Posted by Jerry White on Apr 25, 2016
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
Luke 11:1 (ESV)
Discipleship occurs as much by observation as it does by instruction, perhaps more. The Apostle Paul wrote, Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). The Lord’s disciples had watched Him slip aside often to pray, and they recognized that His prayer life was different from the stale, rote prayers of the Pharisees. They understood that the secret of His overflowing life was directly tied to His private communion with His Heavenly Father. They wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray like He prayed. A person’s prayer life is probably the best indicator that he or she knows how to commune with and walk with God. This is the only thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them.
I, along with faculty members of a Bible school, spoke recently in a spring prayer conference. The attendees were students and adults of all ages, ethnicities and native languages. I was aware from the very first session of the Spirit’s quickening during a time of worship. This fresh heavenly wind blew ever so gently on the whole conference. It was like I was on a different planet from the usual church services I have attended in various places. Why? What made the difference? I realized that the prayer chapel on campus that was dedicated last year at the prayer conference had been faithfully used by faculty, staff and students. Throughout this past year they were seeking the face of God and calling on Him to accomplish His will.The prayer conference had been immersed in prayer at the throne of God, and God was answering just as He had promised. When and where God’s people diligently seek Him with their whole heart He answers with refreshing times from His presence. There is no secret about it. He plainly instructs us. It is just as He promised—if we will only believe Him through His Word—and pray.
Lord, teach us to pray.
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 17, 2016
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalms 100:4 (ESV)
“A poverty stricken black pastor stood at desperation corner. Charles A. Tindley was serving a tiny, struggling church in Cape May, New Jersey. A blinding blizzard paralyzed the town. His baby had died in the cold, dark night. Dawn brought no sign of relief. All Mrs. Tindley could serve for breakfast was stale bread.
In his book entitled Their Finest Hour, author Charles Ludwig explains how Pastor Tindley met the crisis. ‘ Set the table like we always do,’ he urged his wife. Courageously, he thanked God for his salvation, his health, and his children. The family listened and wondered. All of a sudden, someone knocked on the door. A brother in the Lord entered with his arms loaded with groceries . The storm had delayed his coming. Meanwhile, Charles Tindley had passed a severe test of faith with flying colors. Pastor Tindley, an ex-slave, went on to build a church in Philadelphia that ministered to thousands. Remarkably, a grandson of his former master was converted under his ministry.
This pastor’s spirit of gratitude and praise thoroughly equipped him and served as the foundation for a life that God mightily used. Tindley learned the secret of releasing his faith through thankful praise. His faith soared into the highest heaven on the wings of humble gratitude. There he enjoyed the heights of intimate fellowship with God.
This same reality can transform our inner lives today, especially as we enter into the simple truth that thanksgiving turns trials into blessings. It can turn sour personalities into sweetness of spirit and frustration into gratitude. Most importantly, thankful praise brings all honor and glory to God the Father.”
Oliver W. Price
The Power of Praying Together, 157-158
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 12, 2016
“In my teens I knew a man, a miner by trade, whose spiritual freshness and radiance was responsible for turning many people to Jesus Christ. Just before he died, and in the company of several other Christians, I asked him: ‘What is the secret of your spiritual freshness? You always seem to be on top of things, always radiant…tell me how you maintain this inner poise and power.’ He replied in one word—meditation. I pressed him for some further thoughts on the subject. This is not a verbatim quotation, but as far as I can remember, this is what he said: ‘Meditation is letting your heart become the workshop of the unseen Sculptor who chisels in its secret chambers the living forms that contribute to character development and an increasing likeness to Jesus Christ.’ That old man, now in heaven, was one of the greatest illustrations I have ever known of the spiritual freshness and fruitfulness that comes from meditating on God’s Word. This experience can be ours—if we meditate.”
Every Day Light: Water for the Soul
He [the one who delights and meditates day and night in the law of the Lord, v. 2] is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Psalm 1:3 (ESV)
There is no sweeter sound than to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus through His written Word when His Spirit speaks it to your heart and applies it to your life. Is meditation on God’s Word a priority in your daily schedule? Does Psalm 1 describe the kind of person you are—one who is planted by streams of water (plural for abundance) in a dry, arid desert, one who is always spiritually fresh and fruitful? Oh, how the enemy likes to attack the weakness of our flesh through busyness in our lives and thereby distract us from meditating on God’s Word day by day. The enemy hates for us to become the blessed, happy person who is radiant to those around us.
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 4, 2016
“Lift up your heads, ye poor, ye needy, ye disconsolate!
Lift up your heads and rejoice that Christ is all to you,
all you need in this vale of tears,
all you need in the deepest sorrow,
all you need under the heaviest affliction,
all you need in sickness,
all you will need in the hour of death
and in the day of judgment.
Yea, and Christ is in all, too.
He is in all your salvation;
He is in all your mercies;
He is in all your trials;
He is in all your consolations
and in all your afflictions.
What more can you want?
What more do you desire?”
Morning Thoughts, July 10
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalm 23 is David’s testimony about his relationship with the Lord, which he wrote in his personal devotions. These were not merely nice words, or a bit of poetry, or a doctrinal statement, or wishful thinking. He wrote what He had experienced through difficult circumstances and deeply knew to be true. For us these can be just familiar words of comfort, or a teaching we listen to in a message, but only as we learn how to turn to the Lord Jesus in every circumstance and experience does it become our own personal and real testimony. Peace and security that passes all understanding then becomes ours.