Thursday, August 30, 2007


John 16:23-24; Luke 11:13; I John 5:14-15

All of us receive on occasion mail with prayer chains in them. One I recently received said this: "Before sending this I said a prayer for you. Got a minute? All you do is say a small prayer for the person who sent you this.... [A prayer is given]....Then send it on to 10 other people. Within hours 10 people have prayed for you, and caused a multitude of people pray to God for other people. Then sit back and watch the power of God work in your life."

Isn't this hilarious and sad at the same time? Only people who are ignorant of Scripture and of the nature of prayer put out such foolishness as this. Let's examine it, not just being critical. First, the mail assumes that all receiving this know who GOD really is, and therefore "can" pray. But this is incorrect to start with. Secondly, looking at the mail, and the prayer given for us to pray, no Scripture is given, and the Lord Jesus Christ is never mentioned. In other words, this could be sent out by Jewish people or Hindu people. It doesn't matter, because obviously everyone knows "how to pray," and if we just form the right "chain," getting enough people to join in, we can just "sit back and watch the power of God" do great things for us and others (of course, bringing us "peace, prosperity, and power").

But according to the Bible, this is not the case. Our Lord taught different things about prayer, among them: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. Hitherto [until now] have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23-24). Notice, these words were spoken to "His disciples" (v. 17), not to Jews and Hindus, Moslems and Buddhists, or to all Roman Catholics and Protestants. We must not read other people's mail, taking it as our own. Christ is addressing His followers, those who were drawn to Him by His own power, and He had just been teaching them about the mighty presence of "the Spirit of truth" coming to them, as their "guide into all truth." And Jesus says of the Holy Spirit, "He will glorify Me" (John 16:13-14). But "truth" doesn't matter anything today, as all of men's religions have been mixed together into one big soup, but alas, "there is death in the pot" (2 Kings 4:40).

Why is the above "prayer chain" so popular? Because people are naturally sentimental and believe in luck, and think that "prayer" is some "magic wand" that can be waved, allowing us then to relax and "watch the power of God work." This is nonsense and cannot be condemned too strongly. Just think of Christ teaching that "praying" was like the mythological Aladdin rubbing his lamp, letting a genie come out to do whatever Aladdin asked. Moslem myths and Christ's truths do not mix, and Christian people have no business promoting such. And how could a canned, "small prayer" possibly "cause" countless others to "pray" without the Holy Spirit? Christ plainly tells us to "ask" for the Holy Spirit when we pray (Luke 11:13). But modern prayers that really "work" don't require this.

Then, why send this prayer chain on to "10 other people"? Why 10? Why not greatly multiply this "power of God" by sending it on to hundreds and thousands, if it really works? But we don't stop to think this through, fearing we will "break the chain" if we do. In other words, we do not really believe in God or His power or true prayer -- what we actually believe in is luck and chance and magic. Correct?

True prayer is God-glorifying and humbling to the flesh. It honors God's sovereign will (I John 5:14-15), and glorifies the Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ. But what passes for "saying prayers" today is another thing altogether. Let us examine ourselves and the Scriptures.


"Ignorance of the Bible is the root of all error." J. C. Ryle

Monday, August 27, 2007

MORE GREAT QUOTES-Compiled by Charles

If thou art not born again, all thy outward reformation is naught. Thou hast shut the door, but the thief is still in the house." (Thomas Boston)

“The Christian is just a person who makes it easy for others to believe in God.” (Robert Murray McCheyne)

“Say not that thou hast royal blood in thy veins; say not that thou art born of God if thou canst not prove thy pedigree by daring to be holy.” (William Gurnall)

“We cannot attain to the practice of true holiness by any of our endeavors, while we continue in our natural state, and are not partakers of a new state, by union and fellowship with Christ through faith.” (Walter Marshall)

"None have engaged against the saints but have been ruined by the God of Saints." (Thomas Brooks)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

GREAT QUOTES- Compiled by W.F. Bell

On Happy Memories
"Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away....Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories." (92 year old man)

New Names & New Bottles
"Today new personalities and new terminologies are among us but the same virus merely sports new names. What we used to call rheumatism is now arthritis but it hurts just the same. Putting poison in a new bottle and calling it ginger ale makes it all the more dangerous."(Vance Havner)

On Ignorance
"We are all ignorant -- only on different subjects."
(Will Rogers)

God in Every Little Thing
"There is a God in the motion of a grain of dust blown by the summer wind, as much as in the revolutions of the stupendous planet. There is a God in the sparkling of a fire-fly as truly as in the flaming comet. Carry home, I beseech you, to your houses the thought that God is there, at your table, in your bed-chamber, in your work-room, and at your counter. Recognize the doing and being of God in every little thing." (Charles Spurgeon)

Patience, Patience
"Patience is a bitter plant but it has sweet fruit."
(German proverb)

The Wise and The Foolish
"A wise man will hear and will increase learning....but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:5-7)

Meditation on Christ
"To believe a thing is to see the cool crystal water sparkling in the cup. But to meditate on it is to drink of it....Everything is a trifle to a Christian except the glorifying of Christ." (Charles Spurgeon)

Monday, August 20, 2007


"If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee" (1 Chronicles 28:9).

We need our God; He is to be had for the seeking, and He will not deny Himself to any one of us if we personally seek His face. It is not if thou deserve Him, or purchase His favor, but merely if thou "seek" Him. Those who already know the LORD must go on seeking His face by prayer, by diligent service, and by holy gratitude: to such He will not refuse His favor and fellowship. Those who, as yet, have not known Him to their souls' rest should at once commence seeking and never cease till they find Him as their Savior, their Friend, their Father, and their God. What strong assurance this promise gives to the seeker! "He that seeketh findeth." You, yes you, if you seek your God shall find Him. When you find Him you have found life, pardon, sanctification, preservation, and glory. Will you not seek, and seek on, since you shall not seek in vain' Dear friend, seek the LORD at once. Here is the place, and now is the time. Bend that stiff knee; yes, bend that stiffer neck, and cry out for God, for the living God. In the name of Jesus, seek cleansing and justification. You shall not be refused. Here is David's testimony to his son Solomon, and it is the writer's personal witness to the reader. Believe it and act upon it, for Christ's sake.
Faith's Checkbook

August 18

Thursday, August 16, 2007


"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

Here is the way of mercy for a guilty and repenting sinner. He must cease from the habit of covering sin. This is attempted by falsehood, which denies sin; by hypocrisy, which conceals it; by boasting, which justifies it; and by loud profession, which tries to make amends for it. The sinner's business is to confess and forsake. The two must go together. Confession must be honestly made to the LORD Himself, and it must include within itself acknowledgment of the wrong, sense of its evil, and abhorrence of it. We must not throw the fault upon others, nor blame circumstances, nor plead natural weakness. We must make a clean breast of it and plead guilty to the indictment. There can be no mercy till this is done. Furthermore, we must forsake the evil; having owned our fault, we must disown all present and future intent to abide in it. We cannot remain in rebellion and yet dwell with the King's majesty. The habit of evil must be quitted, together with all places, companions, pursuits, and books which might lead us astray. Not for confession, nor for reformation, but in connection with them we find pardon by faith in the blood of Jesus.
Faith's Checkbook
August 16

Friday, August 10, 2007


Let us look at some sobering questions regarding the church in general and its worship services in particular. Little is said in the New Testament about an actual "worship service," but we do have some glimpses.

Does Scripture give us a command to name Christ's Church? The answer from all students of the Bible must be "No." Then, why do we allow traditions (such as denominational preferences) to influence us concerning our church names and its services? If "Scripture alone" is our "authority" for what we do, how can we possibly be wedded to so many unscriptural views?

Does the wind blow the same everyday? Do we eat the same foods everyday? Do we wear the same clothes everyday? If not, then why do we meet as God's people, and regularly do the same things each time? The wind of the Spirit will blow differently from time to time, and He will cause us to worship differently also. Why the unnecessary, formal, cold, set-in-concrete order of worship? Where is the Scripture for such (regarding time frame or form)? There is none.

True worship must be spontaneous, spiritual, and scriptural, according to our Lord Jesus Christ (John 4:23-24). And according to Paul, it must be a "report that God is truly among you" (I Corinthians 14:23-25). If we meet and are not humbled and edified by God Himself being present among us, what good is it to meet, and how could this possibly help the unbeliever?

There was most definitely participation by individual Christians in apostolic meetings, brethren sharing "a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation" (v. 26). While this may not be the norm for all time, it tells us the members of the body have differing functions, and should properly use spiritual gifts. Then, Paul plainly says, "Let all things be done unto edifying." And "love" among Christians is the spiritual glue that holds the body together (Colossians 3:14).
"The true church of Christ and false or merely nominal churches are to be distinguished by a comparison with the apostolic standard." C. B. Hassell