Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

01 May 2009


I wish I was sufficiently well versed to know that this hymn comes from the pen of Horatio Bonar (1808 -1889). But as it turns out, I have become familiar with these words because of a Colin Buchanan CD. So thanks Colin and thanks Horatio. This is true humility – completely trusting God's sovereign plan for one's life – and a beautiful encouragement.

Thy way, not mine, O Lord, however dark it be,
Lead me by Thine own hand, choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough, it will still be the best.
Winding or straight, it leads right onward to thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot. I would not if I might,
Choose Thou for me, My God, so I shall walk aright.

The Kingdom that I seek is Thine, so let the way,
That leads to it be Thine, else I must surely stray.

Take Thou my cup, and it with joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem, choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends, my sickness or my health,
Choose Thou my cares for me, my poverty or wealth.

Not mine, not mine the choice in things all great or small.
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength, my Wisdom and my All.


Sharon said...

I've been thinking a bit about this over the last few days. Our Women's Gathering is studying through Acts and we are just about to read the section on the believers' prayer in response to Peter and John's arrest and interview with the Sanhedrin (at the end of Acts 4). Actually we were meant to be studying it today but ran out of time so we'll have a shorter Bible Study next week and a longer time of prayer in our triplets using this one as a model, I think.

I was talking with Jeff about the prayer the believers prayed, and the idea of praying for miracles etc today. he asked me, "Do you think it is legit to pray for miracles today?" and I said, "Yes, in certain circumstances." It is pretty clear that the believers are praying for miracles to occur not out of selfish reasons but because they know that when they do, the attention of non-believers will be caught for long enough for the gospel message to be preached. So I think it is reasonable to ask God to provide miracles in the same way today. Except, I cannot help but think that in today's Perth miracles wouldn't necessarily open the hearts of people present to the gospel, although I can see that this would happen in other cultures or circumstances.

But then Jeff pointed out to me that these believers weren't praying for specific miracles. There was no, "Please heal Bob" or "Please do X at time Y and place Z." It was more a prayer of openness to God's plan. They were asking God to use His divine power to show who He was, so that the message about His Son could spread. It wasn't about asking for miracles for their own sake, but purely for the sake of others.

That's another example of trusting in God's sovereignty.

~ Sharon

Meredith said...

Thanks Sharon. That is a really helpful comment and another great way to help us redirect our thoughts away from ourselves and towards God. Thankyou for the encouragement.