6 Mar 2009

Pray Without Ceasing

We read the last story from the wonderful devotional, How God Used A Thunderstorm today. I'm sorry it's finished, but there are five books in the series, so I can look forward to many many more pearls of wisdom from the unequaled Joel Beeke before I really need to don my basic black and go into mourning forever.

Here's an exerpt:

Unceasing Prayer

Several ministers had gathered to discuss difficult questions, and it was asked how the command to “pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17) could be obeyed. Various suggestions were offered, and at last one of the ministers was appointed to write an essay on the subject for the next meeting. A young maidservant, who was serving in the room, heard the discussion and exclaimed: “What! A whole month to tell the meaning of this text? Why, it’s one of the easiest and best verses int he Bible.”

“Well, well, Mary,” said an old minister. “What do you know about it? Can you pray all the time?”

“Oh, yes sir!”

“Really? How is that possible when you have so many things to do?”

“Why, sir, the more I have to do, the more I pray.” “Indeed! Well, Mary, how do you do it? Most people wouldn’t agree with you.”

“Well, sir,” said the girl, “when I first open my eyes in the morning, I pray, ‘Lord, open the eyes of my understanding,’ and while I am dressing, I pray that I may be clothed with the robe of righteousness. While I am washing, I ask to have my sins washed away. As I begin work, I pray that I may receive strength for all the work of the day. While I kindle the fire, I pray that revival may be kindled in me. While preparing and eating breakfast, I ask to be fed with the Bread of Life and the pure milk of the Word. As I sweep the house, I pray that my heart may be swept clean of all its impurities. As I am busy with the little children, I look up to God and pray that I may always have the trusting love of a little child, and as I….”

“Enough, enough!” cried the minister. “These truths are often hid from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes, as the Lord Himself said. Go on, Mary,” he continued, “pray without ceasing. As for us brothers, let us thank the Lord for this lesson.”

Question: Can you think of other times during your day when you pray in the same way as the maid?

Scripture Reading:Luke 11:5-10

Don't you wish Mary could have given us more examples!!

Each devotional in the story book series is as inspiring as this one. The book is divided into two sections - Living for God, followed by The Value of Scripture. Each story has a strong gospel and biblical message. We really liked them and Jemimah looked forward to devotions each morning.

At the end of the devotional story there are questions for discussion and a Scripture reading (often more than one). There are also prayer points supplied which raise issues to discuss or think about that are connected with the story.

After opening with prayer and reading the story, I would generally use these discussion and prayer points as a way to discuss the application of the message to Jemimah's own life. Sometimes I wished that Dr Beeke himself had been there to answer some of her deep theological questions, though. (I always knew homeschool maths may prove a challenge, but devotions?)

For those of you who don't know him, Dr Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has written dozens of books - all of which are great to read.

Take a look at this free article of Beeke's entitled: Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children in Dependency on the Spirit. I found it incredibly challenging. I'd love to hear your opinions.

1 comment:

  1. I've been interested in these books for some time, but afraid to buy without a review upon which I could stand. Thanx!!


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