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Question #1:


Christ the Lord is risen and it is a wonderful day. Every day is a resurrection day to abide in the One that gives us eternal life. His resurrection means immediate blessings for us (Ro 4:25; Eph 1:19;23; 1 Cor 15:58; 2 Cor 4:14) and future blessings (1 cor 15:42-44).

I wish you all the best this Resurrection Sunday and may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to keep and protect you and your loved ones and all the saints in all things during this time and for all times.

love ya much

Thank you!

Response #1:


Our Lord's death for us on the cross is the foundation of the entire plan of God – just as He is the Rock upon which all is built. We celebrate His birth, but it is His spiritual death for us that saved us, and His resurrection assures our life eternal with Him in glorious new bodies forever on that great day of days.

I hope it was a blessed day for you and your family, and that very soon you'll be able to celebrate it together again. Praying for that.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Thanks Robert. I often find myself thinking prayers as I am sitting or when I am walking or in the middle of doing something. Could that be considered prayer. Or do I need a quiet place and grasp my hands to do it?

What about typing words on a screen? Or do I need to think or whisper my prayer?

Would like your thoughts

Yours Sincerely

Response #2:

We type to communicate with others, but we don't need to do that to communicate with God. All we need to do is say the words in our heart, vocalization not being necessary:

And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.
1st Samuel 1:12-13a NKJV

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach).
Romans 10:8 NKJV

Here are some links on prayer for you:

Prayer Questions I

Prayer Questions II

Prayer Questions III

Prayer Questions IV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

Quick question. As I may have mentioned a while back, with the job and new schedule, I have spent some time thinking about what my time breakdown ought to be: where to spend time, and how long.

The ratio of English to Greek and Hebrew is one thing, but I've also simply been considering how much time to spend in concerted prayer. I know some people are called to this more than others (we all have our own ministries, after all). On the other hand, prayer is something for us all.

I would wish to avoid thinking something along the lines of "well, I'm a teacher, so with all these other responsibilities, I'll leave the prayer for others." Prayer is for us and for our benefit as well as for the benefit of those for whom we pray.

I do try to pray throughout the day (when going taking a break during the workday, over lunch, in the car on my commute, etc.), and really more what I'm asking about is not this background process of continuously asking God for focus and strength, but the concerted type of prayer where you go through a list of some form, the kind of prayer with a bit more decided purpose and structure.

I was thinking that my time in the car is a great time to pray -- it makes the otherwise less productive time when driving more productive, and I can also speak out loud in the car without needing to worry about the words carrying (I find praying out loud to myself helps me not lose my focus and train of thought as much). Praying on my commute also bookends the workday and helps me clear my head and transition between work and home.

I just haven't done this much until now, and I'm trying to decide if it's too much or too little time to dedicate to prayer. I could do other useful things on my commute as well (listening to scripture, catching up with people on the phone, audio vocab flashcards for Greek and Hebrew, etc.), but I also don't want to forgo prayer as if it weren't important.

What do you think? I'm certainly not going to just legalistically pray for the exact number of minutes you mention (if you suggest a number at all), I'm just trying to get a feel for what seems reasonable for someone with my spiritual gifts and apparent ministry calling (which is not particularly prayer-focused, as it seems to me). 15 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour?

Your brother in Christ,

Response #3:

There's no one set answer to this. Everyone has to come to their own personal approach with which they feel comfortable. Clearly, more is better than less. And quality time in prayer is better than after-thought prayer. Making the best use of our time is an issue, but also accomplishing what we've determined to do is not unimportant. If I tell someone I'm praying for them or will pray for them, I try to do so – regularly. We all approach this differently, but having a personal list where you get to all the prayers you've promised to pray is not a bad thing. Building good things into one's schedule is also not a bad idea. That's the only way I've been able to accomplish what needs to be done in my life.

Once you're married, this will be even more challenging. Putting a time limit on it is not the way I would do it (as I said, we're all different); getting to what we have determined to do sometimes is quicker, sometimes slower. As with reading your Bible, the important thing is to do it.

So this is another instance of where if we're not careful the perfect can become the enemy of the possible: we should do what we can and try to improve without letting failure to meet an ideal stop us from doing anything at all.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

I hear you loud and clear on not letting the perfect get in the way of the possible (or the good). This is definitely something I struggle with.

So if not time limits, with prayers we've promised instead dictating (at least to an extent) how much we pray, how do we determine how big our list gets? For example, the Ichthys prayer request list is quite long.

I guess I myself haven't promised to pray for all these folks -- not that this should necessarily stop me from doing so. But, just as an example, I've told our friend explicitly that I'll be praying for his situation in the aftermath of his father's passing. So I can definitely count that one as "on my list."

Then there are things like praying for forgiveness for our sins, praying for our country, our leaders, family members, friends, and so on that have no "promises" involved. We should still probably pray in all these ways though. Not to mention the Lord's prayer.

Perhaps a good way of looking at it is {base prayers that we should do regardless, like praying for our family, the Lord's prayer, etc.} + {the list of prayers we've personally promised others}? At least as a reasonable starting point?

Yours in Christ,

Response #4:

Sounds like a great starting point to me!

As you move forward with this, you'll make changes, additions and subtractions, depending upon what you've promised to do, what it seems good for you to pray for regularly, and whatever other elements you want to include in your daily prayer routine.

We are all different and we all do it differently. Doing it – and being consistent with it – is what is really important.

In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Thank you Sir, quite a time but trusting our Lord Jesus I follow your teachings daily. I have seeing BB 6B Ecclesiology (downloaded). Am reading some of your email responses on eschatology, Antichrist, the tribulation et al.

May the Lord open the eyes of our fellows in the Lord on errors of pre-trib rapture as the time draws closer daily.

Thank you again as it gladdened my heart that you still have me in mind as I hope to seeing in you on that day even if I may not see you now and here. SHALOM.

Response #5:

Thank you!

I appreciate your dedication to the Lord and to the truth, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

[omitted by request]

Response #6:

It's always great to hear from you, my friend.

As to your questions, first, there is no advantage in speaking prayers out loud apart from the fact that others can hear you when you do so (and there are definitely occasions for public, group prayer). But God certainly hears silent prayer, called in the Bible, "speaking in one's heart" (cf. 1Sam.1:13). No, demons can't read our minds. But they are clever enough. As I often say, if we could secretly observe someone for years, we'd have a pretty good idea what they were thinking. I wouldn't worry about that either. The best approach to "spiritual warfare" is to operate as if demons didn't even exist. We know that they do, but they can't lift a finger against us unless the Lord allows it – and we have God the Holy Spirit indwelling us, after all (1Jn.4:4).

As to what our Lord looked like, I am in agreement with the hesitancy I find in your email here. The "picture" we have of the Lord should be one of truth, and not mere appearance. Knowing what He "looked like" then would not be at all helpful for our spiritual growth. Think how appearances change our perception of people generally, as when we know someone from email or the phone, and then see them for the first time, there is often a disconnect. It's better to "know" someone from their words and deeds – which illuminate their heart – than merely from their appearance. Our Lord had no "special appearance" during His first advent (Is.53:2), and after He rose, He was apparently not readily recognized (as can be seen from a number of the resurrection appearances) . . . and NOW His appearance is overwhelmingly glorious (cf. Rev.1:12-17).

So I personally have striven for decades to "see Him" as He is in His character and apart from what He looks like in terms of physical appearance, and I believe that is the thrust of all the biblical passages which tell us to focus on Him (see the link). We want to "see Him" as He really is in His loving, gracious Person, and a physical picture of Him would only detract from that, I think. I believe that is what Paul is saying when He says, "Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer" (2Cor.5:16b NKJV). So I for one did NOT see that movie "The Passion of the Christ", and avoid all such things. Pictures and the like smack of idolatry as far as I'm concerned, and are not helpful for those who are really trying to draw close to Him . . . through the truth of the Word (the only way to do it). So I would rather concentrate on who He is and what He has done for us than what He looked (or looks) like – and that is in fact the theme and essential content of all the holy scriptures.

Thanks for sharing Ichthys! But please don't be too disappointed if you don't get the "response rate" you were hoping for. When I first got excited about the truth I thought it just a simple matter of presenting others with the same truth that so thrilled me – but others were generally not thrilled. That has to come from the individual's own heart.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi dear professor Luginbill,

First, I hope your health is good and you family and job are well. I do pray often, but not everyday, I am trying to get in the habit of praying daily. Not trying to boast, it is really just the one good deed I have right now that I can see and it is costless and priceless just to take a couple minutes and do.

I once in a while pay attention to the media and I see groups that were held up as standards and individuals just believing in delusions, and it makes you realize the enemy could easily get people to follow him even and tattoo themselves with the 666 mark. (People like you and me who've grown up in a church might have found it hard to believe due to that it is directly mentioned in the Bible, even if you didn't quite understand the other stuff). It is a bit sad. And then the Corona virus is revving up and see just how easily it can all fall apart.

I really long for us to already be there with the Family, and God, enjoying each other and His new world. I hope as many as who would be willing, would come to believe that that day when it is all over happens soon and quickly,

Response #7:

A serious believer who has ANYONE to talk to nowadays who also loves the truth is blessed indeed.

I'm eager and anxious for the other side too – I think that's the right attitude for genuine believers to have. And I'm sure that will become much more pronounced once the Tribulation begins.

By all means keep praying! I think it's wonderful that you are seeing this more and more as a spiritual weapon you can deploy whenever you see things that are wrong or irksome or dangerous. That is so much better than what many do, even most Christians, namely, to just get upset as if nothing can be done.

"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:7-8 NIV

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #8:

And you know how I always complain that I don't know what good works I am to do? Well I realized that if the good works of prayer are opportunities from God (and they are), that is the good works He has for me to do! So I am doing it. Or at least part. Anyway, I really will give you a long break. Working on Greek vocab and that takes time.

Response #8:

Yes indeed! Keep praying!

It would probably appall us all to find out how little actual prayer from believers who are spiritually mature is currently landing before the throne of grace.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Dear Bob:

Please pray that I will have the strength of faith and loyalty to Christ that will bring me through the Tribulation. May God have me till the end of my life and may I receive the crown of glory.

That I will overcome all challenges of the coming persecution if it is coming.

That my sinful habits are broken and I am freed to be rich in good works of Gold and Precious Stones rather than Straw and Wood that would be burnt away on the last day.

May the majority of my work be Gold and precious stones and not straw and wood.

Yours in Christ

Response #9:

I will do so. But keep in mind that the Spirit of God within you is more powerful than anything in this world. All you have to do is to say "yes!" to Him and not "no!" to Him.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Bob,

Just a couple of quick things.

I hope you don't mind me saying this and please don't take offence but can I ask in advance to refrain from posting my emails about ___. Thanks Bob.

On another matter, I'm saddened to say that I witnessed a car break in from my bedroom this morning! I didn't know what to do so I just kept shouting to raise awareness. I then wrote down what I saw and reported it to the police online. I tried to phone but it was impossible to get through.

Sadly the man put a brick through a car window of a nurse working locally. He did it to steal her handbag. I was frozen in shock when I saw it and could only think to yell "stop thief" repeatedly and rather impotently through the window.

I fear that as the police are less and less visible here in England that crime, especially opportunistic crime, will rise. I fear that this will also lead to vigilantism. What should a Christian do when face to face with a crime being committed?

I know that Americans believe in the right to bear arms. The U.K. does not even believe in our rights to protect ourself. I think we may be able to use "reasonable force". Is self defence vengeance though?

Jesus asked us to turn the other cheek. What if someone broke into this house. I have my elderly parents to think about. I fear that the repercussions are worse than the virus. The cure is worse than the disease itself. I feel that civil unrest and societal breakdown is not round the corner but here! This man broke into a car in a street filled with people in lockdown in broad daylight. 10.30 am this morning!

Only myself and a neighbour saw it and tried to stop it. Ironically a lot of my relatives and neighbours were busy watching Easter Sunday services being streamed online when it was happening. The street was deserted.

I want to do the right thing but that has to be the right thing by God.

God bless you Bob.

Hope you are surviving.

In Him,
p.s., Also I want to add... I prayed for that thief that I saw. We are all sinners and Jesus died for all sins. It is very heartbreaking that a person could think that was a good thing to do especially in times like this. I've prayed that this man turns to Jesus and walks away from his ways while there is still time. We all know how miserable sin is.

Response #10:

I've put those emails in my "skip" file, so no worries there, my friend. I am concerned about your situation, however, so do take pains to stay safe – and I do continue to pray for you to find a safe place to "land".

As I've often had occasion to remark, there is a difference between overlooking offenses that come at the hands of brethren in Christ and submitting to criminal activity; it is the former we are encouraged to do, but as to the latter our Lord told the disciples, after all, that they had better start carrying swords on their journeys after He was no longer around to protect them personally (Lk.22:36). Here is a pertinent link on that: "The biblical view of self-defense".

As to the rotten deed you witnessed, it sounds to me as if you did everything you possibly could do. The Lord doesn't expect an unarmed woman to take on a violent criminal when it's not absolutely necessary. As to what societies and political systems do, blessedly, we who are walking with Jesus Christ need not concern ourselves overly with such things; in fact it can be a trap to get too upset about things that without a godly perspective can be very upsetting, but we know that although . . .

The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
Psalm 37:12-13 NKJV

As to prayer, I would never tell someone not to pray about just about anything that comes into their heart for the salvation and spiritual growth of anyone. I will notice, however, that those who are so selfish as to do the vile thing you witnessed are unlikely candidates to turn to the Lord, but the nurse who's things were damaged and stolen could certainly use your prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hi Bob,

Yes I understand that some people do not want the truth but appealing lies that allow them to carry on living their lives how they've already chosen to live.

___ says that she hates the expression "born again". How can she hate these words when they were spoken by Jesus Himself? Is it fear and worry that she isn't?

Today and yesterday I have been crying about this. I understand what Paul felt in Romans 9:3. It's deeply painful when it's your own family. People you love deeply.

I have racked my brains on what to do. I've tried exposing Vatican heresies, tried to show how worldly they are, how corrupt, how blind and naked they are. All this does is make ___ cling to it even harder.

I've tried to tell them the Gospel but they say they know it already but it is a works Gospel. They can't bear to hear that unbelievers are not saved. They prefer a universalist salvation.

I have been told not to talk about the bible/ religion any more. I have been told I cause distress and unhappiness. I realise that I have been in the flesh while I've tried to witness to them. I've not humbled myself to the Holy Spirit. I haven't acted on the Spirit's promptings and instead gone in feet first with both guns blazing. I have gone in there like any other immature evangelical bible thumper and had the obvious and predictable responses.

I have more recently desisted from doing this as I have grown up a little bit now. I am sometimes drawn into things because ___ still sees my spiritual growth in Catholic terms I.e. Why don't I become a nun or a Eucharistic minister. Even when I keep my responses brief "I'm not a Catholic anymore, I'm a Christian" it stings her and is taken as a rejection and a reproach.

I've done it all the wrong way and now I find myself frustrated and crying about it.

I feel that the answer is to keep on with my own walk. To grow and mature and apply the truth to my life. To reflect the true light to them in the months and years ahead going into our darkest hours here.

I will keep on praying for them and their salvation everyday. I know I can trust God and I know that in the end, everything will come out for good. I know this and I know I can rely on this completely. When I think on this, I feel great peace inside myself.

I don't have control over much in life. I even struggle to control my own tongue! God IS in control though and because of this I have peace. I am completely dependent on God for the life I have and the air that I breathe. This is a huge comfort. God is all around me and He will never leave me or forsake me.

Psalm 139

In Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega,

Response #11:

There is a limit to what we can do about people we love who don't believe – or who are not nearly as zealous for the truth as we are. In fact, there is a time for everything as you know (Eccl.3:1-8), so that pressing things at the wrong time or beyond their time can be counterproductive. But we can always pray. And we can always trust the Lord that He does hear our prayers and that He is in fact working things out for good. We should not assume that because we don't have instantaneous response to our prayers that we will have no response at all. Human beings that we are, we are not by nature patient (I'm sure not); but we learn as we grow that God does things at the perfect time, even if that's not OUR preferred time.

There's plenty of time ahead – and plenty of things that are bound to shake the most comfortable people out of their spiritual torpor. If they are willing to be shaken, that is. If not, there's little we can do if they refuse to respond to the Lord shaking the world. But let's see how that "shakes out" first before we give up.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:1-8 NIV

In Jesus our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

Hope you've had a good day. England lost the rugby world cup final on Saturday but no worries - the pavers came and finished the job on your street and I'm still dead chuffed about that!

I have a tiny bit of news from my end of the planet! [omitted] It's not my usual way of finding work, but I think it's the Lord working it all out in a way that He knows is best for me at the moment. It's definitely making me trust Him more because nothing is permanent or set hours. I'll let you know when they call me for my first day's work with them.

Thanks so much as well, Bob for your prayers for me and my gang. I know this sounds a bit barmy but sometimes I feel bad because I haven't got any news to tell you as far as them being more open to the Lord. But then as much as I would love them all to be saved right NOW, it's out of my control. They have free will and everything is in the Lord's timing and not mine. Some of it might be for my benefit as well in the testing of my faith, perseverance and persistence in prayer. Similar to how you have been praying for your loved ones for many years. I'm just really grateful to you for your love and patience in praying for them.

Love this week's email postings and I've had a couple of questions answered through them. I'm still continuing on with 2B.

You and your family will always be in my prayers too!

Your friend in Jesus Christ

Response #12:

So it goes. I watched a little bit of the World Series last week because my buddy from Houston, is an Astros fan. I held off congratulating him on his teams success – and a good thing too, because after being up 3-2 they ended up losing the last two games . . . at home.

Great news on the job front! This really is probably the Lord working it out for you. I have worried about you strapping on a full time job with no let up. Better – I would think – to work into that what with all you've got going on. Good to give those knees a day or two off other than just weekends (which, with a family, would hardly be "off" working full time).

I do try to be persistent in prayer – that is what we are commanded (Lk.18:1-8). Just this week I got two great pieces of news about people I've been praying for for a long time with only silence. One man's granddaughter had disappeared for years with a meth habit and was feared dead: recently resurfaced, off the drugs, and married in a stable relationship. Now we pray for complete family reconciliation and coming back to a close walk with the Lord. Another two brothers in difficult circumstances fell off the radar screen but came back strong, passing some very difficult tests. Now we pray for them for health and spiritual growth.

For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
1st Thessalonians 3:5 NKJV

Even Paul had to wait on prayer being answered when it came to people he loved and cared about. Time drags for us, but the Lord sees the end just as clearly as the beginning – in fact God has ordained it all. Our part is to stick with our prayers, demonstrating that we do consider Him faithful . . . which He absolutely is.

Keeping your family – and you – in my prayers every day, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Bob,

How are you? I hope you are well.

Is it possible to add another prayer request on your site?

My cousin's appendix operation was left too long by the NHS hospital and it appears to have burst during the operation and so they will probably have to operate again. They seem to be dawdling over it again (he's been in hospital over this 15 times now and at one point claimed it was "all in his head!")

I know that burst appendix can be a very serious thing and they don't seem to be in any immediate rush to do the second operation so he is in our Lord's hands. I am hoping for the best but because he has been neglected for so long over this I thought it best to resume witnessing to him again.

I have been trying to be gentle about it. He is very young for his age (late 20s) so I have tried to witness as simply as possible. I have tried to tell him that it is not about "church" or religion but a relationship with Jesus and that we can trust Him in whatever we are going through. I have attested that the Lord can be completely trusted and that He is our strength and He will always carry us through no matter what is happening to us. I have also told him how much Jesus loves him and how much I've been helped personally by Jesus. I've told him that it is like a best friend friendship but unlike the human ones we have it is one that will never fail or grow weary or bored. Quick to listen and slow to anger. I hope I planted a seed. I tried to be as gentle and loving as I can. There seems to be a reluctance from others about my witnessing to him but I get private messages at the moment to him and he seems receptive.

In Jesus,

Response #13:

I've added the prayer request for him at the top of the list.

I've said a prayer for ___ as well.

Hope to hear good news soon about his health and also coming to the Lord.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Thanks Bob,

I really appreciate your prayers and your swiftness in reply. I'm not sure how to navigate around this. Sometimes I am brought in and sometimes I am shut out. I am walking on eggshells around the situation. It requires kid gloves and a deftness of touch.

Sometimes I am asked for help and support and sometimes I feel I am stepping on toes. Things change minute by minute so I entrust it all to the Lord and try to remember that I am to be a witness to others around this situation too.

Thanks again for your support and kindness my friend.

In Him,

Response #14:

If we're not sure whether or not we're doing too much or too little, we're probably right in the best possible spot.

Relax and leave it to the Lord. Remember: the Spirit is the One who is doing the heavy lifting. We are just making ourselves available to Him.

Keeping you and ___ in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Dear Bob:

I found out that one of the men I knew online asked for forgiveness and believed that Jesus is God.

He has been trying out different prayers:

"I've begun praying recently and I'm unsure on how to do it best. There are many different prayers listed in different places, in different languages and so on. I've personally been praying beginning with accepting Jesus Christ as god and asking for forgiveness. Then I usually ask for strength to deal with some problem of mine, to resist sin or to be courageous or to keep me focused and such things. I do not ask directly for anything, but try to think about what I would need to do in order to achieve what I would have asked for. I could ask to have the strength to not allow myself to feel threatened by current events because feeling so makes me angry and aggressive and that leads to hating, which isn't good. I've seen quite good results so far of this method, but I also feel like I'm being tested. I will pray and it seem that good things happen, but then I might regress after seeing such rapid positive progress. For me personally, I struggle with pride and wrath. Success tends to breed these. In any case, I've begun praying and I think I am on the right path."

If he asked for the Holy Spirit will he receive it at this point? Or has he received the Holy Spirit already. I am unsure if he has been born again.

God Bless

Response #15:

No one can really know the heart of another person. But if this individual is professing acceptance of Jesus Christ and His work (which is the basis for forgiveness), I don't know what else we would need to know. Note: all believers have the Holy Spirit (cf. e.g., Rom.8:9b); no need to pray for what we all have at salvation.

Of course once a person is saved, what is needed then is not more additional prayers to be saved. Salvation is sure, for all who maintain their faith in Jesus Christ. What is needed next is spiritual growth. That is what Ichthys is dedicated to of course. I usually recommend the Peter series (link) for new believers; Bible Academy is also an excellent place to get one's spiritual "feet on the ground".

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob,

I need some clarification. In my prayers, I have a tendency to finish with "In Jesus' Name, Amen." (An old family tradition.) It doesn't appear in NIV Matthew 6:13, the Lord's prayer which is the example He gives, so it seems almost like useless words for which the Lord criticized the Pharisees. If I remember right, I think you wrote that this was an addition.

Also, if the Spirit is indwelling, prayer whether addressed to the Father (which I do for the most part) or the Lord is transmitted by the Spirit directly to God. (John 1:1-4) Whether vocalized or not, it's the same. My prayers have a tendency to be ongoing conversations, sometimes vocal, many times not. No one is here who couldn't hear either way.

I always keep Matthew 21:22 and James 4:3 in mind and it's a comfort.

Am I thinking straight?

Yours in our Lord Jesus,

Response #16:

There's nothing wrong with this convention. Here are our Lord's own words on the subject:

"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
John 14:13-14 NKJV

"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
John 16:23-24 NKJV

There are many ways to pray. As long as we are praying "in the Spirit", that is, in fellowship with the Lord and praying with good Christian motives (as opposed to Jas.4:3) and in faith (according to Matt.21:22) we can have confidence that our prayers are being heard, regardless of any formulae used. In general, as long as the above stipulations are adhered to, more is better.

Pray continually!
1st Thessalonians 5:17 NIV

Whether we pray silently or out loud, whether we pray to our Lord Jesus Christ or to the Father, whether we do this at set times or at various times, in church or on the prairie, God hears – and God answers the believer's prayer of faith.

"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."
John 14:14

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Thank you so much Bob. It is wonderful to have your fellowship, friendship and teaching.

Maybe for the first time now I am really seeing and understanding the battlefield that I stand on. I am accepting the spiritual reality that I cannot see with my fleshly eyes.

I am submitting myself to the Holy Spirit and humbling myself to God's will and instruction. He is my Father and I want to be His obedient child. I realise that is why Jesus said we must be like children. Abraham and Moses (among others) responded as trusting and obedient children to their perfect Father. I too now am choosing to submit in trust and obedience to my perfect Heavenly Father. I realise that whenever I am led by my own flesh, I fall and give a victory to the enemy. When I trust in God, I can grow and strengthen in my faith walk and the same time I am giving a strong witness to others.

I realise that all good comes from God and I know that He has intervened with ___ and I feel all eyes are upon me for how I respond. I want to only respond in a way that glorifies God. I want to respond rather than react. At first I really panicked when this first happened but now I am laying all my fear at Jesus' feet and instead trusting Him for my deliverance. He will be with me every step of the way and guide each step that I must follow through the Holy Spirit. Now that I am giving myself over to the Spirit, I can feel tremendous peace despite all the arrows and ammo that I am being bombarded with right now.

I realise though that although I am choosing to respond in faith and to trust God and be patient for my deliverance and to avoid complaining about the fiery trial I am now in, others around me without faith will not be. I see that they are trusting in their own flesh but their flesh is failing them and they exhausted, anguished and bitter. The advice I get from everyone around is highly contradictory and changes with the wind. I realise it is because they are on the sand and not on the Rock and so are buffeted around by every breeze and tide.

Instead I am listening to the Holy Spirit and I am also listening to your ministry. I have submitted to the authority of the Holy Spirit and the authority of your ministry. Your ministry has been a great help to me, the teaching has fed me and assisted my slow and gradual maturing faith. I am trying not to take any of this personally. I think of Job and that the enemy sometimes uses our loved ones to attack us and shake our faith. By attacking ___, the enemy is showing that he can destroy him and he hopes to destroy my family through anguish and exhaustion and to tear my faith away from me.

I will not allow this. Instead I am "doubling down" in faith. I am relying and seeking Jesus more than ever. Jesus is very precious to me because He knows what it is to be human, He knows what it is to suffer in the flesh. He knows what it is like to fight the spiritual battle on earth and to weep when He sees loved ones suffer. I want to follow Jesus' way through the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes I am not sure when to pray to Jesus and when to pray to our Father? I pray to God for everything in Jesus' name but am concerned that I am not praying to Jesus enough and speaking to Him alone.  Are there some things / some times I should speak to Jesus about and other times our Father? Recently I have been praying to the Father through Jesus' name but I am worried that I may be giving Jesus' disrespect if I am only doing this.

Someone said that we shouldn't pray to God through Jesus as though Jesus was merely a postbox that collected mail for God. I guess I am still a little unsure in these matters. I know that Jesus, the Father and the Spirit are co-equal despite many people these days fighting against this. I guess I still find some things hard to understand. I accept them but I can't at times understand how it all works through the Trinity. Are their ministries different? Do they have different authority or work to do?

I know that you will cover these things in your Bible Basics series. I am trying to keep up with some study but at the moment, it is a slog from sun up to sun down and I pretty much flop into bed at night. I do watch tv when I eat and I watched a film last night before bathing and going to bed which I regret now. It would be better if I spend my free time studying or watching a Bible Academy video.

I know though that ultimately this will all be for the good.

Thanks again Bob for your friendship and support. You are the only believer I know who diligently seeks the Word for everything. I rely an awful lot on your guidance and teaching.

In Jesus, God-Man and our Saviour,

Response #17:

I'm very encouraged by your good words of wisdom and truth, my friend! You are set on the right course. Be pleased to stay on it and stick with it and all will be well in the end – even if there are some storms in between (there always are).

I do pray that these events will be a wake-up call for all concerned. Your own faith is being tested, but I am confident that it will come out like gold refined.

(6) In anticipation of this ultimate deliverance, your joy overflows, though at present it may be your lot to suffer for a time through various trials (7) to the end that your faith may be shown to be genuine. This validation of your faith is far more valuable than gold, for gold, though it too is assayed by fire, ultimately perishes. But your faith, when proven genuine in the crucible of life, will result in praise, glory and honor for you at the glorious return of Jesus Christ.
1st Peter 1:6-7

All prayer to God is received when offered by believers. We are told to pray always "in the Spirit", meaning being in fellowship with Him when we pray (not in stubborn refusal to confess sin), but the fact that Jesus tells us we can pray to Him does not mean that we should not or cannot pray to the Father or vice versa. Our prayers are received either way. So I wouldn't concern myself with that issue. Just keep praying! The Spirit sorts it all out in any case.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 NIV

God is hearing your prayers, my friend! So keep on putting your petitions before Him. He will bring about your deliverance in good time – even if it requires a little patience. Therein lies the test.

I promise to keep up the prayer on my end as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hello Bob,

How are you? Hope your health and work situation is improving.

Just a really quick question. How should I address my prayers? When I ask for forgiveness should I ask Jesus or my Father. I know that Jesus is my intercessor so is it the right approach to pray to Jesus and then to my Father?

For most of the time I have been praying to God directly but recently have been concerned that this sometimes makes me feel as though I am leaving Jesus out of it and that has made me unhappy.

I realise that this is just a symptom of the childish nature of my faith, that is not yet mature. I do wish to grow correctly though and I wish Jesus to know how much I love and depend upon Him.

In Our Saviour Jesus Christ,

Response #18:

A lot of people have this question. The Trinity are "one" in a way we cannot even imagine – even though Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons.

Our Lord told us we could ask Him anything (Jn.14:14), so Father and Son are both "addressable" (see the link). The Spirit's chosen role is one of staying in the background and empowering, so for that reason no doubt there is no scripture talking about addressing Him in prayer. We listen to His "still, small voice" (1Ki.19:10), and therein lies the power of God.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Teacher-

Please pray for my daughter. She has come from college to stay until she returns for her next semester, and her overall state is a concern to me. She is not doing particularly well at school, continuing in longstanding focus and motivation issues. She seems to sift everything through a necessity filter that leaves out anything that brings her genuine happiness, which seems to be having a negative affect on her. She is very likely suffering from depression. And, at the heart of it all, she is not a believer - indeed, she proclaims herself an atheist, and is not even the least bit interested in spiritual or even philosophical ideas of any kind. It would be some little comfort to know she was at least questioning/pondering something - the kind of emptiness I see is disturbing. To be honest, I had a rather peculiar feeling talking with her last night and even more reflecting on our conversation - the thought of some kind of satanic influence/attack/something crossed my mind, but I’m trying to keep my imagination from running away with me on that count.

Please pray also for me. There is a whole history which I will refrain from unpacking just now. Suffice it to say that guilt feelings run strong here; some of my sins of the past have certainly caused her great harm. In faith, I know I am forgiven and am not responsible for her ultimate standing with God. Still, I am responsible for what I do now. This is a “moment of reckoning” I have been anticipating and a test I have been preparing for - to face the consequences of my actions in her and to convey something of what God has been working in me to one who has every reason to doubt it. While it is early in her time here yet, I sensed a faltering in my hesitation to take advantage of a couple of openings in conversation, as well as awkwardness continuing my daily walk apace, and thought it best to seek some reinforcements in prayer! (I should note that she apparently bears me no I’ll will, and we have generally good relations - in a worldly sense, at least.)

Thank you for being faithful to your ministry! You are ever in my prayers.

You student in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Response #19:

I am praying for your daughter – and you. I would also be happy to place a prayer request on the Ichthys list.

Young people, as my maternal grandfather used to say, often have a tendency to "go over fool hill" just to see what's on the other side. Most of them with a good Christian upbringing eventually come back – I did, at any rate.

In terms of your responsibility, there are no such things as "perfect parents". And even so, mine were the greatest, and yet I still had a few "wander-years" as the Germans say. So I wouldn't beat myself up, if I were you. The witness of the life is powerful, and you are living for Christ NOW. I'm sure the changes haven't escaped your daughter's ken. Keeping that up is the first, best thing you can do for her.

As far as reaching out in active witness, that is always a judgment call, and, in my observation and experience, all the more delicate when it involves family and close friends who "knew us when". Best thing there is to keep the lines of communication – and willingness to listen – open, as far as it is in our power to do so, and wait for good opportunities to place a good word.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Proverbs 25:11 NKJV

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

Hope your Thanksgiving was good. We ended up in Colorado visiting __'s family. We stayed for 3 days drove for 4. Almost 2000 miles. We got back late Saturday night. __ was headed back to college yesterday and broke down just 30 minutes out. We had to go rescue her. Something went wrong with her car. __'s been working on figuring it out today.

I don't think I mentioned in my last emails that we pulled ___ from public school. We have been contemplating it for some time and the whole Covid thing gave us a good reason. I felt it was good timing. The schools just aren't what they use to be even in these small towns. The world is changing so fast.

We have been so busy getting settled and working that I haven't spent to much time or thought on home schooling programs. I thought of you this evening as I was going through many website's trying to find something. Do you know anyone that home-schools and uses online courses? Do you personally know of any good online courses? I'm struggling with what I should do. Someone asked me not so long ago what I was doing with __'s home-schooling and I kinda joked with them and said "nothing like most home-schoolers" It's seems like that has been true for all the home-schoolers I know so I really don't have any good sources to ask. Not a biggie if you don't know anything.

On another note, __ didn't meet us for Thanksgiving this year. Last year it worked out great because he lived only 3 hrs from ___'s mom's. [omitted] My heart sunk. I didn't respond to him about his friend. Just talked a bit about the town, his dogs and job. I feel he is just trying to get us use to being okay with it and that it's just going to take time. He talks to us like it's nothing unusual or wrong. He knows we don't approve but acts like he is ok with our disapproval. I thought by staying in touch and having some sort of relationship it would be a good thing but I think he is just using it as a way to try and talk us into thinking what he is doing is just fine. Every Christmas he usually comes and sees us but I think this Christmas will be different. I'm usually the one making the plans and trying to pull it all together to make it work out for him to fly out every year. I think I might leave it up to him this time. I just don't know what to do, how can you raise such a good kid and things turn so bad? It makes me feel all my efforts were for nothing or maybe I didn't do something right. When he was a teenager I was working and I remember being so busy. I probably wasn't paying attention enough to all the TV shows and stuff he was watching on the internet. I wish I could go back to those days. This makes me so sad. All I guess I can do is have hope, just maybe he will change his mind.

How are you doing with your classes? ___ and ___ are chugging along with their online classes. They are taking it day by day. Some days are good some are not. Hope yours are mostly good.

Have a good evening.

Response #20:

Always great to hear from you, my friend. Wow! You guys are real "road warriors"! I used to be able to drive cross country, but those days are in the rear view mirror, so to speak (thankfully too).

It's funny, but in praying for your family I have been praying for ___'s education, so I hope this is an answer. In terms of "how to home school", having never done it on either end, I'm not the right person to ask. However, you've probably heard me mention my good friend and seminary colleague Curtis Omo who runs Bible Academy (link). He and his wife home-schooled their six kids. I think he would be a good person to ask about curriculum and scheduling and the like. You can tell him that Bob Luginbill sent you.

I'm sorry to hear about ___. I've been praying for that as well. I do understand your dilemma and I think you have outlined the situation perfectly. You've always had good spiritual common sense and radar too. I want to say two things first: 1) You are not the only one in this situation. I know a number of good Christians who are having to deal with this "problem" in regard to their adult children, and it is certainly not an easy one; 2) Good parents ALWAYS seem to blame themselves for the mistakes of their kids; bad parents never do – and sometimes, often times, their kids turn out OK in spite of them. Every parent can look back and say "if only I'd done this" or "not done that", because good parents are not perfect and no child is perfect, so that we can all have some regrets about the way we brought up our kids. But God knows everything and He is gracious. Just because we are having to suffer through some troubles or angst concerning our children and their bad decisions does NOT mean that it will go on forever. It tends to go on longer than we would like. That is a test. As to how to handle it, I think you are doing things exactly right and also following the advice I always give, namely, to keep the lines of communication open without at the same time enabling bad behavior. That can be a thin line to have to tread, but if anyone can figure it out, you certainly can – with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful – a nice break after a very difficult semester – harder than advertised because of having to accommodate about half or more of my students at one point or another for not being able to make it to classes in our semi-remote semester. Now I'm fairly swamped in all manner of assignments coming electronically in all different formats piecemeal from about 80 students in 5+ classes. Rounding up the strays who've either missed the deadline or missed some assignments (four categories here of up to 33 separate files per student over the course of the semester) has been an exercise I'm not anxious to repeat (so it's a good thing I haven't made up my syllabi for next semester yet since I seriously need to rethink things before I do).

I'm glad to hear that ___ and ___ are swimming and not sinking in their own remote academics! It's been difficult for our students here and almost all of them have needed some extra encouragement and TLC from time to time. This was a bad semester to have any unsympathetic professors (and there are plenty of those out there).

I promise to keep all this in my prayers!

Thanks for yours too, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Merry Christmas!

I, too, had a water heater dilemma but only needed to buy a part. The good part was the flooding of the basement, forcing me to mop the floor.

Blessings to you at Christmas and always,

PS, You may recall that I asked for prayers for my niece (still in the quagmire).

Response #21:

Hah! Way to find the silver lining!

I am praying for your niece – for deliverance.

Wishing you and yours a merry Christmas too!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Brother Bob,

Sending holiday cheers from the Philippines...

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, my dear Bible Teacher!

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #22:

Thank you!

Here's wishing the same to you and yours: Merry Christmas and a blessed 2022!

I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.


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