Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What Can I Learn from a Desert Saint?

book cover

Water from a Deep Well

Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries

By Gerald L. Sittser
Foreword by Eugene H. Peterson



In Rome in A.D. 165, two men named Carpus and Papylus stood before the proconsul of Pergamum, charged with the crime of being Christians. Not even torture could make them deny Christ, so they were burned alive.

Is my faithfulness as strong?

In the fifth century, Melania the Younger and her husband, Pinian, distributed their enormous wealth to the poor and intentionally practiced the discipline of renunciation.

Could living more simply deepen my trust in God?

In the sixteen hundreds, Philipp Jakob Spener's love for the Word of God and his desire to help people apply the Bible to their life moved him to start "Colleges of Piety," or small groups.

In what ways could commitment to community make me more like Christ?

The history of the church has shaped what our faith and practice are like today===>Click headline for more information . . .

Q: [Interview with the author] What will people gain from reading Water from a Deep Well?

They will gain a wonderful sense of history, learn a great deal about the family of faith that has gone before them, and smile a lot at the idiosyncratic people we call our brothers and sisters in Christ. They will also be exposed to people, movements, ideas and spirituality practices that will really stretch them. I suppose that they will be set free from being prisoners to the immediate and contemporary. The church, after all, is bigger than just “now.” There is a great deal history can teach us about the spiritual life, much of it very practical too.

Q: Isn’t Christian spirituality essentially the same throughout history?

There is amazing variety in the history of Christian spirituality. Take the desert saints, that odd collection of Christians from the fourth and fifth centuries who withdrew into the desert to fight the devil and find God. They practiced severe forms of ascetic discipline. Yet I have found them to be insightful psychologists and spiritual mentors. Or take the medieval mystics. They have taught me that “knowing” involves far more than mere information. It involves experience too.

Q: Have you incorporated any of these practices into your own spiritual life?

The research and writing of this book has transformed my life. For example, the desert saints have shown me the important role the mind plays in driving me from God or drawing me to God. Monastic spirituality has taught me to strike a daily rhythm of prayer and work, so that my prayers serve my work and my work drives me to prayer. Eastern Orthodox spirituality has inspired me to meditate on the glory that is ours through Christ. Icons in particular have changed the way I view my own eternal destiny.

Q: Is there one question you wish someone would ask you about this book?

There are actually two questions. How can knowledge of history actually enrich our Christian faith? Why are we so unaware of this rich history?

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry

Terre Haute, IN – To fill a gap in the seminary and Bible college educations of many pastors, the academic task force of America’s National Prayer Committee (NPC) has commissioned a landmark textbook, Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry. This resource, designed to help teach prayer in theological education, is scheduled to be released in late spring for use in schools this fall.

NPC member Dan R. Crawford compiled the book. He is senior professor of evangelism and missions and chair of prayer emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

The book, which is composed of 80 brief chapters written by different authors, is divided into four sections: Theological Foundation of Prayer, Personal Passion for Prayer; Corporate Expression of Prayer, and Global Impact of Prayer. Contributing writers, who were recruited from both academia and the prayer movement, donated their work. Proceeds from the book sales will go to America’s National Prayer Committee to encourage the teaching of prayer in theological education.

Giving Ourselves to Prayer will be available from Prayer Shop Publishing (www.prayershop.org).


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

29:59 - A Guide Toward Greater Communion with the Lord

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Strategic Renewal is thrilled to announce the release of the "Revisioned" 29:59 Prayer Guide.

The original plan sold over 600,000 copies and helped believers experience a whole new level of effectiveness in prayer.

In this revised and expanded edition of the legendary classic The 29:59 Plan, Peter Lord and Daniel Henderson team up to provide a fresh perspective to the original guidebook to prayer for today's generation of believers. Hundreds of thousands of believers have learned how to enter into the next level of communion with God, using this helpful tool. Now it's your turn. This practical resource will help deepen your relationship with God for years to come!

===>Click headline... For more information and to order your copy. This guide makes a perfect gift for family, friends, Bible study groups, and church leaders. Be among the first to enjoy the rich blessings of this prayer plan and help us launch a new wave of passion for His presence and power.


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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Can You Facilitate a Spirit-Sparked Prayer Session?

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2008 National Pastors' Prayer Summit

Experience Spirit-Sparked Prayer
&
Learn the Skills of Facilitating Uncommon Prayer



===>Click on headline or header for a copy of the brochure

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