Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2017 Psalm 55:16.

Psalm 55:16.   As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.

‘Alive! Still alive! Still alive and kicking! Give God the glory!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella is still alive and kicking! What an honour! 

That means God still has some plan for me to accomplish. And though I might not be kicking as healthily and actively as I’d like, once I’m alive, I have hope that things can get better. But if I’m not alive, things can’t get any better here on earth. (smile) 

So let’s praise our wonderful God and give Him much, much thanks for everyday we open our eyes to a bright new morning with Jesus the focus of our lives. Glory to God! 

So it’s Friday and the workingman is overjoyed at his short stint of upcoming freedom, and understandably shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! No more labour till Monday! We going to laugh and sing and party like there was no tomorrow…

For who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! So let’s party up a storm and enjoy the fruits of we labour nuh like Cousin Sol, the wisest man ever, advised. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend oui!’  

And Cousin Sol did advise that my friends, but I don’t think he meant for us to go overboard with it, as the workingman seems to advocate. I believe he would have liked to see some boundaries, boundaries that did not allow the enemy to get into our lives. 

He’d much prefer a statement along the lines of our Friday Chant, which advocates a tad more circumspection. So let’s give voice to our Friday Chant nuh…declare it like we truly mean it. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, I guess that’s what you’d call erring on the safe side (smile). But there is an enormous benefit to it; spending more time with God and less with the enemy! And anytime we can do that, we’re winning the battle of life. 

That brings us to our Bit; the proclamation of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – the cry against deceitful friends. In the midst of it all, he faithfully and boldly declares: ‘As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.’ 

What awesome faith my brethren! How many of us boldly make such declarations when the trials and tribulations of life are coming against us eh? Not as many as should, I’d dare to say. 

When times are good, we talk a good talk, but when they get rough, the exact time when we desperately need God, too many of us forget Him, give up hope and allow the ever-lurking enemy to confuffle us even further. That’s foolish, unproductive and ungodly behaviour my fellow believers, which severely detracts from our faith walk. 

Instead, we should be declaring powerful acclamations like Bruh David did after our Bit: ‘Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.’ (Psalm 55:17) Yeh precious people of God, when our prayers are constantly being floated up to heaven, we are assured of more assurance in our faith walk. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) And the scholars tell us that ‘the constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude (even) in the face of adversity.’ 

What more can we ask eh friends? Not a whole lot. To be grateful in the rough times is the mark of a true believer. And Bruh Paul also exhorted Timothy to prayer when he wrote. ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

So again we see that prayer should not only be constant, but it can be done anywhere, preferably ‘with a pure life without disputes.’ 

And we won’t forget to mention Jesus’ advice on the subject. ‘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) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ’18:1. To faint means to “lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ Exactly the message I’ve been trying to covey my fellow believers. 

Now we’ll close with a powerful example of what we’re talking about. It’s about Daniel, when his enemies plotted against him and had the king sign a law that forbade anyone to ‘ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.’ (Dan.6:7b). 

They knew that the only way they could get to Daniel was through his God. But Daniel was not perturbed. The Good Book tells us: ‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing (written decree) was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a (that) day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime (had been doing all along). 

Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.’ (Dan.6:10-11) 

And we all know the story how Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den but the Lord stopped them from harming him. 

Oh friends, examples like Daniel have been placed in the Word to encourage and uplift us, so that we too can take courage in the efficacy of prayer. Please, let’s use them productively nuh, like our caring and compassionate God intended. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and still yet to pray…that is the answer…

 

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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…