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PRAYER AND THE MOTORCYCLE
There was a woman at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter.
She returned to her car to find that she had locked the keys inside the car when she went into the pharmacy and was now unable to get into her car to drive home.
She didn’t know what to do and started to panic, so she called home and told the baby sitter what had happened and that she did not know what to do. The baby sitter told her to find a coat hanger and see if that would open the door.
The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground, possibly by someone else who also had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don’t know how to use this." So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help.
In so doing, she obeyed the command to never stop praying. Do you think God would reward her for that?
Within five minutes a motorcycle roared up and pulled into the parking space next to her car. A rough, dirty-looking biker got off and saw her situation. He asked if he could help her. The woman thought, "This is what you sent to help me, God?"
She finally told him yes, as she needed to hurry and get home to her sick daughter. He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "Thank you so much! You are such a nice man."
The man replied; "No, I’m not, Lady. I just got out of prison for car theft." The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out to God, "You even sent me a professional."
1 Peter 4:10-4:10
1 Peter 4:1-4:11
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DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PRAY
I heard a story of a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, "Does anyone here know how to pray?"
One man stepped forward and said, "Yes sir, I know how to pray."
The captain said, "Wonderful, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets--we're one short."
Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com.
Writer & speaker Joni Erickson Tada was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident. In her book Secret Strength, Joni wrote about facing temptation.
I was in my late 20’s, single, and with every prospect of remaining so. Sometimes lust or a bit of fantasizing would seem so inviting and so easy to justify. After all, hadn’t I already given up more than most Christians just by being disabled? Didn’t my wheelchair entitle me to a little slack now and then?
Joni went on the ask her readers;
When God allows you to suffer, do you have tendency to use your trials as an excuse for sinning? Or do you feel that since you’ve given God a little extra lately by taking abuse, that He owes you a "day off?"
Hard times can often lead to temptation... In our suffering the evil one is quick to come to our aid and offer one of his solutions; pursuing pleasure to numb the pain, coping an attitude, becoming bitter, getting even, feeding anger...
Japanese sword illustration: It is the Japanese who have created the best swords in the world. To create these fine weapons, ancient Japanese sword makers had to create a sword that was hard enough to retain a sharp edge, but at the same time soft enough not to be brittle. Sword makers who made swords by making the steel hard found they could preserve a sharp edge. Such swords, however, were often so brittle that they would often break when they clashed in battle. Soft steel, however, was found to be not as brittle, but would easily dull and be unable to slice through armor. Japanese sword makers, therefore had to forge a sword with steel hard enough to retain a sharp edge, but at the same time pliable enough not to break in battle.
What Japanese sword makers learned to do was to create a sword made of hard and soft steel. Multiple sheets of hard and soft steel are heated, folded and pummeled together over and over again. Japanese swords go through a lengthy forging process until they have up to 33,000 paper-thin laminations of hard and soft metal.
Each of these layers is one hundred thousandth of an inch thick. This is all done to a very precise recipe of temperature treatment. The end result is a finely crafted weapon with extreme pliability and a blade that will retain a finely honed edge.
Just as Japanese sword makers repeatedly hammer together layers of metal to produce a sword that will be strong enough to withstand breaking, so God allows trials to hammer metal into the lives of His children. Just a sword made of hard metal will easily break in battle, so the belie...
In her book, THE HIDING PLACE, Corrie Ten Boom relates an incident that taught her to be thankful for things we normally would not be thankful for. She and her sister, Betsy, prisoners of the Nazis, had just been transferred to the worst prison camp they had seen yet, Ravensbruck. Upon entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and infested with fleas. Their Scripture reading from their smuggled Bible that morning in 1 Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsy told Corrie to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give thanks for the fleas, but Betsy persisted. Corrie finally agreed to somehow thank God for even the fleas.
During the months spent at that camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings in their barrack without guard interference. Several months later they learned that the guards would not enter the barracks because of the fleas.
IN REFERENCE TO THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON AMERICA, REV. BILLY GRAHAM STATED, “IN TIMES LIKE THIS, WE REALIZE HOW WEAK AND INADEQUATE WE ARE, AND OUR GREATEST NEED IS TO TURN IN REPENTANCE AND FAITH TO THE GOD OF ALL MERCY AND THE FATHER OF ALL COMFORT. IF EVER THERE WAS A TIME FOR US TO TURN TO GOD AND TO PRAY AS A NATION, IT IS NOW -- THAT THIS EVIL WILL SPREAD NO FURTHER.”
The New York Times reports that during the attacks of
September 11, the communication between rescue workers and their commanding officers was not good. Instead of reaching the workers by radio to warn of the imminent collapse of the Trade Center Towers, a messenger had to be sent by foot across acres, dodging flaming debris and falling bodies, to deliver the news in person. He arrived with the information less than one minute before the first tower fell.
Maybe your life feels a little like September 11th. It is completely out of control with the falling debris of debt, family disfunction, work pressure, bad health, or all the above! But your communication with the Commander can be different.
Can you hear him calling out the orders "That guy is bad news." "You're going to spend all that on what?!" "Love her like I loved you!"
Open your ears and hear what God is saying. Open your mouth, and ask him what to do. “Does He who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see?" (Psalm 94:9)
Source: SermonCentral staff. Citation: Jim Dwyer, New York Times, January 30, 2002.
The story is told of a Sunday class that had been asked the question, ˇ§in your time of discouragement, what is your favorite Scripture.ˇ¨ A young man said, ˇ§the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want Psalm 23:1.ˇ¨
A middle age woman said, ˇ§God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1. Another woman said, ˇ§In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world. John 16:33-35. Then old Mr. John who was 80 years old, with head of white hair and dark black skin, stood up and said with as much strength as he could muster, ˇ§and it came to passˇ¨ 85 times in the bible. The class started to laugh a little thinking that old Mr. Johnˇ¦s lack of memory was getting the best of him. When the snickering stopped, he said. At 30 I lost my job with six hungry mouths and a wife to feed. I didnˇ¦t know how I would make it. At 40 my eldest son was killed overseas in the war. It knocked me down. At 50 my house burned to the ground. Nothing was saved out of the house. At 60 my wife of 40 years got cancer. It slowly ate away at her. We cried together many a night on our k...
John Williams III
I read an account about a storm that came as a surprise. "The storm came roaring in from the Atlantic, and it left the city of New York paralyzed. Ordinarily such a snow fall cause little inconvenience in that city. Snowplows are assembled and crews are at work even as the first flakes begin to fall. The weather forecasters do a good job, and because they do the city is kept moving and New Yorkers can continue on their way. But on that cold day a few years back, the weatherman missed it. His mistake was understandable. Weather systems in this country usually move west to east. This storm slipped in from the east, taking New York City by surprise. This sort of thin happens not only to cities but also to people". (Ernest A. Fitzgerald. Keeping Pace: Inspirations In The Air. Greensboro: Pace Communications Inc. 1988, p. 116). Jesus knew that there would be times when storms would come and cause an upheaval for these disciples that He was praying for. Jesus is praying for them and their mission to be faithful when those times would come. Jesus is praying for protection from the evil one as well as their sanctification.
Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow, all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneliness and misery, not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity, but because God’s heart has become one with ours.