It is one of the best pieces of advice anyone could be given.
What raging storms might be around when this article emerges?
In Acts Chapter 27 at verse 29, we read of Paul in the midst of this violent storm, in the Mediterranean Sea. Danger could have been totally avoided, if the owner of the ship, and pilot, and Centurion, had listened to God’s man, Paul.
How often might this have happened over these past two thousand years when the wise counsel and advice of servants of God has been ignored, resisted or rejected?
But, learn how Paul served his captors aboard that embattled ship – as Paul received a word from God, as he served, and carried out his duties, under the Lordship of Christ.
There were four anchors aboard that cargo ship and last week we looked at Hope and Duty. Have HOPE in God and always do your DUTY. We see that in the lives of the apostles as they followed their Master and Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Anchor number three I am calling PRAYER. HOPE – DUTY – and PRAYER.
May God have mercy upon the ship that leaves the harbour without PRAYER.
There may be those who had that anchor in earlier years and they have cast it away – and they have grown up as though it was no longer needed.
How can a spiritual life be vital without PRAYER? Does prayerlessness lead to a deeper walk with God, and a stronger hold on HOPE?
We read in the Gospels of how Jesus arose early in the morning to go out and commune with His Heavenly Father.
The anointed Son of God knew He needed to pray, and Jesus gives us that example and that pattern for life.
Try the maths questions without first learning from the helpful example to guide the pupil. Or, try knitting a jersey without a pattern.
It is through the channel of PRAYER that GOD gets into a man – and guides a man.
We cannot live the life to which Jesus Christ has called us – we cannot serve our neighbour as we ought – and we cannot become spiritually aware of what is going around us locally, and out there in the wider world – without the power of God to help us do it.
How can we resist temptation otherwise?
Discipleship – our future service and work and ministry – our peace of mind – knowing that our sins are forgiven – depends so much upon our praying and communing with our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
It is an anchor to prevent us from experiencing shipwrecked lives – use it!
We do not come to Worship and Prayer and Bible Study for amusement – nor to spend a comfortable hour.
We come to meet with God and to hear from God – and to speak with God.
How terrible that when the storm breaks a man looks for that anchor of PRAYER and it has gone, some months or years ago.
They dropped four anchors – perhaps we need more than four – but let me name a fourth anchor – the Cross of Christ.
I recall our New Testament Professor speaking to us so powerfully, encouraging us that when we go out and preach and teach, always mention and preach the Cross of Jesus Christ.
There is a security in the Cross of Jesus Christ – a hope that drives you to duty and service and prayer – which we must say here – includes the Word.
The willing sacrifice of our Passover Lamb – Jesus shed His blood to forgive us and wash us and rescue us from sin, and buy us back for God the Father – for all eternity.
There is no Gospel at all without the Cross of Jesus Christ – and every week when we handle the bread and wine, we are being reminded of what is central as we focus upon Christ on the Cross, and what He did on the Cross for us and on our behalf.
The Word was made flesh.
That is not an ‘ology’ – nor an ‘ism’ – ‘ologies’ and ‘isms’ are never enough.
The Word can sound vague until you see the flesh! It all becomes so personal.
The Cross of Jesus Christ – its very shape is like an anchor!
HOPE – DUTY – PRAYER – THE CROSS OF CHRIST – Have these aboard your life as you sail on.
“Our gracious Father – as we worship and pray, keep us from being sidetracked and diverted. In this world today there are so many activities and interests which could draw us away from Cross of Jesus Christ, and from the truths in the Word of God. Keep us focused on what really matters – on what is central and vital – in Jesus Name.” Amen.