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Scripture Memory: Provision.

VERSE : Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

28 September 2014
8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Charles Seet (Pray Without Ceasing, 1 Thes 5:17)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Eld Sherman Ong (Inseparable Love of Christ, Rom 8:31-39)

5 October 2014
8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Jack Sin (Knowing and Obeying God’s Will with Gratitude, 1 Thes 5 :18)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jesus Is Not a Disappointment,Rom 10:1-13)

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COUNSEL TO THOSE WHO PRAY

(Abridged from JC Ryle’s tract, A Call to Pray) 

Many children of God often find the season of prayer a season of conflict. The devil has special wrath against us when he sees us on our knees. Yet, I believe that prayers which cost us no trouble, should be regarded with great suspicion. I believe we are very poor judges of the goodness of our prayers, and that the prayer which pleases us least, often pleases God most. Suffer me then, as a companion in the Christian warfare, to offer a few words of exhortation. One thing, at least, we all feel: we must pray. We cannot give it up. We must go on.

I commend then to your attention, the importance of reverence and humility in prayer. Let us never forget what we are, and what a solemn thing it is to speak with God. Let us beware of rushing into His presence with carelessness and levity. Let us say to ourselves: “I am on holy ground. This is no other than the gate of heaven. If I do not mean what I say, I am trifling with God. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Let us keep in mind the words of Solomon, “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2) When Abraham spoke to God, he said, “I am dust and ashes.” When Jacob spoke to God, he said, “I am vile.” Let us do likewise.

I commend to you the importance of praying spiritually. I mean by that, that we should labour always to have the direct help of the Spirit in our prayers, and beware above all things of formality. There is nothing so spiritual that it may become a form, and this is especially true of private prayer. We may insensibly get into the habit of using the fittest possible words, and offering the most scriptural petitions, and yet do it all by rote without feeling it, and walk daily round an old beaten path. I desire to touch this point with caution and sensitivity. I know that there are certain things we need daily, and that there is nothing necessarily formal in asking for these things in the same words. The world, the devil, and our hearts, are daily the same. Of necessity we must daily go over old ground. But this I say, we must be very careful on this point. If the skeleton and outline of our prayers be by habit almost form, let us strive that the clothing and filling up of our prayers, be as far as possible of the Spirit.

I commend to you the importance of making prayer a regular business of life. I might say something of the value of regular times in the day for prayer. God is a God of order. Disorder is eminently one of the fruits of sin. But I would not bring any under bondage. This only I say, that it is essential to your soul’s health to make praying a part of the business of every 24 hours of your life. Just as you allot time to eating, sleeping, and business, so also allot time to prayer. Choose your own hours and seasons. At the very least, speak with God in the morning, before you speak with the world: and speak with God at night, after you have done with the world. But settle it in your minds, that praying is one of the great things of every day. Do not drive it into a corner. Do not give it the scraps and parings of your duty. Whatever else you make a business of, make a business of prayer.

I commend to you the importance of perseverance in prayer. Once having begun the habit, never give it up. Your body will sometimes say, “You are unwell, or sleepy, or weary; you need not pray.” Your mind will sometimes say, “You have important business to attend to to-day; cut short your prayers.” Look on all such suggestions as coming direct from Satan. They are all as good as saying, “Neglect your soul.” I do not maintain that prayers should always be of the same length; but I do say, let no excuse make you give up prayer. Paul said, “Continue in prayer and, “Pray without ceasing.” He did not mean that people should be always on their knees, but he did mean that our prayers should be like seed-time and harvest, and summer and winter, unceasingly coming round at regular seasons. Even in company, or business, or in the very streets, you may be silently sending up little winged messengers to God, as Nehemiah did in the very presence of King Artaxerxes.

I commend to you the importance of earnestness in prayer. It is not that a person should shout, or scream, or be very loud, in order to prove that they are in earnest. But it is desirable that we should be hearty and fervent and warm, and ask as if we were really interested in what we were doing. It is the “effectual fervent” prayer that “avails much.” This is the lesson that is taught us by the expressions used in Scripture about prayer. It is called, “crying, knocking, wrestling, labouring, and striving.” How truly might God say to many of us, “You do not really want what you pray for.” Let us try to amend this fault. Let us settle it in our minds, that cold prayers are a sacrifice without fire.

I commend to you the importance of praying in faith. We should endeavour to believe that our prayers are heard, and that if we ask things according to God’s will, we shall be answered. This is the plain command of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” (Mark 11:24) Faith is to prayer what the feather is to the arrow: without it prayer will not hit the mark. We should cultivate the habit of pleading promises in our prayers. We should take with us some promises, and say, “Lord, here is your own word pledged. Do for us as you have said.”

I commend to you the importance of boldness in prayer. There is an unseemly familiarity in some people’s prayers which I cannot praise. But there is such a thing as a holy boldness, which is exceedingly to be desired. I mean such boldness as that of Moses, when he pleads with God not to destroy Israel “Wherefore,” says he, “should the Egyptians speak and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains? Turn from your fierce anger.” (Exodus 32:12) I mean such boldness as that of Joshua, when the children of Israel were defeated before men of Ai: “What,” says he, “will you do unto your great name?” (Joshua 7:9) Here I fear we sadly come short. We do not sufficiently realize the believer’s privileges. We do not plead as often as we might, “Lord, are we not your own people? Is it not for your glory that we should be sanctified? Is it not for your honour that your gospel should increase?”

I commend to you the importance of fullness in prayer. I do not forget that our Lord warns us against the example of the Pharisees, who, for pretence, made long prayers; and commands us when we pray not to use vain repetitions. But I cannot forget, on the other hand, that he has given his own sanction to large and long devotions by continuing all night in prayer to God. I am afraid the private devotions of many are painfully scanty and limited; just enough to prove they are alive and no more. They really seem to want little from God. They seem to have little to confess, little to ask for, and little to thank him for. Alas, this is altogether wrong. Nothing is more common than to hear believers complaining that they do not grow in grace as they could desire. Is it not rather to be suspected that many have quite as much grace as they ask for? Is it not the true account of many, that they have little, because they ask little? They have not, because they ask not. The Lord says, “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

I commend to you the importance of particularity in prayer. We ought not to be content with general petitions. We ought to specify our needs before the throne of grace. It should not be enough to confess that we are sinners; we should name the sins of which our conscience tells us we are most guilty. It should not be enough to ask for holiness; we should name the graces in which we feel most deficient. It should not be enough to tell the Lord we are in trouble; we should describe our trouble and all its peculiarities. We should believe that nothing is too small to be named before God. What should we think of the patient who told his doctor he was ill, but never went into details? What should we think of the wife who told her husband she was unhappy, but did not specify the cause? What should we think of children who told their father that they were in trouble, but nothing more? Christ is the true bridegroom of the soul, the true physician of the heart, the real father of all his people. Let us show that we feel this by being unreserved in our communications with Him. Let us hide no secrets from Him. Let us tell Him all our hearts.

I commend to you the importance of intercession in our prayers. We are all selfish by nature, and our selfishness is very apt to stick to us, even when we are converted. There is a tendency in us to think only of our own souls, our own spiritual conflicts, our own progress in religion, and to forget others. Against this tendency we all have need to watch and strive, and not the least in our prayers. We should study to be of a public spirit. We should stir ourselves up to name other names besides our own before the throne of grace. This is the highest charity. They love me best who loves me in their prayers. This is for our soul’s health. It enlarges our sympathies and expands our hearts. This is for the benefit of the church. The wheels of all machinery for extending the gospel are moved by prayer. This is to be like Christ. He bears the names of his people, as their High Priest, before the Father. Oh, the privilege of being like Jesus!

I commend to you the importance of thankfulness in prayer. I know well that asking God is one thing and praising God is another. But I see so close a connection between prayer and praise in the Bible, that I dare not call that true prayer in which thankfulness has no part. It is of mercy that we are not in hell. It is of mercy that we have the hope of heaven. It is of mercy that we have been called by the Spirit, and not left to reap the fruit of our own ways. Let our prayers be thankful prayers.

I commend to you the importance of watchfulness over your prayers. Prayer is the point in religion at which you must be most of all on your guard. Here it is that true religion begins; here it flourishes, and here it decays. Prayer is the spiritual pulse. By this, the spiritual health may be tested. Oh, let us keep an eye continually upon our private devotions. Here is the path and marrow of our practical Christianity. Mark well the places and society and companions that unhinge your hearts for communion with God and make your prayers drive heavily. There be on your guard. Observe narrowly what friends and what employment leave your soul in the most spiritual frame, and most ready to speak with God. To these cleave and stick fast. If you will take care of your prayers, nothing shall go very wrong with your soul.

I offer these points for your private consideration. I do it in all humility. I know no one who needs to be reminded of them more than I do myself. But I believe them to be God’s own truth, and I desire myself and all I love to feel them more.

I want the times we live in to be praying times. I want the Christians of our day to be praying Christians. I want the church to be a praying church. I want those who never prayed yet, to arise and call upon God, and I want those who do pray, to see that they are not praying amiss.

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GAF Morning Fellowship Meeting:

Saturday, 4 Oct 2014 at 9:30 am (Room 1-05)

Screening of “The Hope” in Chinese.

Open to all from the Chinese and English Service.

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1) Coffee Table Ministry. There is an intention to start a ministry offering hot drinks in the front porch of the sanctuary to encourage fellowship after 1st service and before 2nd service. No skills required, just the commitment to joyfully serve God and His People.  Volunteers will be rostered if there are sufficient helpers.  Those interested to serve, please immediately sms Daniel Phang at 96919853 with your name and contact number.  We hope to start this ministry as soon as possible.  Thank you for serving God’s People. 

2) Combined B-P Youth Camp, 15-18 Dec at Oldham Hall at ACS (Barker Road). “The Lordship of Christ” by Rev Isaac Ong. Register at https://cbpyc14.com/ 

Cost: Now till 30 Sep - $70; 1 Oct till 30 Nov - $90. Contact: Joshua Lim, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preaching appointment: Rev Wong on overseas ministry, 26 Sep to 3 Oct. Rev Quek at Galilee BPC Youth Worship,9.00 am.

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