Do you ever go through those periods when you know you should be studying God’s Word, but the world just keeps getting in the way? Then when you can actually sit down and study, your heart becomes so full of God’s goodness and truth that you berate yourself for your procrastination, for missing a blessing, and for disappointing the Lord. If we are all honest with ourselves, we do not spend enough time in study or in prayer. Ouch!
Pastor Alfred Siachababa, pictured above, is pastor of Emmaus Road Baptist Church in Magoye Township, Mazabuka, Zambia. This new church plant is part of our ministry here in Zambia. Pastor Alfred is one that would put most people to shame with “study to show thyself approved unto God”. He is hungry for learning more and for sharing what he has learned with others. The books he is smiling so broadly over were shipped to him from friends of ours in the States, Huey and Phyllis Diffey with Gospel Nuggets Ministry. We had added a study Bible and the Commentary for him. You would have thought he had been given the crown jewels. But because of his zeal for the Lord, there is coming a day when he WILL have jewels in his crown he casts at the feet of the Lord. He is such an humble person, and in turn humbles those around him as you pick up the challenge to be more studious like he is and learn more of the precious Word. We have also shared with him Source of Light material in order for the ladies who normally come to Bible study will continue to be in the Word while waiting for rainy season to pass and Mum Charlye to be able to get back to them. Source of Light is also the material we are using for our Sunday school material at Emmaus Road Baptist Church in Chilala as a form of discipleship training, with Mum Charlye teaching the adults during that time. Because there is such a wide range of “cults” here, and the influence of traditional worship is still strong, there have been many doctrinal issues to straighten out. Now for one to teach others effectively, one must study yes? Much of the problem with being able to stand against the false teachings of other denominations or the witchdoctor is that no one has been taught how to study their Bible. Many did not have a Bible, but thanks to BEAMS almost everyone in our church now has their own copy of the Word of God. To obtain a Bible they must learn 7 verses from the “Romans Road”. Just 7. They are so proud of THEIR Bible, and are learning to use it. We do Bible challenges (Sword drills) during Sunday school too so they become accustomed to finding the books. The ladies have been taught how to divide the Word into its categories, who wrote the Scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the number of books in the Bible (Old Testament and New), how long it took to write it, etc. They have been excellent students. It is thru preparing for the classes on Sunday I have found my own hunger growing to dig deeper. My prayer is that as I learn more of what God has for me, and I share it with others, they too will say like the two on the road to Emmaus; “did not our hearts burn within us?!” Help me Lord, help us Lord, to be hungry for your Word, to be on fire for you, and to fan the flames wherever we are!
I can’t even remember the “average” amount of time “they” state the average person spends in prayer daily. Some count the blessing at a meal as prayer. Some consider “now I lay me down to sleep” with their children at night as sufficient prayer. Prayer is one of the ways I love to communicate with my Abba, and I have even been driving down the road talking out loud to him. One of my coworkers saw me and asked if I was talking out loud to myself in the car as she had seen me. I laughed and said no, I was talking to my Abba. You have an issue with my talking out loud to my Lord? Sorry! Frequently as I’m scrolling thru Facebook I see prayer requests from “friends”. I have made it a point to stop right then, close my eyes, and lift them up to the Lord. But true prayer is a much deeper commitment. I have asked the Lord to make me a prayer warrior. His answer was; my daughter, you must make yourself a prayer warrior. I am always listening. So I have tried so very hard to set aside that special time just between me and the Lord, shut everything out, and pour out my heart. But I have also learned to be very still and listen during those times as He truly does speak in return. It’s this special time that draws me closer to Him. This has been a very difficult week for us here in the ministry, and I have found myself crying out to Him while I’m washing dishes, sobbing in the bathtub, and crying myself to sleep. But He has caught all those tears I’ve shed over others, He has whispered His love to me, wrapped His wings around me, and poured His balm on my wounded spirit. Pray without ceasing takes on a deeper meaning.