The Red Back Hymnal

‘God Can Make A Way…’

(“Take It To The Lord In Prayer”)
Bill Lloyd

It’s a late Saturday morning in August as I begin this writing, and I just returned home from shopping at our local Supercenter.  I don’t like to shop there on Saturdays, even though today is a beautiful, sunny day, but I had a mission to accomplish.  I had to buy a filter for my furnace, so I thought I’d buy a few other necessities while I was there.

I know I’m GETTING  “older” –– when I enter the Lawn & Garden door to go after the filter not far from there, only to need to sit ‘n rest on a park bench inside the store before I ever reach the grocery side.
I know I’m GETTING  “older” –– when I find myself leaning over on the handle of the shopping cart as I tour the store, a practice I once complained of “older folks” doing many years ago.
I know I’m GETTING  “older” –– when I push the half-full shopping cart to my car after going through the check-out lane, and then must sit sideways in the driver’s seat to rest a while before ever putting the shopping bags of groceries in the trunk.
And I know I’m GETTING  “older” –– when a young married couple passes by and sees me sitting all hunched over in my car, and the young woman asks, “Do you need some help, Honey?”  (I thanked the couple, and I answered I was only resting.)
But while I was resting, I began to think on prayer.  I must confess I thought on “prayer” because I knew I needed it this morning.  Then too, I began to think just how carelessly we Christians throw around that word to others.
I began to recall how often we see posts on social media that call for urgent prayer, but do we REALLY stop and take their need to God in prayer that very moment –– IF at all? 
Many times readers will give simple words of “Praying” or “Done” in reply, but then will quickly scroll down to the next person’s post, which is usually something humorous.
While resting in my car this morning, I also began to think just how many times we take all our problems to Facebook, instead of going TO THE ONE  Who really matters. 
In 1946, prolific Gospel songwriter Vep Ellis penned the words of a great song found in the old “Red Back” CHURCH HYMNAL.  Ellis let it be known through song there is Someone Who cares.  Whatever our problem or great need, we can “TAKE IT TO THE LORD IN PRAYER.”  
·        IF the road before you offers naught but toil and pain
·        IF the sun is hidden by dark clouds of rain
·        IF without a ray of hope your life is filled with care
·        WHEN it seems that not a friend on earth can understand
·        WHEN temptation comes to you from ev’ry hand
·        WHEN your strength is almost gone and there’s no one to care
·        IN your disappointment when your heart is torn with grief
·        IN your times of sorrow when there’s NO relief
·        JUST remember there is One who knows the load you bear
Many years ago, several pioneer preachers in my church denomination were asked to share testimonies of when God graciously manifested Himself, when they needed Him the most.  Their thoughts were then published in one of our national Church magazines.
Reverend John C. Jernigan –– once pastor of my Dad’s home church in Eldorado, Illinois, and under whose pastorate my Dad was Saved –– told the following true incident.  It occurred when Jernigan later served as General Overseer of our international Church body.  Jernigan recounted the 1945 incident in our publication by writing:
*** “Meditating upon the goodness and realities of God, my mind reflects on a period of more than thirty years, in which I have been a child and servant of Him.  God’s blessings have been so numerous that I am unable to count them one by one, neither am I able to decide at which time or on what occasion He has been the most precious and real during the three decades that I have loved and served Him.
I have decided to relate a story that many hundreds of preachers witnessed.  It was during the General Council meeting in 1945 in the college auditorium at Sevierville, Tennessee, just before the convening of the General Assembly.
The council was discussing the subject of wearing unnecessary jewelry, a subject that had often been before the brethren.  After hours of debate and argument on both sides of the question, the brethren seemed to be very near equally divided.  As I stood before that great council of Godly men, with the gavel in hand, I knew that every man present would immediately bow to the will of God, if he only knew what His will was. 
Both sides were honest in their convictions, and as the debate continued from one side to the other, I wondered, WHEN, WHERE, and WHAT.  When  will we ever come to a conclusion?  Where  will the turning point come?  What  will be the final outcome?  I had attended every meeting of this council from its origin, but had never seen it so solidly deadlocked.
The gavel in the hand of a moderator is the symbol of authority and I had used every means that I knew to bring about an understanding and come to the right decision, but the deadlock remained.  It has often been said, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity,” and we had certainly gone to the extreme and an understanding seemed hopeless. 
Finally, I laid the gavel down, as if to say, “I give up,” walked a few feet away and knelt in prayer.  About seven hundred men of God likewise went before God in supplication and prayer, and when we arose, it seemed that every man’s mind had been directed into the same channel of thought. 
The ministers began to come forward and lay aside the jewelry they considered to be unnecessary, and the session closed with perfect unity and fellowship.  We believe it was God who brought us together, and after six years there has never been another discussion on this subject.  GOD CAN MAKE A WAY WHERE THERE IS NO WAY.” ––John C. Jernigan ***
I’m glad my parents taught me and my siblings to take EVERYTHING to God in prayer, for He NEVER  fails. 
I’m quite sure my longtime friend Lori was taught the same way, too, for she has recently shared on Facebook a wonderful testimony of answered prayer.  (And ‘yes,’ some social media does have its good points.)  I’m happy to have received her permission share the following testimony.  Lori wrote:
*** “Do you believe in miracles?  Do you believe God still answers prayer?  Do you believe there is any limit to God’s power?  
On Tuesday, I figured out that Alex had a missing hearing aid. Now, before you feel sorry for her, she has a specific place she is supposed to put them when she takes them out. She’s already had a puppy eat one (7 1/2 years ago) and two mysteriously disappear, so we have a specific place for them. You can’t be too safe with a dog, puppy and a cat in the house.  Apparently it had been gone for a week!
Yesterday, I called to find out how much a replacement would be…$1,625!!! Our pastor is leading a Bible Study called, “Circlemaker.” One of the scriptures that was used in the video was Numbers 11:23:“Is there any limit to My power.” God asked Moses this when the Children of Israel were asking for meat to eat.
I use Alex’s bathroom during the day. While I was in there, I just started praying, “God, we have to find that hearing aid. She needs it.” All of a sudden I looked at the heat register. My thoughts were, “No way is that in there. I don’t know why I am looking, but I am.”
I got down on my hands and knees and pulled up the register cover. Looked down and sitting right there was a tiny hearing aid. Her hearing aid was found thanks to God’s prompting!
All I could do was lay on the floor and cry. So, my answer is “YES, I believe in miracles!” “YES, I KNOW that God answers prayer!” And“NO, there is not ANY limit to God’s power.” –– Lori (Tiffin) Pinion ***
Without a doubt, you as a Christian will know the chorus of Ellis’ song to be true:
·        Many are the heartaches that will come to you
·        KEEP YOUR TRUST in Jesus, He WILL see you thru
·        Never will you find a friend so kind and true
–– Bill

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