RELIGION COLUMN: Close your eyes and open your heart

Published 10:27 am Monday, September 15, 2014

By Emily Agee

“Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” (Isaiah 56:2-12)

Thought for the week: “The House of Prayer”

Just close your eyes and open your heart,

And feel your worries and cares depart.

Just yield yourself to the Father above,

And let him hold you secure in his love.

For life on earth grows more involved,

With endless problems that can’t be solved,

But God only asks us to do our best,

Then he will take over and finish the rest…

So when you are tired, discouraged and blue,

There is always one door that is open to you,

And that is the door to the House of Prayer,

And you’ll find God waiting to meet you there.

And the House of Prayer is no further away,

Than the quiet spot where you kneel and pray.

For the heart is a temple when God is there

As we place ourselves in his loving care.

And he hears every prayer and answers each one

When we Pray in His name – Thy will be done.

The burdens that seemed too heavy to bear

Are lifted away on the wings of a prayer.

—Helen Steiner Rice


Worship service at the Holly Grove Baptist Church in Jemison began with praise service led by the male chorus and choir. The scripture was read by Charles Arrington, with prayer by Pastor Dukes and Associate Minister, K. Nunn. Songs sung were “Come and Go to That Land,” “Lord I Need You” and “Every Praise to Our God.”

The morning message as given by Pastor Dukes. His theme was “A Devil that Won’t Stay Away.” You cannot live in a devil-free world. Life has experiences that we all go through. Be alert and sober. The devil is trying to cause problems in your life. Don’t let him. God has given you power over the wiles of the enemy. Love God or the devil. Don’t let him have free reign in your life. The devil will bait you, and you can’t get away from him, but you can get away by submitting to God. To get away from the devil, take authority over him in Christ. He is a church, a work a job and a home. Resist mourning and resist grieving. Put up a fight with him. Resist and he will flee. Submit to God is active plural tense, which means every day. Resist and submit daily. Satan is everywhere, so keep your focus on God. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Don’t just sit there and let the devil beat you; get close to God. Repentance is sorrow converted to action.

The benediction was given by Pastor Dukes.

On our sick list this week, we ask you to remember these in your prayers: James Singleterry, Martha Binion, Barbara Nix, Gary Singleterry, Larry Wilson, Lee Anna Worthey, Sam and Vivian Hicks, Harold Frazier, Lisa Wright and J.R. Booker. May God heal, strengthen and keep them in his care is our prayer.

—Emily Agee is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. Her column appears each week.