Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2020 2 Chronicles 7:15.

2 Chronicles 7:15.    ​Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.
 
Chuh! One more Sunday without physical corporate worship friends. But don’t worry, we’re drawing close to the day when the Lord’s sanctuaries will again be opened, and we’ll greet each other with hugs and kisses and handshakes and other physical greetings, as we sing and dance and enjoy physical fellowship together under one roof. (smile) As children of the Most High God Jehovah we must resonate with hope. And the restrictions are being slowly loosened, so it’s not like I’m totally talking out of my hat. 

Anyway, we’re still restricted from gathering physically to worship, but not through all the handy technological means we have today. So let’s get on with it nuh, let’s sing and dance and listen to the Word and gain confidence and enthusiasm and strength from it through our technological interaction, in our own personal spaces, adhering to the restrictions of physical distancing, but enjoying the social and spiritual closeness that we so badly need. And in these pandemic times, times of much anxiety and uncertainty, when our world is caught between a rock and a hard place with this Coronavirus that’s overwhelming us, we need a song of praise and worship that encourages and strengthens us and gives us hope for the future. 

And today we have one such song, most appropriately titled ‘God answers Prayer,’ sung by a young Jamaican lady who calls herself Da Flame. It’s a medium tempo soulful song, that details our many problems, but gives us hope, because we have someone who looks after us in our time of need. So in soulful harmony, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise and pleading to high heaven, drawing every emotion from deep down in our hurting and anxious hearts. ‘If you’re ever feeling down and like you have no where to go. If you’re feeling like an outcast as your problems overflow, just remember there is someone, and all it takes is for you to know, is that God is the answer, and God answers prayer. 

(Chorus: He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer) You may be broken and feel battered, but your strength will surely come, in the midst of all your heartache. Your battles are already won. Just remember in the hard times, don’t give up, don’t say you’re done, because God is the answer, and God answers prayer. 

(He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer. Oh He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for us. So let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer.’ 

Oh yes friends, that’s an indisputable fact: our great and faithful, merciful and gracious, forgiving and ever-LOVING God answers each and every prayer we offer up to Him with a sincere heart. He might not give us what we want when we want it, but He does answer our requests, with either an outright no, because it’s not in His will, a wait, not yet, or a definite yes.

And the one good thing that this Covid-19 disease is doing is turning more people than ever to prayer, because we realize that man made answers are not being quickly forthcoming, and when the chips are finally down, when we have no where else to turn, many of us turn to God, as our last resort, our final hope. 

And nothing’s wrong with that, although He should be our first avenue of help. The problem though is when we finally turn to Him and He doesn’t respond as quickly as we like, we get annoyed and go back to blaspheming and bad talking Him. But that’s another sermon for another day. (smile) Today we’re talking about Him answering our prayers. And that He certainly does, though not necessarily in our time. Remember He says that His thoughts and ways and timing are higher than ours, so one of the things we have to do is learn to wait on Him. He might take a while, but I can assure you, He’s NEVER late. 

And if you don’t believe me that He answers prayer, let’s look at a couple of scriptures that reassure us of it. Remember when Cousin Sol dedicated the majestic temple in Israel? Well he asked the Lord for one basic thing; if His children faltered in their obedience, but then returned and prayed at the temple, His house: ‘Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.’ (2 Chr. 6:35) 

And what was the Lord’s reply? ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) And we see it happen all the way through the Good Book, where the Israelites turned away from God, then turned back, and He heard their prayer and forgave them. The same thing goes for us today my brethren. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ 

Yes friends, God answers prayer, but our hearts, our motives must be right. Now are our hearts and motives right, are we being truly repentant in these pandemic times, or are we just mouthing platitudes, and as soon as He heals our land, we’ll go back to our old, wicked ways?  I don’t know, but He will certainly check it out first. 

And Bruh David verified that the Lord answers prayer, when he declared: ‘In the day when I cried thou answeredst (answered) me, and strengthenedst (strengthened) me with strength in my soul.’ (Ps. 138:3) And Jesus faithfully promised the disciples: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Meanwhile, John says it thus: ‘And whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

Ah mih people, our God does answer prayer, but there are indeed some requirements for us to meet. Much LOVE!

…answered prayer…calls for…sincere hearts…and true belief in Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.    ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
 
And at long last it does look and feel like spring! Wow! It’s such a beautiful, sun shiny day out there, clean and bright, with most of the trees now dressed in their greenery of spring, instead of the bare, dead-like branches they’ve had for way too long! And since it’s the beginning of the long Victoria Day weekend, you know that despite the pandemic and restrictions and what not, many of us are going to be gearing up for weekend celebrations. But friends, I implore us to be careful. 

In the first place, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Haven’t heard that for a long time eh? (smile) And the next thing is to remember that this Covid-19 sickness doesn’t take a holiday; it’s always on the lookout for somebody to infect. It’s like the devil, always on the prowl looking for someone to tempt and lead into deadly sin. So have some fun, more than we’ve probably had in a few months, but please, please, be careful, follow all the golden rules of this pandemic so that we can stay alive and enjoy the good and abundant life that Christ died for us to have! 

And since today is Saturday, we’ll mosey along and see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Aw shucks! He sent us only one quote all week! Wonder what’s up with him? I hope he’s not sick, haven’t caught this virus business. And we pray that whatever the reason, the Lord will rectify it, and that he’ll be back in business this coming week. But even the one quote he sent us is an interesting one: ‘LOVE yourself enough to work harder.’ 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I could certainly take that as my motto right now in these lazy, dreary, dispassionate days I’m now experiencing. Ah friends, what better motive can we get to work harder and better than a sincere desire to improve ourselves eh? Ofttimes we tend to work harder to please others rather than to please ourselves, but it’s ever so important for us to work towards the dreams and desires the Lord’s placed in our hearts. Otherwise what’s our purpose on planet earth eh? What good are those God-given desires if we don’t fulfill them eh? 

Bruh David puts it thus: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:3-4) Yeh friends, to truly achieve the desires of our hearts, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord our God, for He is the One who makes those desires come true! And as Bruh David said earlier from Psalm 21 – Praise for victory. ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not witholden (withheld) the request of his lips.   Selah. 

For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 21:1-7) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord planted desires in our hearts when He made us, and consequently only He can grant those desires, make them come true. And we turn once more to Bruh David’s writings (smile). ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. 

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:15-21) 

Ah precious people, everything in this world boils right down to LOVE: to achieve our desires and do God’s will, there must be true LOVE in our hearts for God, for ourselves and our fellow man. Remember Jesus’ words when asked which was the greatest commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Therefore my fellow believers, in these tremulous and rather turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance that we understand that LOVE must be the NUMBER ONE THING, the overwhelming factor in our lives, if we’re to successfully navigate and circumvent the calamity and exceedingly tough times that lay ahead of us. We can’t simply talk it, we need to show it in spades, for LOVE is an action word! 

And we’ll end today with these most fitting words of John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) It can’t be put any plainer and clearer than that friends! Much LOVE!

…true LOVE can only inflame our hearts and souls…if God is truly ensconced therein…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2018 John 17:15.

John 17:15.    I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).

And as one working day morphs into the next, we suddenly discover that it’s Friday…but another Friday with a twist; Friday the 13th, considered by many as an unlucky day, where all sorts of disasters happen. Hn! 

For a society that prides itself on being so advanced in our thinking, we surely don’t seem so forward thinking when we consider the many superstitions we still live under, like believing that 13 is an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is a day unleashed from hell itself. 

And the sad part is that no one really knows where most of these superstitions originated from, but they do abound in the most advanced society of mankind’s long history. But that particular superstition seems lost on the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday Song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and we don’t care if is Friday the 13th or whatever you want to call it. As far as we concern, Friday is the beginning of our party time, freedom from the bondage of work. So you can do what you want with your superstitions and them, but they won’t stop our having a good time come Friday. Wow! The weekend is here at last! Party animals get ready! As we thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, what a crazy world we live in, one where almost anything goes, as in the workingman’s song. But as followers of Jesus, we Christians cannot afford to be so footloose and fancy free. Yes, we are allowed to party and have fun, but with some rules and restrictions, where the workingman has none whatsoever. 

We’re in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives, and if we cater to the hedonism and licentiousness of the world we can get ourselves in serious trouble by allowing the enemy to breech our walls. That’s why Jesus set some boundaries for His followers. And consequently, our Friday Chant differs substantially from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh with heartfelt gratitude. 

‘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.’ 

Oh my believing brethren, we can never be reminded too often of the necessity to keep ourselves out of the evil clutches of Lucifer’s world, because he and his cronies are always looking for a way to inveigle us into something that doesn’t fit our status and standard as believers.

That’s why Jesus prayed in our Bit: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

Yeh friends, Jesus doesn’t want us to be taken out of the world, because we can only spread the good news of His gospel by being IN the world, but we should not be OF the world. In other words, a part of the evil world system, for how can we change it, if we are a part of it eh? Not very likely. So precious people of God, we need to live IN the world, but not do as the world does. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, please remember that the battle for supremacy is basically waged in the mind, so whatever the mind holds worthy, that is what we will do. That’s why, when we are born again we have to transform our minds, change our way of thinking from that of the world, to that of Christ, so that we can do God’s perfect will. 

And James puts it thus: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27) 

Oh friends, it is indeed difficult to keep ourselves unspotted from the world since it is so all-pervasive, abounding in every aspect of our lives. But if we are sincere and try our best, with God’s help, we certainly can. Now let’s close with these beautiful and encouraging words of John from His first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

How very true all of that is my fellow believers! All the stuff that the world holds dear will eventually be destroyed, but God’s will won’t.

So please, let’s stop kowtowing to the things of the world nuh; stop engaging in the lustful aspects of our sinful human frailty, stop allowing our flesh, our eyes and our pride to make us a part of the world. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…only by following God’s will…can believers be IN the world…but not OF the world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Ah friends, thankfully my area did not get the heavy precipitation of snow that some other areas apparently received overnight. There is a smattering of the white stuff here and there in disparate patches on the ground, but nothing to be concerned about. 

We did get lots of rain and brutal winds though. You could hear the wind howling outside and rattling stuff. Hopefully it didn’t do any serious damage to any buildings. 

The cold of morning, which seems bright and quiet enough, obviously did not stop the workingman from getting out on the street and lustily declaring his weekend anthem. ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord Friday come! The weekend finally here! What a time it going to be, with all sorts of riotous goings ons. 

Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! Party and more party! As the song says: ‘Party, party, party!’ Yeh mih breddren, we have to thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui, otherwise the slave driver would kill we with work everyday!’ 

And as always, there is some truth to the workingman’s song. It’s just that he is carried away by his exuberance. (smile) No doubt many of us Christians might feel the same way, but we know that we can’t just let it all hang, out otherwise we’re going to get in trouble with the enemy. 

That’s why our Friday Chant differs from that of the ordinary workingman. We set some boundaries and restrictions to our leggo beast tendencies, (smile) so that the evil, always lurking enemy cannot get a foothold in our business. And believe me, it’s very easy to go overboard and allow him in, when you are tired after a difficult week of work. 

So let’s declare our anthem with as much gusto and purpose as the workingman declared his nuh. As one now: ‘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 fellow saints of Jesus, that’s how we operate! We try to stay within the lanes of common sense as the values and directives of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dictates. And when we call upon our great God for help, He helps us to stay within those parameters which are dear to His will. 

As our Bit so explicitly and graciously declares: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

Now yesterday we saw what Isaiah and Revelations had to say about the Lord being our sun. Hear now how Malachi puts it as he talks about the coming day of the Lord. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves) 

And ye shall tread (trample) down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements.’ (Mal.4:2-4) 

Yeh friends, another great promise of our awesome God, but we also need to remember to live by His statutes and His law. It’s not going to happen regardless of our behaviour. 

Now hear this most significant promise of the Lord to Abram. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and they exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:10 ) 

And the scholars have this to say re that verse. ‘15”1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. 

The word “shield” is translated in other passages as “believed.” Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom (Gen.14:21-24). God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf. Ps.127:3).’ 

And we all know that God fulfilled that promise to Abram in magnificent and miraculous fashion! Just ponder it for a moment nuh; having a child around a hundred years old… That’s only possible with our omnipotent God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s cling with genuine faith to the many promises He’s made in His word, as we live in His will, for He who has promised is faithful to deliver. Much LOVE!

…Lo…children are a heritage of the Lord…and the fruit of the womb…is his reward… (Ps.127:3).

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2015 1 Corinthians 6:12

1 Corinthians 6:12.   All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (helpful): all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (anything). 

And then it was Friday Friends! Not soon enough for some, but nevertheless they declare in loud and joyful voices: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Wow! The weekend’s here at last, and I’m just going to go crazy over those two days away from tiresome labour! Thank You God for this Friday yes!’ 

Ah mih people, it is right to be happy over the two days off of work, but by the same token, we just can’t use them to go overboard, because then we’ll be of no use to anybody, including ourselves, come the beginning of the new workweek. And as believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ, we are expected to live balanced lives. 

For Remember what Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians in our Bit. ‘All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (helpful): all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (anything).’ 

Yes Friends, it’s not everything that’s lawful is right for us to do. As we saw in our recent Bit, ‘proving what is acceptable unto the Lord,’ we have to analyze every decision and see whether it’s acceptable to God or not. So though some of them might be lawful, they might not be acceptable to God. And wasting away the weekend in debauchery is certainly not acceptable to God. (smile) 

Now the scholars give us a good explanation of that verse. ‘6:12. Paul’s principles may be summarized in three words: Lawful, expedient, and power. The first is the principle of liberty. When Paul says “all things,” we cannot take this in an absolute sense. Obviously, what God forbids can never be allowed. 

Rather, it refers to those things about which the Scriptures are not explicit. Such matters are left to the Christian’s own judgement. The apostle is careful not to weaken the important doctrine of Christian liberty by leading these people back under Judaistic legalism. 

Rather, his intent is to circumscribe its application through proper restrictions. These are expressed in the principle of “expediency.” Not everything is beneficial. 

A second restriction is expressed in the words, I will not be brought under the power of any. This is the principle of self-control. Certain forms of indulgence become wrong when they bring the person into bondage.’ 

There you have it my people, we need to pay close attention to the expediency of things, even in our Christian liberty, and invoke that most difficult of tasks, self-control, in all that we do. 

Bruh Paul felt so strongly about that, that he chose to repeat it in a slightly different form, later on in chapter 10. ‘All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient (helpful): all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not (do not build up).’ (1 Cor.10:23) 

So my fellow believers, though many things are lawful and legal, not all of them are becoming re Christian behaviour. If they don’t edify, build us up, keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to God, then they should not be indulged in. 

And sometimes it’s not even so much indulging in those things, but more like overdoing them. And we have a perfect example in the way we spend the weekend. Nothing’s wrong with partying per se, but when we overdo it, get black up and start misbehaving, losing our self-control, then that’s certainly not expedient and useful to us. 

And that’s why we have our Friday Chant; to give us a better perspective on how to spend our precious two days off. So as one now, let’s chant it with some vim and vigour nuh 

‘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.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s more like how we ought to come up over the weekend; with rest, relaxation and fellowship, so that we can go back out next week fresh like a daisy, (smile) fully empowered, in both body and soul, to do Christ’s work. And that my brethren, should always be our first priority! 

Now on this summer Friday then, let’s get our thoughts together as believers, and with the necessary self-control and help of Jesus, make the right decisions on how to spend our weekend, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…it’s legal and lawful in man’s world…but is it right in the sight of God…that is the question…

 

 

 

 

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…