves treatment with his award winning book, Delighting the Trinity , he handles the subject of prayer well and penetrating.

A short read but has meaty content,  will give you a refreshing perspective on prayer. Praying is truly enjoyable in the light of who we are praying to. If you want a new light for your prayer life let Enjoy Your Prayer Life shine on it.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “Enjoy Your Prayer Life” by Michael Reeves

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Last Lord’s Day we celebrated Pastor’s Appreciation Month. We let our pastor take a back seat from his usual worship duties and our deacons and lay leaders did their thing which are truly a blessing to the church. Our pastor noted that last Sunday was the first time we had an elaborate program for the celebration and we hope it won’t be the last. Will you pray for our church and our pastor as we honor him and his care for us? Also lift him up to God for his ordination coming next year.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life, published by 10 of Those Publishing. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“…your prayer life reveals how much you really want communion with God and how much you really depend on him.”

“It is the word of God, the gracious message of Christ, that awakens faith and so prayer – and so that must be the basic shape of our everyday communion with God.”

“…prayerlessness is practical atheism, demonstrating a lack of belief in God.”

“Praying is enjoying – and pleading for – the friendship and friendly assistance of God.”

“Prayerlessness always goes hand in hand with a lack of Christian integrity.”

“To know you are a beloved child of God protects you from thinking of prayer as a ladder to God or an exercise by which you work your way into his favour. Prayer doesn’t make you more accepted. Instead, prayer is growing in the appreciation of what you have been given.”

“Prayer is the antithesis of self-dependence.”

“When you default to thinking of prayer as an abstract activity, a ‘thing to do’, the tendency is to focus on the prayer as an activity – which makes it boring. Instead, focus on the one to whom you’re praying.”

The Quotable Round-Up #97

mov8lgvHeads up guys! time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from “10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health” by Don Whitney. If you were blessed by this book, please consider getting it on Amazon or at your nearest bookstore! Grace and Peace!

“Do you thirst for God? Thirst is a God-planned part of the growth of a soul toward its heavenly home.”

“The reason a person thirsts for God is because the Holy Spirit is at work within him. If you are a Christian, two people live in your body-you and the Holy Spirit. As the apostle Paul explained, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). And the Holy Spirit is not passive within you.”

“Wherever we go, whatever decisions are before us, the way of life should be illuminated by God’s Word. To live otherwise is to walk in darkness.”

“Read the Bible daily and do not close it until you know at least one thing God would have you do in response to your reading. This response might involve something new to believe, a habit to begin or break, a prayer to offer, a conversation to initiate, a letter or E-mail to send, a phone call to make, a spiritual discipline to practice, or something else. Read the Bible for application, not merely for information.”

“Love is the badge and character of Christianity.”

“Jesus came primarily to save sinners forever, not merely to heal their short-lived bodies. His greatest display of love for us was in His death, for through it we experience the love of God unto eternal life. And the most loving thing we can ever do for anyone is give them the words that can lead to immortality in a radiantly glorious body.”

“Delight in imitating God. This is not a mystical platitude or a new ager’s aspiration. The Bible speaks plainly about imitating God by showing love: “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Ephesians 5:1-2).”

Book Review: Usapang God’s Peace by John MacArthur Jr.

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photo grabbed from Passages Books

Last time I reviewed “Usapang God’s Will”, one of the books of John MacArthur that has been translated into Taglish. Now we move to the second book (and I’m praying this won’t be the last of it) which tackles anxiety. The book is titled “Usapang God’s Peace.”

Chapter 1 tackles the ground work of getting peace through prayer. Finishing this chapter you can say that this part is already a full course meal. I think we can already put it down and absorb the messageSo if this chapter already gets the cake, how much more are the succeeding chapters? MacArthur did an amazing job in this brief book.  Rich, deep and practical answers for an anxiety free situation.

The second chapter is a solid as the first but it comes with an intriguing inquiry. How does being humble bring about cure for anxiousness? It feels that it doesn’t connect.  Well that’s for you to read by getting this book. The book ends with key Scripture passages about anxiety.

“Usapang God’s Peace” is a must read book for who doesn’t settle for less. Well it’s a John MacArthur book so you’ll know it’s a winner.  Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

The Quotable Round-Up #76

tpn6bjcHowdy  to all! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring a mix bag of quotes from Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”, Tony Reinke’s “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You”, and Al Mohler’s “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love. To possess him entails possessing love. We therefore obey as loving creatures with hearts changed by the Spirit of Christ. In light of this, one fundamental point needs to be clearly made: God accepts and rewards our works not because of any intrinsic merit in ourselves, but because our good works are performed by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, for God to reject our good Spirit-wrought deeds, he would not only be rejecting us, but also himself.” — Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”

“We find no stingy God in the Scriptures who keeps the heavens shut and refuses to bless his people. No, if he will ‘tear open’ the heavens and send his Son to die for our sins, ‘how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:32).” — Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”

“If we understand that our Father knows our needs before we ask him, we won’t feel compelled to try to impress God with our prayers and elicit a certain response through some sort of feigned earnestness. Instead, by faith we will see a sovereign God who is ready and able to answer our prayers, and who directs all things for our good and his glory.” –Al Mohler “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” 

“Prayer is not persuasion. Prayer is about God’s will being done—not our own. We must come to God and learn to pray “your will be done” just as Jesus did. If God’s will is truly perfect, then why would we want to persuade him to do something that is less than perfect? It is true that Scripture encourages us to bring our deepest concerns, anxieties, and needs before God—the Bible, in fact, is full of illustrations portraying as much—but we must not bring our needs to God thinking that we do so to break down a wall of hostility or complacency. We must bring our needs before God humbly, willing to submit to his perfect plan.”–Al Mohler “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” 

“Prayer is never an isolated event. When we pray, we convey our entire theological system. Our theology is never so clearly displayed before our own eyes and before the world as in our prayers. Praying forces us to articulate our doctrines, convictions, and theological assumptions.” –Al Mohler “The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down” 

Technology even in the most evil hands of man is not outside God’s ruling hands.” –Tony Reinke “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You”

“The presence of the Holy Spirit in us, as he enables us to do good works, plays an important role in whether God accepts and rewards the good works of believers. The Spirit enables us to do good works in accordance with the commandments of God. We do not simply obey “externally” but also “internally” due to a changed heart. Thus, the root of love must be present in all of our good works. otherwise, they fail to be good.” — Mark Jones “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards”

 

 

The Quotable Round-Up #39

Jolly good day guys! It’s this time of the week that we collect some of the best quotes. The book we are now featuring Donald S. Whitney’s “Praying the Bible”. Grab this book because I highly recommend it.

“You will never go through anything in life in which you cannot find the root emotions reflected in the Psalms. Exhilaration, frustration, discouragement, guilt, forgiveness, joy, gratitude, dealing with enemies, contentment, discontentment—you name it: they are all found in the book of Psalms.”

“As we pray the Psalms, therefore, we are returning to God words that he expressly inspired for us to speak and sing to him.”

“With what I’m advocating, our primary activity is prayer, not Bible intake. Bible reading is secondary in this process. Our focus is on God through prayer; our glance is at the Bible. And we turn Godward and pray about every matter that occurs to us as we read.”

“Once the Spirit of God brings people to spiritual life, he preserves them in that life, granting them the grace to persevere in the evidences of that life, such as prayer.”

“When God brings someone into a relationship with himself through Jesus Christ, he begins to live within that person by means of his Holy Spirit.”

The Quotable Round Up #14

The 36th Manila International Book Fair recently held at MOA SMX last September proves that Filipinos are not just book lovers but are concern with their spirituality. Majority of the exhibitors are offering Christian books and other resources. Aside from biblical Christianity, Roman Catholicism book companies are adding up every year. They have their own gimmicks just like those Christians booths. I also observe nuns and Catholic lay groups do check and buy books from booths of OMFLit, CLC Philippines, CSM Publishing and Lighthouse. I suggest that aside from inspirational books, Christian companies should dish out more solid and gospel centered materials for that specific event with affordable price or give out freebies for these friends. Roman Catholicism offers a hopeless gospel for their followers. Books that are inspirational are good but we should go for what will save them. Let us not let these people crossover eternity without them knowing the true message of Christ. My last MIBF observations will be next week but for now our quotes of the week:
“We should pray because prayer is a duty of every Christian; because prayer is a privilege; and because prayer is a powerful means of grace.”
–R. C. Sproul

“By continuing to study the Bible, we grow in faith and are able to stand firm in the truth.”
–R. C. Sproul

“If we don’t feel like going to church, we are to do it anyway. It’s a privilege to come near to God and to worship with other believers, but it’s also a sacred duty. I would be completely derelict in my duty if I didn’t tell you that God takes worship attendance very seriously, just as this admonition shows. So if we get up and don’t feel like going to church and want to go to the beach instead, we must say to ourselves: “Wait a minute, if I do this, I’m neglecting the God who has redeemed my soul from the pit. Therefore, I’m going to church.”
— R. C. Sproul

“All of us struggle as we evaluate our Christian lives. We can see changes in our lives for the good, but we also see the things we don’t want to see the things we don’t want anybody to see. So as we’re analyzing the states of our souls, we need to ask not where we were when we were born again or even how it happened. Rather, we need to ask whether there is any evidence of a change in the inner direction of our disposition, our attitude toward the things of God.”
–R. C. Sproul

“Spiritual shortsightedness robs us of gospel comfort that God desires us to enjoy.”
–Derek W. H. Thomas

“Application is important, but the gospel comes first. What is more, even after we have applied a passage rightly to our- selves in this way, we constantly need to return once again to the comfort of the gospel’s focus on Christ, for even as believers we will never live up to the standard of perfect holiness that God demands.”
–Iain M. Duguid

“Through the gospel we come to see both the true depth of our sin (and therefore that our earlier feelings of guilt were actually far too shallow), while at the same time being reminded of the glorious good news that Jesus is our perfect substitute who removes our sin and guilt.”
–Iain M. Duguid

The Quotable Round Up #10

Do you have a personal Bible study? Aside from the Bible, what tools do you use to further benefit in studying God’s Word? If you ask me I have a commentary of a specific book of the Bible and a devotional book. For me it has proven to give me a deeper understanding of the Bible and it strengthen my life as a Christian. I hope you’ll consider that too. Anyways, enjoy this week’s quote:
“We cannot think as the world thinks, act as the world acts, talk as the world talks, or set goals the world sets; we must be distinct. The ultimate hope of humanity is that in seeing that distinction, lost people will be drawn to Jesus Christ.”
–John F. MacArthur Jr.
“Connecting prayer and Bible reading allows you to build momentum in your spiritual disciplines and ensure that you are consistently engaging in these vital practices the Lord has given us to conform us to his image.”
— Matt Rogers
“Preach to yourself the immeasurable, matchless bounty of God’s love for you.”
— J. A. Medders
“The Bible declares the word of the King of the universe, God himself, to you and me. This message is far from trite. His word is living and active, speaking to us in a personal way. What a glorious privilege to consider that God would humble himself by speaking in words that people like us can understand.”
–Matt Rogers
“To convince a man that God can save, I need to show him a man He saved. To convince a man that God can give hope, I need to show him a man with hope. To convince a man that God can give peace, joy, and love, I need to show him a man with peace, joy, and love. To convince a man that God can give complete, total, and utter satisfaction, I need to show him a satisfied man. When the world sees people who are holy, righteous, peaceful, joyful, and fulfilled, they see the evidence of God’s transforming power.”
–John F. MacArthur Jr.
“God has given His truth to us as a sacred treasure for His own glory and the good of men, and we must guard it as our most precious possession. Churches that abandon the truth destroy their only reason for existing and give unbelievers cause to blaspheme God. That’s ultimately what is at stake in the way we live.”
–John F. MacArthur Jr.
“The credibility of the Christian gospel is inseparably linked to the integrity of the lives of those who proclaim it.”
–John F. MacArthur Jr.