“Prayer”

 

ABIDE, ASK, ANSWER

 

“Lord Teach us to pray”

 

by T. H. Mayfield

 

 

“Lord teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

 

…”If ye abide in me, and my word abide in you; ye may ask what ye will, an it shall be done unto you.”  John 15:7

 

(1) ABIDE:  Every child of God in the New-Birth becomes vitally united with Christ.  This UNION is vital and permanent.  We cannot become unborn.  Your child may wander from your presence.  It may be impossible to talk with that child.  Also, it can no longer talk with its parent.  This precious child is still your child, yet a disobedient one.  It did not become your child by obedience; nor cease to be by disobedience.  This child still has vital-UNION, but has lost COMMUNION with you.  So it is with God’s child.  He can no longer hear God’s voice; neither will God hear him when he prays.  Why?  “If I regard iniquity in my heart; the Lord will not hear me” Psalms 66:18.  Any known, unconfessed, and unforgiven sin in the life of a child-of-God, breaks fellowship, destroys communion; and we no longer can pray.  Then to ABIDE in Christ means to be on talking terms with Him.  With known sins confessed and forgiven; with our hearts cleansed, and fellowship restored; the “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins; and to cleanse us from all unrightousness I John 1:9.

 

God’s word must ABIDE in you, or else we ask amiss.  “So then faith cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17.  The Bible tells us in whose NAME to pray.  With fellowship-restored; with sins-forgiven; with our hearts-cleansed from sin; we are ready to pray in faith.  God promises answer.

 

(2) ASK:  There are 3 ways of asking. (a) Asking amiss, “that ye may consume it upon our own lusts” James 4:3. (b) Don’t ask at all.  “Ye have not because e ask not” James 4:2.  (c) “ASK in my NAME.”  “Whatsoever ye ask IN-MY-NAME, I will do it” John 14:14.  “Lord teach us to pray”

 

Think of God’s-child that feels self-sufficient; don’t need any help.  We all resort to prayer when in trouble, but how few pray to stay out of trouble.  “Lord deliver us from temptations.”

 

How calamitous that day that begins without invoking God’s presence and help.

“Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find;” Lord deliver us from a prayerless-life; deliver us from selfish-prayers.  What is uppermost in our hearts when we pray?  Myself, my relatives, my friends?  ”If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14.

 

(3) ANSWER:  If God provides for sparrows and flowers; why not you? 

Contemplate with me, if you will.  The God of this universe will condescend to hear the prayers of worms of the dust like you and me.  Why will He do so?  On what reasonable or revealed ground will an infinite God so act?  There is only one explanation.  You ask in the NAME of the only begotten Son of God.  Your check drawn on the Bank-of-Heaven, is ok when counter-signed by the NAME of Jesus.

 

Reuben A. Torry was conducting a revival, when one of his most faithful women came to him much disturbed.  She had prayed for her husband 20 years without apparent results.  The Pastor asked her why she wanted her husband saved.  She replied “that he might escape the punishment of Hell.”  “Any other reason,” he asked.  “That our family may be unbroken,” she replied.  Any other? “Yes, this burden is breaking my health.” “Then for his sake; for your family’s sake, and for your health sake, you have asked God to bankrupt heaven; break up that heavenly-home; send his precious Son down to a manger in birth, live a life of poverty, hounded and hated on earth.  Then die as a criminal on the cruel Cross.  All this for your health, for your family and for your Christ-rejecting husband’s sake.  “How selfish can our prayers be?”  How unreasonable and unjust can we pray!  No wonder our prayers are not answered.  The Pastor asked her to go home, shut herself up in her closet; to confess her sins and ask forgiveness and ask God in Jesus’ NAME to save her husband.  She went home, fell upon her face and said, “Dear God if Jesus will be more honored with my husband lost, and our home forever broken; for my health to be impaired by this heart breaking burden, then let thy will be done.  But I humbly ask IN-JESUS-NAME, for His glory only, please God save my Husband.  The next day He came to church came down the aisle and accepted Christ as his Saviour.

 

 

“Ask-in my NAME”

How difficult to crucify-self, and seek only to glorify the Christ of Calvary.  The effective ministry of prayer is no doubt the greatest asset of any Christian’s life.  There is no substitute.  “Lord teach us to pray.”  A ten-day prayer meeting, and one sermon, resulted in 3000 souls saved.

 

If Jesus needed to oft resort to prayer, how foolish for us to try to live a day or an hour without God’s help.

 

We see great towering lives rise, they seem to be a great success, but they soon fade like a flower and fall.  They were lives separated from God.  We also see a life full of struggles and adversity; but after a while it begins to rise, and finally is crowned with success and happiness, because it was linked with God in constant prayer.  Don’t try to go it alone.

 

We call attention to 3-places in the Book of Luke, where Jesus prayed: Luke 3:21, 9:29 and 22:44.  There are 3 times recorded, where He prayed.

 

(1) Yonder in the Jordan in the beginning of His public ministry, “He prayed and the heavens were opened,” Luke 3:21.  What a lesson; to begin each day with a prayer.  That prayerless day is fraught with hurt and harm.  Let’s begin the day right.  Many have been the days to open with sunshine, and close out with sorrow, because we tried to go it alone and leave God out.

 

Yes we need that strong and loving arm to lead us thru the days perplexing problems.

 

(2) “As He Prayed” Luke 9:29.

This event in the life of the Saviour was at His highest popularity; the masses thronged Him, with the praises and plaudits, which they planted in his pathway.  How few of us would turn away from these pinnacles of praise and plenty, to seek God’s help.  This was the hour of his transfiguration.  This was an hour of splendor and glory.  Twas here He turned back the veil of his humanity, and revealed His Glorious Deity.  This was the prophetic picture of His Second-Coming back in Glory.  Yonder on those dazzling heights, “He Prayed.  What an example for us!  Many a towering life has fallen in a day, because he failed to pray in a time of prosperity.  Then as no other time, do we need God.

 

When the guide had led the traveler to the top of the Alps Mountain, the traveler arose from his hands and knees; stretched out his arms in egotistic joy and pride.  The Guide cried out, “On your knees; On your knees;” “this is the most dangerous place we have been.”  Friends, let me warn you, that no life will ever fall, that stays down, and depends upon God. “Lord teach us to pray.”  

 

Reverend I. M. Haldemann was pastor of First Baptist Church, New York City, NY, for 50 years.  When a large number of his friends of the ministry asked him how he could stay so long, and have so marked success at one church.  He took them to a room, his study, and pointed to a corner where there was two holes worn in the carpet, there was where he spent hours in study and prayer.  Then he told of the preaching hour, when 12 men in relays would kneel behind a curtain and plead with God, while he preached to that great throng of people.

 

(3) “He prayed more earnestly” Luke 22:44.

When He announced He must go to the Cross, then one by one His followers began to forsake Him.  His popularity began to wane until He said to His disciples, “Will ye also go away?”  This fading of His fame carried on until we find Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, with His guard fast asleep.  He had no arm of flesh upon which to lean.  “He prayed more earnestly.”

 

Alone in the Garden that doleful hour, He looked ahead to tomorrow.  His own disciple would betray him with a kiss, and sell Him for 30 pieces of silver, the darkest cloud that ever fell upon a saddened soul was now settling upon Him.  The multiplied sins of mankind were all converging upon that sinless victim.  All the bleeding hearts, with all human sorrows of this race, were beginning to grip the tenderest heart that ever beat in a human breast, separation from his disciples, friends and His mother.  But more, as sins awful penalty, He must be separated from the Father.  He sees this all ahead.  This seems too much.  The piercing nails in His blessed feet; the cruel thorns upon His tender brow, the riven-side sent the dagger to His loving heart, all this torture He could face, but never before in all eternity was He separated from His Father.  “He prayed more earnestly.”

 

“Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”  This was hell’s bitterest-dregs.  He drank that cup for you and me.

 

He came out of the bloody broken hearted ordeal, a conqueror, a victor.  This was His prayer of submission, “Not my will, but thine.”  The angel came and strengthened Him.  He was now ready for the final 3 hours on the Cross.

 

Oh what a lesson!  When life’s going gets rough; when the last friend has failed you; when all stars of hope have gone out, then only the Star of Bethlehem remains.  Our victory will be won on our knees alone with God.

 

“Lord teach us to pray.”

For the darkest day

May Christ be thy stay.

For the darkest night

May He be thy light.

For thy weakest hour

May Christ be thy power.

For each duty’s call

May He be All-in-All.

                  

*******

“Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,

That calls us from a world of care,

And bids us at our Father’s throne,

Make all our wants and wishes known.

 

 

In Jesus name use this message:

“Lord teach us to pray.”