Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 May 2023 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.       He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought to pray and not faint.

Now what’s happening weatherwise eh? Last Wednesday I said that that would be three consecutive days of bright sunshine, and this Wednesday, we’re still counting. (smile) As the old folks would say, beware of what you ask for, for when you get it, you’ll realize that it was not all it was cracked up to be. And so many steady days of sunshine without even a drop of heavenly blessing is definitely not good. Just note the heat and lack of rain that caused the wildfires out in Alberta, that by the way, are still burning. It’s never good to have too much or too little of anything…well, except where sin is concerned – a little is always good. (smile) 

But since we’ve tampered with God’s finely tuned and balanced weather systems with all the pollution we’ve released into the atmosphere and the water, there’s not much we can do about it, except to pray. Some of us are making a rather belated effort to try and clean things up, but climate change didn’t happen overnight, it took some time to get to this stage where we’re feeling the dastardly effects. 

And it’s not that we weren’t warned about the dangers of polluting our atmosphere and water a long time ago, but in the usual high-handed, arrogant manner of mankind, we, or rather those in power and those whose wealth would be affected by any reduction of the pollution, refused to believe that negative stuff could happen if we continued our stubborn, greedy activities. 

Now we’re paying the price for it. And would you believe that there’s a sizeable portion of our population that still don’t believe that climate change is a reality at all, much less a worsening one. And as always, it’s mainly those in a position of power and wealth, who stand to lose the most if cleaner methods of production were instigated. That means, no real improvement can be implemented if those who have the power to make a difference don’t agree to do so. So what do we do eh? 

As I said before, pray. That’s our most powerful weapon. And all of us pray to some God or other, and we claim to believe in prayer, so it’s time for us to shut up and put up! It’s time for us to unite, despite our faith, get down on our knees and pray that the negative and very difficult situations that are already causing calamity all around the globe, would be changed, or at least slowed down or halted by the blessed hand of our powerful and merciful God. Individually, we also need to do whatever we can to lessen pollution. It might just be a small deed like not throwing plastic in the water or the land fill, but each individual act when put together can make some significant difference. 

Although, who knows if we stop all our polluting that our weather systems and the chunk we’ve taken out of our protective ozone layer would return to its original state? Maybe we’ve already gone too far, and we now have to grin and bear the calamitous effects that are coming our way. However, some of us do believe in the God who created the universe and all therein, that’s the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom we believe can do anything He so desires. And how do we communicate with this magnificent Deity, through the medium of prayer, which is basically talking to Him, expressing our desires and listening to Him as He answers our prayers. 

And there’s no more telling duty or requirement in all faiths than to pray. In the Christiaan faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made that very clear when He advised His followers thus. ‘He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought to pray and not faint.’ (Luke 18:1) That’s mankind ought to keep on praying and not lose heart or give up, for prayer is the most important privilege we have, and we must use it. 

And being the honourable kind of man He was, He didn’t give advice and not keep it Himself, like the scribes and Pharisees did. While down here on earth, though being God, a member of the Holy Trinity, He always made time to pray to the Father in heaven, so that He could know the Father’s will, and have His human spirit be replenished to enable Him to fulfill His destiny. And there’s no better example of that than on the night before His crucifixion, when He was filled with anguish and torment over the upcoming ‘sufferation’. He repaired to the Garden of Gethsemane and devoted Himself to prayer. 

Three times He cried out to His Father asking if the cup of ‘sufferation’ could be removed, ending each time with the statement, ‘not my will but thine be done.’ (Matt. 26:39) But He received no answer whatsoever. That’s because He knew, as well as the Father did, that there was no other way to forgive the abominable sins of man righteously and justly without Him paying the high, dehumanizing price it required. The Bible, God’s Word says: ‘For the wages of sin is death.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

That means for sin to be considered paid for, death has to occur. And not any ordinary human being, but someone who was sinless. And since Jesus was the only sinless person available, the awful task fell to Him. And though the Father did not answer Jesus’ prayer, the gospel of Luke tells us that in his time of agony, that ‘He prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was like it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.’ (Luke 22:43-44) 

So, the Father did not leave Him completely hopeless; He strengthened Him so that He could perform the necessary task. And that’s how He often is with us too. We might want to get away from something, but in His will or plan for us, He believes it necessary for us to go through the trial, so instead He gives us the grace, the strength, the anointing to face the problem. And we should also note what Jesus said to the disciples in the Garden when He found them sleeping instead of praying. ‘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 that’s the gospel truth my people, our spirit is willing to keep us praying, but our flesh is weak and doesn’t want to do it. That’s why Bruh Paul in all his missives advised his readers to pray. To the Thessalonians he wrote: ‘Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18)

 Meanwhile to the Ephesians at the end of his treatise on putting on the armour of God (Eph. 6:10-17) he exhorted them: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) So although one puts on the protective armour of God, prayer is still essential to making it work. 

Oh my fellow saints, please,  let’s understand that the Christian life is based on prayer, and it’s to our benefit, not God’s, to have a good prayer life. Now, for those of who know and understand that and try to implement it, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And the beauty of it all friends, is that if we endure right down to the very end with Jesus, then that future will be even more glorious that we can ever ask or imagine! Let’s therefore use that as encouragement and inspiration to stick with Jesus right to the very end nuh! Much LOVE!

…prayer is our biggest privilege…and like most things…if we don’t use it…we lose it… 

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