Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 4, 2014

march 4, 2014 “To Prayer! To Prayer!

“Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, Ido! And all heaven applauds.” (Matthew 5: 11-12- The Message Bible)

Good Morning My Beloved Family of Faith!

One of the more interesting places I have visited is New England. I first went there with my parents at the age of eleven. Admittedly, at that time I was much more excited about staying at a motel that had a swimming pool than I was with the Revolutionary War sites we visited. In fact, I couldn’t tell you of a one we saw that trip, though I know we did visit them. Later on, however, I had opportunity to return when I was a sophomore at Grove City College. This time I took it all in…Concord and Lexington, Boston, Mystic Harbor Connecticut, and did so with fascination. I could almost hear Paul Revere calling citizens “To arms…to arms…the Redcoats are Coming”. The “shot heard round the world”, fired at the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts , marked the beginning volley of the Revolutionary War and the fray was fully engaged and history was in the making.

Today, a different call “to arms” has been issued. In fact, that particular call to arms was actually made centuries before. The command was issued by a seemingly defeated foe who electrified the world forever through His glorious resurrection after a cruel crucifixion. You may read of his call to arms in the Book that tells his story. His name is Jesus. He does not promise freedom from persecution or pain. In fact, he actually tells his followers to rejoice when it is brought upon them. He says, “Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds.”  Pastor and theologian Sidlow Baxter writes,

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our person- but they are helpless against our prayer. Fellow Christians who love the cause of Christ- to prayer! To prayer! The times are calling us to it. We must press on.”

The call is not “To arms…to arms”  this time, but “to prayer…to prayer.” The battle is won when the children of God are on their knees! How ironic is that? It is from the humblest of positions that the greatest victories are won. As Baxter observed so poignantly and so accurately, “The times are calling us to it. we must press on. There is little doubt of the accuracy of that statement. the times are most definitely upon us. Christ is returning soon. “To prayer!…to prayer! Let’s pray.

God our Champion, our Lord, our King; strengthen and fortify us for the battle before us. bring us to our knees that we may soar with wings like eagles’ and proceed from victory to victory through Christ our lord, in whose Mighty name we pray! Amen!

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