Prayer

The Last Supper


Matthew 26:17-30
New Living Translation (NLT)

The Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”

“As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
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When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”

He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark, my words-I, will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

 

I surrender


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Father in heaven, I surrender all to You. Remove the veil that clouds my view. Help me to see more clearly your purpose for me. Guide my steps and take full control of my life. Lord, I am aware that I am nothing without You. Still, I yearn to be something–, not in this world, Lord, but in your Kingdom. I surrender all to you.

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Why hasn’t God answered my prayer?


No one will acknowledge it, but we (Christians) question God more often than we will admit. Unlike non-Christians, some of whom question God existence, and especially after a natural disaster, such as hurricane Sandy or a tragedy like the Sandy Hook school shooting; we question God if we think He did not answer our prayers soon enough. But God doesn’t work in our time. The Bible  says God makes all things beautiful in His time Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Believe that prayer works

Consequently, when you pray, you must believe. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Yet, lack of faith seems the dominant reason why we think God hasn’t answered our prayers. Often time the break through that we desire is within our grasp, but we need faith to claim it.

Prayer can move mountain

The woman with the issue of blood had a mountain size problem, but she also had extraordinary faith, which she exercise to achieve her desired outcome. She was one hundred percent sure if she touched the elm of Jesus’ garment, she would be made whole.

Another person who exercised extraordinary faith was the Centurion. One of his best servants was dying, so he requested Jesus to come and heal the servant. “And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed” (Mark 7:6-7). Jesus later commented, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

Throughout His ministry, Jesus emphasized faith. In fact–in one of His discourses with His disciples, He said, “Therefore I say unto you, Whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them” (Mark 11:24).

He knows my name


Psalm 139:1-18

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.

The grass is not always greener on the other side


How many times have you heard a family member, a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor, or even an acquaintance complained about how much they hate their jobs and how they cannot wait to find a new job? This is a particularly common occurrence in the work place today. I have even found myself in a similar situation once before. I still regret making the transition.

But, my situation was not half as serious as one of my best friends’. We both worked at the same place and were doing very well; until, for some unknown reason Tim developed an eagerness to jump ship for greener pastures.

Sadly, it was no more than seven months after Tim left his old job for the coveted greener pasture, he got laid off, and that was the beginning of a string of bad luck for the poor guy.

As I reflected on mine and Tim’s poor decision making skills from many years ago, I cannot help thinking about my late grandmother. She mastered the art of idiomatic expressions. She had one for every situation. Her favorite ones were, “A bird in the hand is worth a million in the bushes”. “Don’t be like the greedy dog who let go the bone to catch its shadow”.

Now that I am older and wiser, I understand that the grass is not always greener on the other side. It may look green from afar, but a close up view reveals the faults and blemishes.

That is kind of what Satan, the adversary does to us Christians. He paints a nice and fuzzy picture of the world to trap us back into the old way of living, and if we are not careful we will find ourselves eating among swine like the prodigal son. Thank God,  many of us have been there and done that, so we know exactly what it is really like on the dark side–dismal. Nevertheless, some of us still allow the adversary to scam us time and again.

Friends, there is no short term result in the Christian race. That is the reason the apostle Paul who gave up the pleasures of the world to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, advises us to run with endurance the race God has set before us. He even tells us how to do it–by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Paul goes on to say, “Because of the joy awaiting Him (Jesus), He endured the horrible cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in a place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT). ( Isn’t that wonderful?)

Therefore, brothers and sisters, our reward is not temporary like the glitz and glamour of the world. It is real and lasting, but do not look for it on earth. It is in heaven.