PRAYER IN PUBLIC WORSHIP
It has been accurately observed that the reading of the Bible
is Gods communication to man and prayer is mans
communication to God. Righteous people have always been prayerful
people. In the Old Testament, faithful Abraham and courageous
Daniel were prayerful men (Gen. 20:17; Dan. 6:10). Both the devoted
David and the meek Moses were men who prayed to God (Psalm 51; Num.
11:2). In the Gospel records, many passages note the prayerful life
of Jesus. In turn, Jesus taught His disciples to pray (Matt.
6:9-13) and the early Christians engaged in prayer in the first
century. The apostle Paul also believed in and taught about prayer.
The New Testament instructs Christians to pray for laborers (Matt.
9:38), enemies (Matt. 5:44), and all men (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is a blessed privilege of Christians. No problem is too
great or too small to take to God in prayer. Prayer is also an
important aspect in worshipping God. It is not merely a mechanical
part of worship. It involves: 1) the heavenly Father to whom
prayers are addressed; 2) the Son who mediates (1 Tim. 2:5); 3) the
Holy Spirit who intercedes (Rom. 8:26); and 4) Gods children
who are the petitioners. Prayer is more than just talking to God.
Prayer is not a substitute for speech making. It is the sincere
desire of the heart expressed in words unto God (cf. Rom. 10:1).
Prayer involves more than an attitude. It includes expressing
matters unto God.
WHY PRAY IN WORSHIP?
From a positive standpoint, prayer consists of praise (Matt.
6:9), thanksgiving (Eph. 5:20), confession of sins (1 John 1:9),
petitions, supplications and intercessions (1 Tim. 2:1-3). From a
negative standpoint, prayer is not a substitute for obeying the
commandments of the Lord (Matt. 7:21). Someone has well said:
Work as though everything depends on you and pray as though
everything depends on God. Prayer is the recognition of
mans dependence upon God.
Change of location does not change mans need for prayer.
Whether one is in the security of his home, confronting a crisis or
in the church building, the need to pray remains the same. Paul
exhorted that we should pray without ceasing (1
Thess. 5:17). One cannot pray too much or too often. Gods
people should always possess a prayerful attitude. Prayer should be
a spiritual habit. Whether ...evening, and morning, and at
noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my
voice (Psalm 55:17).
WHEN PRAY IN WORSHIP?
When Gods children assemble together to worship Him
in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), there is
always the occasion and need to pray. Every person has a need to
pray and an interest in the prayers. The sick, chronically ill, the
lost, the faithful, the weary and the strong need the power of
prayer. God will strengthen his people in temptation (Matt. 6:13;
26:41), grant them wisdom (James 1:5-7), forgive their sins (Matt.
6:11; James 1:17) and give peace (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Only the ignorant
or arrogant express no interest in prayer unto God.
The command to pray is given by God, but the specific time to
pray is left to man. It is customary to open and close worship
services in prayer. Though some may consider this to be a tradition
and ridicule it merely because it has been practiced for years, it
continues to be practiced because it makes good sense. Just as a
person begins and ends his day by praying to the heavenly Father,
worship services are begun and ended by addressing God in prayer.
Worship services generate particular needs. News is learned about
the condition of the sick and elderly; therefore, there is a need
to pray for them (James 5:13-16). The Gospel preacher who addresses
the assembly with a Bible subject needs and wants the prayers of
his brethren (2 Thess. 3:1-2). Present in the assembly are men and
women who need to render obedience to the Lord as well as wayward
and weak members who need to return to their first love. They all
need the prayers of the saints on their behalf. Various programs of
work in Gods kingdom are usually planned, discussed and
executed at times when brethren assemble. God should be petitioned
on behalf of every good work (Matt. 9:38).
WHO SHOULD PRAY IN WORSHIP?
Everyone! Every man, woman and child should participate in
prayer. Who should lead public prayers? Women cannot lead prayer in
the presence of men. Paul instructed that women are not to
undermine nor usurp the authority of men. But I suffer not
a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in
silence (1 Tim. 2:12). However, this does not mean that
women have no part in public prayer. They are willing and voluntary
participants in that they acknowledge and express their sentiments
to God in their hearts as do all others who are being led in
HOW LOUD SHOULD WE PRAY?
As a suggestion to all men who lead in public prayer, please be
sure that you can be heard. All worshippers participate together in
their worship in prayer unto God. Prayer does little good if the
person who leads the congregation in prayer cannot be heard. While
it is true that God will hear and the person leading the prayer
knows what thoughts are being expressed, what about the rest of the
church? Paul wrote, What is it then? I will pray with the
spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also (1
Cor. 14:15). It is distracting and a hindrance to prayer when
brethren are trying to make out the words being spoken. Such
efforts are often in vain. Imagine trying to listen to a sermon
when youre unable to hear the speaker. Since acceptable
worship is sincere and according to the truth, all participants
should be able to hear and understand the prayer.
Though many other things could be said about prayer, these
are sufficient to emphasize its importance in the lives of
Gods people. Since God communicates to us through His Word,
does it not make sense that we should communicate to Him through
I often say my prayers;
But do I ever pray?
And do the wishes of my heart,
Go with the words I say?
I may as well kneel down and
Worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God,
A prayer of words alone.
For words without the heart,
The Lord will never hear;
Nor will He to those lips attend,
Whose prayers are not sincere.
1001 Albany St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Table of Contents
DESPISE YE THE CHURCH OF GOD? #2
Garland M. Robinson
There were those in the church of the first century who
despised the church (kingdom) of God (cf. 1 Cor. 11:22).
Likewise, some today despise the church of our Lord.
The individual who does not fill his heart and life with
Gods Holy Word despises the church. The key word in Second
Peter is knowledge. It is through the knowledge of
God, and of Jesus our Lord that we have grace and
peace (1:2). It is through the knowledge of him that
God has given us all things that pertain unto life and
godliness (1:3). It was through the knowledge of the Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ that the early saints escaped the
pollutions of the world (2:20). How do we expect to gain
knowledge if we never read and study?
God wants all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). Paul prayed that the
brethren in Colosse might be filled with the knowledge of Gods
will (Col. 1:9). Such knowledge, when followed, will keep us from
sin. David wrote, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I
might not sin against thee (Psa. 119:11). Gods word is
our guide. The Psalmist wrote, Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet, and a light unto my path (Psa. 119:105). We purify our
souls in obeying the truth (1 Peter 1:22). Therefore, how
else can we grow in faith except by studying the WORD. So,
then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God
Only good can come from a rich study of the word of God. Are
you despising the church of God by failing to study as you should?
The individual who forsakes the assembling of the church
is despising the kingdom of God. It is for our good and well
being that we attend every worship service and Bible study period
set aside for our learning and growth. It goes without saying that
if it is beyond our control to meet with the saints, then there is
nothing we can do about it. But that is a far cry from giving the
unfaithful church member an excuse for not being in his/her place
when the church assembles.
Quite often members do not attend and use the excuse that
they were providentially hindered, when in actuality,
they would have gone to work (or anything else they wanted to do)
under the same circumstances. So why not worship God? The problem
is, they do not love God as they should. The kingdom is not first
in their lives other things are. The Lords kingdom and
Gods righteousness must be first in our lives (Matt. 6:33) if
we expect to live with the Lord in eternity. How can it be said
that God providently hinders anyone from attending church services?
That is blaming God for our lack of attendance and commitment.
Brethren often pray at the close of a church service that if
its Gods will that he bring us back at the next
appointed time. Every time I hear that prayed I say to myself,
it is Gods will that we come back the next time the
church meets. Gods will is that we assemble. We are warned not
to forsake the assemblies. Not forsaking the assembling of
ourselves together as the manner of some is... (Heb. 10:25).
Some mistakenly interpret this to be speaking of our traditional
Sunday morning worship hour. Who ever heard of such a
thing? The verse says assembling not assembly.
That means every time the church assembles constitutes an
assembling of the church; and, every Christian is commanded
not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. When
the saints meet together, that assembling contributes to our
spiritual growth and determination to render greater service. Where
else in the world could we possibly have a greater devotion than to
the assemblies of the saints?
Parents who fail to rear their children in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord are despising the
church of God. It is a command for children to obey their
parents and honor them, but it is also a command for parents to
care for, instruct, and discipline their children (Eph. 16:1-4).
When parents fail to do this, they have failed in their duty.
Christian parents care for their children. They will not let them
run wild and never know where they are and what they are
doing. Godly parents are constantly molding their sons and
daughters into the kind of people that love the Lord, his church
and his Word.
In Proverbs 19:18 we read, Chasten thy son while there
is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. When mamma
and daddy are doing what they should, then the words of the wise
man will apply My son, hear the instruction of thy
father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an
ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck
(Prov. 1:8-9). We need to remember the oft quoted words of Proverbs
22:6, train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is
old he will not depart from it.
Christian parents are fulfilling their duty to God when they
love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and are
diligent in guiding their family to do the same (Luke 10:27).
Christians who have a foul mouth and loose morals are
despising the church of God. Jesus taught that men/women speak
out of the abundance of their heart. O generation of vipers,
how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance
of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good
treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man
out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto
you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give
account thereof in the day of judgment (Matt. 12:34-36).
Proverbs 4:23 says, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out
of it are the issues of life. This is yet another reason why
we are to study and feed our minds and souls all the good things of
God. For if we only feed our heart with the good things, that is
all we can ever get out.
The Christians joy is to be followers (imitators) of
God and to walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and
hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a
sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or
covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh
saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting...,
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the
kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain
words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the
children of disobedience (Eph. 5:1-6).
Are you despising the church of Christ by your foul mouth
One despises the church of the Lord when they drink
alcoholic beverages, smoke or use other drugs. The Bible says
our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. What? Know ye not
that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought
with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit
which are Gods (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We are to love our own
body, for no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth
and cherisheth it... (Eph. 5:29).
When our body hurts, we do our best to take care of it. No
one ever wants to suffer in pain, they want to live as long as they
can. When it comes time to die, almost without exception, people
would give all they have to live longer. How is it then, that some
want to destroy their good health by indulging in works of the
flesh? This so-called pleasure (that is but for a moment) brings
pain, suffering, heartache and even death. Why despise the church?
If you never take that first drink, you will never be drunk. If you
never take that first puff or chew, you will never have to break
that filthy habit which will destroy your body and soul.
If you never use that first needle or take that first sniff of
dope, you will never loose your soul because of drugs.
Friend, do not be guilty of despising the church of Christ!
Table of Contents
WHEN A CONGREGATION HAS ELDERS
Roger D. Campbell
At certain times in the history of the Lords church (in a
particular geographic area), all of the local churches had elders.
That was true in at least some of the places where Paul and
Barnabas traveled and preached (cf. Acts 14:23). At other times in
history, however, in a specific region not even one congregation
had overseers. The most common situation is that some congregations
in a territory have an eldership, while others do not.
In the language of the New Testament, those who served as
leaders in the church in the first century were known as: elders
(Acts 20:17), overseers (Acts 20:28), bishops (Titus 1:5,7),
pastors (Eph. 4:11), and shepherds (1 Peter 5:1,2). Such
designations are still appropriate today.
What do we learn as true about a local church of Christ
which has elders?
When a congregation has faithful brothers serving as
qualified elders, it is following the New Testament pattern of the
organization of the church. The church in Philippi had
overseers/bishops (Phil. 1:1). The church in Ephesus had elders
(Acts 20:17). It was Gods will for there to be shepherds over
local flocks (congregations) across the island of Crete (Titus
1:5). There is a scriptural ring to the sound of the term
the elders of the church (Acts 20:17; James 5:14).
If a congregation currently does not have elders, it ought
to be working toward the goal of appointing qualified brothers to
serve as its pastors. Again, early congregations had them, and in
a number of cases, they did not wait for generations to appoint
them (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 16:5; 20:17; 21:18). While a congregation
can exist and function scripturally without having elders when no
men are qualified; no congregation can please the Lord if it
prefers to remain without elders and has no intentions of laboring
to train men to serve in that capacity. The Holy Spirit knew what
He was talking about when He gave the charge through Paul to
appoint elders in the churches (Titus 1:5). It is the
Lords will for every local congregation to have elders.
A second undeniable truth is that when a congregation has
elders, it has imperfect men leading it. God calls on these leaders
(shepherds, overseers) to be blameless (Titus 1:7), but not
sinlessly perfect. The Lord requires that overseers be men
of good behavior and have a good reputation among
those who are outside the church (1 Tim. 3:2,7), but that does not
mean that they must be sinless. Simon Peter was an elder (1 Peter
5:1), yet he clearly was not a perfect person. Like the rest of the
flock, the shepherds must take heed to themselves
(Acts 20:28). Just like all other members of Jesus body,
pastors need to grow by adding virtue to their faith,
along with knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness and
brotherly kindness. The task of serving as an elder
certainly requires that one be held up to a lofty standard of
conduct, but let us be reasonable and be patient with these men as
they strive to grow in their capacity as leaders (superintendents).
When a local church goes from having no eldership to having
shepherds over it, that is a major change, a change that will
require the best efforts of all involved to make it a smooth and
fruitful transition. Despite such a huge change, though, when a
church appoints elders, there are a number of matters which do not
change. For instance, even though a congregation appoints
overseers, Jesus remains the sole Head of the church (Eph.
5:23,24). Elders have no authority to try and replace Jesus from
his rightful place on the throne and cast aside His preeminence
In addition, the Lords requirements for acceptable
worship remain in place. Worshipping God in spirit and in
truth is still what He desires (John 4:24), and no individual
pastor or pastorship has the right to overturn or deviate from
Gods will for the worship of His church. Furthermore, the
churchs mission and work are not altered simply because a
congregation has appointed elders. All of the churchs actions
must be authorized by the New Testament (Col. 3:17), and that will
be the case as long as the world stands. The Lords church is
in the business of trying to help souls be saved through the Lord
Jesus (Luke 19:10). It is to that end that we preach the Gospel,
build up the saints, and reach out to the needy.
It is Gods desire for each member of His church to be
steadfast in His service and abound in His work (1 Cor. 15:58).
That was true if I was a member of a congregation before it
appointed shepherds, and it is still true after their
appointment. The church is the Lords vineyard. In the
Lords Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16),
what did the vineyard owner hire people to do? To go work in His
vineyard! That is what the Lord expects from us, whether we have
brothers serving as bishops and watching out for our souls or not.
We are co-laborers with the elders, common Christians,
and the Lord Himself. Every soldier in His army needs to step up
and give their best effort. It is wrong, completely wrong, to
think, Hey, now we have overseers, so I guess we will just let
them do all the work of the church. With such an
irresponsible, immature attitude in the heart of certain members,
we can understand why some brothers may be a bit reluctant to take
on the task of serving as elders. No, brethren, with elders
or without them, we work. We all work. We all work
together. We all work together for His glory.
When a local church has elders, its work has the potential
to flow and grow.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
THE LANGUAGE OF PRAYER
Everyone needs to learn how to pray. Sometimes people think
prayer ought to be intuitive. They think that one just ought to
naturally know how to pray. However, Jesus had to teach His
disciples how to pray. What most people know as The Lords
Prayer is really an example prayer Jesus used to
teach His disciples how to pray.
There are four passages that deal extensively with prayer.
Let us take a look at them and see what we can learn about prayer.
Matthew 6:5-15 The so-called
Lords Prayer. What are the lessons to be learned from how
Jesus taught His disciples to pray?
THE ADDRESS: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name (v.9). Address God with familiarity,
but respect that is deserving of the Creator and Father of all. He
is our Father, but He is much more. Address Him as Deity, the
Creator, the Maker of All, the Father of All, Lord God Almighty,
the Giver of life and all good things, etc. See how He is addressed
in the Psalms many of them are prayers.
THE CONTENT: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in
earth, as [it is] in heaven (v.10). The disciples were
taught to seek the will of God in all things. That was their
prayer. That is our prayer. May God reign in the hearts of men here
on earth as he reigns with the angels in heaven. Words which seek
the will of God, in contrast with seeking the will of the one
praying, are what are called for.
Give us this day our daily bread (v.11).
Those things which sustain our physical lives are the gifts of
Gods grace. Thanks and supplication are instructed by Jesus.
Any statement of thanks and/or asking for food, jobs, weather,
soil, seed, etc. are appropriate.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors (v.12). There is always a need to remember the
need for forgiveness. Our sins, our trespasses, our mistakes,
however you wish to state it, need forgiven. We are sinners we
falter and fail. But, the language Jesus used to teach His
disciples also includes the lesson that we will only be forgiven as
we forgive others. Therefore, we ought to pray that we might
remember to have mercy and grace, forgiving others also.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
evil (v.13). Guidance from above is always needed. Pray to
understand the will of God. Pray for His providential care and
guidance. Pray for deliverance from temptation and evil. God
directs our lives so that we will never face more than we are able
to endure. Pray that this may be so.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, for ever. Amen (v.13). All power and authority is
God Almightys. He is worthy of all glory and worship. Any and
all language that acknowledges this superior authority and the
reign of God over all things is appropriate for prayer.
First Timothy 2:1-8 Paul instructs the young
evangelist about public prayer.
Supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving
of thanks, be made for all men (v.1). Any and all prayers
are proper, not only on behalf of Christians or saints, but also on
behalf of any or all people. Whether they are good or evil, we
ought to pray for them. We should pray not only for our brethren,
but even more so for our enemies.
For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that
we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
honesty (v.2). Whether they are monarchs, dictators,
presidents or prelates, we need to recognize that the people in
places of authority in this world do have an effect upon our lives,
not only in terms of economics and politics, but also in terms of
our ability to pursue our spiritual lives. Their decisions can make
a difference in how easy it is to live godly and honest lives
before God. Their policies effect our physical well-being. Pray
that they might make the right decisions. Praying for them does not
mean you agree with their decisions, or are endorsing their
principles. Pray that they may make the right decisions and operate
with the correct principles.
For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus (v.5). Jesus is the only
person through whom our prayers ascend to the Father. Neither Mary,
nor the apostles, nor the saints, nor the angels in heaven are in
the place of mediator between God and man. It is Jesus, and Jesus
alone, who pleads our case before our heavenly Father. Our prayers
need to reflect that idea.
Acts 4:23-30 This is the only prayer by the
church in the New Testament (other than the one line prayer of
Stephen at his death). Lord, thou [art] God, which hast
made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them
is (v.24). They address God as Lord and acknowledge He is
It varies from Our Father which art in heaven, but
it maintains the reverence and respect which should properly open
a prayer. It shows that there is no one formula that must be
followed. It is the expression of your heart, soul and mind.
Who by the mouth of thy servant David has
said (v.25). The brethren quoted the Second Psalm. Any
language of Scripture, appropriately applied, from either the Old
or the New Testament is good in prayer, not just to quote
Scripture, but when its language dovetails with the subject being
approached as in this instance.
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom
thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the
Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to
do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be
done (vs.27,28). Here, rather than quote Scripture, they
sum up its contents in their own words. That is still appropriate.
They also acknowledge the sovereignty of God. He rules in
the affairs of men. He directs events to suite His will. Too many
times we forget this. Too many times we seem to feel God is out
there somewhere, but He can and will do nothing about the affairs
of men here on the earth. If that is true, why pray?
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant
unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders
may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus
(vs.29,30). This is the meat and the purpose of their prayer. Peter
and John had been imprisoned for preaching the Gospel and were
released from prison by God. They ask for the strength and faith to
continue preaching even though the government (the council of the
Jews) is seeking to prevent their preaching in the name of Jesus.
They ask for the ability to do what God has commanded. But, all is
to be done in and by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
John 17:1-26 This prayer of Jesus is truly
The Lords Prayer. It is not an example of how to
pray (though it may serve that purpose), it is the outpouring of
Jesus heart to His heavenly Father before He departs from this
Father (v.1). Jesus could say this as the
only-begotten of the Father. We can say it through the Spirit of
adoption that we have in Jesus Christ.
I have glorified thee on the earth (v.4).
Jesus refers to the events on earth, describing what has happened.
There is nothing wrong, and sometimes everything right on
describing the situation as it exists and has existed.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for
them which thou hast given me; for they are thine (v.9).
While Paul shows that we are to pray for all men (cf. 1 Tim. 2:1);
Jesus shows that certain prayers are for certain people, and
certain pleas are for certain persons. There is a purpose in
prayer. Do not forget your purpose, and state it specifically. As
you read on in Jesus prayer, He very specifically speaks of
the apostles, and also of us: for them also which shall
believe on me through their word (v.20).
Jesus prays that the apostles: 1) be kept from evil (v.15);
2) be sanctified by the word (vs.17,19); and, 3) be one (vs.21,22).
He prays that we be one to the glory of the Father. Pray
for unity. Pray to be kept from evil. Pray to be sanctified by the
word. And, in all of prayer, as Jesus does (read His words),
maintain the respect, reverence and awe of He/Him who is God in
Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). This
is not continual, but continuously. This is not praying every
minute, but remembering to pray every day having always a
prayerful attitude and a heart of prayer.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he
that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and
tossed (James 1:6). Pray with confidence that God will
hear and will answer. The answer may not be what we want to hear.
Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes
the answer is wait.
Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive
not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your
lusts (James 4:3,4). The answer to prayer is for our own
good, not for our desires. Pray not for what you want, pray for
what you need. And, as with a little child, there can be a great
deal of difference between what you want and what you need. God
knows the difference.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the
heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their
much speaking (Matt. 6:5-8). It is not the length of the
prayer, but the sincerity of it that makes it good. The same words
can be used again and again, as long as they are not useless and
meaningless. Longer prayers are not better prayers, they are only
longer. Do not worry as much about the wording of prayer
(there are no magic formulas) as you do meaning what you
The language of prayer that is acceptable to God is the language
of your heart. The language that expresses the respect and awe for
your heavenly Father, and for His Son our Savior, is the proper
The language of the Psalms is the most eloquent of prayers;
but, the heartfelt simple statements of the lowliest of Christians
is every bit as beautiful in the ears of God. And remember, whether
you are praying in public or private, it is God whom you are
addressing and not man. Man is just listening in.
4345 Lawrence Rd.
Baltimore, OH 43105
Table of Contents
Marvin L. Weir
The word apostolic will be used in the sense of the
apostles teaching. What did the apostles teach
regarding acceptable prayer?
They prayed at regular times! Now Peter and
John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer,
[being] the ninth [hour] (Acts 3:1). It appears the Jews
were regular in praying at least three times each day. Daniel was
not willing to forego a period of prayer even though threatened
with his life for so doing. Now when Daniel knew that the
writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being
open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees
three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as
he did aforetime (Dan. 6:10). King David seems to list the
times of prayer in saying, Evening, and morning, and at
noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my
voice (Psa. 55:17).
The lesson for us is that we are to be regular in
prayer. It was to the Colossian brethren that Paul said,
For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not
cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with
the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual
understanding (Col. 1:9). To the brethren at Thessalonica
he admonished, Pray without ceasing (1 Thess.
5:17) and Brethren, pray for us (1 Thess. 5:25).
Frequent, regular, fervent, and determined prayer is taught by the
They prayed with simple unity! And when they
heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one
accord... (Acts 4:24). Speaking of them praying with
one accord, Coffman says: This expression occurs eleven
times in the Acts, and only once elsewhere in the New Testament
(Rom. 15:6). It stresses the unity of the Lords followers, and
thus reveals one of the great secrets of the success of
Christianity during those first years. The Lord prayed
fervently that His disciples be one and united in prayer (John
17:20-21). Division in spiritual matters will keep prayer from
being effective. The apostle Paul understood the danger of division
and thus said, Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that]
there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined
together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Cor.
1:10). When religious division because of error rears its ugly
head, the prayers of those refusing to stand with the Word of God
will not be granted by the Heavenly Father.
They prayed expecting an answer! And now,
Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that
with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth
thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the
name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place
was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with
boldness (Acts 4:29-31). We must not lose sight that part
of what occurred in the above scripture was due to the miraculous
age of the early church. Miracles have no part or lot in New
Testament Christianity today (1 Cor. 13:8ff).
The principle, however, of expecting God to answer our
prayers remains the same. The Lord reminded His disciples,
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,
believing, ye shall receive (Matt. 21:22). Does this mean
that if we only believe, then every prayer we pray will be granted
in the way we have requested? No, not at all. Gods Word also
teaches, And this is the confidence that we have in him,
that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And
if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have
the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15). The
Scriptures also declare, And whatsoever we ask, we receive
of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that
are pleasing in his sight (1 John 3:22). Thus, proper
prayer can expect an answer, but the answer may be different from
our request as God knows what is best for us. But if we refuse to
walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7) or if we ask
amiss (James 4:3), our prayers will go unanswered!
They prayed before departing from one another!
And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands
on them, they sent [them] away (Acts 13:3). And
when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them
all (Acts 20:36). And when we had accomplished
those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us
on our way, with wives and children, till [we were] out of the
city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed (Acts
It is good for brethren to pray with and for one another at
any time, but especially is such meaningful when they will be
departing and going separate ways. In this world, friends know not
when they will see one another for the last time. Christians can,
however, pray one for another and cling to the legitimate hope of
being together forever in that house not made with hands,
eternal, in the heavens (2 Cor. 5:1).
It is always good to know that others are continuing to
remember us and petition the Heavenly Father in our behalf. It is
a source of encouragement to know that God hears the prayer
of the righteous (Prov. 15:29). Let us never forget that
the ...effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
much (James 5:16).
484 CR 44700
Blossom, TX 75416
Table of Contents
LIVING THE ABUNDANT LIFE
Some times life is tough and hands us a difficult hand. Jesus
said, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill,
and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus said
that the thief comes to rob and steal. The thief is the devil. The
devil desires to take away all our happiness and contentment. He
uses various methods with which to do so. Paul said this about the
devil, Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are
not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11). We need to be
alert to his tricks. He uses stress and nervousness. Someone said,
Some people are so stressed out that they would make coffee
nervous, give an aspirin a headache or cause a tranquilizer to have
a nervous breakdown. So, how is it that we can enjoy the
abundant life in Christ?
One thing we can do to enjoy the abundant life is to
forget the past. Dale Carniage has a chapter in one of his
books entitled, You Cant Saw Sawdust. How true it is
that you cant relive the past. The apostle Paul writing by
inspiration said, Brethren, I count not myself to have
apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which
are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are
before (Phil. 3:13). Repent when necessary, but then move
on to live better.
A second thing we can do to enjoy the abundant life is to
give ourselves away. That is the essence of the supreme
beatitude as written in the New Testament. Here it is: I
have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to
support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how
he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts
20:35). Send a note to someone who is sick or has lost a loved one.
Bake a pie and take it to a neighbor. Cut grass for an elderly
neighbor. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good
unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of
faith (Gal. 6:10). Give yourself away.
We can enjoy the abundant life if we follow the principles
of the New Testament. That is what all faithful brethren and
faithful churches of Christ do.
4135 Coursey Lake Rd.
Douglasville, GA 30135
Table of Contents
The Leakesville Church of Christ in Leakesville, Mississippi is
looking for a preacher. They are a congregation of about 40. They
furnish a house and utilities. Contact Ronald Byrd at 601-394-
9565 ...Editor, Garland M. Robinson. Thanks so
much for the work you do. Doyle Bloomer of Hinton, OK has passed
away ...Larry Bloomer. Dear brother Robinson and
all the brothers who write for S.T.O.P. Thank you all very much! I
am very thankful to God for all of you. The topics have been
encouraging and edifying. May God continue to bless you in this
work. I wish my contribution was 10 times this much. Thanks, 2 Cor.
9:7 ...Carol Shadell, Greenbrier, AR. To the
eldership of the Leoni Church of Christ, enclosed is a donation
toward the support of the Seek The Old Paths
periodical ...Jamie Hampton, Phoenix. AZ. Hi. I am
currently incarcerated in Tarrant County Jail. I am a born again
Christian. I was baptized into Christs church in 2012, Church
of Christ. Yes, I have backslid since then but, I have rededicated
my life to God. And I plan to live the rest of my life for Christ
and serve others. I am writing in regards to your publication,
Seek The Old Paths. I have read it before and it was
based in Scriptures. So I would like to be put on the mailing list.
I would also like to receive any other sound doctrine literature
that you may have. I would also like to enroll in your Bible
Correspondence Course that I may grow in the grace and in the
knowledge of our Lord and savior. Any assistance that you may be
able to assist me with in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time and effort ...Ryan Leatherman, Ft.
Worth, TX. Please send your STOP to a friend. Small
contribution for postage. Check enclosed. God bless and keep up the
good work ...Teddy Medlen, Jonesville, MI. Thank
you for defending the truth in your paper. It is sad to read about
congregations who have loved to wonder, Jeremiah
14:10 ...James Dougal, Van Vert, OH. We have
greatly appreciated receiving STOP newsletter over the years and
those faithful soldiers of the cross who are working so diligently
to bring this to our home. We have included a check which probably
would not equal the postage you have spent over the years, and we
would very much appreciate it if you would receive this as an
anonymous contribution to be used wherever it is needed to help
with this work ...Brighton, IL. Keep up the great
work you do for the word of God and his church. May God bless us
all with his love ...Tommy Muirhead, Flora, MS.
Please change our address. We appreciate STOP. We pray that
you will keep up the good work ...Charlie & Shirley Rector,
Dayton, TN. Thank you for your publication and your
standing for sound doctrine ...Name withheld by request,
Woodbury, TN. Enclosed is a check to help with expenses
for STOP. My congregation provides copies of STOP and I receive
them eagerly. God bless all involved in this work of spreading
Biblical truth ...Name withheld by request, IN.
Thank your for your wonderful STOP. Please continue to preach
the truth. Many may learn the truth there reading your writing.
This is a little gift to help with the cost of printing and
mailing ...name withheld by request, Baxter, TN.
In Amos 2:13 we read: Behold, I am weighed down by you,
as a cart full of sheaves is weighed down. How many times have
we been heavy-hearted over circumstances in our lives? A load so
heavy we thought we could not bare. God, in Amos, tells his
children, because of their sin a heavy load is on the Lord himself!
Oh how I pray, that we will seek the will of the Lord that we will
not cause him to become heavy-hearted! John 14:15, If you love
me, keep my commandments ...Del Brantley, Salem, KY.
We are enclosing a check to assist in the publication and
mailing of Seek The Old Paths. We know the expenses
of such are costly and continue to climb. We appreciate receiving
the publication and the soundness of articles contained in it. We
appreciate the great work you are doing ...J. T. Morgan,
for the Florence church of Christ, Florence, MS. Cancel
please. Return to sender ...Gene Bryant, Dextor, MO.
Return to sender. Discontinue ...Billie Potts,
Tuscumbia, AL. Thanks to all the good brethren that work
to keep STOP going. May the Lord bless you all for the good
work ...Geneva Stark, Wilburton, OK. I am so
thankful that a very dear lady signed us up many yrs ago (over 20)
to get STOP. It has helped to encourage and strengthen us so much.
We are now at a small congregation close to our home. They had been
without a preacher for a few years and have recently hired a young
man just out of preaching school. He is very sound and willing to
stand for the truth, which is so encouraging and hopeful for the
Lords church. Would you be so kind as to start sending us a
bundle? Again, thank you for this very sound publication
...Debbie and Randy Walker, Valdosta, GA. We have truly
enjoyed your mailings of STOP, but you can remove our name and we
can read it on the website, seektheoldpaths.com. That way it can be
sent by mail to someone else who may not have access to a computer.
Keep up the great work ...Edward Smith, Cookeville, TN.
Thanks so much for preaching the Gospel. May Gods
blessings continue on you in this good work ...John
Stevens, Corinth, MS. Please remove my name from your
mailing list. I cant read any more due to macular
degeneration ...Sala Weaver, Ranger, GA. Please
discontinue my subscription to STOP since I now have access to it
online. This will save money in paper and postage. I am sending a
small check to help recover some of the expense you have gone to
for me ...George Meeks, Hendersonville, TN.
Table of Contents
Bound Volumes (with a complete index) for the years
1995-2002 can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
Bible Page |
Seek The Old Paths |
Leoni Church of