3/30/14 How to Pray

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Luke 11:1

Morning Meditation 3/30/2014

Verse l says, “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

The disciples had watched and heard Jesus pray. There was something about His prayer that put a burning desire in their hearts to do the same. It is not hard to teach men who have a hunger for the truth taught. The following is one of Joseph Parkers prayers that he prayed before he brought a message on Luke 14:14.

“ALMIGHTY God, we thank thee that through Jesus Christ our Lord we can talk to thee. This is wondrous in our eyes; this is the gift and the blessing of God, that a man should talk with him, as it were, face to face. We will talk of thy goodness, for it has surrounded us, sustained us; it has been our light by day and our rest by night; we have found it in the morning, and in the time of sleep it has sealed us as with a benediction. All thy way toward us has been a way of goodness. We have not known this at all times; we have said, “This is a sore evil," not knowing that God sent us into Egypt, into darkness, into great sorrow, that we might be his ministers and angels, and that we might reveal the goodness of Heaven. We cannot tell what thou art doing with us; we have plans of our own which we think better than thine; we could hasten things, we could do them today: so we think, and so we tell lies to ourselves, and so we bring upon ourselves sharp torments and great burdens. We wonder why thou dost delay: why not grow the harvest in the nighttime, and cut it down in the morning, and enjoy the new bread at sunset? Yet the Lord seemeth to our poor ignorance and impatience to be slack concerning his promises: teach us that thou art not slow, but long­ suffering; show us that we know nothing, that we are mistaking everything, and that if left to ourselves our lives would come to swift ruin; show us that thou art the Lord, thy throne is in the midst of things, and thy law will govern and determine all processes. In this faith may we live. We are not under the law, but under the Lawgiver; we look not to the law, but to God, even the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the Cross shall be the eternal pledge that law is but another aspect of love. We will hasten to the Cross, for there thy goodness is as noonday, there the love of God is manifest as nowhere else: this is the very glory of heaven, this is the very summer of time, this is the very rest and music of eternity. May we never wander from the Cross; we are tempted to go every day,­ this man hath a poem, and yonder man a fine sentence, and each comes to us to ask us to follow him, and if we follow, it is into emptiness and distress. Help us to abide at Calvary; help us to tarry at the Cross, for there only can broken hearts find healing and shattered lives find restoration. Undertake for us in all the ways of our life: tomorrow is to be a day of special difficulty, but thou canst prepare us for it, and in the morning we can find the difficulty rolled away. All the angels are thine; thou dost command them to wait upon us as bodyguards: send thine angel and deliver us, and give us the freedom for which we yearn. Where there is special distress let there be special comfort, where there is a secret aching of heart may there be a secret ministration of balm from heaven, where our thoughts are far away, following the lives without which we should have no life, help us to believe that the little earth is all thine, and that in God all time is one, and that even now we can meet with our absent ones at the Cross and at the mercy throne. Where there is sorrow upon sorrow, that great devouring sorrow that spares neither old nor young, the little child swallowed up by its tremendous energy, the Lord himself be present, lest our lives lose all hope and we go down into the night of despair. Where any man has written a good vow, help him to remember every letter of it, and to carry his signature before his eyes night and day, that he may know his bond and keep it like a man of honour. Where any one has purposed evil, may he forget his purpose; turn his design upside down; when he is going to be unjust, cruel, precipitant, when he would act impetuously and foolishly, the Lord stand between him and his purpose, and turn his heart to consideration and to prayer. May all grey heads be crowned as it were with the glory of heaven; may all young lives be as spring flowers in God's garden, may all our dying ones leave us commands which it will be a pleasure to obey; and may those to whom we look always for strength, security, rest, and guidance be continued a long time to us, for when they die there is no longer any life for us. We thank thee for all thy care and love and patience, and especially desire from thee the great gift of the Holy Ghost, that he may abide with us, rule in us, enlighten us, direct us, and Comfort us, and make us meet for the inheritance with the saints in glory. Amen.”

The disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” There are some things about prayer that I will mention in this meditation that I hope will help.

Jesus teaches us to pray secretly. Matt. 6:6 says, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Does this mean that public prayers are wrong? Absolutely not. But this is where most of our praying will take place. Here it makes no difference about choice of words. Here there may be times spent groaning in the Spirit of desire (Rom. 8:26). Here there is no show. There is the intimacy of communion with Jesus that is unexplainable and absolutely glorious. There is strengthening of spirit in this private meeting with our heavenly Father. When you bring someone else into the privacy of these moments, they cease to be the same.

Jesus teaches us to pray watchfully. Matt. 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The word “Watch” is the translation of gregoreuo. This word means “give strict attention to, be cautious, to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.” This is a verb and it is present tense which means to continue to watch. He is saying that we should never take a break from cautiousness, i.e., we should continuously be cautious. The voice is active which means that it is a choice. The believer must take action to do this. It is imperative mood which means two things. First, the imperative mood is the mood of command. Second, it suggests urgency. Prayer is a protection against the Evil One. It is urgent that we do not proceed in our Christian lives in the strength of the flesh.

Jesus teaches us to pray believingly. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” The word “believe” means “to be persuaded of the truth of anything.” It is a present active imperative verb. We must be persuaded that what we ask for is right. That is an imperative. The word “receive” translates lambano and means “to receive with the hand.” It is a present active indicative verb and means that we are to believe as we pray that the Lord puts what we are asking for in our hand at the time of the request. There may and probably will be a period of time between the time we make the request and the time we see it come to pass. Hebrews 10:36 brings this truth out: “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

This is how Jesus says prayer is to be done.

May God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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