Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church welcomed men from various churches around Western New York for a Prayer Breakfast this morning, Dec 18, 2010. We had an attendance of 71 souls with 13 from Walker Bible Baptist Church. This won Pastor Phil Huber a gift card for bringing the most guests.
We opened the morning with a sumptuous breakfast prepared by the Rodell brothers, Jeremiah and Benjamin. The highlights of the meal were the ham off the bone, french toast, and cheesy potatoes with peppers. The food was simply outstanding. They were both later applauded. Michael G. was busy providing a musical background, lightly playing the piano while we ate. With bellies full, we were led by Mateo in the singing of hymns. Enthusiasm was evident in the hearts of our brothers as we we sang out joyfully.
Pastor Vince Giardino asked Pastor Jose Rodriguez of Baptist Bible Temple to come forward and speak on the topic of unifying the churches in fellowship. Brother Rodriguez cited I John 1:3 in urging us to “come together” in Christ. He called our fellowship this day “a work of the Holy Ghost”. “We are doing that which is in the heart of God”, he continued, by going out and preaching and by “encouraging one another in the hard fight.” Pastor Giardino then had Brother Peter Bard pray for the offering, which was a special collection for the family of Kenneth Parfitt who went to be with the Lord this week. This morning’s memorial service at Old Paths Bible Baptist Church was the main focus of prayers this morning, as well as for the Parfitt family, the church pastors and congregation. May the Lord be a comfort in their sorrow.
Our preacher for the morning was Pastor Phil Huber, who gave a charge on the Power of Prayer. He opened by reading James 5:12-16, with the key verse being “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Although we ought to have a regular time during our day where we stop and pray, Brother Huber urged us to “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess 5:17. “We need to be men of prayer”, he said, “The engine that moves the heart of God is prayer.”
He then took his key verse and broke it down into three parts:
- Prayer is effectual: “Prayer should be effective.”, Brother Huber explained. “Prayer changes things”, he said, “But do we really believe this?” Rather than offering lifeless, “form letter” praying, we need to “have a meaningful relationship during our communication and fellowship with God.” We can “come boldly unto the throne of grace” Heb 4:16, Pastor Huber stated, because through Christ we have that right. However, “we ought to treat it as a privilege”, he continued. Not only does prayer change things, but prayer also changes us as God shows us things in our lives.
- Prayer is fervent: “We want to do the best we can and the most we can, but we will be ineffective if God is not in it.”, Brother Huber advised. We have to make sure that we are what God wants us to be. To illustrate an important characteristic of God, Brother Huber went to Heb 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.” Once God gets moving, once he sets His mind to something, “it will get done”, we were told. “Shouldn’t God’s character have an effect on you?” Brother Huber asked. Casual, meaningless prayer will not move God. The issues in your prayer must consume you, be personal to you, you must understand the gravity of what you are praying for. Pray for others as though their problems are your own. Be moved as King David was moved in the Psalms, with all your heart, soul, and mind.
- Prayer availeth much: “God’s name is righteous”, Brother Huber reminded us, and we have no business approaching God in an unrighteous state. “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Pet 1:16. God gave us a way to do this, so that we may not offend him in word or deed. “We sin because we want to sin”, Brother Huber flatly stated, “We do it willingly.” Asking God for things after being disobedient does not make sense. For as a man “thinkth in his heart, so is he” Prov 23:7. “God has called us to be holy.” Pastor Hubor said, and to answer to God for our own actions and lives, not blaming circumstances or others. He then explained that the outward show of prayer is not important; it is the inward man that moves God … “by our hearts”. Examine your inward hearts”, he urged, “It gets things done.”
Our morning was coming to a close and Pastor Giardino asked us to “bend a knee to the Lord … to seek His face”, as the invitation to come forward was given. With heavy hearts, we prayed for the Parfitt family and the memorial service. From the pulpit, Pastor G. asked for prayer requests. Then Pastors Russo, Rodriguez, and Strobel led us in earnest prayer for those things which we had asked.
The photo album of this event is now available on the GLBBC web site here.
Note: Old Paths Bible Baptist Church has established a fund for those who wish to donate to the Parfitt family. Their church website has more information.