Prayer Room … — Father Says…

As we build this community prayer platform, we ask the Lord to listen to our petitions with full confidence they not only are heard but acted upon by God according to His holy will. These requests are on my prayer list and I hope you consider putting them on yours as you place your petitions […]

Prayer Room … — Father Says…

Hymn of the day – O thou who camest from above

O thou who camest from above
the fire celestial to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart.

There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return
in humble prayer and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work and speak and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire
and still stir up thy gift in me.

Still let me prove thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make my sacrifice complete.

Words by Charles Wesley, 1762

The Rochester Choir performs this song here, for your listening pleasure:

Lord’s day joy – James Smith

A beautiful prayer from Maria that I wanted to share.

Pilgrim’s Progress revisited ~ Christiana on the narrow way

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…God came down in the person of the Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, first filling the house, and then the persons of the saints. Thus qualifying his people to testify for him, publish his truth, and conquer their every foe. That Spirit is still in the church — but more of the power and grace of that Spirit is needed by the church, and therefore we should still cry, “O that you would come down!”

God comes down now — and meets his people in their prayer-closets, giving them sensible manifestations of his presence, impressions of his power, and proofs of his love. He comes down into the sanctuary, and makes the place of his feet glorious. Then his word is powerful, devotion is sweet, and the communion of saints is delightful. He comes down into the heart, fills it with joy and peace, makes it his royal…

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Why pray to God?

I found a helpful article today from eBible.com explaining why prayer to God is as essential for the follower of Christ as breathing.

Here it is, courtesy of S. Michael Houdmann:

For the Christian, praying is supposed to be like breathing, easier to do than to not do. We pray for a variety of reasons. For one thing, prayer is a form of serving God (Luke 2:36-38) and obeying Him. We pray because God commands us to pray (Philippians 4:6-7). Prayer is exemplified for us by Christ and the early church (Mark 1:35; Acts 1:14; 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31; 6:4; 13:1-3). If Jesus thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should also. If He needed to pray to remain in the Father’s will, how much more do we need to pray?

Another reason to pray is that God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining His solutions in a number of situations. We pray in preparation for major decisions (Luke 6:12-13); to overcome demonic barriers (Matthew 17:14-21); to gather workers for the spiritual harvest (Luke 10:2); to gain strength to overcome temptation (Matthew 26:41); and to obtain the means of strengthening others spiritually (Ephesians 6:18-19).

We come to God with our specific requests, and we have God’s promise that our prayers are not in vain, even if we do not receive specifically what we asked for (Matthew 6:6; Romans 8:26-27). He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15). Sometimes He delays His answers according to His wisdom and for our benefit. In these situations, we are to be diligent and persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7; Luke 18:1-8). Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God’s will done on earth. God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.

For situations in which we do not know God’s will specifically, prayer is a means of discerning His will. If the Syrian woman with the demon-influenced daughter had not prayed to Christ, her daughter would not have been made whole (Mark 7:26-30). If the blind man outside Jericho had not called out to Christ, he would have remained blind (Luke 18:35-43). God has said that we often go without because we do not ask and when we do ask we “ask amiss” (James 4:2-3). In one sense, prayer is like sharing the gospel with people. We do not know who will respond to the message of the gospel until we share it. In the same way, we will never see the results of answered prayer unless we pray.

A lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and a lack of trust in God’s Word. We pray to demonstrate our faith in God, that He will do as He has promised in His Word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for (Ephesians 3:20). Prayer is our primary means of seeing God work in others’ lives. Because it is our means of “plugging into” God’s power, it is our means of defeating Satan and his army that we are powerless to overcome by ourselves. Therefore, may God find us often before His throne, for we have a high priest in heaven who can identify with all that we go through (Hebrews 4:15-16). We have His promise that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much (James 5:16-18). May God glorify His name in our lives as we believe in Him enough to come to Him often in prayer.

See http://www.gotquestions.org/why-pray.html

Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past – Poem by C.T Studd

Beautiful ephemeral flower

“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

— extra stanza —
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”
C.T Studd

Celebrating Christmas

God, our loving Father, help us remember the
birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of
the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and
the wisdom of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love
all over the world.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which
Christ brings and teach us to be merry with
clean hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy
to be your children and the Christmas evening
bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94)

What a friend we have in Jesus

The Lord kindly brought this old hymn to mind while I was sitting at work feeling a little down. It made me smile and was a comfort. I hope it blesses you too:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

(Joseph M. Scriven, 1855)

Send me sleep

This is a favorite prayer of mine before bed-time. It may be short but it says a lot faith-wise in few words.

May it be a blessing to you too.

Lord, send me sleep that I may live;
The wrongs I’ve done this day forgive.
Bless every deed and thought and word
I’ve rightly done, or said, or heard.
Bless relatives and friends alway;
Teach all the world to watch and pray.
My thanks for all my blessings take
And hear my prayer for Jesus’ sake.

Author unknown. The painting is by Roberto Ferruzzi (1854 – 1934, Italian).

The glory of creation

“O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.”

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918)

A Work Prayer

A few days ago I felt anxious about taking over my boss’s role while she is away over Christmas. I was wanting to ensure that if I said “yes” to my company, I was remaining in the Lord’s will and not doing things in my own (limited) strength. I feared being asked to take on responsibilities above my ability to manage.

So I posted up prayer requests at National Prayer Bank (which is USA-based) and the Australian version of this site too. A kind man called Roy got back to me from the Australian site and recommended some helpful Christian links. One of the links recommended was http://ydyc.org/.

While searching on this site I came across a lovely work prayer that gave me hope. I’ve posted it near my desk for inspiration and wanted to share it with others. Here it is:

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for supplying my needs today from your abundant resources.

Thank you for freely giving me your peace, in exchange for anxiety. Your love, in exchange for fear. Your joy, in exchange for heaviness. Your faith, in exchange for doubt. Your strength, in exchange for weariness.

Lord Jesus, your Word tells me that the same Spirit that raised you from the dead dwells in me. I need your power to help me to be in the world, but not of the world.

I yield myself to you and ask the Holy Spirit to enable me to be efficient, creative and honest. Help me to work today with integrity, diligence, self-control, faithfulness and forgiveness.

Your Word also declares that, if I lack wisdom, I can ask you and you will give it generously. I need your wisdom today, Lord Jesus, to enable me to make correct choices.

In the Name of Jesus I forbid the enemy’s schemes that would rob me of productive time by attacking me emotionally, mentally, physically or financially and claim your protection in every area of my life.

Help me to sow seeds of life, bringing encouragement and edification to those I meet. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for opening opportunities to share your love today.

Helpful scripture resources:

Jeremiah 32:17:
“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee…”

Daniel 11:32:
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”

Hebrews 10:19:
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…”

Philippians 4:19:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:11:
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you”

1 John 2:15:
“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.”

James 1:5:
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5:
“(for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Ephesians 3:20:
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”

I trust you found the work prayer helpful.

As a postscript to this article, I was so encouraged when the Lord answered my prayers very promptly and gave me grace in my boss’s eyes. Several kind people posted up encouragements on National Prayer Bank (USA site), saying they were praying for me.

I then had a meeting with my boss (shortly after posting up my prayers online) that was very reassuring. She listed down all the tasks I will be responsible for while she is away and I saw that this was – thankfully – fair and manageable. Praise God! With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Until next time, Lord willing.