home > Pastor’s Desk > 2017 > November 2nd > Pray and

pray-and

paul-the-apostleWe are sometimes told, “All we can do in moments like these is pray.” I guess there are probably times when that might be true. There are certainly times when I feel that it’s true. But it rarely is. What could the imprisoned Apostle do locked up in his dingy prison cell? What could the Colossians do so far away from their beloved Apostle? And what on earth, in circumstances like these, did either of them have to be thankful for? Yet from the Apostle’s perspective, there was no time to waste! “Make the best use of your time!” (Col. 4:5) This epistle is testament to that. Rather than wallowing in despair and self-pity, he prayed. But praying wasn’t all he could do and neither was it all that he did. He prayed and.

¶ Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Colossians 4:2-4

For all the Colossians who were battling heresies on several fronts (which is mainly why the Apostle wrote to them) there was much to do besides praying. Pray and.


Sometimes life’s circumstances come at the most inconvenient times. They catch us off guard. It’s as if they wait for when we are least able to deal with them – when we are already caught up with other things – when we are emotionally drained, financially struggling, or spiritually faltering. It is in these times that we must pray. We should pray – for strength, God’s help, and for the mind of Christ.

paul_jailPrayer can be a dedicated daily routine.

Routine is our friend, especially spiritually.

Prayer can be spontaneous.

Pray now.

Prayer can be systematic.

Pray through a list.

Prayer can be our constant communion.

Pray as you work, travel, sit, or doing nothing.

Prayers can be spoken or silent.

God knows the desires of our heart.

Prayer can be solitary.

Pray alone; Pray together.

Prayer can be corporate.

Paul’s circumstances were depressing, but he was not depressed. Activity and worship have long been known remedies for such maladies of the soul. Paul was active while in his prison chains. He wrote several epistles. I wonder if he understood that his letters would be read by billions of people around the world over thousands of years? Having a perspective beyond your own four walls of time, locale, and circumstances helps prison chains to vanish.

prosthetic limbFWB-hospital-as-a-boyThis is one of the things that I admire most about F.W. Boreham. At the age of 15 he was involved in an horrific accident involving a train where he teetered at death’s door for nine months and left him with just one leg. It was when doctors told his mother to prepare for the worst that she went to her church and prayed for God to spare her son. “If You will, I will give him to You!” she prayed and, within the hour news arrived that her son had just made a miraculous recovery. With just one leg, F.W. Boreham could no longer play his beloved cricket. But maintained a love for the game and when he moved to Tasmania he soon became President of the Hobart Cricket Club and upon moving to Melbourne he became a member of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The pain that he would suffer throughout his life due to the primitive amputation techniques of the day would be made all the worse by the breaking of his partial leg another three times and the shattering of his nerve as a result. Yet, within a year or so of his life-changing tragedy he surrendered his life to Christ and would go on to do everything in his power to be the finest preacher he could be – which included honing his usage of words through writing.

F.W. Boreham as a boyBoreham’s first pastorate was a small town just outside of Dunedin, New Zealand. He cut his teeth as preacher in Mosgiel. He loved to pray. But he had learned from the likes of Spurgeon that the best praying is added to. Pray and. Not a soul in that South Island ever knew that F.W. Boreham only had one leg. He never mentioned it, or the accident, in any of his sermons or articles. Instead, he began to focus on the immensities of God, the infinities of His wonder, and the eternity awaiting the redeemed to enjoy Him. This was increasingly reflected in his writings (for which he is best known today) and even more so during the last half of World War 1, and the entire Second World War. Instead, Boreham got busy writing and preaching about things much bigger than wars, and much grander in scale than the world of his day. For this he was sharply criticised. But the result today is that we have some of the most eloquent essays on topics that touch us all. These essays have now been, and continue to be, read by tens of millions of people from all across the globe, decades and decades after F.W. Boreham’s passing in 1959. Lifting your vision beyond your own painful circumstances makes even the chains of amputation vanish. FWB prayed and.

The Apostle firstly urged the Colossian believers to pray and to pray steadfastly. This is the kind of praying that keeps going when everybody else gives us. But the Colossians weren’t just urged to pray. They were to pray, and – give thanks. It’s too easy to let the weight of our chains deceive us into ingratitude.

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
Psalm 105:1

Pray, give thanks, and. “At the same time,” entreaty the Apostle, “pray also for us“. It’s too easy to let the chains of life’s circumstances blind us to the plight of others. ‘Pray steadfastly, give thanks, and pray for us.’  But how? Not for his release from prison! Not for his captors to have a change of heart and let them go! No! “Pray for us also.” But not for a change in circumstances. No! But “that God may open to us a door for the Word.” Pray that God might grant them an open door for the Gospel to be preached! When we pray and, we can certainly pray for our own needs, but “at the same time” we can pray for others and the cause of Christ to advance. We can steadfastly pray, and give thanks, and at the same time pray for others, and also pray that those who take the Gospel to others will be effective in doing so. Pray and.       

What ails you? Pray and. If you’re troubled by the chains of your physical condition, pray and. Pray for God to give you the strength and determination to take a daily walk and take a daily walk. If you’re troubles by the chains of a relationship gone sour, pray and. Pray for God to give you the wisdom and humility to reconcile and restore and initiate contact with them. If you’re troubled by the chains of your financial predicament, pray and. Pray that God will increase your income and decrease your expenses and stop using credit cards. If you’re troubled by the chains of mental fog and anguish, pray and

¶ Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Colossians 4:2-4

Amen.

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Dixon

    Good stuff And……………..rew

    Thanks for the newsletter. Glad your new facilities are working out great. Pray that you have a blessed weekend.

    Reply
  2. Luiscurbelo

    God bless you for you pray for me and I pray for you & humanity that there be peace & love for each other amen.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RELATIONSHIP SKILLS

This year we have been laying a foundation for knowing God and then each Sunday building upon it. Throughout June we are focusing on how knowing God enables us to find our joy in Him and consequently to discover that He enables us to find joy in our relationships with others. But sadly, for many people who have vowed to love, serve, and follow Jesus, this has not always been easy to do. This is why the current sub-theme of humility is critically important if someone desires to truly experience joy in each of their various relationships with others. 

KNOWING GOD

In the past few months, we have been hearing in Church and also by reading the Pastor’s Desks that through the Psalms and by the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we can know God more. The Psalms show God as our Shepherd, God’s character is unchanging, we can be still and know Him, and that He is poetic. The Fruit of the Spirit reminds us that God is faithful, gentle and kind, and that we need to stay close to Him in the same way a baby gets nutrients from its mother through the umbilical cord. Knowing these things, we can become more like God as He helps us outwork His character in our lives. Philippians 3:10 challenged me in this regard some time ago.

RULES RULES AND MORE RULES

What comes to mind when you hear the word Rules? For some, it is a welcome relief to all the chaos surrounding us. Rules can provide comfort, safety, stability, predictability and protection. But for many others, as soon as you hear the word rules, it causes you to sigh loudly, followed by the instant urge to do the opposite. It can cause an immense sense of frustration along with that feeling of being boxed or caged in. Then some rules are plain silly as they make no sense, or there appears to be no apparent reason for why the rule/s exists in the first place. 

The Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing FruitThe Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing Fruit

Jesus’ allegory in John 15:1-17 of the vine and the branches provides a beautiful picture of the intimate and living relationship available to those who would abide in Him, the true Vine; and it illustrates how naturally the Holy Spirit is able to produce fruit in the lives of those who are willing to be branches abiding in the vine.

Knowing God Through The Fruit Of The Spirit

I’m sure you can picture an occasion where food delicacies are served and someone is there who has lost all sense of decorum to the point of being rude to get to the food before others and is unable or unwilling to engage in any level of conversation for the sake of finding the choicest of foods. Maybe that was you or me on occasions. Or an All You Can Eat challenge restaurant. It is a picture of complete lack of self-restraint (especially if Homer Simpson is involved). Whilst we are away, I am looking forward to visiting a town (Kenilworth) with a bakery tourist attraction that sells 1kg doughnuts. I’m not sure what will happen there, but I can imagine many have risen to a challenge.

WHAT CHARMING BETRAYERS DESERVE ACCORDING TO THE PSALM OF KING DAVID, NUMBER 55

Australia is now grappling with a national crisis — the violent abuse of women by men. Every four days in Australia a woman is being murdered [Source]. The sad probability is that she was murdered by “a current or former intimate partner” [Source]. But added to this alarming statistic is the even greater and more horrifying statistic of number of women who are experiencing abuse – physical; sexual; verbal; financial; psychological – daily. In fact, it is so prevalent that most people working in this arena know that most domestic abuse incidents in Australia are not reported. Abuse is oppression. And since the Bible is so clear and consistent in its condemnation of oppression of the vulnerable you would naturally assume that this national crisis was being thundered and denounced as a great evil from the majority of pulpits around our country at the moment. This assumption is further reinforced by the guesstimate that one-in-four women in every Australian church is regularly abused in some way by a man. But I suspect that it is not.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 23

My cat, Lola, had a beautiful, fluffy, soft coat. I had her for 13 years so I knew her very well. She loved a cuddle and snuggling at night sleeping in the crook of my arm. She loved me but with others she could be a rascal, hissing or swiping her claws. She never scoffed her food but was a grazer. It was common to hear her crunching her biscuits for a midnight snack and she loved ice cream. She loved hiding in cardboard boxes or in the pantry. She particularly hated the car evidenced by her continual mournful meowing til she got out. As I knew her, she also knew me. She knew I would feed her and give her pats or cuddles. When I called her she knew my soft voice, my touch, my smell. She knew my growly voice when she had done the wrong thing. When I’d take her to the vet she would be still in my arms as the vet examined her and vaccinated her. If she was injured or sick I would look after her.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 22

The Bible is an amazing book. As we look through the book of Psalms we can so unbelievably clearly see God at work. And also most poignantly, this Psalm – Psalm 22 – prophetically points to, and closely mirrors Jesus and the events of the cross mentioned in the New Testament. This Psalm is well over 1000 years prior to Jesus.There are some well known passages of Scripture that stand out as being prophetic promises of the Messiah. These prophetic words show us that God is Omniscient; He knows everything. The first Messianic prophecy shows that the seed of the woman would eventually defeat the devil.

THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARS

home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > April 12th > THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARSThe distance between the spiritual dimension and our earthly-material dimension is a lot thinner than most people realise! This means that there is a direct...

KNOWING GOD THROUGH THE PSALMS

So many thriller movies are just funny. Of course they are not meant to be and many people would find them more like nightmare material. The producers would be horrified to see me giggling at some of their ‘scary’ bits, but it’s just the way I’m wired. I see more of the special effects than the story line and I see the absurdity of the scenes that lack the necessary rules of consistency instead of the fear factor they hope. I once watched a movie where the victim lay dead bleeding from the mouth but the make-up blood had not dripped to the ground with gravity, but rather, accidentally dripped up. The whole movie just became hilarious from that point on.