When Praises Go Up Praise Verses for the Weeks #28-31

Praise Verse for Week # 028

James 5:13

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

Praise Verse for Week # 029

Psalm 145:21

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.

Praise Verse for   Week# 030

Acts 3:8

He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

Praise Verse for Week # 031

Psalm 147:7

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.

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Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #31

Entry #031  Tia Pittman

Singing since age 3, Tia Pittman is motivated to accomplish her purpose and driven by her desire to please God. The church was very important in her life growing up, helping to cultivate her gifts of singing, acting, dancing, and songwriting. She was blessed to sit under various gospel artists from Marion Williams to Kirk Franklin. Tia Pittman attended Bethune Cookman College where she studied a range of music genres from Jazz to Contemporary and Traditional Gospel. She has served with her mother Pastor Alice Martin, appeared on various stage plays, and worked with acclaimed gospel artists, musicians, songwriters and producers. Her gifts afforded her the opportunity to work with many secular artists. After going through some tribulations, she decided to leave the secular world and commit herself to being a positive empowering voice that lifts up the name of Jesus.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Showcase for Week #30

Entry #030  The Philadelphia Mass Choir

The Philadelphia Mass Choir is considered pioneers for mass choirs all over the country. They made numerous award-winning recordings, and won a Gospel Stellar Award as best album of the year in 1987. The Philadelphia Mass Choir received best gospel recording award by the Philadelphia Music Foundation in 1989. Co-founder the late Freeman Wilson started the Philadelphia Mass Choir with James Ford as part of the national Gospel Music Workshop of America in 1967. He became a GMWA chapter representative for Philadelphia, and was later appointed to the executive committee of chapter representatives. Elder Wilson sang with the Victory Choral Union, was part of the Thomas A Dorsey Convention of Choirs and Chorus, and later sang with Gabriel Hardeman Delegation before forming the Mass Choir. The Philadelphia Mass Choir continues to be a recognizable force in our area and across the country.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #29

Entry #029  The Metropolitan Make Ensemble

The Metropolitan Male Ensemble was formed in Philadelphia, Pa in 1953 as a Men’s Day Chorus at Metropolitan Baptist Church. The group consists of about 25 black males ranging in ages of 40 to 80 years of age with one original member still participating. They have recorded 7 albums and performed extensively on the east coast and in the southern states. Known as Philadelphia’s Gentlemen of Song”, they have received many awards over the years. The Metropolitan Male Ensemble were guest artists on numerous television and radio shows. They were the first gospel group to sing the National Anthem for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, and appeared on Thanksgiving Day Parades for Disney/ABC. The Metropolitan male Ensemble’s ministry and gospel music has brought them recognition throughout the country and abroad.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Showcase for Week #28

Entry #028  Automatic Praise

The project Bishop David G. Evan Presents Automatic Praise Live was the first CD in gospel music history to have three songs playing at the same time on four different radio charts genres: urban gospel, inspirational, country and southern gospel. Recorded live at the over 27,000  member sanctuary of Bethany Baptist Church in Lindenwold , NJ, the CD was fashioned to be a multi-cultural praise offering. Bishop David G. Evan is one of today’s most prominent pastors that took over the then 29 member church in 1990. He is also a best selling author, community activist and chairman of Generations Inc., a non-profit community development corporation. Bethany Baptist church has a variety of worship ministry choirs. These include The Sanctuary Choir, Voices of Praise, The Ensemble Choir, and The Disciples for Christ which all combined form the Abundant Harvest Choir. The Automatic Praise project showcased the Abundant Harvest Mass Choir along with many other notable gospel recording artists and musicians. The concept of Automatic Praise comes from a Bishop Evans’s sermon series about how worship is about relationship and praise is the articulation of that relationship which should become an automatic response to our love for God.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for the Week #28

Entry# 028 Praying to Understand what God Cannot Do

We often say that God can to anything. We are quick to proclaim that all things are possible with God. But there are some things God cannot do. He cannot lie, fail, or not show love. God is not a man that He should lie, indicating that all men, women and children are liars. We may not tell a falsehood, but we may neglect the make the truth known. We may exaggerate details, or withhold information. But God cannot lie. Whatever He said has come and will come to past. If He said it, He will perform it. He swore by Himself to bless His people, because there was no greater to swear by. His word is bond, so He didn’t have to swear. But for our benefit, and to give us hope, He swore by Himself. God cannot fail. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. And every evil and foul occurrence comes from the Devil. But because He cannot fail, God will take the bad things Satan brings, and cause them to work out for our good. When Satan brings sickness and disease, God will cause people to work together to find cures. When a person suffers abuse and neglect, God can cause them to be on a mission to help people in similar situations. God cannot fail to show love. God is love; and everything He says and does come from a place of love. God so loved us that he gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. He commends his love toward us while we were yet sinners. God only corrects, chasten and discipline us because He love us and want the best for us. He knows the good plan He has for us to bring us to an expected, glorious end. And while all things are possible to those who believe, we must be aware that God cannot do certain things. He has chosen to allow man to operate in free will, and will not force us to do anything. However, He already knows who will love and serve Him, and He will help us toward that end. He chose to give man domination over the earth, so we have to invite Him to intervene on our behalf in the earth realm. This is what prayer is. It’s inviting God to work in, through, and for us so that His perfect will can be done here on earth. And finally, God choses to allow Satan to bring havoc on the earth, before He ultimately destroys in the Lake of Fire. God limits his effectiveness and does not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to withstand. He will always provide a way of escape, and bring us out stronger and better on the other side. God is constant; He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. And praying to understand what God cannot do is learning more and more about His character.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #27

Entry #27 A Prayer for Care of Children

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church USA

“Almighty God, Heavenly Father, You have blessed us with the joy and care of Children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”

In honor of this month being Children’s Awareness Month and Rebuild your Life Month, we say a Prayer for the care of Children. Children are a gift from God. Sometimes they do not seem like it, as we go broke supporting them, run ourselves ragged keeping them active, or when they have learned to obstinately talk back or rebel against our rules. Many parents have given up raising and training their children. Parents feel that they won’t listen, they don’t have the proper tools, they don’t have a good support system, and/or they are afraid of the government intervening or stripping them of their authority. It is impossible to raise children properly without God’s help. There are too many opposing, negative forces that make raising children on our own improbable. Not only do we need God to anoint us to do this job, we also need to develop a circle of like-minded family, friends and associates who respect what we are trying to do for our children, and help us toward that end. The ideal environment to raise them is one with both parents present. But God knew that for a variety of reason that would not always be the case. Parents die, become menaces to society, are caught on the wrong side of the law, they divorce, they walk away from and neglect their families, and a plethora of other reasons exist. It is also unhealthy for children to be in households were both parents are present but are violent, addicted to illegal substances, disrespectful to each other, etc. If this would stop a child’s destiny, God would not allow it. These situations are obstacles to overcome, but they can be overcome. Children in deprived, dysfunctional households can grow up to change the world with God on their side. While entitled, spoiled children who have every opportunity at their disposal can grow up to be a vagabond indulging in selfish pursuits. Only God knows what the future holds. All we can do is give it our best, pray with and for them daily, and be the best example in front of our children that we can be. We can teach them God’s principles, and pray that they stay on the path of righteousness. And when they veer off the path, we can correct them and intercede in prayer on their behalf. Children are inheritance of the Lord. And they are lent to us for a season, so we must give them back to God.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week#26

Entry #026  Apostle Paul’s Prayer for Believers

Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

This prayer focuses on what is most important, the love of God.  Paul didn’t pray that we would get everything we want, or that we wouldn’t have any struggles. He prayed that the love of God would be in abundance in our hearts, minds, and souls. He wanted us to be secure in our position with God; blameless because of the excellent finished work of Jesus Christ. And he prayed that the love of God would be evident in our lives as we are filled with the fruits of righteousness. So that we would be God’s glory, shining His light of love in the earth, and being His hands and feet to bless others. We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. For when God wants to bless His people, He uses a willing vessel. That willing vessel has been molded, broken and remade by the Potter, who fills it with His abundant love to the full, until it overflows. That overflow touches and saturates every life in its path, giving God all the praise for what He has done through them. God is Love.  So when we are filled with God’s love we have the wisdom of God. Paul prayed that we would seek the Giver and not so much the gifts. For when we have the giver of all good things, we have everything. This prayer speaks to the purpose of becoming a believer; that is to positively affect what matters to God the most, His people.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #25

Entry #025  Instrument of Your Peace Prayer

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love,

Where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith,

Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light

Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much

Seek to be consoled as to console, not so much to be understood as to understand,

Not so much to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.”

By St. Francis of Assisi

This prayer speaks to how to be great in the kingdom of God. If we want to be great in God’s eyes, we have to serve much. And in serving others, the Prince of Peace rests, rules and abides within us. Therefore everything we do in service to God’s people is blessed, and consequently we are abundantly blessed. God has chosen us to be an instrument of His peace because He has a greater glory in mind to bestow upon us. He looks for opportunities to bless us, so He allows us to go through a breaking process. In order to get the precious oil from the olive, it must be pressed. God allows us to go through trying and difficult times to build our character and faith, and to qualify us to help others in that similar situation. We cannot be all things to all people. But we can reach back to help those who cross our path get through a situation we have just overcame. The main reason why Jesus’s body was bruised and broken was so that we can gain redemption. Jesus gave His life, and gained the family of God. When we give of ourselves to service for others we gain a fullness of joy and a promise of divine rewards. Allowing ourselves to be used of God to bring peace to His people commands blessings and coverings over our own lives. We cannot do everything, but we can do something. We can ask God to be a blessing to others. God will anoint us to do what needs to be done, and bless us for being obedient enough to do it. This doesn’t mean we should stretch ourselves thin doing for ungrateful, ungodly people. It also doesn’t mean that we should be a crutch for lazy, immature people who refuse to do what it takes to improve their lives. It doesn’t even mean that we should allow people to abuse or misuse us while we are trying to make their dreams come true. It does mean we should take God inspired actions to bring love, joy and peace to lost and dying world. Small acts of kindness can change people’s life. The byproduct of God inspired service to others is prosperity. We are actually helping ourselves when we help others. God will prosper us mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally when pray to be an instrument of His peace.