38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets.40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:5-6).
The blog and video I’m posting today is really self explanatory and therefore doesn’t need much said about it.
So here we have it, so many questions all of them answered by God himself. It jus remains for me to say the best way to talk to God is by prayer.
11 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
“‘Father,[a] hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.[b] 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c] And lead us not into temptation.[d]’”
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead?12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Whilst yesterday’s blog was based on Holiness and discipleship I have based today’s blog on prayer using the simple prayer chorus ‘Teach me ho to love thee’
Teach me how to love thee,
Teach me how to pray,
Teach me how to serve thee
Better every day;
Teach me how to serve thee
Better every day.
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[f] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
One of my favourite songs is My Simple Prayer to the tune of Donegal Bay
The words of the song really speak for themselves, as they tell us in order for us to gain his trust we must pray to at all times and we know that he is there
Towards the end of yesterday’s blog you may recall I asked you to pray for the people of Greece as they deal with what’s happened at the southern end of their country.
If you don’t already know some of you outside the UK reading this will know we have had the biggest heatwave since 1976 with temperatures reaching up to 36 degrees in the south of the country. Resevoires are low as are rivers, farmers crops are suffering as well. Yesterday I heard on the news that hospital departments that would normally be quiet at this time of year are experiencing the same volume of people now as they would in winter.
It is ironic however that we British people are never satisfied because we seem to complain when theirs no rain or not enough sun.
The well is deep, and I require
A draft of the Water of Life
And none can quench my souls desire
For a draft of the Water of Life
Till one draws near
Who the cry will hear
Helper of man
In their time of need
And I believing, find indeed
That Christ is the Water of Life
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[c] that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,[d] both to the wise and to the foolish.15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
The Salvation Army is a church where people are encouraged to stand up and give there testimony (though not everyone prefers to do that). Another way of testifying is through song and I found this toe tapping song to sing along to
Jesus shares some tremendous insight regarding how to pray to God in Matthew 6:5-13.
“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think prayers are answered only by repeating words over and over again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
In the above verses, Jesus shares how not to pray.
Verse 5: We are to pray in secret, not the way people did in His day — praying out loud publicly, primarily to just be seen, and heard.
Verse 6: Jesus asks us to go to a private place since our Heavenly Father already knows what we are going to pray about.
Verse 7: Jesus tells us not to ramble on and on, as people of other religions do, or be repetitious with words. God, our heavenly Father, would have us be specific about our prayer.
Verse 8: Jesus reiterates that the believer is not to pray repetitiously like the heathen.
Next, Jesus, teaches us how to pray.
Verse 9: Jesus says we should give honor to God and His name.
Verse 10: We are to pray for His Kingdom to come, and for His will to be done, that there would be a heavenly or godly presence here on earth.
Verse 11: We are to pray for daily provision.
Verse 12: We are to pray and ask for forgiveness for our sins, and for others who have wronged us.
Verse 13: We are to pray and ask God to keep us from being tempted, and to deliver us from Satan and his power.
Other New Testament writers describe other ways to pray. Paul, in Philippians 4:6, says that we should pray for everything with thanksgiving. Paul, who wrote several books of the New Testament, often began and ended his letters in prayer for the saints. Specifically, Paul prays for God’s grace, peace, love, and faith among believers.
3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.
The hymn was inspired in 1902 by a simple prayer of an elderly woman at a prayer meeting: “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord — just have your way with our lives . . ..”
The author, Adelaide A. Pollard (1862-1934) was born in Iowa. Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck provides a detailed description of her life. He notes that following her education in elocution and physical culture, she moved to Chicago where she became a teacher in girls’ schools. In addition, she developed a fine reputation as an itinerant Bible study teacher. Later, she worked with two evangelists, one who developed a healing ministry, and the other who focused on the imminent return of Christ.
Pollard had a strong desire to be a missionary in Africa. When this plan was not fulfilled, she taught at a Missionary Training School at Nyack-on-the-Hudson. She finally made it to Africa for a brief period before World War I, but she spent the war years in Scotland. After returning to the United States, she continued her ministry even though she was in poor health.
“Have Thine Own Way, Lord” was composed during a time when Miss Pollard was trying to raise funds to make a trip to Africa. Her unsuccessful attempt to do this left her experiencing a “distress of soul.” This crisis of the soul and the simple prayer of an elderly lady provided a setting for personal reflection on the will of God for her life. After the prayer meeting, she returned home and wrote the hymn as we sing it today.
The text with its tune ADELAIDE was included in the Northfield Hymnal with Alexander’s Supplement (1907). Two changes were made for The United Methodist Hymnal: In stanza two, “Master” was changed to “Savior” and “whiter than snow” was changed to “wash me just now.” This change offers insight into the process of editing a hymnal.
The Rev. Carlton R. Young, editor of The United Methodist Hymnal, noted in his Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal: “The Hymnal Revision Committee debate on the latter change was intense and sustained. Those proposing the change stated that one does not have to be white, a North European, or Anglo Caucasian to be perceived as spiritually pure and socially acceptable. An African American member said, ‘You can wash me as much as you wish, but after you’ve finished, I’ll be just as black, which is beautiful.’ Those who wished to retain the original argue that the reference to washing was not about the pigmentation of human skin, but to the soul as in Psalm 51:7, ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.'”
The third stanza perhaps is autobiographical, reflecting the struggle of Miss Pollard to discern God’s will for her life: “Wounded and weary, help me I pray!” This stanza also summons the “power” of Christ to “Touch me and heal me.” The final stanza invokes the Spirit to “fill” the singer, “till all shall see/Christ only, always,/living in me! The Rev. Young notes that, “In her last years she was attracted to extreme texts, living the life of a mystic.”
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
Praying hands (German: Betende Hände), also known as Study of the Hands of an Apostle (Studie zu den Händen eines Apostels), is a pen-and-ink drawing by the German printmaker, painter and theorist Albrecht Dürer. The work is today stored at the Albertina museum in Vienna, Austria. Dürer created the drawing using the technique of white heightening and black ink on (self-made) blue colored paper. The drawing shows a close up of two male hands clasped together praying. Also, the partly rolled up sleeves are seen.
The drawing is a sketch (study) for hands of an apostles who was planned to occupy the central panel of the triptych in installed in Frankfurt titled the Heller Altarpiece, which was later destroyed by a fire in 1729. The sketched hands appear on the triptych on the right side of the central panel, and although the detail appears very similar, it is smaller in size in the triptych.
The drawing also once contained a sketch of the apostle’s head, but the sheet with the head has been separated from it. Overall, Dürer made 18 sketches for the altarpiece. The first public recognition of the artwork was in 1871 when it was exhibited in Vienna, and the image is thought probably to depict Dürer’s own hands