Tuesday, 24 July 2012

...Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.'

Summary of UCB Word for Today:

1.  If you are wise, when God talks you'll listen. And He will talk to you through the Bible.

2.  Your faith grows when you hear God speak, and it works when you do what He says.

3.  If you struggle to lead a victorious Christian life, read these words carefully: 'How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word' (Ps119v. 9 NKJV).

4.  The solution to every problem you face is contained in Scripture.

5.  To be wise you must study it.

6.  To be strong in faith you must believe it.

7.  To be successful in life you must practice it.

Have a fantastic day.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Be devoted to prayer (2)

Be devoted to prayer (2)
Like I said in my previous post, when I was in Hong Kong in June; I had the opportunity to attend the Ambassador International Church on Sunday, 3rd of June.  The speaker was Henry Craig who spoke on “People at Prayer”.  I was really blessed by the message because I believed it was a balanced message on prayer.  This is the second part of the summary of the message.

A child praying to a Father
When we have needs, we should turn in prayer to our heavenly Father. Sometimes it is our last resort rather than our first.   It should be our natural instincts to pray about our needs, concerns and blessings.  We bring the matter to the Lord and it helps us in our understanding.  Remember that you worship a powerful God when you feel powerless.  No matter what we face, we should always come to your heavenly father in prayer as a child comes to a Father. An example was when Jehoshaphat was in danger in 2 Chronicles chapter 20, he prayed to God saying “We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you” 2 Chronicles 20:12. 

When we sin against God - A prayer of repentance, confession, guilt and repentance 
This is when we bring to God the things we haven’t done and we ask him to forgive us.  A good example is in Psalm 51.  David started off with these words “have mercy on me according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion and wash away my iniquity”.  Don’t run away from God when you sin.  Go to Him and ask him to cleanse you.  David took responsibilities for his actions, let’s do the same.  He claims God’s compassion and abandoned himself to God’s mercies.  He shows even deeper insights when he said, “against you alone have I sinned’.  His sin was a rebellion against God as all sins are; repentance is taking sides with God against ourselves. 

We do not need to appease God or seek his approval.  Biblical Christianity is about acknowledging our helplessness and the sacrifices God requires is a broken and contrite heart.  We cannot save ourselves.  1 John 2:1-2 says that:

“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.  He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world”

Persistence in prayer
Paul’s practice was to pray for new Christians.  In Colossians1:9, he said that “We have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you”.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 asks us to pray continually or without ceasing; that is we should not stop praying.  The book of Acts shows us that the early Christians prayed daily in one accord, devoted themselves in prayer and they prayed for deliverance and safety

Call to action
Since prayer is keeping company with God and it is fellowship with the Almighty. I urge you to be devoted in prayer, remain persistence in prayer, and remember to put God at the centre of your prayers.  In conclusion, we ought to live in a way that we believe that praying makes a difference.  I leave you with these verses in Revelation 8: 3-4

“Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.”

Be devoted to prayer.



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

People at Prayer (1)

I was recently in Hong Kong and I had the opportunity to attend the Ambassador International Church on Sunday, 3rd of June.  The speaker was Henry Craig who spoke on “People at Prayer”.  I was really blessed by the message because I believe it is a balanced message on prayer.  The summary of the message was:

The necessity of a daily prayer live
Jesus is our example, he knew what to pray about, how to pray and he prayed daily.  He taught this valuable principle by example - ‘Prayer is keeping company with God; it is fellowship with the Almighty.  He told his disciples to always pray and never give up.  He prayed constantly, setting time aside to pray.

Every true prayer is a variation of the theme - ‘Your will be done, Thy kingdom come”
The purpose of every prayer should be to pray for the establishment of God’s will to be done on earth whether it is in our lives or in our community or nation.  When God is glorified, the emphasis is on Him, the spotlight is on Him.  Bringing Him glory and having His will is the benchmark for every prayer.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we can see a pattern for prayer.  It shows that we need to pray about God’s concern before we pray for our own concerns.  As we can see in Matthew 6: 9-13 below:

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”.

 God centred petition

·         God’s name –hallowed by your name
·         His Kingdom – your kingdom come
·         His Will – your will be done

 Man centred petition
·         Provision - Daily bread
·         Pardon - Forgiveness 
·         Grace not to sin
·         Protection

Fellowship in prayer
An example is the story of Daniel; when he had to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams to save lives (Daniel chapter 2).  He went to his mates to pray with them.  He got his friends together and urged them to plead for mercies from God.  He knew the importance of fellowship in prayer.   In Matthew 18:19-20; our Lord Jesus mentioned the power of agreement in prayer:

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them”

To be continued…..