Vol.IV No.VI Pg.8
July 1967

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

I once knew a fellow who had a habit of saying, in public prayer, "We ask Thee, in a special way," to do so and so. It never was clear to me what was "special" about the asking. Did he have a "common" prayer for some things, and a "special" prayer for others? If so, I couldn't tell it.

"Special" means something more than "regular" -- having unusual qualities or characteristics. A man has a "special" obligation to care for his own family, as compared with his obligations to all mankind. (1 Tim.5: 8) Christ is the "Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."I.E., He is Savior of all potentially, but in a very special way -- distinctively and individually -- of those who believe. (1 Tim. 4:10)

To get back to prayer, perhaps we pray "more fervently" "with greater feeling" or "more of it" one time than another. But if this is the case surely God knows about it, by virtue of its existence, and not because we label one prayer "special." I suspect we all say a lot of things -- specially in public prayer -- that are more habit than genuine prayer should be.

"Make a special effort to be here!" Does the preacher make that sort of plea to the church of which you are a member? Well, there are times when we are weak, when we are tempted to neglect our obligations to the Lord, or our opportunities to worship Him. In such cases we need to PUT OUT A SPECIAL EFFORT -- just exactly as much effort as it takes to do what we ought to do. This is all part and parcel of our struggle with self, and the Devil, in our effort to be faithful to the Lord. But there are no blue ribbons for this performance. Read Lu. 17:10:

"So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."

When "ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1, emphasis mine, rft) it is hard to believe that the slight personal inconvenience sometimes caused by such demands, really qualifies as a "special effort."

To serve the Lord, start doing the unusual every day, and occasionally the impossible. It will do you a very special amount of good.