Showing posts from July, 2014

If you had to boil the whole spiritual life down to one issue, it would be the will... (Luminous Friday)

Through the Fridays of July, I plan to write about surrender. It’s the topic of chapter 6 in Luminous, but it means a lot more than that to me. I would say that perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned in the last three decades of seriously following Jesus as an adult is this: surrender of the will is at the core of one’s faith. Everything boils down to what we do with our will.
I start chapter 6 of Luminous with a reference to a brief conversation I had with my son Nathaniel when he was five years old. It happened one morning before school. To save space, the exact transcript of the conversation didn’t make it into the book, but here it is.
Me: Nathaniel, you need to brush your teeth.
Nathaniel: I don't want to.
Me: You need to.
Nathaniel: I'm not going to. You're not the boss of everyone.
Me (maintaining a serious look but trying not to burst out laughing): I'm the boss of some people, and you're one of them.
Nathaniel: You're not the boss of me. The presi…

This is your brain on prayer

You might remember anti-drug commercials that aired in the 1980s with the tagline, "This is your brain on drugs."

The same could be said for your brain on worry, lust, anger, gossip, greed, or hurry.

It should come as no surprise that whatever you do consistently shapes your brain. How about prayer? In an article in Leadership Journal, pastor John Ortberg reports, Researcher Andrew Newberg has shown the brain-altering power of such practices as prayer by looking at changes in the brain-state of nuns engaged in the practice for over 15 years as well as Pentecostals praying in tongues. It turns out that intense practice of prayer means their brains are much more impacted by their prayer than inexperienced or casual pray-ers. To find out who the true prayer-warriors in your church are, you could hook everybody up to electrodes, but it might be a little embarrassing. If your brain on drugs is like an egg being cracked and fried, what would your brain on consistent prayer be like…