Beautiful Garden of Prayer

It was back in 2012 when I remembered the title of a song that I’d seen before on Youtube, back while one day I was searching through songs by the late James Cleveland. I saw a song titled “Beautiful Garden Of Prayer” in that side list thing that Youtube has and thought one day I’ll come back and listen to it. Boy, am I glad I did. In case you’re not understanding me here,


Here it is, press play and keep reading:

This is my favorite song now! The song starts with one of the most beautiful piano intros I’ve ever heard, just before the organ and bass comes in to back up the melody. Cleveland then comes in saying, “Christians never have to worry; for when things go wrong, maybe they can’t get the lawyer on the phone, but you know what they can do?” Then he sings the first verse of the song, but not without his usual lyric-preaching between the verse lines, yet it gets really powerful when the Angelic Choir comes in for the chorus/refrain. Here are the lyrics:

“There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting,
There’s a place that is wondrously fair.
For it glows with the light of His presence, [Cleveland says "goodness" in place of "presence".]
‘Tis the beautiful garden of prayer.


Oh, the beautiful garden, the garden of prayer!
Oh, the beautiful garden of prayer!
There my Savior awaits, and He opens the gates
To the beautiful garden of prayer. [At this point Cleveland has the choir repeat until the end.]

There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting,
And I go with my burden and care,
Just to learn from His lips words of comfort
In the beautiful garden of prayer.


There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting,
And He bids you to come, meet Him there;
Just to bow and receive a new blessing
In the beautiful garden of prayer.”


This song traditionally was a hymn titled “The Beautiful Garden of Prayer”, penned by Eleanor A. Schroll and James H. Fillmore, Sr. Now I haven’t seen or read sheet music for this song, so I wouldn’t be able to tell if Cleveland’s rendition was what they had in mind. Typical or standard fare with the late James Cleveland, when he would take an old hymn and “remix” it to his style he would only sing the first verse and repeat it and/or the refrain until the end of the song (same format appears on the song “Peace Be Still” by Cleveland & the Angelic Choir), and while Cleveland improvises over the choir’s repetition they reach the thematic climax of the song most likely twice in the recording before the closing.

Sometimes I wish his (Cleveland’s) old record label still distributed some of these old records because they are still good today! Anyway, I know I can’t stop listening to this song; I have set to play on my laptop every night to remind me that I myself need to go to the garden to pray. It’s something that really hit home with me because at times I trip when it comes to prayer…but I keep in mind that part where he said, “…The Man is waiting! He’s always waiting for you…” In a paradoxial way the song is rather comforting and reassuring. It’s really something else to listen to, and as you listen I hope you can read into the song and feel the power and anointing in the music as I did. Happy listening!

– Josephus-Joppa

…our record setting day of July 16th topped out at 90 page views everyone! Thanks for reading! Also, besides previously mentioned posts I’m going to write something up about introversion myself because it’s such a big topic now, and I myself am one… hang on, posts are on the way…

Yet another letter [All things blogging & writing related]

…I know, I’ve been absent, its been a while since my last posting but I’ve been caught up with this thing most people call “life,” trying to survive, find a job and such… it takes time away from my writing here on my blogs. Of all things blogging and writing related, would you believe that I’ve been stuck trying to complete just one blog post for almost four months? Yes, really! In previous updates I see that I’ve said I was going to do a post on meeting Pastor John P. Kee, a testimony post, a post about a tough work week I’ve had while working for a security company and also a chance encouter with my ex, but here’s the thing though: I haven’t finished the one about meeting “her” again; the ex story is the one I’m stuck on. Not to worry, every post I said I was going to do I will do, even if it takes ’til the end of the year (hopefully it won’t take that long; the ex story is almost finished).

…though in other things blogging and writing related, in the time I’ve spent stuck on just one post I’ve also updated both of my blog pages- a freshening of the title images and colors, links and widgets (and more) on Welcome to Joppa Road and a new theme and layout on Word Play Joppa Say, along with some new and updated pages and a soon-to-come, supposedly-mandatory “About Me” page linked from Word Play (I promise I haven’t been delaying intentionally, it’s just hard to do…I don’t like the spotlight being on me! My birthday’s coming in a few days, don’t know how that’ll work…)

Something else, just one more thing blogging related…recently, Welcome to Joppa Road has been seeing spikes in traffic (page views) the past two weeks; on July 4th our previous record for views in one day (60, set in March 2014, the day I don’t remember) was broken by a hair: 61 views on that one day. Again, even that record is being broken today- as of this writing, we’ve tallied 88 page views today (the final number will be posted tomorrow). I haven’t been sharing or posting a lot during this time (last post was June 19, Word Play’s last post was in March) but readers have been seeking, and therefore reading, so… I guess we’re not going anywhere.

Well that’s about it, keep following me and my blog pages here and share them as well because these posts are coming y’all. I’ll even do some quoteables, and posts full o’ previous quotes but I can’t tell you everything I’m working on because that’s too much so just watch out for me…

Today God Is First: The Strength of Brokenness

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, Open my eyes that I may see every divine appointment You prepare for me. May I study Your Word and spend time in prayer and fellowship with You and take time to be still and know You, so that I will be aware and prepared for those special opportunities and appointments that come to me. Please forgive me for my failure to be consistent. Help me to grow in faith and goodness as I seek Your face and live each day…and to grasp every opportunity to work for Your kingdom. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Strength of Brokenness
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman


The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.” – 1 Samuel 2:4

There is an oxymoron throughout the Bible. It says that brokenness is strength. How can this be? How can brokenness be strength? In order to use men and women to their fullest extent, the Lord has to break His servants so that they might have a new kind of strength that is not human in origin. It is strength in spirit that is born only through brokenness.

Paul was broken on the Damascus road. Peter was broken after Jesus was taken prisoner. Jacob was broken at Peniel. David was broken after his sin with Bathsheba. The list could go on of those the Lord had to break in different ways before they could be used in the Kingdom.

When we are broken, we see the frailty of human strength and come to grips with the reality that we can do nothing in our own strength. Then, new strength emerges that God uses mightily. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Do not fear brokenness, for it may be the missing ingredient to a life that emerges with a new kind of strength and experience not known before. Pray for a broken and contrite heart that God can bless.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Today God Is First: Learning to Stand

Today’s Prayer,
God, When I remember the story of Joseph’s life, I realize how you want so much more for me than I could ever dream of. I also see how you can turn what man means for evil into what you mean for good. Please bring this to my mind whenever I’m feeling doubt and confusion; whenever I’m feeling oppressed and alone; whenever I’m feeling unjustly treated; whenever I think that I don’t have something I need. I know that you are in control. I pray that I will always allow you to do your work and that I will not interfere in your plans for me. Please give me strength and fill me with your desires for me. Thank you, loving Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1,
by Os Hillman


…”Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…” – Exodus 14:13

The Israelites had just left 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They had fled to the desert, but they had come to a dead end at the Red Sea. Word reached them that Pharaoh had changed his mind. He was sending his troops to recapture the Israelites. They cried out to their leader Moses, complaining that he had brought them that far only to die in the desert.

Learning when to move and when to stand is the greatest challenge for a workplace believer. We are trained for action. We are not trained to sit idly and wait. We are trained to solve problems, not wait for them to resolve themselves. However, God says there are times to wait. We are to wait until He says go. If we go before He says go, we likely will make our situation worse. If the Israelites had attempted to cross the Red Sea before it parted, they would have drowned. If they had fled north to try to avoid the Egyptians, God would not have moved in a miraculous way. God cannot work on our behalf if we continually try to solve our problem when He has instructed us to stand still. Standing still is sometimes the greatest action we can do, although it is the most difficult thing to do in the Christian walk.

Stand still when He says stand and see the deliverance of the Lord.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.


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