"The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out."
Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here, therefore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and experimental religion.
Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the Church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbors, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world. Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the Church and in the world.
The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of his people glowing towards himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek his grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart's fire, they are live coals; let us attend sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.
Let me suggest a few more items for prayer this week:
- Chris has been put on the highest priority (1a) list for a heart transplant. Please be praying that God will work things out with the insurance companies. Pray for Chris, his family, his medical team. Please pray for the family who will be asked to donate the heart of their beloved for Chris to live.
- Allison, Katrina, and Felicia need to find work.
- Dana and her three daughters are still working through their grief after the death of their husband and father Bill.
- This was chemo week for Nancy. Please pray that she will regain her strength quickly and be able to enjoy time with her daughters this weekend.
- Miriam is having struggles with both her vision and her hearing. Please pray that the doctors would be able to correct these problems. Pray for patience for her husband as he tries to help her through this.
- Please continue to pray for all those who are having VBS through the summer. Pray that God's Truth would penetrate the minds and hearts of the children and their parents.
- Ramadan continues this month. Please pray for our brothers and sisters who live in Muslim countries, for their protection during this time.
- PLEASE continue to be in prayer for our country and her leaders. Pray with thanksgiving and with assurance of God's care and love, and for the preservation of His remnant.
Thank you for your work. It matters!
God's peace to your hearts and homes.