Nick Brennan is originally from the UK, is married to Inge, a New Zealander, and they have two sons, Elijah and Micah. Nick did his theological training at Westminster Seminary California and now lives with the family in South Auckland where he is serving as a pastoral intern at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Manurewa, Auckland.
In Nick’s seminar, he will share how the Lord’s Prayer can be a helpful framework to shape our own prayers to God. Here he shares with us a bit more about himself and what his seminar will focus on.
1. Briefly share with us how you became a Christian.
I went to University as someone with some church background but having decided Christianity wasn’t for me; but whilst at Uni I was invited by a friend to a Mission Week event and heard the gospel clearly explained for the first time and responded to Christ.
2. Why do you think what you’re teaching on is an important topic?
Prayer is a vital part of our relationship to God and our response to him in the gospel, what the Heidelberg Catechism terms “the chief part of [our] gratitude” to God. Yet most of us struggle to maintain a thoughtful and rich prayer life; the Lord’s prayer is a wonderful resource for helping us grow in prayerful response to God.
3. What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message(s)?
Both the access to which we’re invited in the Lord’s Prayer to God – and the way that Prayer can helpfully direct us in praying God-honouring prayers.
4. Is there any passage of Scripture that sums up what you’ll be sharing?
The Lord’s Prayer:
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’"
– Luke 11:1-4 (NIV)
5. Can you expound on one point that you’ll be making in your talk?
That in being invited to address God as our Father, we aren’t being taught a universal spiritual technique by a mere guru, but rather Jesus the Son is inviting us to come to his Father through him, and so we can approach God clothed in Christ, with the full assurance that we will be received and heard as beloved children of God.
6. How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
I think it’s helped my own prayer life – particularly in practical matter of using the Lord’s prayer as a framework to shape my own prayers.
7. Can you recommend any books, articles, websites, or materials on this topic?
For a short read it’s hard to beat Martin Luther’s small work “A Simple Way to Pray“, which he wrote for his barber to help him in prayer. It includes some wonderful thoughts on being guided by the Lord’s Prayer.
For something a little more taxing I would also heartily recommend Herman Witsius’ book “Sacred Dissertations on the Lord’s Prayer” which is very rich and detailed. It’s been reprinted by Reformation Heritage Books but can also be found online for free.
Note: Due to space limitations, we’re not able to take any more registrations for this year’s conference – sorry! Please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates about the conference, and check back on this website where we will make available recordings from all sessions and seminars (Lord willing!).