Wednesday, 06 November 2013 16:32
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective…” (James 5:16, the Holy Bible).
REPOST FROM THE PAST: In view of the many calls once again for prayer brigades over the upsurge of calamities in the country particularly the tornado or strong winds that hit Mactan and other areas in Cebu on October 04, 2013, , may I repost what I wrote on August 08, 2012 in this column. Read on:
“USELESS PRAYER BRIGADES: As expected, people from all walks of life—particularly the so-called `netizens, or Internet users—once again implored everyone to pray for the Philippines and our hapless countrymen as monsoon rains battered Metro Manila and several neighboring provinces Tuesday, August 7, 2012, submerging wide areas in deadly flood waters which are now said to be equally devastating as the floods brought by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009.
“That call for prayer was good, but then, Filipinos may have a surprise coming to many of them: prayers, expression of faith, and invocation of God’s help only during calamitous times, such as what we experienced last Tuesday, will not really amount to anything, and will not be of much help to anyone. They are actually useless.
“The rains will come again, the floods will come again, and even the strong winds will come again, bringing the usual death and destruction in their wake, and there is no prayer, nor expression of faith, nor invocation of God’s help, that can really stop them while they are already happening. Why am I saying this? Because the Bible itself says so. It is clear from the Bible that the prayer of a person who remembers God only in his afflictions is a worthless prayer.
“JESUS FORETOLD THE COMING OF RAINS AND FLOODS: First, the Bible says the rains, floods, and winds will come. No matter what the experts say will cause them—whether climate change, global warming, or environmental destruction—it is important to remember that they were foretold to come. This much the Bible clarifies in its Matthew 7:24-27. It was Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, speaking in that passage.
“Now, since there is nothing we can do to prevent rains, floods and winds from coming, what is the next best thing to do for all of us? To know how to avoid the damage they will bring, of course. Jesus Christ, in Matthew 7:24-27 of the Bible, tells us precisely how to do that: He said we will not suffer if we listen to, and obey, Him.
“On the other hand, Jesus said that death and destruction will come from those rains, floods and winds, if, while we do listen to Him, we nevertheless do not obey His commands. He said we will suffer a “great crash”—meaning, we will suffer death and destruction—even if we are listening to him, if we are not obeying His commands.
“LISTENING TO, AND OBEYING, GOD AT ALL TIMES: What does listening to, but not obeying, actually mean? It means having a faith that is without works. In James 2:17, this kind of faith without works is characterized as a “dead faith”, and, according to James 2:19, a faith that is espoused by fools—the very word used by Jesus in describing those who listen to Him but who do not obey him—and is therefore `useless’.
“The prayer of a man who has this kind of a `dead and useless’ faith will not be answered by God, and will not enable him to enter the Kingdom of the Father. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21: `Not all who call on me `Lord’, `Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father in heaven’…”
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By Batas Mauricio
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