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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (140)

A Benediction for Today

According to Wikipedia, a benediction “is a short invocation for divine help, blessing, and guidance.” From the earliest, Christians adopted benedictions into their worship, particularly at the end of a service. Such benedictions have been regularly practiced ever since. Perhaps the best known biblical benediction is the one at the end of the tiny book of Jude, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 12, 2021 at 9:39am — No Comments

The Aftereffects of Sin

After he confessed a sin in which he had been caught, the student seated across my desk, shrugged his shoulders, and with a sigh, exclaimed, “Oh well, God has forgiven me!” While I could not disagree with him, in regard to the possibility of God’s forgiveness, I could assure him that, even though forgiven, he must now live with the consequences of the sin. I have a Bible Reading Group on Facebook with a little over three hundred members. We read one chapter in the Bible per week and comment…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 28, 2021 at 1:02pm — 1 Comment

Asking God to Hear Our Prayer

Do we have to ask God to hear our prayer, or does He automatically hear? When Nehemiah was preparing to go before the King to request permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city, he prayed, “O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant” (Nehemiah 1:11). Furthermore, Daniel prayed, “Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications” (Daniel 9:17). Finally, David prayed, “Incline Your ear to me, and hear my…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 19, 2021 at 9:33am — No Comments

Preaching and Praying through Another Surgery

Most of my “Monday Morning Manna” columns are written on the weekend or week preceding their posting. Such is this one. If you read this on Monday, you will be reading it on the day of my ninth MOHS surgery for skin cancer. I once asked my surgeon why I had so many skin cancers. His reply was twofold: “You are fair-skinned and live in Texas.” I tried to blame my mother by asking the same Surgeon, “Is it because my mother kept sending me outside to play in the summer heat?” His reply got my…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 28, 2021 at 9:52am — 1 Comment

A Prayer that Hasn’t Changed

I have been compiling a collection of prayer quotes from lesser-known authors. As I was preparing to donate my collection of five hundred books on prayer to the Southwestern Baptist Seminary Library, I got to wondering who all these authors were. A few were recognizable, but most were unknown, at least to me. I decided to scan all the books before releasing them, to see what I, or some previous owner, had underlined or highlighted, thus my collection of quotes. One of my favorite quotes is…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 23, 2021 at 9:43am — 1 Comment

Just Listen

I know of people who don’t pray because they say they don’t know how. They fear saying the wrong things to God. While I do not have that specific problem in prayer, I do understand, and I have some advice. It comes from the minor prophet, Zephaniah. “Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; for the day of the Lord is at hand” (Zephaniah 1:7). Rather than say you can’t pray, why not simply acknowledge God’s presence and then listen. Admit that prayer is not just you talking to God, but…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 3, 2021 at 11:56am — No Comments

Teaching from a Prayer Bench

I first saw one in a friend’s “Prayer Room” (a middle bedroom of his house), then I saw another one in a colleague’s office. How unique, I thought.  So, I searched until I found my own Prayer Bench and fit it into my Seminary office. I had long believed, and then taught, the discipline of place, in private prayer.  After all, Jesus repeatedly went to specific places to pray (Mark 1:35; Luke 22:39-40). Among other subjects, I kept my…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 7, 2021 at 9:43am — 1 Comment

How to Know When a Pastor is Tired and Needs Prayer

As I was reading through a stack of pastoral resumes at a church where I was Interim Pastor, I was reminded that Pastors do get tired, but often they are working so hard, they fail to realize it. So perhaps it is time to share a list of some collected ways to know how a pastor is tired. (Not sure where I got all of these. Some might even be original with me.) Pastor-types will recognize a few of these and might even add a few more. Non-pastors need to realize some of these, to help them…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 26, 2021 at 12:50pm — No Comments

Prayer Lacking? Try Listening

For the first ten years of my life, I was an only child. I guess my parents didn’t believe in baby-sitters or perhaps couldn’t afford them, I just remember accompanying my parents to a lot of adult events. At each, I was told to “be seen and not heard.” So, I grew up being rather quiet, and reserved. That lifestyle carried over into my prayer life. In fact, I remember wondering in church, why some people prayed such long, wordy prayers, and why in the worship service, we spent so much time…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 24, 2021 at 9:47am — No Comments

New Methods for New Circumstances

Times have changed. People are staying home from church services in record numbers – and blaming the COVID virus. History has shown when we are forced by circumstances to change, we eventually get comfortable with the change, and even prefer the new methods to the old. John Cage, an American composer, artist, and philosopher, confessed, “I can’t understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I’m frightened of old ones.” Most churches I know have recovered approximately half of their…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 28, 2020 at 9:39am — 1 Comment

A Prayer for COVID Thanksgiving

It's unclear if on that first Thanksgiving, the colonists and Native Americans ate turkey at their feast. More likely, they indulged in other interesting foods like lobster, and seal. What is certain is that a tradition developed that called for the U.S. President to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday anew each year, until Thomas Jefferson refused. He strongly believed in the separation of church and state. Thanksgiving involved prayer, and in his opinion, making it a holiday would violate…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 22, 2020 at 8:38am — No Comments

Pastors and Gifts

This is Pastor Appreciation Month. I will take my Pastor to lunch this week. It is a small, but meaningful gift. We will talk as we eat – about the church, about sports, about theology, about families, about common friends (and a few uncommon friends). Mostly, I will come away from the time together with more specific ways to pray for him. It is the best gift I can offer to him during this pastor appreciation month. After Jesus ascended back to heaven, He gave spiritual gifts to the church.…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 24, 2020 at 9:08pm — No Comments

Praying in the Night Watches

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I wake up in the night and am unable to get back to sleep. I’m sure it is partly due to the physical, since I am facing major surgery in the next few days. I am also sure it is partly spiritual, since this was happening, to a lesser extent, long before the need for surgery. Sometimes, when I wake up, I do so with scripture on my mind. Often the scripture comes in the form of a song or hymn. I remember many years ago, confessing this rather unusual habit…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 26, 2020 at 5:22pm — No Comments

A Prayer for Possessions

I went to an estate sale last week. I seldom attend one of these, except this one happened to be in the home of a long-time friend and colleague. I made it OK through the living room, even though I had to see the couch and chairs where my wife and I last visited with this couple, prior to his death. Then I safely navigated the den, kitchen, patio, dining room, bedrooms, even closets, until I found his office. That is where I lost it. There was so much in that room that reminded me of him,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 28, 2020 at 9:11am — No Comments

Praying Through Writer’s Block

In the midst of my third pandemic book, I developed writer’s block.  Wikipedia defines this as “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.” When we were first told to shelter in place, I was extremely frustrated so I asked God what I was supposed to do with my calling, since I couldn’t go anywhere.  When I said “Amen” and looked up, my eyes…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 19, 2020 at 8:25am — No Comments

Pandemic Prayer

In the early days of the Coronavirus quarantine, I was extremely restless and frustrated. Even in retirement, I’ve been running close to full speed. Sitting in my den recliner I was reading my Bible, and praying, and asking God what I was to “do” since my travel was now limited and cancellations had caused more Liquid Paper than ink on my calendar. Having just read James 1:22, “Be doers of the word,” I looked up and saw on the fireplace mantle, my wife’s display of all the books I had…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 27, 2020 at 11:37am — No Comments

Hearing from God in Transition

Do you remember the cell phone commercial where the guy kept asking, “Can you hear me now?” as he moved from unique location to unique location, attempting to prove that his cell phone company could provide transmission from anywhere? Reminds me of what God may be asking today, although it is not God who is moving, it is we who are on the move. Thanks to COVID-19 regulations, we’ve moved home. We are not in our usual places of work, school, leisure, etc. We’ve even moved from church on…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 17, 2020 at 7:19am — No Comments

Just Be Quiet

It had been one of those long, sleepless nights – the kind where you keep waking up and talking to God.  The issue causing my insomnia, was troubling, and I kept thinking, that I just needed to keep talking with God about it.  After all, I had spent a career teaching and preaching that God wanted to hear from us.  It was still dark when I finally gave up, and got up.  I got dressed and got in the car to look for a place to eat breakfast, still talking with God.  As the car engine came on,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 5, 2020 at 3:12pm — 1 Comment

How to Pray in a Crisis

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 18, 2020 at 7:12am — 1 Comment

The 24/7/52 God

  Do you ever think about who you would call if you had a crisis in the middle of the night or while traveling in the middle of nowhere?  I was once in a vehicle in the wilderness of a west Africa nation, when someone asked where we were, to which the missionary replied, “We’re fifteen miles beyond the Great Commission.”  We laughed, but it set us to thinking.  Is the one on whom you call, the one to whom you pray, available at all hours, odd hours, from wherever you may…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 24, 2020 at 8:00am — No Comments

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