Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MY TIMES ARE IN THY HAND--CHARLES WOODRUFF


“But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.” (Psalm 31:14-16)

A time like David speaks of is difficult. In this, mere words cannot give comfort and strength. There must be more. David goes to the heart of the matter. He must have God’s word and guidance. He first reflects that he has trusted in Jehovah, the LORD. He has here a keen sense that this is his God; the true God; the only God. He is sharing with us where our faith must be. It has to be in this righteous, sovereign, omnipotent God. A smaller God will not do! It must be the creator; the redeemer, the savior. No other God will do. There is no other God. He is it!

He says “You are my God. My times are in your hand.” I have thought on this. Why does David say “times”? It is not at first apparent, but there are phases of a person’s life. Not just eras of history, but individual segments of one’s life. Some may be short, some may be long.We know not which time is to be our last. Which phase will be our last breath? We can’t tell until it comes. This is one of God’s mysteries; one of His secrets which He must reveal when He’s ready.
                                   
                                   A TIME TO BE BORN                                       
We are told in Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” These verses also examine the phases of life and how God has arranged them. If you will read them through verse 11, you perhaps can see the arranging of a life by God’s hand.  Actually He is the only one who can do this. He is life’s originator and sustainer, as well as its terminator. God is in absolute control of His universe, and of we that are here in it.

He tells us there is a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. You may not know it, or even believe it, but you are on this earth in God’s purpose. If He had not said every purpose, I could let some of you off the hook, but He says every purpose. That includes you and I. All of us! If you really grasp this verse, it should make you fear and tremble. God has you all figured out, from beginning to end. You will accomplish nothing, unless He wills that you do. You will live exactly how long He has decreed, and no more! He says there is a time to die. That is when you will die. Not one minute later, or one minute earlier. We will look closer at that, but first let’s look at life. He says a time to plant, and a time to pluck up.

                                               A TIME TO PLANT  
God has ordained some planters and some pluckers.  It is part of His eternal purpose. With the plants He has given, there must be some to plant, water and harvest. This is within God’s purpose. In our verse in Psalm 31, David reflected “My times are in thy hands.”  In Ecclesiastes He says there is “a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  Don’t you see that Almighty God has worked out all the details for this world He made, as well as all the rest of His universe? He includes in His words “a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.” (Found in Ecclesiastes 3:3). He covers so much more, but I want to focus on the planting. Do you realize that this world has continued for thousands of years with God’s plan working. It hasn’t stopped since He started it. The seasons and the years continue. They have not stopped either. You see, all the chaos in this world was not started by the Lord. It was started by man.

He says in verse 4 “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” None of these things were man’s invention; they were God’s! Oh, if we could just understand this! One little saying I picked up from someone many years ago says “79 years is but a vapor. It is a short time, not to one who is 20, but when you are over 50, it doesn’t seem long at all.” Remember that James says “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”(James 4:14b)  We must understand this; we have a very limited time on the earth. Satan will deceive us here if he can. He will make you think you are not limited. What you plan to accomplish must be now; not later! If you are a Christian, realize that today is planting time. God is going to harvest the crop soon. You must work while it is day. You must! The night is coming when no man can work.

                                                    A TIME TO DIE
Here is the part no one wants to read. Death! It is coming for all of us, some sooner, and some later, but it is coming. You may live to be 90, or even as George Beverly Shea who is 93. You may live that long, but death is coming. Did you know that in 2011 the number of World War Two veterans is dwindling rapidly?  Do you know how many there were over 10 years ago in 2000? One database stated there were over five million then, but many have died since then. I was unable to acquire a present, accurate figure. I estimate three million. By 2020 most will be gone. Do you know how many World War Two vets there will be on earth in December 2041? Very likely, there will be none left here, for they would be at least 117-120 years old! Time marches on. David could have said it that way; time marches on. It does in reality.

It was a Puritan that I can’t recall the name of, who was reported to have said “When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do—is die!” By the way, this same statement was uttered by missionary Jim Elliot. He wrote it in some correspondence before his death at the hands of the Auca Indians of Ecuador on January 8, 1956. He was killed along with four other missionaries. His journal entry for October 28, 1949, expresses his belief that missions work was more important than his life. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." It appears to me that our verses commend this attitude. No sacrifice is too great.

Also Christ died that we should not have to die for eternity.  Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), said “Death is only a grim porter to let us into a stately palace.”
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com            

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BIBLICAL STANDARDS IN SONGS OF WORSHIP


Dear Friends---For our second message for 2012, I wanted to cover some ground that I have covered before, but in a different manner. I hope you find this message of interest. I think it is vital that the churches hold to biblical standards in all areas, especially worship. I hope if you don't agree with me, you will at least consult the scriptures regarding these issues, especially music. It is very important that we get back to Bible standards in all that we do if we are calling ourselves Christians. Please read, and be sure and leave comments, pro or con. Your comments are welcome here. Any questions, or requests will be addressed also. Also, check our Sermon Audio site and hear some of the messages. We have nearly 400 there. Our address at Sermon Audio  is as follows:
http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_detail.asp?sourceid=missionaryman

 BY CHARLES WOODRUFF                                                          
Certainly there was nothing forbidden in using Psalms in worship as the Puritans did. To do so exclusively is not commanded however. As a matter of fact the Bible does tell us exactly what should be done in private and corporate worship. It does so without specifying in minute detail. For instance in Psalm 150 we are told various instruments, besides the human voice, may be used in praising the Lord. The key verse is Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150:6). Some want to restrict this to the Old Testament, but I see no warrant in them doing so. If you do that, you had better do away with “a pulpit of wood” for it is only found in Nehemiah 8:4; or “storehouse tithing” which is found only in Malachi.

First, we are to sing unto the Lord:  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2).

We are to sing psalms -- unto Him: Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works” (Psalm 105:2).    

Sing with understanding. This means doctrine, or teaching should be in the praises and songs:  “For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding” Psalm 47:7).

This is in the New Testament as well as old: Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13).

Secondly, hymns are to be sung as well as Psalms. “Greek= humnos; which denotes a song of praise addressed to God” W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words.
“Songs -- joyous lyric pieces on sacred subjects; contrast the reveling, licentious songs of pagan feasts (Amos 8:10).”  Fausset’s Bible Dictionary on “hymn”.

“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30).

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16:25).

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

These verses should be most instructive to us on what kind of singing in Christian assemblies is acceptable to God. I found Fausset’s words “contrast the reveling, licentious songs of pagan feasts” very alarming. He was speaking of pagans back before 1877 when his dictionary was originally published. What would he have to say about the modern pagans in England and America today and their so-called church music?

Thirdly, the verses above are saying “spiritual songs” as opposed to worldly or pagan songs. How do you define the difference? “All music is to be offered to God. Johann Sebastian Bach, perhaps the greatest musician of all time, said that the aim of all music is the glory of God. In his own life and work the great composer and organist sought to live out that aim, frequently initialing his works S.D.G.: Sola Deo Gloria--to the glory of God alone. Whenever believers sing, they must constantly remind themselves that their song should be a gift of praise to the Lord. Every word of every song should be biblical, rightly reflecting God's own thoughts and attitudes. It is tragic that much of the music today classified as Christian is nothing more than theological mishmash.”  John MacArthur on Ephesians 5:19; from Monergism.com.

Some of you may say “Oh, it is just a matter of choice. A ‘Christian rock’ or ‘Christian rap’ song can praise the Lord as much as a hymn.” Be careful now, Christian friend! First of all, as we have said, the lyrics should be biblical. Also, the song should be offered to God. I can’t get too detailed in this issue, but hope to expand later. Suffice it to say, there is a certain amount of latitude in types of songs. Rhythm in itself is not wrong. The Hebrew songs certainly had rhythm. But, to take the rhythm that serves the devil so well, put a few Christian sounding phrases with it, and call it “Christian rock.” or “Christian rap” or “contemporary” is a misnomer. I used to listen to Elvis, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lynryd Skynyrd and many other rock singers, and you can’t take the same tunes and styles they sang, give them religious lyrics and call them Christian. They may be religious, but not Christian -- certainly not spiritual songs! So many young people (and some older ones as well), are being fooled today by contemporary Christian music, most of which will not, and cannot help you worship the true Sovereign God aright. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

                                             WHAT ABOUT NEW SONGS?

Likely some will get angry and puffed up with me, but think about this; I am not saying every song must be an old hymn written before 1900. I am saying our worship songs in our churches should meet our chief end---which is to glorify God! I am not saying every good song must have been written by a Calvinist. Charles Wesley, although an Arminian, wrote some great hymns. Some modern songs are good. It is just the trend to throw out the old songs, along with the old paths---the old biblical theology of Sovereign Grace. Our songs, whether old or new, should be scriptural.

“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:1-2).
I am sure someone will point out the preceding verse to defend all contemporary songs, but as you see the new song here was also to be a song of praise to Jehovah. If we in the New Testament are “showing forth His salvation from day to day.” our songs must present Jesus Christ, whose very name means salvation. He is our salvation (see Isaiah 12:2).
“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Here is an example of a good modern song IMHO.
                              WE SHALL BEHOLD HIM (Words and music by Dottie Rambo)

The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance;
The stars shall applaud Him with thunders of praise.
The sweet light in His eyes shall enhance those a waiting,
And we shall behold Him then face to face.
Chorus
And we shall behold Him, we shall behold Him
Face to face in all of His glory;
And we shall behold Him, Yes, we shall behold Him
Face to face, our Saviour and Lord.

The angels shall sound the shout of His coming,
The sleeping shall rise from their slumbering place.
And those who remain shall be changed in a moment,
And we shall behold Him then face to face.

Chorus
And we shall behold Him, we shall behold Him
Face to face in all of His glory;
And we shall behold Him, Yes, we shall behold Him
Face to face, our Saviour and Lord.
We shall behold Him, our Saviour and Lord.


                                 THE TRUE CHRIST IS STILL THE ONLY WAY

Jesus warned us there would be false prophets and false Christs. “Then if any man shall say
unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and
false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they
shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23, 24). Regardless of what new agers such as Oprah
and Eckhart Tolle may say; regardless of what post modern “organizer” preachers like Rick
Warren and Bill Hybels may say; regardless of what hatemonger preachers like Jeremiah Wright
and company may say; no matter how apparently successful, and extremely wealthy some of
them are. As Chuck Norris, quoting from another, reminded us; “Christ is either who He claimed
to be, or He is the most notorious liar who ever lived!” Remember Jesus said “I am the way, the
truth, and the life; no man cometh unto to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). (cw)

                                             PROBLEMS AND PRESSURES

Do you ever feel like God is sifting you? Are you puzzled by the purpose of pressures and problems in your life? None of us are without them. Some have more and some have less. If we are Christians we have to keep in mind Romans 8:28; "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." These blessed words are written only for Christians. It has been a comfort for believers since Paul wrote the inspired words nearly 2000 years ago. The unbeliever knows nothing of this, and could not claim this truth (if he would even be interested), without first being regenerated. It is a blessed tonic for the children of God, called a "Divine Cordial" by the Puritan, Thomas Watson, in his classic book on the subject. There are many things in our lives that do not seem to be working for our good, but God says through His apostle that they indeed do work for good. Often we cannot see the good when going through a trial. We may even ask God to remove the trial, and often He does not. We are called according to His purpose, and He has a purpose in our trials and tribulations. Jesus said "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). (cw)

                             BY THE WAY, OUR ELECTION IS COMING IN NOVEMBER

There are many, even in America, who believe socialism is the answer. I don’t believe it. I have seen what it does to a people. It drains their resources, destroys their ambition, makes them live in fear and tries to make all but the elite leaders the same---poor, and dependent on the government. I do not want that here. I do not believe that is what people have fought for in all our wars. It certainly was not the vision of the founding fathers of our nation. I do not want it for my children, or my grandchildren, should the Lord not return soon.

There is another sticky little issue that we cannot ignore if we are Christians. The USA has had perhaps more gospel truth preached since its founding than most any nation in the world, except perhaps England during the times after the reformation, and the revival that came there in the 1700’s. Alas, look where England is now! She is a country largely devoid of true gospel churches. There are a few, thank God! These are overwhelmed and outnumbered by the dead, social gospel, churches, but praise God, there are some holding the truth. America is going down the same road. Fewer and fewer standing for the old and true gospel.

Is God’s judgment going to bring this nation of aborticide, sodomy, adultery, riotous living, and ungodliness to a finish? What can we true believers say if He does? Even those that profess His name are often “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more that lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). God brought down Israel and Judah when they turned from Him. Why would He not do that with this soiled, formerly great, nation? Oh America! America! Will thou not repent and believe the gospel of Christ before you are made ashes? Oh why will you die? Oh America!  Obama is not the answer! Gingrich is not the answer!  Ron Paul is not the answer!  Nor is Mitt Romney our answer! Christ is the only answer! He has always been the only answer!  Christians pray! Point your children and grandchildren to the savior! You cannot save them; you can only pray that He will do so by His sovereign grace. (cw)

“Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?  Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:6-9).

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 07, 2012

THOUGHTS ON PRAYER--CHARLES WOODRUFF

(Please note: I have published this before, but the reason I put it here this week is that I want to encourage all of us to pray. I may publish several articles in a row like this on Cyberwordoftruth during the next few weeks. My purpose is to get us all to focus on prayer. Your comments will be appreciated on this series).

WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is basically conversation with God. There is quiet prayer, fervent prayer, effective prayer, urgent prayer and desperate prayer. Leonard Ravenhill once said “God answers desperate prayer.” Prayer is the hardest work for a Christian. It is elusive. We can easily attend church, read the Bible, study, witness, preach and teach and do all our duties (all in the flesh unless we pray for the Spirit‘s help). We can do all the other things relatively easy, but struggle to pray. Why is this, when prayer is where our strength is energized? Leonard Ravenhill once said: “Satan laughs at our singing, witnessing, preaching, and all else, but trembles when we pray.”

We cannot pray all the time, as other duties press us. We are commanded to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How can we accomplish this? It means to be in an attitude of prayer at all times, as well as to pray often. It seems to me that this requires walking in the Spirit. Remember this verse connects with six other short admonitions (God’s perfect number of seven; could it be that all these go together, equally important?)

The first prayer in the Old Testament
The first conversation with God recorded was in Genesis 3:8-19. Remember, prayer is conversation with God, but we don’t usually think of it this way. The first words were addressed from God to Adam in verse nine: Where art thou? Man by nature, since the fall, does not seek God, God seeks man. Remember, when God seeks you, He will find you.

The first prayer in the New Testament
The Magnificat, if you consider it a prayer. Certainly the virgin Mary was praising the Lord. “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever” (Luke 1:46-55).

The First Prayer Chronologically
In Luke it is mentioned that people were praying, so maybe this was the first mention. “And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense” (Luke 1:10). (Praying= Greek; Strong's G4336 - proseuchomai (pros-yĆ¼'-kho-mi) used 90 times in 82 verses). The longest prayer in the Bible
Nehemiah 9:5-38 (We won’t print it because of its length. It was prayed by a number of Levites after a rediscovery of the law of God, and the awakening under Nehemiah). Daniel also had a long prayer recorded. You can find his great prayer in Daniel 9:4-19.

The shortest prayer in the Bible
It is very short, but to tell the story requires a longer context.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou; bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”(These three words are the shortest prayer).
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-32; esp. v. 30).

Jesus’ Prayers
The True “Lord’s Prayer” is the high priestly prayer in John 17. Let’s look a bit at this one. Especially verses 15-17. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Oh doesn’t it thrill you that Jesus Christ prays for you; and for me! Hallelujah!

Paul’s Prayers
He had many, but I remember this statement in Philippians so well: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6).

John’s Prayers and Teaching
Here John tells us some words about praying; “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:22, 23).

Peter’s Prayers
Acts 9:40 With Tabitha (Dorcas); “But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”

Hannah’s Prayer
“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore” (1 Samuel 1:9); (see verse 9 through verse 19).

Jacob’s Prayer
In the figurative language, we can see that Jacob wrestled with God and was afterwards called Israel. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” (Genesis 32:24; See Genesis 32:22-30).

The Prayer of Jabez
“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” (1 Chronicles 4:10).

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON PRAYER


“Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this – always obey such an impulse.”--Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it.” --Guy H. King

“There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.” --Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“It is good for us to keep some account of our prayers, that we may not unsay them in our practice.”--Matthew Henry

"For your Father knoweth what things you have need of before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8).
“At first sight it might appear as if this thought makes prayer less needful. If God already knows what we need, then why pray at all? But as we gain a deeper insight into what prayer really is, this truth will help much to strengthen our faith. It will teach us that we do not need the multitude and urgency of our words to compel an unwilling God to listen to us. It will lead to a holy thoughtfulness and silence in prayer as it suggests the question: Does my Father really know that I need this? Yes, He does! Therefore, let us sometimes in our prayers, when we are in danger of being so occupied with our fervent, urgent petitions, as to forget that the Father knows and hears, let us hold still and just quietly say: My Father sees, my Father hears, my Father knows; it will help our faith to take the answer, and to say: We know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.” -- (From Lord, Teach Us to Pray, by Andrew Murray)

“God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.”--Richard Sibbes

“Prayers not felt by us are seldom heard by God.” --Philip Henry

“Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God.” --Andrew Murray

“Prayer is the Christian’s life. Though every other ordinance be attended to, yet if this one be neglected, all is vain. It is as impossible for the soul to be spiritually alive and active without a punctual course of fervent and believing prayer, as for the body to be alive and active without breath. Prayer has more influence on the sanctification of the soul than all other ordinances.”
-- (From Enoch Walked with God, a sermon by Edward Griffin, page 6)

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart.” --John Bunyan, who wrote many other great words on praying.

“Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.” --Adam Clarke

“Is prayer your steering wheel, or your spare tire?”-- Corrie Ten Boom

“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.”
--Martin Luther (also quoted by others including Arthur W. Pink)

“I attend scores of evangelical worship services in the course of a normal year, and one thing I have noticed is the striking absence of any serious prayer. Usually there is prayer at the beginning of the service... There is always a prayer when the offering is received. We seem to recognize our need for God’s supernatural intervention there—to make normally stingy people generous. But the pastoral prayers are gone. There is no adoration of God, no confession of sin, no thanks for what God has already abundantly given. And if we need to make a supplication—if Mary Jones is having an operation and needs to be prayed for—that is often merely tacked on to the offering prayer because there is no other place to put it.”—J.M. Boice

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).
“God encourages us to pray. They tell us that prayer is a pious exercise which has no influence except upon the mind engaged in it. We know better. Our experience gives the lie a thousand times over to this infidel assertion. Here Jehovah, the living God, distinctly promises to answer the prayer of His servant. Let us call upon Him again and admit no doubt upon the question of His hearing us and answering us. He that made the ear, shall He not hear? He that gave parents a love to their children, will He not listen to the cries of His own sons and daughters! God will answer His pleading people in their anguish. He has wonders in store for them. What they have never seen, heard of, or dreamed of, He will do for them. He will invent new blessings if needful. He will ransack sea and land to feed them: He will send every angel out of heaven to succor them if their distress requires it. He will astound us with His grace and make us feel that it was never before done in this fashion. All He asks of us is that we will call upon Him. He cannot ask less of us. Let us cheerfully render Him our prayers at once.”—Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Titled Invitation to Pray, from Faith's Checkbook for June 29.

“We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.” --William Law. ----Brethren, let us pray for one another today! Amen!