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Scripture Memory: Strength.

VERSE : Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

15 May 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Cornelius: A Just and God-fearing Man, Acts 10:1-8, 21-23)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Calvin Loh (The Man Whom God Accepts, Lk 18:9-14)

22 May 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (God Is No Respecter of Persons, Acts 10:25-35)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Peter Tan (The Millstone, Matt 18:1-14)

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THE PRAYER THAT JESUS TAUGHT

Prayer is the natural breath of one’s spiritual life. Just as the body needs to breathe in order to stay alive, the believer’s soul needs to pray to stay spiritually alive. There should be a natural desire in our hearts to communicate with the Lord in prayer, because God’s work of regeneration puts that desire in place. Romans 8:15 says that born-again Christians have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father.” And hence there should always be an earnest desire in us to learn how to pray correctly.

Our Lord Jesus was very concerned that His disciples should learn to pray correctly. He disliked the long hypocritical prayers that were made by some men. He also gave much teaching on the proper way to pray, and at least three of the parables He told were meant as lessons on prayer.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke against using prayer as a means to impress people and against reciting formula prayers repeatedly, as if they are magical incantations (Matthew 6:5-8). He then introduced a prayer to His disciples by saying, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

Although this is commonly called ‘the Lord’s prayer’ it was meant for us who are disciples of Christ to use and not for Christ Himself. Hence it is better to call it ‘the Disciples’ prayer’. The first thing that must be stated is that it is not meant to be a formula prayer that contains just the right combination of syllables or words. The prayer that Jesus taught should never be recited automatically without thinking or understanding what is being recited.

One easy way to prove that it was never meant it to be used as a formula prayer is to compare the words of Matthew 6:9-13 with the words of the same prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 11:2-4 – “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

The obvious differences reveal that it is not the exact words used in praying that matters, but rather the elements of prayer such as worship, reverence, obedience, penitence, unselfishness and humility which are reflected by them. The prayer that Jesus taught is therefore meant to be used as a pattern or guide for our praying. Hugh Latimer, the English reformer who was burnt at the stake, said: “As the law of love is the sum and abridgment of all other laws, so is this prayer the sum and abridgment of all other prayers.”

One may then ask the question – How about our practice of using it for congregational praying during worship services every Sunday? Would that not also be a mere reciting of this prayer? Yes, it would, if we say it aloud without understanding what it means and meaning what we say.

We use it in our worship services each Sunday for two reasons: Firstly, when it is used in congregational praying, it serves as a unified cry to God, similar to the manner in which the early church prayed in Acts 4:24 – “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said…” (see also Acts 1:24) Since all the pronouns in this Prayer are plural, it lends itself well to congregational praying (“Our Father…”; “Give us this day…” “Forgive us our trespasses…” and “Lead us not into temptation…”).

The use of this prayer in public worship was recommended in the Westminster Directory of Public Worship. This directory is related to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Shorter and Larger Catechisms which we use as our doctrinal standard. The directory of worship states: “And because the prayer which Christ taught his disciples is not only a pattern of prayer, but itself a most comprehensive prayer, we recommend it also to be used in the prayers of the church.”

Secondly, using it in our worship services every Sunday serves as a reminder to us and our families about the elements that should be included in our praying during the rest of the week. This may prevent our own prayers from degenerating into a shopping list or a self-centred tirade of complaints and petitions.

The prayer that Jesus taught reminds us that God must be more important to us than our own needs and desires. It inculcates a right disposition toward Him, which constantly seeks to honour His name, advance His rule and do His will. All our requests would then be made with the understanding that God should grant them insofar as they are aligned with these things.

Whenever we pray we ought to be seeking the Giver rather than the gifts. Whether He gives or blesses us or not is not important. What really matters most to us is that He is God and we ought to seek Him for Who He is, and not for what He does for us or gives to us.

The prayer that Jesus taught also reminds us that we need to confess our sins and seek God’s forgiveness as much as we need our daily bread. Since we need food every day for our physical well-being, we also need to be forgiven for each day’s sins for our spiritual well-being. Nothing disrupts our enjoyment of fellowship with God more than unconfessed sin. As Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

Seeing how useful this prayer is, let us be prepared to use it meaningfully as a united congregational prayer offered up to God each Sunday, and as a pattern for our personal prayer life. May we all become men and women of prayer!                                              —Pastor

 

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My Prayer

 

I do not ask that I may steer

My bark by peaceful shores alone,

Nor that I linger, harbour-bound,

And sail no stormy seas unknown,

I only ask this boon of Thee:

Be ever in the ship with me.

 

I do not ask that I may dwell

From din of battle far removed,

Nor ever feel temptation’s force,

Nor ever know mine armour proved,

I only ask, through Life’s long fight,

Grant me the power of Thy might.

 

I do not ask that I may walk

Only on smoothly trodden grass,

Nor ever climb the mountain’s height

And trembling, through its dangers pass;

I only ask, on rocks or sand,

The sure upholding of Thy hand.

 

I dare not pray for any gift

Upon my pilgrim path to Heaven;

I only ask one thing of Thee:

Give Thou Thyself and all is given.

I am not strong nor brave nor wise;

Be Thou with me – it shall suffice.

 

- A. J. Flint -

 

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 29th May 2016   

Time: 8 am & 11 am

Topic: “After Death, What?”

Speakers:

Rev Philip Heng (English Service)

Rev Tang Chee Keong (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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Combined Fellowships & NBCs Seminar

How SHOULD WE THEN Live? :
A Consideration of Christian Conduct in Light of Christ’s Coming Again

Speaker: Rev Edward Paauwe

Date: 18th June 2016, 2.30pm - 5.30pm

Dinner is provided.

Closing Date: 29 May 2016

Please register online at http://www.lifebpc.com/combined-seminar 

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ERBL Seminar 2016

by Dr John A Battle

Day Lectures: A Biblical Appraisal of the Crucial Contemporary Concerns of the Postmodern Era, Mon-Fri (20-24 Jun), from 8.30am-1pm, Exams (Sat). Audit/Credit: $40/$80

Night Lectures: Biblical Formation & Church Growth, Mon (20 Jun) & Thu (23 Jun), 7.30 pm - 9.30pm. Cost: Free.

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CREATION MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR

Topic: QUESTION EVOLUTION! ARE YOU READY FOR ANSWERS?

Speaker: Dr Mark Harwood

Date: 23 July 2016 (Saturday)

Time: 9.30am – 2.30pm (Lunch provided)

Venue: Beulah Centre MPH

On-line registration: http://www.lifebpc.com/cmi-seminar 

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1) Life B-P Church Camp 2016. Church Camp fees payment can be made over 3 Sundays (15May, 22May, 29May).  Timing is between 9.30-10.45am and after second service, till 1pm.  Location will be at Church Office Level 3 at Beulah Centre.

2) New Appointment: Mr Francis Leong Peng Kai has been appointed as Assistant Church Operations Manager and will be under the full-time employment of Life B-P Church with effect from 9 May 2016 and authorised to assist the Church Operations Manager to provide active support in the mission, administrative affairs and general operations of the church.

3) Catechism Class for Anniversary Baptism on 16 Oct 2016 commences on 10 Jul 16 at Beulah Centre Rm 2-1, 9.30am. Please pre-register by emailing church office or filling up the form available at the front counter. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism class. Closing date: 4 Jul 16.

4) VBS-2016 “Faith is the Victory!” Inviting Children and Helpers to come during 1st week of June 1-3, 9am to 1pm. For inquiries: Dn Benedict Sim 9475-6045. Kindly register at http://www.lifebpc.com/vbs .

5) The Families of Sebastian Koh and Irene Tan Lu Hoon would like to thank the Pastors and Church Members for their condolences, presence, prayers and love during their recent bereavement.

 

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Thai Service, 2.30pm.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25