“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25-26

 

How much of our prayer is based on us? Is it based on what we want to receive from God, what we are going through, what our situation looks like, how we are feeling, how we are doing, how we are treated?

 

Prayer is a thing of the heart and the greatest prayer is meditation. By prayer we take hold of God’s promises by faith. All real meditation and worship will bring a response to God because to pray is to bring ourselves to God’s mind, not to drag Him to ours. The engagement of our heart toward God, yielding our faculties to Him, triggers a response and that response could be thanksgiving, praise, confession; and God’s response will be timely and reliable; He will work through you and in you for a greater answer to your prayers. 

 

To meditate is to focus only on God. By focusing on God, faith comes spontaneously. Focusing on God puts everything in its proper perspective. If the focus of Paul and Silas had been on their unjust imprisonment, when the earthquake shook the prison and loosed their chains, they would have instantly escaped. But instead, their praise directed their focus on God and they became a channel of blessing, prophecy and salvation to the prisoners and the jailer and his entire family. Mediation changes our focus and faith causes things to happen. Meditation shifts our focus from the natural into God’s presence. When your heart gets into God’s presence, your thoughts turn to reality. To know God’s presence is to know His power.

 

From inside the prison cell, God revealed to Paul the jailer’s intention to kill himself and he cried out, “Don’t harm yourself, we are all here!” (Acts 16:28) They did not interpret the outward signs to favour them but rather submitted to God’s leading in every step. After the jailer and his household had received salvation, they left the prison not as runaways but they were escorted to freedom in honour and dignity as Roman citizens who had been mistreated.

 

Whatever situation you are in, it is too early to complain, too early to jubilate before finding out what God says about it. Take this lesson from Paul and Silas: You can pray amiss, but you can never ever praise amiss. When you praise, you take the focus off yourself and it is only then that you can become a channel of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SACRIFICE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

“There is no time to do what is right. We must set our heart to obey the Word of God, all the time. God’s kind of lifestyle calls us to do what is right in the sight of God at all times, even though it is contrary to what we naturally want to do. Choosing to do what is right is a great test to the flesh.

What is the sacrifice of righteousness? Choosing to do God’s will rather than our own. When our flesh says hate, God says love. It takes sacrificial love to love your enemy and to pray for them. These are the weapons of righteousness. This is the sacrifice that Jesus looks at and rewards. Even though that might not be a grand, or outward sacrifice, it is what Jesus values.”

LIFE ANEW

“When we talk of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are talking of the rare opportunity He has given to all believers to experience a new beginning – a situation in which every dead area of our lives receives life anew.

We are dead to our past and alive to our future. Sin’s power over us is broken and we now put on Christ’s new life: we live in Him, move in Him and have our being in Him. Herein lies the significance of resurrection.”

THE LORD HAS CHASED YOUR ENEMY

“How many of us like the people within the dying city, struck by famine, give in to fear, desperation and refuse to venture outside when God has chased our enemy away? Fear can cripple and torment us, and rob us of life’s opportunities. How many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and even years have been wasted due to fear.”