Pinpoints from the life of Walter Lickley supplied by his sister Mrs. Margaret Beeby, the wife of a well known and well-loved labourer for the Lord, Ken Beeby.
Following Walter's visit to the second missionary conference held in Jamaica, he returned to Australia with a strong pledge to pray for those out in the 'fore-front' of the battle who had left home and families to serve the Lord in foreign fields. From the example of the prayers of the apostle Paul, Walter was inspired to write hymn 495 in 'Spiritual Songs'. The hymn expresses the prayer that those called would be faithful, blameless and harmless, and above all fruitful in their work, so that the Lord would receive glory and honour.
He knew that their paths ahead would be unknown with forces of evil strongly against them; therefore, the need for their safety and encouragement, God's guidance in every task, boldness in the delivery of the Word of God, abiding free from strife, fighting the good fight, to run a straight course and have the Umpire of Peace reigning in their hearts, so that the work would be unhindered. Here in Australia in the North Ryde assembly these words are sung in sincerity as the yearnings of our dear brother challenges our hearts.
Walter Alexander Lickley was born on July 10th. 1909 in Boonah, Queensland. He was the third son of Benjamin & Ada Lickley, who had come to live permanently in Australia from England. He married Ruth Collier and they together worked to feed the 'lambs' and 'sheep' with perseverance and warm hearts, providing hospitality and many plans to keep the assemblies together.
Those who knew Walter recognised his gift as a teacher and although he had a responsible business life, he used his gift to the utmost. A weekly Bible class for the young, special times of ministry of assembly truth, prophecy and camps, was a vision constantly before him. He added to his years of service other profitable outreach, a Bible class for business men, and recently I met a lady who, discovering I came from the Lickley family, related that about 55 years ago she attended a study class for Christian nurses at Sydney General Hospital and could still remember the wealth of his teaching.
Now 85 years of age, widowed, very frail and weak, he is in "Bethshean" Nursing Home. His mind is strong and he spends most of his time listening to the Word of God on tape, waiting with longing heart for the Coming of the Lord Jesus. He leaves a legacy of teaching, his gift from the hand of God, a commentary on the book of Malachi, and a heart that warned and helped so many.
May we take up the prayers contained in his hymn and make a pledge to pray fervently for God's servants.
The compiler of these notes can testify to the love and hospitality my wife and I received from Walter and Ruth Lickley. It was indeed warm and helpful.
Brethren will be interested to have the scriptural references that motivated our brother as he composed the hymn no. 495 in 'Spiritual Songs', 1978. These references were supplied, on request, by our brother himself some years ago.
Our God and our Father, we come to Thee now Eph. 1:17; Rom. 15:30; 2 Thess. 3:1. In the Name of our Saviour, most humbly to bow, John 16:23-24. For Thy servants who've gone forth, to serve far away, Matt. 28:19; Mark 10:29-30. And pray for their safety and blessing today. 2 Thess. 3:2. With deep supplication, in the Spirit we ask Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6; 1 Cor. 14:15. For Thy guidance and blessing, on their every task, Eph. 6:18-20. That with boldness of utterance, Thy word may resound Eph. 6:19-20; Acts 4:3, 29 & 31 And the Gospel go forth, with a glad joyful sound. Phil.2:16; Luke 2:10-11. Help them to be fruitful in service and life, Col. 1:10; John 15:16; John 15:5. And keep them abiding and free from all strife, John 15:4; Eph. 4:3. That they may be blameless and harmless each day Phil. 2:15; Eph. 4:31-32. And hold forth the Word of Life, brightly alway. Phil. 2:16. Let them fight a good fight, and run a straight course, 2 Tim. 4:7. Keep true to the Faith and proclaim it with force, Eph. 6:19; Jude 3. Let the Word of Christ richly in them always dwell, Col. 3:16. And give them Thy peace, as the Umpire as well. Col. 3:15. As we strive thus together, in prayer now for them, Phil. 1:27; Rom.15:30. We ask Thee to keep them from ungodly men. 2 Thess. 3:1-2; Rom.15:31. Let their service be always accepted by saints, Rom. 15:31. And Thy Word have free course, without let or restraints. 2 Thess. 3:1.
Our brother added a brief comment on verse 4, line 4, "The Umpire — a flow on from my early Bible Class taking days. I used to counsel the young people that having God's peace in the heart and mind (or the absence of it) is a certain indicator as to whether the decision is the right one. It is a rule of life I have practised. If there was a doubt or reserve about action contemplated, I never acted".