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Ring a Prayer Bell

March 5, 2020 Leave a comment

Bell2I can’t remember where I got this little “angel bell.” It was given to me years ago. Other than a decorative item on a bookshelf, it isn’t much use to me, except when someone around our house gets sick. Then, I put it beside their bed, and when they need something, they ring it.

My mother, who was in a wheelchair during the last years of her life, had to use the bell a lot more than most family members did.

Whenever she rang it, she would apologize. “It’s nice to have an angel when I need help,” she’d say, “but I hate to be a bother.”

One day, when my grandson stayed with me when he was sick, I put it beside his bed.

He didn’t use it the way my mother did.

He rang it just to see if I could hear him ringing it. He rang it to ask for a drink, a cracker, or a bowl of ice cream. He rang it to call attention to something on television. He rang it because he was bored. He rang it to tell me he was happy to be at my house. He rang it to tell me he was glad he didn’t have to go to school.

God also has a bell. He calls it prayer. Whenever I ring His angel bell, He’s immediately at my side.

Sometimes, I think I’m using it too often, and  I need to apologize. “I’m sorry I have to ask for this again. I’m sorry I can’t  remember what you told me. I’m sorry I have to keep asking forgiveness for this sin.”

However, at other times,  I act just like my grandson. I ring it often, and sometimes, I’m asking for things I don’t even need.

But, according to Scripture, God doesn’t mind when He hears the angel bell ringing. He’s delighted His children want to spend time with Him, even if it’s just to ask Him for something. He’s happy His children believe He’s the answer to everything that matters.

God is overjoyed to hear that prayer bell ringing! Start ringing!

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

One Person – Many Names

May 1, 2014 4 comments

Name 1My husband’s name is James. When we’re out together with friends, I call him James. When the two of us are alone in the house, I call him James, as in, “James, could you take out the garbage?”

However, the way I address my husband changes when my daughter comes over. To my daughter, James is Dad, so when I refer to him in her presence, I call him Dad, as in, “Will you see if Dad is ready to take out the garbage?”

The grandkids call my husband Papaw, so, whenever they’re around, I identify him as Papaw, as in, “Tell Papaw the garbage is ready to be taken out.”

If we’re all in the same room together, carrying on various threads of conversation, I’ll sometimes have to run through several names before settling on the appropriate one. It becomes even more confusing when my own father is present, because he has his own set of names, Dad, G-paw and Papaw.

Although not quite the same, something similar occurs on a spiritual level. God can be addressed as Father, Jesus, or Holy Spirit.

Jesus, who is our model for having an intimate conversation with God, used “Father” in every recorded prayer, except for one. Father is the name most believers use today when speaking directly to God. When we call God our Father, we are acknowledging a special  relationship with the one who gives us life, who provides our needs, and who loves us as His children.

I am  incredibly blessed and privileged to call the God of the Universe my Father.

Even though the Father is the Head of the Trinity and the one we most often call upon when we pray, we are also encouraged to address our petitions to Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12. Our petitions can be directed toward Jesus as well as to our Father, and we see both Paul and John praying in this way. (2 Corinthians 12:8; Revelation 22:20).

Because our access to the Father and to Jesus comes through the Spirit, there is a sense in which every time we pray to any member of the Godhead, we are calling on the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18; Romans 8:26).

Like my earthly relationship with my husband, I often address God according to my circumstances. Most of the time, I cry out to Him as my Father. However, situations arise when I can only relate to Him as Jesus—my Savior, my Lord, my Shepherd. When I desire to be filled with His presence, I call out to His Spirit to fill me.

Regardless of how I choose to address my husband, it doesn’t change my relationship with him. The same is true with God. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12. No matter how we address God, as born-again believers, we are always and forever His children.

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