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Some of us have had a fresh fire of inspiration for prayer and fasting kindled in our hearts as we have taken part in group efforts--church times of fasting and prayer, or PrayUSA '98, etc. Let's not let the fire burn out! Keep active in group prayer if possible. A log that rolls out of a rousing fire easily becomes a dying ember. Satan has many means to quench in the individual what glows when united with others.
Let's ask God to keep a burden on our heart and to increase it. Then give Him time in our life and wait before Him to give Him opportunity to answer. In these hurry-scurry times, with more and more crowding into our lives, time is too precious to waste on vain things. Time is a gift we can offer to God, a costly gift to us perhaps.
Waiting before God, with a heart that is right toward Him and toward everybody, is not time wasted. It is time wisely invested. It takes time to keep the spiritual flame kindled and glowing. The fuel of the Word feeds the flame. Neglect will result in its burning out.
In no hour before have we had so much cause for prayer. No generation before has had the wealth of information we have today about spiritual needs worldwide. For instance, never before have we had access to all the information carefully gathered and put into print as in the Operation World book, some of which we were privileged to share in Herald of His Coming in 1997. Never before have we known in such detail who the unreached people of the world are. Now we know of the thousands of pockets, and some sizeable groups, considered unreached with the Gospel. Never before has news of our nation's needs been so readily accessible to us. Let's not let these concerns slip, but ask God to pinpoint to us our share of the responsibility and help us to fulfill it.
God has made it possible that all of this information be available that we might pray. When God purposes to do a great work He sets His people to praying. God is making His willing and obedient people into a praying people, into victorious prayer warriors, into an army of intercessors. God gets His work done in great measure through His praying people. Let us not disqualify ourselves from having a significant part in His program in this hour by being indifferent to His calling to prayer. Do not fail to read the article on page 8 about God's calling to intercession.
E. M. Bounds, whose writings concerning prayer have fired many hearts, has reminded us that it is the whole life which prays. It is the godly life which prays that is able to get prayers answered. Yielding to the Lordship of Christ, as Dr. Olford ably expounds it in the lead article of this issue, is the beginning point of a life that can effectively pray. Then Dr. Duewel helpfully makes clear that obedience is the key to living a life of yieldedness to Christ's Lordship and of effectiveness in prayer. Dr. Duewel's helps in measuring our obedience are searching. On the surface we may consider ourselves obedient. It is good to think carefully over the points Dr. Duewel gives us by which to check up on ourselves, to measure how obedient we are in day-to-day living. George Bennard, loved for "The Old Rugged Cross" hymn he gave to the church, gave among others, one we used to sing with some frequency but which the younger generation is perhaps unfamiliar with:
"Have Thy way, Lord, have Thy way,
This with all my heart I say;
I'll obey Thee, come what may;
Dear Lord, have Thy way."
The third line causes us serious thought. These are not words to be spoken lightly. It is one thing to obey in big decisions when we need time to ponder as to what is God's way. We deliberate carefully. God gives us time to make sure of His will. It is another thing to walk in obedience day by day. All of us meet fleeting and sudden situations that call for split-second decisions to obey God or we disobey. Perhaps it is an opportunity to speak a word of love to an enemy, or a word of witness to some unsaved person, or to deny ourselves some pastime in order to pray, or to spend more time reading God's Word. "I'll obey Thee, come what may." Do we do it?
Someone who lives in a challenging situation told me once that morning by morning she must get God's grace in order to be fully submissive to the Lord and His will that day--each day new grace, conscious commitment to obey God, come what may. Of course, there may be failures. When so, let's not gloss over them and hope and plan to do better next time. Let's get God's forgiveness and be sure we are in actuality depending on and drawing on our Lord's sufficiency. Does not every one of us face challenges every day? Take a lesson from the lady mentioned and begin the day committing ourselves to be obedient, by His grace, and to let the Lord have His way in our lives, come what may.
It is a grand and glorious God whom we serve! It is a grand and glorious life of fellowship with Him to which we are called! It deserves our most sincere living. It is the balance of drawing on Him and then walking in obedience to His Spirit and His Word that enables us to live worthily.
I speak to myself as I write. How much better I desire to live a life worthy of bearing the Name of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Thank God, He is at work in the yielded life. He is at work in your life and in my life if we are yielded. With infinite long-suffering and wisdom, He works and we are glad to have it so, painful and humbling though it be at times.
God works with eternity in mind. His ways are much higher than ours. When our faith and yieldedness are working well, we know that and know that all that He does is right and for our eternal best. Let's not forget it when the trial is great and is prolonged. We know nothing yet of eternity as we shall some day. "If we could see as God does see..." we might be able even to leap for joy, knowing that our trial is working for us "an eternal weight of glory."
Reader friend, don't let the fire in your heart burn out! Keep it well stoked with prayer and obedience and faith and love and....with whatever God is dealing with you about right now.
Thank You, Friends!
We greatly appreciate the friends standing with us to get timely messages from the Word of God to eager readers around the world. Someone recently introduced to Herald of His Coming wrote concerning it, "It's alive!" The life they sense in the pages of Herald of His Coming is the Holy Spirit's power which comes upon the messages as many of us unite in prayer for it.
When we lived in California on the high desert, horses were grazing in fields nearby. In summertime the ground was very barren. Hardly a spear of grass appeared to be growing during this season of no rain. The animals walked around nibbling here and there some small tuft of grass. Then the farmer came and threw a bale of hay over the fence to them. How the hungry animals relished that! It kept them alive and flourishing.