Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2015 1 Thessalonians 5:17‏‏

1 Thessalonians 5:17.  PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!

Oh Friends, on this Thursday spring morning, which looks like it will be another rainy day in my area, let’s give our wonderful God some thanks and praises nuh, for allowing us to see another fruitful day on His glorious earth.

And though our physical surroundings might be raining and cold or extremely hot and miserable, our hearts and souls are always warm and affectionate, because of the bright LIGHT and LOVE of Jesus flowing through them.

And all of God’s children said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory be to the Lamb that was slain for us on Calvary’s hill!

And this morning I want to share a paragraph from the Hour of Power Devotional, where Gramps Schuller, (Robert H. Schuller) now sadly deceased, gives us a look at Jesus from his perspective.

‘Jesus Christ was the greatest mountain climber of all times. He climbed all the way to the top of the mountain of Calvary. And from that point He has been conquering the hearts of men and women for two thousand years. From His mountain peak, Jesus Christ won my heart.’

And isn’t that the glorious truth Friends? Jesus climbed to the top of Calvary and offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf, and for that selfless, ever-LOVING deed, He won our hearts hands down!

So why aren’t we showing more of that selfless LOVE to our brothers and sisters like he did eh? Who knows my people, who knows?

I guess there must be a myriad of reasons, but I suggest the strongest general one is that we are too enamoured of the world and its bright, lustful but worthless things, and not interested enough in Jesus and the things of heaven.

But remember that Jesus warned us to seek the kingdom of heaven first, that should be our number one priority, then our heavenly Father would add all those things that we need here on earth to us, for He knows our needs. (Matt.6:33)

He also warned us that no man can serve two masters; we can’t serve God and the prince of darkness at the same time. (Matt.6:24) That double vision and sitting on the fence attitude will get us nowhere with either personage, because they both desire total obedience.

That brings us to our Bit: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.’

And let’s jump right away into Jesus’ teaching on prayer from the famous Sermon on the Mount. ‘And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites (pretenders) are: for they LOVE to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.

Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (inner room), and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.’ (Matt.6:5-8) That’s the truth in spades my people!

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘6:5-6. Praying, like giving, is to be done to the Lord, not to man. Jesus said that people LOVE to pray standing in the synagogues. Both a time and place for prayer were customary in the ancient Jewish synagogue (cf. Mark 11:25)

Therefore, Jesus is not condemning the practice of public prayer, but rather the misuse of it. Because of the statement enter into thy closet, some have suggested that all public prayer is wrong. This would be contrary to the rest of the New Testament statements about prayer, commandments and restrictions regarding prayer, and examples of prayer meetings (cf. Acts 12:12)

The principle here is that the believer should not make a show of his prayer nor the answers he receives to prayer in such a way as to call unnecessary attention to himself.’

‘6:7. Jesus warned that we use not vain repetitions (Gr. battalogeo denote babbling or speaking without thinking). Such prayer was characteristic of the heathen. A good example of this is found in the ecstatic babblings of the false prophets in the Old Testament and in the prophets of Baal who confronted Elijah on Mount Carmel (cf. 1 Kin.18:26-29).’

There we have it Friends! Prayer should be a humble, simple, often private, but sometimes public call to God, without a whole set of talking and repetition like we sometimes tend to do, figuring that the more we say, the more God will hear and answer. But that’s totally wrong my people. The Lord hears us the very first time.

After that, Jesus taught His disciples our foundation prayer, which is certainly worthy of hearing again. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:9-13)

And now my brethren, my fellow believers in Jesus, having said that prayer, let’s go forth to LOVE and serve our magnificent and magnanimous God nuh, with the awesome power of His Holy Spirit leading and guiding us this day and forever. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…prayer ought to be a heartfelt call…not a showboat act…

 

 

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