Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God

Entry #52 The Prayer of Benediction

A benediction is the utterance or bestowing of a blessing or good wishes, especially at the end of a religious service by a minister or religious leader. It is that which imparts a benefit or mercy, the advantage conferred by blessing, or a prayer for divine protection. There are 52 weeks in a year. As we come to the end of this year, this 52nd entry is an examination of prayers of benedictions. Numbers 6:23-27 declares the Aaronic Blessing, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace”. Jude 1:24-25 states, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” An anonymous ancient Celtic/ Irish blessing is a benediction song, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You.” “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rain falls soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. The following is a prayer of St. Patrick, “Christ Be With Me.” “Christ be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Salvation is of the Lord, Salvation is of the Christ. May your salvation, Lord be ever with us”. A modern short benediction prayer states, “May the God of peace who raised Christ from the dead Strengthen your inner being for every good work. And may the blessing of God Almighty Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Rest upon you and dwell with you this day and evermore. Amen”. Apostle Paul ended many of his letters to the churches with beautiful benedictions. II Corinthians 13:14 states, “The grace of the lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen”. May God bless you all richly in this coming year, and may He keep you always as the apple of His eye until we meet again.

Advertisements

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #52

Philadelphia native Zachary S. Williams started his musical career at age 5. As a young boy he played the piano, drums and other instruments, and later trained at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. Stellar Award winning producer, songwriter, and musician, Williams played for and produced for a variety of gospel artist from Wilmington Chester Mass Choir to Angela Spivey. He is president and founder of En-Christ Muziq since 1995, and co-founded a choir Hype Prayze in 1997. In 2004 He formed the choir 1Akord, consisting of 40 members from various denominations and from areas like Delaware, PA, New Jersey, and Maryland. The choir has ministered with many gospel greats from Hezekiah Walker and LFC to Tramaine Hawkins. 1Akord has appeared on television and live recordings, and numerous gospel venues locally and abroad.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #51

Lady Esther Ford formerly of Philadelphia and Bucks County, began her musical career at age five. She was billed as the “Child Wonder Gospel Singer”, and toured with her late grandfather Rev. Edgar Haywood on the many southern Maryland revivals. In 1957, Ford sent her musician to the Caravans and joined the Ward Singers of Philadelphia. After resigning from the Ward Singers in 1958, she formed the “Stars of Faith”. Upon resigning from this group, she organized her own theater company, writing and directing several plays. In 1964, Lady Ford recorded her new group, The Exodus Singers, who were the first integrated female gospel group ever to record in America. In the 70’s she organized the Esther Ford Christian Youth movement in Bucks County, and was honored in 2009 at Notre Dame College in Baltimore for her 70+ years of contribution to gospel music. Lady Ford was honored at Calvary Baptist Church in west Philadelphia in 2010 for her dedicated contributions to preserving vintage gospel music and received citations from the PA state Senate, PA House of Representatives, the City of Philadelphia, and Calvary Baptist Church.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #50

Philadelphia native Tamika Patton is a dynamic psalmist, gospel recording artist, model and actress. She specializes in live concerts, theater, conferences, and ministry and corporate events. Patton was voted “Best Inspirational Singer in America 2011, and has traveled extensively across the country and abroad ministering in song. Continuing to be a steady force in the gospel music industry, Tamika Patton has shared the stage with many gospel greats from Karen Clark Sheard to Kurt Carr.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #49

Singing gospel music since age 5, worship leader, workshop facilitator, singer, and songwriter Ava L. Williams was born and raised in Philadelphia. Williams has ministered in song throughout the United States, Canada, the Cayman and Virgin Islands. Her styles include upbeat praise and worship, old school gospel and contemplative melodies. She studied voice at Temple University Boyer School of music in Philadelphia, and has served as a Minister of Music. Williams has performed with many local gospel recording artists, and shared the stage with many gospel greats from Byron Cage to Hezekiah Walker. She even formed her own group at one point, Ava Williams and Lights.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God

Entry # 51 Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom 1 Kings 3:5-14

In the bible, King Solomon made this request in a dream. Solomon prayed,” Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great loving-kindness, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great loving-kindness, that thou has given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Jehovah my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people whom thou hast chosen, a great people that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore and understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people?” God was pleased with his prayer and responded, “Because thou hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee, all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days”. When Solomon woke up he offered a burnt offering and a peace offering in Jerusalem, and later made a feast for all of his servants. When we ask for God’s grace in prayer, and ask for God’s generational blessings as Solomon did, God will hear us. When we choose to ask for God’s wisdom to serve His people, in place of our own selfish desires, God is pleased and He will grant us our request. In addition to God giving us what we ask for because we are in His will. God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think according to the power that works in us. Though King Solomon made many mistakes in his life, he was great in wisdom and wealth because he lived under God’s favor and grace. And when we pray to live under God’s mercy, our lives will be covered with the everlasting grace and love of our Heavenly Father.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God

Entry #50 Praying to be Victorious

In this world where Satan roams seeking to destroy us, it is easy to feel like a victim. We can feel victimized by life circumstances beyond our control, by evil people who seek to harm us, and by a world system that is contrary to the will of God. But God says we are more than conquerors; we already are winners because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus overcame everything for us so that we can walk in victory. Satan wants to constantly remind us of our faults and failures because he is the accuser of the brethren. He is also a liar and the father of lies, so we don’t have to listen to his accusations. When he reminds us of our bad past, we can remind him of his eminent future. He is already defeated; Jesus snatched the keys of death, hell and the grave from him. Instead of rehearsing all the situations that cause us to feel like a victim, we can declare the Word of God over our lives that say we are victorious. Victory is the act of defeating and enemy or opponent in a battle or competition. It is the advantage gained over spiritual enemies, over passions, appetites, temptations or any struggle. The enemy is the Devil; but our greatest enemy is ourselves. We have to fight to be intentional about living in God’s grace and not fall back into self-effort. We are not victorious because of what we have done or can do. We have victory because of what Jesus has done for us. He enables us to overcome Satan, sin, and his fiery darts against us. He helps us to keep our flesh, passions and appetites under subjection so that we can live a victorious life. God is our light and salvation, making our path bright and straight. All we have to do is walk in the victory already made available to us. So praying to be victorious is agreeing with God’s plan and path of victory God provided for us.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God

Entry# 49 Praying to be Used by the Potter

The prophet Jeremiah was told by the Lord in the bible to go and visit the potter house to receive a word for Him. Upon arriving there, he saw a work on the potter’s wheel. The vessel of clay that he made was marred in the potter’s hand so he made it again. He made another vessel that seemed good to him. God is the Potter, and we are the clay in His hands. The safest place we can ever be in in the hands of God. Even when it doesn’t feel good when He is molding and making us, He will cause it all to work out for our good if we stay in His hands. Our Heavenly Father, the Potter, forms us into His image, fills us with His spirit, and causes us to function for His glory. We can be used by many things in life: people, Satan and ourselves. People may try to use us for their own personal benefit and agenda. Satan will try to use us to derail our destiny or be a hindrance to the kingdom of God. And we can use ourselves by being fully guided by our own humanistic worldviews, endeavors and desires. All of these will lead to destruction. But choosing to be used of God will lead to eternal life and earthly dominion. God chooses to use us to build His kingdom because He wants us to reap the benefits of service to God and humanity. He gives us the opportunity to be great in His kingdom by being used of Him to be a servant. When we serve God and serve His people we open the door for God’s blessing to be showered upon us. So praying to be used by the Potter is cooperating with the will God to bring peace and salvation on earth and goodwill towards mankind.