Kneeling We Triumph

Prayer is not just a good idea—it is His divine plan. . . .
Our generation has yet to see prayer as a ministry, and to take God
at His Word on this subject. It is while we pray that God works, if we
can but see Him—not merely before, or after prayer. Our idea is, “Let
us pray, and then get on with the work.” But prayer is our real work.
We so often think of prayer as a prefix or a suffix to an otherwise busy
round. But God’s works are wrought as we pray, and while we pray.
It brings a revolution to any minister or Christian, once he believes
God’s Word on this point. His works are done through prayer, for He
always works out from His throne by intercession. It is not only His
intercession, but ours too, for, by His Spirit, He not only prays for us,
but in us. He gives us of His own great praying—and that is true
praying indeed.
We are not just to imitate His praying, but to enter into it, receive
it, and have it enter into us. That is how we enter into His works,
become “laborers together with God,” and learn to cease from our
own works. We learn in this way to work with Him, instead of for
Him. Sons, and no longer slaves.
Then after we have prayed, we walk with the Lord Jesus into the
works He has wrought in answer to prayer. Prayer is our real work.
Working is drudgery. Even working for the Lord is dreary. But
working with Him is delight. In His Kingdom, it is those to whom He
ministers who minister. The conquered conquer, and the followers of
Christ lead others.—Armin Gesswein.
God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.—John Wesley

Springtime in Ukraine

Springtime in Ukraine

Springtime! —
A cascade of new blooms, pushing their way through the dark soil of winter; 
Bleak branches now ablaze with pink or white blossoms; 
Birds—excitedly sharing their anticipation of new life and hope in one melodious chorus of praise. 
Have we gotten the message yet? 
Winter has been winter defeated for one year more at least!

But, is this how my friends feel in that distant land— 
Searching for mementos in the rubble of past dreams;
Hastily stuffing photos of loved ones past and present into bulging bags as they
Hurriedly begin their harrowing escape to freedom? 
Or does the roar of gunfire drown out the birdsong?
Does the smoke of war dim the hues of springtime flowers? 
And fear!
Is it able to choke the promise of new life?

And back in the cities!
Are the tree lined avenues once more ablaze with white and pink blossoms?
Or are there any trees left at all?
Maybe just a few here or there—
Lone stragglers, 
Struggling for survival midst the smoke and fire of guns? 

And the people!
Oh yes, the people!
People like you and I
Who cannot or will not
Escape to friendly frontiers of fields and flowers!
Are they even aware 
Entombed in their basement shelters, 
That winter is over and the singing of the birds has come? 

These questions nag me,
Plague me,
Disturb me!
I do not know the answers,
For America is not and never will be Ukraine!

What can I do, then?
I cannot send the suffering ones gifts of Spring-hope wrapped up in pretty paper.
I have no power to dispel their winter of despair and death.
And so I simply pray, 
For no enemy can block a prayer by guns:
“Oh, God of all seasons and all lands,
Let the Springtime of hope’s resurrection  bloom once more in every anguished heart. 
Let each one feel, somehow:
That the Enemy cannot obliterate the seasons!
That the winter of hatred cannot forever swallow the hope of Spring!
That the God of resurrection and Eternal life has not been forced to flee to some other universe for safety.
Let this message reverberate:
Through every message winged their way,
Through every dollar sacrificed to relieve their suffering.
Through every stuttering, stammering prayer, uttered from anguished and love-torn hearts.” 

No, hatred!
No, fear!
No, death!
Try as you will, 
You cannot kill Spring-time, 2022!
The God of resurrection and Eternal Life has not been maimed by artillery fire.
He is not curtailed by sanctions,
Or roadblocks,
Or hostile frontiers.

Then take heart, 
Beloved, suffering ones! 
It’s Spring again—in Ukraine!
		—Trudy Harvey Tait.

The White Yogi

From the book, George Bowen of Bombay, “The White Yogi” by the Rev. J. Sumner Stone, M. D., Dec. 23, 1889:

Two young men just landed from America on “India’s coral strand” started out to see the curiosities and celebrities of a great city on the shore of the Indian Ocean. There were monuments, temples, and palaces by the score; there were princes and princelings, governors and generals and nabobs. But this morning we were hunting a prince, but not among palaces. So we picked our way through the crowded native district till we came to a broad street called Grant Road, and stopped in front of a low, one˗storied building divided into narrow apartments, two rooms deep. This was the office of the Bombay Guardian and the home of its editor and proprietor—one of the celebrities of India.

Americans and English called him George Bowen; natives called him the “White Yogi,” or white saint. To our timid knock the door opened and—I started. It was December, 1880, yet we seemed to be in the presence of a Huguenot, Geneva Calvinist, or Scotch Covenanter of the sixteenth century. The figure that greeted us might have been John Calvin or John Knox. Spare body, thin face, gray beard, narrow, high forehead, surmounted by rimless skull cap, thus the “White Yogi” stood framed in the door, bidding the strangers to enter.

How shall I picture to you that room? It was small, its furniture was of the plainest type and limited. The editorial table was a chaos of books, copy, manuscripts, and periodicals. Among the books, placed without order in the bookcases, I noticed a loaf of bread next to a dictionary, and a few bananas sharing a shelf with some works on theology and sociology. I realized that I was in the presence of a remarkable man, in the sanctum of one of the leading writers of the Indian empire, one of the most distinguished representatives of Christianity in the eastern world. At once there flashed into my mind the words of Jesus concerning John the Baptist: “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yes, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.”

George Bowen was a scholarly man; he was by birth and training a gentleman. He was widely read, widely traveled, a thoroughly trained man. When he wrote golden words flowed from his pen; gems of thought fell from his lips when he spoke. He had the brain of a philosopher, the soul of a poet, and the genius of a musician. I wish I could convey to you the impression produced by the strangely˗gifted man when he sat down at the organ to let his fingers “wander idly over the noisy keys.” He lived in poverty, yet he was rich—he had all that the millionaire possesses—sufficient. He lived among the poorest of the people, was a comrade of the coolie, yet he was sought by the cultured and the noble.

The Christian’s Daily Challenge–Nov. 1st.

Increase through trial

“Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again. . . . shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side” (Psa. 71:20-21).
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest . . . behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires” (Isa. 54:11).

If by the enlargement of my life I let in human sorrow I also let in divine consolation. A big, holy purpose makes me more sensitive toward the sin and hostility of man, but it also makes me more sensitive toward God. If the sufferings abound, “so our comfort aboundeth also.” If I said nothing more than this, this alone would suffice: if we suffer with Christ, Christ Himself becomes a great reality. When life is a picnic we play with theology: when life becomes a campaign we grope for religion.
—J. H. Jowett.

The tears we shed are not in vain;
Nor worthless is the heavy strife;
If, like the buried seed of grain,
They rise to renovated life.
It is through tears our spirits grow;
’Tis in the tempest souls expand,
If it but teaches us to go
To Him Who holds it in His hand.
Oh, welcome, then, the stormy blast!
Oh, welcome, then, the ocean’s roar!
Ye only drive more sure and fast
Our trembling bark to Heaven’s bright shore.
—Thomas C. Upham.

Now, as I look back over my own life, I can discover that some of the richest mercies my heavenly Father has ever bestowed have come in the shape of bitter disappointments. It has been truly remarked that “disappointment never means wreck when God’s hand is in it. There is often a lift in that ugly thing.” Disappointment, like fire, has a double power; it may scorch and crisp and blast a man, or else it may thaw out his blood, and quicken his life.
—Theodore Cuyler.


Jesus infallibly knew that when words were spoken and actions
performed in accordance with the blessed attributes of God, though
such actions were done on the lonely seashore, or such words were
whispered in the soundless ravines of Galilee, they would in due time,
under the fertilizing and cultivating power of the Holy Ghost, come
forth in the gigantic forms of mature history, and be uttered in peals
louder than seven thunders, when the proper hour had arrived. All great
characters are first made in secret. ― Our Own God by G. D. Watson

Robert Murray McCheyne’s Diary Entries

“Two things that defile this day in looking back are love of praise running through all and consenting to listen to worldly talk at all.  Oh that these may keep me humble and be my burden, leading me to the cross.  Then, Satan, thou wilt be outwitted.”

“When I was laid aside from the ministry, I used often to say, ‘Now God is teaching me the use of prayer.’  I thought I would never forget the lesson, yet I fear I have grown slack again when in the midst of my work.”

“Private meditation exchanged for conversation.  Here is the root of all evil―forsake God, and He forsakes us.”

“Sabbath―very happy in my work.  Too little prayer in the morning.  Must try to get early to bed on Saturday, that I may ‘rise a great while before day.’” “Rose early to seek God, and found Him Whom my soul loveth.  Who would not rise early to meet such company?” ―How They Prayed, page 52.

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A Place to Pray

It came to my heart with a lesson,
As the day was beginning to dawn,
As the day, with its cares and trials
And its blessings, was drawing on,

How Jesus, the world’s Redeemer,
Arose before it was day,
And, feeling His human weakness
Found in secret a place to pray.

Not even the three disciples
Who followed the Lord the best,
Were there in His sanctuary;
They slumbered as did the rest,

And only the stars of heaven
With, perchance, the silvery moon,
Looked down upon their Creator,
Who would suffer and die so soon.

If Jesus, the King of glory,
Commander of hosts on high,
Must petition for daily succor,
What about such a worm as I?

I rest at ease in the morning,
Before me a puzzling day;
I know not how I shall meet it;
But my Savior arose to pray.  

How foolish our human blindness!
How hard are our hearts of stone!
Why rise we not in the morning,
And pray to our God alone?

There’s help for the daily duties,
And spiritual strength and power,
There’s victory for the conflict,
To be gained in the morning hour.

If we walk in the Master’s footsteps,
And follow the path He trod,
We must find, in the early morning,
A quiet place with God.

We must pour out our heart before Him,
And let Him into the life,
If we ever shall be the winner
Of victory over strife.

                            ―Minnie Embree Parker.
―In Biblical Evangelist.

Barclay Buxton, leader of the Japan Evangelistic Band, wrote to his Christian workers and converts:  “Do you rise early?  None of us ought to be in bed after six, so that we may have at least one quiet hour with God for prayer and reading of His Word before we meet others, and the day’s work begins.  At special times we must get more―but no Christian can afford to take less than that.”

Pour Thyself through Me

Spirit of the living God, pray Thy mind through me;
Nothing less than Spirit-power do I ask of Thee.
Purge me, urge me, guide me, hide me—
Spirit of the living God, pray Thy mind through me.

Power of the eternal God, flow Thy power through me;
Holy, Pentecostal power do I ask of Thee.
Lowly, holy, for Thy glory—
Power of the eternal God, flow Thy power through me.

Mercy of the living God, channel love through me;
Nothing less than Calvary love meets the need for me.
Love that’s burning, love that’s yearning—
Mercy of the living God, channel love through me.

Grace of God, eternal grace, reach the lost through me;
Tenderness for every race do I ask of Thee.
Love them, lift them, reach them, teach them—
Grace of God, eternal grace, reach the lost through me.

Life of God, eternal life, pour Thyself through me;
Nothing less than Thine own life do I ask of Thee.
Life compelling, life that’s telling—
Life of God, eternal life, pour Thyself through me.

Heart Breathings, Leonard Ravenhill.