Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | January 7, 2014

January 7, 2014 “The First and the Last”

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

“Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”  (Revelation 22:20)

Good Morning Friends in Christ!

Do you remember the first prayer you ever prayed? In my own life, I speculate that it was either grace said around the dinner table or “Now I lay me down to sleep”. My parents taught me to pray and that prayer was important. But I prayed then without understanding, and I am not sure that I can truly categorize either of those as being my first real prayer. Those were merely repeated words. My first “real” prayer  likely occurred when I came to believe in my heart that God was real and not some imaginary figure like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Like the man whose son was healed by Jesus in Mark’s account, it was something akin to his…”Lord I believe! Help my unbelief.” For some of us, that awakening belief came during childhood. For others, it was later in life. Whenever it was, it marked the beginning of a new relationship…a relationship with the living Lord, and was the first stage of living a holy life, a life transformed by God. I have said many prayers since that first believing prayer, and, like the old hymn, I have “proved him o’er and o’er”. Also like the old hymn, I pray for “grace to trust him more”. Lord I believe…help my unbelief!  Holy living begins something like that. Then it becomes daily living lasting an entire lifetime, until we come to that final prayer in our lives. E.M. Bounds said,

The first and last stages of holy living are crowned with praying.”

 I don’t know what it will be or where that final prayer might be uttered in my life, but I will share with you that the last thing I pray before I close my eyes each evening is “Jesus is Lord!” If I never utter another word in this mortal life, I would like that to be my final prayer. “Even so, come Lord Jesus!” Let’s pray!

I believe in You, O Lord. Help my unbelief! Sanctify me throughout my life and “fit me for heaven to live with Thee there”. Even so, come Lord Jesus! Amen!

The first and last stages of holy living are crowned with praying. — E.M. Bounds



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