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crsschk
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 The Word of God and Prayer ~ Chadwick

The Word of God quickens the soul and instructs it in prayer. The psalmist speaks for all who pray when he confesses to seasons when the soul could not find its wings: "My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy Word." It is always to the Word of God he turns for quickening and instruction. Saint Paul links together the Word of God and prayer. "And take.. . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me." Watching where and whereunto? Watching with all perseverance! That is surely with diligence and patience, alertness and reverence. We must search the Word, that we may know how to pray. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

[b]Aids To Devotion[/b]

It must be remembered that I do not judge any man in the method of devotion. I speak only for myself. The practice of private prayer is so difficult to maintain that I grudge no help to those who find aids in things that to me would be a hindrance. Some find help in symbols and pictures, and most of those who seek to cultivate the prayer life of the soul keep some book of devotion at hand. Thomas a Kempis, Lancelot Andrewes, William Law, Andrew Murray, and the hymnology of all the churches have, been blessed to tens of thousands who have sought to know how to pray. It may be a confession of shame, but I do not want any of them in the "inner chamber." I can appreciate, them, more or less, elsewhere, but not here.

There are two perils to be avoided: one is emotional unreality; and the other is intellectual preoccupation. An earnest believer whose religious enthusiasm found expression in service for the church and humanity was convicted of prayerlessness. He earnestly resolved to spend half an hour every day in private prayer. At the end of the month he gave it up because he could not endure the sense of unreality. He could not talk or meditate half an hour every day when there was no one there! There was not only no sense of a Presence, but there was a very real consciousness of an absence. There can be no experience of heart speech and soul fellowship without a consciousness of a Presence. The soul cannot keep up an emotional make-believe day after day. The mind cannot live in a vacuum. The Father is in secret, but it is the glory of His presence that makes the sanctuary. There must be truth as well as spirit in all worship, and nowhere is the combination more necessary than in the secret place of prayer.

Altar fires are kindled and quickened by truth, but the truth must get to the altar. Devotional studies do not necessarily lead to devotion. There may be a preoccupation with truth that becomes an obsession. The study of experimental truth may never become experience, and the experience of others may become a snare. Even the Bible may become a hindrance. Light can blind. Our Lord reproached the religious teachers of His day because their misuse of the Scriptures blinded their minds. Stepping-stones may become slipping-stones, and even a corner stone may be a stumblingblock. In all questions of the soul each must find help where he can.

[b]The Devotional Use of The Bible[/b]

Have we still got a Bible we can take into the holy place? The most disastrous result of paganizing the Bible is that it has so largely fallen into disuse as a Book of Devotion. An honest man cannot pray through a discredited book. Truth is as essential to man as to God. If he is to worship, he must worship in spirit and in truth. Some teachers and preachers have what the learned called a "complex." The unlearned call it a "bee in the bonnet." They never miss a chance to drag in a jibe at what they call the traditional view of the Bible, and yet they insist that nothing has been lost in the change. The Scriptures are still "the living and sovereign Word of God." They admit that "Jesus took the Bible at its face value," and that in it He found His gospel, on it He fed His soul, and in all the great crises of His life He relied upon its truth. The disciple may be content to be as his Lord.
There are methods of Bible study that do not belong to the inner sanctuary of prayer. Historical Sources, Literary Criticism, Higher Criticism, and Lower Criticism belong to the forum and the study. They are concerned with the external conditions and progressive development of Revealed Truth. In the Holy Place the Scriptures are received as "the living, sovereign Word of God." How many soever may be the inspired writers, there is but one Author. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Questions of date, authorship, and the like are left outside, not because ignorance is more helpful to prayer than intelligence, but because they are irrelevant. In all Scripture there is a local and immediate message of truth, but there is also a revelation that is timeless and universal. Local knowledge is essential to complete understanding, but the soul in prayer comes to the Word that it may find God, and to the soul at prayer it is the infallible, sovereign, saving Word of God. Therefore we may still take the Scriptures into the inner chamber. Even the critics are anxious to assure us that the things for which they contend are not among the things that really matter, and, after all, their "assured results" are nothing more than "agreed hypotheses."

I do not want to harp unduly on the subject of biblical criticism, but I think it may help you if I tell you how I regard the Scriptures. It always seems to me that there is a very real analogy between the Word of the Lord and the law of the land. The judge and jury accept the law, and it is their business, not to criticize or amend, but to interpret and administer. They have no concern with the politics and politicians by whom the law came. It is very interesting to study the historical situation it was intended to meet, to trace the agitation of the reformers, to know who framed the bill, and who was responsible for amending clauses, but that is the business of historians, experts, and antiquarians. Even a lawyer may be ignorant of them. His business is to know the law. The business of a judge is to interpret the law. The business of the jury is to submit their verdict to the authority of the law. So it is with the Word of God. There may be two Isaiahs or twenty, two contributors to the Pentateuch or two hundred, Mark's Gospel may have begun with "Q" or any other letter of the' alphabet. The Word has passed beyond personal and historical limitations, and because of the inspiration that gave them, the Scriptures are the Word of the Lord that abideth forever. We take the Bible into the inner sanctuary, not that we may know what is its literary history, but that we may hear what the Lord our God will say unto us.

[b]The Praying Method In The Word[/b]
Saint Paul said, "I will pray with the understanding also." The Word of God gives understanding to prayer. The Bible is not an easy book to the uninitiated, and that is why so many fall back upon ordered and simple books of devotion, but it is the Book of Common Prayer to be understood of the common people. I think I can help you best by telling you of my own method.

The first question is where to begin. Each will find his own starting point. I began with the Psalms. The next thing to decide is the most suitable time of the day. When I began I was called at five o'clock in the morning, and had to be at work at six, so I read my morning portion the night before. I read through the appointed portion in a prayer spirit again and again, then went over it clause by clause on my knees, turning its statements into prayer and thanksgiving. Then I wrote out the verse or phrase that spoke to me, read it over next morning as I dressed, committed the day briefly to God, and put the text in my waistcoat pocket. Before I found this method I used to try to work myself into a praying mood, but I lacked resourcefulness, and praying became "prayers" again, and listening a void. Prayer has been an experience of thrilling wonder, creative meditation, and real fellowship since it has been instructed, quickened, and inspired by the Word of God.

In addition to this simple method, I find, great help in the use of the marginal references, especially those of the Revised Version. The method taught by the Holy Spirit is to compare scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. The Spirit that inspired the Scriptures is given to us for interpretation. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Word are never at variance. Revelation is progressive, and every part has its relative truth. To watch the unfolding of the Word deeply stirs my soul. New discoveries excite the mind and kindle the fires of worship and praise. Is this prayer? It assuredly is, so long as it is kept to its devotional purpose, and not followed with any other object. I once tried taking scriptures set for examination as my devotional portion, but it left the hour barren and unprofitable. God wants the whole presence of the spirit as surely as man wants the sense of the real presence of God. The soul is never less alone than when it is alone with God.


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Mike Balog

 2007/8/14 9:23Profile
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 Re: The Word of God and Prayer ~ Chadwick

Quote: 'The soul is never less alone than when it is alone with God.'

That sounds so beautiful, because it is.

To be alone with God is the most wonderful thing in the world.

At least it is for me.

Good post. Thank you.

God bless.

 2007/8/14 10:47Profile
crsschk
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 Re: The Word of God and Prayer ~ Chadwick

[b]How To Use The Word In Prayer[/b]

It is best to have no book but the Bible, that scripture may be interpreted by scripture. I find it well to take the sayings of psalmist and prophet and turn them into prayers. Avoid the lure of sidetracks. I have been interested to find that men known far and wide for their biblical scholarship always use the Authorized Version in their devotions. I commend their example. Search the Scriptures. The heart is soon aglow when the Word is alight.

The Word of God is like God's world: it is all interesting and all wonderful, but there are places to which we go often in thought and affection if not in actual visits: beauty spots of which we never tire, and sacred places of hallowed association. So there are pages of the Bible that wear thin with use, and some that are stained with tears. There is no psalter like the book `of Psalms. There are favorite psalms that register the pilgrimage of the soul. I love the thirty-seventh, the forty-sixth, the eightieth, and the one hundred and sixteenth, and many more besides. Usually I read through the psalm, and then return for meditation to a few verses that have appealed to me. How often I have countered "fret" with "trust" in Psalm thirty-seven, committed my way unto the Lord, and hummed and prayed through the matchless words, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him;" and my soul rejoices in the assurance that if I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. It is great to take the Lord's own words and speak them in praise and plead them in prayer.

The forty-sixth Psalm is just as wonderful, with its threefold division of catastrophe, hostility, and testimony. Then I go back to the first verse, with its description of God as Refuge, Strength, and Help. The Refuge is for sanctuary in perils in which man is utterly helpless. What can he do against a changing earth, hurtling mountains, and raging storms?' When sudden calamity comes, and the foundations slip from under our feet, God is our Refuge. "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Always underneath! Always lower than our deepest depths! God is also our Strength. There are demands for which we have no might and enemies against whom we have not strength. "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Immediately the mind is among the heroes of God, and faith rejoices in the assurance of strength that shall be as the day. God is a Help. There are experiences in which we are incomplete. A Helper is near, companionable, encouraging, inspiring, achieving. Could assurance be more complete? No wonder the heart nestles near to God and whispers, "I will trust, and not be afraid."


"The Lord of hosts is with me [us];
And the God of Jacob is my [our] refuge."

I wonder how often I have prayed through Psalm one hundred and sixteen. It was one of God's earliest gifts to me. There is no need to change the pronoun, for there is a personal pronoun in every verse. I love the alternating surge of a sorrow escaped and the triumphant note of thanksgiving, and I linger long over the vows of the redeemed soul. He had been down into the depths. Every kind of trouble seemed to come at once, and greatest of all was his loss of faith in God and man. Deliverance came when he prayed. Praise followed prayer, and praise became a sacrifice of thanksgiving.


"Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death,
Mine eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living."

There are scriptures that I read at stated seasons. One of my earlier attempts at real Bible study was to try to write out in order the doings and sayings of our Lord in the week of His Passion, and I go over those passages always in the sacred week. There are similar passages for Advent and other festivals of the Christian year. The first thing I do with a new Bible is to mark the passages in Saint John in which our Lord makes His promise of the Paraclete, and those I read always between Easter and Pentecost, and then I find my inner chamber becomes my Lord's Upper Room.

There are three scriptures that I have read on fixed days of the week for more than forty years. Every Sunday morning I read the fifth" chapter of Revelation, and every Sunday night the seventh chapter from verse nine. Why do I do this? Sunday is the great day of my week. I preach other days, but there is only one day in seven that is specially the Lord's Day. It is a day devoted to worship and the ministry of the Word. To me is given the responsibility of intercessor and prophet, teacher and evangelist. I have to represent Christ, preach Christ, plead for Christ. For all this I need the vision of Christ, and nowhere do I find the vision as He is there revealed in the midst of the throne, in the midst of the redeemed, in the midst of the angels, and in the midst of creation. I can face the day when I have beheld His glory, and said "Amen, Hallelujah!" in His presence. At night I come back to the vision of His ultimate triumph and commit the day unto Him and rest my heart within the veil.

On Monday morning I invariably read Isaiah forty-one from verse eight. Monday morning is a difficult time for the prophet-evangelist. Sunday looks somber on Monday. A blue Monday is the devil's chance, so I resolved at the beginning of my ministry that if I had to have a blue Monday, I would have it in the middle of the week and God gave me this scripture as a protection against the "blues." Perhaps you would like to know how He did it. It was in my first month out of college. I was in my room on a Monday morning, wrapped in a rug, for I had a cold and the room was cold. It rained pitilessly all the morning. Just before noon a cab stopped at the door, and H. S. B. Yates, the minister of Leith, was announced. We had met only twice. When I asked how he was, he answered, "I am a worm, and no man." He had the blue Monday so badly that he had taken a cab and come to see me for a change. His church had been crowded the night before for the first time, and Satan taunted and tormented him into sheer terror. I listened with amused amazement. I am not made that way. He asked me what I did when I felt myself a creeping, crawling, contemptible worm? I had just read the forty-first of Isaiah, and I said "Here is the very chapter for you. It is God's promise to a worm" We read it. We prayed through it, and he went away greatly comforted. Since then I have read it every Monday morning, and I have found it a rare defense against depression, with the result that Monday has been one of my busiest and happiest days I go through the Bible, as I have gone through these passages of Scripture.

These are intimate words, but at any rate you do not wonder now that to me the Word of the Lord is precious. All the time I have tried to keep in mind the overworked and toil-driven who have little or no space for an inner sanctuary. That is why I urge the Bible as the only necessary book for the devotional hour. For the same reason I advise that it be studied in short portions, lest prayer become secondary in the place consecrated to prayer.


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Mike Balog

 2007/8/15 0:13Profile
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 The Word of God and Prayer ~ Chadwick

[b]The Problem of Unanswered Prayer[/b]

It is many years since I first wrote on unanswered prayer. The problem became acute when the man for whom we were praying so earnestly and confidently died while we prayed. The shock of it was overwhelming. It had never occurred to us that he might die. We had claimed the promise. We were absolutely sure of the Word. I do not think my faith was ever so sorely tried. We went back to the Word, and God gave me a message that has brought consolation to many, and through all the the years it has been a stronghold for my trust. Many years have passed since then, but the truth abides, and though it may involve some repetition, I want to pass on the message to others.

[b]The Problem[/b]

There can be no doubt that God answers prayer. On this point the Scriptures speak plainly enough. Nothing could be more definite. All men are commanded to pray, at all times, in all places and for all needs. Assurances abound that prayer is heard The promise are explicit, and the Scriptures are full of examples and encouragement. Christ's own word is, "Every one that asketh receiveth" (Matthew 7:8). The scope of the promise is without limit of place (I Timothy 2:8), time (Luke 18:1; I Timothy 4:17), or subject (John 16:23; Matthew 21:22; Philippians 4:6). Everything that concerns man is of interest to God, and is a proper subject for prayer. God does not divide our needs into sacred and secular, spiritual and material. He who taught us to pray for the forgiveness of our sins, taught us also to say, "Give us this day our daily bread."

Yet, as we have studied the subject, it has been made clear that there are conditions and limitations. There are laws of prayer. The unrestricted promises are hedged about it conditions We are commanded to pray for all men, but there were some for whom the prophet was forbidden to pray (Jeremiah 7:16, see also I John 5:15,16). It is possible to ask and not receive (Psalms 66:18; James 4:2,3). Prayers that lack sincerity and faith cannot be heard. This is obvious. God judges by the heart. So do we. No one grants requests where these simple elements are wanting. The sincerity must extend to both petition and petitioner. Eloquence is not prayer (Isaiah 29:13; John 9: 31, James 4:6; I John 3:22).

Are all the sincere, earnest, believing prayers of good people granted?

The answer of experience is, No. I have seen a distracted mother cling to the corpse of her child, refusing to believe it was dead. She had prayed. God had promised. She had believed. He heard, always heard. How could her child die? When at last the truth has forced itself upon her protesting mind, the distress deepens at the thought that God has, not heard. There are many such days of desperate faith. Is God angry, as in the case of David (II Samuel 12:14-23), even though there be no such cause? Can it be that He is indifferent? Can it be that He does not know? He forgotten? It was with such thoughts as these in mind that I turned to my Bible, and in the Book I found the answer in three representative cases:


1) Deuteronomy 3:23-35, where Moses prayed that he might go over into Canaan.
2) I Kings 29:4. Elijah's prayer that he might die.
3) II Corinthians 12:8, 9, in which Paul prayed for the removal of affliction.

These there men occupy a prominent place in Scripture, and yet each was denied his request. Their prayers are fairly representative, and cover the ground of the problem. Let us examine them in their order.

[b]The Prayer of Moses[/b]

Moses prayed that he might be allowed to complete his work. He had undertaken it at God's command. For forty years he had nursed and led a murmuring and ungrateful people through the wilderness. The promised land was within sight. What more natural than that he should desire to see his lifework completed? Besides, in all human judgment, he could not be spared. He would be needed in Canaan even more than in the wilderness. There were enemies to be driven out, the constitution to be established, and the people to be settled. If he should leave them now, the work of forty years would fall to pieces. Internal strife would wreck the nation. No wonder he prayed that he might go over. In spite of a nation's entreaty, regardless of his record, and notwithstanding his earnest pleading, he died; died with his work unfinished; died when he seemed to be most needed; died with the hope of years at last within his reach.

[b]Is it not often so?[/b]

A lifework is accepted as a divine appointment. The powers of brain and muscle, time and energy - all a man is goes into the task at the cost of personal comfort and ambition. You pray for your work, that God will prosper it and bless you in it. That is right. No man has a right to be in any business for which he cannot pray. God does not put a man into business for worthless or unworthy ends. He means the work to prosper; and yet how often it happens that the prayers of good men seem to fail! Plans over which they have prayed collapse. Competitors prevail. Misfortune overwhelms. Ill health disables. Death calls, and the work of years is left unfinished and incomplete. Death at such times seems almost spiteful in its cruelty. It strikes the arm as it stretches the hand to grasp the prize; takes the parent and counselor when they can least be spared; passes by the weakly and takes the strong; strikes down the burden-bearer and spares the burden. We plead that we may stay a little longer: only a little while; just till this is completed; just till the children are grown up, or the business settled; and the answer is, "Get thee up into the top of Pisgah" -- and die. David wanted to build a house for God. His heart was Set on it. God praised him for wanting to do it, but He forbade him (I Chronicles 22:8). So is many heart set with a yearning that prays and aches for a work that is withheld. The man Jesus saved with a mighty salvation prayed that he might go with Jesus, and Jesus sent him home (Luke 8:38).

Juniper Tree Prayers. Elijah was mighty in prayer. God answered all his prayers but one, and that was the prayer that he might die. He was under the juniper tree, suffering from mental and physical reaction. Yesterday had been a great day. He had stood alone as God's champion: strong, defiant, triumphant. The next day was the day after! At the threat of a woman he fled. His nerves were unstrung. Fear, despondency, and despair took hold of him. In the fret and frenzy of depression he prayed that he might die. The disease is still with us, and is so multiplied that there are not enough juniper trees to go around. There are morbid Christians who have built tabernacles under them. Nerve collapse is more spiritual than physical, though it is usually both. There is no despondency in faith. What a mercy that God does not always take us at our word! Nothing dishonors God more than the fretful despondency of the saints. Juniper trees make poor sanctuaries.

The apostle's thorn in the flesh need not detain us, for we have already dealt with the subject of prayer and affliction. The thorn was a physical affliction, and because he regarded it as a hindrance he prayed for its removal. It was not removed, though he besought the Lord thrice. He had to learn that affliction may be God's messenger, as well as the messenger of Satan.

[b]The Answer To Unanswered Prayers[/b]

None of these prayers was unanswered. They were not granted, but they were answered, and "No" was the answer. "No" is as truly an answer as "Yes." When a request is refused, it is as truly answered as when it is granted. Refusal may be the only answer possible to love and wisdom and truth A child may cry for a razor, and full-grown people may cry for things equally unsuitable, unsafe, and unwise. Many have lived to thank God that He withstood their agonizing entreaties at some particular time or for some particular thing that seemed indispensable.
God never refuses without reason. He knows the past, in which there may be reasons for present disqualification. Forgiven sin may disable. Moses and David were both examples of this (Deuteronomy 32:49-52; II Samuel 12:14). There are vessels that break on the wheel, and though another maybe made, the original is impossible. Diseases may be healed, but a lost limb cannot be restored. The Lord knows the future as well as the past. The immediate may imperil the future. The eagerness for a mess of pottage may involve the loss of an inheritance. Esau got the answer to his entreaty at dinner time. Jacob got his at dawn. God spared Hezekiah fifteen years, but he had better have gone when the Lord sent for him.

The Greater Includes the Less. Delays are not denials, and it pays to wait God's time. Moses got into Canaan, and Elijah went to heaven by a more glorious way than that of the juniper tree. No inspired prayer of faith is ever refused. "No" is never God's last word. If the prayer seems unanswered, it is because it is lost in the glory of the answer when it comes. God may refuse the route because he knows a better, and He took Moses into Canaan by a better way and in better company. I have known other people who have had to go by way of heaven to find the answer to their prayers. He took Elijah to heaven by a much more wonderful way than that of the grave. He wanted to die, and God gave his tired servant sleep and rest, and sent him away to the hills for a holiday. That is His remedy for nerves: a change of air, a new vision, and a bigger job. Paul never had any use for juniper trees, and to him God said, "My grace is sufficient for thee," and He taught him to glory in affliction and adversity. In the experience that first sorely fried our faith, God sent help out of the darkness. Through the tears of a broken heart the vision came, and when the memorial card was sent it bore this text, which rebuked our unbelief, "He asked life of thee, and thou gayest it him, even length of days for ever and ever." So in Glory shall we find our prayers have been interpreted according to the infinite wisdom and eternal love of God our Father who bids us pray.


Unanswered yet! The prayers your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail? Is hope departing?
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not, the Father hath not heard your prayer,
You shall have your desire - sometime - somewhere.
Unanswered yet! Though when you first presented
This one petition at the Father's Throne
It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So urgent was the heart to make it known;
Though years have passed since then, do not despair,
The Lord will answer you - sometime - somewhere.

Unanswered yet! Nay, do not say ungranted,
Perhaps your work is not wholly done.
The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what He has begun.
If you will keep the incense burning there,
His glory you shall see - sometime - somewhere.

Unanswered yet! Faith cannot be unanswered;
Her feet are firmly planted on the Rock;
Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted,
Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.
She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
And cries, "It shall be done - sometime - somewhere."

- E. B. Browning


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Mike Balog

 2007/8/16 16:09Profile
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 Re: The Word of God and Prayer ~ Chadwick

Here's a short bit from TA Sparks on the topic...

[b]The Place of the Word in Prayer[/b]
These two things are joined together by the Holy Spirit: "the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God; praying..." The Holy Spirit has linked these two things closely. He might have put the sword in the beginning, or He might have put it somewhere else. You would have thought that the Apostle, taking in the Roman soldier as he stood there, seeing the girdle and the sword attached to the girdle, would have put the sword next to the girdle and said: 'Having on the girdle of truth and the sword of the Spirit.' But no, he has taken the girdle apart from the sword, and he gets on with the other parts of the panoply which are protective and defensive, and then he brings the two offensive things together at the end: the Word and prayer. They are both basic to a life, not only of being able to resist and have the defensive, but of actual victory, of overcoming, a life which is progressively aggressive. That is what comes out in 1 Samuel 14. There was a sword with Jonathan, and there was a going up on his hands and feet. There was the activity of faith with the weapons of warfare on his part, and he overcame. We have said that it is a tremendous thing to be able to come with the Word of God backing up your prayer and to be able to say to the Lord: "...according to Thy Word." It is a great strength to be able to give the Lord His Word.

Let us take Psalm 119 by way of illustration and point out how frequently the Psalmist used that very phrase: "Quicken Thou me according to Thy word" ... "Strengthen Thou me according unto Thy word" (verses 25, 28). Then let us go on to fill in the word that corresponds with the petition: "But if the Spirit of Him That raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He That raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit That dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:11). That is God's Word. It is a great thing to have the Word of God with you in prayer so that you may take it before the Lord. It gives you a place of strength. And it is also a great thing to be able to meet the enemy with the Word of God. The Lord Himself went into the wilderness and was tempted of the devil forty days. How did He meet the devil? Just with the Word of God! The Word of God was His weapon, and in the end He went through and overcame with that weapon. It is not that we meet the enemy objectively and begin to quote Scripture audibly to him. That may be necessary sometimes, and it may sometimes be good exercise to meet the enemy with an audible declaration of what God said, but, dear friends, it is necessary to have God's Word in our hearts so that we stand on the promises at all times of temptation and pressure and inward spiritual assault. We cannot stand on them if we do not know them. There is a great strengthening of position when you have the Word of God under your feet. A life in the Word is a very necessary thing for effectual prayer, and these two things go together in a positive, aggressive overcoming of the enemy.

-from [url=http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/in_touch_with_the_throne.html]In Touch With the Throne[/url] by T.A. Sparks


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Ron Halverson

 2007/8/16 19:15Profile
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 Prayer

This is excellent brother ...


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Mike Balog

 2007/8/17 0:15Profile
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 Re: Prayer ~ Sparks

More from Sparks ...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I think that of all the people I ever met who exemplified this organic life in fellowship with God, Dr. F. B. Meyer was outstanding. It did not matter where he was or what the circumstances were, he would suddenly stop, perhaps in dictating a letter, or in a conversation, or in a business meeting, and just say: 'Stop a minute!' and he prayed. And that was his habit in life. He seemed at any moment to be in touch with the Lord. It was like breathing to him, and I believe it represented one of the secrets of the fruitfulness of his life and the value of his judgment in the things of the Lord. Only those who had close touch with him, especially in difficult executive meetings, knew the value of that spiritual judgment which he brought to bear upon situations, and it seemed to come to him just like that, as out from the Lord.

Well, that is prayer in its foundation. It is communion, it is fellowship and the spontaneous opening of the heart to the Lord. It is not the whole range of prayer, but it is life lived at the back of all deliberate activities, life in touch with the Lord, and it is a very, very valuable thing. All other prayer is so much more effective if we have that. It is so different from life being just a matter of prayer in emergencies, and emergencies are very often much more critical than they need be because we have to find our way back to God instead of being there. I think that very often the Lord allows emergencies to come to us in order to restore fellowship with Himself which has been lost, and in the Lord's mind the abiding fruit of such an emergency is that we should not lose that fellowship again. We should keep hold of it.

[url=http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001706.html]Chapter 1- The Divine Basis of All Acceptable Prayer [/url]

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[i]It is so different from life being just a matter of prayer in emergencies, and emergencies are very often much more critical than they need be because we have to find our way back to God instead of being there.[/i]


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/8/17 7:40Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
The forty-sixth Psalm is just as wonderful, with its threefold division of catastrophe, hostility, and testimony. Then I go back to the first verse, with its description of God as Refuge, Strength, and Help. The Refuge is for sanctuary in perils in which man is utterly helpless. What can he do against a changing earth, hurtling mountains, and raging storms?' When sudden calamity comes, and the foundations slip from under our feet, God is our Refuge. "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Always underneath! Always lower than our deepest depths! God is also our Strength. There are demands for which we have no might and enemies against whom we have not strength. "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Immediately the mind is among the heroes of God, and faith rejoices in the assurance of strength that shall be as the day. God is a Help. There are experiences in which we are incomplete. A Helper is near, companionable, encouraging, inspiring, achieving. Could assurance be more complete? No wonder the heart nestles near to God and whispers, "I will trust, and not be afraid."



I love the 46th Psalm and this is a great encouragement to pray as you read through Scripture. I have found, as the writer has expressed, that your mind begins to be drawn through different portions of God's word and the prayer just begins to flow with fervency and passion. It is a wonderful thing to get on your knees with your Bible open in front of you and let God's Word and Spirit lead you into His will.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2007/8/17 9:42Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Prayer

Dear Ron, I must apologize and insert a bit of hyperbole here;

Quote:
This is excellent brother ...


That was a grand understatement. I have been chewing on just the first chapter and part of the second since you brought it forth, re-reading and ... There is so much application to so many things I pray it might be given a tremendous opportunity to be really discussed.

Being that things can get so easily lost here, thought it better to start it again on a running thread on prayer, something to keep a continuity of perhaps the greatest matter we all face.

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=9715&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]How many People struggle with Prayer , Prayer 101[/url]

Brother, I cannot tell you how much this has affected me.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/8/19 11:48Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
That was a grand understatement. I have been chewing on just the first chapter and part of the second since you brought it forth, re-reading and ... There is so much application to so many things I pray it might be given a tremendous opportunity to be really discussed. Being that things can get so easily lost here, thought it better to start it again on a running thread on prayer, something to keep a continuity of perhaps the greatest matter we all face. How many People struggle with Prayer , Prayer 101 Brother, I cannot tell you how much this has affected me.



I had read the first chapter of In Touch With the Throne several months ago, I think someone posted a clip from it here on SI (perhaps it was you Mike). Then I re-read that chapter and devoured the rest of the book also over a few days last week and I too have been greatly affected and feel a deep desire to be a part of a 'Gideon Company' that Mr. Sparks talks about it the fifth chapter, a sifted, fearless company ready for battle. I feel woefully inadequate and yet expectantly hopeful. The things that are impossible with men...

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2007/8/19 16:46Profile





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