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Bible Verse of the Day

29.8.11

Obedience and Prayer (2)

This post is a continuation of the third chapter of RA Torrey's book How to Pray. In the last post, RA Torrey shared the two secrets of how John got all his prayers answered. The first point is obedience to God's commands. The second point is doing what is pleasing in His sight. The third point is shared below.

Point #3. Psalm 145:18 throws a great deal of light on the question of how to pray:
“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.”

That little expression “in truth” is worthy of study. If you will take your concordance and go through the Bible, you will find that this expression means “in reality,” “in sincerity.” The prayer that God answers is the prayer that is real, the prayer that asks for something that is sincerely desired.

Much prayer is insincere. People ask for things which they do not wish. Many a woman is praying for the conversion of her husband, who does not really wish her husband to be converted. She thinks that she does, but if she knew what would be involved in the conversion of her husband, how it would necessitate an entire revolution in his manner of doing business, and how consequently it would reduce their income and make necessary an entire change in their method of living, the real prayer of her heart would be, if she were to be sincere with God:

“O God, do not convert my husband.”

She does not wish his conversion at so great cost.

Many a church is praying for a revival that does not really desire a revival. They think they do, for to their minds a revival means an increase of membership, an increase of income, an increase of reputation among the churches, but if they knew what a real revival meant, what a searching of hearts on the part of professed Christians would be involved, what a radical transformation of individual, domestic and social life would be brought about, and many other things that would come to pass if the Spirit of God was poured out in reality and power; if all this were known, the real cry of the church would be:

“O God, keep us from having a revival.”

Many a minister is praying for the baptism with the Holy Spirit who does not really desire it. He thinks he does, for the baptism with the Spirit means to him new joy, new power in preaching the Word, a wider reputation among men, a larger prominence in the church of Christ. But if he understood what a baptism with the Holy Spirit really involved, how for example it would necessarily bring him into antagonism with the world, and with unspiritual Christians, how it would cause his name to be “cast out as evil,” how it might necessitate his leaving a good comfortable living and going down to work in the slums, or even in some foreign land; if he understood all this, his prayer quite likely would be—if he were to express the real wish of his heart,—

“O God, save me from being baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

But when we do come to the place where we really desire the conversion of friends at any cost, really desire the outpouring of the Holy Spirit whatever it may involve, really desire the baptism with the Holy Ghost come what may, where we desire anything “in truth” and then call upon God for it “in truth,” God is going to hear.

Lord, forgive me for the many insincere prayers I have uttered. Sometimes, it's just really plain utterance without thinking about the consequences or the action that I need to take. Teach me Lord to always weigh things carefully and pray with utmost sincerity "in truth."  This I really ask in faith in Jesus. Amen.

 

24.8.11

Obedience and Prayer (1)

We're on the third chapter of RA Torrey's book How to Pray. In this chapter, he wrote about the importance of obedience and its relation to getting answers to our prayers. This post is the first part of this topic.


Point #1. One of the most significant verses in the Bible on prayer is 1 John 3:22. John
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

What an astounding statement! John says in so many words, that everything he asked for he got. How many of us can say this: “Whatsoever I ask I receive”? But John explains why this was so, “Because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” In other words, the one who expects God to do as he asks Him, must on his part DO WHATEVER GOD BIDS HIM. If we give a listening ear to all God’s commands to us, He will give a listening ear to all our petitions to Him. If, on the other hand, we turn a deaf ear to His precepts, He will be likely to turn a deaf ear to our prayers. Here we find the secret of much unanswered prayer. We are not listening to God’s Word, and therefore He is not listening to our petitions.

I was once speaking to a woman who had been a professed Christian, but had given it all up. I asked her why she was not a Christian anymore. She replied, because she did not believe the Bible. I asked her why she did not believe the Bible.

“Because I have tried its promises and found them untrue.”

“Which promises?”

“The promises about prayer.”

“Which promises about prayer?”

“Does it not say in the Bible, ‘Whatsoever ye ask believing ye shall receive’?”

“It says something nearly like that.”

“Well, I asked fully expecting to get and did not receive, so the promise failed.”

“Was the promise made to you?”

“Why, certainly, it is made to all Christians, is it not?”

“No, God carefully defines who the ‘ye’s’ are, whose believing prayers He agrees to answer.”

I then turned her to 1 John 3:22, and read the description of those whose prayers had power with God.

“Now,” I said, “were you keeping His commandments and doing those things which are pleasing in His sight?”

She frankly confessed that she was not, and soon came to see that the real difficulty was not with God’s promises, but with herself. That is the difficulty with many an unanswered prayer today: the one who offers it is not obedient.

If we would have power in prayer, we must be earnest students of His Word to find out what His will regarding us is, and then having found it, do it. One unconfessed act of disobedience on our part will shut the ear of God against many petitions.

2. But this verse goes beyond the mere keeping of God’s commandments. John tells us that we must DO THOSE THINGS THAT ARE PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT.

There are many things which it would be pleasing to God for us to do which He has not specifically commanded us. A true child is not content with merely doing those things which his father specifically commands him to do. He studies to know his father’s will, and if he thinks that there is any thing that he can do that would please his father, he does it gladly, though his father has never given him any specific order to do it. So it is with the true child of God. He does not ask merely whether certain things are commanded or certain things forbidden. He studies to know his Father’s will in all things.

There are many Christians today who are doing things that are not pleasing to God, and leaving undone things which would be pleasing to God. When you speak to them about these things they will confront you at once with the question, “Is there any command in the Bible not to do this thing?” And if you cannot show them some verse in which the matter in question is plainly forbidden, they think they are under no obligation whatever to give it up; but a true child of God does not demand a specific command. If we make it our study to find out and to do the things which are pleasing to God, He will make His study to do the things which are pleasing to us. Here again we find the explanation of much unanswered prayer: We are not making it the study of our lives to know what would please our Father, and so our prayers are not answered.

Take as an illustration of questions that are constantly coming up, the matter of theater going, dancing and the use of tobacco. Many who are indulging in these things will ask you triumphantly if you speak against them, “Does the Bible say, ’Thou shalt not go to the theater’?” “Does the Bible say,‘Thou shalt not dance’?” “Does the Bible say,‘Thou shalt not smoke’?” That is not the question. The question is, Is our heavenly Father well pleased when He sees one of His children in the theater, at the dance, or smoking? That is a question for each to decide for himself, prayerfully, seeking light from the Holy Spirit. “Where is the harm in these things?” many ask. It is aside from our purpose to go into the general question, but beyond a doubt there is this great harm in many a case; they rob our prayers of power.

Lord,  thank you for the reminder from your Word that if we want answers to our prayers, we must be obedient to your commands. We cannot expect You to hear unless we also hear what You are saying to us. Teach me, Lord, to always seek your Word and your will, that I may do only what is pleasing to You. And thank You for the wonderful promise of answered prayer. Amen.


18.8.11

How to Pray With Power

This is the second chapter of RA Torrey's book on How to Pray.  It shares about the secrets of how to pray with power or how to pray effectively.  The author entitled this chapter as Prayer Unto God which summarizes the 3 secrets of effective prayer.


We have seen something of the tremendous importance and the resistless power of prayer, and now we come directly to the question—How to Pray with Power.

1. In Acts chapter 12, we have the record of a prayer that prevailed with God, and brought to pass great results. In the 5th verse of this chapter, the manner and method of this prayer is described in few words:

“Prayer was made without ceasing of the church UNTO GOD for him.”

The first thing to notice in this verse is the brief expression “unto God.” The prayer that has power is the prayer that is offered unto God.

But some will say, “Is not all prayer unto God?”

No. Very much of so-called prayer, both public and private, is not unto God. In order that a prayer should be really unto God, there must be a definite and conscious approach to God when we pray; we must have a definite and vivid realization that God is bending over us and listening as we pray.

In very much of our prayer there is really but little thought of God. Our mind is taken up with the thought of what we need, and is not occupied with the thought of the mighty and loving Father of whom we are seeking it. Oftentimes it is the case that we are occupied neither with the need nor with the One to whom we are praying, but our mind is wandering here and there throughout the world.

There is no power in that sort of prayer. But when we really come into God’s presence, really meet Him face to face in the place of prayer, really seek the things that we desire FROM HIM, then there is power.

If, then, we would pray aright, the first thing that we should do is to see to it that we really get an audience with God, that we really get into His very presence. Before a word of petition is offered, we should have the definite and vivid consciousness that we are talking to God, and should believe that He is listening to our petition and is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him. This is only possible by the Holy Spirit’s power, so we should look to the Holy Spirit to really lead us into the presence of God, and should not be hasty in words until He has actually brought us there.

One night, a very active Christian man dropped into a little prayer meeting that I was leading. Before we knelt to pray, I said something like the above, telling all the friends to be sure before they prayed, and while they were praying, that they really were in God’s presence, that they had the thought of Him definitely in mind, and to be more taken up with Him than with their petition. A few days after I met this same gentleman, and he said that this simple thought was entirely new to him, that it had made prayer an entirely new experience to him.

If then we would pray aright, these two little words must sink deep into our hearts, “UNTO GOD.”

2. The second secret of effective praying is found in the same verse, in the words “WITHOUT CEASING.”

In the Revised Version, “without ceasing” is rendered “earnestly.” Neither rendering gives the full force of the Greek. The word means literally “stretched-out-ed-ly.” It is a pictorial word, and wonderfully expressive. It represents the soul on a stretch of earnest and intense desire. “Intensely” would perhaps come as near translating it as any English word. It is the word used of our Lord in Luke 22:44 where it is said, “He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

We read in Heb. 5:7 that “in the days of His flesh” Christ “offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.” In Rom. 15:30, Paul beseeches the saints in Rome to STRIVE together with him in their prayers. The word translated “strive” means primarily to contend as in athletic games or in a fight. In other words, the prayer that prevails with God is the prayer into which we put our whole soul, stretching out toward God in intense and agonizing desire.

Much of our modern prayer has no power in it because there is no heart in it. We rush into God’s presence, run through a string of petitions, jump up and go out. If someone should ask us an hour afterward for what we prayed, oftentimes we could not tell. If we put so little heart into our prayers, we cannot expect God to put much heart into answering them.

When we learn to come to God with an intensity of desire that wrings the soul, then shall we know a power in prayer that most of us do not know now.  But how shall we attain to this earnestness in prayer?

Not by trying to work ourselves up into it. The true method is explained in Rom. 8:26,
“And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” 
The earnestness that we work up in the energy of the flesh is a repulsive thing. The earnestness wrought in us by the power of the Holy Spirit is pleasing to God. Here again, if we would pray aright, we must look to the Spirit of God to teach us to pray.

It is in this connection that fasting comes. In Dan. 9:3 we read that Daniel set his face “unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” There are those who think that fasting belongs to the old dispensation; but when we look at Acts 14:23, and Acts 13:2,3, we find that it was practiced by the earnest men of the apostolic day.

If we would pray with power, we should pray with fasting. This of course does not mean that we should fast every time we pray; but there are times of emergency or special crisis in work or in our individual lives, when men of downright earnestness will withdraw themselves even from the gratification of natural appetites that would be perfectly proper under other circumstances, that they may give themselves up wholly to prayer.

There is a peculiar power in such prayer. Every great crisis in life and work should be met in that way. There is nothing pleasing to God in our giving up in a purely Pharisaic and legal way things which are pleasant, but there is power in that downright earnestness and determination to obtain in prayer the things of which we sorely feel our need, that leads us to put away everything, even the things in themselves most right and necessary, that we may set our faces to find God, and obtain blessings from Him.

3. A third secret of right praying is also found in this same verse, Acts 12:5. It appears in the three words “OF THE CHURCH.”


There is power in UNITED PRAYER. Of course there is power in the prayer of an individual, but there is vastly increased power in united prayer. God delights in the unity of His people, and seeks to emphasize it in every way, and so He pronounces a special blessing upon united prayer.

We read in Matt. 18:19,
“If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” 
This unity, however, must be real. The passage just quoted does not say that if two shall agree in asking, but if two shall agree AS TOUCHING anything they shall ask. Two persons might agree to ask for the same thing, and yet there be no real agreement as touching the thing they asked. One might ask it because he really desired it, the other might ask it simply to please his friend. But where there is real agreement, where the Spirit of God brings two believers into perfect harmony as concerning that which they may ask of God, where the Spirit lays the same burden on two hearts; in all such prayer there is absolutely irresistible power.

Lord, thank you for showing me the secrets of praying with power. Holy Spirit, I do not know how to pray and it is only by You that I can do this. Help me to come into the real presence of God; help me to put my whole heart and soul into praying; and help me to regularly come in united prayer with other believers.  

Lord, I'm sorry that many times I am guilty of missing these three important things when I pray.  Oh, Lord, teach me to pray more effectively as it is your will that your children pray that your will may be done here on earth as it is in heaven.  Teach me to pray, pray, pray with power. Through faith in Christ, I ask this. Amen.

13.8.11

The Importance of Prayer (8)

To complete the 4 things that prayer accomplishes in a person's life, here are the last two:

(3) Prayer avails for the conversion of others.

There are few converted in this world unless in connection with some one’s prayers. I formerly thought that no human being had anything to do with my own conversion, for I was not converted in church or Sunday-school, or in personal conversation with any one. I was awakened in the middle of the night and converted. As far as I can remember I had not the slightest thought of being converted, or of anything of that character, when I went to bed and fell asleep; but I was awakened in the middle of the night and converted probably inside of five minutes. A few minutes before I was about as near eternal perdition as one gets. I had one foot over the brink and was trying to get the other one over. I say I thought no human being had anything to do with it, but I had forgotten my mother’s prayers, and I afterward learned that one of my college classmates had chosen me as one to pray for until I was saved.

Prayer often avails where everything else fails. How utterly all of Monica’s efforts and entreaties failed with her son, but her prayers prevailed with God, and the dissolute youth became St. Augustine, the mighty man of God. By prayer the bitterest enemies of the Gospel have become its most valiant defenders, the greatest scoundrels the truest sons of God, and the vilest women the purest saints. Oh, the power of prayer to reach down, down, down, where hope itself seems vain, and lift men and women up, up, up into fellowship with and likeness to God. It is simply wonderful! How little we appreciate this marvelous weapon!

(4) Prayer brings blessings to the church.

The history of the church has always been a history of grave difficulties to overcome. The devil hates the church and seeks in every way to block its progress; now by false doctrine, again by division, again by inward corruption of life. But by prayer, a clear way can be made through everything.

Prayer will root out heresy, allay misunderstanding, sweep away jealousies and animosities, obliterate immoralities, and bring in the full tide of God’s reviving grace. History abundantly proves this. In the hour of darkest portent, when the case of the church, local or universal, has seemed beyond hope, believing men and believing women have met together and cried to God and the answer has come.

It was so in the days of Knox, it was so in the days of Wesley and Whitfield, it was so in the days of Edwards and Brainerd, it was so in the days of Finney, it was so in the days of the great revival of 1857 in this country and of 1859 in Ireland, and it will be so again in your day and mine. Satan has marshalled his forces. Christian science with its false Christ—a woman—lifts high its head. Others making great pretensions of apostolic methods, but covering the rankest dishonesty and hypocrisy with these pretensions, speak with loud assurance. Christians equally loyal to the great fundamental truths of the Gospel are glowering at one another with a devil-sent suspicion. The world, the flesh and the devil are holding high carnival. It is now a dark day, BUT—now “it is time for Thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void Thy law.” (Ps. 119:126). And He is getting ready to work, and now He is listening for the voice of prayer. Will He hear it? Will He hear it from you? Will He hear it from the church as a body? I believe He will.

Lord, I understand that I need to pray more for my family and friends who have gone astray from you; for strength and faith to overcome the schemes of the devil who wants to lead us astray. When all other things fail, it is with prayer alone that we can cope. Lord, let me hear your voice, your call to prayer. And not only me, but your church as well. This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


10.8.11

The Importance of Prayer (7)

Now, we come to the post on the last reason Why Prayer is Important. However, we will divide this into 2 parts. Here is the first part.

11. There is one more reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer, and it is a mighty one: BECAUSE OF WHAT PRAYER ACCOMPLISHES. Much has really been said upon that already, but there is much also that should be added.

(RA Torrey shares about 4 things that prayer accomplishes. Below are the first two.)

(1) Prayer promotes our spiritual growth as almost nothing else, indeed as nothing else but Bible study; and true prayer and true Bible study go hand in hand.

It is through prayer that my sin is brought to light, my most hidden sin. As I kneel before God and pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me,” (Ps.139:23,24), God shoots the penetrating rays of His light into the innermost recesses of my heart, and the sins I never suspected are brought to view.

In answer to prayer, God washes me from my iniquity and cleanses me from my sin (Ps. 51:2). In answer to prayer, my eyes are opened to behold wondrous things out of God’s Word (Ps. 119:18). In answer to prayer, I get wisdom to know God’s way (Jas. 1:5) and strength to walk in it. As I meet God in prayer and gaze into His face, I am changed into His own image from glory to glory ( 2 Cor. 3:18). Each day of true prayer life finds me liker to my glorious Lord.

John Welch, son-in-law to John Knox, was one of the most faithful men of prayer this world ever saw. He counted that day ill-spent in which seven or eight hours were not used alone with God in prayer and the study of His Word. An old man speaking of him after his death said, “He was a type of Christ.”

How came he to be so like his Master?  His prayer life explains the mystery.

(2) Prayer brings power into our work.

If we wish power for any work to which God calls us, be it preaching, teaching, personal work, or the rearing of our children, we can get it by earnest prayer.

A woman with a little boy who was perfectly incorrigible, once came to me in desperation and said:

“What shall I do with him?”

I asked, “Have you ever tried prayer?”

She said that she had prayed for him, she thought. I asked if she had made his conversion and his character a matter of definite, expectant prayer. She replied that she had not been definite in the matter. She began that day, and at once there was a marked change in the child, and he grew up into Christian manhood.

How many a Sunday-school teacher has taught for months and years, and seen no real fruit from his labors, and then has learned the secret of intercession, and by earnest pleading with God, has seen his scholars brought one by one to Christ! How many a poor preacher has become a mighty man of God by casting away his confidence in his own ability and gifts, and giving himself up to God to wait upon Him for the power that comes from on high! John Livingstone spent a night, with some others likeminded, in prayer to God and religious conversation, and when he preached next day in the Kirk of Shotts five hundred people were converted, or dated some definite uplift in their life to that occasion. Prayer and power are inseparable.

Lord, search me and know my heart. If there be any wicked ways in me, I sincerely ask for forgiveness and I humbly ask that You help me remove these from my life.  And thank You for the power that comes with persistent prayer. There are also many things that I need to pray specifically for, Lord. Let them be according to your will, oh Lord. This I ask in faith. Amen.

7.8.11

The Importance of Prayer (6)

This is the 6th part of this topic. We are on the 9th and 10th reasons why Prayer is Important according to RA Torrey.  There is one more, the last reason, which will be posted in 2-3 days.


9. The ninth reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IS THE METHOD THAT GOD HIMSELF HAS APPOINTED FOR OUR OBTAINING THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Upon this point the Bible is very plain. Jesus says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13.) 
Men are telling us in these days, very good men too, “You must not pray for the Holy Spirit,” but what are they going to do with the plain statement of Jesus Christ, “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit TO THEM THAT ASK HIM?”

Some years ago when an address on the baptism with the Holy Spirit was announced, a brother came to me before the address and said with much feeling,

“Be sure and tell them not to pray for the Holy Spirit.”

“I will surely not tell them that, for Jesus says, ‘How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him’.”

“Oh, yes,” he replied, “but that was before Pentecost.”

“How about Acts 4:31? was that before Pentecost, or after?”


“After, of course.”

“Read it.”

”‘And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.’”

“How about Acts 8:15? was that before Pentecost or after?”

“After.”

“Please read.”

”‘Who, when they were come down PRAYED for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.’”

He made no answer. What could he answer? It is plain as day in the Word of God that before Pentecost and after, the first baptism and the subsequent fillings with the Holy Spirit were received in answer to definite prayer. Experience also teaches this.

Doubtless many have received the Holy Spirit the moment of their surrender to God before there was time to pray, but how many there are who know that their first definite baptism with the Holy Spirit came while they were on their knees or faces before God, alone or in company with others, and who again and again since that have been filled with the Holy Spirit in the place of prayer!

I know this as definitely as I know that my thirst has been quenched while I was drinking water. Early one morning in the Chicago Avenue Church prayer room, where several hundred people had been assembled a number of hours in prayer, the Holy Spirit fell so manifestly, and the whole place was so filled with His presence, that no one could speak or pray, but sobs of joy filled the place. Men went out of that room to different parts of the country, taking trains that very morning, and reports soon came back of the out-pouring of God’s Holy Spirit in answer to prayer. Others went out into the city with the blessing of God upon them. This is only one instance among many that might be cited from personal experience.

If we would only spend more time in prayer, there would be more fullness of the Spirit’s power in our work. Many and many a man who once worked unmistakably in the power of the Holy Spirit is now filling the air with empty shoutings, and beating it with his meaningless gesticulations, because he has let prayer be crowded out. We must spend much time on our knees before God, if we are to continue in the power of the Holy Spirit.

10. The tenth reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IS THE MEANS THAT CHRIST HAS APPOINTED WHEREBY OUR HEARTS SHALL NOT BECOME OVERCHARGED WITH SURFEITING AND DRUNKENNESS AND CARES OF THIS LIFE, AND SO THE DAY OF CHRIST’S RETURN COME UPON US SUDDENLY AS A SNARE.


One of the most interesting and solemn passages upon prayer in the Bible is along this line.
(Luke 21:34-36) “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell in the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and PRAY ALWAYS, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
According to this passage there is only one way in which we can be prepared for the coming of the Lord when He appears, that is, through much prayer.

The coming again of Jesus Christ is a subject that is awakening much interest and much discussion in our day; but it is one thing to be interested in the Lord’s return, and to talk about it, and quite another thing to be prepared for it. We live in an atmosphere that has a constant tendency to unfit us for Christ’s coming. The world tends to draw us down by its gratifications and by its cares. There is only one way by which we can rise triumphant above these things — by constant watching unto prayer, that is, by sleeplessness unto prayer. “Watch” in this passage is the same strong word used in Eph. 6:18, and “always” the same strong phrase “in every season.” The man who spends little time in prayer, who is not steadfast and constant in prayer, will not be ready for the Lord when He comes. But we may be ready. How? Pray! Pray! Pray!

Lord, today I learned 2 more reasons why I must be more fervent in prayer. I need the fullness of the Holy Spirit and I want to be prepared for the coming of Jesus. Many times I get distracted by the things in this world. Teach me to hold on to you, Lord...to pray, pray, pray. I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.

3.8.11

The Importance of Prayer (5)

To continue with the 11 Reasons Why Prayer is Important, here are reasons 7 & 8.

7. 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. We all know people whose joy is filled full, indeed, it is just running over, is shining from their eyes, bubbling out of their very lips, and running off their finger tips when they shake hands with you. Coming in contact with them is like coming in contact with an electrical machine charged with gladness. Now people of that sort are always people that spend much time in prayer.

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. I remember how once I was taken suddenly and seriously sick all alone in my study. I dropped upon my knees and cried to God for help. Instantly all pain left me—I was perfectly well. It seemed as if God stood right there, and had put out His hand and touched me. The joy of the healing was not so great as the joy of meeting God.

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?

8. The eighth reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER, IN EVERY CARE AND ANXIETY AND NEED OF LIFE, WITH THANKSGIVING, IS THE MEANS THAT GOD HAS APPOINTED FOR OBTAINING FREEDOM FROM ALL ANXIETY, AND THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING.

Paul says
"Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7.) 

To many this seems at the first glance, the picture of a life that is beautiful, but beyond the reach of ordinary mortals; not so at all. The verse tells us how the life is attainable by every child of God: “Be careful for nothing,” or as the Revised Version reads, “In nothing be anxious.” The remainder of the verse tells us how, and it is very simple: “But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” What could be plainer or more simple than that? Just keep in constant touch with God, and when any trouble or vexation, great or small, comes up, speak to Him about it, never forgetting to return thanks for what He has already done. What will the result be? “The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

That is glorious, and as simple as it is glorious! Thank God, many are trying it. Don’t you know any one who is always serene? Perhaps he is a very stormy man by his natural make-up, but troubles and conflicts and reverses and bereavements may sweep around him, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding guards his heart and his thoughts in Christ Jesus.

We all know such persons. How do they manage it?

Just by prayer, that is all. Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.

Some of us let the hurry of our lives crowd prayer out, and what a waste of time and energy and nerve force there is by the constant worry! One night of prayer will save us from many nights of insomnia. Time spent in prayer is not wasted, but time invested at big interest.

Lord, thank you that by prayer, our joy can be full and that we can have peace that passes all understanding. I say NO to constant worrying and say YES to prayer and thanksgiving. Teach me Lord to manage the busyness of life and spend a quiet time of prayer with You everyday.  In the Name of Jesus, this I pray. Amen.