Bishop Tutai Pere : Open communication with God in a time of lockdown

Friday August 28, 2020 Written by Bishop Tutai Pere of the Apostolic Church Published in Church Talk
Wearing a face mask, a woman prays in church this month. Prayer doesn’t change things; rather God changes people, and people changes the proper and wisest use of everything else in life. INTI OCON / AFP 20082708 Wearing a face mask, a woman prays in church this month. Prayer doesn’t change things; rather God changes people, and people changes the proper and wisest use of everything else in life. INTI OCON / AFP 20082708

OPINION: Every lock is made to lock things inside – money inside a bank, a vault, security box, a till, a savings account or investment. We lock our motorbikes or vehicles so that no one gets on or in to steal or drive it away. We lock gates and doors to secure our homes, businesses, offices, store houses and private properties to prevent thieves from getting in to steal, do harm or damage.

Never before in our human history have we heard such language become so commonplace – lockdown, quarantine, isolation – than in the recent months of Covid-19.

Travels, business endeavours, economic enterprises are slowed down and forced almost to a standstill.

The scripture above reminds us that it is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. It is very questionable too for anyone to say that life will suffer if no one prays.

What will actually suffer and has always been is the life of the Son of God in us, which is nourished not by food but by prayer and the living word of God.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

When we are born from above (of the spirit of God), the life of the Son of God is born in us, and we can either starve that life or nourish it, like a branch abiding to the vine tree and therefore bears much fruit.

Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished, not a means of getting things for ourselves, but that we may get to know God more, learn to depend on him more, who in the end “shall supply us all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Our Lord Jesus teaches in Matthew 7:8: “For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”.

Give Jesus all that chance, by loving him with all of our hearts, soul, might and mind – and no one can do that unless we are at our wit’s end.

When we are at our wit’s end, it is not a cowardly thing to lock and still ourselves in our prayer closets with our heavenly Father to just pray, it is the only way we can get in touch with reality.

Be ourselves before God, with childlike faith, present our problems and whatever our needs might be, and all things that we know have come to our wits’ end, be gladly surrendered all over to him.

As long as we are self-sufficient, we do not need to ask God for anything but we act like “gods” ourselves.

It is not true either that prayer, knowledge or money changes things; rather God changes people and people changes the proper and wisest use of everything else in life.

From a newborn and spirit-filled human person, a totally new perspective to life is altered, transformed, renewed and therefore prospers, “even as our soul prospereth.” (3 John 2)

We see our whole planet earth like as in the days of Noah, men and women locked within their own selves, seeking after their own pleasure, glamour and wealth inconsiderate of a Creator God above.

Consequently is at a lockdown by their own greed and self-sufficiency, rather than seeking God’s face instead continues to blatantly deny of the All-Knowing and All-Sufficient God, therefore remains at their own wits’ end.

How much longer this pandemic continues will depend on how long humanity wants to stay in total denial of the enormous part they played in bringing their own world to exactly where and what they wanted to be.

Just pick up the phone and dial Jeremiah 33:3: “Call unto Me (Jesus), and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

God continues to protect, preserve and bless all who wisely and patiently strive to steer our vaka Kuki Airani Covid-free, for as long as our Almighty God Above shall allow us.

Kia orana e kia manuia rava!

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