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Why do Christians pray? (Part 1)

Christians struggle to pray. Or at least, that’s what I hear. Church attenders, my students, and pastors all express to me their dissatisfaction with how they pray. They’ve heard that they should pray. They want to pray. But they tell me that they don’t pray enough, that they’re not sure how to pray, or that they have some other frustration with their prayers. I hear people express guilt that they pray too little, or that they don’t pray the way they’ve been taught to pray.

There’s something wrong with this picture. 

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A Christmas Prayer

Recently, I received a newsletter from the Northumbria Community, in which the following prayer caught my eye—and heart. Written by Pete Askew, these words capture many of my desires at this time of year. I’m spending my days grading, preparing courses, and writing and rewriting—while also 

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Prayer: who answers whom?

Many Christians say that they pray because God answers prayer. In prayer meetings and home groups, I’ve heard people tell each other their ‘prayer requests,’ which are then addressed to God for God to answer. I was once part of a group that kept a weekly prayer list with two columns. In one column, the prayer requests were recorded, one request per line. The lines in the second column were kept blank until