“Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me,” Psalm 31:5 I will trust in you Lord!

“Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me,” Psalm 31:5 I will trust in you Lord!

 These words have been frequently used by holy men in their hour of departure. We may profitably consider them this evening. The object of the faithful man’s solicitude in life and death is not his body or his estate, but his spirit; this is his choice treasure–if this be safe, all is well. What is this mortal state compared with the soul? The believer commits his soul to the hand of his God; it came from him, it is his own, he has aforetime sustained it, he is able to keep it, and it is most fit that he should receive it.

All things are safe in Jehovah’s hands; what we entrust to the Lord will be secure, both now and in that day of days towards which we are hastening. It is peaceful living, and glorious dying, to repose in the care of heaven. At all times we should commit our all to Jesus’ faithful hand; then, though life may hang on a thread, and adversities may multiply as the sands of the sea, our soul shall dwell at ease, and delight itself in quiet resting places.

“Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Redemption is a solid basis for confidence. David had not known Calvary as we have done, but temporal redemption cheered him; and shall not eternal redemption yet more sweetly console us? Past deliverances are strong pleas for present assistance. What the Lord has done he will do again, for he changes not. He is faithful to his promises, and gracious to his saints; he will not turn away from his people.

“Though thou slay me I will trust,

Praise thee even from the dust,

Prove, and tell it as I prove,

Thine unutterable love.

Thou mayst chasten and correct,

But thou never canst neglect;

Since the ransom price is paid,

On thy love my hope is stay’d.”

C. H. Spurgeon

Job 13:15 (KJV)

15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him

Psalm 31:5 King James Version (KJV)

Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. – Acts 8:37 – Do you believeth??

Acts 8:37 (KJV) 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

These words may answer your scruples, devout reader, concerning the ordinances. Perhaps you say, “I should be afraid to be Saved; it is such a solemn thing to avow myself to be dead with Christ, and buried with him. I should not feel at liberty to come to the Master’s table; I should be afraid of eating and drinking damnation unto myself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

Ah! poor trembler, Jesus has given you liberty, be not afraid. If a stranger came to your house, he would stand at the door, or wait in the hall; he would not dream of intruding unbidden into your parlour–he is not at home: but your child makes himself very free about the house; and so is it with the child of God. A stranger may not intrude where a child may venture.

When the Holy Ghost has given you to feel the spirit of adoption, you may come to Christian ordinances without fear. The same rule holds good of the Christian’s inward privileges. You think, poor seeker, that you are not allowed to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; if you are permitted to get inside Christ’s door, or sit at the bottom of his table, you will be well content.

Ah! but you shall not have less privileges than the very greatest. God makes no difference in his love to his children. A child is a child to him; he will not make him a hired servant; but he shall feast upon the fatted calf, and shall have the music and the dancing as much as if he had never gone astray. When Jesus comes into the heart, he issues a general licence to be glad in the Lord.

No chains are worn in the court of King Jesus. Our admission into full privileges may be gradual, but it is sure. Perhaps our reader is saying, “I wish I could enjoy the promises, and walk at liberty in my Lord’s commands.”

“If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Loose the chains of thy neck, O captive daughter, for Jesus makes thee free.

C.H. Spurgeon

 Romans 10:9 (KJV) 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

But, wicked man, what comes afterwards? Will it be heaven or hell?

Yes, death is after me and thee. Ah, run! run! run! but run as thou wilt, the rider on the white horse shall overtake thee. If thou canst escape him 70 years, he will overtake thee at last. Death is riding! Here his horse comes—I hear his snortings, I feel his hot breath; he comes! he comes! and thou must die! But, wicked man, what comes afterwards? Will it be heaven or hell? O, if it be hell that is after thee, where art thou when thou art cast away from God? Ah, I pray God deliver you from hell; he is coming after you, sure enough; and if you have no hiding-place, woe unto you.
–Charles Spurgeon

Find God’s perfect will and do it until the day you die.

Find God’s perfect will and do it until the day you die.

Numbers 33:55   “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.”

When defining the will of God, you must understand that God has a will for many areas of your life. We put much emphasis on the will of God, and we should, but because so much emphasis is put upon God’s will, many have a false assumption that God has one perfect will for your life. Actually, there is a perfect will of God for every area of your life. There is a perfect will for your marriage, family, church membership, etc. In each of these areas it is important for you to find God’s perfect will and do it until the day you die.

In the verse above, God warned the children of Israel about stopping short of His perfect will. God’s perfect will was for them to completely drive out all the inhabitants of the land. God knew that the habit of the children of Israel was to stop short of His will. They stopped short of His will in the wilderness by not going into Canaan the first time. They stopped short of God’s perfect will when they gathered too much manna. Once again, God warned them that if they stopped short of His perfect will that they would suffer for that decision for the rest of their lives.

It is wonderful thing to find the perfect will of God for your life. Nothing will bring more happiness than finding God’s perfect will and doing it. There are many people who find God’s perfect will, but they don’t do it. Then there are some who find God’s perfect will, but they stop short of completing it. When you stop short of doing all of God’s perfect will, then you end up not obeying it. It doesn’t matter that you started doing God’s will, what matters is that you complete it to the extent that God wants. Stopping short of God’s perfect will is nothing less than disobedience.

Finding God’s perfect will in the area of marriage is wonderful. You can find that person whom God wants you to marry and marry them, but also God’s perfect will is for you to stay married until the day you die. God’s perfect will is for you to stay faithful to your spouse to the day of your death. Stopping short of any of these is as if you never did His perfect will at all. Don’t stop short of God’s perfect will for your marriage because of personal differences or another person. You’ve come this far, now complete God’s will for your marriage. If you’re having marital problems, then get help, but don’t stop short of God’s perfect will for your marriage.

Likewise, don’t stop short of God’s perfect will for your calling in life. If God called you to do something, then do it until the day you die. I have seen too many people start God’s calling for their life, and then quit during times of hardship. God’s perfect will for His calling on your life is to do it until you die. Just because greater financial opportunities arise doesn’t mean His will has changed. According to Romans 11:29, God’s calling doesn’t change. Do it until He calls you to Heaven.

Though we only discussed two areas of God’s perfect will, let me encourage you to not stop short of God’s perfect will in any area. Always remember that when you stop short of God’s perfect will, you are only asking to bring hardships upon your life. God’s perfect will may not be easy, but there is peace and personal satisfaction in doing it.

domelleministries-profpicAllen Domelle is founder of Allen Domelle Ministries. This ministry is to serve independent Baptist churches and their people across America and even the world.

http://www.oldpathsjournal.com/

You just can’t serve God until you surrender by Tom Wallace

You just can’t serve God until you surrender. He will not come and make me serve Him. He is not going to put a harness on me and say, “You’re going to do this whether you like it or not.” He offers me the opportunity, and He says to me through the Apostle Paul’s writings in Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,… acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
This is not an order from some ecclesiastical headquarters. This is not some tough sergeant on the drill field at Fort Knox. This is not some denominational leader passing down some ecclesiastical dogma. This is a passionate plea from the heart of one so concerned and burdened that he said, “I beseech you…that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
What we give Him, He accepts; and what He accepts, He cleanses; and what He cleanses, He fills; and what He fills, He uses; and what He uses, He blesses.
–Tom Wallace

“Brethern, do something, do something, let us win souls

“Brethern, do something, do something, do something!  While societies and unions make constitutions, let us win souls.” ~Charles Spurgeon

You may be asking the question as to what you can do in a practical way to reach people for the Kingdom of God. Here are a few suggestions: There are a number of evangelistic organizations you may like to join. I was in Gideons International for seven years, until I became a pastor, as they don’t allow pastors to be involved, only lay people. It is such a blessing to be involved in an organization that gives away copies of God’s Word. Then there is Youth With A Mission, Youth For Christ, Campus Crusade for Christ, and many others you could become involved in. Perhaps you could invest in a small advertisement in the personal column of your local paper saying something like “Find reality, read John 8:31-32.” Get a cost quote before you commit yourself. I wanted to buy a full page in the L.A. Times during the Gulf War in 1991. I thought it would be around $6,000, and figured I could probably raise that amount of money.

I called the Times and the gentleman gave me the cost: “A full page is $61,023.” I thought he had slipped an extra number in by mistake. Wrong. I dropped that idea quickly.

Perhaps you could visit a hospital once a week, with the purpose of finding and befriending someone who doesn’t normally have visitors. If you have a flare for drama, start a drama group. How about writing a tract? Don’t say, “But I can’t write,” say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Write out your testimony, and have a friend or two read it, and give their opinions. Then print out the edited copy, and have it typeset at your local printers. Remember to get quotes before you do anything, so that you won’t get burned. When it is printed, keep copies in your wallet or purse to give to old friends or people you meet, with the words, “You may like to read this when you have a moment, I wrote it myself.” Put copies into the envelope when paying bills.

Back in the late 70′s I had 40-50 children in my garage every Friday for a 20-minute “Good-time” Club. I remember praying that God would send me someone who could play a guitar to give the music a bit of a lift. One Friday evening, my brother-in-law walked into our living room knowing nothing of my prayer, and said, “For some reason I feel the Lord wants me to give you my guitar.” I hadn’t thought of me. I was never able to play a guitar, but now I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me (I just have trouble convincing those within earshot).

You could easily start a club through your local church. When I decided to start mine, I just took a marker pen and wrote, “KIDS CLUB, FRIDAY 4 P.M., (ADDRESS), CANDY, PRIZES, STORIES AND SONGS,” gave out photocopies at a school gate, and had a crowd of children eager to learn about the things of God. Nowadays, with all the allegations and accusations of child molestation, etc., it would be wise to have both male and female leaders. Start with a firm hand, sing some lively songs, tell a Bible story, teach a memory verse, give out some candy, then tell the kids, “It’s all over, see you next week.” If the children don’t say, “Ohhhhhhh!” you’ve probably gone on too long and they may not be back the following week. I found 20 minutes was adequate for most.

Sometimes talented Christians don’t feel right about using their gift of music or writing, etc., to reach the unsaved. It is often because of their own pride, that their conscience is condemning them, and not God. This happens regularly with counter-culture people who become Christians. Their conscience will not allow them to eat meat. After some time they come across a scripture such as 1 Timothy 4:3-4, which says that God has created all foods “to be received with thanksgiving by them who believe and know truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused, if it is received with thanksgiving.” Immediately their conscience is released by understanding the Word of God.

When we understand the emphasis which the Word of God places upon evangelism, we should humble ourselves, thank God for the gift He has given us, then use it for His glory. If you have got no apparent talents, visit an old folk’s home, or ask your pastor if you can help in any way within the local church. Do something for God. Desire to do nothing, and God will give you the desires of your heart.

This article was excerpted from How To Win Souls and Influence People by Ray Comfort, (pages 85-88).

Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God? By Jason Carlson and Ron Carlson

During a question and answer session at a recent speaking engagement, a university student asked me, “Why do you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God?” Now this is a very interesting question; and probably one of the most important questions any Christian could ask themselves. What is so special, so unique about the Bible that Christians believe it is literally the inspired word of God?

In answering this student’s question, I encouraged him to consider the following facts about the Bible:

First, the Bible is not just one single book. This is a more common misconception than many people realize, especially with people who do not come from a Judeo-Christian background. Rather than being a single book, the Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, which is called the canon of scriptures. These 66 books contain a variety of genres: history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, letters, and apocalyptic just to name a few.

Second, these 66 books were written by 40 different authors. These authors came from a variety of backgrounds: shepherds, fishermen, doctors, kings, prophets, and others. And most of these authors never knew one another personally.

Third, these 66 books were written over a period of 1500 years. Yet again, this is another reminder that many of these authors never knew or collaborated with one another in writing these books.

Fourth, the 66 books of the Bible were written in 3 different languages. In the Bible we have books that were written in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; a reflection of the historical and cultural circumstances in which each of these books were written.

And finally, these 66 books were written on 3 different continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. Once again, this is a testament to the varied historical and cultural circumstances of God’s people.

Think about the above realities: 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents. What’s more, this collection of books shares a common storyline- the creation, fall, and redemption of God’s people; a common theme- God’s universal love for all of humanity; and a common message- salvation is available to all who repent of their sins and commit to following God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. In addition to sharing these commonalities, these 66 books contain no historical errors or contradictions. God’s word truly is an amazing collection of writings!

After I had shared the above facts with this student, I offered him the following challenge: I said to him, “If you do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, if you do not believe that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, than I challenge you to a test.” I said to the student, “I challenge you to go to any library in the world, you can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible. You must choose 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, written on 3 different continents. However, they must share a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, with no historical errors or contradictions.” I went on to say, “If you can produce such a collection of books, I will admit that the Bible is not the inspired word of God.” The student’s reply was almost instantaneous, he emphatically stated, “But that’s impossible!”

“But that’s impossible!” It truly is impossible, for any collection of human writings. However, the Bible passes this test. The Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents, with no historical errors or contradictions. The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, bears the mark of Divine inspiration.

The next time you encounter someone who asks you why you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, try sharing this challenge with them. Better yet, don’t wait until you’re asked, just go ahead and share this challenge with a friend today. You don’t even have to mention the Bible up front, just ask them if they think it would be realistic to assemble such a collection of books. After they say, “But that’s impossible!” you’ve got a ready-made opportunity for sharing the truth of God’s word with somebody!

Daniel 9:8 “O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, because we have sinned against thee.”

A deep sense and clear sight of sin, its heinousness, and the punishment which it deserves, should make us lie low before the throne. We have sinned as Christians. Alas! that it should be so. Favoured as we have been, we have yet been ungrateful: privileged beyond most, we have not brought forth fruit in proportion.

Who is there, although he may long have been engaged in the Christian warfare, that will not blush when he looks back upon the past? As for our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we have sinned against light and against love–light which has really penetrated our minds, and love in which we have rejoiced.

Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply compared with the sin of one of God’s own elect ones, who has had communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus’ bosom. Look at David! Many will talk of his sin, but I pray you look at his repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground, and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his harp! We have erred: let us, therefore, seek the spirit of penitence

Look, again, at Peter! We speak much of Peter’s denying his Master. Remember, it is written, “He wept bitterly.” Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears? Alas! these sins of ours, before and after conversion, would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire if it were not for the sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning.

My soul, bow down under a sense of thy natural sinfulness, and worship thy God. Admire the grace which saves thee–the mercy which spares thee–the love which pardons thee!

C.H. Spurgeon

We must Keep Praying Until GOD Answers You

Keep Praying Until GOD Answers You   By R.A. Torrey

There are two passages in the Gospel of Luke which throw a flood of light upon the question, “What sort of praying is it that prevails with God and obtains what it seeks from Him?” and also upon the question, “Why is it that many prayers of God’s own children come short of obtaining that which we seek of God?”

The first of these two passages you will find in Luke 11:5–10; our Lord Jesus Himself is the speaker:

“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;

“For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

“And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

“I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

 

Keep on Praying Until You Get It!

The central lesson in this parable of our Lord is: When we pray, if we do not obtain the thing the first time, pray again; and if we do not obtain it the second time, pray a third time; and if we do not obtain it the hundredth time, go on praying until we do get it.

We should do much thinking before we ask anything of God and be clear that we ask according to His will. We should not rush heedlessly into God’s presence and ask for the first thing that comes to mind without giving proper thought to the question of whether it is really what we ought to have. But when we have decided that we should pray for something, we should keep on praying until we get it.

The word translated importunity in verse 8 is a deeply significant word. Its primary meaning is “shamelessness”—that is, it sets forth the persistent determination in prayer to God that will not be put to shame by any apparent refusal on His part to grant the thing that we ask.

This is a very startling way that our Lord employs to set forth the necessity of “importunity” and persistence in prayer. It is as if the Lord would have us understand that God would have us draw nigh to Him with a resolute determination to obtain the things that we seek, a determination that will not be put to shame by any seeming refusal or delay on God’s part.

 

The Syrophenician Woman

Our Heavenly Father delights in the holy boldness that will not take no for an answer. The reason why He delights in it is that it is an expression of great faith, and nothing pleases God more than faith.

We have an illustration of this holy boldness in the woman of Syrophenicia in Matthew 15:21–28. She came to Jesus Christ for the healing of her daughter. She cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”

But our Lord seemed to pay no attention to her: “He answered her not a word.” His disciples besought Him, saying, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.”

In spite of His apparent deafness to her appeal, she kept on crying. Then He turned to her with an apparently more positive rebuff: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” and she was not of the house of Israel.

Then she worshipped Him and kept on calling to Him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

Then came what almost appears to be a cruel rebuff: “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs.”

(The word He used for dogs was a peculiar word that meant a little pet dog, and was not at all as harsh as it seems, although it was an apparent refusal to hear her prayer. But, as we shall see, our Lord was simply putting her faith to the test that she might get an even larger blessing.)

Then she said, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” She would not take no for an answer.

And then came one of the most wonderful words of commendation that ever fell from the lips of our Lord:

“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

That sort of thing pleases God. He would have us have that faith in His lovingkindness and in Himself that, even when He seems not to hear, will trust Him still to hear.

God does not always give you the things you ask the first time you ask, but don’t give up; keep on praying until you do get them.

We should not only pray, but we should PRAY THROUGH.

It is deeply significant that this parable to persist in prayer comes almost immediately after the request on the part of the disciples of our Lord: “Lord, teach us to pray.” Then follows Luke’s version of the so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” actually the disciples’ prayer.

 

The Widow Would Not Let the Unjust Judge Rest

The same lesson is taught in a very striking way in the second passage in Luke to which I have already referred, Luke 18:1–8:

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

“Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

“And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

“And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

“Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

“And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith [literally, "the faith"] on the earth?”

We find the central lesson of this parable in the words with which our Lord Jesus opens the parable, which are really the text of the whole parable: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” The clear meaning of the parable is that when we pray, we are to pray on and on until we get the thing we desire of God.

The exact force of the parable is that if even an unrighteous judge will yield to persistent prayer and grant the thing that he did not wish to grant, how much more will a loving God yield to the persistent cries of His children and give the things that He longs to give, but which it would not be wise to give, would not be for their own good, unless they were trained to that persevering faith that will not take no for an answer.

So we see again that God does not always give us at the first asking what we desire of Him in prayer.

 

God Wants to Train Us in Persistent Faith

Why is it that God does not give to us the things that we ask, the first time we ask? The answer is plain: He would do us the far greater good of training us in persistent faith.

The things we get by our other forms of effort than prayer do not always become ours the first time we make an effort to get them.

For our own good God compels us to be persistent in our effort; just so, God does not always give us what we ask the first time we pray. Just as He would train us to be strong men and women along the other lines of effort, so also He would train us to be and make us to be strong men and women of prayer by compelling us to pray hard for the best things. He compels us to “pray through.”

Many today tell us we ought not pray for the same thing a second time. Sometimes they say the way to pray is to ask God for a thing and then “take it” by faith the first time we ask.

That is true oftentimes. When we find a thing definitely promised in the Word, we can rest upon that. When we have prayed, knowing that we have asked according to God’s will, the prayer is heard, and we have received. Resting there, ask no more but claim the thing as ours.

But that is only one side of the truth. The other side is, there are times when it is not made clear the first time, nor the second time, nor the third time, that what we ask is according to His will and, therefore, the prayer is heard and the thing asked granted. In such a case we are to pray on and on and on.

While doubtless there are times when we are able through faith in the Word, or through the clear leading of the Holy Spirit, to claim a thing the first time we have asked of God, nevertheless, beyond a question there are other times when we must pray again and again and again for the same thing before we get our answer.

Those who claim that they have gotten beyond praying twice for the same thing have either gotten beyond our Master, or else they have not gotten up to Him. We are told distinctly regarding Him in Matthew 26:44, “And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” The truth is, they have not yet gotten up to the Master, not that they have gotten beyond Him.

 

It Is Spiritual Laziness and Unbelief to Give Up Too Soon

There are many who, when they pray for a thing once or twice and do not get it, stop praying. They call it “submission to the will of God” to pray no longer when God does not grant their request at the first or second asking. They say, “Well, perhaps it is not God’s will.” They call that submission to the will of God.

But as a rule, this is not submission to His will, but spiritual laziness and lack of determination in that most all-important of all human lines of effort—prayer.

None of us ever think of calling it submission to the will of God when we give up after one or two efforts to obtain things by our lack of strength of character.

When the strong man of action starts out to accomplish a thing, if he does not accomplish it the first, or the second, or the hundredth time, he keeps hammering away until he does. Just so when the strong man of prayer starts to pray for a thing, he keeps on praying until he prays it through and obtains what he seeks.

How fond we are of calling bad things in our conduct by good names. We call our spiritual inertia and laziness and indifference “submission to the will of God.”

We should be very careful about what we ask from God; but when we do begin to pray for a thing, we must never give up until we get it, or until God definitely makes it very clear that it is not His will to give it.

I am glad that the first time we ask, God does not always give us the things that we seek from Him. There is no more blessed training in prayer than that which comes through being compelled to ask again and again and again, even through a long period of years, before one obtains that which he seeks from God. Then when it does come, what a sense we have that God really is and that He really does answer prayer!

 

Two People Saved After Years of Prayer

I recall an experience of my own that was full of blessing to me and full of encouragement to my faith.

In my first pastorate there were two whom God put upon my heart and for whose salvation I prayed through my entire time there. But I left that field of labor without seeing either one converted. When I went to Germany for further study, then took a new pastorate in Minneapolis, I kept on praying every day for those two.

I went back to the place where I began my ministry to hold a series of meetings, still praying every day for their conversion. Then one night in that series of meetings when I gave out the invitation for all who would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, those two arose side by side. There was no special reason why they should be side by side, for they were not relatives. When I saw those two for whom I had prayed all those years standing up side by side to accept the Lord, what an overwhelming sense came over my soul that there is a God who hears prayer if we meet the conditions and follow His method of prevailing prayer!

 

Revivals Come Because of Persistent Prayer

We find right here why it is that many prayers fail to accomplish that which we seek from God. We pray and pray and pray, and are almost up to the verge of the attainment of that for which we are praying, and right then, when God is just about to answer the prayer, we stop and miss the blessing.

For example, in many churches and communities there are those who are praying for a revival. The revival does not come at once, it does not come for some time, but they keep on praying. They have nearly prayed through. They are right on the verge of attaining what they sought, and if they would pray a little longer, the revival would break upon them. But they get discouraged, throw up their hands and quit. They are just on the border of the blessing, but they do not cross into the Promised Land.

In January 1900 or 1901, the faculty of the Bible Institute of Chicago instituted a late prayer meeting Saturday nights from nine to ten o’clock, to pray for a worldwide revival.

After we had been praying for some time, a thing happened that I knew would happen. People came to me, or to my colleague who was most closely identified with me in the conduct of these meetings, and they would say, “Has the revival come?”

“No, not as far as we can see.”

“When is it coming?”

“We don’t know.”

“How long are you going to pray?”

“Until it comes.”

And come it did—a revival that began there in that prayer meeting room of the Bible Institute in Chicago, then broke out in far-away China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, India, and swept around the world, with most marvelous manifestations of God’s saving power—not merely through Mr. Charles Alexander and myself, but through a multitude of others in India, Wales and elsewhere. In Wales, for example, under Evan Roberts and others, it resulted in one hundred thousand professed conversions in twelve months.

I believe that God is looking to us today to pray through again.

 

Saved After Fifteen Years of Daily Prayer

I prayed fifteen long years for the conversion of my oldest brother. When he seemed to be getting farther and farther away from any hope of conversion, I prayed on.

My first winter in Chicago, after fifteen years of praying, never missing a single day, one morning God said to me as I knelt, “I have heard your prayer. You need not pray anymore; your brother is going to be converted.”

Within two weeks he was in my home, shut in with sickness which made it impossible for him to leave my home for two weeks. Then the day he left he accepted Christ over in the Bible Institute in Mr. Moody’s office, where he and I went to talk and pray together.

I told this incident when holding meetings in a certain city. An elderly woman came at the close of the meeting and said, “I have been praying for the conversion of my brother, who is sixty-three years old, for many years; but a short time ago I gave up and stopped praying.” She added, “I am going to begin my prayers again.” Within two weeks of that time she came and said, “I have heard from my brother, and he has accepted Christ.”

Oh, men and women, pray through; pray through; pray through! Do not just begin to pray and pray a little while and throw up your hands and quit; but pray and pray and pray until God bends the heavens and comes down!