Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Do We Believe?

          In a small Midwestern conservative town, a business owner began to construct a building for a new bar. A local fundamental church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed, however, right up until the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.
          The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.
          In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise.
          As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't!"
          While this story is most likely fiction, it does remind me of a similar true story shared in the book of Acts.  Peter was in prison and the believers were gathered in a home praying earnestly for his release.   And God did a miracle and sent an angel to wake him from sleep and release him from prison.  Peter didn't even really understand what had happened until he felt the cold night air on his face.  It was a miracle, an answer to prayer.
          When the angel left, Peter headed to the house of Mary, the mother of John, where many people were gathered praying.  He knocked at the outer gate and the servant girl, Rhoda came to answer the knock.  When she recognized Peter's voice she was so overjoyed that she forgot to open the gate, leaving Peter standing outside.  She ran to the folks inside and called out that Peter was standing at the gate.  But the folks told her that she was out of her mind and that it must be an angel.  But Peter kept knocking and the Bible says that when they opened the door and saw him - they were amazed!
         It is interesting how these folks were praying for a miracle and Peter's release, but when God answered they were amazed and at first didn't even want to accept the answer to their prayers.
          But are we really any different than these folks?   How often do we pray and not really expect an answer?  Are we amazed when God answers?   I must say at times I am just as guilty as these folks were.  
          And probably I am not the only one that is guilty.  I think that one of the biggest failings of the church today is that we do not exercise the power of prayer despite the many promises given to us about prayer.  Few today are real prayer warriors.
          Not only is prayer no longer an important part of our services, but even today's church music seldom mentions prayer.  There are so many great hymns that we once sang that reminded us of the power of prayer and the importance of it in our spiritual lives.  I close with the words of one of these great hymns that I have not heard sung in years.

1.     Fear not, little flock, from the cross to the throne,
From death into life He went for His own;
All power in earth, all power above,
Is given to Him for the flock of His love.
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe;
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe.

2.     Fear not, little flock, He goeth ahead,
Your Shepherd selecteth the path you must tread;
The waters of Marah He'll sweeten for thee,
He drank all the bitter in Gethsemane.

3.     Fear not, little flock, whatever your lot,
He enters all rooms, "the doors being shut,"
He never forsakes; He never is gone,
So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.

So how is your prayer life?   How is your faith?

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