Issue Number Twenty-Eight

Bulletin insert for
Palm Sunday/Good Friday

Take Up Your Cross
Daily and Follow Jesus

Don's Schedule
Please pray for these
ministry opportunities
in April and May.

  • Foothills Baptist Church
    Phoenix, AZ

  • Summertown Baptist Church
    Summertown, TN

  • Temple Baptist Church
    Kenosha, WI

  • Sola Scriptura Ministries Conference
    Ottawa, ON

  • Green Run Baptist Church
    Virginia Beach, VA

  • Centennial Olivet Baptist Church
    Louisville, KY

More Bulletin Inserts on Prayer

Praying the Blessing of Aaron

Ask, and You Will Receive Something Good

Don't Always Pray the Same Prayer

Take a Prayer Walk

Sing the Table Blessing

From the Article Archives

Following His Model
(A Study of the Model Prayer)

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New Bulletin Insert

Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer
How Should Christians Respond?

A recent headline in the New York Times declared: "Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer." The story, originating with Associated Press and reported by major news outlets everywhere, said this work was the largest study of its kind. Involving more than 1,800 heart bypass patients in six medical centers for almost ten years, the Times report called it "the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness." The result? Researchers found not only that an organized, specific prayer effort for the patients had no effect on their recovery, but also that patients who knew people were praying for them actually had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Does this cast doubt on the effectiveness of prayer? Is prayer a waste of your time?

Finish reading this article

Things Well Said

New on the website is the "Things Well Said" page. From time to time I'll post things written by others that have been a particular blessing to me. The first entry is particularly appropriate for this season of the church year. It's John Piper's powerful piece on "Being Mocked: The Essence of Christ's Work, Not Muhammad's." Click here to read it.

This Month's Recommendation

Together for the Gospel blog

Blogs are now like books in that there are so many you'd like to read that you just don't have time to read. One of the two I make time for, however, is the Together for the Gospel blog. There are four contributors: Al Mohler, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and Ligon Duncan. To read the blog is to read an ongoing conversation between these four friends and brothers in Christ—two Baptists, a charismatic, and a Presbyterian. It's like sitting in the same room with them and listening to them talk about ministry, theology, and Christian living. Perhaps I enjoy it so much because I know these men and can imagine their faces and voices as I read. But even if I didn't know them, I would find it extremely valuable because of the depth of the content of their fellowship. Some of their dialogue about their reading habits, for example, was a real treasure. Give it a read at http://blog.togetherforthegospel.org/

Family News and Notes

Thanks to those of you who have written to ask about my health, and thanks especially to those who have continued to pray for me. At this writing, I am sixteen weeks into recovery from my colon cancer surgery of late December. As I am cancer-free and recovering well now, the surgeon told me in March that he doesn't need to see me again until I have another colonoscopy in December. He said it may be a year before everything inside settles down into a "new normal." I'm ready for that. Besides this, the recovery is going well.

In late February I began climbing aboard airplanes again and speaking in churches and conferences on many weekends. In moments of "grim jocularity" (to borrow from P. G. Wodehouse), I sometimes refer to "the glamorous world of jet travel." Those with lots of frequent flyer miles in their various airline accounts know the irony in that statement. (For instance, flight delays last Sunday night got me home at 3:30 a.m. How glamorous, eh?) Still, there are times while standing in an airport security line or wedged into a middle seat when I remind myself how grateful I am for the Lord's gifts of life and health that enable me to get on those planes again.

Don teaching at
Southern Seminary's
collegiate conference
in early February

As did many of you, we had an unusually warm and dry winter. We received hardly any measurable snow, although the Louisville area normally expects to get about eighteen inches. In fact, we had thunderstorms and tornadoes in the area during the first week of January, and every month since. We've been anticipating the glorious outburst of blooms from the Bradford pears, redbuds, and dogwoods that we saw here last year when we first looked at this house. But now most of these trees are leafing out, indicating that we probably won't see such spring glory this year. Is it because of the warm winter? Regardless, it sure is good to feel the warmth of the sun, to enjoy the extra hours of daylight after supper, and to see the bright green of growth under our feet and overhead. Last year I told you I had heard the calls of Rufous-sided Towhees in our neighborhood. This year I think they have nested nearby. Hooray! It's exhilarating to walk out on a bright, clear morning and hear the high-pitched, "Drink your . . . teaaaaaaa!" Saturday I saw bluebirds here for the first time. There are still a few calls I hear regularly that I've not yet identified.

Caffy is delighted with the opportunity to plant a garden for the first time since 1980. It's great therapy for her, and should provide us with good nourishment beginning in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted on the latest garden news in the next newsletter.

Last Sunday she began teaching a Precept Bible study on Philippians to the women of our good church. In March she spoke to the Pendergraph Women's Ministry at Southern. This was an opportunity for her to address a good representation of female students, student wives, and faculty wives at the seminary. What a great seminary community there is at SBTS.

As to artwork, right now she’s doing some illustration work for one of our seminary publications.

My surgery and its aftermath have not been easy for Caffy, especially since it all came about during the dreary winter months and had me in the hospital both for Christmas and our anniversary. While things overall are tremendously better now, if you'd like to send her a word of greeting or encouragement, contact her through her website, www.CaffyWhitney.com

Laurelen is on spring break, and loving every minute of it. Outside, she's been leisurely pushing her scooter up and down the driveway. Inside, she's been knitting. She recently formed a "Knitters for Christ" group with some of her friends and even some adult women at church. While working apart between meetings, they gather every couple of weeks and combine the work they've been doing separately. They are making blankets for newborns in our church as well as items that might be useful or bring cheer to the shut-ins or elderly. She and the pastor's daughter biked to church Sunday night. Last night Laurelen and I finished reading a biography of Daniel Boone together from the great Landmark series for children. It's helped us appreciate more of the early history of our new home state.

Please pray for the completion and distribution of my booklet on family worship. I hope to go to press with it later this month. As the Lord provides, I also intend to produce a CD and DVD of the same message. This is the material from which the FamilyLife Todaybroadcast was taken in January.

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
2 Timothy 4:22

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