The Work Of The Church Is Done At The Throne
The promises of God are colossal and as sure as God Himself. Plead His own Word, and how shall God say no? "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father" (Matt. 18:19). Answers are as wide as the will of God. "If we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Answers are only limited by faith. "All things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). God is the sole manufacturer of opportunities; the only rescuer of the lost; the One alone inexhaustibly wealthy; the only Occupant in all the universe of a throne of grace (Heb. 4:16); not a standing reservoir, but a flowing river of blessing, "rich unto all that call" (Rom. 10:12). Therefore pray! "He that planted the ear, shall He not hear?" (Psa. 94:9).
The Power of Prayer
We owe all to a Person. "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do…. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it" (John 14:13-14). Prayer that reaches God through Christ reaches Him as from Christ!
Jesus says, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…" (Matt. 28:18-19). And therefore come. "Nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matt. 17:20). What a trumpet blast from the lips of the Son of God! Daniel’s prayer was not finished before the Angel touched him from the Throne (Dan. 9:20-21). O beloved, pray!
The Preparation for Prayer
"Prepare your prayers," said Mr. Spurgeon, "by preparing yourselves" (1 John 3:20-24). We carry into the assembly the atmosphere we have made at home. We betray our lives when we open our mouths. Therefore, come from the Throne of Grace, ere you go to the Throne of Grace.
Pray with holy hands or God refuses His ear (Psa. 66:18). Pray without wrath, for God is silenced by injury to a brother (Mark 11:25). Don’t miss the prayer meeting. Be much with God and God will be much with you!
The Form of Prayer
Pray definitely (Eccl. 5:2; Mark 11:24). One stone flung hard is better than a handful of loose gravel. Pray humbly (Luke 18:13). "Pride," says McCheyne, "is Satan’s wedge for splitting prayer meetings to pieces."
Pray pointedly (Phil. 4:6). Every prayer should be full of pointed phrase and definite petition. Pray Scripturally (Luke 11:1-13). To pray Scripture is a safe way to pray according to the will of God. Take pains to avoid a self-made liturgy. Prayers cease to leave the earth when they get caught in ruts.
Pray believingly and gratefully (Jas. 1:6-7; Rom. 14:23). Faith and thankfulness (1 Thes. 5:18) are the wings of prayer, which lift it readily to the Throne. Pray together (Matt. 18:19). If the prayer of a righteous man avails much – shall not the prayer of a righteous host avail more? (Jas. 5:16).
The work of the Church is done at the Throne. All other work is detail. "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). Pray intensely (Deut. 4:29). It has been said that Satan can build walls around us, but no roof overhead. But we may add that lethargy builds a ceiling to its own prayers. The whole man ought to become one burning prayer!
The Heart in Prayer
"Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God" (Lam. 3:41). God lays His ear against the heart. He inclines His ear, not to the lips, but to the heart (Matt. 15:8; 1 Sam. 16:7).
Keep praying throughout the meeting. Forget all others. Cultivate a deep consciousness of the presence of God. Importunity is of the essence of prevailing prayer. Never stop praying (Luke 18:1-8). At dawn pray with David; at noon, with Daniel; at midnight, with Paul and Silas; in sorrow, as Hannah; in sickness, as Job; in joy, as Christ; in childhood, like Samuel; in youth, like Timothy; in manhood, like Paul; in hoar hairs, like Simeon; in dying, like Stephen.
"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God" (Psa. 42:1). "At night my heart was so full I could only pour it out in awful silence" (Whitefield).
The Objects of Prayer
Praise is a short cut to the heart of God. Be great and unselfish in your prayers; praying for all men (1 Tim. 2:1); for all saints (Eph. 6:18); for the unity of all believers (John 17:21); for all things (Rom. 8:32).
Pray for Israel (Rom. 10:1); for the Gentiles (Luke 10:2); for rulers (1 Tim. 2:2); for ministers (Eph. 6:19); for conversions (1 Tim. 2:1, 4); for personal enemies (Luke 6:28).
Pray at once for pardon, after known sin (1 John 1:9). Pray for the recovery of sick disciples (Jas. 5:16). Covet the miraculous gifts (1 Cor. 12:31). Pray for worldwide revival (Acts 2:17; Zech. 10:1). Pray for the return of Christ (Rev. 22:20). Pray for your own share in the rapture (Luke 21:36). Pray that the Holy Spirit may show you what to pray (Rom. 8:26).
"With all prayer and supplication for all saints, praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance" (Eph. 6:18). It is always safe to pray for others. None is too poor to give this gift, and none is so wealthy that he can give a richer.
The Fruits of Prayer
We must get answers, for the silence of God is one of the dreadful things of the world (Gen. 32:26). Prayer is a field which is thrice reaped.
(1) It sanctifies the suppliant. As God saves by a Lamb (John 1:29), so He preserves by a cry (Luke 18:7-8). And "praying will either make a man leave off sinning, or else sinning will make a man leave off praying."
(2) It enriches the suppliant. Our Lord wants us to overflow with joy because of answers received. "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24).
(3) It will glorify the suppliant. "Pray to thy Father, which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly" (Matt. 6:6). Therefore, O beloved, pray!