Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Oh, it’s been a very persistent drizzle; right from yesterday afternoon, through the night…and believe it or not, (smile) it’s still happening in my neighbourhood! So, this middle day of the week, Wednesday is wet and cloudy. It’s the kind of day we expected in April, you know, April showers that bring May flowers. But it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s May, and we still haven’t seen any flowers. What’s with that eh? But after a somewhat colder than normal April, the trees are now venturing to bud. 

And we’re laying it all at the feet of climate change. Now isn’t it strange that we always find something or someone else to blame for our problems rather than the usual cause, that’s ourselves? For sure! We don’t like to accept blame, even when it’s staring us full in the face. And our society is daily getting worse in that respect. But I’m not going to go any further into that topic, because it’s one fraught with all kinds of pitfalls. (smile) But rather, I’m going to revisit our Bit of yesterday, the reassuring and uplifting words of Jesus on prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) 

And why is that you ask? Simply because some of the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday never got shared, and I believe they are important enough for us to consider on the subject of prayer. And the first scripture we want to address is this one that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, when His heart was heavy and His spirit pretty low. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.’ (Mark 14:36) 

Yes friends, we need to note there, that although Jesus would have liked to be spared the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He was willing to bow to the Father’s will. We saw the same thing with Bruh Paul yesterday, when the Lord refused to remove the thorn from his flesh because it showed the Lord’s power more in his weakness. And that’s the same thing we must understand. God will not always answer our prayers, the way we want them, when our problems serve for His greater good. You can see that instead of taking away the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He gave Jesus the wherewithal to handle it, and likewise with Bruh Paul, He gave him the strength to handle whatever was the annoying thorn in his flesh. 

So please don’t be dismayed if we ask for relief in some way and the Lord provides it in a different way. Remember, whatever we ask for, must be in line with the Lord’s will, and there will be times, when we truly believe we need genuine relief from problems, but facing those problems will accentuate His glory and raise our maturity level, so He might just give us the strength to face them, instead of removing them completely. 

Then there is this very interesting and true statement from Jesus to the disciples, after He came and found them sleeping, instead of watching and praying with Him. He said to them: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye fall into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:38) And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Our flesh is easily ruled by our sinful nature, and we need to be in a state of spiritual perception to be able to resist the wiles and evil schemes which the enemy constantly throws at us. 

And the best way to do that is through prayer. For when we are praying, temptation cannot overcome us. Now listen to Jesus again to the disciples after telling them that He was the vine and they the branches. (John 15:5) ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you.’ (John 15:8) And that relates directly to the fact that we ask for whatever in Jesus’ name, because it’s only through His work on the cross and His name, that we have access to the Father. So only if we are His true agents and ambassadors, living His Word, will using His name work. 

And these words of James, Jesus’ brother, on the topic of prayer, really tell us how important it is in the believer’s life. He says: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) 

Yes my fellow saints, prayer should be our number ONE response to everything! As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) The Lord our God ought to be the first person we tell about any problem. Then He will direct us to the best road to take. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly says in Proverbs. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Truer words were never spoken or written my friends! That’s why we can turn to the first epistle of John to read and hopefully learn these most valuable lessons. ‘Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:21-22) 

Now the scholars give us a very good warning about those passages of scripture. ‘We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth by John in the earlier passages. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And that hits the nail right on the head my brethren! Prayer is non-functional unless we are living right. In other words, right living determines the successfulness of our prayers! And for those of us who are endeavouring to live right, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most 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 corollary to that is this: if we endure to the very end, then the future will be even more glorious and marvellous than we can ever ask or imagine! Now doesn’t that give us good reason to endure right down to the very end? It surely does! Much LOVE!

…and this is the confidence that we have in him…that if we ask anything…according to his will…he heareth us… (1 John 5:14) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Well, a good Tuesday morning to you my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! And may this day be an interesting and fruitful one in your life. And if you doubt it will be, then just do as that favourite song of ours declares: ‘Count your blessings, Name them one by one, Count your many blessings, and see what God has done.’ Yes friends, I think that’s a useful habit we should all cultivate: counting our blessings every day. 

And why is that you ask? Because we will find that we always have more blessings than troubles, and that will boost our spirits at the beginning of each day and enable us to surrender our all much more easily to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as we ought to, if we expect to have fruitful days. 

Unfortunately though, we humans, even Christian folk, seem to focus on our troubles more than our blessings, even though they are much fewer in number. And that’s the deceitful work of the enemy, as he tries to lower our faith and the sensitivity of our spirits, thus making us poor, unhappy, complaining and miserable apparitions of our true selves, which, in Jesus, are truly bright and glowing like the noonday sun! 

That brings us to this amazing scripture, the words of Jesus to His disciples, after He had cursed the 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) 

Oh my people that is indeed a magnificent and most powerful scripture, and if we believers would take it more seriously and practice it more often, many of us would not have the miserable and complaining lives we now have! It’s all about faith in Christ, about believing what He’s said from day one right down to now! So, let’s listen to Jesus once again as He pronounces on the awesome power of prayer. 

In His Sermon on the Mount, He offers this discourse. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt. 7:7-11) 

And right here, let’s turn to the scholars for some very good explanations on the subject of prayer. They say: ‘The three imperatives, ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! We have no excuses whatsoever for failing to become spiritually mature in Christ because we already have it all implanted in us; that’s the fruit of God’s Spirit, and we only need to water it and properly tend it with prayer, goodness and meditation on God’s Word, for it to grow into a beautiful example of Jesus Christ! 

And the scholars go on to further explain: ‘Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). 

When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matt. 6:9-15; John 14:14). Illustration: Jesus pointed out that God heard the prayer of a humble publican rather than that of a proud Pharisee (Luke 18:14). Application: God will answer our prayer when we obey Him (1 John 3:22), ask in faith (Mark 11:24), have pure motives (James 4:3), and live peaceably with our mate (1 Pet. 3:7). (First ref. Gen. 3:8-13; Primary ref. Matt. 7:7; cf. 1 John 5:14-15 ).’ 

Yes my brethren, prayer is very important in our Christian walk, and it must not be taken lightly, as so many of us do. And merely asking God for stuff does not constitute prayer. It calls for all the other things that the scholars mention above there. And most important of all, it calls for obedience to God, and then asking for things that fall within His will for our lives. And we have the perfect example of the latter when Bruh Paul asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh, and what answer did that great man of faith receive? 

The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor, 12:9a) So God did not answer Bruh Paul’s prayer there because it served His purpose more to leave him as he was. His awesome power would be even more noticeable in Bruh Paul’s weakness. And though Bruh Paul was obviously disappointed, listen to his response nuh. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

And who says our God doesn’t have sense of humour? I note that with a chuckle, because the Lord might have purposely led me to that scripture this morning, when I’m experiencing some serious joint problems and pain, and man’s medication and prayer don’t seem to be helping much. So, I guess I’ll just have to take pleasure in my infirmities and let God’s superior power shine through in my weaknesses. (smile) And there are many more scriptures we can note to show the power and importance of prayer, but that would take forever (smile), so let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh, share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with others, so they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…and Jesus spake a parable unto them…to this end…that men ought always to pray…and not to faint…not to lose heart… (Luke 18:1) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2019 James 5:16.

James 5:16.   ​Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.
 

 

Once more dear friends, once more unto the breach, for Christ’s sake, in His mighty name! Yes, the evil and ungodly walls of the world are just waiting to fall, to crumble to the ground, like those of Jericho did so long ago! They only need us, Christ’s saints to get going and walk our walk! 

Note, for the first six days the priests blew their ram’s horns, but the people only marched, only walked, didn’t say anything. Then on the seventh day, they marched around it seven times, blew their trumps and shouted, and those massive, seemingly impregnable walls of Jericho just cane crumbling down! 

Wow! It’s the same way the walls of our current world will come tumbling down if we do more Christian walking and Christ-like doing than the great amount of talking at which we’re so adept! (smile) 

And the first order of the day is to offer up some sincere and heartfelt prayer for Alyssa, the daughter of one of our Scrip-Bit family members, who’s undergoing some serious surgery this morning, as we speak. Please, let’s pray that the Lord will strengthen her, both in body and spirit so that she can undergo the rigours of the surgery – and believe me, surgery is very rigorous, takes a lot out of you. 

And that He will also guide the hands of the medical team doing the surgery, and finally bless the family with strength and faith so that they can accept His faithful promise to work everything out for good! In Christ’s name we pray! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘AMEN!’ 

Yes mih people, prayer ought to be as important to our Christian family of faith, as breath is to our earthly lives. For just like our physical body dies if it doesn’t have a refreshed and renewed air flow, so too does our spiritual man suffer death without continual sincere and heartfelt prayer. That’s because it’s our all-important method of communicating with our heavenly Father who created us and so generously gave us His breath of life! 

That’s why we’ve been instructed so often to pray. The Lord said it to Cousin Sol so long ago, when he dedicated the temple. ‘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 will I 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 (the temple).’ (2 Chr.7:14-15) 

And Jesus said it in even fewer 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) Ah friends, that’s where prayer power comes in. When we’re likely to falter and give up, that’s when we need prayer most! 

But then too, prayer isn’t just mouthing words. Listen to how Jesus puts it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive it.’ (Matt.21:22) And please note the most important word in that sentence is ‘believing.’ For prayer without belief, without faith is useless! And Bruh Paul says we should pray ‘always.’ (Eph.6:18) We should also pray ‘without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) As well as pray ‘everywhere.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Oh precious people of God, you can see how important prayer is in our lives. But another very important aspect of prayer is our praying for each other, not merely our selves. As James so eloquently tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’  

And several times in his epistles, Bruh Paul asked the receivers of those messages to pray for him, that he would stand strong and steadfast in Christ’s name and be effective in his ministry. And somehow, I can’t seem to find any but this one right now (smile) ‘Brethren, pray for us.’ (1 Thess.5:25) 

And James’ theory is proven oh so well by this bit of scripture from long, long ago. When the people of Israel complained about the lack of meat in the wilderness after coming out of slavery in Egypt, ‘it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled (aroused); and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts (outskirts) of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched (extinguished).’ (Num.11:1-2) 

Yeh friends, we learn two important lessons from that scripture; be careful of our complaining, for the Lord doesn’t take well to too much complaining, especially when He believes He’s doing a good thing for us. And secondly, the prayer of a righteous person can indeed be very effective. 

So with those two lessons burning through our souls, bodies and minds, let’s go home today declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings nuh. Blessings we haven’t earned, and don’t deserve, but which our great God, in His awesome generosity, has seen fit to bestow on us. 

All together now, in sincere appreciation: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes mih breddren, yes! What a magnanimous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus Christ so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…heavenly blessings are meant for generous sharing…not for selfish hoarding…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh my brethren, the Caribana holiday weekend is in full swing with lots of festivities happening all around the province, especially in and around Toronto. But that’s no excuse to stay away from church today. 

Most of you won’t remember the days when nothing of any relevance happened in the city on a Sunday until after lunch. That gave people a time to visit the Lord’s sanctuary and fellowship with others in worship, praise and thanksgiving, while receiving His blessings and confidence for the upcoming week. 

And though those times are long past, as true believers, we are now expected to make that decision for ourselves. So let’s make sure we give God some of our time today nuh. There’ll be lots left over afterwards for us to play and have fun and enjoy our lives. That’s exactly what He wants us to do, but only after we’ve spent some valuable time with Him. 

So as always, let’s begin with a song of praise, to both give God some glory and soften up our hearts to hear and receive His awesome Word. And today we will sing a hymn penned long ago by an interesting lady, Charlotte Elliot (1789- 1871) 

‘The first 32 years of her life were spent mostly at Clapham. In 1823 she removed to Brighton, and died there Sept. 22, 1871. To her acquaintance with Dr. C. Malan, of Geneva, is attributed much of the deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. 

Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse. Her hymns number about 150, a large percentage of which are in common use. The finest and most widely known of these are, “Just as I am” and “My God, my Father, while I stray.” Her verse is characterized by tenderness of feeling, plaintive simplicity, deep devotion, and perfect rhythm. For those in sickness and sorrow she has sung as few others have done.’ 

So let’s sing with that heartfelt and plaintive simplicity that her most popular hymn calls forth: ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the beauty of finding and coming to Jesus: You can do so just as you are! You don’t have to clean up yourself or anything like that, cause He will do all the cleansing and whatever else you might need, when you come to Him. Isn’t that great? It surely is! 

Any other deity wants you to come clean and polished, but Jesus, our humble servant and friend is willing and able to do the dirty work Himself, just like He washed His disciples feet when He was here on earth. (John 13:1-20) Yeh friends, Jesus welcomes with open arms, anyone who sincerely comes to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ It’s as simple as that! 

Once you’ve come to the end of yourself and realize you can’t get any further ahead on your own strength, all you have to do is turn to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him to come into your heart…and He will. Seek Him with all your heart, mind, body and soul…and you will find Him. And when He comes and knocks on the door of your heart… gladly and humbly open it and let Him in and say a joyful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

People believe that becoming a child of God is difficult, but on the contrary, it’s one of the easiest families to become a member of. However, living according to His rules and regulations and doing what He expects of us after we become His brother or sister, that could become somewhat difficult, because the Father seeks excellence and wants us to conform as much as possible to our Big Brother’s image, especially in terms of obedience. 

Oh, He knows that it’s impossible for us to be Jesus’ perfect clone, because He made us imperfect, but we still need to come as close as humanly possible, and He does help us. So if you’re down and dirty, sick and suffering, downtrodden and abused, and you just can’t take it anymore…please turn to Jesus, He will accept you JUST AS YOU ARE, and care and comfort you like no one else can. It only takes a simple, but faithful prayer request. 

Here’s how Jesus put it: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Yes friends, Jesus is the answer to ALL our problems…but we have to go to Him with a sincere and humble heart. Much LOVE!

…there is no other invitation in the universe like Jesus’…which asks so little…but delivers so much…that’s why it’s called…the Great Invitation…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 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.

 Ah Friends, once again it’s Friday…! And as usual there are loud and joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for bringing us safely through another week of work! Praise His Holy Name!’ 
 
Yes my people, we do indeed need to thank our heavenly Father for allowing us to successfully complete another week of life, both in the general world and in our particular place of work.
 
Many people can’t say that at all, so please let’s learn to appreciate the wonderful blessings we have, by giving some thanks and praise to our Creator and Provider, for without Him, we’d be all alone out on some lonely back street, languishing in abject poverty, as numerous others are unfortunately doing today.
 
And I don’t know why, but I got up a while ago humming the chorus to our old and dear hymn, ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus.’ And just in case it was a sign (smile) I decided to include it in our discourse today.
 
Please sing the first verse with me. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
 
Yeh mih breddren, we have such a wonderful Lord and Saviour, such a wonderful High Priest and Advocate, to whom we can carry all our cares and problems for sure help, yet we foolishly decline to do so. Thus we suffer, endure so many unnecessary burdens and cares. That’s not very wise my people.
 
Jesus is inviting us to bring ALL our troubles to Him (Matt.11:28-30), so that He can ease our sorrows and relieve our pains. So please, let’s be wise and gratefully accept His most generous invitation nuh. We’re only hurting and depriving ourselves of wonderful opportunities to live that abundant life which Jesus died to provide for us.
 
We quickly turn to fickle and fallible man for help, when our omnipotent God should ALWAYS be our FIRST source of help. Let’s try and rectify that unfortunate situation today nuh. Let’s focus on taking our prayers to God, like Bruh David does in this evening prayer of trust in God – Psalm 4.
 
He opens it with the sincere and endearing request of our Bit: ‘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.’
 
Friends, it’s simple and to the point. There’s no denying what he desires. And that’s all it takes to go to God; a sincere heart with a heartfelt plea. The Lord knows all our problems, but He requires us to come to Him to help us solve them. It’s true that He could solve them all with a simple snap of His fingers or a word from His lips, but that would make Him our lackey, rather than our Lord and God.
 
Please remember that we are in covenant with Him, and we need to perform our part in the covenant relationship, else the covenant becomes null and void. And today, since that’s the direction it seems our Lord wants us to go, we’ll look at a few instances where the importance and power of prayer are highlighted in the Bible, God’s divine Word to us.
 
And the greatest and best example of participating in prayer is obviously Jesus! The Good Book declares it thus: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12)
 
Ah Friends, if Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate Himself, still felt the need for prayer, who are we then, mere sinful mortals to think that we don’t eh?
 
And again, we turn to Jesus, this time as He positively promotes the act of prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22)
 
Oh my people, our Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and Atonement for our abominable sins said it, so it must be true!
 
And way back when, Isaiah declared this word from our God on the subject. ‘Even them (those who take hold of my covenant) will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for ALL people.’ (Is.56:7)
 
Oh my fellow believers, our God couldn’t be any clearer and simpler than that! His invitation is open to all those who are willing to accept it. So why don’t we do so today eh? Now that’s the million-dollar question! It’s not an idle or false and deceitful invitation like so many of man’s entreaties and advertisements.
 
We have oodles of examples, from Genesis to Revelation, where all the true servants of God prayed fervently to Him and received answers and benefits. So why are we so stubborn, so adamant in refraining from something that can only benefit us eh? I really don’t know nuh.
 
But in accordance with all we’ve written, we’ll go home with our own prayer today, our Friday Chant. No I didn’t forget, (smile) just thought it would be more appropriate today at the end rather than at the beginning.
 
So as one loud, grateful and prayerful voice, let’s chant: ‘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, it’s short and simple, but as James so wisely and truthfully tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses, sins) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16)
 
And when we follow that heavenly wisdom my people, we certainly won’t go wrong. Much LOVE!
 
…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that is the pilgrim’s role…