by Tyler Thayer
It usually goes without question that Christians pray. In A Call to Prayer, J.C Ryle says that if you are Christian it is “absolutely needful” for a you to pray. He says that without praying one can not even be saved, for he has not asked for it. Ryle points out that Christians pray at least once in their life, so the questions left are do you continue to pray and how do you pray?
As men, should we not “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It is true that the same basic principles of prayer apply to women also, but in the context of Manspeak, this is a conversation about men. Further, the question begins to gain distinction when we look at it through the lenses of biblical masculinity. Who should it be that starts prayer when sitting down for lunch or dinner, when a group comes together to enjoy fellowship, when there is need, or how about when there is simply a sense of thanksgiving? In family life, the role of servant leader falls upon the husband, and thus he will be held accountable for the prayer life of his family. Should not young Christian men follow suit and prep for leading a family?
In Acts 12:5 Luke writes, “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” The early church was full of faith for the role that prayer plays in the Christian life. So much that it is described as “earnest” (Merriam-Webster 1 : a serious and intent mental state 2 : a considerable or impressive degree or amount). They were working hard at prayer.
Is our generation of young Christian men praying earnestly? I’m not so sure we value it as much as we used to, and it could very well be part of the faulty foundation that is causing so many broken households. So where is the prayer? Why is our generation not praying so hard that we grow weak from the serious contemplation?
by Tyler Thayer
Over a month ago, in my post Assurance through Experience, I told you that I would be doing a series of posts that will dig down to get at our souls. Now that VQ is over, I feel like it is time to make good on what I said I would do. But in order to do so more effectively I have given a name to the series: System Analysis. (Maybe I will get someone to make a special banner for this one, dunno) The goal of this series will be to analyze, scrutinize and bring to light what makes a man, a man. More specifically, though, I want to dive deeper than merely what our culture tells us a man is and explore the parts of the biblical, godly man.
A good friend of mine, who I greatly respect, has had a theory for the past year or so. Regularly, he will point out that sports have become religion in our culture, especially in America. He will compare the stadium to the sanctuary, the balls as relics, and the multitude of teams as gods. Each avid sports attendee will don the sacred robes that represent a team’s colors, and seek at all costs an opportunity to worship at the altar, the field. Now whether or not this describes you, I don’t know, but my friend would say that this describes the hearts of many men who love sports. But is it true?
Where’s the line? At what point does enjoying a sports game, whether competing or watching, become idol worship?
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul challenges us by saying, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Many men love sports, and most men love to be competitive, but can we be competitive to the glory of God? Should men even be competitive? I think this is a very fair question to ask, because if we are called to be on guard and do all things to the glory of God, then shouldn’t we question the very thing that often causes us to curse, hate, and allow anger to fill our hearts?
Perhaps, though, if we love competivtiveness too much, we might become like this:
You can check out CJ Mahaney’s take on this subject in his sermon Don’t Waste Your Sports. If you have listened to this sermon, what were your thoughts?
by Justin Day
What makes one a man? Is it being able to tear down and rebuild the transmission of a 69 chevelle? Is it being able drink four cups of black coffee every morning? Is it never laying in a tanning bed?
At Vision Quest we played a very amusing game where we made fun of how most people view manliness (you know a game is a bad judge of manliness when I last longer than our pastor). But the one thing that got me thinking was that we never actually stated what manliness actually is, at least I don’t remember it being said.
So my question for those that are reading this is how should we define manliness? Or in other words, what makes one a man?