Suggested Reading: 1 Samuel 11-12
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
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Key Verse: 1 Samuel 12:23-24
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.
Israel now has a king. Samuel is still very much present as the spiritual leader of the people. Prayer “without ceasing” is the most important leadership quality if we want God’s will to be done. David will be king over the united tribes in about 10 years. A Psalm of David indicates his daily preparation to lead as he writes, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up” (Psalm 5:3). Psalm 55:17 tells us that David prayed at “evening, morning and at noon.” There is no record of Saul praying like Samuel and David did. Saul’s reign could’ve been so different.
As a New Testament meditation, let us consider 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: “Pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.” This praying continuously is not as difficult as it sounds. It’s based on the knowledge that I am in Christ and He is in me. We are never apart. Therefore, we are to be ever aware of His presence.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, Your servant Paul wrote, “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26b). I pray that Your Spirit will constantly pray within me when my conscious mind is occupied in other necessary matters. I believe this happens continuously as Your promise states. In Your Name I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
For the last three Sunday evenings, I’ve been watching “The Bible” miniseries on The History Channel. For a small budget, compared to other Hollywood efforts, and limited to filming in Morocco, the producers have done very well. I know something of the challenges they faced, because of our participation in several World Expos with our Crossroads’ sponsored “Pavilions of Promise.” Some people could say nothing good about us, because we had to employ what is called “artistic license” in communicating the message on such a world stage. For example, we had male and female ballet dancers play the part of Adam and Eve in Theatre One. I could give other examples from our production that upset some people. The entertainment values guaranteed that millions of precious souls heard the Gospel in a way they could understand for the first time. In the overall effort at four Expos, we recorded over 100,000 first-time decisions for Christ, with their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. They signed up for the Bible correspondence course and were followed up in their home countries with diligence. One evangelist was very judgemental toward me, because of what he considered a lack of verse by Bible verse approach. He could not find it in his heart to celebrate with me the fact of thousands of people coming to know Christ. The follow-up materials, produced in cooperation with “The Bible” TV series, which thousands of churches and home groups are using, will be used of God for thousands who’ve never read God’s Word. It has been my experience that Christians who are currently successful personal soul winners understand what the producers of “The Bible” mini series are attempting. I think that tomorrow I’ll try to point out that while there are areas of “The Bible” production that we all can criticize, there is much more to praise in this heroic effort.
Yours for praying for “The Bible” series much more than we criticize,
P.S. Yesterday I wrote that I would include a video clip of Fr. Bob MacDougall if I was able to locate one. We found a partial interview clip of him from 1980. I’m sorry it’s not longer, but it gives you a good sense of this Jesuit priest’s heart for Jesus…click here.