Friday, March 14, 2008

Serving God through prayers - the example of Anna

Thank God for the joy of attending my church's prayer meeting once again. Bro Linus shared some very encouraging thoughts with us from Luke 2:25-40 on the account of Simeon and Anna.

1) "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;" Luke 2:34.

Bro Linus encouraged us to examine ourselves whether we are truly in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to ask God to reveal our hearts to us so that we may know ourselves to be truly belonging to Him. The marks of a true Christian is a love for the Lord Jesus Christ and His people, loving God's law and taking up our cross daily to follow Christ.

2) "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. " Luke 2:36-37

Bro Linus exhorted us to serve God as Anna did. Luke recorded for us that Anna served God by fasting and prayers night and day. Usually when we think of serving God, we think in terms of doing things. But here, Anna served by prayers. Bro Linus shared about an old missionary who was very old and had retired. He was bed-ridden and almost blind. Though he could not do any missionary work for the Lord, he purposed in his heart to work for 8 hours for the Lord daily. He did concentrated prayers. He served God by praying for 8 hours daily. May we also serve God through our earnest and sincere prayers.

3) "And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." Luke 2:39-40

Bro Linus reminded us that Christ our Lord is able to sympathize with us through every stages in our life, from cradle to grave. We can look to Him as able to symphatize with us, as our Guide. He Who died on the cross was once a little boy, and He has an interest in every boy and girl in the church. May our children know the Lord Jesus Christ savingly too.

Thank God for the encouragements through His Words. What a joy it is to have a God Who cares for us and Who is able to sympathize with us as we go through all kinds of challenges and difficulties or sicknesses. And so wonderful to know that we can serve God through prayers even if we are limited by poor health or other things and not able to serve in other areas. May we be like a tree that always flourish for the Lord, serving Him even in our old age and continue to be fruitful for the Lord.

I enjoyed Psalm 92:12-15 which we sang in closing:

Psalm 92 (Metrical Psalms)

12 But like the palm-tree flourishing
shall be the righteous one;
He shall like to the cedar grow
that is in Lebanon.

13 Those that within the house of God
are planted by his grace,
They shall grow up, and flourish all
in our God's holy place.

14 And in old age, when others fade,
they fruit still forth shall bring;
They shall be fat, and full of sap,
and aye be flourishing;

15 To shew that upright is the Lord:
he is a rock to me;
And he from all unrighteousness
is altogether free.

My friend, Irene L, took this lovely picture at Botanic Garden, Singapore.

"Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;" Psalm 92:13-14

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