Excellent God, I bow before You. Thank yYou for there is no God aside You. I worship You Lord for You are unchangeable changer. You ordain the beginning and end of everyman from creation. Father I adore You, Your word concerning us must not fail because You never fail.
Beloved, another time to honour God and to bring down His hand to perfect all that concerns us. Is prayer time; glory be to Your Name O God! We will continue were we stop last week.
The sixth reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IS THE MEANS THAT GOD HAS APPOINTED FOR OUR RECEIVING MERCY, AND OBTAINING GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.
Heb 4:16 is one of the simplest and sweetest verses in the Bible, — “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” These words make it very plain that God has appointed a way by which we shall seek and obtain mercy and grace. That way is prayer; bold, confident, outspoken approach to the throne of grace, the most holy place of God’s presence, where our sympathizing High Priest, Jesus Christ, has entered in our behalf. (Verses 14, 15.)
Mercy is what we need, grace is what we must have, or all our life and effort will end in complete failure. Prayer is the way to get them. There is infinite grace at our disposal, and we make it ours experimentally by prayer. Oh, if we only realized the fullness of God’s grace, that is ours for the asking, its height and depth and length and breadth, I am sure that we would spend more time in prayer. The measure of our appropriation of grace is determined by the measure of our prayers.
The next reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IS THE WAY JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF HAS APPOINTED FOR HIS DISCIPLES TO OBTAIN FULLNESS OF JOY.
He states this simply and beautifully in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be fulfilled.” “Made full” is the way the Revised Version reads. Who is there that does not wish his joy filled full? Well, the way to have it filled full is by praying in the name of Jesus
Why is it that prayer in the name of Christ brings such fullness of joy? In part, because we get what we ask. But that is not the only reason, nor the greatest. It makes God real. When we ask something definite of God, and He gives it, how real God becomes! He is right there! It is blessed to have a God who is real, and not merely an idea. Let’s us examine few examples about how real is our God?
“Understandest thou what thou readest?” Acts 8:30
We should be abler teachers of others, and less liable to be carried about by every wind of doctrine, if we sought to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Ghost, the Author of the Scriptures is He who alone can enlighten us rightly to understand them, we should constantly ask His teaching, and His guidance into all truth. When the prophet Daniel would interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, what did he do? He set himself to earnest prayer that God would open up the vision.
The apostle John, in his vision at Patmos, saw a book sealed with seven seals which none was found worthy to open, or so much as to look upon. The book was afterwards opened by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who had prevailed to open it; but it is written first—”I wept much.” The tears of John, which were his liquid prayers, were, so far as he was concerned, the sacred keys by which the folded book was opened.
Therefore, if, for your own and others’ profiting, you desire to be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” remember that prayer is your best means of study: like Daniel, you shall understand the dream, and the interpretation thereof, when you have sought unto God; and like John you shall see the seven seals of precious truth unloosed, after you have wept much. Stones are not broken, except by an earnest use of the hammer; and the stone-breaker must go down on his knees.
Use the hammer of diligence, and let the knee of prayer be exercised, and there is not a stony doctrine in revelation which is useful for you to understand, which will not fly into shivers under the exercise of prayer and faith. You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayer. Thoughts and reasonings are like the steel wedges which give a hold upon truth; but prayer is the lever, the prise which forces open the iron chest of sacred mystery, that we may get the treasure hidden within.
There is no greater joy on earth or in heaven, than communion with God, and prayer in the name of Jesus brings us into communion with Him. The Psalmist was surely not speaking only of future blessedness, but also of present blessedness when he said, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy.” (Ps 16:11 ) O the unutterable joy of those moments when in our prayers we really press into the presence of God!
Does some one say. “I have never known any such joy as that in prayer”?
Do you take enough leisure for prayer to actually get into God’s presence? Do you really give yourself up to prayer in the time which you do take? Is very important we do for even Christ was tempted despite being the son of the Most High, how about that:
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” Matthew 4:1
A Holy character does not avert temptation—Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ’s case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work. Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of.
Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Ghost, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still. In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial. Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness, and was tempted of the devil.
Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritual-minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation. The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against Satanic temptation. Christ was consecrated through and through. It was His meat and drink to do the will of Him that sent Him: and yet He was tempted! Your hearts may glow with a seraphic flame of love to Jesus, and yet the devil will try to bring you down to Laodicean lukewarmness.
If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armour, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation. Like the old knights in war time, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded hour to make us his prey.
The Lord keep us watchful in all seasons, and give us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear in name of Jesus, may not be a prey for the devil. Amen!
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu