It’s in the heart, not the head – Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

Psalm 37:31 (NKJV) — “The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall [a]slide.”

If the heart is right, then the whole man will be right. In our beloved South Africa where there are many challenges at present, especially in the area of the land issue, we really believe that it is a heart issue more than a head issue.

One of my spiritual sons sent me a letter on my cell phone not so long ago explaining how complex and truly incredible the human mind is. A true work of God. There were statistics that really amazed me. For example, the human mind is the equivalent of 20 plus computers regarding the ability to retain knowledge, the ability to remember formulas, etc. However, the Lord Jesus Christ, is not so interested in our head knowledge — He is more concerned with our heart knowledge.

A professor of theology might know The Bible from Genesis right through to Revelation, but if He doesn’t know the Author of the Book, he is nothing but a mere history professor. The Lord Jesus Christ is always interested in the heart of a man. A famous Christian, Prime Minister Lloyd George said: “Education without Christ merely makes clever little devils.”

We need to guard our heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

If the heart is right, then the whole man is right. It is the head knowledge that confuses a person. If we look at the 10 Commandments, it is a heart law, not a head law. We are supposed to obey the 10 Commandments with our hearts and not with our heads.

The heart leads a man to do what is right every single time, and therefore God will sustain him.

He is a man who walks in wisdom. A man who follows his heart is not always understood at the time, but eventually he will be rewarded by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Ultimately, it is The Bible that leads a man’s heart and it has never misled anyone. Simple directions are so easy to follow after, so we are to walk humbly, justly, lovingly, righteously and the Lord Jesus Christ shall do the rest.

Whenever God gives me instructions it normally comes from my heart first and then afterwards the technical details I settle with my mind. Jesus wants a heart relationship with you and I, not a head relationship. That is why unless a man can weep openly, when he realises what the Lord Jesus Christ did for him on the cross of Calvary, he will never be born again. Our faith is not a technical mathematical equation to grasp. No, it is a personal, heart relationship with a man called Jesus Christ. Paul, possibly the greatest of all the apostles, still desired to know Jesus more intimately from the heart, saying in Philippians 3:10 (NKJV), “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”.

God bless you, as you get to know Him better through your heart.

Childlike faith — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

Just the other day I had the privilege of visiting my newest grandchild, a baby girl, who is nine months old and I must say she has got me right around her little finger. She is so beautiful, she has a twinkle in her eye and she is just an absolute pleasure to be with.

Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew 18:3-4 (NKJV), Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

It is called the “upside-down” gospel, because when the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 18:1-3 “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven”.

Child jumping into her father’s arms and trusting that he will catch her. (PHOTO: Geneva Presbyterian Church)

Childlike, not childish
The Lord doesn’t want us to become childish, He wants us to become childlike. A little child believes easily and that is why we need to “protect” them. When we continue to question God when He tells us to do something, you will find that He can’t use us, but when we obey Him and by faith believe Him, and by obedience carry out what He has called us to do, then He can use us mightily in His kingdom.

Why do we call it the upside-down gospel? Because it’s totally contrary to everything in the world.

We are called to be forceful in the world, to hustle our way in, to push our way to the front, to stand on top of people to get what we want, but Jesus is the opposite. Jesus took a bowl of water and a towel, and washed the dusty feet of His disciples. When they asked Him the same question again about who is going to be sitting next to Him in heaven and who is going to be the greatest in heaven. Jesus said, but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

The Khoisan call the great Baobab tree the upside-down tree, because in winter when it loses all its leaves it looks like the roots are sticking up in the air and the tree is under the ground. So, it is with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the greatest saints of the Christian faith were the most humble people, who did not want to be known by anyone, who just carried on with the work of God and the Lord used them to move mountains.

Be humble
In this day and age, in which we are living we need to start to walk the talk, be known as a band of feet-washers, be humble, speak little and listen more (I’m speaking to myself more, than anyone else).

In fact, when they asked Billy Graham, one of the greatest modern-day evangelists, if he had any regrets in his life,  he said one was that he felt he spoke too much and prayed too little. If he had his life to live over again, he would pray a lot more and speak a lot less. That comes from an incredibly successful evangelist. He also said he would spend more time with his family and he wouldn’t get so involved with politics.

We need to be humble if we expect God to use us.

They asked Martin Luther, the man who introduced us to grace: “What are the three main virtues of a mighty man of God?” He said, “The first is humility, the second is humility and the third is humility.”

It is humility that moves the hand of God. Let us not take ourselves so seriously and let us start serving our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let our body language speak louder than words may.

God bless you
Angus Buchan

“Aliyah” journey tough but worth it — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

Psalm 121:1-8 (KJV)  — “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

The Hebrew word for ascent, or going up is “Aliyah”. It is the word that is used today for the returning of the Jews to Jerusalem — the upward journey.

This journey goes uphill and is not easy. The Lord says that the road to eternal life is narrow, steep and there are few who will travel on it. However, the road that leads to eternal damnation is wide and there are multitudes who will travel on it.

Choose the higher ground
We as believers need to understand that our entire journey is “Aliyah”. We are climbing higher every single day, but in order to do so, we have to make choices which are quite simple; either we are going to climb higher, or we are going to travel lower. We need to choose the higher ground, even if it is so much harder. There is no shortcut to Heaven and the Lord Jesus never promised us a bed of roses when we got saved. He never said once that He would take us out of the fire, but He did promise us that He would take us through the fire just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were in the fiery furnace. The Bible tells us there was a fourth man in the fire with them, who had a likeness unto the Son of God. Jesus was in the fire with them. However, when they came out of the furnace not one of them even had the smell of fire on their clothes.

Therefore, my dear pilgrim, do not be surprised when the going gets tough, and there are not many on the same road as you.

I remember very clearly, as a young Christian taking groups of students up the Drakensburg Mountains and at the bottom at the car park the road was very wide and it was quite gentle, but when we went up on to the plateau, the road started getting narrower and became a narrow path. Then we started climbing the actual final ascent and the path literally disappeared. There were cairns of stones, which marked the route until we got to the summit. Why? Because there are not many people who walk the last part of the climb and so it is in our faith walk.

If you are going through a tough time today, do not despair, or wonder whether the Lord has abandoned you, because He says He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Once we get to the summit of our life, and we see the glory of God, it will be more than worth it. So, persevere! Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) says very clearly “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Costly breakthrough
I am very excited for the times that we are living in, especially in South Africa. I believe we are on the verge of a great breakthrough and a glorious revival, but remember it is costly! It cost Jesus Christ His own life and therefore we shouldn’t expect anything less, because no servant is greater than His master.

May God bless you, as you continue with your “Aliyah” (going up).

Angus Buchan

‘I believe in miracles’ — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan


I am continually overwhelmed by the miraculous working power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord says in Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

I was sent a beautiful message on my cellphone about one of the gang leaders of Mitchells Plain, who repented on that historical day of prayer and who has since shared his testimony and no less than 30 men gave their lives to Christ. Hallelujah!

Greatest miracle
For me, still the greatest miracle of all is when a man, or woman is born again, because the Lord says in John 3:3 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” and then again in verse 7, “You must be born again.”

So, from a man changing like in my own case, from an unbeliever — a man on a path which is destined to eternal damnation — who then miraculously turns around to take the road which leads to eternal life. That is truly a wonderful miracle!

To hear that two men were intent on stealing cellphones at the It’s Time prayer event, and had gone onto the field where there were no less than 160 000 people, and then their feet to start burning, as if they were walking on fire. They had to run off the field and then their feet were fine. They attempted to walk onto the field a second time, only to experience the same pain in their feet, and they came back a third time and started to weep and repented before God, and their feet were fine. Needless to say, they had met with the living God and cellphones were no longer their concern. That is a modern-day miracle!

Lost cellphone
And then to hear that a very successful farmer/businessman who attended the event lost his cellphone and in a crowd of a 160 000 people the chances of him finding his cellphone again was extremely slim. He went to the information tent and found his cellphone there. All his business details and his farming activities were on that cellphone. Truly an incredible miracle and so we go on and the stories continue to pour in. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  –Hebrews 13:8.

Do not despair, my dear friend, the Lord is more alive today than he has ever been before, especially in my own life. I have no reason to doubt Him again, because He is the God of the impossible. Luke 1:37 says: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you, as you follow and believe in a living, miraculous God.

God bless,
Angus Buchan

A parable – Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farm, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

What is a parable? According to the Oxford dictionary a parable is: “a simple story used to illustrate a moral, or spiritual lesson.”

The greatest Teacher, storyteller that ever lived was the Lord Jesus Christ, so much so, that Nicodemus who was a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Israel in those days, came by night to learn from the carpenter’s son.

Jesus always spoke in parables — simple stories. His illustrations are the same yesterday, today and forever. They are still applicable, even to the man on the street (especially the farmer) and they are very profound. They are always challenging when it comes to our personal lifestyle, but they remain full of love. Jesus speaks clearly in the Gospel of Matthew 13, the story of The Seed and the Sower. We as farmers can really identify with this beautiful story. Jesus said that the sower went out to sow seed and some fell on the wayside, which means that some people hear the word of God, but they do not understand it and so it never takes root, and is eaten up by the birds of the air.

The second amount of seed fell in stony places, where it is received with great joy, but has no root because of the shortage of soil. So, when tribulation and persecution come knocking on their door because of the word of God, people get offended and fall by the wayside.

The next amount of seed falls into the thorns, which are the cares of this world. They literally choke because of the deceitfulness of riches. People get so sidetracked with the riches and success of this world, that they bear very little fruit, and become totally unfruitful.

Some seed falls into good, well-prepared, deep and rich soil. This is the seed that we hear from the word of God, we understand it and as a result we bear much fruit. We are told some bear up to 30-fold, 60-fold and even 100-fold.

More applicable than ever
Isn’t it amazing that after around 2 000 years these parables are still applicable! In fact, probably more so today than in those days. We really need to plant our seed in good soil. We need to make sure that our lives are in order and that we don’t get snagged up with things like fear, depression and anxiety, to the extent that we can’t think straight and make very poor decisions.

We need to make sure that our priorities are in order — first God, then our families and then our business, because what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul (family)? (Mark 8:36) Absolutely nothing, as we’ve said many times in this column.

We need to stop worrying about things that we can’t do anything about and concentrate on the things that we can do well. We need to operate by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Remember faith comes by reading our “Agricultural Manual” (the Bible) every single day, and that will see us through.

May God bless you.
Angus Buchan

The wind and the waves obey Jesus — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

(PHOTO: Selah).

If we look at the Gospel of Mark 4:35-41 we will see that the Lord Jesus is the One who controls the weather patterns in the world. In fact, so much so, that when He was sound asleep in the bottom of the boat and there was a great windstorm that arose on the Sea of Galilee the disciples woke Jesus up and said Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? They were obviously taking in a large amount of water and the boat was about to sink. Then Jesus arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still! The wind ceased and there was a great calm.

The disciples feared exceedingly, and said to one another, Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!

I can really give testimony to that not once, but many occasions, where we have been in a desperate situation and have called out to the Name our Lord Jesus, and the Weatherman has come to our rescue.

I remember very distinctly a meeting that I had many years ago in a place called Post-Retief farming community. They were in the middle of a severe drought and their sheep and cattle were starting to perish. I preached there for a week and at every single farmers meeting that I addressed I would say, “We are praying and the Lord will send the rain.”

I remember preaching the last Saturday night in a little place called Post-Retief and I was flying back home the next morning. I sat at the back of an old farmhouse, which I think was used as an agricultural hall and I was sitting right where they milked the cows, all by myself. I looked out as far as I could see, and I couldn’t see any clouds, not even one the size of a man’s fist. I was homesick, tired, and I knew the farmers are not happy with me, because I told them it was going to rain before we left. I heard the motorcars coming in for the last meeting and obviously because of the desperation there was a huge turnout that night. That shed was full and I had to go and deliver my last message.

Well, I can honestly tell you as I walked in, and very understandably so, because I am also a farmer — I wasn’t met with a very good reception. It was a case of, “where is the rain?” They didn’t say it in so many words, but I could sense that. I opened in prayer after singing a couple of hymns, I started to speak, we heard “pitter patter” on the tin roof. With that the Heavens opened up and that night we had, if I remember correctly, 35mm of rain in that immediate area.

I didn’t have to ask people to come to the front for the altar call because they ran to the front — all of them, including myself, on our knees giving thanks to God, as the lifesaving rain fell in the district and I could go home the next day to my beloved family and our farm, “Shalom”, knowing that God had met with His people yet again.

I want to encourage you to finish strong, not to give up and not to throw the towel in, as they say in boxing circles, because then the fight is over. I want to encourage you to continue to call out to the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the disciples did and He controlled the weather.

My dear friend, there is no one else that can control the weather. The devil is so hopeless and useless, that he cannot even cause a storm in a teacup.

“Jesus is the Rainmaker.” He is the Weatherman and He is the only one who can change our circumstances. I would encourage you to continue to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). He says in Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV), Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

May God bless you, as you continue to walk the faith walk, it’s the only place and thing to do, in these last days which is constructive.

Yours in Christ service
Angus and Jill

How much is enough? — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

I have systematically been reading through the Book of Isaiah and early this morning while having my quiet time, I came to Isaiah 5:8 (NKJV) which says, Woe to those who join house to house (accumulate houses); they add field to field, till there is no place, where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land! We need to be so careful that we do not become greedy.

I looked up an explanation of the word greed and it’s ‘to have more than you need.’ Remember we are not here forever, we are passing through, we are only sojourners in a foreign land. This land is not our home. We need to use enough land for our immediate needs, the needs of our families and possibly for those who derive a living through our land management, but to go beyond that, is to be putting ourselves in a dangerous position. The Lord reminds us very clearly that if we carry on just multiplying and buying up more land, property and businesses just for the sake of it, we will be driving the weaker members off the land that God has allotted to them. However, the Lord will see to it that these people who force others out, do not receive the profits they expect.

As we see the times getting harder, the drought increasing, the political situation becoming more tense, we really need to ‘cut our cloth according to our pockets,’ as the saying goes.

How much is enough? 1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV), Now godliness with contentment is great gain. Some of the most unhappy people I’ve ever met in my travels, are those who have got more than they need. They are forever trying to look after their empires, which are dwindling, because they cannot manage them properly.

It is indeed a great tragedy for a person to build his life around riches, because as we know all too well that often we forget, everything in this world is very temporal. The thing we need to be building around, is relationships, is family, is indeed things that money cannot buy.

There is no problem whatsoever in a man developing a business, a farming enterprise, or indeed a ministry to benefit other folk, but when it becomes self-centred we then put ourselves in a very dangerous situation. The Lord says very clearly in Isaiah that He is not pleased with that. I think the most important thing at the end of the day is motive. If our motive is clear and precise, then we have no problem.

Remember, it was two extremely influential and wealthy men that took the body of Jesus Christ off the cross, when He was crucified on Calvary. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man and Nicodemus was a very influential man. He was a member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of Israel). In fact, some of the most astute godly men that I have ever met in my life are wealthy, successful businessmen, because money, land and possessions do not dominate them. They use those privileges as tools to benefit and to grow the Kingdom of God. Mark 8:36 (NKJV), For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

So, let us be sure this year that our motives and intentions are Godly, then with all of our hearts let’s work as hard as we can.

God bless,
Angus Buchan

The Alpha and Omega is coming soon — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

While having my ‘quite time’ this morning I was totally blessed to be able to read from the Book of Revelation 1:6 (KJV) which says And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, He has made us kings and priests unto God.

My dear friend, we have a tremendous responsibility to perform in these last days. We have to use the power at our disposal to tell people about Jesus Christ and also of the urgency of the hour. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35, NKJV) and in Revelation 1:7 (KJV) the Lord says, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen (So be it). When the Lord comes the second time, He will not be coming riding on the back of a donkey and He will not be coming as the Saviour of the world, He will be coming riding in the clouds on a white Charger (a military horse) and as the Commander of the armies of Heaven. He will be coming as the Judge and there will be no time then to evangelise, because it will be the time of judgement. Hence the reason why The Bible says …and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

We have to ask ourselves a serious question: “Are all our children in Christ, or are there some that are still playing out in the world?”

I know the hardest place to evangelise is in your own home, but remember those in your own home are the most precious to you. They need to know that the time for fooling around is over, because the Alpha and the Omega (the beginning and the ending) is soon coming again. Revelation 1:8 (NKJV) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. It will be a great and terrible day. The Bible says it will be a wonderful day for the believers and a terrible day for the unbeliever. Romans 10:9 (NKJV) says, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. That is all we need to do in order to be saved and obviously we have to produce fruit once we meet the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot say we love God and then live like the devil. There is no plan for that. An orange tree cannot produce lemons any more than an apple tree can produce pears. Jesus says you shall know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). We really need to start walking the talk!

As we draw near to the close of 2017, we realise that the years are passing us by, as quick as months and the months seem to be like weeks, and the weeks like days and the days like mere hours. The Lord promised us that He will shorten the time in the last days for the sake of the saints and martyrs — He sure is doing that. It is an exciting time, but it is also a time that requires great responsibility from the believer. We cannot continue to remain silent. We need to speak up and I can hear you thinking as you are reading this column “I’m going to become unpopular, even with my own family!” That is quite true, however no one deserves to hear the Gospel twice until the world has heard it once. You have to at least give your loved ones an opportunity to repent.

May the Lord Jesus bless you over this Christmas season and we trust in the year 2018, if He spares us, that we will see and witness great revival.

Yours in Christ service
Angus and Jill Buchan

Wait upon the Lord — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

The Bible tells us very clearly in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV), “pray without ceasing.”

After the “It’s Time” meeting on April 22 some people have suggested that God has not heard our prayers.
I do not agree with that and I do not believe that is true because we have to stand on the Word of God which says in James 5:16 (NKJV), “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” God is working sovereignly behind the scenes and there are things happening that you and I have got no idea about, yet!

I read a beautiful description of a person who is not prepared to wait for God to answer his prayers. The writer said that our prayers often resemble the mischievous tricks of town children, who knock on their neighbours’ doors and then run away before the people open the doors. He goes on to say that we often knock on Heaven’s door and then we run off into the spirit of the world, instead of waiting for entrance to be granted. We act as if we are afraid of having our prayers answered. The Lord says in Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV), “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’”

Many of us pray: “Lord, heal my child,” and then we don’t give God time to do it, or we ask the Lord to send us rain for our crops and we don’t wait for the rain to come. We try and sell our farms, or our livestock at a great loss.

We need to be more patient and wait for the Lord to act. Remember it is the prayer of faith that God answers, not just prayer.  . Mark 11:24 (NKJV) “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

I know there’s nothing harder than a mother and a father looking upon a small child that is sick and having prayed the prayer of faith, and done all they can, but refuse to wait for God to move and heal the child, so they start making “plan B’s”. I don’t think that makes the Lord very happy at all.

In our beloved country of South Africa, at the moment we need to exercise extreme patience and restraint. “God said it, we believe it and that settles it,” according to Smith Wiglesworth, the old English plumber who understood the power of prayer. They say that he literally raised 12, or maybe more, people from the dead through his persistent, faithful prayers.

Remember there is no more condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and because some have got more patience than others, we don’t in any way condemn those that are trying to make a plan themselves, but we need to always be aware of the big picture. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us insight into the way forward.

This country of ours, South Africa, has got amazing potential and I firmly believe with all my heart that the light that comes out of South Africa through the Lord Jesus Christ, will illuminate the whole continent of Africa. This continent is no longer the “dark continent”. It is becoming the continent of light, but it requires you and me to stand on God’s promises, to stand on the Word of God and to believe for every single one of our prayers to be answered.

The Lord asks us a question in Luke 11:11-14 (NKJV), “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” So why would He not answer our prayers?

He will answer every single one of our prayers because He is a good God, but we’ve got to give Him time and we’ve got to continue to trust Him by faith.

May God bless you, as you continue to become a man and a woman, a boy and a girl of faith. It is only faith in the promises of God that pleases Him, not effort. Remember the Lord says in Galatians 6:9 (NKJV), “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart

God bless,

Angus and Jill Buchan

Praying the Lord’s Prayer — Angus Buchan

A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan

Prayer is very prominent and pre-eminent in my life, after having experienced possibly the largest Christian prayer meeting this world has ever seen, which took place in Bloemfontein April 22 2017. How will we ever forget that day? I seem to be spending more time in prayer than in preparation for preaching, because I am finally understanding after walking with Jesus for almost 40 years the importance of James 5:16 (NKJV), The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

(PHOTO: Jason Isaacs)

The Lord’s Prayer
I remember the disciples desperately asking the Lord Jesus Christ to teach them how to pray. Then Jesus taught them the Lord’s prayers found in Matthew 6:9-13,

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

It is an absolute complete prayer. There’s nothing needed to add to it and there’s nothing to be taken away from it. Many new Christians say to me that they don’t know how to pray when they have their ‘quiet time’ and I encourage them to pray the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a good starter and I am still praying that prayer after all these years.

What saddens me sometimes is when I go to church services and people never seem to pray the Lord’s Prayer. It is a fundamental part of Christianity and we have to pray the Lord’s Prayer. It’s like saying you’re not going to have Holy Communion any more. These are the pillars of which our faith is built upon. I want to encourage fathers to teach their small children to say the Lord’s Prayer every night before they go to bed. Some people say that our prayers must not be repetitious — that is true, Jesus said that Himself too, but if you teach your children when they are young how to pray the Lord’s prayer, then when they grow older and especially when they are in dire straits, and in trouble they will remember that beautiful prayer.

The other important thing is to mean what you pray. So, if you ask the Lord to forgive you of your trespassers and you are not prepared to forgive your brother who has done you harm, then the Lord’s Prayer is not effective in your life, because we need to implement what we are praying.

God answers prayers
Prayer is not something easily to attain, because it appears that it is one-way traffic and you are not hearing from God, but I can assure you that the more you pray the better you will become at it. When I pray I will stop and take time to be quiet, and God will answer my prayers. Not audibly (never had that privilege), but He will answer my prayers with the peace that He gives me in my heart, the confidence that He gives me through reading The Word of God systematically and sometimes just out of the blue getting a phone call from a man, or woman of God that I respect greatly and they will actually confirm just what I had been asking God, and that is of course miraculous. There are other times when there is no answer and by the way, no answer is also an answer.

Some of us pray, but we are expecting God to answer our prayers in the way in which we want. It doesn’t work like that. God is God! He is not our equal. He is our Creator and He knows what’s best for us. He will sometimes answer a prayer in a manner that we do not want. For example, if you fall in love with a young man and you want God to make a way for you to get married, but the Lord closes the door. You might get highly upset with God, only to find out a year down the road that the right man comes into your life and you thank God that He didn’t answer your prayer the way in which you had wanted. Otherwise you would have been married to the wrong man and you would have had a terrible life.

So we need to ask God and then trust Him for the answers. The more you walk with the Lord the more you need to pay. I can measure a man’s depth of Christianity by the amount of time he spends in prayer. If he spends five minutes a day communing with God, I doubt if he is even born again. Smith Wigglesworth the famous Yorkshire plumber, who God used to literally raise the dead, used to say “I don’t pray for any longer than half an hour. However, I do not let half an hour past without praying.” Prayer must become part of our lifestyle and it must not be an issue. We can pray when we are in the aeroplane, on the tractor, on the farm, at school, at University, at home, at hospital or even in prison. Remember the old saying, “When men work, they work, but when men pray God works.”

If the Lord’s Prayer was good enough for Jesus Christ it is good enough for you and I.

May God bless you as you start to pray that prayer regularly.

Yours in Christ
Angus and Jill Buchan