AN EARNEST PRAYER by the Author:
Our Father, assist us as we open this book, to get out of each and every
chapter, that Thou hast in each thought, for each and every reader. May
we read slowly, cautiously, digesting all we read. Forbid we should be
surface readers, but grant us Thy good Spirit to help us to use our picks,
drills and sledges, getting down into every thought and out of every thought
that which will help us most. Too many read just to be reading. Too few
really get into the thoughts. Lead us and may we follow. Help us to study,
to be real students. Bless each reader and grant us Thy continued
presence. Bless this book. Thou knowest the hours in real soul travail,
the tears and heart agony it cost the author.
PRAYING CLEAR THROUGH
By William J. Harney
CHAPTER XXXIII. (cont.)
Prevailing Prayer the Key to the Greatest
Victories Possible to the
Church of God in This World.
(Selected from "Prevailing Prayer, or, The Secret of Soul-winning," by Rev. E. Wigle.)
Prevailing Prayer Gets What It Asks.
Dr. Wisner made the following statement to Dr. Patton: “I took one of my elders with me (where he was going to assist a brother in special meetings); that evening my elder led the devotions in family prayer, and poured out his soul in great fervency, for the conversion of sinners. He earnestly besought the Lord, that He would so trouble the impenitent, that they would feel constrained to awaken us in the night to inquire what they should do to be saved; * * * about midnight the pastor came into our room and awoke us, to tell us that a number of sinners had collected at the Academy, who were so distressed with their lost condition, that they had sent a request for us to visit them. * * * The next morning there were a number rejoicing in hope. * * * It was the Lord who answered that prayer, by giving us the very thing prayed for."
How May I Offer Prevailing Prayer?
What an important question! How shall I answer it? How much may depend on the answer I give, God only knows. May be indirectly, the salvation or damnation of thousands of souls.
“Lord, help me.” How much may depend on how you hear and receive my answer. Maybe the salvation or damnation of thousands of souls. The Lord help you, my brethren.
(1) See, by searching your heart and life, and by a comparison of them with the requirements of God's Word, that you are in a state of heart, and so perfectly in accord with God, that you can claim God’s promises as made to you, and put Him to their fulfillment. In other words, see that you are fully dedicated to God to do His will in everything, as He has revealed your duty in His Word. If this condition is not met, you need not inquire further. God will not hear your prayer.
(2) “Be filled with the Spirit.” As He possesses you, He will illumine your mind, quicken your conscience, teach you what to pray for, and by His all-powerful intercession within you, enable you to offer the prayer of faith.
(3) Maintain uninterrupted “fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
(4) Obtain evidence from God's Word, His Spirit or Providence, that He is willing to bestow the blessing desired.
(5) Having learned that God is willing (and He is, if your desire is legitimate) to answer favorably, cherish your desire until it is fanned into a flame. Become so profoundly, intensely, supremely interested in the object of your prayer, that everything else, at the time, must be entirely secondary, and if need be, laid aside—eating—sleeping—work—business, until God answers. How may I become so interested? Devoutly study the Word, to know your privilege and responsibility, and being "filled with the Spirit," who is infinitely solicitous that you should have an answer to your prayer, you will partake of His solicitude.
(6) Lovingly, but with all your will power, resolve that in the name of Christ, by the help of the Holy Spirit, and with an eye to God's glory, you will have an answer to your prayer at any cost.
(7) Claim the answer at once. You may have the answer at once, if you will now meet the conditions; and now, other things being equal, easier than at any other time. The longer you pray
for anything, except in a living, appropriating faith, the harder it will be to prevail. Continue persistently, fervently, and if need be, vehemently, till God answers, "Yes, my trusting child." Thus take the Word of God—the great text book, and Christ as your Great Teacher; by the helpful ministry of the Holy Spirit, study the Word devoutly on this and kindred subjects, and on your knees, practice what you learn. While thus engaged, new lessons, new truths, new facts from the Word, and directly from the mind of the Spirit, who "shall lead you into all truth," will flash upon your mind. Thus study and practice, study and practice, every day, "in spirit and in truth," and little by little each day, you will be let into the wonderful and coveted secrets of access to, and power with God, in prayer.
There is no "royal road" up to the higher altitudes of Christian attainment, where a single human soul may conquer Heaven, earth and Hell. Then be patient, but persistent. The great lessons of science and art have been learned by lifelong efforts, and shall we grow faint and give up if we fail after a brief and half-hearted effort, to wrest from the grip of the unknown, the most precious lessons that God Himself can teach His faithful child? While we may learn new and more precious lessons in prayer every day, yet it takes time; it takes a lifetime to study this subject, for Christian science (real Christian science) finds in the subject of prayer some of the deepest problems—many of them unsolvable. Nay, it will take eternity to fully understand this subject. Yet such are the joys of the eager learner, and the blessings attendant on the exercise of an ever-increasing faith, that the greatest encouragements are offered to all. In this race the victory is not to the rich, or great, but to the humblest child of God.
Best Time to Learn How.
By far the best time to learn how to pray, is in the childhood of Christian life, just as the best time to lay the foundation for an education and to begin to build thereon, is in childhood. Those who neglect their education till they reach middle life seldom become learned. So those Christians who fail during the first years of their Christian lives, to learn how to pray—how to
prevail in prayer, seldom learn as easily as they might have done and become as progressive students in the school of prayer as they might have been, had they from the beginning of their Christian lives, been faithful in the study of the Word, and to the promptings and leadings of the Holy Spirit, who came into their hearts at conversion. Every young Christian should get into a rut as quickly as possible, and stay there as long as he lives. I mean the rut of “praying without ceasing.” His great business in this world is (1) to learn how to pray most effectually, and (2) to then practice what he has learned.
Definiteness in Prayer.
The prayer that prevails is strikingly specific. It narrows itself right down to one object, which presses itself on the attention, and on the heart, and fills the vision, and becomes for the time the supreme object to be sought, and obtained, if need be, by the supreme act of the life of the petitioner. He who is cold and formal in his Christian life spreads his prayer out, and around the whole world, it may be, covering all subjects but the one most needed to be prayed for now, while the soul all alive and on fire, and in holy, intimate and conscious fellowship with “the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ,” focuses all the energies of his being, for the present, on just one object of prayer, and holds on for that till he gets it.
A book on a subject essential to all who would get into a state of grace, and grow therein; also for those who study to show themselves approved unto God, a worker that need not to be ashamed.
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