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5 Things You Should Know about Coptic Christians

Coptic Christians have been in the news a lot recently. Many of us likely read or heard about the horrific Palm Sunday bombings at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt in which nearly 50 people died and many others were injured. Those who follow news updates from ChristianHeadlines.com will also probably be familiar with the name Coptic Christians as we often report on the discrimination and persecution they suffer. However, though many of us have heard the name "Coptic Christian," this sect of Christianity likely remains less familiar than Catholic Christians or the many denominations of Protestant Christians. Here are five things you should know about this part of the Body of Christ.

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6 Wrong Ways Christians Are Praying

I was waiting for my knife to be sharpened at a gun shop. I couldn’t help eavesdropping on a conversation between the shop clerk and a customer who was enquiring on how to apply for a gun license. In South Africa we have some of the most intimidating gun control laws in the free world. The process can take over a year. One of the requisite steps is that you must provide a substantiated motivation as to why you want the firearm. The gun shop clerk was coaching the customer on how to craft his motivation using the exact wording that would improve his chances of a positive outcome.

As I was listening to all of this it occurred to me that people are willing to put a lot of effort and thought into making requests that are important to them. But often when people want something from God, they put no thought into how to frame their petitions. They assume God will accept any request, from anyone, in any format.

Well, they would be wrong.

God has very specific ways in which he wants us to communicate with him and make requests. And Jesus coached his disciples on this very topic. In Matthew 6 Jesus provides a template for prayer that has become the most famous and repeated prayer of all time, known as the Disciples’ prayer, the Lord’s prayer, or simply as the “Our Father.” Jesus taught how to pray on two different occasions, in Matthew 6:5-13 and Luke 11:1. And although the two prayers are as similar as fraternal twins, they are not identical twins. The dissimilarities prove that Christ never intended this as a formula or rote prayer. It was a model or pattern for prayer. Of course, it is not wrong to pray it word-for-word, but that was not the intended purpose of the prayer.

Let’s examine some of the wrong ways to pray. Six insights from wrong ways to pray:

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The 5 Best Things You Can Pray for Leaders

Our leaders need prayer. Whether we agree with them or not, all leaders are in need of prayer, and the Bible commands us to pray for them: "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity" (I Timothy 2:1-2). Sometimes, however, it's difficult to know what to pray for. We don't often know the details of our leaders' lives like we know the details of our friends' and family members' lives. Below is a list of five different things that you can be praying for our leaders to have. They are things that all leaders -- and really all people -- should strive after and pray for.

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5 Ways Your Kids Can Express Their Faith at School

Whether your children are preschool or college-aged, it's important that they know how to express their faith in a school environment. Although we hear a lot about Bibles being banned from public schools or Christian prayer or after-school groups being targeted, it is important for Christian students to know that America is still a country with laws protecting religious freedom rights. We are blessed as Christians to be granted these freedoms, and we can encourage our children to use them while at school. Here are five ways students can express their faith during the school year.

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Here is What 10 Christian Leaders Had to Say about Racial Equality

The U.S. -- and the world -- has been wrestling with issues of racial equality for centuries. In America in recent times, the issues of racism and equality have been particularly at the forefront of our national discourse, with many Christian leaders speaking out against racism and for reconciliation. Ultimately, many Christian leaders have acknowledged that there is much injustice to face and much work to be done, but that the Gospel is essential to true and lasting reconciliation. Here are 10 quotes from Christian leaders on the issues of racism, equality, and what the Church can do to work for justice and unity.

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10 Quotes from Christians Who Dedicated Their Lives to Spreading the Gospel

The Great Commission is central to the Church Age. It is the last thing Jesus talked to his followers about before ascending back to heaven. Through the ages, believers have taken Jesus' charge to preach the Word to the ends of the earth very seriously. Whether they were missionaries at home or abroad, these particular 10 Christians are inspiring examples of people who knew what was most important in this life. They had experienced the forgiveness and love of Christ and were compelled to share this Good News with others. Hopefully their words will inspire you, whether you are called to be a missionary in your hometown or called to go to the far reaches of the globe.

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10 Things Christians Should Know about the Museum of the Bible

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. is drawing growing interest for the museum based around the most read book in the world.

Since its opening in November 2017, the high-tech museum with thousands of artifacts and displays has since welcomed thousands to its doors. Founders of the museum say displays and exhibits are sparking more conversations about the Bible and Jesus.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the Museum of the Bible.

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7 Things God Says about the Earth and Caring for It

With Earth Day approaching (April 22), it's a perfect time to consider God's plan for how humans are to care for the earth. From the creation of the world until today, the Bible gives us guidance on what God has to say about our duty to act as stewards of the earth and everything God created to inhabit it. Although God's good vision for the care of the earth has been marred by humans in many ways, hopefully looking back to Scripture will reestablish a right view of the role we as humans and as Christ-followers play in caring for God's amazing Creation.

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7 Things Christians Should Know about Abortifacients

Editor’s note: This is the tenth article in a monthly series on what Christians should know about bioethics. To read the other articles in the series, visit ERLC.com.

It's important for Christians to be informed on issues of bioethics. Knowing about abortifacients is part of that. You may not even know what that word means, and that's what this article is for. It will help you to understand what abortifacients are and the concerns many Christians have about them. Read on to find out what you need to know.

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9 Essential Qualities of a Godly Leader

With all the modern resources at our fingertips, we still suffer from leadership deficiency – in our nation, workplaces, churches and homes. We have too many leaders who believe their position mandates their influence, rather than their influence enabling them to be effective in their position. Many of today’s leaders lead by forced coercion - a “my way or the highway” mindset that makes them more like dictators. President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The leader leads, and the boss drives.” The Boss often plays the Boss Card. They force obedience, strictly because of their position and status. But, as author and expert John Maxwell says, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It’s about one life influencing another.”

As you are reading this, odds are you are picturing someone you know in a leadership position that drives more than they lead. I know I am picturing someone as I write. I also have to quickly examine my own life. God has placed all of us in a position of leadership, if not in our workplaces or churches, then certainly in our homes as parents. I know there have been times when I don’t exemplify the qualities of a Godly leader.

I don’t want to knock all of the great books out there on leadership. There are some terrific resources available from people who know far more about the topic than many of us do. But, there’s one resource that has a lot to say on the topic of effective leadership, and it’s available for free. You can actually access it right on your phone. It’s the Bible, and the passage is Proverbs 16. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

This chapter is chock full of leadership lessons. Below are nine principles that are critical characteristics of a good, godly leader:

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