Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Praise, Pentecostalism, and the Political: Renewing the Public Square III

Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Amos Yong

publicMy two previous blogs on Pentecostalism and the political have approached this intersection through consideration of prayer and the prophetic. Even if a stretch, careful observers of the religious life know well that Christians are called to pray for their governments and political leaders even as there may be occasions for civil disobedience; what the scriptural tradition calls “prophetic resistance” in response to what happens in the polis. But if prayer and the prophetic might be tied in with the public square in this way, isn’t the activity of praise altogether only religious and without public or political consequences? What does the liturgical life of believing communities, especially Pentecostal ones with their extended singing, shouting, clapping, and dancing, have to do with the public area? Read the rest of this entry »

African Pentecostal Kinetic Preaching: Can Seminaries Prepare Students for It?

Saturday, March 15th, 2014 by Nimi Wariboko

african_preachingIt is a moving sight to behold. Thousands of people simultaneously praying in unison, spitting out words as bullets in a rapid-fire mode, heads shaking violently, muscles and nerves taut in deployment, and all are enveloped in air thick with dust and humidity. The ground quakes as they enthusiastically stamp their feet on the floor. Young men and women are rapidly punching the air with clenched fists and angrily wagging their fingers at the devil. And flesh, aided by rivulets of hot sweat, holds on tightly to fabric. Bodies, broken bodies, hungry bodies, rich bodies, old bodies, young bodies, sway toward one another. Worship is a running splash of bodies and words—flung and scattered among four corners like broken mask in the square. This na prayer; this is the aesthetics of talking to God in African Pentecostal gathering. Prayer is a dynamo of excess energy leaping like flames in a dry-season burning bush and heading straight from earth to the throne room of God. But are our seminaries preparing students for this ministry? Read the rest of this entry »

Prayer, Pentecostalism, and the Political: Renewing the Public Square?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 by Amos Yong

 public prayerWhat does Pentecostalism have to do with the public square or the political? One might think, initially, perhaps not much: classical Pentecostals have by and large been apolitical, although more often than not, such postures have been nurtured less by pentecostal spirituality and commitments than by eschatological ideas derived from dispensationalist theologies otherwise inimical, ironically, to the idea that the Holy Spirit’s charismatic and miraculous work has continued unabated after the age of the apostles. But as people of the book, Pentecostals do adhere to the New Testament injunctions to pray for their governments and political leaders. In political environments in which they are a minority, often this takes on the form of urging divine intervention that makes possible ongoing pentecostal mission and especially local evangelism. In liberal democratic societies, however, especially those which at least in theory support the freedom of religion, pentecostal growth has precipitated other political possibilities and aspirations, and hence also nurtured other types of prayer regarding the public domain. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Hungry? Holiness and the Desire for God

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Michelle Vondey

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. When I encounter the same message from different people at different times in different contexts, I pay attention. I expect that God is trying to tell me something. In recent weeks I’ve read a couple of articles about holiness and a related Scripture passage that had me thinking, “What is God saying to me?” The first encounter I had with the topic of holiness is an article by Cheryl Bridges Johns in the Church of God Evangel. Johns laments that many Christians today see no need for holiness, and that unfortunately, these “profane Christians . . . hinder the message that Jesus came to save, heal, and deliver all creation from the bondage of sin” (p. 13). While there is hope, it begins with the “death of self” and requires that we purge ourselves of self-seeking behaviors. Another discussion is found in the recent entry by Antipas Harris on Renewal Dynamics. Harris reminds us that although we live in this world we are not supposed to live like the world. In particular, “we must remain in tune with the enduring nature of God’s character — holiness to which all believers are called.” As I contemplated Harris’ blog and, in particular the readers’ comments, which seemed to suggest an uncertainty over what holiness is, I happened to read a passage in Col. 3:1-25, in which Paul refers to unholy versus holy behaviors and characteristics. In reflecting on the potential importance of these encounters, I recalled a song from the early 90s that says, “Lord, I hunger for holiness, and I thirst for the righteousness that’s yours.” The song reflects on the relationship of holiness, the desire for God, and the life and death battles (at least spiritually) we must fight in order to be victorious. I wonder, has anyone else been thinking about holiness lately?

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The Middle East, Change, and Prayer

Friday, February 4th, 2011 by Diane Chandler

Tipping points are events that catalyze tremendous change.  A tsunami-size tipping point has happened in the Middle East over the past six weeks, and we need to pray. The tipping point occurred in Tunisia last December 17, when police confiscated the fruits and vegetables of street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year old with a computer science degree, for not having a sales permit. 

In retaliation for this injustice of legality trumping over economic hardship, Bouazizi doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire outside the Governor’s office.  He passed away on January 4th, which ignited the protests leading to Tunisia’s president stepping down and fleeing the country. 

The powder keg of discontent has been fanned across the Middle East in civil war, with anti-government forces in Egypt demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down in light of the escalating violence between anti- and pro- government supporters.  The domino effects are rippling throughout the region, with Mubarak being in power for 31 years promising not to run for reelection and transitioning the country without chaos, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in power for 20 years promising not to run in 2013, King Abdullah II of Jordan firing his Cabinet promising reforms, and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir facing protests in Khartoum. Makes me think of Psalm 2:10: “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.” Read the rest of this entry »

The “Fleecing” of God

Monday, November 15th, 2010 by Marc Santom

Last week, I was speaking to a friend (whom I shall call “Keith”).  Now Keith is a man who’s been walking with God for over 40 years and is highly respected by many people within the church. During our conversation, he mentioned that he was quite displeased with the leadership of his church—and that he was considering leaving because his differences with the leadership are seemingly irreconcilable.

Keith’s reasons for potentially leaving the church seemed understandable to me. He then, however, proceeded to tell me something that I didn’t understand so well.

“I should know within the month whether I will leave the church or not,” he said.

“Why’s that?” I inquired.

Sighing, Keith answered, “I am doing what I always do. I put out a fleece for God to respond to. I told Him that I needed to see something specific happen. And if it happens, I’m leaving the church. If not, I’ll be staying put.”

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