Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #52

Entry  #0052  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”.

Simple Sample Prayer

Dear Lord, we come before you with thanksgiving and praise. We thank you for all that you have done, we praise you for what you are doing now, and we bless your name for all that you are going to do. We thank you for life, and that more abundantly, for health, for by you stripes we are healed, and for strength, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.Lord, we are grateful for this day, for this is the day that you has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you Lord for see us through another year; the best and worst of times.We thank you for the assurance that we are  deeply loved, highly favored,  greatly blessed, abundantly supplied, continually protected, graciously redeemed, and never forsaken.We know that in the end we win, and you have caused everything, good and bad, to work out for our good. As  Apostle Paul ended many of his letters to the churches with beautiful benedictions like in II Corinthians 13:14, we end this year with this simple prayer. “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 richly bless you all  in this coming year, and may He always keep you as the apple of His eye until we meet again. Happy holidays.



When Praises Go Up Praise Verses for Week #46-52

Praise Verse #46 Psalms 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Praise Verse #47 Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will rejoice over thee with singing.

Praise Verse #48 II Chronicles 20:21

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.

Praise Verse #49 I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Praise Verse #50 Psalms 16:7

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instructs me in the night seasons.

Praise Verse #51 Colossians 4;2

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Praise Verse #52 Jude 1;24-25

Now unto him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savoir be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.



Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #52

Entry # 0052  Zach Williams and 1Akord

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 on numerous gospel venues locally and abroad.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #51

Entry # 0051 Lady Esther Ford

Lady Esther Ford formerly of  the Philadelphia and Bucks County area, 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 form the group, she organized her theater company, writing and directing several plays. In 1964, she 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. She also 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 for Week #50

Entry #0050  Tamika Patton

Philadelphia native Tamika Patton is a dynamic psalmist, gospel recording artist, model and actress. She specializes in live concerts, theater, conferences, and ministry at 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 and the Kurt Carr Singers.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #49

Entry #0049 Ava L. Williams

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 the Light.


Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #48

Entry # 0048   Cindy Barber and the Voices of Praise

The Voices of Praise was established in Florence, New Jersey at Nothing But the Word Church in 1995 by the Founder and Director Cindy Barber. The group prepared songs written and arranged by Cindy Barber, and recorded their first project in 1999.  The anointed voices climbed the charts and received heavy air play, allowing them to appear in New Artist Showcase for GMWA, and to be top picks for leading industry magazines. They have shared the stage with gospel greats from Vickie Winans to Bishop Paul Morton, and they continue to minister locally and abroad.


Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #47

Entry #0047   Donald Ashley

Born in Dover, Delaware, Donald Ashley grew up in a Bible-believing, spirit-led home where gospel music was an integral part of his life. At an early age, Ashley sang on the church’s youth choir, later singing solos, and venturing out to minister at local churches. He joined his older brothers at age 20, touring the country and receiving national attention for their musical abilities. Ashley lends his talents to a variety of venues from boxing matches to gospel television programs.  He wrote original songs, and scripts for theatrical productions, and joined with local artist which lead to his release of his first recording project. Donald Ashley gathered gifted voices from the Delaware area to form the group known as Donald Ashley and Millennium, writing and producing all the songs in their debut project.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #46

Entry #0046  Terri Champion

Out of her hometown of Philadelphia, PA, Terri Champion is a gospel singer and recording artist. She is an evangelist of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and has served as a Praise and Worship Leader. Champion has been influenced by gospel greats that include Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar and the Clark Sisters. Champion continues to minister wherever God’s people are in need.