Answers before Asking

As Abraham’s eldest servant, who was on the mission to find a wife for his master’s son, Isaac, prayed reasoned with the LORD God on how he was going to identify the girl who was to marry Isaac, the Bible records in Genesis 24:15 that “And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.” While our human attention may shift to the identity and description of Rebekah, let us not miss a very important treasure hidden in this account, which is the phrase, “before he had done speaking”. In other words, even before the servant had completed his request of the LORD God, God sent him the answer, in the person of Rebekah, that he has looking for.

Points to ponder:
When God’s plan and purposes are to be fulfilled in our lives, his answers precede even our asking, yet the gesture of praying and seeking out the Lord’s will and purpose in our life’s missions should not be overlooked for the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). So let us ask God, our Master, without wavering, seeking to find the bride (Church of Christ) for his Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and let us expect God to answer our prayer, even before we are done speaking for God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think and so if the answer comes before asking, then it is no reason to be surprised. Who are you going to ask God for today?

Genesis 24:15 (KJV)
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)
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,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

I’d rather sit and PRAY than play

God speaks in various ways and once again he uses our six year old beloved son, Reuben to remind me of some truths that I should never forget.

After we had finished our shopping at the local Costco store, we came out of the store, only to be greeted by a torrential downpour of rain. Not having an umbrella with us, I suggested to Reuben that we wait patiently until the rain subsided before heading for our car and sang to him the song – “Rain, rain go away. Come again another day. Little Reuben wants to play. Rain, rain go away.” However, Reuben was more keen on getting to the car and going home. He expressed that waiting outside the store till the rain stopped would be a waste of time. Recognizing that if we stepped into the rain, we would be drenched completely in a couple of seconds, I told Reuben – “Why don’t you just sit down here and play until the rain stops?“, showing him my phone on which are a few games. To this Reuben quipped, “I’d rather sit down and PRAY for the rain to stop.” and sure enough he prayed. Needless to say, within a matter of minutes, the downpour lessened in its fury, and we were able to head to our car and go home.

From the mouth of babes indeed, God reminds us of some invaluable truths that we tend to forget. First, in everything, by PRAYer and petition, we ought to present our requests before God (Philippians 4:6). Second, God is in control of all things, and even the elements (winds and waves of rain) need to obey him (Matthew 8:27). Third, what may seem impossible for man is possible with God (Luke 18:27) by prayer which changes us or the situation we are in.

Points to ponder:
Instead of focusing on spending time and playing on the things that amuse us, are we recognizing and taking the time to spend time in prayer which amuses God. From my son, I learned that I’d rather sit and pray than play, and from the Word of God, I learn that I should not worry about anything, but rather by prayer and supplication, make known all my requests to God and thank him for what he has done. Have you made known all your requests to God with thankfulness? Are you going to take time to sit and pray? God is in control and what may seem impossible for you is not hard for the Lord God to accomplish, if it is in his will for you. Nevertheless, pray without ceasing and you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything you can understand.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Cease and Cease Not

The Bible counsels us to Cease from doing evil and to repent by reasoning with the Lord  (Isaiah 1:16-18).
The Bible also counsels us to Cease not from praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

And come to think of it, these two counsel are related. We can learn from Jesus’ words that to cease from doing evil, we must cease not from praying.
If we watch and pray (without ceasing), we will not fall into temptation (to do evil) (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38).

Isaiah 1:16-18 (KJV)
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)
Pray without ceasing.

Mark 14:38 (KJV)
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

The Armor David Wore :: Powerful Prayer

Though King David is known to have been to be a great warrior and giant killer, he was an even greater warrior of a different kind. He was a prayer warrior. In fact, the Bible has in it various kinds of prayers that David prayed; some of which are the prayer of praises and adoration (1 Chronicles 29:10-13), the prayer of petition (Psalm 70), the prayer of deliverance (Psalm 25), the fasting prayer of intercession (2 Samuel 12:16), and the well known prayer of earnest repentance (Psalm 51).

Though it is not explicitly stated that David prayed before facing the giant Goliath, we can be certain that David faced Goliath not on his own strengths, skills and savvy, but in the name of the Lord, with whom he had an intimate relationship. Such a relationship is only possible when one spends time (and may I say in communication/prayer) with the Lord. David’s one desire was that he would dwell in the house of the Lord and gaze on the beauty of the Lord all the days of his life and to enquire (pray/talk with/seek) Him in His temple (Psalm 27:4). We share the deepest of our feelings and plans with those whom we love and spend time with. It is certainly not far fetched to recognize that David spent so much time with the Lord, talking with Him (in prayer), that God shared his deepest feelings and plans with David, so much so that God was able to testify that David was a man after God’s own heart.

Ephesians 6:11-18 teaches us about the items that make the Armor of God, and often many of us stop with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, but the Scripture continues to inform us that we must continuously (unceasingly) “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;“. For us to be victorious in spiritual warfare, we must fight on our knees with ceaseless prayer from our hearts and lips. One thing the devil and his demons dread is to see a sinner on his knees praying for the Salvation of his/her soul or a saint on his/her knees in prayer and supplication in the Spirit for themselves and other saints.

When the disciples asked Jesus as to why they were unable to cast a demon out of a possessed boy, Jesus’ response was that such a kind can be cast out only by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:14-21). Without prayer (and fasting), some of the demonic strongholds cannot be broken. To hold the sword of the Spirit (word of God) and not be in prayer is akin to having a sheathed sword; it would not be optimal in spiritual battle (against demonic strongholds). The breaking of chains and the bringing down of giants is possible by prayer (communion with God).

Are/Am you/I a prayer warrior? In fact, to pray is to engage in battle.

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Praise without ceasing!

Well, the Bible commands us to “PRAY” without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), but have you had anyone ask you to “PRAISE” without ceasing? Jonah prayed and the Lord heard him (Jonah 2:1-2) but after he offered his praises with a voice of thanksgiving, declaring that Salvation is of the LORD, the Lord spoke to the fish that had swallowed him, to release him from his bondage (Jonah 2:9-10). Many times we pray for our needs but seldom do we praise with thanksgiving, before or after its fulfillment. Jesus offered his thanksgiving before He performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand. We are to follow suit as well.

The Psalmist records that seven times a day, he praised God because of God’s righteous judgments (Psalm 119:164). Seven times a day would entail the following: dawn, morning, brunch, lunch, twilight, evening and night. This in other words means “ALL DAY LONG“. Just as we are to pray without ceasing, we are to be praising as well, without ceasing, ALL day long. Let’s not just stop with praying, but let it be accompanied by our praises, for God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). In other words, when we praise, God’s presence is with us and He will command that which is enslaving and drowning us, to set us free. Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6); Praise without ceasing!

Psalm 119:164 (KJV)
Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)
15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.