When you pray, how do you expect God to respond to your prayer?

Once upon a time, when the Israelites completed the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon offered a prayer of dedication. This prayer is recorded in two different Old Testament books (1 Kings 8:22-53 and 2 Chronicles 6:12-42). Solomon’s prayer reflects his desire for God to keep the nation strong for many years to come. Yet it contains clues about how the ancient Israelites thought about prayer – clues which can influence how we pray today. Continue reading

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.

When I was a math teacher, one thing I taught frequently was the “order of operations” – the rules of the language of math. The mnemonic device to remember these rules is the word “PEMDAS,” which stands for “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” In math-speak, “PEMDAS” means “Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication & Division, Addition & Subtraction.” You always do parentheses before exponents, and so on. Continue reading