Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

Today's entry is an encore from last Thanksgiving:

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

In our nation's history, we look back to the 1620s in New England for the custom of setting aside a day for recognizing the blessings which God has given to us and to thank Him accordingly. Those festivals of thanks were typically preceded by days of fasting and humbling to seek God's favor and direction in difficult circumstances. Over the years, there were periodic celebrations of Thanksgiving, such as occurred in 1789 during the first year of George Washington's Presidency under our current Constitution. (The text of Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation can be found at:

The concept of giving thanks to God is found throughout the Bible. (The Psalms are filled with praises of thanks to God). There is a dual sense to these biblical references to thankfulness. One sense is that of physical provision. We do know that all good gifts come to us from God. (See James 1:17). It is our duty to recognize that we are not the ultimate source of our physical well-being but God Himself. The second sense is that of the spiritual dimension. It is the recognition that God has done more than keep us warm and well-fed. For those who have faith in Christ, we are called to be those who are:

joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. Colossians 1:11-13 NIV

In the hustle and bustle of this day, please take the time to think about the blessings which you have received from God and be thankful for them. While this day is certainly a great time to express our gratitude to God, the Christian is called to show this attitude every day. It should be a part of our thinking and result in a life of gratitude. It must be a part of our life of prayer.

Thank you for reading this blog and being a part of the School of the Solitary Place.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2 NIV

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Boiler Rooms

The 19th century was known as the age of steam. It was during that time that the steam engine was developed. Steam became synonymous with power. The English preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) also known as the prince of preachers, credited what success he had in preaching to those in his congregation who gathered together in the church's boiler room for prayer. Spurgeon acknowledged that that physical boiler room was also a source of spiritual power.

Since then, the "boiler room" concept has spread as a way of praying for one's church and its' pastors. An example of how this idea has been picked up by the 24/7 Prayer movement can be found here. Our congregation has recently started something of a boiler room prayer for our pastor. We have been blessed with a godly pastor who takes time between the hours of 3:30am to 6:00am to pray in preparation for that day's teaching and preaching. Our prayer small group has started praying for our pastor during that time. While we are not physically present with our pastor during this time, several of us wake up and pray for an hour at our own homes during that 2.5 hour window of time.

Please consider praying for your pastor on a regular basis. Also, let your pastor know that you're doing this. You might be surprised at the response of gratitude you will receive.