Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2015 1 Thessalonians 5:17

 1 Thessalonians 5:17 PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!

Ah Friends, it seems like the ole fella’s Easter Monday celebrations were a bit much for him, because he could not get up at a reasonable time this morning. Hn, hn! But the sad part is that the celebrations weren’t anything big, just a simple gathering of immediate family.

Now can that mean the ole fella is getting too old for even the simple celebrations? Definitely not! And I take great umbrage at anyone who endorses that erroneous idea! (smile)

For here are some great truths; the caffeine is hot and sweet and strong, and our great and LOVING God is still on His throne controlling His universe, which means all is well!

Now why wouldn’t things be okay eh, especially since the Father sent His only Son to be a sacrificial Lamb, to die for our sins, and then rise triumphantly from the grave a couple of days ago, so that our sins could be forgiven, our souls washed as white as snow, and we could be reconciled to Him?

That testimony Friends, I now put to us, should be the uppermost thought in our lives, not only at this Easter season, but all year round! We ought to let it buoy us up, keep us strong and faithful.

Just thinking about what Jesus did for us should raise our spirits to great levels and cause us to want to work diligently and ceaselessly to bring His Word and undying, unconditional LOVE to the heathen, to the unbelieving hordes.

And you know that’s all He really asks of us; to live according to His will and let others see the wonders He works in the lives of those who display total obedience to Him.

And I have a most appropriate and beautiful quote from my One More Day Devotional, Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. Someone in their innate wisdom gave me that devotional long before I even had any chronic illness. (smile) But this quote is attributed to one Hartley Coolidge, for whom I couldn’t find any proper info, although it seems he might have been the son of the famous British poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Anyway, Hartley is reputed to have made this statement which I’ve shared with you some time before, but it is so noteworthy that it needs to be shared again and again: ‘Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray if thou canst with hope, but even pray.’

Oh my people what wisdom and godly advice! Prayer should indeed be our number one response to our every problem and our every need. And further to that, here is how the devotional describes prayer. ‘Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continuously reminds me of all life’s forces.’

And is that ever so true my people! Prayer is our lifeblood, our lifeline to our Creator, and it should never be broken! We can’t afford to have it malfunction in any way whatsoever, otherwise our lives will lose all semblance of hope, of right and wrong, of faith, of good and bad, of God and the evil one. That means, as our Bit so rightly informs us, we should ‘Pray without ceasing.’

Now it doesn’t mean we should always be audibly praying, but we should constantly have an attitude of prayer about us, which will help us ‘maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’

That means Friends that prayer is ever so important in the life of a Christian. Even to the extent that Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8)

So whatever your geographical position or location, you ought to pray, espousing a pure and truthful life, without disputes and angry tensions.

Meanwhile Cousin Sol tells us in Proverbs that ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8)

Yes my people, our God delights in the prayers of His people. Nothing warms the cockles of His heart like when His people come to Him in sincere prayer. Remember that is our most important line of communication with Him. Prayer is so important that even Jesus, though being of the Godhead, resorted to it each and every day, in every situation.

Mark informs us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35)

Jesus made it a habit to pray, to get with God before He began His day, so the Spirit of God would be there to guide and lead Him on a right and true path, give Him the wisdom to make proper decisions.

Oh Friends, so do we also need to come to God in prayer, as early as possible on each day of our lives, so that we can receive the wisdom, strength and guidance to handle our day in a way that pleases God.

And we’ll end with this eye-opening situation, where Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And it came to pass, that, as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

And he said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (the evil one).’ (Luke 11:1-4)

There we have it Friends, the basic foundation of our foundational prayer! So as we go about our earthly pilgrimage in this wild, woolly and wicked world, please let us never forget to keep prayer uppermost in our hearts and lives, for that is God’s desire for us, as well as eternal wisdom on our part. Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray… and yet to pray…that is the substance of faith…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2014 Psalm 4:1.

Psalm 4:1.  Hear me when I call , O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.

And then it was Saturday…time for sleeping in late and all that good stuff! Chuh! Some of us just don’t have time for such luxuries nuh, we have to be up and about God’s business. (smile)  But our wonderful God rewards us in other ways, so we really can’t complain.

And talking about complaining, I believe that’s one of the serious problems in our society. We have been so spoiled by God’s goodness and mercy over the years, that now things have become somewhat rough, our pampered bodies and souls can’t handle it, and we end up complaining about small, petty things which makes us sound like spoiled brats.
 
The petty things that we complain about, 80 % of the world would gladly take, as opposed to the real serious problems they have. The technological and communications revolutions haven’t helped matters either, making us ever more in need for speed and dependent on them, so that when they fail, or break down, as man made things are wont to do, we get very testy and impatient.
 
Impatience is another one of the great flaws of our Western society, and we exemplify it even in our prayers to Almighty God. But God knows what we need and what we want, and gives it to us at the right time, if He sees fit.
 
But many of us turn away from God because of the foolish reasoning that we prayed, waited – possibly for a couple of hours or days – and didn’t receive what we prayed for, be it legitimate or fanciful, and then decide that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t truly answer prayer.
 
But Friends, I’m here to tell us that that’s just another one of the enemy’s cruel deceptions. Our God is alive and on His throne, in control of everything! And He does hear and answer prayer – sincere ones that is, those which come from a heart with pure and sincere motives.
 
And our Bit aptly demonstrates that, as Bruh David cries out to the God of his fathers. ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’  
 
Obviously the Lord had heard his prayer of distress sometime before and had helped him out of it. That only boosted Bruh David’s faith, as it should ours, when God faithfully answers our sincere prayers.
 
And once again we’ll proclaim that the greatest example of the need for prayer comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Yesterday we highlighted a scripture passage which showed His prayerfulness (Luke 6:12).
 
Today we’ll highlight another one. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35)
 
And since that comes from God’s Word, my brethren, that means it’s gospel truth! So, as we also said yesterday, if Jesus felt the need for prayer, why should we, mere mortals, not feel it too eh? We’re just too full of foolish pride and stubborn, rebellious ego, thinking that we’re so great, when all we are is a collection of fallible flesh and bones, which eventually returns to the dust from which it was formed.
 
Anyway, let’s look at some more scriptures which highlight the importance of prayer. Listen to the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8)
 
And the scholars say of that: ’15:8. The best that the wicked can offer God religiously is completely rejected.’ For good reason too!
 
Meanwhile, in Acts, after the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on ALL believers, and the Christian communal community was growing at a fast rate, the apostles decided that they had more important things to do than running around doing pantry duty. (smile)
 
‘It is not reason (desirable) that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore brethren, look (seek) ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.’ (Acts 6:2-4) And that’s when Stephen was chosen.
 
And then, as today’s last example, there’s Bruh Paul, who, in his usual zealous fervour, tells the Philippians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness, reasonableness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (His coming is imminent).
 
Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7)
 
Yes my people, there’s no greater service that we can perform than prayer…with some thanksgiving too!
 
So let’s take that wonderful advice of Bruh Paul’s to heart nuh, and thus reform and/or reinvigorate our prayer lives, and consequently the lives of all those around us. That’s the wisdom of God, my fellow believers! Much LOVE!
 
…when we pray…we communicate with our heavenly Father…the One who created us…and who controls our life strings…and without whom we can’t do anything substantial…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2014 Psalm 66:19

Psalm 66:19.    But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new day! Wow! One filled with joy and LOVE, peace, mercy, forgiveness, grace and all the other wonderful things that our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God is famous for! So let’s give Him some warm, heartfelt thanks and praise this Sunday morning nuh, both here and in His sanctuary.
 
Please pray with me: ‘Lord God of heaven and earth, this Sunday morning Your grateful children praise and bless You for allowing us to see another fabulous day filled with Your LOVING-kindness!
 
We give you plenty, plenty thanks for it all… especially for Jesus Christ, our BELOVED Lord and Saviour, who sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be reconciled to You! Please accept this, our sacrifice of praise and thanks!
 
You know deep down that we LOVE You, it’s just that sometimes our sinful nature gets in the way. Please help us to overcome it, so that we can walk in perfect righteousness with You. This we pray, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’
 
Yeh mih people, prayer is certainly a wonderful thing!
 
Consequently, let me remind us of this quote by Hartley Coolidge, which I think I’ve shared before, but is important enough for us to hear again, since most things don’t filter into our souls until we hear them over and over again.
 
And Hartley says: ‘Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray, if thou canst with hope, but even pray.’
 
And that my fellow believers we all know is heavenly truth, but unfortunately, too often we neglect to put it into action and thus prevent ourselves from communicating more fully with Almighty God.
 
Now here is a definition of prayer, taken from the One More Day Devotional. ‘Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continually reminds me of all life’s forces.’ 
 
Now that’s how prayer should affect us, my brethren – fulfilling our spiritual needs and bringing us even closer to our awesome Creator!
 
And all of that build up finally brings us to our Bit: ‘But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.’
 
Ah mih people, prayer is so important in a believer’s life that every great man of God has enshrined it their lives!
 
So let’s look at some scripture from some of these godly men that highlight prayer. And with my known bias towards Bruh David (smile) we’ll begin with some of his heartfelt words.
 
In Psalm 4; an evening prayer of trust in God, he soulfully implores his Maker: ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged  (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious unto me), and hear my prayer.’ (Ps.4:1)
 
Then in Psalm 5; a prayer for protection, he sincerely pleads: ‘Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my meditation (groaning). Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.’ (Ps.5:1-3)
 
Oh Friends, you can’t get any clearer or plead more sincerely than that!
 
Meanwhile Cousin Sol in his God-given wisdom, solidly maintains: ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:3)
 
And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Our wonderful God takes great delight in hearing the prayers of His servants! Please never forget that! Whatever the problem, Jehovah God is always there ready, willing and able to respond to our sincere prayers and answer them.
 
That’s one of His many promises, and we know that He keeps them all faithfully. So don’t ever doubt, or hesitate to call on Him, because that’s what He is there for, and it’s also what He greatly desires of us. 
 

And we’ll end, as we like to do, whenever possible, with the best advice from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He spoke these faithful words after withering up the unfruitful fig tree.
 
‘And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:20-22)
 
Awright mih breddren, awright! Words of truth from our Saviour Himself! 
 
And as always, they are simple and straightforward, so there’s nothing left for me to say, but to plead with us to accept them and diligently follow them, so that our lives will be even more enriched with God’s LOVING-kindness! Much LOVE!
 
…believe…and ask IN PRAYER…and you shall receive…  
 
P.S. Sorry for the Bit being late Friends, but I’ve been trying to stave off a cold for the last few days, but it stubbornly refused to be staved off (smile) It hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday and reduced my efficiency. But as you can see, though it might make the Bit late, it certainly won’t stop it! And that’s much more a testimony to our heavenly Father’s faithfulness than to my doggedness! Much LOVE!