Theme for the day:
The Power of Prayer
Today's theme addresses the importance of visualizing the reality of God in relation to kingdom participation and of these entities in the answering of the prayers of those who belong to such kingdoms. It is designed to inform about ways by which humans could communicate with God effectively through prayer. It suggest that the prayers that we sent up to God must be be heard and answered through the kingdoms to which we belong. Read the Lord's Prayer: Mathew 6 9-14 or Luke 11 1-4. of the King James version of the bible. There are, however, things that we must do, conditions that we must meet, before God through the kingdoms to which we belong, would answer whatever prayers we implement to him. Join us, as we explore this dynamic subject.
The Essence of Prayer
Presenter : Gatty James, Bishop of the Church
Let us Pray
Father, Most high God, we come before you this day to worship you, to praise you, to adore you, to express our undying love for you. We ask you Lord to come into our midst and worship with us in this your house of praise. Because of your love for us, we have dedicated this church to you. We ask that you bless us. Give us strength, knowledge and power, the basis of our having thy holy spirit Lord, to met the challenges of this life so that we can carry out your desire that we implement love for one another day by day. Be with us Lord. Teach us to pray as you taught your disciples, amen.
Scripture text for Today's Lesson
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His nameís sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever
Worship Leader's Welcome Remarks
Brothers and sisters, it is with pleasure that I invite you to worship with us this holy day that the Lord had made. After your week of toil, you have seen fit to come and join us as we give God praise. We do not implement worship on this day because we feel to. We are here today because God has asked us to set aside a special day of rest from our routine. We are happy to do his bidding and to join one another in songs, prayers and praise to him on this special day.
We echo the Psalmist David when he said, "I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord will I sing."
And so we invite you to join with us in song with these favorite songs.
Use the Audio Player to join us in song. Click Play to begin and Stop to end song.
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The Pastor Speaks
The Essence of Prayer
Brothers and sisters, my name is Bishop Gatty James. I salute you in God's name and welcome you to this lecture namely, The Essence of Prayer. I ask you to examine the bible with me, as it addresses this most important method by which humans may communicate with God. As mechanisms who are filled with needs, isn't it wonderful to know that we can talk to God and that he is capable of answering our prayers? Humans' therefore, can be assured that when they pray, such prayers could be heard. The days when we used to pray without being certain or even aware that our prayers could be heard, or that they do not have to be heard in mediocrity could become things of the past. What role, however, must humans play in making this reality? I say to you welcome in God's holy name and ask that you join me as we examine this important subject.
If there is one element that abides in the heart of every Christian in the world, it is that desire to be able to talk to God at any time, for of any reason, wherever we abide. This desire, which is highly culture-based, is rooted in the needs that we display for the things with which we are able to survive in the environments in which we dwell. Such a desire is also rooted in the constant attempts that we humans, our systems and organizations have made over the years to inform on the infinite powers that God wields over the world and its vast resources.
The foregoing desire also resulted from the principles that Jesus, the numerous prophets of the bible and other scholars defined about the criteria through which God suggested that he could be accessed towards meeting human needs. This powerful messages of deliverance have buoyed the spirits of many in the world who have constantly attempted to utilize prayer as a method by which they could implement the love, hope and happiness that Jesus spoke about while he was living among human on this earth a little over two thousand years ago.
According to the King James version of the bible, the document that defines the principles by which humans could interact with God, access to God is easier said than done. Jesus, his son, informed that in order for humans to gain access to his father, such humans must work through him, which is, utilize Jesusí method of kingdom unity as the basis by which they would be able to access to God, his father.
The whole of the new testament, from the book of Mathew to the book of Revelation, is dedicated to Jesusí kingdom of heaven, the methodology that Jesus declared is the basis by which humans could gain access to his father. Love of humans for one another is the primary tool through which this method must be implemented. Only through this love, would humans be able to acquire the powers by which they could dispel poverty, weakness, sickness, even death, and in turn get answers to their prayers. We can only become born again, through our understanding and acceptance of this powerful method of deliverance.
In a world in which people, systems and organizations, forces by which humans are highly influenced are so diverse, the implementation of love by humans for other humans, as that element was defined by Christ, has been one of the most difficult feats to accomplish.. Even as humans proclaim love for one another, in accordance with Jesusí call for that element, wars that are thousands of times more vicious than those that humans fought against one another during the times that he walked on this earth, are being fought daily.
Like the bible's most famous brothers, Cain and Abel, petty greed, envy and other prejudices continue to promote deceit and other evils among brothers. Sisters, families, communities and nations are no different. For our inability to implement such love, the opportunity and other costs have been enormous.
Indeed, the primary method that Jesus submitted to humans, as the basis by which we could solicit help from God, as we attempt to live in this world, is through prayer. This entity can be seen as the basis by which humans reach out to God, the all powerful master, king, or shepherd of the universe, of the home, the family, the kingdom, or any human, for help in their times of need. In this work, humans mean all of the human being who God has placed in his world, be they poor, black, white, yellow, brown, imprisoned, gay, lesbians or straight. God is a God of all peoples.
A kingdom is that unitary force through which humans are able to implement transformation processes, notwithstanding the size, position or other dynamics of such a kingdom. By being a people-based instrument, kingdoms are equipped with the capacity to guarantee humans that their prayers could be heard. The basis of this, is that all kingdoms have the power to a emulate Godís method by which these entities should be implemented.
In Godís kingdom, for example, there are no half or three quarters of humans, as the confederate constitution of the South of the United States of America had pronounced African to be during the dark days of Chattel slavery in that nation. There are no non-human, chattel slaves, as some people, because of their disrespect for God and his wonderful works, declared Africans to be. Through prayer, all humans, and the instruments that such people create, by which they could be represented in this world, be they churches or other types of institutions, can talk to God about their problems and their needs.
When it comes to prayers to God, no individual, group, family or organization can monopolize this element. The young the old, the rich, the poor, all people, community and other forms of entities have equal access to God. All can talk to God, Yahweh, Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, about their difficulties with others, even with themselves. All can reach out to God in confidence, without fear of retaliation or prejudices, and ask that tell that to provide for their needs. God, in turn, by being that infinite source of strength, courage and power, can help such entities as they attempt to implement solutions to their problems.
To the downtrodden, the poor the disposed, homeless or the deprived, this should be the most wonderful news that have ever been echoed in their ears. For those who are afraid to approach God the father, Jesus Christ has informed us, that he possesses the capacity to intercede with his father, on behalf of such humans with other humans, and as is defined in Exodus chapter 2, and the Psalms, with other Gods and other people of different persuasions.
No man, Jesus said, could get to his father except through him., Christ, by making such a comment, was implying that he alone has the method through which his father, the God of the world, the owner of everything, could be accessed. Weather an entity utilizes prayer by which that entity could gain access to God and the things with which God could help or not, that entity must activate Jesusí method. It is because of this that we must do every thing that we can to comprehend this lifeline to our prosperity in the world, Jesusí model of deliverance.
God, indeed, the great father, according to Jesus, understands our needs, and can look into our minds to define what ails us. He can then design ways by which he could help, and help us as we strive to deal wit our problems. He can mediate, even arbitrate the problems that arise between people and other peoples, between God and the fellowmen of others, and between such people and the world. What can be seen from the foregoing claims, is that God is remarkably powerful, willing and able. His understanding of the systems in which we live gives him enough credence to be able to such claims. This power that God wields, makes it absolutely necessary for him to become linked to the transformation of humans.
If mortal humans are to reap the rich rewards that God, through his ability and willingness to intercede on their behalf and to mediate their problems with others can bestow on such humans, they must be aware of the dynamics of this powerful and important entity, which is, who God is. It is only fair that God, who is so relevant to the survival and positive transformation of humans, be known by such humans. They must be able to trust him, be at ease in his presence, talk with God as they do with their parents, children or best friends.
No husband nor mother who love and care about that entityís under aged children, would allow their such little ones to walk, even talk with someone or something that such parents do not know, except such people are deranged. Should they do this, they could be exposing such children to danger, and under current laws, be charged with endangering the welfare of their children. How then, can humans trust a God who they do not know? How could humans, confidentially, without fear of blackmail and other negative repercussions, tell a God who they do not know, about their needs and problems, when they are not aware of his attitude to dealing with such elements, especially if the environment in which such people are interacting is hostile to such people.
Humans must confidentially trust the God who they serve to provide such entities with the things that they need to build their lives, notwithstanding their capacities to contribute to the building of his kingdom? For God sees every member of his kingdom as being essential to the growth of that entity. Would the God to whom the United States pray, be willing to hide the secrets of that nation from its enemies, even if the nation seem to be wrong in the eyes of such enemies. Many people claim that prayer could be answered to the benefit of entities, in accordance with the faith that such entities have in God. It was James, in his message to Jewish believers, who wrote, ďEven so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone,Ē James 2: 17.
In this complex, sinful, even remarkable world, the God to whom we pray must be willing to implement work on our behalf, towards the answering our prayers. The most important factor here, is that the answering of prayer is quite possible. If this is so, why then are troubles, poverty and hopelessness so prevalent among peoples, even those who frequently pray to God for help. The answer to this question will be found in our examination of the true dynamics of God and prayer, in relation to humans, systems, environments and organizations.
The first thesis that is implemented in this work, is that the God, that powerful force, what we can call the king of his kingdom who an entity serves, must be relevant to that entity. Relevance here, implies that God must know or understand that entity, be able to feel that its woes, hear its cries and feel its pains. God must in effect, be a crucial part of that entity. Wouldnít it be useless for an entity that is making a specialized product, to ask another who knows nothing, even cares nothing, about that productís development, to promote such a product after it was built?
Will a God who doesnít know an entity, even care about what ails that entity, be willing to listen to its cries for help, and try to help? Will a God who knows nothing about your difficulties, your sorrows, your hurts or your pains, even the joys that you experience day after day, be able to empathize with you? Will he trust the honor and praise that you bestow on him, when he realizes that you do not know him? Likewise, will he accept the praise you give, for his wonderful works to others, even while you may be suffering as they enjoy plenty?
Will a God who knows nothing of an entity, allow that entity to interrupt him at his sacred throne of grace at any time, towards telling him of their grief, their sorrows and pain, when that God is not aware of who that entity is? Is there any correlation between ethnicity and God, even the extent to which he watched some of such entities suffer in his world, answered the prayers of some who ask for things in mediocrity, amidst their sufferings in this world? Are there preconditions that humans must meets before they God would answer their prayers? To fully enjoy the benefits of prayer, it is necessary that these questions be addressed, in relation to the questioner.
Indeed, the God to whom this writer if referring in this work, means God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; all individual entities which combine to become one; this oneness being the body, soul and Spirit of God. Most of all, such a God means a God who emanates out of the entity that is seeking the support of such a God, wherever their members are dispersed in the world. The psalmist David in his overwhelming and confidential praise and thanks to his God, was so proud of his God, that he exalted that entity as the greatest among all of the other Gods that existed in the world then.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works, David wrote. This praise was given because of Godís sustenance of the children of Israel, and their continued deliverance out of the hands of their enemies and into self reliance. As far as King David was concerned, his God was deserving of all of the praise that his people could have showered on him. He had accumulated so much, that he could have found time to write praise to God. He wrote the book of Psalms, one of the most poetic books in the King James version of the bible.
Even the penning of praise to God therefore, could become difficult for those whose prayers are either not heard, or are heard in mediocrity. For it is extremely difficult for the troubled mind, or the mind that knows no happiness, to write about praise and happiness, even to write and thank God. In effect, Godís answering of prayer sets the basis by which he would be praised by humans.
If indeed, we pray and we implement the actions that God said should be implemented by us and our prayers are not answered, God must be held accountable. God does not lie. Thus it become necessary for us to examine our selves for what we may be doing wrong. The bible say, whatsoever you ask in my name, believing you shall receive. Remember every prayer that you send up to the heaven can be heard in accordance wit your needs. But there are requirements that you must meet to make such reality. What are these elements? Find out in the next discussion in this series.
Today's Song of Deliverance and Awareness
Higher Ground: I'm pressing on the upward way. New Heights I'm gaining every day.
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on the upward way,
me up, and let me stand
We highly appreciate this precious gift that you are about to give to this worthy cause towards carrying out God's work through this church. As we return our tithes and offering to God, let us meditate on Malachi 3: 10-13:
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
Let us all bow our heads as our head Deacon prays for God's Gift through his people:
Lord we thank you this gift that you through your people have given this church today. Bless it. Guide the hands that will implement it towards the building of your kingdom. Continue to bless those who have given. Bring prosperity the those who have been a unable to give. In your precious and holy name: Amen
Closing Prayer: Let us pray:
Father, you have been in our midst today and have uttered through my mouth, the things that I have informed your worshipers this day. Open their hearts that they would understand the relevance of such words to their spiritual and physical deliverance. Help them to understand you, to search you out and to implement acts by which they could have their prayers heard. Hide nothing from them, Oh God. Show them the necessity of unity and the basis by which they would have their prayers heard. Be with them as they leave this sanctuary, stay in their hearts and teach them spirituality, especially through action oriented love for one another, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Church's Theme Song
Lean on Me: by Bill Withers
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