House of Prayer

The bobbing little heads are so thankful to see me this morning. They’re grateful for the seed I throw their way. It is amazing they know it’s safe to fly out of the trees and eat, so long as I am there. Perhaps I am… a house of prayer for all my feathered fowl.

In my house of prayer, my humbled heart guides my conscience. I cannot list the blessed gifts God sent my wife and me in our short few years of marriage. But many people are not so fortunate…

Some families lost their finances, especially over the past few weeks. Others gambled their money, and even life savings, instead of reading the laws of God. In a Christian’s house of prayer, the Bible dictates this distinction:

Many abodes are filled with “prized possessions” from floor to ceiling. We can witness this sad condition on TV, such as “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and even “American Pickers.” Or, shoppers fill their carts with unnecessary items after each paycheck to fill a void in their heart. I must ask, “How can you love two Gods if you are a true Christian?” This ill-fated, psychological condition promotes money and the love of physical items. In this house of prayer, the Bible states:

We can easily find the standard salary of clergymen on the internet. It is far below the national average income. But some televangelists, who I call “false prophets,” steal from the poor to live in their dynasty. They build multi-million dollar lifestyles, believing they can buy into heaven’s gates. In their masonry house of prayer, the frigid winds blow through the cracks and crevices.

So, what kind of house of prayer is your residence? Is your home blessed, or does Satan appear to send signals of acceptable sin? If Jesus walked in your house today, would He feel the warmth of love and graciousness? Could He easily place His hands on your Bible?

Just like the little feeding birds, they eat only enough to fill their bodies. They, too, come to me for comfort. We should turn to God for life’s blessings. Share your bread, for it is His will you are supplied with His love, including the little birds that feed in your backyard.

I pray your life and home is a sanctuary, filled with God’s blessings and love. Be content with your basic needs being met and avoid materialism. It is only the flesh that yearns for the security of money. Our wealth belongs to God – and it’s a gift. Make Him first in your life. Only faith, prayer, and your walk in the light of God will bring you to His house of prayer.

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Prayer to stop corona virus

God, Almighty Father,
We are overwhelmed;
Corona virus worries;
We are worried, afraid,
And confused;
No one knows what lies
Ahead for humanity;
Only you can save us;
Please, help us Lord;
Stop this thing from spreading;
Stop this thing from taking human lives;
Keep us safe;
We know you can do it;
We humbly submit our prayer
Through Christ our Lord,

Faith Amidst a Viral Fever

Faith, corona virusNow that most of the world appears to be in lockdown mode over fears of spreading the CCP virus, aka the Coronavirus, COVID-19, or Wuhan Flu, etc., it seems prudent to use this global “time-out” and assess, or re-assess as the case may be, our standing with God. For one of the things which scream out at humanity at this moment is that we have taken ourselves far too seriously and taken God far too lightly for far too long.

For the curious, I am adopting the name ‘CCP virus’ after the manner I recently saw used by the excellent newspaper, The Epoch Times. They explain the reason for this designation,

…because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

I agree completely with that sentiment and so I am calling it the CCP virus as well. Though it is not a strict medical designation, it is more accurate than simply the “coronavirus,” and historically indicts the people most responsible for the pandemic.

However, it is the reaction of the populace to the CCP virus that is perhaps more critical to successfully combatting this pestilence than the physical precautions. Hyper-inflating public fear for political points, as the Leftmedia is doing, only serves to promote needless panic that is foolish and potentially more dangerous than the disease itself.

Faith Cures the Fever of Fear

Inset. of the symptoms of the CCP virus infection is a fever of varying severity in the infected person. Fear about the pandemic is capable of producing a fever effect within the human psyche as well.

Faith is the cure for the ‘fear fever.’ One reason for this is that we all operate in life through faith, in fact, no one can live any other way.

All people, regardless of viewpoint or belief or lack of such in God live by faith in someone or something. That is, all of us must trust in something or someone, and usually both, just to live our everyday lives.

For example, very few of us outside of trained technicians and the like understand how electric power works in our homes, we simply trust that the flip of a switch or press of a button will produce waves of photons dispersed as white light! The technological advances of modern times are literally impossible without the magic of electric power in all its multitude of forms today and without an almost fundamental trust in this, modern society could not function.

There is, of course, a definitive difference between faith in what man has provided and faith in God. Faith in man’s provision is always faith in a limited provision, while faith in God is faith in an unlimited provision for every situation.

Faith in God is faith that can cure fear at the heart and soul level because faith is believing at the soul level. It is the certainty of the heart that God is real and His love and power are available for all and fear has no chance against that.

Faith Is God’s Perscription for the Fever of Fear

16361200694_f51ebc396e_wThe definitive biblical passage concerning faith is found in the 11th chapter of the New Testament book of Hebrews. It begins,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 [ESV]

Paul goes on to give numerous examples of faith demonstrated throughout history from the Old Testament all the way back to Cain and Abel. In the middle of that, as if interrupting himself, Paul writes in verse six,

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. [ESV]

The most often used phrase in the Bible is “Fear not.” When this phrase is used it is invariably connected with some statement of assurance that God is present to handle whatever is causing such fear.

Perhaps the most iconic words exhibiting this are found in the 23rd Psalm when David writes in verse 4 that,

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. [ESV]

David is stating that it doesn’t matter even if death seems to threaten all around him, he knows that he knows the LORD is with him. His faith is not shaken because he trusts not only in the existence of God but in God’s provision of comfort, encouragement, strength, and love to see him through the darkest of times.

The brilliant Christian writer C.S. Lewis once wrote that,

Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

Much the same can be said about fear especially when it concerns something that is out of human control like the current struggle with the CCP virus. Fear, like pain, can function to draw us near to God, or we can choose to give in to the ‘fear fever’ and move in panic away from God.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fear

49203379398_b3a2ba72ca_wThere are two different types of fear, one type that is unhealthy and another type that is healthy. The type of fear being expressed in hoarding and panic buying is the unhealthy type that I have been addressing until now.

There is also a healthy type of fear that cautions most people against attempting truly dangerous activities. However, there are those few that do, and indeed feel they must act contrary to such caution and risk even their very lives for a moral and righteous end.

This is seen most often on the battlefield and in places where law enforcement and first responders rush into danger to protect and defend others. In those instances, it could be contended that is is the ‘righteous’ fear for others that overcomes the fear of harm to self.

We have a name for that phenomenon called courage. You see, courage is not the absence of fear, it is rather acting ‘righteously’ in spite of the presence of fear for a good and noble result.

Nowhere is that better exemplified than in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay for humanity’s sin. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, knew that He would suffer and die before He left heaven but also knew that humanity had no chance against the greatest of all maladies, sin, without His sacrifice.

Jesus demonstrated an act of almost unfathomable courage in the face of incredibly fearful circumstances bourne of His unlimited love for humanity. The greatest infection of all is the sinfulness in the human heart.

Sin has a 100% infection rate and left untreated will result in a fate worse than death with 100% certainty. The sole remedy for this is faith in Jesus and His complete atonement for sin.

Jesus put it this way,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 [ESV]

During this period when things are in discord I would urge people to do two things. One, follow the precautions recommended such as ‘social distancing’ and others even if you are in a low-risk group for contracting or dying from CCP virus for the sake of others who might be at risk.

Secondly, and most important is this advice. Take this time of relative isolation to contemplate your life and relationship with the One who gave His life for you.

Take this time to choose to live with faith instead of living in the grip of fear and panic. If you know the LORD Jesus as Savior, choose to live for Him and show others His love. If you don’t know Him, come near in faith for He is waiting with open arms for you.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jerry Worster’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Hernan Pinera’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Kevin Shorter’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Lluis Ribes Mateu’s Flicker page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Today’s daily prayer to reap the fruits of Lent 71

Here we are in Lent,
You O Lord are ever great;
You are ever so great;
Ever so great and mighty
Are you, O king;
O heavenly King;
Mighty is your holy name;
No name can ever be
To yours compared;
Your works are ever good;
Miraculous and great;
We will sing praise to you
All the days of our lives;
We will go on our knees
And adore you;
We will glorify your name;
From morning till night,
We will praise your name;
For forty days, we will
Remember, in a special way
Our Lord and saviour
Jesus christ,
His suffering on the road
To Calvary,
Under the weight of a heavy cross;
We shall see him suffer;
We shall see him fall and rise;
We shall see him beaten;
We shall see him sweat blood;
All for our sake,
Moved by love;
May you help us O Lord,
To accompany our Saviour
On this painful journey
In deeper prayer than we have
Ever before prayed;
Help us to learn from him
To love others
As he has loved us;
To be strong in prayer;
So that we will reap
The fruits of this Lent,
For the greater glory
Of his holy name;
We make our prayer
Through Christ our Lord,

Today’s daily prayer 70 for God’s favour

Dear friend wherever you are,
We are at the start
Of the Lenten season;
A season of more intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving;
The Lord invites us today,
And throughout this season,
To get closer to him;
And our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ,
As we recall his intense suffering with his cross
on the way to Mount Calvary;
He invites us to look into ourselves daily
And reconcile ourselves to Him;
Let us beg Him to purify
The world;
We are sinning too much;
Despite his suffering
And death for us;
We have gone so far in sin
That we are completely lost;
We don’t know what to do;
On our own, we will only go deeper into sin;
Only by His grace
Can we come out of sin;
Let us beg him to generate love in our hearts,
To replace the hatred
That has taken us hostage;
As we live the passion
Of our Lord,
Let us pray for one snother;
For the things that God has prepared for us
To live a good life;
Let us pray for more of his blessings on us;
I pray for you;
I pray that everything
May be in your favour today,
Starting from sunrise
To sunset!
May this day be
An amazing day for you!
May the gates
Of heaven’s store
Of abundance open
And bring to you
A downpour of blessings
So that when the time comes
For you to give back to Him,
You will have enough
To give with a joyful heart!
May you not face
Financial hardship
Throughout this day!
May you have
More than enough
To keep you going today!
May you make
Many people smile today!
May you be loved!
May you be appreciated!
May you enjoy God’s favour!
May all the angels
And saints of God
In heaven be for you!
May the light of the bearer
Of light shine on you,
And light up your path!
May you grow stronger
In your faith today!
May your love for God
Surpass every other love
You have!
May you be free of anger!
Be more composed;
More understanding;
Tolerant and forgiving!
May the things you desire,
But which seem impossible
Become possible!
May all the stumbling blocks
On your way
Turn into stepping stones!
May the good things
In your life multiply
While the bad things
Diminish this day!
If you are in business
May your business flourish!
If you are into sales,
May your sales sky rocket!
For those in school,
May you be protected
From the evil hands
Of bad school administrators!
Bad students and teachers!
May you obtain all that
Your heart desires;
May this day be the day
The Lord has made!
May you pray and pray;
May the suffering of the Lord
On the way to Calvary
And his death on the cross
Not go for nothing
As far as you are concerned!
May you enjoy all the blessings
And graces of this season!

Prayer 69 for a successful retirement for our Archbishop Emeritus, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua

O God, our heavenly Father,
We thank you from our hearts,
For a successful retirement
For our Archbishop Emeritus, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua;
He was a special gift
To many of us;
And our entire Archdiocese;
Thank you immensely
For giving him to the Church,
First, as a Diocesan priest,
Then as the Bishop of Kumbo;
Finally, as our Archbishop;
The Archbishop of Bamenda;
Thank you for his health,
Whenever he faced challenges
With his health and work,
You always stepped in
To take care;
Thank you for his energy;
His strength;
And his wisdom;
You equipped him and led him
To do his work
As the Chief Shepherd
Of our Archdiocese
For 14 active, good years,
After so many successful years
As the Bishop of Kumbo;
He loved his work,
Which he did diligently
And with total dedication;
He has spent more than half his life in your vineyard
As Priest, Bishop
And Archbishop;
All his life since childhood
When he was a Mass boy,
His focus has been you, Lord;
He championed the growth
Of the Faith
Wherever he worked;
And has left the Church stronger
Than he found it;
We pray O Lord,
That may you kindly reward
This faithful servant,
With a calm, peaceful, prayerful and joyful retirement,
Free of any worries.
Continue to protect him
As you have always done;
May he enjoy an excellent relationship
With his successor,
All the Priests and Religious with whom he worked,
And with whom he will live,
As well as the lay faithful
Whom he worked so hard to lead to heaven;
Though retired,
Make him not to be tired,
So that by his example
Of living the faith
On his retirement,
He will continue to nourish
Our own faith,
As a great source
Of inspiration to us.
Bless him now and throughout his retirement;
We make our prayer
Through Christ our Lord, Amen!

Daily prayer for Archbishop Andrew Nkea for success in his Episcopate

Dear God, the induction
Of the new Archbishop
Of the Archdiocese of Bamenda,
His Grace Andrew Nkea,
Took place on Saturday 22 February , 2020.
It went on very well;
Many of us
Who were not present,
Saw the pictures
And videos on television and on the web;
Heard on radio or from others;
The weather was good;
The sun was bright;
The atmosphere was prayerful;
Thank you good Father,
Thank you for the Holy Catholic Church;
And your servants whom you choose to work in your vineyard;
Thank you for all the people
You brought from all over,
To participate in the ceremony of induction of Archbishop Andrew Nkea;
And bear witness to the event;
Thank you for calling your son, Andrew Nkea,
To serve in your vineyard
In such a high position
Of Metropolitan Archbishop;
Thank you for considering him worthy
Of being your messenger;
Thank you for the people
You have so kindly moved
To support him in his exacting task as Bishop;
These include his fellow Bishops and Priests;
Men and women of consecrated and apostolic life,
And the lay faithful,
Not leaving out non Catholics, And non Christians;
And all people of goodwill;
When we listen to him,
We have no doubt O Lord,
That you have given him the gift of language power,
To move hearts,stir souls,
And win followers to you;
For this, we thank you;
You have called him to serve
At a very difficult time, Father,
Many challenges lie ahead of him,
His own people are torn apart by war,
There is so much hatred
In the air,
Heavy fighting is going on,
People are being killed;
Homes and property being ruthlessly destroyed;
People are being kidnapped,
Ransome asked,
People are molested,
Murdered ruthlessly in their homes
In the bushes,
No single person living in this land
Is feeling secured;
No one person is spared;
Your Church is threatened;
Many Christians fear
To go to Mass,
And participate in Church activities;
Detractors of your Church
Are doing all sorts of things
To erode the Faith;
The challenges and dangers are many;
We pray O Lord,
That you protect your humble Shepherd, the Archbishop;
From all dangers
No matter where they are coming from;
Give him the wisdom
To handle all the challenges;
We know that he will have pressure from all sides
To dance to their tune;
Keep him strong O Lord,
Not to waver;
To stick to the right path,
As you want him to;
Which is to preach the gospel,
And promote the values of love, justice, peace and unity among all your children;
Send the Holy Spirit
To fill his mind with wisdom;
Send an army of angels to accompany and protect him
Wherever he goes;
Crown his efforts with resounding success;
We make our prayer through Christ Our Lord, Amen!

Today’s daily prayer for our new Chief Shepherd 67

Mighty is your name O Lord,
Great are your works;
We have reason to praise your name;
And express gratitude to you;
Thank you for our New Chief Shepherd;
Our new Archbishop;
Bishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea,
Who, in your wisdom,
It has pleased you
To give us;
To take possession of our Archdiocese in accordance with your plan;
A good reason to honour you;
To adore you;
To glorify your name;
No one is mightier than you;
You keep us happy;
Even when we are sad,
When our tears are rolling down as now in this land,
You know how to wipe them;
We will, forever, praise you;
You are worthy of praise,
And all the honour
That you get,
No honour and praise
Can be too much for you;
Ever this day O Lord
In your mightiness,
You stand on our side
You put smiles on our faces;
Those sweet smiles
Like honey,
That come only from you;
Mighty gift, you have given us;
A new chief Shepherd;
Our new Archbishop;
Archbishop Andrew Nkea;
A gift so special to us;
We put back in your hands o Lord,
You best know to take care;
Bless him;
Protect him;
Care for him;
Equip him;
Grant him all the graces
To deliver the goods in your vineyard,
As in your divine plan,
So that your name shall ever be glorified;
This prayer, we make,
Through Christ our Lord,

Today’s daily prayer 66

O Loving Father,
Great is your holy name;
O Mighty God,
I give you all the glory,
I praise your name,
I honour you;
I am happy and thankful
To you;
Thank you for keeping me
Under your protection,
I am committing this day
Into your hands
As all my other days;
I bow before your throne,
And pray you to turn your eye
On me;
Today, many of your children will travel on dangerous roads,
Protect them, O Mighty Father,
There are many people
who are not safe at home,
They need your protection;
Protect them, Father;
Send your angels to protect them,
We all have our heart’s desires;
And on our own we cannot achieve them,
But with you, difficulties
Become easy;
Great God, great Master,
You have great plans for us;
You have a plan
To make us victorious;
You are caring and faithful;
Thank you!
May all the workd hail your,
Now and forever!

Today’s daily prayer to make our trials draw us closer to God 65

Almighty God and father,
You are a loving father,
You made the world so beautiful,
And handed it over to us,
You intended us to enjoy it;
But we have messed it up,
And continue to do so;
You know how to turn bad situations into good;
Continue to help us O Father,
To transform the evil
Destroying us into good;
Grant us the Grace to persevere in our effort;
Guide us not to stumble
On the stumbling blocks
On our way,
But to stand on them
So that we may see further;
We continue to face trials,
Make them draw us closer
To you.
We offer you our hearts this day O Lord,
Help us to live the faith
In truth and charity;
Help us to build our belief,
To be strong and solid;
May we love you more
Than all else;
You know our needs;
You know our problems;
You know our challenges;
You know our weaknesses;
We hand them all over to you.
Open the way for all your children crying to you;
Among us are people who are very ill at this moment;
Touch them with your healing hands and restore their health;
Also with us are people who are in serious financial problems,
Give them a solution, O Lord,
Because on you alone they depend;
Great God, Master of all the universe,
Our words are not enough to praise you;
We are insignificant,
But in your loving kindness
And compassion,
You pay attention to us.
Thank you God.
Thank you sweet God;
Thank you most loving Father.
To you, through Christ our Lord, we pray,