Thank You blessed Redeemer for the gift of this day, we are grateful for all that You have done for us. We say Thank You Father; You are indeed God. You blessed us not because we deserved it but that Your Name Alone be glorified. Lord, we give praise unto You both now and forever more. Thank You, God.
Is praying time; blessing time. Beloved if you are blessed by this prayer series, can you make a joyful noise unto the Lord! This instruction was received early this year and it has been a wonderful time in the present of the most High God every Wednesday. Hallelujah! Prayer is one thing a child of God must not joke about. Is a habit that must be cultivated by all who desire to win while here on earth and to rest in eternity. Your outward manifest is a sign of your inward intercession. You must be hot or you shall be spit out, said the Lord for those who have left the deepest impression on this sin cursed earth have been men and women of prayer.
You will find that Prayer has been the mighty power that has moved not only God, but man. Abraham was a man of prayer, and angels came down from heaven to converse with him. Jacob’s prayer was answered in the wonderful interview at Peniel, that resulted in his having such a mighty blessing, and in softening the heart of his brother Esau; the child Samuel was given in answer to Hannah’s prayer; Elijah’s prayer closed up the heavens for three years and six months, and he prayed again and the heavens gave rain.
The Apostle James tells us that the prophet Elijah was a man “subject to like passions as we are.” I am thankful that those men and women who were so mighty in prayer were just like ourselves. We are apt to think that those prophets and mighty men and women of old time were different from what we are. To be sure they lived in a much darker age, but they were of like passions with ourselves. But there is a Name to use:
“If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14
What a wide promise! Anything! Whether large or small, all my needs are covered by that word “anything.” Come, my soul, be free at the mercy seat, and hear thy Lord saying to thee, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
What a wise promise! We are always to ask in the name of Jesus. While this encourages us, it also honors Him. This is a constant plea. Occasionally every other plea is darkened, especially such as we could draw from our own relation to God, or our experience of His grace; but at such times the name of Jesus is as mighty at the throne as ever, and we may plead it with full assurance.
What an instructive prayer! I may not ask for anything to which I cannot put Christ’s hand and seal. I dare not use my Lord’s name to a selfish or willful petition. I may only use my Lord’s name to prayers which He would Himself pray if He were in my case. It is a high privilege to be authorized to ask in the name of Jesus as if Jesus Himself asked; but our love to Him will never allow us to set that name where He would not have set it.
Am I asking for that which Jesus approves? Dare I put His seal to my prayer? Then I have that which I seek of the Father.
Look, again, at Samson. He prayed; and his strength came back, so that he slew more at his death than during his life. He was a restored backslider, and he had power with God. If those who have been backsliders will but return to God, they will see how quickly God will answer prayer.
Job prayed, and his captivity was turned. Light came in the place of darkness, and God lifted him up above the height of his former prosperity—in answer to prayer.
Daniel prayed to God, and Gabriel came to tell him that he was a man greatly beloved of God. Three times that message came to him from heaven in answer to prayer. The secrets of heaven were imparted to him, and he was told that God’s Son was going to be cut off for the sins of His people. We find also that Cornelius prayed; and Peter was sent to tell him words whereby he and his should be saved. In answer to prayer this great blessing came upon him and his household. Peter had gone up to the housetop to pray in the afternoon, when he had that wonderful vision of the sheet let down from heaven. It was when prayer was made without ceasing unto God for Peter, that the angel was sent to deliver him.
Are still in doubt if God answers prayer? Do you want a reassurance that God not only answers to our pray but He also plead our cause? Take a little step further:
“O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.” Lamentations 3:58
Observe how positively the prophet speaks. He doth not say, “I hope, I trust, I sometimes think, that God hath pleaded the causes of my soul”; but he speaks of it as a matter of fact not to be disputed. “Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.” Let us, by the aid of the gracious Comforter, shake off those doubts and fears which so much mar our peace and comfort. Be this our prayer, that we may have done with the harsh croaking voice of surmise and suspicion, and may be able to speak with the clear, melodious voice of full assurance.
Notice how gratefully the prophet speaks, ascribing all the glory to God alone! You perceive there is not a word concerning himself or his own pleadings. He doth not ascribe his deliverance in any measure to any man, much less to his own merit; but it is “thou“—”O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; Thou hast redeemed my life.” A grateful spirit should ever be cultivated by the Christian; and especially after deliverances we should prepare a song for our God.
Earth should be a temple filled with the songs of grateful saints, and every day should be a censor smoking with the sweet incense of thanksgiving. How joyful Jeremiah seems to be while he records the Lord’s mercy. How triumphantly he lifts up the strain! He has been in the low dungeon, and is even now no other than the weeping prophet; and yet in the very book which is called “Lamentations,” clear as the song of Miriam when she dashed her fingers against the tabor, shrill as the note of Deborah when she met Barak with shouts of victory, we hear the voice of Jeremy going up to heaven—”Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.”
O children of God, seek after a vital experience of the Lord’s loving kindness, and when you have it, speak positively of it; sing gratefully; shout triumphantly.
So all through the Scriptures you will find that when believing prayer went up to God, the answer came down. I think it would be a very interesting study to go right through the Bible and see what has happened while God’s people have been on their knees calling upon him. Certainly the study would greatly strengthen our faith—showing, as it would, how wonderfully God has heard and delivered, when the cry has gone up to Him for help.
Look at Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi. As they prayed and sang praises, the place was shaken, and the jailor was converted. Probably that one conversion has done more than any other recorded in the Bible to bring people into the Kingdom of God. How many have been blessed in seeking to answer the question—”What must I do to be saved?” It was the prayer of those two godly men that brought the jailer to his knees, and that brought blessing to him and his family.
You remember how Stephen, as he prayed and looked up, saw the heavens opened, and the Son of Man at the right hand of God; the light of heaven fell on his face so that it shone. Remember, too, how the face of Moses shone as he came down from the Mount; he had been in communion with God. So when we get really into communion with God, He lifts up His countenance upon us; and instead of our having gloomy looks, our faces will shine, because God has heard and answered our prayers.
And yours will not be an exception in Jesus name. Amen! So get on your kneel and cry out God; He will surly hear you!
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu