Wednesday, April 24, 2024

ALTAR CALL: Pray ‘without ceasing’

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Men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart). Even when the answer is seemingly not forthcoming, we must not give up. We should continue to pray. – Luke 18:1.
THESE WORDS ECHOED from the pulpit at Trinity Family Church at Ferniehurst, Black Rock, St Michael, last Sunday morning during this church’s 10 a.m. service.
On my arrival just minutes before the service began, children and adults, some armed with cymbals, were preparing to sit, while the drummer, keyboard player and members of the worship team took their places on the platform.
The worship was one of high praise – feet dancing and stomping; hands clapping, and lips repeating “amen”, “hallelujah”, and “praise the Lord”.
The worship team did justice to each song, thereby helping to create an atmosphere of true worship.
When church leader Pastor Ian Trotman went on prayer.
    He said while our prayers are sometimes answered, “there will be and probably are times when it becomes necessary to pray without ceasing; pray until the answer is seen.”
    Trotman described prayer as the life source of our spiritual strength and stressed, “it is the way God designed for us to have an intimate relationship with Him.
“To pray is more than saying a prayer. We know when we pray that God lives and that He ministers to us.”
Trotman noted, however, that “there are some hindrances to praying” and listed double-mindedness (wavering and disbelief) as his first hindrance. – James 1:6.
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
If you have doubt or unbelief, you will not receive anything from God. He who comes to God must believe that He is “a rewarder” of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11: 6.
He listed unforgiveness as another hindrance to answered prayer (Matthew 5:23, 25) and said: “Our prayers are hindered when there is unforgiveness in our hearts.
“Jesus has told us when we bring our gifts to the altar and know that a brother has something against us, we must leave our gifts there, and first be reconciled with our brother.
“Some people cannot rejoice in the Lord because of unforgiveness,” he charged.
Trotman also described sin as “a major hindrance” to answered prayers”.
According to him: “If we regard iniquity in our hearts, God will not hear us. – Psalm 66:18.
“It’s not that we are perfect but we cannot practise sin as a lifestyle if we are born of God,” he stressed.
“We may look fine on the outside, but if we have sin in our hearts, He will not hear us,” he reiterated.
The young preacher further told his congregation and invited guests that disobedience, selfish prayers (Galatians 6:2) or prayers made with wrong motives in mind would not be answered.
“He that turneth his ear from obeying the law, his prayers will be an abomination unto the Lord (Proverbs 28:9),” he preached.
“You ask, and you receive not because you ask amiss – you have the wrong motive.” – James 4:3.
“You must also bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the Law of God. If you think only of yourself, you will hinder your prayers,” Trotman explained.
The preacher said pride was another hindrance, noting that “sometimes prayers are not answered if the thing we pray for is not in God’s will”.
• To have your church featured in Altar Call, please call Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or email cherylharewood @nationnews.com

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