Take it to the Lord in Prayer!

It seems that people pray as a last resort. Others think it’s a waste of time.

The famous hymn bid the weary soul not to despair neither take matters into their own hands.

In this poem written to comfort his mother and one that has become a world-famous Christian hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Joseph M. Scriven writes, “Oh, what peace we often forfeit – Oh, what needless pain we bear – All because we do not carry – Everything to God in prayer.”

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If you are confronting particular challenges affecting your peace of mind, your health, and relationships, don’t wait to be burdened down into utter discouragement.

The Lord, Jesus Christ, beckons you to bring your burdens to Him in exchange for a peace that is out of this world and overflowing joy.

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Jesus extends an all-inclusive invitation to the oppressed. He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, ESV).

Are you laboring under the weight of sickness, fear of the unknown, over-concerned about the pandemic, and the nations’ instability?  Whatever nature or source of your worrying, Jesus knows all about it, and He wants to lighten your load.

But you must bring it to Him in prayer.

Just like going to court, you must enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise. Declare on what grounds you enter His courtroom (by the shed-blood and in the name of Jesus Christ). Then you present your case to God on the basis that Jesus was beaten, mocked, crucified, and was raised from the dead on the third day so that you might have eternal life, abundant life, and peace with God and in your heart.

Jesus desires that you don’t wait to get to the point of worrying.

The Lord rather that you maintain a close-knit relationship with Him so that prayer does not become your last resort, but that you are continually praying and gliding through the challenges, jumping over obstacles, and living a triumphant life.

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The Apostle Paul told the Philippian Christians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that you gave Your one and only Son to suffer and die so I can live eternally in the future and abundantly in the present. Forgive me of all my sins and wash away my iniquities. In the name of Jesus Christ, Father, by Your Holy Spirit, give me wisdom, help, and resources to overcome my challenges triumphantly and to glorify Your name through it all.

Amen!

The Measure of Faith

Romans 12:3 (NKJV): “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

Although many people don’t think about it, everybody has a measure of faith. Whenever someone leaves their home or one location for another, they naturally believe that they will return home at the appointed time and without harm.  Not that they think they are invincible, it is that by default, they expect things to go according to plans. That’s a universal faith. Whether they believe in God, trust in the unknown, or confidence in some transcendence power, this person has an implicit faith.

 You sit on the chair without thinking twice about whether it will crack down with you or not. You trust that the chair will uphold you and many more examples like driving, walking, and flying in airplanes. Those are general or universal faith.

The underlying meaning of faith is to believe in the unknown. But people with confidence do not merely believe in the unknown by chance. Because solid faith requires firm knowledge concerning the one in whom the person trusts. Some people believe in certain spirits and pay allegiance to them. Some people acquire knowledge about these spirits they serve directly from their ancestors, parents, neighbors, and relatives. As a result, they also pay allegiance to these same spirits knowingly or unknowingly.

Faith in the spirits

Growing up as a little boy in Haiti, I saw older folks pouring out coffee or whiskey on the ground before they drank it. Naturally, since that’s the environment I grew up in and seeing that they performed these rituals over and over, so, when I got coffee too, I did the same thing. I poured it out to the ground. The adults might have known why they did, but as for me, I just acted out what I saw they performed. It was not until I became a Christian, I learned that the pouring out of coffee, whiskey, or water on the ground is called “libation.” It is like giving first place to the one they poured out the drink. It’s a sort of honor giving to their ancestral spirits and others.  I did not understand the spiritual implications of my actions. Yet, I was pouring out a libation to spirits without knowing.

Offering of libations was part of the sets of sacrifices the Israelites had to offer to God in the Old Testament. The libation was a small portion of wine, oil, or water that was to be poured on the sacrifice. In His instruction to Moses of the sacrifices the Israelites had to offer, God told Moses, “These are the sacrifices you are to offer regularly on the altar. Each day, offer two lambs that are a year old, one in the morning and the other in the evening. With one of them, offer two quarts of choice flour mixed with one quart of pure oil pressed olives; also, offer one quart of wine as a liquid offering” (Exodus 29:38-40, NLT).

Since Jesus’s blood was offered as a sacrifice for all humanity, no such sacrifice is necessary any longer. Dr. Luke, the evangelist, writes, “After supper He took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people–an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:20). Jesus offered His blood as a satisfying sacrifice unto God the Father, so that we don’t have to that anymore. Jesus offered His life once for all (Heb. 10:10). Since no one else was qualified to die for our sins and resurrect on the third day apart from Jesus, that is why our faith for eternal life supposed to be on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Building your faith in God

To have faith in God requires Knowledge of God. In his letter to the believers in Rome, the apostle told them that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, ESV).  Even more convincing is God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Don’t let the wise boast in their power or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NLT).

The primary way to build your faith in God is to have a close-knit relationship with Christ through the reading, studying, and meditating on His words. Set aside a specific time each day to spend in God’s Word. Read and study it prayerfully. As you continue in that practice, you will begin to hear the Spirit of God speaking within you. You will gain practical wisdom in every circumstance in your life.

Give time to the Word of God every day, worship King Jesus always, and submit your heart to be transformed by the Holy Spirit nonstop. He will energize your faith and cause it to grow exponentially.

 Everybody has a general belief. That faith is being used every day unconsciously. It is used in daily life activities, while some use it to honor their ancestors’ spirits. But the follower of Christ has a measure of faith in God. He or she uses this faith to serve Christ and to live life victoriously on this earth. That measure will only grow as you make and spend time with God and His Word.