Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Words for Warfare

For the weak there is strength.
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10 NKJV

For the wobbly there is stability.
That you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 NKJV

For the worried there is peace.
Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 NKJV

For the wounded there is protection.
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:16 NKJV

For the warrior there is a weapon.
Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17-18 NKJV

Sweet Hour of Prayer

By William Walford William Walford was blind, but this did not make him worthless.

Called on to preach from time to time in a rural English church, he composed sermons in his head to deliver on Sundays. He memorized a huge amount of the Bible which he quoted verbatim in his sermons. Some of his folk thought he had memorized the entire Scripture, cover to cover. William also composed lines of verse. And he prayed.

Thomas Salmon, a New York native, spent some time in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, where he became acquainted with William. He tells this tale of what happened one day, while he was visiting the blind pastor:
"...He repeated two or three pieces which he had composed, and having no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the storehouse within. "How will this do?" asked he, as he repeated the following lines, with a complacent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he subject himself to criticism. I rapidly copied the lines with my pencil, as he uttered them, and sent them for insertion in theObserver, if you should think them worthy of preservation."

The Observer did consider them worth preserving, and they were published on September 13, 1845, becoming a beloved hymn.
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! 
Beyond the fact that he was blind and the few details recorded by Thomas Salmon, we know little of William Walford. But his hymn has touched hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides of the Atlantic, expressing the genuine joy he found in prayer.
1.       Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! 
                    that calls me from a world of care, 
                    and bids me at my Father's throne 
                    make all my wants and wishes known. 
                           In seasons of distress and grief, 
                    my soul has often found relief, 
                    and oft escaped the tempter's snare 
                    by thy return, sweet hour of prayer! 
2.       Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! 
                    the joys I feel, the bliss I share 
                    of those whose anxious spirits burn 
                    with strong desires for thy return! 
                    With such I hasten to the place 
                    where God my Savior shows his face, 
                          and gladly take my station there, 
                    and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer! 
3.       Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! 
                    thy wings shall my petition bear 
                    to him whose truth and faithfulness 
                    engage the waiting soul to bless. 
                    And since he bids me seek his face, 
                           believe his word, and trust his grace, 
                    I'll cast on him my every care, 
                    and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Your Prayers Carry Weight with God

'...earnest prayer...produces wonderful results.' James 5:16

In the Old Testament Abraham journeyed south. When he reached Gerar we read that he '...said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her' (Genesis 20:2).

Can you imagine how Sarah felt, trapped and alone in the palace, contemplating what lay ahead at the hands of her captor? And what's worse, her husband, the man she trusted with her life, let it happen!

We're not privy to how Sarah prayed that night. But she must have touched the heart of God because He '...came to Abimelech in a dream...and said..."the woman you have the man's wife...and you will die' (Genesis 20:3-7).

God's directives are always clear; there's never any ambivalence about what He says.

'The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it...wherever he pleases' (Proverbs 21:1). That means authority figures who don't even know you exist, have to stop and listen when God speaks, because to Him ' man is not different from another' (Romans 2:11).

So what can you do when you're helpless to change a situation you didn't create? Or when someone you loved and trusted lets you down?

Pray! Instead of giving in to bitterness or fear, cry out to God. He will hear you like He heard Sarah. How can you be sure? Because His Word says, 'The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.' No matter how bad things may look right now, and they looked pretty bad for Sarah that night, your prayers carry weight with God

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