Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Lord, Teach Us To Pray 1/13/2008
Good Morning, Dear family.

KJV Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

KJV Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

KJV Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

1 Chronicles 9-10 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

As we pass into the New Year, many of us have considered and begun to address certain aspects of our lives which need improvement, change or renewal. In combination with the verses above and some perspectives of others, here are some things to consider.

Who and what we are
We must keep reminding ourselves what we have and are in Christ. One of the great purposes of daily Bible reading, meditation and prayer is just this, to get ourselves correctly orientated, to remember who and what we are. We need to say to ourselves: 'Once I was a slave, but God has made me his son and put the spirit of his son into my heart. How can I turn back to the old slavery?' Again: 'Once I did not know God, but now I know him and have come to be known by him. How can I turn back to the old ignorance?'

--From "The Message of Galatians" (The Bible Speaks Today series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1968), p. 110.





Do I ever pray?

I often say my prayers, but do I ever pray?
And do the wishes of my heart, go with the words I say?
I might as well kneel down, and worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God, a prayer of words alone. (unknown, received from friend by email)

Mark 1 After his longest recorded day, Jesus got up early in the morning to pray.

KJV Mark 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.

KJV Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

And sometimes he prayed all night.

KJV Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

In the book of 1 Chronicles, right in the middle of the genealogy which is recorded, we come upon these two verses regarding a man named Jabez.

1 Chronicles 9-10 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Why was Jabez more honorable than his brothers?

Was it because he prayed? Was it because of the motive of his prayer?
Was it because he had an eternal perspective? Was it because he saw blessing as allowing God to have His way with his own life so that greater blessing would come to those around him?

Pastor Alvin Holmgren once said: "Oftentimes the best blessings of life come wrapped in ugly looking packages.

Joni Erickson Tada: As she sat in a wheel chair before a large crowd, she told them: " I would rather be sitting in this wheel chair in my condition having come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ than to have a healthy body and never have come to know His saving love and grace.

Change (by John McCarthur)

Change is a painful thing. If you were to look over the past year or two, I suspect the times you found most difficult, (and) most irritating...were times of great change. That’s true for a nation, a company, a church, a family, and certainly for an individual.Yet change is also a great gift–one God not only allows but bestows for our benefit. Change has a way of loosening our grip on what cannot last, and renews afresh our appetite for heaven–it’s a reminder that while circumstances and temporal possessions come and go, God, His promises and His promised kingdom remain intact and immovable for time and eternity. The more we see just how little there is in life we can count on, the readier we become for a sinless place of eternal peace, joy, comfort and unbroken communion with God.

Change is also a blessing when it does just the opposite–when it causes us to tighten our grip on certain things. As we face change, we’re forced to weigh our commitments and sift each new decision we make and direction we take through the grid of God’s word. It forces us to cling to what has eternal value and discard what doesn’t.

Change is the crucible in which our priorities are tested, our motives are redefined, and our faith is made stronger.

A well known pastor in our area gave three principles to his congregation in relation to what has been written above.

1. Plan to pray.

2. Pray the scriptures. i.e. Read a verse/portion of scripture, pray over it, read some more, pray over it and so forth, asking the Lord to reveal Himself through the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. Pray for those closest to you first, then proceed outwardly in your circle of family and friends.

By God's grace, I personally have committed myself to praying the prayer of Jabez at least once a day, asking the Lord to reveal Himself through the words that have been spoken by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of Jabez. What do those words mean for me in the coming year? How will they affect the decisions I/we make, what priorities of mine/ours need to be examined and adjusted, what are my/our motives in service to Him, in what ways will my/our faith be tested and made stronger?

May the blessing that we receive from Him into our lives bring glory to God and blessing to those in our communities and churches.

KJV Genesis 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

KJV Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 13 Jan 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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