Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2021 1 Thessalonians 6:17.

1 Thessalonians 6:17.     Pray without ceasing.

It’s Thursday…the first day of July! That means it’s Canada Day! Our Independence Day! And celebrations are in order. Unfortunately though, the problems of the pandemic and racial problems, plus the recent discoveries of several unmarked, unknown burial sites of Indigenous children has marred the celebratory attitude. Many are calling for a boycott of the celebrations, but that won’t change the past, and we all know that every country in the world has some very unpleasant skeletons from terrible atrocities hidden in its closet, that’s just the nature of nation building followed by mankind down through the ages. 

Canada is still one of the best countries in the world, and if we try to tear down all the other good things we’ve built, there will be no going forward, just backward. We need to temper the harshness with some wisdom and common sense, using education and reconciliation and truth to handle this unpleasant news. 

So, despite the heaviness that’s currently sitting on the conscience of our country, I’m wishing us a Happy Canada Day! Celebrate with a modicum of reservation, appreciating the hurt that many others are experiencing today. Right now, our world is such an angry and negative place with so little positivity and compassion that we don’t need any more to drag it further down into the mire. And while looking through our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, I came upon this poem which I believe typifies our lives, and thus the current state of our world. It’s rather appropriately titled ‘The Reason.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation? Why am I often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all. God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of Your shining Presence? God, why? Why? — Because you pray so little.’ 

And isn’t that an awesomely accurate portrait of so many of us, and consequently our world in these trying times, in these last days? It certainly is! There is indeed much more negativity than LOVE and compassion! The prince of darkness has our world in the palm of His hand and is trying to squeeze the very life blood out of it. And one of the reasons why that’s possible is because we supposed believers in Jesus Christ don’t pray enough, therefore we are not divinely inspired enough to get up and fight, to beat back the enemy. 

So what’s the answer eh? Obviously, we have to begin by praying more, by sincerely seeking Jesus more, giving Him a bigger space and place in our lives than we’re currently doing. Remember, He’s the answer to ALL our prayers, the calm in the storm, our refuge and fortress, and all those other good things! But if we don’t communicate with him, pray and acknowledge His power and presence, we won’t be able to handle the enemy who’s so intent on coming against us. And the Bible verse that’s used as the promise for our poem are the simple but very powerful words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) 

It could not be any simpler or clearer than that my fellow saints in Christ! Prayer is the ultimate means of communication with our heavenly Father, and just as we don’t get much from our earthly fathers if we don’t talk or communicate with them, likewise, lack of communication with God, does little or nothing for us. Bruh Paul said it thus to the Ephesians, when he told them about putting on the armour of God to fight the enemy. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) 

Yes friends, even with God’s powerful armour encasing our souls, prayer is still necessary to make it all work. And if you still don’t believe that prayer is absolutely necessary, then listen to these words of Jesus as He rebukes His inner circle in the Garden of Gethsemane when He, Himself went to pray at the most anguished time of His earthly life, the night before His crucifixion. They were supposed to be watching with him, but had fallen asleep. ‘He saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt. 26: 40-41) 

And we know that’s the gospel truth friends! Our flesh is by nature weak and sinful, so we need the power of the Spirit, the grace of God to be truly strong. Now one last word from Jesus on the subject of prayer. Luke opens chapter 18 with these telling words. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) He could not be more definitive than that my brethren! And we all know that prayer was Jesus’ most powerful passion. As Mark immortalizes it in his gospel. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

So friends, if the Son of God found it necessary to pray often, to have close communication with His heavenly Father, why would we, mere mortals, finite creations, not have the same expectation and desire eh? I’ll leave that question for each of us to answer in our own way and time. (smile) In the meanwhile, for those of us who are sincerely trying to make a difference, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!) our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’  

Now it’s time for us to go out and share those blessings just as generously with those we meet on our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most important tool…in a Christian’s tool kit…                                                                                    

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