By Kenneth E. Hagin
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in this
volume are from the King James Version of the Bible.
Eighth Printing 1991
In the U.S. write: In Canada write:
Kenneth Hagin Ministries Kenneth Hagin Ministries
P.O. Box 50126 P.O. Box 335
Tulsa, OK 74150-0126 Islington (Toronto), Ontario
Canada, M9A 4X3
Copyright © 1985 RHEMA Bible Church
AKA Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Printed in USA
The Faith Shield is a trademark of RHEMA Bible Church, AKA Kenneth
Hagin Ministries, Inc., registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
and therefore may not be duplicated.
BOOKS BY KENNETH E. HAG IN
*Redeemed From Poverty, Sickness and Spiritual Death
*What Faith Is
*Seven Vital Steps To Receiving the Holy Spirit
*Right and Wrong Thinking
*Authority of the Believer (foreign only)
*How To Turn Your Faith Loose
The Key to Scriptural Healing
Praying To Get Results
The Present-Day Ministry of Jesus Christ
The Gift of Prophecy
Healing Belongs to Us
The Real Faith *The
How You Can Know the Will of God
Man on Three Dimensions
The Human Spirit
Turning Hopeless Situations Around
Casting Your Cares Upon the Lord
Seven Steps for Judging Prophecy
Faith Food for Autumn
Faith Food for Winter
Faith Food for Spring
Faith Food for Summer
*The New Birth *Why
Tongues? *In Him
*God's Medicine *You Can Have
What You Say
How To Write Your Own Ticket With God
*Don 't Blame God 'Words
Plead Your Case *How To
Keep Your Healing
Laying on of Hands
A Better Covenant
Having Faith in Your Faith
Five Hindrances to Growth in Grace
Why Do People Fall Under the Power?
The Bible Way To Receive the Holy Spirit
Godliness Is Profitable
I Went to Hell
Three Big Words
Obedience in Finances
His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful
Paul's Revelation: The Gospel of Reconciliation
How To Walk in Love
The Precious Blood of Jesus
Love Never Fails
How God Taught Me About Prosperity
Learning To Forget
The Coming Restoration
The Gifts and Calling of God
Signs of the Times
Learning To Flow With the Spirit of God
The Glory of God
Hear and Be Healed
Knowing What Belongs to Us
*New Thresholds of Faith
*Prevailing Prayer to Peace
*Concerning Spiritual Gifts
Bible Faith Study Course
Bible Prayer Study Course
The Holy Spirit and His Gifts
*The Ministry Gifts (Study Guide)
Seven Things You Should Know About Divine Healing
Zoe: The God-Kind of Life
A Commonsense Guide to Fasting
Must Christians Suffer?
The Woman Question
The Believer's Authority
Ministering to Your Family
What To Do When Faith Seems Weak and Victory Lost
Growing Up, Spiritually
Bodily Healing and the Atonement
Exceedingly Growing Faith
Understanding the Anointing
I Believe in Visions
Understanding How To Fight the Good Fight of Faith
The Art of Intercession
Plans, Purposes, and Pursuits
How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God
A Fresh Anointing
BOOKS BY KENNETH HAGIN JR.
*Man's Impossibility — God's Possibility
Because of Jesus
The Key to the Supernatural
*Faith Worketh by Love
Blueprint for Building Strong Faith
*Seven Hindrances to Healing *The
Past Tense of God's Word
How To Make the Dream God Gave You Come True
Faith Takes Back What the Devil's Stolen
"The Prison Door Is Open — What Are You Still Doing Inside?"
Where Do We Go From Here?
How To Be a Success in Life
Get Acquainted With God
Showdown With the Devil
The Answer for Oppression
Is Your Miracle Passing You By?
The Life of Obedience
Ministering to the Brokenhearted
God's Irresistible Word
Healing: Forever Settled
Don't Quit! Your Faith Will See You Through
The Untapped Power in Praise
*These titles are also available in Spanish. Information about other foreign translations
of several of the above titles (i.e., Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Polish, Russian,
etc.) may be obtained by writing to: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, P.O. Box 50126, Tulsa,
1.Seven Steps to Answered Prayer (Part 1).............................. 1
2.Seven Steps to Answered Prayer (Part 2).............................. 5
3.The Prayer That Unlocks Heaven............................................9
4.The Authority of Jesus' Name...............................................13
5.The Prayer of Agreement....................................................... 17
6.The Six Most Important Things in Prayer (Part 1). . . . 21
7.The Six Most Important Things in Prayer (Part 2). . . 25
8.Interpreting Our Prayers in the Spirit..................................29
9.Tongues — A Flowing Stream of Praise............................... 33
10.Prayer on a New Dimension....................................................37
11.The Prayers of Petition and Consecration............................41
12.The Prayer of Worship (Part 1).............................................45
13.The Prayer of Worship (Part 2).............................................49
15.The Prayer of Commitment................................................... 57
16.What Jesus Said About Prayer (Part 1)................................61
17.What Jesus Said About Prayer (Part 2)................................65
18.What Jesus Said About Prayer (Part 3)................................69
19.What Jesus Said About Prayer (Part 4)................................73
20.What Paul Said About Prayer (Part 1)...................................77
21.What Paul Said About Prayer (Part 2)...................................79
22.What Others Said About Prayer (Part 1)...............................83
23.What Others Said About Prayer (Part 2)...............................87
24.The Will of God in Prayer (Part 1).......................................93
25.The Will of God in Prayer (Part 2)........................................99
26.The Will of God in Prayer (Part 3)...................................... 103
In order to be successful in our ing, we don't have any business pray-
prayer life, God's Word must be ing for it. We should not want
foremost. As we feed upon His Word, anything that the Word of God says
we build it into our inner conscious- we shouldn't have.
ness. Then, in time of need, we are On the other hand, when praying
prepared. We can use the appropriate for things that are expressly promised
Scriptures against the devil when he in the Word, we can have complete
tries to make us doubt God and rob us confidence that God will give us what
of what we want. we need. Years ago I wrote in red ink
In the wilderness when Satan on the fly leaf of my Bible, "The
tempted Jesus to turn stones into Bible says it, I believe it, and that
bread, Jesus answered with the Word. settles it!"
He said, "... It is written, That man Many people try to pray beyond
shall not live by bread alone, but by their faith. It is the Word of God that
every word of God." Then Satan took gives faith. "So then faith cometh by
Him up on a high mountain and showed hearing, and hearing by the word of
Him all the kingdoms of the world. He God" (Rom. 10:17). The reason people
told Jesus if He would worship him, he do not pray with confidence and faith
would give all these kingdoms to Him. is because they do not know the Scrip-
Again Jesus answered, "... it is written, tures well enough to know if what they
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, are praying for is God's will. They may
and him only shalt thou serve." hope it is, but they don't know it is.
Satan then took Jesus upon a pin- As we read God's Word and learn His
nacle of the Temple and said to Him, will, we can appropriate His promises
"... cast thyself down.. . . " Again Jesus for our every need.
answered with the Word, saying, "...
It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Step 3: Ask God for the
Lord thy God" (Luke 4:3-12). Things You Want
Jesus used the same weapon to
defeat the devil that all believers have MATTHEW 7:7,8
today: the Word of God. All we have 7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and
to do in the face of temptation and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened
doubt is to say, "It is written." If the unto you:
8For every one that asketh receiveth; and
Scriptures are firmly implanted in our
he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
heart, we are prepared for any attacks knocketh it shall be opened.
of the devil.
In matters of guidance, search the In Matthew 6:8 Jesus said, "...
Scriptures to see what God has to say your Father knoweth what things ye
about any situation. His Word plainly have need of, before ye ask him." Yet
shows us His will. If the Scriptures in the next chapter, as we see in the
don't promise us what we may be seek- verses quoted above, He tells us to ask
Him for our needs. Therefore, even
though He knows our needs, He Word of God, I start walking by
wants us to bring them to Him and revelation truth. I walk by what God
ask His help. says.
That which is in the spiritual realm
is made real in the natural realm
Step 4: Believe That You
through faith. Faith grasps it and
Receive creates the reality of it in our life.
MARK 11:23,24 Therefore, when you pray, believe
23For verily I say unto you, That whoso that you receive that which you are
ever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou asking for and you shall have it. This
removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and is beyond our natural thinking. The
shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe natural mind cannot grasp it, but we
that those things which he saith shall come are to walk by faith and not by sight.
to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Once while preaching in a small
24Therefore I say unto you, What things church, I got too warm. When I
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that stepped outdoors after the service, my
ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
body was wet with perspiration. When
The Amplified version of the above the cold outdoor air hit me in the face,
verse says, " . . . whatever you ask for my throat started hurting, and by the
in prayer, believe — trust and be confi - time I reached the parking lot, I could
dent — that it is granted to you, and hardly speak. The next day my chest
you will [get it]." started hurting and I couldn't speak
To understand this better, we need above a whisper.
to realize that there are two kinds of I started reading Scriptures on
truth: sense-knowledge truth and healing. With my Bible open before
revelation truth. me, I prayed silently and said, "Lord,
Some people think truth pertains your Word tells me I am healed. If I
to things they can see with their asked my body if I were healed, the
physical eyes. But we cannot see the answer would be no. If I asked my feel-
things of the Spirit. They are not flesh; ings if I were healed, the answer would
they are not material. be no. If I were to ask the people
Everything we need is provided for around me if I were healed, they would
us in the spiritual realm. "Blessed be say I was not.
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus "Your Word says God is truth and
Christ, who hath blessed us with all every man is a liar. So if I say I'm not
spiritual blessings in heavenly places healed, I am a liar. Your Word says
in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). Our needs have that God cannot he. Romans 3:4 says,
been provided for in Christ Jesus. We 'God forbid: yea, let God be true, but
may not always be able to see them, every man a liar; as it is written, That
but they are there. thou mightest be justified in thy say-
When "sense-knowledge truth" ings, and mightest overcome when
contradicts "revelation truth," or the thou art judged.' "
When time came for the evening times until my voice came back. Then
service, I stepped up to the micro- I preached my sermon with a strong,
phone and said I wanted to thank God clear voice. That night the congrega-
that I was healed. The congregation tion saw an illustration of faith in
looked at me as if I were crazy, because action.
I was barely whispering. All we have to do is ask God for the
I began to tell them what the Word things we want, and believe that we
of God says about healing. I showed have them.
them from the Word that I was
healed. I told them what God says is Memory Text:
true and that if I said I wasn't healed, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,
I would be lying. I told them that I and ye shall find; knock, and it shall
wanted them to stand and praise God be opened unto you: For every one that
with me because I was healed. asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
As we stood and began praising findeth; and to him that knocketh it
God, I hadn't said "hallelujah" three shall be opened" (Matt. 7:7,8).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
Seven Steps to Answered Prayer
Bible Texts: Proverbs 4:20-22; Philippians 4:6
Central Truth: Thinking faith thoughts and speaking faith words lead
the heart out of defeat into victory.
The previous lesson covered four doubt for one minute that you have
steps to take to see our prayers the answer. If doubts persist, rebuke
answered: them. Get your mind on the answer.
1.Decide what you want from James 4:7 says, "... Resist the devil,
God. Be specific in stating and he will flee from you." Doubt is of
your the devil. Resist it.
petitions. Eradicate every image, suggestion,
2.Read Scriptures that promise feeling, or thought that does not con-
the answer you need. Search the tribute to your faith. Concentrate on
Bible things that contribute to your confes
for Scriptures that apply to your sion for what you need from God.
need. When our daughter, Pat, was 3
Plant God's Word firmly in your years old, a growth appeared in the
heart corner of her left eye. It kept growing
so you will be prepared against larger and larger until it was the size
Satan's of the end of her little finger. It was
attacks. a cause for concern.
3.Ask God for the things you I knew in my spirit that it was
want. Make your wants known to going to go away. Friends told us,
God. "Oh, it probably will go away as she
Even though He knows what we gets older." I knew when God healed
Pat, they would say the growth would
have gone away anyway, so I took her
it is His divine plan that we make
to an eye specialist for an examination.
He said Pat had a type of growth
wants known to Him.
that would never go away without
4.Believe that you receive. Develop
surgery. He suggested she be operated
a stubborn faith that refuses to
on, because the growth would become
look larger and larger until eventually it
at circumstances — a faith that would hang down over her face. I
pro thanked him for his diagnosis and left.
In this lesson we will deal with
three more steps to take to pray more
Step 5: Refuse To Doubt
Let every thought and desire
affirm that you have what you ask.
Never permit a mental picture of
failure to remain in your mind. Never
That night about 10:15 I prayed God for the healing that I really don't
about it and said, "Lord, the doctor know when the growth left. A few days
said an operation is necessary, but later we were driving along and Pat
John 16:23 says, '... Whatsoever ye was standing on the front seat be-
shall ask the Father in my name, he tween Oretha and me. I turned to say
will give it you.' I am standing on that something to Oretha and I noticed
Scripture. I have asked you, and now Pat's growth was gone. When I men-
I believe you have done it. I believe tioned it to Oretha, she told me it had
tonight at 10:15 for my baby's healing. been gone for about 10 days.
I thank You for the healing." We saw a miracle as a result of
I got off my knees, and as I started believing God and thanking Him for
to go to bed, the devil told me to turn the answer, even though our physical
the light on and see if the growth was senses told us it had not happened.
gone. Immediately I resisted that This is the realm in which the battle
thought. Several times during the of prayer is fought and won.
night I was awakened with the same Our thoughts are governed by
thought — to go see if the growth was observation, association, and teach-
gone yet. ings. We must guard against every
I said, "Satan, why should I get up evil thought and doubt that comes into
and turn the light on to see if it's gone our mind. We must stay away from all
yet? I know it's gone, because I have places and things that do not support
God's Word for it." our confession that God has answered
The same suggestion returned the our prayer. (Sometimes this means
next morning, and again I pushed it staying away from churches that teach
from my mind. I kept saying Pat had more doubt than faith.)
received the healing the night before Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally,
at 10:15. brethren, whatsoever things are true,
When I saw her at breakfast, the whatsoever things are honest, whatso-
growth was still on her eye, but the ever things are just, whatsoever
Bible tells us to walk by faith and not things are pure, whatsoever things are
by sight. I ignored the physical lovely, whatsoever things are of good
evidence of the growth. I walked by report; if there be any virtue, and if
faith and kept thanking God for her there be any praise, think on these
Every time our family gathered at
the dinner table, I saw that ugly
growth sticking right out at me. But
Step 6: Meditate on the
I just kept thanking God for the heal-
ing which had taken place that night PROVERBS 4:20-22
at 10:15 when I prayed and believed 20My son, attend to my words; incline
that I received. thine ear unto my sayings.
I was so engrossed in thanking 21Let them not depart from thine eyes;
keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find have long to live. Months had passed
them, and health to all their flesh. and, although bedfast, she was still
Meditate constantly on the When I talked to her, she said she
promises on which you base your was old enough to die, but I encour-
answer to prayer. See yourself in aged her to let God heal her first,
possession of what you have asked because she could still win many souls
from God, and make plans as if it at her age. Then I read Proverbs
already were a reality. God will make 4:20-22 to her and told her to visualize
His Word good if you will act on it. herself well and preaching.
God's Word says He hears and When I saw this woman eight
answers prayer. If the Word doesn't months later, she was busy holding
depart from before your eyes, you are evangelistic meetings! She came up to
sure to see yourself with the things me after one of my services, threw her
you asked for. If you don't see yourself arms around me, and hugged me. It
with them, God's Word has departed startled me, and she realized I hadn't
from before your eyes. recognized her. She looked different
If you don't stand by the Word, because she had gained weight. She
God can't stand by you, even though appeared to be in excellent health.
He wants to. The only way God works She told me she was so glad I
is through His Word. He moves in hadn't let her die. She had done what
line with His Word. He has magnified I had told her to do: She had begun to
His Word above His Name! If you picture herself well, and now she was
stand by the Word, God will stand out working for God again. She said
by you. she had evangelistic meetings sched-
Many people pray and pray, but uled for the entire summer.
they don't pray according to the I later heard that this woman lived
Word. John 15:7 says, "If ye abide in to be 91 years old. She didn't die of
me, and my words abide in you, ye cancer. She enjoyed many more fruit-
shall ask what ye will, and it shall be ful years for the Master. Before her
done unto you," Jesus didn't just healing, she had pictured herself dead,
say, "// ye abide in me"; He added, but I got her to see herself with what
"and my words abide in you." With God had provided for her.
His words abiding in us, we have a We have to see ourselves with the
solid foundation. answer.
Once I went to pray for an elderly
evangelist in Fort Worth, Texas.
Many people had been saved and filled
Step 7: Give God the
with the Spirit under her ministry.
Now, at the age of 82, she had been PHILIPPIANS 4:6
operated on, and her doctors had found 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every
seven cancers in her body. They just thing by prayer and supplication with
sewed her up and told her she didn't
thanksgiving let your requests be made thank Him for it."
known unto God. Often people undo their prayers!
They get into unbelief and stay there,
The words "be careful for nothing"
as if they were spinning their wheels.
mean "in nothing be anxious." The
During a convention once in Texas,
Amplified Bible says, "Do not fret or
I heard Rev. Raymond T. Richey lead
have any anxiety about anything." As
in prayer for a man who was in the
long as we fret and are anxious, pray-
hospital, dying. After we prayed, we
ing and fasting won't do any good.
thanked God that He had heard us.
This verse says "with thanks-
Brother Richey started to walk
giving," and this comes after praying
away from the pulpit, but then turned
about the matter. We thank God for
around and went back to the micro-
the answer after we have prayed.
phone. He asked how many in the con-
The final step to answered prayer
gregation were going to keep praying
is to lift your heart to God constantly
for this man in the hospital. Nearly
in gratitude and increasing praise for
what He has done and for what He is everyone raised his hand.
doing for you now. "What do you want to do that
Make every prayer concerning your for?" Brother Richey asked. "We
need a statement of faith and praise, already have prayed for him. Now let
not a statement of unbelief. You can us keep praising God because He has
do this just as easily as you can think healed this man."
thoughts of doubt and unbelief. At the close of the service, someone
Thinking faith thoughts and speak- came in and announced that the dying
ing faith words lead the heart out of man had suddenly revived and was
defeat into victory! Do not accept going to be all right. He had seen Jesus
defeat. Do not be denied. It is your walk into his room and say, "I am the
family right — your redemption right Lord that healeth thee." He had
— to have what God has promised. It awakened and immediately was well.
is yours, and it will come. Accept it, This had happened while we had been
and it will become a reality. praying.
Andrew Murray said, "It is not The Christian who practices these
good taste to ask God for the same seven steps to answered prayer will
thing over and over again. If, when discover great victory in his prayer
you do pray again for something that life.
hasn't materialized, don't pray for it
in the same way, because that would Memory Text:
be unbelief. Remind God that you "If ye abide in me, and my words abide
asked for it and what His Word says, in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and
and tell Him you are expecting it. Then it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
The Prayer That Unlocks Heaven
Bible Texts: John 16:23,24; Ephesians 5:20
Central Truth: The Name of Jesus is the access to the heart of the
We have a key that unlocks the door to be sure our prayers reach the throne of
of our automobile. We may say that we God, we must come according to the rules
unlock the door, but really it is the key laid down in His Word.
that does it. We also have a key that In the above Scripture, Jesus said, "In
fits the ignition. We couldn't start the that day ye shall ask me nothing." He said
car without this key. This key is the this to His disciples before He went away.
important factor in driving the car. We He was talking about His present position
couldn't get anywhere without it. as Mediator, seated at the right hand of
The Name of Jesus Another translation reads, "In that
day ye shall not pray to me." Jesus said
There is a key to prayer that will to ask the Father in His Name. This is
unlock the doors and windows of the key that will unlock heaven in our
heaven and grant our every need. behalf.
Without this key we can't get anywhere. We can tell Jesus how much we love
This key is found in John 16: Him, but when it comes to praying, we
JOHN 16:23,24 must ask the Father through the Lord
23And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Jesus. Ephesians 3:14,15 says, "For this
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever cause I bow my knees unto the Father of
ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the
give it you. whole family in heaven and earth is
24Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my named." It is not important which church
name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your
we belong to, but it is important which
joy may be full.
family we belong to.
Jesus is our Mediator, Intercessor,
Advocate, and Lord. He stands between Overflowing Joy
us and the Father. No place in the Bible
is it ever recorded that Jesus told His John 16:24 says, "... ask, and ye shall
disciples to pray to Him. They always receive, that your joy may be full."
were told to pray to the Father in Jesus' There is real joy in knowing that the
Name. Therefore, if we want Father will answer our prayers.
The beloved preacher Smith If Wigglesworth had gone to work
Wigglesworth worked for many years that day with two sick children at
as a plumber before he began his full- home, his joy would not have been full.
time preaching ministry. One time He would have been worried. He would
while installing plumbing in a large have looked distressed. Instead, he
house, he noticed the owner kept had a light on his face — a radiance
coming in, looking at him, and then that was obvious to all who saw him.
leaving. Finally she entered the room Something seemed to flow out of him.
where he was working, sat down, and What was it? It was the joy the Father
asked, "What in the world is it that has promised when we ask Him for our
causes that wonderful expression on needs and receive in faith.
your face? You look as if you are full On another occasion Wigglesworth
of joy." was in dire financial need. At that time
He told her that morning at he was in London visiting in the home
breakfast his wife had told him two of of a wealthy man. Wigglesworth
their children were very ill. Before they simply committed his financial burden
ate, they went upstairs, laid hands on to the Lord and refused to worry
the children, and prayed for them. about it. He told no one. He knew the
They were instantly healed and joined Lord would take care of it.
their parents downstairs for breakfast. As he and his friend were out walk-
Wigglesworth said it was wonderful to ing in the park, Wigglesworth was
have such a wonderful Jesus. happy and singing, rejoicing in his
He told the woman the Scripture spirit. His rich friend commented that
says, "... ask, and ye shall receive, he would give all he owned to have the
that your joy may be full." (Certainly same spirit of joy that Wigglesworth
our joy could not be full if our children had.
were ill, but the Lord told us to ask Wigglesworth told him it wouldn't
Him for what we need, "that your joy cost him anything; all he had to do was
may be full.") cast all his cares on Jesus. Wiggles-
The woman asked Wigglesworth if worth explained that this is what he
Jesus would save her and give her this had done, and he was without a care
wonderful joy, too. Wigglesworth in the world. He could be free and
assured her He would. happy. He still did not mention his
She accepted the Lord and started financial need to his friend, but instead
rejoicing. She asked Wigglesworth if talked of victory and joy in Christ
she could keep this joy. He answered Jesus.
that the only way to keep it was to One man had material wealth but
give it away. He told her she should no joy. The other lacked material
tell all the women at her club meeting things but was filled with joy. What
about her salvation. She did and all of was the secret? Wigglesworth knew
them were saved. This is the way to the truth of the Scripture, "... ask,
keep it: Tell others about it. and ye shall receive, that your joy
be full." before we receive what we ask for
Can your joy be full if you have because we have His Word that He
great financial burdens pressing you? heard our prayer.
Can your joy be full if you have unpaid
bills that are due? If you have asked EPHESIANS 5:20
Him to supply your needs and you 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto
God and the Father in the name of our Lord
believe "ye shall receive, " your joy can Jesus Christ.
Notice here that Paul tells us to
Joy That Precedes the Fact give thanks for all things "unto God
and the Father" in the Name of Jesus.
Sometimes you have to have the Paul tells us to pray to the Father and
joy before you will receive what you not to Jesus. The Name of Jesus is the
are praying for. If you are worrying access to the heart of the Father in all
and trying to figure matters out alone, our real praise and thanksgiving.
you hinder God from helping you. You Someone said the way we pray
are carrying the burden instead of let- doesn't make much difference. But if
ting Him carry it. In fact, if you are it doesn't, why did God inspire Paul
worrying, it will do little good to pray, to write the epistles? To say these
because you are not praying in faith. verses are not important would make
"Be careful for nothing; but in as much sense as it would to say John
every thing by prayer and supplication 3:16 isn't important. If we believe
with thanksgiving let your requests be John 3:16 is important, we also must
made known unto God. And the peace believe that all Scriptures are impor-
of God, which passeth all understand- tant and are for our instruction in
ing, shall keep your hearts and minds walking with God. When you want to
through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6,7). get an answer to your prayers, follow
When I was holding evangelistic the teachings of the Word and pray to
meetings, I often would drive straight the Father in the Name of Jesus.
through from California to Texas. My When many people pray, they con-
mother once told me that when she clude their prayer, "for Jesus' sake."
knew I was traveling, she prayed that However, we are not told in the Word
the Lord would be with me. And she to pray for Jesus' sake. We are taught
stayed awake at night worrying, to pray in the Name of Jesus. What is
waiting for the telephone to ring with the difference?
news I had been in an accident. I told If you went to a bank to cash a
her she was wasting her time praying check for a friend, the cashier would
if she was going to stay awake ask you if you had an account there
worrying. with enough money to guarantee the
Prayer is more than that. "... ask, check. If you didn't, the cashier
and ye shall receive, that your joy may wouldn't cash the check. But if you
be full." We should be full of joy even had a check from a man who had an
account in that bank, you would be these men that the lame man was
able to cash the check. healed. But Peter said, "... why look
The same is true when we go to ye so earnestly on us, as though by our
God and tell Him to do something for own power or holiness we had made
Jesus' sake. We are asking it to be this man to walk?" (Acts 3:12).
done to help Jesus on our credit. If I It isn't by our own power or
had a stomach ache, it would be foolish holiness that we get an answer to
to ask God to heal me for Jesus' sake. prayer. We don't get our prayers
It is my stomach that hurts. I don't answered because we are good; they're
want to be healed for Him. (We are the answered because of Jesus. He has a
ones who need the help. He has the standing in heaven. He is the only
standing or credit, and we can come approach to the Father. We can't get
in His Name.) there any other way. We come to the
It makes a lot of difference what Father in His Name. Jesus gave us the
our attitude is. The reason we fail right and the authority to use His
many times in our praying is because Name. The key to seeing answers to
our approach is all wrong. Sometimes our prayers is through the mighty
we think God should answer our Name of Jesus.
prayers because of our own merit or
When Peter and John ministered to Memory Text:
the lame man at the Gate Beautiful, "And in that day ye shall ask me
as recorded in the third chapter of nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Acts, the people who witnessed the Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in
miracle were amazed. They thought it my name, he will give it you" (John
was through some special power of 16:23).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
The Authority of Jesus' Name
Bible Text: Mark 16:17,18
Central Truth: Jesus gave us the power of attorney, the right to use
God hears and answers prayer. We ways, but God wants us to grow
might as well settle that. It works. Too spiritually. God requires more of us now
often people just make a stab in the than He did a few years ago.
dark at praying. They call it praying and
let it go at that. They hope something Believer's Rights in the Name
works out some way or other. of Jesus
But we need to take our stand on
God's Word and let heaven, hell, and MARK 16:17,18
earth know that God's Word is true and 17And these signs shall follow them that
we believe it. We need to grow in prayer. believe; In my name shall they cast out
Many times God condescends to meet us devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
on an elementary level, but it is better 18They shall take up serpents; and if they
that we grow spiritually and meet Him drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt
on His level. them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and
The Bible teaches there is a they shall recover.
similarity between physical growth and Prayer should be addressed to the
spiritual growth. "As newborn babes, Father in Jesus' Name. This is the key to
desire the sincere milk of the word, that seeing our prayers answered. In this
ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2). No lesson we will look at the rights we have
one is born a fully grown adult. We are in Jesus' Name.
born as babies and grow up. No one is
Jesus gave us the power of
born a fully grown Christian, either.
attorney, or the right to use His Name.
Christians are newborn babes and grow
We use His Name when we pray for our
up. As we mature in the Word, our
individual needs and when we deal with
prayer life should improve.
the devil. He said, "In my name sha ll
When I was a child I prayed, "Now I th ey c a s t o u t d ev il s. . . . "
lay me down to sleep..." But I don't pray When Jesus appointed the seventy
that way anymore. I've grown beyond disciples and sent them forth, "The
that. When we were spiritual babes we seventy returned again with joy, saying,
may have prayed certain Lord, even the devils are subject unto us
through thy name" (Luke 10:17).
In Acts 16:16-18 we read where looked up, and said, "Momma! Is that
Paul cast an evil spirit out of a girl. you, Momma?" She threw her arms
"But Paul, being grieved, turned and around her and hugged and kissed her.
said to the spirit, I command thee in That day she was dismissed from the
the name of Jesus Christ to come out institution as being well. This mother
of her. And he came out the same knew her rights. She knew the author-
hour." ity that was hers to cast out devils in
I once knew of a women whose Jesus' Name.
daughter was in a mental institution. Jesus also said in Mark 16:17, "In
This mother decided to pray the my name... they shall speak with new
prayer of faith for her daughter — tongues." Every believer has the right
exercising her authority in Jesus' to speak with tongues.
Name and casting out the devil that The next verse says that in Jesus'
kept her daughter bound. She asked 12 Name "They shall take up serpents;
women who were strong in faith to go and if they drink any deadly thing, it
with her to the mental institution. shall not hurt them."
When they arrived at the padded This doesn't mean, of course, we
cell where the daughter was being are to take up serpents and handle
kept, the mother said to the attendant, them just to try to prove something.
"I want you to open the door and let It means that if we are accidentally
me in, because I want to pray for my bitten, as Paul was on the island of
daughter." Melita, we can shake off the snake and
"You can't do that," he answered. claim immunity in the Name of Jesus.
"She'll kill you. She's violently We read in Acts 28:3-6 how Paul
insane." was shipwrecked. He picked up some
He argued he couldn't let her in sticks to build a fire and a viper came
because he would lose his job, but all out and fastened on his hand. The
the time he was unlocking the door. people who saw this expected him to
The mother stepped in and he locked fall dead. When he didn't die and his
the door again. hand didn't become swollen from the
The insane daughter looked more venom, the people knew they had wit-
like an animal than a human being. nessed a miracle.
Her hair and nails had grown long, and I have heard of similar experiences
she hissed and spat as an animal in our day. A woman missionary in a
would. foreign country was stung by a deadly
While the 12 women outside prayed scorpion. There was no antidote for the
silently, the mother prayed out loud, bite in those days; its sting always
commanding the devil to come out of was fatal.
her daughter in the Name of Jesus. The missionary was shopping on
She prayed like this for about 10 the street when the scorpion stung her,
minutes. and people watching expected her to
Suddenly the daughter relaxed, swell up and die. But she just shook
it off in Jesus' Name and didn't even recover" (v. 18).
get sick to her stomach. As a result, Don't lay hands on someone and
many of those people were saved. say, "If it be the Lord's will..." Lay
The Scripture further says, "... your hands on them and claim their
and if they drink any deadly thing, it deliverance in the Name of Jesus. You
shall not hurt them." Again, this have solid ground to stand on.
doesn't mean we can drink something Jesus said, "In my name.. . . " It is
poisonous to try to prove a point. It in His Name we can cast out devils. It
means if we do accidentally, we can is in His Name we can speak with
claim immunity in the Name of the new tongues. It is in His Name we
Lord Jesus Christ. can claim immunity if we
accidentally are bitten by a poisonous
snake or if we drink any deadly
Using the Name of Jesus
thing. It is in His Name we can lay
A number of years ago a religious hands on the sick, and they shall
denomination was holding a conven- recover. It is His Name that gives us
tion in Corpus Christi, Texas. After authority to claim these things.
the people began to gather at the Notice He said we lay hands on the
grounds where they were having the sick. We do the laying on of hands —
convention, some of them began to fall not Jesus or the Holy Spirit. We lay
ill. Soon about 20 or 30 people were hands on the sick person in Jesus'
desperately sick, and they began pray- Name.
ing for one another. We are the ones who talk in
As they prayed, someone had a tongues. I have heard people say, "But
revelation the water in one of the I'm afraid that was just me." Cer-
hotels was poisonous. This was in the tainly that was you! You have the
days when they didn't have running right to speak in tongues in Jesus'
water. They had a pitcher and bowl on Name. You do the talking just as much
a washstand in each room. This person as you lay hands on the sick person.
cautioned the rest of the people not to The Holy Spirit gives you the utter-
drink any more water. The Lord ance; you do the talking.
answered prayer and everyone was This is our right in the Name of
healed. Jesus. It belongs to everyone, not just
They took a sample of the water to someone especially called. The ordi-
a nearby naval station. Laboratory nary child of God has as much right
tests showed there was enough poison to use the Name of Jesus as anyone.
in the water to kill a regiment of men. Let me call your attention to
Under such circumstances we have a something else here. We do not have
right to claim immunity in Jesus'
to struggle for faith. Some people
think if they just had enough faith,
Jesus said, "... they shall lay
they could do these things. But notice
hands on the sick, and they shall
this passage of Scripture does not say
a word about faith. Jesus didn't say, God's business.
"If they have enough faith.. . . " He Prayer is of the utmost importance.
said, "These signs shall follow them From a practical side, Christianity is
that believe; In my name they a living faith in touch with the living
shall...." He went on to enumerate God who hears and answers prayer.
our rights through His Name. Simply talking into the air is not
We do not have to struggle for prayer. Taking up 20 minutes on Sun-
faith. It is simply a matter of claim- day morning giving God a homily on
ing our rights and boldly using what what His duties are toward the Church
we know belongs to us. is not prayer. Giving the congregation
The Name of Jesus belongs to me a lecture is not prayer.
as much as my hands and feet belong We should pray for results. If we
to me. When I awaken in the morning, pray and we see no results, it shows
I don't pray for God to give me faith we have the form without the power.
to get up and walk. I just get up and All things God has provided are
walk because I know my feet are there! offered to us through prayer, and if
The Name of Jesus is as much mine as we do not have them, it is because
my hands and feet are mine, and I can we have not made our prayer
use His Name. connection.
There are people who pray and If you are praying without seeing
pray, but the results do not prove their any results, seek to find the trouble.
prayers are of any value. If you don't Is God untrue? No, He's not! Is the
get results when you pray, you need day of prayer and miracles over? No!
to reexamine your methods. If you Have we been depending upon the
aren't expecting results when you promises of a God who has gone
pray, there is no need to pray. bankrupt? No! There is something
wrong somewhere, isn't there? Is it
The Business of Prayer because we are not known in the Bank
Just as businesses expect to make Let's seek to find the cause and
a profit, so we should expect to profit
uproot any doubt and unbelief. Let's
when we pray. If a business was not
pray to the Father as Jesus taught us
making a profit, its management
to pray — in Jesus' Name — because
immediately would begin to reevaluate
Jesus stands behind His Word.
its methods and make necessary
When we come according to God's
changes. Industry demands the best
Word, our prayers cannot fail.
technical education. It demands men
trained to do their jobs. Christians,
too, should make a business of prayer Memory Text:
— the greatest business there is — "If ye shall ask any thing in my name,
I will do it" (John 14:14).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
The Prayer of Agreement
Bible Texts: Matthew 18:18-20; Deuteronomy 32:30; Romans 8:26
Central Truth: There is tremendous power as two or more agree in
prayer concerning anything they may need.
Of the many prayer promises in the language is to say "I shall." In this
Bible, perhaps none is more significant Scripture Jesus promised,''... it shall be
than Matthew 18:19. Yet many done for them of my Father which is in
dedicated Christians go through life heaven. "He also said, "If ye shall ask
having a knowledge of the Word — any thing in my name, I will doit" (John
having read and even studied Matthew 14:14).
18:19 — without really appropriating it P. C. Nelson was a Greek scholar
in their own lives. who did all his personal Bible reading
God didn't put all of the promises and private devotions from the Greek
about prayer in the Bible just to fill up New Testament. He said the Greek
space. They are there for our benefit. translation is more beautiful than the
They are there for us to act upon. English, but it has a number of idioms
To get the full impact of what Jesus that cannot be translated into English
is saying in Matthew 18:19, let's look at and retain their full meaning.
the verses preceding and following it. Dr. Nelson said the literal Greek
MATTHEW 18:18-20 rendering of Jesus' statement is, "If you
18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask anything in my name and I
shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: don't have it, I will make it for you."
and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall
be loosed in heaven.
19Again I say unto you, That if two of you
Authority To Bind and
shall agree on earth as touching any thing Loose
that they shall ask, it shall be done for them
of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two
20For where two or three are gathered or three are gathered together in my
together in my name, there am I in the name, there am I in the midst of them."
midst of them. We usually apply this Scripture to a
church service. Of course, it can refer to
Notice the phrase in verse 19: "... it this, but what Jesus really was saying
shall be done for them of my Father here is wherever these two people are
which is in heaven." The strongest who agree, He is right there with them to
assertion one can make in the English make their prayer good.
Jesus was bringing out the fact more to sell it.
that whatever we bind on earth shall Remembering Jesus' promise con-
be bound in heaven, and whatever we cerning the prayer of agreement, the
loose on earth shall be loosed in man approached the client, offering to
heaven. Heaven will back us up in sell the property at the same price
what we do on earth. We have the they had discussed before. This time
authority to loose and to bind. the client said he would take it.
Instead of using this authority, For two years this couple had been
however, too many people allow the in financial trouble, desperately
devil to blind them. They think they needing to sell their lot. They could
can't help it if they are defeated and have had the money all the time if they
depressed. They think there is nothing had only exercised their authority by
they can do about it. But they can do agreeing in prayer that "it shall be
something about it by acting on this done for them of my Father which is
Scripture: by agreeing in prayer with in heaven."
just one other believer. Instead of believing with their
During 1957, our nation experi- hearts and saying with their mouths,
enced an economic recession. Oregon the couple had been praying that God
was a state which felt the recession would do something about it. They
quite desperately. At that time I was now realized that they should have
holding a revival in Salem, Oregon. As done something about it. (We have our
I preached on the subject of the prayer part to play. When we make our move,
of agreement, a couple in the church God will then move.)
decided to claim this promise and
make it work for them. Multiplied Prayer Power
They owned a piece of property
which they had been trying to sell for DEUTERONOMY 32:30 30 How should
one chase a thousand, and two put ten
two years with no success. With times
thousand to flight, except their Rock had
so difficult, it seemed impossible to sell
sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?
it, yet the couple agreed in prayer that
they would be able to sell it with the We may be mighty in prayer alone,
Lord's help. but we can be mightier with someone
When the man visited the real joining us. We read in the above verse
estate agent, he was told that since that one can chase a thousand, but two
they hadn't been able to sell the lot can put ten thousand to flight. With
when times were good, there was lit- someone agreeing with us in prayer,
tle hope they could sell it now. The we can do ten times as much as we can
agent did suggest that the man talk do by ourselves. A lot of people don't
to a client who previously had been need to be involved; just a husband
interested in the lot. The agent wasn't and wife will do — just two.
too optimistic, but he said if this client I once read a book by Dr. George
didn't buy the lot, he would try once
W. Truett, who for many years was to the meeting the next night. He saw
pastor of the First Baptist Church in the rancher come in, followed by the
Dallas, Texas. One chapter of his book other man, his wife, and three children.
deals with this subject of agreeing in Dr. Truett preached a fiery,
prayer. evangelistic message and gave the
He told that when he was a young invitation, but he couldn't seem to
seminary student, he would go out move the man toward the altar.
during the summer and conduct Finally he told the Lord that he had
revival meetings. Once when he was
done all he could do; he was going to
preaching under a brush arbor in West
sing one more verse and turn it over
Texas, a tall rancher came up to him
after the sermon one night and asked
if he believed the New Testament. Dr. On the next verse of the invitation
Truett answered that he did. Then the hymn, the oldest child, a girl about
rancher asked if he believed everything 13, went forward. She knelt at the
in it. Dr. Truett answered that he altar. Then one of the other
surely did. The rancher asked him if he children followed. Finally all three
believed Matthew 18:19. Dr. Truett children were praying at the altar.
said he didn't know offhand what Mat- Then the mother went forward and
thew 18:19 said, but whatever it was, finally the father followed.
he believed it. At the conclusion of the service, the
The rancher quoted this verse of rancher grabbed Dr. Truett and said
Scripture to Dr. Truett and told him he knew if only he could find someone
he was the first preacher they had to agree with him, it would work. He
ever had who really believed it. He asked Dr. Truett to agree with him
asked Dr. Truett to agree with him about his neighbor.
that his ranch foreman and family At this point, Dr. Truett said if the
would be saved the next night. He rancher had asked him to agree with
promised to have them in church. him that the sun would rise in the
Dr. Truett said he would agree for West, he would have agreed. He was
their salvation. ready for anything! He said he was
This big fellow, who towered over young and didn't know any better. He
him about 6 feet 6 in cowboy boots, said we get our heads educated at the
then grabbed his hand and shook it. expense of our hearts, but simple
He said, "Lord, I've finally found people just believe God's Word and
someone to agree with me. I've been receive results.
looking for someone for years. This For two weeks the meetings con-
little preacher and I agree that John tinued. Every night the rancher asked
and his family will be saved tomorrow Dr. Truett to agree with him for
night." another family, and every night that
After a sleepless night of doing
family was saved. It works.
battle with the devil, Dr. Truett went
The Holy Spirit in the that He "helpeth." He isn't sent to do
Ministry of Prayer your praying for you. He is sent to
help you in every aspect of your life,
and especially your prayer life.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities: for we know not what we should There are some things that come
pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself out of your heart that can't be
maketh intercession for us with groanings expressed in words. It is the Holy
which cannot be uttered. Spirit helping you as these groanings
come out of your spirit and escape
The Greek translation of the last your lips. It is the Holy Spirit in the
phrase of this verse reads, "with ministry of prayer.
groanings which cannot be uttered in I do most of my praying in
articulate speech." Therefore, this tongues. For example, my son might
verse includes groanings and praying have problems I know nothing about.
in tongues. I tell the Lord I don't know how to
In connection with this, Paul said, pray for him as I ought to, but I am
"For if I pray in an unknown tongue, looking to the Holy Spirit to give me
my spirit prayeth, but my understand
utterance. I might pray for him an
ing is unfruitful" (1 Cor. 14:14). The
hour in tongues. I might have a
Amplified Bible reads, "... my spirit
revelation, or God might show me
[by the Holy Spirit within me]
the answer. But whether there is a
revelation or not, we can pray that
Notice in Romans 8:26 that we
way because we know it is Biblical.
don't know what we should pray for.
We can't possibly know in our natural This kind of praying in the Spirit
mind how to pray as we should gets the job done when nothing else
because there are so many things will. The Holy Spirit makes interces-
known only to God, but "the Spirit sion through us to the throne of grace.
also helpeth our infirmities." The Holy
Spirit will help us and will make inter-
cession for us with groanings which
cannot be uttered in articulate speech.
This doesn't mean it is something Memory Text:
the Holy Spirit does apart from you. "Again I say unto you, That if two of
That would make the Holy Spirit you shall agree on earth as touching
responsible for your prayer life, and He any thing that they shall ask, it shall
isn't. You are responsible for your be done for them of my Father which
prayer life. Notice that this verse says is in heaven" (Matt. 18:19).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ..." (James 1:22).
The Six Most Important Things
in Prayer (Part 1)
Bible Texts: John 16:23,24; Mark 11:24-26; Acts 27:25
Central Truth: "There is something about believing God that will
cause Him to pass over a million people to get to
you." — Smith Wigglesworth
Many times I have asked people, as Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye
they got up from praying, what they shall ask the Father in my name, he will give
believed. Often they have answered, it you.
"Well, I hope God heard me." I tell them 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my
He didn't. name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy
In His Word He says, "If you may be full.
believe you shall receive," not "If you When Jesus spoke these words, He
hope you shall receive." He didn't say to was here on earth. He was talking
"keep on keeping on" until you get the about the day in which we live.
answer. He said when you pray you He had not yet gone to Calvary. He
should believe you receive. had not died and been buried. He had not
When you believe you receive, you risen from the dead. The New Covenant
don't have to pray all night long. You was not in force. His blood had not been
can go to bed and sleep peacefully, carried into the Holy of Holies. (His
knowing God has heard you and will blood is the seal of the Covenant.)
answer your prayer. It's the most Man had the promise of redemption,
wonderful thing in the world to be able to but had not received it. Eternal life had
pillow your head on the promises of God been promised, but had not been
and sleep like a baby. Everything around provided. None had the New Birth —
you might be in turmoil, but in the they only had the promise of it, because
midst of it you can have peace. the New Birth is available only under
This lesson deals with the six most the New Covenant.
important things the Christian should This New Covenant was prophesied
know about prayer. about in the Old Covenant. Under the
Old Covenant, men's hearts never were
Number 1: Pray to the Father in changed. That's the reason they kept on
the Name of Jesus sinning. They couldn't help but sin.
Some of the greatest saints of the
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing.
Old Testament sinned. After they were wouldn't have said it!
forgiven for one sin, they would com- Why did Jesus say, "Whatsoever
mit another. Their natures were all ye shall ask the Father in my name,
wrong; their hearts were all wrong. he will give it you"? The answer is
They only had a covering for their sins. found in verse 24: "... that your joy
But God promised in His Word may be full."
that He would take that old heart out Our joy certainly can't be full if we
of us and give us a new one. He said are out of work and our children are
He would put a new spirit in us hungry. Our joy can't be full if our
(Ezek. 11:19). This became available bodies are racked with pain. Our joy
under the New Covenant. can't be full if there are problems in
In John 16:23,24, Jesus told His our home.
disciples that after He went to Jesus said the Father would give us
Calvary and was raised from the "whatsoever" we ask so our "joy may
dead, people were to pray to His be full."
Father. But there is a secret to success with
Prayer based on legal grounds this kind of praying. The key is in the
should be addressed to the Father in words, "Whatsoever ye shall ASK
the Name of Jesus. We are not sup- THE FATHER IN MY NAME.. . . "
posed to pray to Jesus. This was His We are to address our prayers to the
instruction. Father in the Name of Jesus.
The disciples asked Him, while He
was here on earth, to teach them to Number 2:
pray. He taught them to say, "Our Believe You Receive
Father...." We refer to this as the
Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), but it is MARK 11:24
not New Testament prayer. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things
This prayer didn't ask a thing in soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that
ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Jesus' Name; His Name wasn't even
mentioned. This prayer was prayed Smith Wigglesworth once said
under the Old Covenant. Under the there is something about believing
New Covenant, which was sealed with God that will cause Him to pass over
the precious blood of Jesus, we are to a million people to get to you.
pray to the Father in Jesus' Name. God is a faith God. We are faith
Now let us focus our attention on children of a faith God. He works on
the word "whatsoever" in John 16:23. the principle of faith.
Often we say we are believing for an We are saved by faith: "For by
answer to prayer "if it is God's will." grace are ye saved through faith; and
But this verse makes no such that not of yourselves: it is the gift of
condition. On the contrary, it says, God: Not of works, lest any man
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9).
in my name, he will give it you." It We walk by faith, not by sight. It
must have been His will; otherwise, He
is the prayer of faith God listens to. He For many years I have practiced
said you can have the desires of your this kind of faith, and Mark 11:24 has
heart if you believe you receive them. been my standby. I have experienced
You have to believe first, however. it in my own life as I have prayed for
Most people want to receive and the desires of my heart, believing that
then they will believe. But it is the I receive them. It is true not only for
other way around: The believing part healing, but also in every other area of
comes first. life. No matter what the need may be
I am convinced that if people would — material, spiritual, or financial —
quit praying repeatedly about some of this is the way we receive.
the things they pray about and begin Smith Wigglesworth said some
thanking God for the answer, the people are ready to give up if their
answer would come right away. But prayers aren't answered immediately.
they keep on praying in unbelief. But, he said, this proves that they
If a person asks for the same thing never believed God in the first place.
again, he doesn't believe he received it Often God permits our faith to be
the first time he asked. If he believed tried and tested right up to the end.
he had received it, he would be thank- When you believe God, you can stand
ing God for it, and it would be made firm, even though you are tested.
manifest. I have been there and I know by
The faith Jesus was talking about experience. I learned many years ago
in Mark 11 is heart faith — a spiritual to laugh all the more when the going
faith — not head faith. We get used to gets rough. I don't always feel like
walking by head faith. But we are to laughing, but I make myself laugh
believe in our heart that we receive right in the face of the devil. I smile
what we are praying for, even though and say that I believe God.
we do not see the answer with our When Paul was on a ship bound for
physical eyes. Rome, a great storm arose. Because
This also is true of physical healing, the ship was in danger of sinking, the
but it seems more difficult to practice crew attempted to lighten it by throw-
faith for physical healing than for ing cargo overboard. This didn't help
anything else, because we have the the situation, and the storm continued,
body, with all its feelings and symp- night and day, for "many days."
toms, to contend with. Finally the crew and passengers gave
Most people will believe God has up all hope that they or the ship would
healed them when they can see their survive. However, right in the midst
condition has grown better, or when of the storm's fury, Paul addressed
the symptoms are gone. Anyone can them, saying he believed God:
believe what he can see. What Jesus ACTS 27:25
was teaching here is that we should 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I
believe when we pray and then we will believe God, that it shall be even as it was
receive. told me.
You and I may not have to face a against him can hinder you.
storm-tossed sea, but we do have to We must watch our inward man
face storms in life. We, too, can stand with all diligence. We cannot afford to
with the faith of Paul and announce allow a root of bitterness, a bit of envy,
that we believe God. or a spark of revenge to get in there.
It will wreck our spiritual life. It will
Number 3: Forgive When stall our prayer life. It will mar our
You Pray faith and eventually it will shipwreck
MARK 11:25,26 A fellow once wanted me to pray
25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if that he never would have any more
ye have ought against any: that your trouble with the devil. I told him I
Father also which is in heaven may forgive
didn't know anyone who was free from
you your trespasses.
26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your
trouble with the devil, least of all me.
Father which is in heaven forgive your tres We can't pray that we won't have
passes. any more trouble with the devil, but
we can learn to take authority over
Before we can expect an answer to him: "Resist the devil, and he will flee
our prayers, we must forgive any who from you" (James 4:7).
may have wronged us. We cannot hold God prepares a table before us in
a grudge — we cannot keep an unfor- the presence of our enemies. Jesus is
giving spirit — if we want our prayers there right in the presence of the devil.
to reach God's throne of grace. Right in the presence of the enemies
Prayer will not work in an unfor- of doubt and despair, we can sit at the
giving heart. No one can have an table of victory and deliverance with
effective prayer life and have Jesus. In the face of adverse circum-
anything in his heart against another. stances we can believe we receive.
You cannot have hatred in your
heart. You cannot have revenge in Memory Text:
your heart. "Praying always with all prayer and
You are not responsible for that supplication in the Spirit, and watch-
other person's life. You are responsi- ing thereunto with all perseverance
ble only for your life. What is in and supplication for all saints" (Eph.
another person's heart can't hinder 6:18).
you, but what you have in your heart
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
The Six Most Important Things
in Prayer (Part 2)
Bible Texts: Romans 8:26,27; 1 Corinthians 14:14,15; Jude 20; 1
Central Truth: When we allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us —
to help us in our prayer life — we will see amazing
answers to our prayers.
Praying always with all prayer and should know about prayer. They were:
supplication in the Spirit, and watching (1) pray to the Father in the Name of
thereunto with all perseverance and Jesus; (2) believe you receive; and (3)
supplication for all saints. forgive when you pray. This lesson will
— Ephesians 6:18 cover the last three points in this topic.
Dr. James Moffatt's translation of Number 4: Depend Upon the
Ephesians 6:18, quoted above, says, Holy Spirit in Your Prayer
"praying at all times ... with all Life
manner of prayer. . . . " Another
modern translation says, "praying with ROMANS 8:26,27
all kinds of prayer." 26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
The King James Version, even infirmities: for we know not what we should
though it does not say "all kinds of pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself
prayer," says "praying always with all maketh intercession for us with groanings
prayer," inferring that there is more which cannot be uttered.
than one kind of prayer. If there were 27And he that searcheth the hearts
not, it merely would have said, "praying knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,
because he maketh intercession for the
always," and would have stopped there.
saints according to the will of God.
How desperately our nation needs
prayer. How desperately the church 1 CORINTHIANS 14:14,15
needs prayer. How desperately we 14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my
individuals need prayer. Nothing can spirit prayeth, but my understanding is
take the place of prayer for meeting the unfruitful.
needs of our family. 15What is it then? I will pray with the
In our last lesson we discussed three spirit, and I will pray with the understand
points in our study of the six most ing also: I will sing with the spirit, and I
important things the Christian will sing with the understanding also.
Christians everywhere pray with
the understanding, but not all pray for we know not what we should pray
with the Spirit (pray in tongues). Many for as we ought: but the Spirit itself
do not know it is even possible to do maketh intercession for us...." (Rom.
Some in their haste and their igno- We do not always understand
rance of the Scriptures have said that everything concerning what we are
tongues have been done away with. praying about, but the Holy Spirit
But if that were true, how are we to does. When we allow Him to pray
"pray with the spirit" today? Surely through us — to help us in our prayer
the Corinthian Christians didn't have life — we will see amazing answers to
a means of praying that we can't have. our prayers!
We have the same means available to If I know specific details about
us today. what I'm praying for, I can believe
Paul said that when he prayed in when I pray, and I will receive them.
an unknown tongue, his spirit prayed. However, sometimes there are things
When you pray in tongues, it is your we know we need to pray about, but
spirit praying by the Holy Spirit we do not know how to pray for them.
within you. Likewise, your groaning is The Holy Spirit knows, and He can
the Holy Spirit within you groaning. help us. (It is easier to have faith for
I sometimes have been so burdened in needs like rent and groceries because
prayer that I didn't have adequate we know what we are praying for. But
words to express my feelings. All I there are other situations in life that
could do was groan from somewhere aren't so easy to pray for.)
'way down deep inside me. Paul says There have been times in my own
these groanings that escape our lips life when I have told the Lord I didn't
come from our spirit — our innermost know exactly how I should pray con-
being. When this happens, it is the cerning my children. When I know
Spirit helping us pray, as we see in there is a problem, I begin praying in
Romans 8:26. tongues, and most of the time before
According to the late P. C. Nelson, I get through, I have the answer.
the literal Greek translation of
Romans 8:26 says, "The Spirit
Number 5: Pray the
Himself maketh intercession for us
Prayer of Intercession
with groanings that cannot be uttered This point ties in closely with
in articulate speech." Articulate Number 4. Romans 8:26 says, "... the
speech means your regular kind of Spirit itself maketh intercession for us
speech. Speaking with tongues is not with groanings which cannot be
your regular kind of speech, so this uttered." The prayer of intercession is
verse includes speaking and praying not for you. An intercessor is one who
with other tongues. takes the place of another. You are
Paul said the Holy Spirit would interceding for another.
help us in our prayer life. Why? "... Every Spirit-filled believer can
expect the Holy Spirit to help him 1 CORINTHIANS 14:4
intercede. This intercession can be for 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue
someone's salvation, healing, etc. It edifieth himself___
even includes praying for things or
There is one phase of speaking with
people we don't know about, but the
tongues in our prayer life that is
Holy Spirit does.*
neither praying for someone else nor
After a time of praying in the Spirit
interceding for anyone else. It is purely
we will know whether we were praying
a means of personal spiritual edifica-
in tongues for ourselves — to build
tion. It aids us spiritually and edifies
ourselves up spiritually and worship
us. We all need this kind of praying.
God, which is discussed in the next
We cannot help others — we cannot
step — or we were interceding for
edify others — unless we ourselves
have been edified.
On occasion — and sometimes over
Praying in this manner has a three-
a period of time — I have had a burden
fold value. First, it is a means of
of intercession before I even knew for
spiritual edification. It affects us
whom I was praying. I can tell when
individually. Second, it is a means of
I am in intercession or travail for
praying for things about which we do
someone who is lost.
not know. Third, the Holy Spirit helps
(When you take the place of a lost
us make intercession.
person in intercession, you will experi-
Speaking in tongues is not only an
ence that same lost feeling in your own
initial evidence of the Holy Spirit's
spirit. As you pray in the Spirit, inter-
indwelling; it is a continual
ceding for the person, the Holy Spirit
experience for the rest of one's life. It
will deal with his heart and bring him
is to assist in the worship of God. It is
under conviction of sin.)
a flowing stream that never should
dry up. It will enrich your life
Number 6: Edify Yourself spiritually.
by Praying in the Holy
Spirit Memory Text:
JUDE 20 "Praying always with all prayer and
20 But ye, beloved, building up supplication in the Spirit, and watch-
yourselves ing thereunto with all perseverance
on your most holy faith praying in the Holy and supplication for all saints" (Eph.
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
*For a complete study of this subject, see Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin's book The Art of
but my understanding is unfruitful." any teaching along those lines. Some
If we could interpret our prayer in even thought that once a person was
tongues, our understanding no longer filled with the Spirit and spoke in
would be unfruitful. It would be tongues, it wasn't necessary for him
fruitful. to speak in tongues ever again! (Sadly,
Sometimes it would be helpful for many Christians still do not rise above
us to know what we are praying about this level today.)
when we pray in the Spirit. There are After I was first filled with the
some things we pray about that we Spirit, I would find myself praying in
need to understand. It would help us tongues when I was praying, and I
if our minds were enlightened about would stop, because I wasn't sure if it
them. However, I would never inter- was right or not. However, about a
pret prayers in which we edify and year later as I studied the Word, I saw
build ourselves up. Those are merely that it was all right to pray in tongues;
prayers of worship and praise, and that this blessing is for us today.
they do not need to be interpreted. Similarly, I interpreted my prayers
long before I did any interpreting in
public. I know from experience the dif-
Praying With the Spirit ference it makes in one's prayer life.
and With the Some of my first experiences along
Understanding this line came when I was a new
Verse 15 continues Paul's teaching: believer. I was deeply in love with the
"What is it then? I will pray with the Lord and would seek Him and wait on
spirit, and I will pray with the under- Him. While praying about my services
standing also.. . . " There is a further and the sermons I was to preach, the
meaning to this verse than the one we Spirit of the Lord would move upon me
have generally accepted. and I would interpret what I had just
First, it means we can pray both prayed in tongues.
ways: with the Spirit (in tongues) and One day while praying in the Spirit,
with the understanding (in our own I began to interpret my prayer. I found
language). out that I was praying about the girl
But it also means that if we pray I was to marry! I also learned that we
to be given the interpretation of what would have two children, the older a
we pray in tongues, we may pray in the boy and the younger a girl. I was not
Spirit and afterwards God may give us prophesying; I was interpreting my
the interpretation. If this happens, we prayer in tongues. I would pray a few
will understand what we have prayed words in tongues and then pray the
about in tongues, and we can pray interpretation.
with our understanding in our native At that time I was a single man of
language. 21 and I was so wrapped up in spirit-
I have prayed in this manner since ual things that I didn't have time for
1938. In those days, we didn't have girls and dating.
The farthest thing from my mind 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him
was the thought of marriage! But keep silence in the church; and let him speak
everything came to pass just as the to himself, and to God.
interpretation indicated. I got married
that same year. When we were expect- In verse 28 we read, "But if there
ing our first child, I knew it would be be no interpreter ...," or if no inter-
a boy. In fact, we only picked out a preter is present. This infers that there
boy's name. are those who are interpreters.
When we were expecting our We make a great mistake by think-
second child, I knew it would be a girl, ing that tongues and interpretation is
so we picked out only a girl's name. just for public use. There is a public
Some of our relatives were skeptical side to it under certain circumstances,
and asked, "What if it isn't a girl?" I but as we see from the passage of
said, "I'm not going by 'what if's.' " Scripture above, its main use is
When the baby was born, it was a private.
lovely daughter. As I said, I interpreted my own
prayers long before I interpreted
Tongues and publicly. When I began to interpret
Interpretation: For Public my prayers in private, it was like
or Private Use? driving that car. When I began to
interpret publicly, it was like driving
As was mentioned earlier, the fact that truck: It was partly the same, but
that one may interpret tongues does it was different. To interpret publicly,
not mean he is an interpreter. The two one stands in a different office, on a
are related, but they are not the same different plane, in a different area.
When I first interpreted my
To illustrate, an automobile, a
prayers, that was all I could interpret.
truck, and a bus are totally different
I could not interpret anyone else's
vehicles, yet they are all motorized
prayers. I could not interpret a mes-
forms of transportation. Just because
sage in tongues. Later, however, I
a person owns an automobile and
received the gift of interpretation.
drives it does not mean he is a trucker.
Even if he owned a truck, that would Notice that the Scripture does not
not necessarily mean he could drive it. say, "Let him that speaketh in an
And because a man is a bus driver does unknown tongue pray that he may
not mean he is a trucker. They are dif- have the gift of interpretation." It
ferent yet related. The same is true of says, "Let him ... pray that he may
tongues and interpretation. interpret." Interpret what? Interpret
his prayer. Why? So he can "pray
1 CORINTHIANS 14:27,28 27 If any man with the spirit, and ... pray with the
speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by understanding also. " This would not
two, or at the most by three, and that by make him an interpreter; it would
course; and let one interpret. make him one who prays in the Spirit.
Even after I received the gift of always interpret all the prayers I pray
interpretation and became an inter- in tongues — only as the Lord wills
preter, I still couldn't interpret what and as it is necessary.
people prayed in their private times of In Romans 8:26 we read, "Likewise
prayer, but I could interpret all public the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:
utterances. (I still can interpret public for we know not what we should pray
utterances, although I don't always do for as we ought: but the Spirit itself
it. Often there are several present who maketh intercession for us with groan-
have the interpretation, and I allow ings which cannot be uttered."
someone else to give it forth.) If you don't know what to pray for
I have learned by experience that as you ought, you can pray in the
when someone speaks in tongues Spirit and then interpret. Then you
publicly, I can interpret their message will know what you prayed for. Then
in tongues if I respond to the Spirit. you will be praying "with the spirit,
In First Corinthians 14:27,28, Paul and... with the understanding also."
infers that an interpreter can do this. I am convinced that every believer
He said, "// there be no interpreter should pray in the Spirit and "with the
...," inferring that some are inter- understanding" — not just pray a
preters, having the gift of interpreta- prayer out of his understanding, but
tion, while others do not. pray the interpretation so he can
An interpreter might not be pres- understand his prayers in the Spirit.
ent in a meeting, and if no interpreter
is present, the person giving the mes-
sage in tongues should be silent. This Memory Text:
implies that an interpreter always "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an
could interpret the messages. unknown tongue pray that he may
In my own prayer life, I do not interpret" (1 Cor. 14:13).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
Tongues — A Flowing
Stream of Praise
Bible Texts: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Ephesians 5:18,19; John 7:37-39
Central Truth: Speaking with tongues is a flowing stream that should never
die out, but will enrich the life spiritually.
Having studied in the last two designed as an inspiration in public
lessons the necessity and value of worship. Of them, the gift of tongues is
praying in tongues, let us now take a the most prominent.
closer look at the kinds and uses of Tongues with interpretation is
tongues. distinctive with this dispensation. All
the other gifts of the Spirit were
Tongues — One of the Nine manifested in the Old Testament. Even
Gifts of the Spirit in the life and ministry of Jesus, all the
other gifts were manifested except
I CORINTHIANS 12:7-11
7But the manifestation of the Spirit is tongues and interpretation.
given to every man to profit withal. Because tongues and interpretation
8For to one is given by the Spirit the is distinctive with this dispensation, it is
word of wisdom; to another the word of manifested more frequently in the
knowledge by the same Spirit; Church than the other gifts.
9To another faith by the same Spirit; to "Divers kinds of tongues" are
another the gifts of healing by the same supernatural utterances given by the
Holy Spirit. They are languages never
10To another the working of miracles; to
learned by the speaker, and they are not
another prophecy; to another discerning of
spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; understood by him. Usually they are not
to another the interpretation of tongues: understood by the hearers, although
II But all these worketh that one and the there are exceptions to this. There have
selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man been times when the words someone
severally as he will. speaks in tongues have been understood
by someone present.
In these verses are listed the nine
A minister once told me of an expe-
gifts, manifestations, or ways in which the
rience he had had while preaching at a
Holy Spirit manifests Himself.
mission station in Mexico.
Three of these gifts are gifts of
inspiration, or utterance: prophecy, He said, "I preached for about five
divers kinds of tongues, and interpre- nights with the local missionary inter-
tation of tongues. These vocal gifts are preting my sermons into Spanish. One
night a Mexican woman came forward in the Holy Spirit: "And they were all
to receive the Holy Spirit after I had filled with the Holy Ghost, and began
preached. The power of God fell on her to speak with other tongues, as the
and she began to speak in the most Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
perfect English I had ever heard. I I do not argue, however, with those
could understand everything she said. who claim to have the Holy Spirit even
She had never been to school a day in though they never have spoken in
her life, and her native tongue was tongues. After all, the Holy Spirit
Spanish. does a work of regeneration when a
"Hearing her speak in my language person is born again, and the Bible
— English — a language she had never tells us that "The Spirit itself beareth
learned, was one of the most beautiful witness with our spirit, that we are the
experiences I have ever had. It really children of God" (Rom. 8:16).
did something for me. I never have Many years ago, as a young pastor
been the same since." hungry for the deeper things of God,
Another instance in which tongues I came to the conclusion while
was understood by a listener but not reading the New Testament that if I
by the speaker involved a woman mis- received the same Holy Spirit that the
sionary to India. disciples did on the Day of Pentecost,
While home on furlough, she I wanted the same accompanying
attended a service at a Bible institute. sign. And if I didn't have the same
One of the students gave a message in sign — speaking in tongues — I had
tongues, but no interpretation came. no scriptural evidence that I was
While everyone waited and wondered filled with the same Holy Spirit they
why there was no interpretation, the were filled with.
missionary stood and said, "That Thank God, I did receive that same
student was speaking one of the Holy Spirit and did speak with
dialects of India. I understood every tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
word that was said. The message was Smith Wigglesworth once argued
for me, and that is the reason no inter- that he already was filled and baptized
pretation was given. Through this with the Holy Spirit, even though at
message God spoke to me, telling me that time he had not spoken in other
He wanted me to go back to India and tongues.
telling me what He wanted me to do When he heard that some people in
there." an Episcopal (Anglican) church were
speaking in tongues, he went to see
Tongues — The Initial about it. He found that the pastor, his
Evidence of the Baptism of wife, and many of their members had
the Holy Spirit received the baptism in the Holy
Speaking in tongues always is They asked Wigglesworth, "Do
manifested when people are baptized you have the Holy Ghost?"
Wigglesworth replied that he did.
"Well, have you spoken with experience outside the realm of
tongues?" they asked. argument. Before, I only had an
"No, but I'm just as much filled argument, but now I have an experi-
with the Holy Ghost as you are!" he ence with God."
replied. There are different purposes for
After a while, however, Wiggles- ministering in tongues in a public
worth began to see the necessity of assembly and speaking with tongues
speaking in tongues. He went to the in your prayer life as a Spirit-baptized
Episcopal rectory to ask the pastor to individual. However, the essence of
pray for him, but he wasn't home. tongues is the same, and the source of
The pastor's wife, however, said, the tongues — the Holy Spirit — is the
"I'll pray for you." same in both cases.
Wigglesworth said, "Lay your
hands on my head and pray that I'll
get the tongues."
Tongues in the Believer's
"You don't want the tongues," she
said. "You want the Holy Ghost. The The Spirit-baptized believer does
tongues will take care of themselves." not have to stop speaking in tongues
Wigglesworth argued, "But I after his initial experience. He can con-
already have the Holy Spirit!" tinue to use tongues in his private
"Never mind, just kneel down prayer and worship to God even
there," the pastor's wife said. She was though he may not be used to minister
tired of arguing with him. in tongues in public.
Wigglesworth knelt, and as hands The late Howard Carter, who
were laid upon him, the power of God founded the oldest Pentecostal Bible
came over him and he began to speak school in the world in England, said,
in other tongues. He later said, "The "We must not forget that the speak-
Holy Ghost settled all my arguments ing with other tongues is not only an
for me. I had been arguing and initial evidence or sign of the Holy
discussing the subject with them Spirit's indwelling, but it is a
every day that I had the Holy Ghost continual experience for the rest of
just as much as they did. In a one's life to assist in the worship of
moment's time I saw that I really God. Speaking with tongues is a
never had been filled with the Holy flowing stream that should never die
Ghost. I had had some wonderful expe- out, but will enrich the life
riences as a minister as God blessed spiritually."
me and anointed me to preach, and Sometimes we become satisfied
many had been saved and even healed, and we feel we have "arrived"
but I never had been filled with the spiritually, so to speak, because we
Holy Ghost until then. have been baptized in the Holy Spirit
"When you get an experience and have spoken in tongues for a
inside the Word of God, you have an while.
A pastor once told me about a
young man in his church who had been there is an element of poetry about it.
seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is given by the inspiration of the
He attended the church's revival ser- Holy Spirit on the spur of the moment.
vices every night, and finally one night It can come by tongues and interpreta-
he received. After that he stopped tion or by prophecy.
attending the services. When the
pastor asked him about it, he said,
37In the last day, that great day of the
"Why, I finally got through!" But we feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any
don't ever get through. That expe- man thirst, let him come unto me, and
rience is just the beginning. drink.
38He that believeth on me, as the scrip
ture hath said, out of his belly shall flow
18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is
rivers of living water.
excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which
19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and
they that believe on him should receive: for
hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because
making melody in your heart to the Lord.
that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Paul wrote these verses to the
Water is a type of the Holy Spirit.
born-again, Spirit-filled believers in the
Jesus stood at the last day of the feast
Church at Ephesus. He told them to
and told the people to drink of the
"be filled with the Spirit." He told
Spirit. He was encouraging us to stay
them to be drunk on the Spirit, not on
wine. The Greek says, "be being filled with the Spirit. By doing so, we
filled"; in other words, maintain a con- can overcome the devil and the sins of
stant experience. Keep drinking of the this world, and we can live a life that
Spirit. is pleasing to Christ.
Then Paul gave the Ephesians the "... walk in the Spirit, and ye shall
characteristic of the Spirit-filled life: not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal.
"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and 5:16).
hymns and spiritual songs, singing
and making melody in your heart to Memory Text:
the Lord." "And be not drunk with wine, wherein
A psalm is a spiritual poem or an is excess; but be filled with the Spirit"
ode. It may or may not rhyme, but (Eph. 5:18).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
Prayer on a New Dimension
Bible Text: 1 Corinthians 14:2,4,18
Central Truth: As we pray in the Spirit, our spirit is not bound by
Some people ask, "What is the use of Speaking Secrets to God
speaking with tongues?" There also are
those who have been filled with the Holy 1 CORINTHIANS 14:2,4,18
Spirit and have spoken in tongues but 2 For he that speaketh in an unknown
see no reason to continue to speak in tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto
tongues in their daily prayer life. God: for no man understandeth him;
Evidently God thought that speaking howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue
in tongues is very important, because
He inspired the Apostle Paul to devote
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues
an entire chapter in the Bible — First more than ye all.
Corinthians 14 — to this subject.
Although all will agree on the In verse two, when Paul said, "For he
utmost importance of prayer, where in that speaketh in an unknown tongue
the Bible can we find an entire chapter speaketh not unto men, but unto God,"
on prayer? The paying of tithes and he was not referring to ministering in
offerings is another important subject; we tongues in a public assembly; he was
could not carry on the work of God talking about a Spirit-filled believer
without money. But where in the talking in tongues in his private prayer
Word of God do we see an entire life. (This also includes praying in
chapter given to the subject? Water tongues during prayer services at the
baptism also is important. But again we altar in church, because we go there to
do not find an entire chapter devoted talk to God.)
to the subject. Paul continued, "... howbeit in the
What I am saying is that God does spirit he speaketh mysteries." Mof-fatt's
not put unnecessary things in His translation of this verse says, "... he is
Word. He has not filled the Bible with talking of divine secrets in the Spirit."
unimportant subjects. Therefore, the God has divised a way whereby we may
teachings on the subject of speaking in speak to Him super-naturally! In the
tongues are vital and necessary to every Spirit, we speak divine secrets to God!
successful Christian. While I was holding a meeting in
Mesa, Arizona, the pastor told me the
story of a young Jewish boy. He "The following Sunday night the
didn't have too many friends, so one Jewish boy was back in our services
of the boys in the church befriended again, and that night he gave his heart
him and invited him to go to church to Christ."
with him. This young Jewish boy received
At first the Jewish boy refused, Christ as his Messiah and Savior as a
saying that he didn't believe in Christ. result of a humble widow who yielded
However, he began thinking that to the Spirit's operation through her
maybe he shouldn't be so obstinate, to speak to a lost boy.
because this Christian boy was the
only one who had been kind to him. So
he agreed to go with him. Spiritual Edification
During the service, a woman stood First Corinthians 14:4 says, "He
and gave a message in tongues. No that speaketh in an unknown tongue
interpretation was given. The pastor edifieth himself.. .. " This means that
told me, "I waited for a few minutes, he builds himself up spiritually. Jude
but finally when there was no inter- 20 says, "But ye, beloved, building up
pretation to the message in tongues, yourselves on your most holy faith,
we went on with the service. As I was praying in the Holy Ghost."
shaking hands with the people at the This does not say that praying in
conclusion of the service, the Jewish the Holy Spirit will give you faith; it
boy asked me, 'Who was that lady who says it builds you up "on your most
was talking to me?' holy faith." It is a means of spiritual
"At first I didn't understand what edification.
he meant. He went on to explain, 'That While I was a young pastor of a
lady who got up in the service and community church out in the country,
talked to me spoke my language I stayed with one of the couples in the
[Hebrew] and even called my name. church. The wife was desperately ill
She told me what I had been thinking. with an ulcerated stomach and could
She told me that Christ was the eat nothing but baby food and a few
Messiah and that I should believe on raw eggs mixed in milk. She even had
Him.' trouble keeping that on her stomach.
"He seemed to resent her talking Then she received the baptism of
directly to him in front of the crowd. the Holy Spirit. I was not present, but
I said to him, 'That dear lady is a she told me about her experience of
widow who has only about a fifth being filled with the Spirit and speak-
grade education. She takes in ing in other tongues.
washings for a living. She speaks no No one laid hands on her to pray
language but English.' for her healing, but from the moment
"Then I called the woman over she received the Holy Spirit, she was
and introduced her to him so he could instantly healed and could eat
see for himself that she was a very anything she wanted.
Surely no one could find fault with wanted to pray apart from my under-
an experience that can bring both heal- standing: "For if I pray in an
ing and blessing. This woman was a unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth,
believer, a wonderful child of God, a but my understanding is unfruitful"
dedicated Christian. By praying in (1 Cor. 14:14).
tongues, she built herself up on her All this changed after I received
most holy faith, and her faith began to the Holy Spirit and prayed in tongues.
operate. I can now communicate with God on
I have seen this happen many a new dimension. My spirit is no longer
times. I have seen people with incur- bound by earthly vocabularies; it can
able conditions receive the baptism of soar beyond the limitations of human
the Holy Spirit, speak with tongues, speech. My spirit is enabled by the
and become healed instantly. We had indwelling Holy Spirit to say what it
prayed for some of these same people wants to say.
with the laying on of hands before, but I cannot begin to estimate the
they had failed to receive their healing. worth of praying in the Spirit in my
We know that speaking with life. For many years, I traveled on the
tongues is a real spiritual boost to a per- evangelistic field, having to spend
son. It edifies him — it builds him up. much time away from my family.
Again and again the Holy Spirit
New Dimensions in Praise alerted me to needs in my family. I
would be awakened in the night by the
Speaking with tongues is a way Spirit's urging me to pray concerning
we can magnify God. We read in a problem that had arisen at home. I
Acts 10:46 concerning Cornelius and immediately would go to prayer, say-
his household, "For they heard ing, "I don't know what is wrong —
them speak with tongues, and I don't know the source of the trouble
magnify God...." — but You know everything."
I ministered for several years I would ask the Holy Spirit within
before receiving the baptism of the me, who is my Helper, to help me pray
Holy Spirit. During those years, I had about this situation, whatever it might
some wonderful times in prayer, but be, in the way it should be prayed for.
often I went away from my place of Then I began praying in tongues.
prayer disappointed, even though I I have prayed as much as six hours
was blessed. I felt as if something were in tongues. Often the Lord let me know
missing. what I was praying about and what
I would try to tell God how much the answer to it was. Whether or not
I loved Him, using all the descriptive He did, I knew my praying was right,
adjectives at my disposal. But I would and in a few days I would see how it
exhaust my vocabulary. In my spirit worked out.
I felt I had not said what I wanted to Praying in the Spirit has been such
say. This was because my spirit a blessing to my life that I want to
encourage Christians everywhere to urally.
make it a part of their prayer life, too. God wants to do so much more for
I want you to know the joy of you. He wants to communicate with
fellowshipping with the Lord in the you in a better way.
Holy Spirit. I want you to allow the
Spirit to help you with your praying. Memory Text:
I want to invite you to come on in and "For if I pray in an unknown tongue,
communicate with God supernat- my spirit prayeth . . . " (1 Cor. 14:14).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
The Prayers of Petition
Bible Texts: Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 22:42
Central Truth: God is concerned about everything that touches us,
and He has made a provision to meet our needs
In the King James Version, Ephe- cases.
sians 6:18 reads, "Praying always with all Likewise, spiritually, the principles
prayer and supplication in the Spirit..." that apply to one kind of prayer may not
Moffatt's translation reads, apply to another, and you can become
"Praying.... with all manner of prayer." terribly confused if you try to apply the
Yet another translation says, "Praying wrong rule to a certain kind of prayer.
with all kinds of prayer...." The first kind of prayer we will study
In today's lesson we will look at in this lesson is the prayer of petition.
some of the different kinds of prayer in
the New Testatment. The Prayer of Petition
Just as numerous games are
classified as "sports," different kinds of 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask
prayer often are lumped together under in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
the general category of "prayer."
We need to realize that just as MARK 11:24
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things
different rules govern each game,
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye
different principles, rules, or spiritual receive them, and ye shall have them.
laws also govern different kinds of
prayer. In sports, the rules that apply to By far the most frequent prayer of
baseball do not apply to football. Christians is the prayer of petition. We
A visitor from Europe was taken by always are petitioning or asking God to
his host to see an American baseball do something for us. This is scriptural,
game in New York City. He didn't know of course, because He told us in Matthew
much about the game, because it is not 21:22, "... ask in prayer, believing."
played in his country, and he had to ask The prayer of petition must be a
a number of questions because he didn't prayer of faith. It primarily concerns an
understand the terminology. He was individual's desires, needs, and
accustomed to sports that were quite problems. It is you praying for
different and he knew the same rules
didn't apply in all
yourself, not someone else praying Gethsemane.
for you or agreeing with you in By contrast, when He stood at
prayer. Lazarus' tomb, He didn't say, "If it be
When you pray the prayer of peti- thy will." Instead, He said, "I thank
tion, believe that you receive. If you You because You hear me always"
will do that, you will have what you (John 11:41-43). Then He
ask for. God is concerned about our commanded Lazarus to come forth.
needs and He wants to meet them for The prayer to raise Lazarus was a
us. prayer to change something. Anytime
Notice that in the Old Testament, we pray to change something, we do
God promised His people more than
not need to put an "if" in our prayer.
spiritual blessings; He promised them
If we do, we are using the wrong rule,
that they would prosper financially
and the prayer won't work. Instead,
and materially. He told them He would
take sickness away from their midst, we need to claim God's promise for our
and He would give them long life: "... petition and believe that we receive it.
the number of thy days I will fulfil" Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane — the
(Exod. 23:26). God also told them that prayer in which He put an "if" — was
if they would keep His command- a prayer of consecration.
ments, they would eat the good of the
land (Isa. 1:19). The Prayer of Consecration
God is just as interested in His LUKE 22:42
people today as He was then. He is 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing,
concerned about everything that remove this cup from me: nevertheless not
touches our lives. He promised us in my will, but thine, be done.
Third John 2, "Beloved, I wish above
In the Garden of Gethsemane
all things that thou mayest prosper
Christ prayed the prayer of submis-
and be in health, even as thy
sion, consecration, and dedication: "...
if thou be willing... nevertheless not
Jesus said, "If ye then, being evil,
my will..." He wanted to do what the
know how to give good gifts unto your
Father wanted Him to do.
children, how much more shall your
Father which is in heaven give good It was not a prayer of petition. It
things to them that ask him?" (Matt. was not a prayer to get something or
7:11). We must realize that it is God's to change something. It was a prayer
will that our needs — spiritual, of consecration.
physical, and material — be met. When we consecrate our lives for
Some people think they should con- God's use, to go anywhere and do
clude every prayer with the words "If anything He wants us to do, we pray
it be thy will." They claim this is the this kind of prayer. In a prayer of con-
way Jesus prayed. However, Jesus secration and dedication we pray, "If
prayed this way on only one occasion, it be thy will."
when He was praying in the Garden
or When it comes to changing things Memory Text: "Praying always
getting something from God, with all prayer and supplication in
however, we do not pray, "If it be thy the Spirit, and watching thereunto
will," because we already have God's with all perseverance and
Word concerning it. We know it is His supplication for all saints" (Eph.
will that our needs be met. 6:18).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: -But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James
behalf. way, do not come on these particular
The Christians we just read about nights."
in Acts 13, however, came together I added, "I don't want us to come
and "... ministered to the Lord, and and wait on Him for just ten minutes.
fasted." More than one person was I want us to come with the thought in
involved in this account, because it mind that we will wait at least an hour
says, "As THEY ministered to the in prayer, and perhaps longer. We will
Lord, and fasted...." This is the true minister to the Lord, praise Him, tell
prayer of worship. Him how much we love Him, and
thank Him for His goodness and
God's Desire for Man's One might have expected the
Praise crowds to have fallen off on those
God made man so He would have nights, but they didn't. Just as many
someone to have fellowship with. He people came to praise and worship the
made man for His own pleasure. It is Lord as came on the other nights. I
true that God is concerned about us found that the people wanted to wait
and wants to meet our every need, but on God. And in that kind of atmos-
even more than that, He wants our phere, God ministered to us in unusual
love, worship, and fellowship. ways. I am convinced that we miss
We are born of God. He is our out on many blessings because we
Father. No earthly parent ever en- don't take time to get into the right
joyed the fellowship of his children attitude of worship and to minister to
more than God enjoys the fellowship the Lord.
of His sons and daughters.
In one revival meeting we held I The Power of Praise
decided to do something different.
After about six weeks of meetings, I Let me call your attention to the
announced to the congregation one fact that this is the kind of atmosphere
night, "Let's have some different God can move in. We read in Acts
kinds of services. For three nights out 13:2, "As they ministered to the Lord,
of these remaining two weeks, I want and fasted, THE HOLY GHOST
us to come together to minister to the SAID...." With hearts full of love and
Lord." praise, yielded to the Lord, the Holy
I explained, "I may read from the Spirit can manifest Himself and make
Word a little and make a few com- known God's will and leading for His
ments, but I am not going to do any children's lives.
preaching. We are not going to peti- A minister told me of an experience
tion God to do anything. We are com- he once had which illustrates this
ing as a group to wait on the Lord — power of praise. Early in his ministry,
to minister to Him and to worship while he was still a young evangelist,
Him. If you don't want to pray this he was staying at a pastor's home
during one of his revival meetings.
During the night a call came for the "We stood around rejoicing, but
pastor to go pray for a baby who was while we were talking, the child
having convulsions. The pastor had awakened and went back into convul-
been called out of town to preach a sions. We became alarmed and started
funeral, but the pastor's wife asked to pray and rebuke the devil. We
this young evangelist to go with her anointed the child with oil and laid
and a few other faithful Christians to hands on him. We went through all the
pray for the child. usual maneuvers again, but nothing
Relating the experience to me, he seemed to help.
said, "We rebuked the devil, prayed at "Then when we settled down again,
the top of our voices, and went the pastor's wife began to praise the
through all the motions we sometimes Lord, ministering to the Lord, and
feel are necessary to get God to hear telling Him how much she loved Him.
our prayers. After about forty minutes We all joined in, and soon the child's
of such rigorous praying, the child was convulsions stopped and he went to
no better, but continued having con- sleep, permanently healed. That
vulsions. night I witnessed the power of
"I had done about all I knew to do praise."
— I'd done everything I'd ever seen This was an instance when the
anybody else do — but nothing hap- prayer of worship worked when
pened. Then the group gradually nothing else would. As these believers,
became quiet and the pastor's wife like those in the Early Church,
began to say softly, 'Praise the Lord, "ministered to the Lord," the Holy
praise the Lord,' and praises began Spirit moved and manifested the
rolling from her lips. She continued in mighty power of God.
this spirit of praise for about ten
minutes. Finally, one by one, all of us Memory Text:
picked it up until we were all praising "And they worshipped him, and
God. In the midst of that atmosphere, returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
the child's convulsions ceased and he And were continually in the temple,
fell asleep. praising and blessing God." (Luke
THE LESSON IN ACTION: '•But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James
tion. One could hardly blame them for that the foundations of the prison were
being discouraged. However, as some- shaken: and immediately all the doors
one has said, Paul and Silas got in were opened, and every one's bands
jail, but they didn't let the jail get in were loosed" (v. 26).
them. Deliverance came while they were
This is the reason many people are praising God.
defeated. Trouble comes to everyone,
but our attitude toward it is what A Song in Battle
makes the difference between victory
and defeat. How we look at the situa- Let us look at an Old Testament
tion makes the difference in whether counterpart to this story. During the
we get out at all. reign of King Jehoshaphat, the Ammo-
In the example of Paul and Silas we nites and Moabites came against the
can find help for our midnight hour Israelites. Jehoshaphat cried out to
— our time of testing — when the the Lord in prayer and He answered
storms of life threaten to sweep us him.
overboard. 2 CHRONICLES 20:15,17-19,21,22 15
Paul and Silas weren't in Philippi And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye
on a vacation. They were there to do inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king
the Lord's work. They weren't out of Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto
the will of God. you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by
The first thing that some people reason of this great multitude; for the
think when adversity strikes is that battle is not yours, but God's....
they surely must be out of the Lord's 17Ye shall not need to fight in this battle:
set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the
will or such a thing wouldn't have salvation of the Lord with you, 0 Judah and
happened. But Paul and Silas were Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed;
right in the middle of God's will. tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord
If we were meant to measure if we will be with you.
are in God's will by whether or not 18And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with
everything runs smoothly, with no his face to the ground: and all Judah and
hard places and no sacrifices, then the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the
Paul never got in the will of God in his Lord, worshipping the Lord.
19And the Levites, of the children of the
entire ministry — he missed it from
Kohathites, and of the children of the
beginning to end! Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God
Let us notice something else in of Israel with a loud voice on high____
verse 25: "And at midnight Paul and 21And when he had consulted with the
Silas prayed, and sang praises unto people, he appointed singers unto the Lord,
God: AND THE PRISONERS and that should praise the beauty of
HEARD THEM." They weren't quiet holiness, as they went out before the army,
about it. They were praising God out and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy
loud right there in jail. endureth for ever.
Not only did the prisoners hear 22And when they began to sing and to
them, but God heard them! "And sud-
denly there was a great earthquake, so
praise, the Lord set ambushments against LUKE 24:50-53
the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount 50And he led them out as far as to
Seir, which were come against Judah; and Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and
they were smitten. blessed them.
51And it came to pass, while he blessed
Jehoshaphat knew his army was no them, he was parted from them, and carried
match for those of the countries up into heaven.
banded against him, but he knew his 52And they worshipped him, and returned
God was more than a match for them. to Jerusalem with great joy:
He called a prayer meeting and the 53And were continually in the temple,
praising and blessing God. Amen.
people fasted and prayed. The Spirit
of God moved upon a young man in After the disciples watched Jesus
the congregation and he stood and return to heaven, they went back to
prophesied. The Lord told them not to Jerusalem with hearts filled with
fear, for the battle was the Lord's. praise and thanksgiving to God.
The next morning when they went Then we read about them in Acts
out against the enemy's powerful 2:46,47: "And they, continuing daily
armies, they did not go against them with one accord in the temple, and
with swords and spears but with songs breaking bread from house to house,
of praise (v. 21). They marched and did eat their meat with gladness and
chanted, "Praise the Lord; for his singleness of heart, Praising God,
mercy endureth for ever." In their hour and having favour with all the people.
of trial, instead of cowering in fear, the And the Lord added to the church
children of Israel sang praises to God daily such as should be saved."
just as Paul and Silas did in jail. Notice the expression, "They, con-
And what was the outcome of this tinuing DAILY with one accord... eat
battle? Look at verse 22: "And when their meat with gladness ... praising
they began to sing and to praise, the God.... "With these early Christians,
Lord set ambushments against the this wasn't a spasmodic occurrence —
children of Ammon, Moab, and mount something that happened once in a
Seir, which were come against Judah; great while. The Bible uses the words
and they were smitten." When they "continually" and "daily."
began to sing praises to God, He did Too many Christians today get
something. They witnessed a "prayed through" about every six
manifestation of God's power. months and have a time of praising
and blessing God. If we were writing
Praise, a Characteristic of about their experience, we would have
the Early Church to use the words "occasionally" or
perhaps even "semi-annually." But the
A spirit of praise and rejoicing was Bible records that the early Christians
a characteristic of the Early Church. "were continually in the temple,
praising and blessing God." Memory Text:
If we want to see the same "And they worshipped him, and
manifestation of power the Early returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
Church had, we are going to have to And were continually in the temple,
see the same manifestations of praise praising and blessing God. Amen"
they had. (Luke 24:52,53).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
Bible Text: Acts 4:23-31 Central
Truth: There is power in united prayer.
In the third chapter of Acts we read in them is:
that as Peter and John entered the 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David
Temple through the Gate Beautiful, hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and
the people imagine vain things?
they saw a man begging alms.
26The kings of the earth stood up, and the
Peter told the man to look at them. rulers were gathered together against the
Expecting to receive a coin, he looked, Lord, and against his Christ.
and Peter told him, "Silver and gold 27For of a truth against thy holy child
have I none; but such as I have give I Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gen
Nazareth rise up and walk " (Acts 3:6). tiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered
Peter took the man by the hand, lifted
28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy
him up, and the man started walking. He counsel determined before to be done.
entered the Temple praising God. 29And now, Lord, behold their threaten-
This raised a stir among the people, ings: and grant unto thy servants, that with
and Peter and John were taken before the all boldness they may speak thy word,
priests and elders. They were cast into 30By stretching forth thine hand to heal;
prison, and the next day were taken and that signs and wonders may be done
before the rulers. Unable to deny that a by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
true miracle had taken place, the priests
were forced to let them go. However, From Prison to Prayer
they commanded them not to preach or Group
teach in the Name of Jesus anymore.
Then we read: Notice the first thing Peter and John
did when they were released from the
ACTS 4:23-30 prison: "And being let go, they went to
23And being let go, they went to their own their own company.. .. " A good place to
company, and reported all that the chief be when in trouble is with your "own
priests and elders had said unto them.
company" — people of like faith! It is
24And when they heard that, they lifted
up their voice to God with one accord, and good to be around people who know
said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made how to pray.
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that I often have thought that if this
group had been like some Christians
today, the first thing they would have we might as well be following them in
done would have been to organize a prayer.)
committee to go talk to those leaders As I read through the Book of
and make a deal whereby everyone Acts, I underlined in red pencil every
could get along. After all, these leaders verse where it said the people prayed
were religious men, too. They believed in a group. I couldn't find one place
in God and prayer. The only difference where they called on one person to lead
was that they didn't accept Jesus as in prayer! Nor did they have any kind
being the Messiah, the Son of God. of "sentence prayers." The Bible said
However, the Bible does not say they lifted their voices. They all prayed
they appointed a committee for com- at once, and they all prayed out loud.
promise. It says, "... they lifted up After reading this, the next time I
their voice to God with one accord." went to a Full Gospel service I got
They knew the value of united prayer. right in the middle of where they were
praying. My mind had been renewed
I was raised in a Southern Baptist
with the Word, and I got a blessing I
church, and in my youth I never heard
never had received when praying alone
people praying aloud in united prayer.
quietly. I saw for the first time the
In our church someone usually led in
blessing of united prayer.
prayer. We never lifted our voices as
a group in prayer.
When I started attending some
Results of United Prayer
Full Gospel services, their praying all What was the result of the united
at once disturbed me. I would go down prayer of the believers in this fourth
to the altar to pray with them, but I chapter of Acts? Was their united
prayed quietly. It bothered me prayer answered?
because they prayed aloud. Their Let's look at verse 31:
services stimulated my faith, but
when I prayed at the altar, I would ACTS 4:31
get at the far end, away from them, so 31 And when they had prayed, the place
was shaken where they were assembled
I wouldn't be close to their noise. together; and they were all filled with the
One time I ventured to say Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of
something about it. I told them that God with boldness.
God wasn't hard of hearing. They In verse 29 we read that they had
responded, "He isn't nervous, either." prayed, "And now, Lord, behold their
I decided to search my Bible for the threatenings: and grant unto thy ser-
scriptural answer to this question. I vants, that with all boldness they may
wanted to see how the Early Church speak thy word."
had prayed. (We claim to be preaching They had not asked the Lord to
the same New Birth they preached, so remove the persecution or to strike
down their enemies. They had not Some people say they want to pray
asked the Lord to make their way quietly because the Lord knows they
easy. Instead they had prayed that in have a song in their heart. But if it is
the midst of persecution they might there, it is going to come out, "... for
preach the Word with boldness. And out of the abundance of the heart the
the Lord had answered their prayer. mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34).
Verse 31 says that "... the place Did God answer the united prayer
was shaken where they were assem- of Paul and Silas? Acts 16:26 says,
bled together...." Do you know of any "And suddenly there was a great
group of people who are praying and earthquake, so that the foundations of
shaking anything today? If Christians the prison were shaken: and immedi-
today would get together and pray ately all the doors were opened and
"with one accord," they would shake every one's bands were loosed." Again
the world for Jesus. There is power in the place was shaken as a result of
united prayer! united prayer!
Notice, too, that their prayer was When Paul and Silas joined forces
for something specific. They were in prayer and praise to God, the very
definite in their praying. They were foundations of the prison were shaken!
not praying some generalized prayer; The stocks came off their feet, and
they were praying about the need that they were free.
faced them. And they all prayed at The jailer, awakened by the earth-
once. As they lifted their voices to God quake, saw the prison doors standing
in fervent prayer, "the place was open and assumed the prisoners had
shaken." fled. He knew he would be held respon-
In our last lesson we studied about sible for their escape, and he became
a similar incident. Paul and Silas had so frightened that he was going to kill
been thrown in jail in Philippi for himself. Just then Paul cried out, "...
preaching the Gospel. Do thyself no harm: for we are all here "
Instead of complaining to the Lord (v. 28).
about what had happened to them, The jailer knew he had witnessed
they lifted their voices to the Lord in the supernatural that night. He knew
songs of praise. "And at midnight Paul and Silas were no ordinary men,
Paul and Silas prayed, and sang and he "... came trembling, and fell
praises unto God: and the prisoners down before Paul and Silas, And
heard them" (Acts 16:25). They, too, brought them out, and said, Sirs, what
were praying aloud, for "the prisoners must I do to be saved? And they said,
heard them." They weren't off in some Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
corner mumbling quiet, forlorn pleas thou shalt be saved, and thy house"
to God. The prisoners heard them as (vv. 29-31). As a result of Paul and
they sang praises unto God. Silas' united prayer that night, the
jailer and his entire family accepted Memory Text:
Christ as Savior and all were baptized. "These all continued with one accord
There is supernatural power in in prayer and supplication . . . " (Acts
united prayer! 1:14).
THE LESSON I N ACTI ON: "B ut be ye d oe rs o f t he wo rd , a nd n o t he ar ers o nl y . . . " ( James 1: 2 2).
The Prayer of Commitment
Bible Texts: Matthew 6:25-27; Philippians 4:6
Central Truth: When the winds of adversity blow, we can do exactly
as the Word of God says. We do not have to fret or
worry; we can cast our burdens on the Lord.
Do you sometimes pray about a what God said to do about cares,
problem with seemingly no results? anxieties, worries, and concerns.
Unanswered prayers usually are due to Other Christians seem satisfied to
our not praying in line with the Word of t hi n k t h at G od k no ws an d
God. understands all about their problems —
Often there are times when we need to but they still cling to these cares.
pray the prayer of commitment. Peter Therefore, they don't get their prayers
talked about this kind of prayer when he answered. It is not enough to know that
said, "Casting all your care upon him; God understands and is concerned.
for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7). I We must do what He said to do if we
believe The Amplified Bible translation want to be delivered from our problems.
of this verse is most illuminating and Cast all your cares, all your anxieties,
enlightening. It says, "Casting the whole all your worries upon Him, for He cares
of your care — all your anxieties, all for you. This is the prayer of
your worries, all your concerns, once commitment — the prayer of casting or
and for all — on Him; for He cares for rolling our cares and burdens upon Him.
you affectionately, and cares about you A Scripture in the Psalms may help us
watchfully." see more clearly what Peter is talking
How wonderful that we can cast our about here: "Commit thy way unto the
cares upon the Lord in prayer! Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring
it to pass" (Ps. 37:5). A reference in the
King James Version says, "Roll thy way
Pray According to Laws upon the Lord."
Governing Prayer Commit, cast, roll your burden on
If people would just pray this the Lord. He is not going to take it
prayer of commitment, it would away from you. Some request, "Pray
eliminate some of the things they are that the Lord will lighten this load."
praying about! He's not going to do that. He doesn't
Some people's prayers are not want to just lighten your load; He
answered because they are not doing
wants to carry it all. But there is a really want to get rid of their prob-
vital part that we must play in this. lems. Oh, they claim — sometimes
It is the prayer of commitment. rather loudly — that they do. But they
God does not want His children to don't — not really — because if they
worry, to be full of anxiety, or to be did, they wouldn't have anything to
burdened down with the cares of life. get people's sympathy with. They
But there is something you must do. wouldn't have anything to complain
In imperative sentences, such as about. They would almost have to
those in First Peter 5:7 and Psalm close down conversation!
37:5, the subject of the sentence is
understood to be "you." The Lord
said, "You cast all your care upon The Futility of Worry
him." "You commit your way unto the MATTHEW 6:25-27
Lord." 25Therefore I say unto you, Take no
We must do our part — we must thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or
obey the Lord before He can come to what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body,
our aid. We must turn loose of our what ye shall put on. Is not the life more
problem before He can take over. than meat, and the body than raiment?
This is a once-and-for-all proposi- 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow
tion; it isn't something you do every not, neither do they reap, nor gather into
barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth
day. When we really cast our cares
them. Are ye not much better than they?
upon Him, we don't have them
27Which of you by taking thought can add
anymore. We are rid of them. They are one cubit unto his stature?
no longer in our hands, but in His.
There is so much that the Lord Jesus was simply saying in this
would have done for us, but we passage, "Which of you by worrying
wouldn't let Him. We may have been and being over-anxious is going to
honest and sincere in our praying, but change anything?" We all know that
we saw no answers to our prayers worry is like a rocking chair: It keeps
because we did not come according to you busy, but it doesn't get you
His rules, His laws, that govern the anywhere.
operation of prayer. We did not do Luke's Gospel records the same
what He told us to do, and we teaching and says, "And he said unto
wondered why He didn't work certain his disciples, Therefore I say unto you,
things out for us. Take no thought for your life . . . "
Sometimes we have brought our (Luke 12:22). Another translation of
burden to the altar of prayer. We have this verse reads, "Be not anxious
prayed and prayed and prayed about about tomorrow."
it. Then when we got up to leave, we Of course, we have to plan and
picked up our burden off the altar and prepare for tomorrow. We have to
took it home with us! make certain provisions for the future.
Then there are those who do not But what the Lord was teaching us
here is that He doesn't want us to be He has promised to bring it to pass,
filled with anxiety and worry about but only after you have committed
tomorrow. We can say with the Gospel your "way unto the Lord."
songwriter, "I don't know about When we cast our cares on the
tomorrow, but I know Who holds my Lord, we no longer have them. To illus-
hand." That's all that is important. trate, if I took the last five dollars out
of my billfold and gave it to you, I
Worry Nullifies Prayer wouldn't have it any longer; you
would. Then if someone came along
PHILIPPIANS 4:6 and asked to borrow a dollar, promis-
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every ing to pay it back the next day, I
thing by prayer and supplication with would have to say, "I don't have a
thanksgiving let your requests be made dollar."
known unto God. I pastored for about twelve years.
The Amplified translation of this Occasionally during that time, prob-
verse will help us. It says, "Do not fret lems arose, and I would be tempted to
or have any anxiety about anything." worry about them. When I would find
Again, "you" is the understood sub- myself becoming anxious about
ject of the sentence. When the Lord something, I would start talking to
said, "Be careful (anxious) for myself. "Now, Kenneth," I would say,
nothing," He was saying, "[You] be "you know better than this. You are
careful for nothing...." In other beginning to fret. Don't do it. It's not
words, "Don't you fret or have any right."
anxiety about anything." Many times during the night I
As long as you fret and have would awaken and the devil would
anxiety concerning the thing you are bring to my mind a picture of certain
praying about, you are nullifying the conditions which existed in the church.
effects of your praying. You haven't I would be tempted to worry, but
cast it on the Lord; you still have it. instead of worrying, I'd start laughing
If you have it, He doesn't have it. If right out loud and say, "I don't have
He has it, you don't have it. that problem. Praise the Lord, I'm
As long as you are still worrying carefree. I don't have it, devil. You can
about your problem, lying awake at show me a picture of it if you want, but
night, tossing from one side of the bed I don't have it. The Lord has it."
to the other, trying to figure it out, He It's amazing what God can do with
doesn't have it. As long as your your problems when He has them!
stomach churns every time you think But as long as you hold onto them —
about it, as long as you can't eat for as long as you try to figure them out
worrying about it, He doesn't have it. for Him and try to help Him work
You do. And really, all of your pray- them out — He doesn't have any of
ing about it will not work, because you them. You have them all.
have not done as He has commanded. When the winds of adversity blow,
we can do exactly as the Word of God Therefore, you can sleep peacefully.
says. We do not have to fret or worry; If we really believe the Bible and
we can cast our burdens on the Lord. practice God's Word, we never should
If you haven't done it yet, there is worry. If we really believe what Jesus
no better time than now to turn loose said — "If ye shall ask any thing in my
of your problems and sleep peacefully name, I will do it" (John 14:14) — we
tonight. If the devil tries to bring a pic- wouldn't worry even if our house
ture of them before you, put them out burned down while we were away. We
of your mind immediately and say, wouldn't worry or fret about it. We
"No, I don't have that, devil. I don't would say, "Praise God, we'll get a
have a care, I have turned them over better one." This is the attitude God
to the Lord and He has them." wants us to have. Purpose in your
He'll work on it while you are sleep- heart today to practice God's Word; to
ing. He never slumbers or sleeps (Ps. practice faith.
121:4). You need sleep, but He doesn't.
"... he giveth his beloved sleep" (Ps.
127:2). You are His beloved because Memory Text:
you are accepted in the Beloved, the "Casting all your care upon him; for he
Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:6). careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
What Jesus Said About Prayer (Part
Bible Text: Matthew 6:5-13
Central Truth: The Lord's Prayer is a pattern in which we see certain
principles of prayer.
While Jesus was here on earth, He be thy name.
taught much about prayer. Perhaps the 10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in
best known of His teachings on prayer earth, as it is in heaven.
is the often-repeated "Lord's Prayer." In 11Give us this day our daily bread.
this brief prayer, we find a pattern for 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
prayer which Jesus gave to His 13And lead us not into temptation, but
disciples. Just preceding this prayer, as deliver us from evil: For thine is the
recorded in Matthew's Gospel, are a few kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for
verses which also are very enlightening ever. Amen.
on this subject. They actually are a
prelude to the prayer. Private Prayer
5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not One of the first things Jesus said
be as the hypocrites are: for they love to here was, "And when thou prayest, thou
pray standing in the synagogues and in the shalt not be as the hypocrites are...."
corners of the streets, that they may be seen Surely none of us wants to be
of men. Verily I say unto you, They have hypocritical, especially in our praying.
their reward. Then He described the hypocrite: "...
6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into they love to pray standing in the
thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy synagogues and in the corners of the
door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; streets, that they may be seen of men."
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall This does not mean, however, that all
reward thee openly. of our praying should be private. As we
7But when ye pray, use not vain repeti
tions, as the heathen do: for they think that looked at the Early Church in prayer in
they shall be heard for their much speaking. Lesson 14, we saw them praying
8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for together as a group throughout the
your Father knoweth what things ye have Book of Acts.
need of, before ye ask him. What Jesus was referring to here
9After this manner therefore pray ye: was the danger of praying only to be
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed seen of men. There are those who pray in
public to appear really spiritual; to
make people think they are real prayer —their lengthy and repeated calling
warriors. Those who pray only for the on God. They repeat the same prayer
applause of men have their reward, —they say the same phrases and
and that is all it is — the fleeting words — over and over again, thinking
applause of men. they will be heard because of that. But
Jesus told His disciples to "enter this is exactly what Jesus condemned
into thy closet, and when thou hast when He said, "... use not vain repeti
shut thy door, pray to thy Father tions, as the heathen do...."
which is in secret." He was stressing Then He said, "Be not ye therefore
the importance of a private prayer like unto them: for your Father
life. knoweth what things ye have need of,
Public prayer is necessary and vital before ye ask him." He knows before
in the life of the Church. Praying you ask, yet He wants you to ask, as
together as a family is necessary and we shall see in the next chapter of
vital to the spiritual strength of the Matthew, where He said, "Ask, and it
home. But private prayer is essential shall be given you . . . " (Matt. 7:7).
to the spiritual life of the individual. God does not hear you simply
It is when we grow in spiritual stature. because you repeat the same prayer
It should not be just at those crisis over and over. Some seem to have the
times when we are driven to our knees. idea that if they could just pray long
We should be spiritually prepared for and loudly enough, eventually they
such times through a daily prayer time could talk God into hearing them. But
which we set aside for fellowship God is not going to hear you because
with God. you prayed loudly or quietly. As we
have seen in previous lessons, it is the
Repetitious Prayer prayer of faith that God hears. He
hears you because you believe Him
Jesus went on to say, "But when when you pray, and you come accord-
ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the ing to His Word.
heathen do: for they think that they
shall be heard for their much
speaking" (v. 7). Basic Principles of Prayer
Thus, we have two admonitions In the next few verses in Matthew,
from the Lord: (1) don't be like the Jesus taught His disciples some basic
hypocrites in our praying, and (2) don't elements of prayer. Commonly referred
be like the heathen in our praying. to as the Lord's Prayer, it is more
Jesus said the heathen think they accurately the Disciples' Prayer, or the
will be heard by their gods because of model for prayer that He gave to them
their repetitious praying. Sad to say, while He walked with them on the
some of this heathen thinking has earth.
sifted down into Christian thinking! Dispensationally speaking, this is
Many have the idea that God will hear not the Church praying, for the
them because of their much speaking
disciples did not ask anything in the because He is our Father, and to come
Name of Jesus. When the Church in praise and in worship: "Our Father
prays, she prays in the Name of Jesus. which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy
(However, we can learn many truths name . . . " (v. 9). Come into His
concerning prayer here.) presence first with praise and worship
Jesus was not telling the disciples because He is our Father.
to pray this prayer word for word. He
was giving them some principles in The Principle of Putting
connection with prayer that will work God First
for the Church today. The next verse in this pattern
prayer says, "Thy kingdom come. Thy
will be done in earth, as it is in heaven"
The Principle of Praise (v. 10). The principle involved here is
The prayer begins with the words, putting the kingdom of God first.
"Our Father which art in heaven.. . . " Later on in this same chapter,
The unsaved can pray this prayer just Jesus repeated this principle: "But
as they can recite a poem or sing a seek ye first the kingdom of God, and
song. But to really pray this prayer his righteousness; and all these things
from the heart — to really have shall be added unto you" (v. 33). If we
fellowship with God — one must put God first, we need have no worry
actually be a child of God. Otherwise, about material needs, for "all these
he cannot truly say, "Our Father...." things shall be added unto you."
We hear much teaching these days We do not have to go through life
about "the fatherhood of God and the with the soles of our shoes worn thin,
brotherhood of man." Some would try with unpaid bills past due, and driving
to make us believe we all are children an old Model T Ford. If God is first in
of God; that He is the Father of all of our lives, "all these things shall be
us. While it's true that He's the added."
Creator of all, and we all are fellow Have you ever thought how all-
creatures, He isn 't the Father of all of inclusive this prayer is? Jesus prayed,
us. He is only the Father of those who "Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE
have been born again; those in His DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HE
family. A VEN." Do you suppose there are any
During Jesus' earthly ministry He sick people in heaven? No. Nor is it
once said to a group of Pharisees, who God's will that there should be any
were very religious people, "Ye are of sick people on earth.
your father the devil" (John 8:44). The God wants to shower our lives
Pharisees were good people as far as with blessings. He wants our lives
works were concerned. Yet Jesus said, here on earth to be lived in the
"Ye are of your father the devil"! center of His will, as it is in heaven.
Jesus is saying here that the right He wants us to enjoy abundant living.
approach to God is to come to Him Jesus said, "... I am come that they
might have life,
and that they might have it more abun- resentment, although they have not
dantly" (John 10:10). responded at all to medical treatment,
in most cases their trouble clears up.
The Principle of Daily More and more, medical science is dis-
Prayer covering how closely our inner f eelings
are related to our physical health.
In the next verse of this prayer, I have heard Christians who were
Jesus taught us the importance of not walking in close fellowship with
daily prayer, of asking God for our the Lord tell me how badly they had
every need: "Give us this day our been treated by a certain person. They
DAILY bread" (Matt. 6:11). Even would say, "Oh, yes, I have forgiven
though God knows our every need, He him all right, but I never will forget
still wants us to ask Him! what he did to me!" They really hadn't
forgiven that person at all! Resent-
The Principle of Forgiveness ment still lurked in the hidden corners
Jesus taught much about forgive- of their heart.
ness during His stay here on earth,
and He included forgiveness as one of The Principle of
the essential elements of prayer: "And Deliverance from
forgive us our debts, as we forgive our Temptation
debtors" (v. 12). In verses 14 and 15 "And lead us not into temptation,
He also said, "For if ye forgive men but deliver us from evil.. ."(v. 13). The
their trespasses, your heavenly Father word temptation means "test" or
will also forgive you: But if ye forgive "trial." Many tests and trials could be
not men their trespasses, neither will overcome in advance by the child of
your Father forgive your trespasses." God who is enjoying the fellowship
Prayer will not work in an unfor- with the Father that a proper prayer
giving heart. We simply cannot hold life brings.
a grudge against anyone and maintain Then we come to the conclusion:
a prayer life that gets results! "... For thine is the kingdom, and the
There are many instances where power, and the glory, forever. Amen"
mental confusion and emotional (v. 13). The prayer that began with
frustration can be attributed to har- praise also ends with praise.
boring bitterness against others.
Doctors have learned that people who Memory Text:
hold resentment in their hearts are "But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
more susceptible to certain types of and his righteousness; and all these
diseases. When they can get such things shall be added unto you" (Matt.
patients to rid themselves of their 6:33).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
What Jesus Said About Prayer
Bible Texts: Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:5-13
Central Truth: God loves us and wants us to have good things, just
as we love our children and want them to have good
The model prayer Jesus gave to His Jesus had come along as the prophets of
disciples, commonly referred to as the old, proclaiming judgment against them
Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), begins and presenting a distant, unap-
with the words, "Our Father which art proachable God to them, they might
in heaven.. . . " have understood Him better. That was the
In the next chapter of Matthew, picture of God they were accustomed
when Jesus was again teaching on to.
prayer, He used another illustration of When God came down and talked to
how the earthly relationship between Moses on the mountain, there was fire,
father and son is like the believer's thunder, and lightning. Anyone who
relationship with the heavenly Father. touched that mountain died instantly.
When the presence of God moved into
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and the Holy of Holies, no one dared intrude
ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened there for fear of instant death. The Jews
unto you: knew about a God who was high and
8For every one that asketh receiveth; and holy — a God who dealt an awful
he that seeketh findeth; and to him that judgment — and they feared Him.
knocketh it shall be opened. Jesus, however, came with a
9Or what man is there of you, whom if message of love. He introduced God as a
his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Father. He suggested they could
10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a approach God as a Father. But the
serpent? Jews just couldn't comprehend that
11If ye then, being evil, know how to give
good gifts unto your children, how much
kind of a God.
more shall your Father which is in heaven We see the same thing today. To
give good things to them that ask him? many, Christianity is just a religion
about a faraway God. They really don't
Knowing God As Father know Him. They never have come to
Him through Jesus Christ in order to
Here we can see one reason the know Him personally as their
Jews could not understand Jesus. If
Father; so they try to approach Him with the thinking of the Eastern mind,
in the wrong manner. I learned that this was not what Jesus
But thank God, He is our Father meant at all.
and we can come to Him because we "In those days, if someone came to
are His children! the outer gate and knocked, seeking
entrance, the more wealthy would send
their servant to call out and ask the
Ask, Seek, Knock ... name of the visitor. If it was someone
Believe who was known, they could enter
Whether or not they use it, most immediately. If it was someone
Christians are aware that this verse is unknown, the servant would go to the
in the Bible: "Ask, and it shall be given master of the house and ask if he
you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and should let the visitor in. The thought
it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7). here is that when you knock, if you are
Too often, though, we fail to receive known, you gain immediate entrance.
what we are asking for; we fail to find 'To him that knocketh it shall be
what we are seeking; and the door on opened.' "
which we are knocking is not opened. If when we ask we do not receive,
Why? We must be doing something if when we seek we do not find, if when
wrong when we don't receive, because we knock it is not opened to us, we
the next verse promises, "For every should ask ourselves if we are known
one that asketh receiveth; and he that by the Master of the house. If not, we
seeketh findeth; and to him that should become acquainted personally
knocketh it shall be opened" (v. 8). and intimately with our Lord and
What is the reason for our failure? Savior Jesus Christ. We should make
I once read a book by a missionary Him Lord of our life.
who had spent 32 years in the Holy Having done this, the next step is
Land. This was around the turn of the faith, to "... believe that he is, and
century, when customs there were that he is a rewarder of them that
very much like they had been for diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6). For,
centuries. as Jesus explained in Matthew 7:11,
In his book, the missionary com- our heavenly Father is eager to give
mented on this passage of Scripture in good gifts unto His children: "If ye
Matthew 7. He said, "I thought, as then, being evil, know how to give
most Christians do, that when Jesus good gifts unto your children, how
said, 'Ask, and it shall be given you; much more shall your Father which is
seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it in heaven give good things to them
shall be opened unto you,' He meant that ask him?" (v. 11).
if you asked and didn't receive an What earthly father wants his
immediate answer to keep on asking. children to go through life poor and
However, after living in the Holy Land downtrodden, sick and suffering? On
for many years and becoming familiar the contrary, most of us labor and
sacrifice so our children can have or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him
advantages we never had. So if you, a serpent?
being carnal — being human — want 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer
good things for your children, "... him a scorpion?
13If ye then, being evil, know how to give
HOW MUCH MORE shall your
good gifts unto your children: how much
Father which is in heaven give good more shall your heavenly Father give the
things to them that ask him?" Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Those three words, "how much
more," send a thrill through my spirit. The Prayer of Importunity
If we want happiness for our children,
how much more does God want the In this account, which deals with
same for us. If we want good health for the prayer of importunity, many
our children, how much more does God people have had the mistaken idea
want good health for us. If we want that Jesus was teaching us to keep on
material blessings for our children, asking in order to get results.
how much more does God want the In this parable we see a man who
same for us. had a guest arrive during the night. He
Luke's account of this story gives didn't have any bread to set before
us a few more details. him, so he went to his neighbor's house
and asked for a loaf of bread. The
LUKE 11:5-13 neighbor responded, "I'm already in
5And he said unto them, Which of you bed; don't bother me." But when the
shall have a friend, and shall go unto him man kept pleading with him, he
at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend finally granted his request.
me three loaves;
Jesus was illustrating here that
6For a friend of mine in his journey is
come to me, and I have nothing to set before although the neighbor would not get
him? out of bed to give the man bread just
7And he from within shall answer and because he was a friend, he gave it to
say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, him because of his importunity. Jesus
and my children are with me in bed; I can was saying how much more our
not rise and give thee. heavenly Father will hear us and grant
8I say unto you, Though he will not rise our requests.
and give him, because he is his friend, yet It is the importunity of faith, not
because of his importunity he will rise and
the importunity of unbelief, that gets
give him as many as he needeth.
9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall results. We can keep on begging God
be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, — importuning all we want — and we
and it shall be opened unto you. never will get an answer if our impor-
10For every one that asketh receiveth; and tuning prayer is in unbelief.
he that seeketh findeth; and to him that It is the importunity of faith that
knocketh it shall be opened. works: "Ask, and it shall be given
11If a son shall ask bread of any of you you; seek, and ye shall find; knock,
that is a father, will he give him a stone? and it shall be opened unto you."
Andrew Murray had real insight give good gifts unto your children: how
into this subject of importunity in much more shall your heavenly Father
prayer. He said it is not good taste to give THE HOLY SPIRIT to them
ask the Lord for the same thing over that ask him?" (Although Matthew
and over again. He said if the thing didn't specifically name the Holy
which you have prayed about hasn't Spirit in this verse, we know that the
materialized, don't ask again the same Holy Spirit is a "good thing.")
way you did in the beginning. That I am sure the Holy Spirit had a
would be a confession that you didn't purpose for inspiring Luke and
believe God the first time. Matthew to record this as they did.
Just remind God of your request. The Holy Spirit, as He inspired
Remind Him of what He promised. Matthew, wanted to stress the good
Remind Him you are expecting the things of life. He wanted us to know
answer, and let this importunity be an that God loves us just as we love our
importunity of faith. It will bring children and want them to have good
results. things. The Holy Spirit inspired Luke
Luke's account of the story is more to emphasize the spiritual things God
detailed then Matthew's, and in verse has for us.
13, Luke added something. Matthew By asking, seeking, and knocking
recorded, "//ye then, being evil, know in faith, we can enjoy the abundant
how to give good gifts unto your blessings God has for His children.
children, how much more shall your
Father which is in heaven give Memory Text:
GOOD THINGS to them that ask "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,
him?" and ye shall find; knock, and it shall
Luke enlarges on this by saying, be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7).
"If ye then, being evil, know how to
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
What Jesus Said About Prayer
Bible Texts: Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14,20-24; John 15:7,8
Central Truth: Where the Word of God abides, there faith abides.
In Matthew 21 we come to another reference to prayer in the Book of
passage where Jesus taught on prayer. He Mark, but the writer devoted a great
actually was talking about faith and deal of attention to it. Whereas
prayer. You can't very well talk about Matthew told the story in five verses,
faith without talking about prayer, nor Mark takes nearly twice as many
can you talk about prayer without verses to tell the same story.
talking about faith. They go hand in
hand. MARK 11:12-14,20-24
12And on the morrow, when they were
come from Bethany, he was hungry:
Pray, Believe, Receive 13And seeing a fig tree afar off having
MATTHEW 21:18-22 leaves, he came, if haply he might find any
18Now in the morning as he returned into thing thereon: and when he came to it, he
the city, he hungered. found nothing but leaves; for the time of
19And when he saw a fig tree in the way, figs was not yet.
he came to it, and found nothing thereon, 14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No
but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And
fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. his disciples heard it... .
And presently the fig tree withered away. 20And in the morning, as they passed by,
20And when the disciples saw it, they they saw the fig tree dried up from the
marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree roots.
withered away! 21And Peter calling to remembrance saith
21Jesus answered and said unto them, unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which
Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and thou cursedst is withered away.
doubt not, ye shall not only do this which 22And Jesus answering saith unto them,
is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall Have faith in God.
say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, 23For verily I say unto you, That
and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be
done. thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;
22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall
in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. believe that those things which he saith
shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever
Let's look at this same account in he saith.
Mark's Gospel. This is the only 24Therefore I say unto you, What things
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that almost as impossible and have received
ye receive them, and ye shall have them. them. Jesus said it, and I believe it:
"What things soever ye desire, when
In studying the Bible, it is good to
ye pray, believe that ye receive them,
compare the different Gospel writers'
and ye shall have them."
accounts of the same incidents in
Jesus' life. In this way we get
different viewpoints. (One writer
The Word of Faith
may give us details that the others In John's account of what Jesus
left out.) said about prayer, not one time does
In Matthew's account of the above he use the words "faith" or "believe."
story, Jesus said, "And all things Let us look at one example:
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, JOHN 15:7,8
believing, ye shall receive" (v. 22). 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide
Mark put it a little differently: "... in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall
What things soever ye desire, when ye be done unto you.
pray, believe that ye receive them, and 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye
ye shall have them" (v. 24). Both bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
writers gave the basic formula for Why was it unnecessary to use the
faith: Pray, believe, receive. words "faith" or "believe" in this
Someone has asked, "But what if passage of Scripture about prayer? It
you didn't receive?" is because there is no problem with
Then you didn't ask believing, did faith if His words abide in you. There
you? The Scripture says if you pray is only a lack of faith when the Word
and believe, you shall receive. doesn't abide in you, because if the
"Yes, but maybe it isn't the will of Word doesn't abide, something else
God," people will reply. does. If the Word abides in you, faith
The Scripture didn't say anything abides in you: "So then faith cometh
about that. We are too quick to use by hearing, and hearing by the word
this as an excuse for our unbelief. of God" (Rom. 10:17).
Jesus said if you ask in prayer, A person may be giving mental
believing, you shall receive! assent to belief in the Word of God. He
"But what if someone asked for ten could stand up, shake his fist, and
million oil wells?" someone might ask. declare with fervor that he believes in
the verbal inspiration of the Bible,
Well, if you have faith for ten
that he believes it from cover to cover
million oil wells, you will get them. But
— from Genesis to Revelation —
I doubt seriously you could believe
yet never have the Word abiding in
that. Don't ask me to agree with you
in prayer for them, because I don't
Notice that Jesus didn't say, "//
think I could. However, if you can YE abide in m e . . . . " If He had stopped
believe that you will receive ten million there, we would automatically have it
oil wells, you will get them. Sometimes made as born-again Christians,
I have believed for things that seemed
because with the New Birth we do the light of the Word.
abide in Christ. But the Scripture goes I heard F. F. Bosworth preach
on to say, "... and my words abide in when he was 75 years old and still
you.. . . " active in the Lord's work. He said, "I
The Word is called "the word of always start every morning by saying,
faith": "But what saith it? The word 'Lord, quicken thou me according to
is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and thy Word.' "
in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, Then he went on to say what it
which we preach" (Rom. 10:8). If this meant to him to be quickened accord-
Word abides in you, it will cause faith ing to God's Word. He told me how he
to spring up in your heart. still was in good health at age 75. For
all those years he had trusted God and
The Light of the Word never had any kind of medication.
Bosworth lived to be 81 years old
That is the reason the Psalmist of and was busy in the Lord's work up
old said, "The entrance of thy words until the end. In January 1958, he
giveth light. . . " (Ps. 119:130). When knew the time had come for him to die.
we know the Word, we are not pray- He knew in his spirit that the Lord was
ing in the dark. We have light. coming for him.
Again the Psalmist said, "Thy A close friend of his flew to his bed-
word is a lamp unto my feet, and a side in Florida. When he arrived,
light unto my path " (Ps. 119:105). We Brother Bosworth was sitting up in
are not walking in the dark. Our bed. He lifted his hand and praised
pathway is lighted when we have the God, saying, "Brother, this is the day
Word! I have waited for all of my life. I am
If we have a lighted pathway, we going home."
can walk in that light. "... if we walk He had prayed daily, "Lord,
in the light, as he is in the light, we quicken thou me according to thy
have fellowship one with another... " Word," and the Lord quickened him
(1 John 1:7). This doesn't say a thing every day until He took him home.
about standing in the light. It says
Bosworth died without sickness or
"walk." God's Word is a light unto the
disease. He just went home to be with
path that we walk.
The Psalmist also prayed: "...
God's Word is true whether or not
quicken thou me according to thy
we put it into practice.
word" (Ps. 119:25). Jesus said, "If my
words abide in you.. . . " He cannot Memory Text:
quicken us according to His Word — "If ye abide in me, and my words abide
although He wants to — unless His in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and
words abide in us; unless we walk in it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.. ." (James
ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will crippled man begging alms at the gate
give it you. called Beautiful. Peter stopped and
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my said, "Look on us." The man looked at
name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your them, expecting to receive a coin.
joy may be full. Peter said, "Silver and gold have I
In this passage of Scripture, Jesus none; but such as I have give I thee:
was talking about something entirely In the name of Jesus Christ of
different from what He was talking Nazareth rise up and walk"(Acts 3:6).
about in chapter 14. In John 16 He Peter demanded in Jesus' Name
said, "Whatsoever ye shall ask the that the cripple get up and walk. He
Father in my name, HE will give it didn't pray that God would do it. He
you." But in John 14 He says, "And knew Jesus had said that whatever we
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, demand, or ask, in His name, He would
that will 7 do... ." He is talking about do.
two different things. Just before Jesus said, "Whatso-
ever ye shall ask [demand] in my name,
To Demand As Our Right that will I do," He said, "He that
believeth on me, the works that I do
Let us examine these Scriptures in shall he do also.. . . " Peter was doing
the Greek New Testament. The Greek the works Jesus did when he healed
word here translated "ask" means the cripple.
"demand." Or, "Whatsoever ye shall Even though we pray for the sick
demand in my name, that will I do." today — and this is certainly scriptural
We are not demanding it of God.
(James 5:14-16) — Jesus never prayed
When we pray, we ask of God in Jesus'
for the sick.
Name. But we are demanding this of
the devil. Jesus said, ".. .the works that I do
Actually, the Greek is more explicit shall he do also.. . . " If we just prayed
than the English translation. The for the sick and got results, we
Greek reads, "Whatsoever ye shall wouldn't be doing the works Jesus did.
demand as your right..." (not ask as Jesus laid hands on the sick, but He
a favor). never prayed for them. He would com-
Whatever we ask or demand as our mand the devil to leave, or He would
right, Jesus said, "I will do it." We just say, "Go thy way; and as thou
have the right to demand that Satan hast believed, so be it done unto thee"
take his hands off our finances if we (Matt. 8:13).
are having difficulty making ends So when Jesus said in John 14:13,
meet. Whatever our need may be, it is "And whatsoever ye shall ask [demand]
our privilege, our right, in Christ to in my name, that will I do, " He was
ask, to demand, that this need be met. not talking about praying to God the
We see an example of this in the Father; He was talking about doing
Book of Acts. Peter and John saw a the same works He did.
Greater Works "But didn't Jesus forgive people's
sins while He was here on earth?"
Not only did Jesus say that we someone might say. Yes, but there is
would do the same works that He did;
a difference between having one's sins
He also said, "... and GREATER
forgiven and being born again.
works than these shall he do..." (John
14:12). Then He went on to tell us why After a person is born again, if he
we would do greater works: "... sins, he can get forgiveness, but he is
because I go unto my Father." The not born again a second time. (If that
greater works that the Church can do were true, we might be born again
and is doing today are due to the fact thousands of times.) The New Birth is
that Jesus has gone to the Father. a greater work than a healing or a
So people were not born again while
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is
Jesus was on earth. Second, we never
expedient [profitable, for your best] for you
that I go away: for if I go not away, the read in the four Gospels, "And the
Comforter will not come unto you; but if I Lord added daily to the Church such
depart, I will send him unto you. as should be saved." However, we do
8And when he is come, he will reprove the see this repeatedly in the Book of Acts.
world of sin, and of righteousness, and of This is because there wasn't any
judgment: Church in Jesus' day in the sense that
9Of sin, because they believe not on me;
we think of the New Testament
10Of righteousness, because I go to my
Father, and ye see me no more; Church.
11Of judgment, because the prince of this The only Body of Christ that was
world is judged. on earth was His physical body. There
were those who believed on Him and
What are these greater works? We who had the promise of that which was
show men and women how to become to come, but their belief s could only be
born again. "But weren't people saved, consummated when the Holy Spirit
or born again, under Jesus' ministry?"
came to baptize them all into one
someone might ask. They were saved
Body. The Body had to be formed.
in the same sense that the people in the
Old Testament were saved, but they Today we are the spiritual Body of
were not "born again." The work of Christ. The only Body of Christ in the
the Holy Spirit is necessary in the New world today is the Church.
Birth, and while Jesus was on earth Not only was no one born again or
the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. added to the Church under the
This is why Jesus said, "... It is expe- ministry of Jesus, neither was anyone
dient for you that I go away: for if I filled with the Holy Spirit under His
go not away, the Comforter will not ministry. These are "the greater
come unto you; but if I depart, I will works" that we do because He went to
send him unto you" (John 16:7). the Father.
Praying in Jesus' Name have ye asked nothing in my name:
ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy
Let us compare now what Jesus may be full" (v. 24).
said in John 16 regarding prayer: He was telling His disciples that
"And in that day ye shall ask me while He was on the earth with them,
nothing. .. " (v. 23). When He said "in they did not pray to the Father in
that day," He was referring to the day Jesus' Name; however, "in that day,"
in which we now live — the day of the when He would no longer be on the
New Covenant, the day of the New earth, they would ask the Father in the
Testament. Name of Jesus, "and ye shall receive,
One translation of this verse reads, that your joy may be full."
"In that day ye shall not pray to me." Our heavenly Father longs to meet
He told us not to pray to Him, but to our every need — if only we would ask
pray to the Father in Jesus' Name. Him — so our joy may be full!
(See Lesson 3.) "... Whatsoever ye
shall ask the Father in my name, he Memory Text:
will give it you." "If ye shall ask any thing in my name,
Then He went on to say, "Hitherto I will do it" (John 14:14).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
What Paul Said About Prayer (Part
Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Central Truth: When we are fully trusting God, we can thank Him in every
circumstance of life.
In his writings to the Early isn't it? Paul said, "Rejoice evermore."
Church, Paul had much to say to these We are to be full of rejoicing.
new Christians about prayer. We Then he said, "In every thing give
already have studied many of his thanks: for this is the will of God in
teachings on prayer in previous Christ Jesus concerning you."
lessons, so we will not repeat them "But I just can't thank God in
here. In the next two lessons, we will everything!" some might exclaim.
merely look at some additional things he Paul said you could. He said this is
had to say about prayer. the will of God in Christ Jesus con-
cerning you. We all want to be in the
1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 will of God. And we can when we have
16Rejoice evermore. things in their proper perspective.
17Pray without ceasing. When we know and act upon the
18In every thing give thanks: for this is Word of God, we can truly thank Him in
the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning everything. I have done this in my own
you. life when things looked bleak.
Verse 17 in the King James Version is When I first started out on the
a little misleading. Some people have evangelistic field, often I would close
gotten the idea that Paul was telling us one revival meeting with no other
here to pray all the time. Other meetings in sight.
translations of this verse read, "Never I had a wife and two children to
give up in prayer," or "Be unceasing in support. At the time, my niece also was
prayer." In other words, don't give up living with us, so there were five of us
your prayer life. Maintain a prayer life. to feed and clothe.
It doesn't mean that we are to pray When I would close a revival and put
with every breath. This is not possible. the last offering in my pocket, often it
The exhortation never to give up in wouldn't be enough to pay the rent when
prayer is sandwiched between the I got home. I wouldn't have enough
exhortations to "rejoice" and "give money to buy food. And I didn't have
thanks." That is a good "sandwich," any prospects for other meetings.
On one such occasion I started I am thanking Him for it. Since you
driving home at night after the closing asked me what I'm going to do, I'll tell
service. I drove then because my tires you exactly what I'm going to do: I'm
were bald, and I had a better chance going to go home, go to bed, and sleep
of making it at night when it was like a baby."
cooler. (During the daytime, the roads I arrived home around two o'clock
were hot, and there was a greater risk in the morning, and my wife asked,
of a blowout. And I didn't even have "How did everything go?" I knew she
a spare tire.) was wondering if I had received
enough money to meet the bills.
All the way home, the devil perched
on my shoulder and whispered in my "Everything is just fine," I told
ear, "What are you going to do now? her. "We don't have a thing in the
What are you going to do now?" I world to worry about. I'll tell you
didn't have air-conditioning, so the about it in the morning." Then I went
windows were rolled down. I could to bed and slept soundly and peace-
hear the tires singing, and it seemed fully.
as if they picked up the phrase and Early the next morning, before I
taunted me: "What are you going to had awakened, the phone rang. When
do now? What are you going to do Oretha handed it to me, I found that
now?" It kept getting louder and the caller was a pastor I had heard of
louder. but hadn't actually met.
But thank God when you have the He asked, "When can you start a
Word, you can walk in the light of the meeting with us?"
Word. "As soon as you want me to," I
I said, "I'll tell you what I am answered.
going to do, Mr. Devil: I'm going to act "Then how about starting next
just as if the Word of God is so. The Sunday?" he said.
Bible says, 'Rejoice evermore.' I re- "I'll be there," I said, praising God
joice for the $42 offering I did get. The in my heart for answered prayer, for
Bible says, 'In every thing give thanks meeting my needs again as He had in
. . . " I thank God for the $42. I may the past because I had trusted in Him.
have needed $102, but I thank God for I had obeyed God's Word and had
the $42. I am rejoicing. I am giving rejoiced in the face of despair. If I had
thanks. griped all the way home, I am not sure
"And I'll tell you something else, it would have worked out that way.
Mr. Devil. I thank God for this test, Memory Text:
for this is a good time to prove that "In every thing give thanks: for this
God and the Bible are true. This is an is the will of God in Christ Jesus con-
opportunity for me to believe God, and cerning you" (1 Thess. 5:18).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
What Paul Said About Prayer
Bible Texts: 1 Timothy 2:1,2,8; 4:1-5
Central Truth: Prayer, accompanied by obedient surrender to God,
In Paul's writings to the young Why did Paul say we should pray for
minister Timothy, he had a number of those in authority? "... that we may
instructions regarding prayer. At this lead a quiet and peaceable life in all
time Timothy was the pastor of a New godliness and honesty." Whatever
Testament church. happens in the nation we live in affects all
of us. God is concerned about us, and
Pray for Heads of whether or not our leaders are
Government Christians, God will do some things for
1 TIMOTHY 2:1,2 We notice that intercession is men-
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, sup tioned here. When Abraham interceded
plications, prayers, intercessions, and
for Sodom and Gomorrah, God came
giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2For kings, and for all that are in author down and talked with him before
ity; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable destroying those wicked cities. Abraham
life in all godliness and honesty. pleaded with God not to destroy the
cities if as many as ten righteous people
Too often we put ourselves first in could be found, and God said, "/ will not
our praying. In fact, sometimes that is destroy it for ten's sake" (Gen. 18:32).
as far as we ever get — just praying for There are more than ten righteous
ourselves and our own personal lives people in the United States, so we need not
and needs. be frightened, but we do need to
But here Paul instructed Timothy, intercede for our country and the
"... FIRST OF ALL, supplications, heads of government. God will do
prayers, intercessions, and giving of some things just because we ask Him.
thanks, be made for all men." Then he
became more specific and said, "For
kings, and for all that are in author Pray With Hands
ity____" (In that day, people were ruled Outstretched to Heaven
by kings. This would be comparable to 1 TIMOTHY 2:8
presidents and other heads of govern- 8 I will therefore that men pray every
ment in our day.)
where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath part of it is inspired of God, then all
and doubting. of it is inspired, and we need to pay
attention to it.
Everyone will agree with the first
part of Paul's statement to Timothy
— that men everywhere ought to pray. Sanctifying Prayer
But notice Paul also gives some 1 TIMOTHY 4:1-5
explicit instructions on prayer: "... 1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that
lifting up holy hands, without wrath in the latter times some shall depart from
and doubting." the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
We would all encourage people to and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their
pray without doubting. Jesus said,
conscience seared with a hot iron;
"... whosoever shall say unto this
3Forbidding to marry, and commanding
mountain, Be thou removed, and be to abstain from meats, which God hath
thou cast into the sea; and SHALL created to be received with thanksgiving of
NOT DOUBT in his heart, but shall them which believe and know the truth.
believe that those things which he 4And every creature of God is good, and
saith shall come to pass; he shall nothing to be refused, if it be received with
have whatsoever he saith" (Mark thanksgiving;
11:23). (Certainly we also can see the 5For it is sanctified by the word of God
necessity of praying without wrath.) and prayer.
If we encourage people to follow
In this passage, Paul is not refer -
two-thirds of Paul's instructions in
ring to sinners or the heathen world.
this verse, then we also should obey
He is talking about believers who
his third admonition: "... lifting up
depart from the faith. Verse one says
holy hands.. . . "
that "... some shall depart from the
Those of us who come from denomi- faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
national churches may find it difficult and doctrines of devils."
at first to lift our hands in prayer. I
Then in verse three he mentions
can remember when I first came
some of these doctrines of devils: "For-
around people who lifted their hands
bidding to marry, and commanding to
to pray. It was the hardest thing I had
abstain from meats . . . " Most of us
ever done in my life to lift my hands
have met individuals who have fallen
prey to such erroneous teaching.
Someone may ask, "Do you have to
But Paul, speaking under the inspi-
do it?" No, you don't have to do it, but
ration of the Holy Spirit, said
if we are going to obey part of the concerning meats, " . . . which God
verse, why not all of it? Why not pray hath created to be received with
New Testament style? thanksgiving to them which believe
If Paul was writing to the Church and know the truth. And every
under the inspiration of the Spirit of creature of God is good, and nothing
God, I am under obligation to obey. If to be refused, if it be received with
thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by to be refused, if it be received with
the word of God and prayer." thanksgiving" (v. 4).
The devil will use any means he can We can regulate our diet however
to lead people away from God. we want as long as we receive it with
I once knew a minister who was on thanksgiving and it is sanctified with
fire for God and had a remarkable prayer. Then nothing we eat need hurt
ministry in reaching the lost. He could us. Nothing I eat ever hurts me,
get more people saved accidentally because I sanctify it. So many people
than most people can on purpose. tell me they can't eat this or they can't
But he got off on the subject of eat that because it hurts them if they
diet, and he started teaching people do. It need not, if you will sanctify it
what to eat and what not to eat. He as Paul teaches us in this passage of
preached Old Testament dietary laws Scripture.
and spent all his time trying to We need to be careful of segments
regulate people's diets. If he got of the church world which have gone
anyone saved, I don't know of it. The off into these areas, because Paul says
devil undermined his ministry of that they have given "heed to seduc-
reaching the lost. ing spirits, and doctrines of devils,"
People have asked me, "Do you eat
pork?" Certainly I eat pork. I sanctify
it "by the word of God and prayer," as Memory Text:
Paul teaches. You could eat skunk if "I will therefore that men pray every
you wanted to, because "... every where, lifting up holy hands, without
creature of God is good, and nothing wrath and doubting" (1 Tim. 2:8).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: -But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ... " (James
James then said, "Is any sick the prayer of faith shall save the sick,
among you? let him call for the elders and the Lord shall raise him up; and
of the church; and let them pray over if he have committed sins, they shall
him____" P. C. Nelson, who was a be forgiven him" (James 5:15). James
Greek scholar, brought out in his wasn't saying that everyone is ill
writing that the Greek word translated because of having committed sins; he
"sick" implies that the person is so ill was saying the reason some are sick
he can't do anything for himself. He is because they have sinned: "If he
is helpless. have committed sins, they shall be
If a person had a headache or some forgiven him." There is forgiveness
minor ailment, he could go to the and healing for us.
church, where the pastor could pray Many people think because they
for him. But when he is so ill he can't have failed God they must continue to
get out of bed, he is to call for the be sick because they must "pay" for
elders of the church to pray for him. their sins. However, this Scripture
doesn't say, "If he have committed
(We must remember that when
sins, he has to go on being sick to pay
James wrote his epistle, the Church
for them." It says, "If he have com-
was in her infancy. The disciples would
mitted sins, THEY SHALL BE
go to a place where there wasn't a
church, preach, win people to the Lord,
James went on to say, "Confess
and establish a work. These new
your faults one to another, and pray
churches didn't have all the ministry
gifts. Because some churches didn't one for another, that ye may be healed"
have a pastor, they would appoint the (v. 16). This is all tied together. We
eldest in the congregation, or in some can't take this verse out of its setting
places they would appoint those who and apply it incorrectly. James wasn't
had matured most spiritually to be in suggesting that we come to church to
charge and watch over the flock. As have a confession meeting. He was
the church developed and grew, God saying that when the elders come to
gave "... some, apostles; and some, pray for the sick man, if he has sinned,
prophets; and some, evangelists; and he should confess his sin. He isn't
some, pastors and teachers" (Eph. going to get healed with unconfessed
4:11). So in the process of time, there sin in his life!
were those who were separated unto
What Is a 'Righteous'
Can a Person With Sin in James followed this admonition
His Life Be Healed? with the words, "The effectual fervent
prayer of a righteous man availeth
James instructed those who were much." Then in the next two verses he
sick to call for the elders to pray for gave us an example of a righteous
them and anoint them with oil. "And man.
JAMES 5:17,18 His Word that we don't get our
17Elias [Elijah] was a man subject to like prayers answered on the basis of how
passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly good or how bad we have been; it is on
that it might not rain: and it rained not on the basis of our right standing in Him.
the earth by the space of three years and We are made righteous in Christ
six months. Jesus. "For he hath made him to be sin
18And he prayed again, and the heaven
for us, who knew no sin; that we
gave rain, and the earth brought forth her
might be made the righteousness of
God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
You might think, as I once did, But Righteousness means right stand-
Elijah was a prophet. He was a great ing with God. Jesus is our righteous-
man of God. I can't possibly do what ness. Every one of us who is a
he did. However, James didn't say, born-again believer has the same right
"Elijah was a prophet, and he prayed." standing or righteousness Jesus has.
He said Elijah was a man "subject to We are invited to come boldly to the
like passions as we are." He had the throne of grace by way of the blood of
same faults and failings we do, and he Jesus.
made the same mistakes — yet his
prayers worked. What Jude Said About
God doesn't hear a prophet more Prayer
quickly than He hears any other
Jude also said something about
believer. James didn't say it was the
"effectual fervent prayer of a prophet" prayer that is enlightening and helpful.
that got the job done. He said, "The JUDE 20,21
effectual fervent prayer of a righteous 20But ye, beloved, building up yourselves
man.. . . " on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy
"Well, if I were righteous I could Ghost.
do it," you might say. But you are 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, look
righteous if you are saved, because you ing for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto eternal life.
are the "righteousness of God in him
[Christ]" (2 Cor. 5:21). God made you Jude's teachings here agree with
righteous; you can't make yourself what Paul said to the Church at Cor-
righteous. inth: "For if I pray in an unknown
As a pastor for nearly 12 years, I tongue, my spirit prayeth ...," and
often saw people in my congregation "He that speaketh in an unknown
who didn't live half as consecrated tongue edifieth himself ..." (1 Cor.
lives as others did, yet they could pray 14:14,4). (See Lessons 9 and 10.)
twice as effectively as the others. They The word "edify" means to build
could pray the prayer of faith more up. Praying in an unknown tongue
quickly for themselves and their edifies or builds up the believer. You
families. I was puzzled about this could say it is a means of "spiritual
until the Lord finally showed me muscle building."
Jude didn't say praying in the Holy up our faith. "So then faith cometh by
Spirit would build up your faith. He hearing, and hearing by the word of
said, "... building up yourselves on God." We build up our faith through
your most holy faith.. . . " the study of God's Word. Then,
It's foolish to take a text out of its through praying in tongues, we build
setting and try to prove something up ourselves spiritually on the faith we
with it. We shouldn't try to make a already have.
verse say something that doesn't We can build spiritual muscle tone
agree with the rest of the passage. We into our everyday lives as we are
must interpret the verse in the light of edified through praying in the Spirit.
the whole passage. We must study it
in context, putting all the verses
together. Then one verse will help and Memory Text:
modify the other and they will fit "... The effectual fervent prayer of a
together. righteous man availeth much"(James
Romans 10:17 tells us how to build 5:16).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers o n l y . . . " (James 1:22).
What Others Said About Prayer (Part
Bible Texts: 1 Peter 3:1-6,12; 1 John 5:14-16; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29; 3 John
Central Truth: God's eyes and ears are ever open to the cries of the
In Peter's epistles to the Church, he, your own husbands; that, if any obey not the
too, gave believers instructions in the word, they also may without the word be won
matter of prayer. by the conversation of the wives;
2While they behold your chaste conver
Relationship to Spouse sation coupled with fear.
Can Hinder Prayers 3Whose adorning let it not be that out
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with ward adorning of plaiting of the hair, and
them according to knowledge, giving of wearing of gold, or of putting on of
honour unto the wife, as unto the apparel;
weaker vessel, and as being heirs 4But let it be the hidden man of the heart,
together of the grace of life; THAT in that which is not corruptible, even the
YOUR PRAYERS BE NOT HIN- ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which
DERED" (1 Peter 3:7). Peter is talking is in the sight of God of great price.
about marriages in which both husband 5For after this manner in the old time the
and wife are believers, because he said, "... holy women also, who trusted in God,
being heirs together of the grace of adorned themselves, being in subjection
life.. . . " unto their own husbands:
Men, if some of your prayers are not 6Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling
being answered, perhaps you should him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long
examine your relationship with your wife. as ye do well, and are not afraid with any
Do you show her tenderness and respect, amazement.
"giving honour unto the wife, as unto
Here Peter suggests that there is a
the weaker vessel"? If not, Peter says
way of winning an unsaved husband
that your prayers are hindered.
He gives similar admonitions to
without the Word: "... if any obey not the
wives. Let us look at them. word, they also may without the word be
won by the conversation of the wives."The
1 PETER 3:1-6 word "conversation" here means one's
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to manner of life; her conduct.
God Hears Prayers of ished believers concerning the neces-
Righteous sity of watchful prayer. In Mark's
Gospel we read where Jesus, talking
Further on in this chapter, Peter
about the last days, said "Take ye
has more to say about prayer.
heed, watch and pray: for ye know not
1 PETER 3:12 when the time is" (Mark 13:33).
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the
righteous, and his ears are open unto their God's Will in Prayer
prayers: but the face of the Lord is against
them that do evil. John, too, had important things to
Who are the righteous that this say about prayer.
verse refers to? In Lesson 22 we saw 1 JOHN 5:14-16
that we, as born-again believers, are 14And this is the confidence that we have
the righteous in Christ Jesus: "For he in him, that, if we ask any thing according
hath made him to be sin for us, who to his will, he heareth us:
knew no sin; that we might be made 15And if we know that he hear us, what
the righteousness of God in him" soever we ask, we know that we have the
(2 Cor. 5:21). Righteousness is not petitions that we desired of him.
based on how good or bad we are, but 16If any man see his brother sin a sin
which is not unto death, he shall ask, and
on our standing in Christ. Jesus is our
he shall give him life for them that sin not
righteousness. unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do
Peter said that God's eyes are over not say that he shall pray for it.
us, and "... his ears are open unto [our]
prayers.. . . " I'm glad God has eyes Although the word "pray" is men-
and ears, aren't you? He sees us and tioned only once in this passage of
He hears us. His ears are open to our Scripture, John has used the words
prayers; but as we saw in verse seven, "ask" and "petition," referring to
we can hinder our prayers. God doesn't prayer. He said, "... if we ask any
hinder them — He doesn't refuse to thing according to his will, he heareth
hear — but we can hinder them. Let us us." Remember this: If it is according
take care that we don't hinder them; to the Word, it is according to His will.
then we can know His ears are open Some people take the attitude that
unto our prayers. they will pray for something and if it
is God's will, He will give it to them.
Watch and Pray If it isn't His will, then He won't.
However, this isn't what the Bible
Then in First Peter 4:7 we read, says.
"But the end of all things is at hand: John said, "... if we ask any thing
be ye therefore sober, and watch unto according to his will, he heareth us."
prayer." Under the inspiration of the His Word is His will. If we know what
Holy Spirit, Peter saw into the future His Word says about a certain matter,
to the day in which we live and admon- then we know what His Will is about
that matter. This agrees with Jesus' ourselves.)
statement, "... if ye abide in me, and So I prayed, "Lord, I wish I had
my words abide in you, ye shall ask prayed with her. Just let her revive so
what ye will, and it shall be done unto I can have a word of prayer with her.
you" (John 15:7). (She was elderly and I knew in my
Verse 16 of the above passage has spirit she was going to go.) Let me
been the subject of much controversy, make sure there isn't any unconfessed
and most preachers just stay away sin in her life."
from it. However, it ties right in with As I prayed, Someone said, "Why
the two preceding verses and con- don't you ask Me to forgive her?"
tinues talking about prayer: It was so real it startled me. I
jumped out of the chair and the Bible
1 JOHN 5:16 on my lap scooted across the floor and
16 If any man see his brother sin a sin under the bed.
which is not unto death, he shall ask, and "Who said that?" I asked. I
he shall give him life for them that sin not thought someone had heard me pray-
unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do
ing and was teasing me. However, I
not say that he shall pray for it.
found no one when I looked around the
John is saying here that if we ask room and outside the door. I sat back
God to forgive someone, this is accord- down and began to study, but I
ing to His Word and according to His couldn't concentrate, so I started to
will, and He will do it. pray again.
Some years ago, I was holding a "Lord, why don't You bring her out
meeting near my hometown in Texas of it and let me have a word of prayer
when I received a call that my grand- with her to see that she doesn't die
mother had fallen into a coma and was with any unconfessed sin in her life?"
near death at her home. Each night Again that Voice said, "Why don't
after the evening service I drove back you ask Me to forgive her?"
to her home and would sit up with her I jumped again and said, "Someone
through the night. She never regained is playing tricks on me." But a check
consciousness. into the bedrooms of everyone else in
The third night as I sat there I the house revealed that they were
prayed, "Dear Lord, I'm so sorry I sound asleep.
didn't pray with Granny the other day I went back to Granny's bedroom
when I visited her." and tried to study, but I could not, so
I knew Granny was a Christian and I began to pray again.
loved the Lord, but there are sins of When I did, He said the third time,
omission as well as commission and I "Why don't you ask Me to forgive
could see where she had missed it. her?"
(Others can see where I have missed This time I had the presence of
it. We can see where others miss it mind to remember that Eli had told
sometimes better than we can see the child Samuel to answer when God
called. I realized it was the Lord, and HEBREWS 6:4-6
I answered, "Me ask You?" 4For it is impossible for those who were
He said, "Yes, you ask Me. Don't once enlightened, and have tasted of the
you know that my Word says in First heavenly gift, and were made partakers of
John 5:16, 'If any man see his brother the Holy Ghost,
sin a sin which is not unto death, he 5And have tasted the good word of God,
and the powers of the world to come,
shall ask, and he shall give him life for
6If they shall fall away, to renew them
again unto repentance; seeing they crucify
I turned the pages of my Bible to to themselves the Son of God afresh, and
that Scripture and read it. "That's put him to an open shame.
right. That's exactly what it says! All
right, Lord, I ask You. Please forgive HEBREWS 10:26-29
her. You can forgive her of these 26For if we sin wilfully after that we have
things that I can see of omission, and received the knowledge of the truth, there
of anything else that she didn't see or remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27But a certain fearful looking for of
I don't see, You forgive her." judgment and fiery indignation, which shall
He said, "All right, I have." devour the adversaries.
I thanked Him for it. To me that 28He that despised Moses' law died
settled it. Can't you see that this was without mercy under two or three wit
according to His will? nesses:
The last part of that verse does 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose
make an exception, however. It says, ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath
"... there is a sin unto death: I do not trodden under foot the Son of God, and
hath counted the blood of the covenant,
say that he shall pray for it." How will
wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy
we know if a person has committed thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit
this sin unto death? We will only of grace?
know this as the Holy Spirit reveals it
to us. The sin God is talking about here
This has happened to me only two is not the sin of lying, cheating, or
times in my life when I have been pray- something like that. God offers
ing for someone and the Lord showed forgiveness for such sins. There is no
me that there was no need to pray for forgiveness, however, for those who
them, because they had sinned the sin have "trodden under foot the Son of
unto death. God.. . . "
What is this sin unto death? First, The Hebrew Christians to whom
John is not talking about physical this book was written were under great
death here, but about spiritual death. persecution and were tempted to go
This isn't a sin that an unbeliever can back to Judaism. When they accepted
Christ, they were cut off from their
commit. It is a sin only a Christian
families, ran into financial hardships,
can commit, for he used the term
and faced numerous other trials. But
God warned them in these Scriptures
Let us look into the Book of
Hebrews to find out more about this.
that to go back to Judaism was to be in health, even as thy soul pros-
deny Christ. It was to say that they pereth." If he was motivated by the
would be counting "the blood of the Spirit to pray that way, that would be
covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, the desire of the Spirit of God for every
an unholy thing," or, in other words, person. It is all right, then, to pray for
that Jesus' blood was just common financial prosperity, because John
blood like any other man's. s a id , " 7 p ra y a b o v e a l l t h in g s . . . . "
Let us remember that as long as a John's prayer here concerns three
person stays in Christ, he is eternally dimensions of our lives: physical,
secure. But we don't want to forget spiritual, and material. He said, "...
that there is a sin unto death. / pray ... that thou mayest prosper
[material blessing] and be in health
John's Three-Dimensional [physical blessing], even as thy soul
Prayer prospereth [spiritual blessing]." Thus,
3 JOHN 2 we see that God desires to bless every
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that part of the believer's life.
thou mayest prosper and be in health, even
as thy soul prospereth.
The word translated "wish" in the "For the eyes of the Lord are over the
King James Version is "pray" in the righteous, and his ears are open unto
original Greek. Therefore, John said their prayers: but the face of the Lord
here, "Beloved, I PRAY above all is against them that do evil" (1 Peter
things that thou mayest prosper and 3:12).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James
believeth in him should not perish, but have aren't answered: "And this is the
everlasting life. confidence that we have in him, that,
if we ask any thing according to
2 PETER 3:9 his w i l l . . . "
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his There's no question that it's God's
promise, as some men count slackness; but will to save the lost, as we just saw
is longsuf f ering to us-ward, not willing that from the Scriptures. The Word of God
any should perish, but that all should come is the will of God. Therefore, if our
request is in accordance with His will,
we know we have the petitions we
desire of Him.
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and I once knew a country preacher
thy house. who, because of his limited education,
never had an opportunity to pastor a
I don't know of anyone who would large church. Most of his pastorates
pray for a lost loved one by saying, were small community churches.
"Lord, if it is your will, save him." However, he was in constant demand
However, much of our praying for the to hold revivals because of his
lost is not effective. Why? Because we tremendous soul-winning. Wherever
do not come with confidence and he went, a landslide of souls resulted.
boldness. He could go to a church where no one
Our text says if we come with confi- had been saved in years, and great
dence and boldness, asking according numbers would accept Christ as
to His will, we know that God hears Savior.
us and we have the petitions we desire. When he was in his early sixties
That should be clear enough. However, and still enjoying phenomenal success,
our praying is too often in the natural I once asked him the secret of his
realm rather than in the spiritual success.
realm. We pray, "God save our loved "It is a very simple thing," he told
one," and then we wait to see if God me. "I just apply the same faith to see
has answered our prayer! If the person folks saved as I do to see them healed
gets saved immediately, we believe or to believe God for anything else. It
God heard us. If he doesn't — if we see never enters my mind to doubt that
no change in his life — we think God people will come to be saved. If doubt
didn't hear us. This is walking by did come, I would resist it in the Name
sight, not by faith, and it brings only of Jesus.
confusion. "I pray, but not more than others
You might say, "I have prayed and do. I do seek God, of course, but I
prayed for my unsaved loved ones, and attribute my success in soul-winning
it seems as if my praying doesn't to one thing: I have confidence the
work." Return to God's Word and unsaved will come. By the eye of faith
you'll discover why your prayers I see the altar filling up with lost souls.
And if the meeting doesn't go as well
as it should, I don't necessarily many people have lost their children.
increase my praying about it; I just As we pray for our children, we
exercise more faith." must not do anything in our home that
This preacher was expressing the would nullify the effects of our
confidence, the boldness, our Scripture prayers. We must build confidence and
text is talking about, because he knew trust in our children. We must instill
the will of God in the matter. a sense of security in them.
Some people, on the other hand, Before I was married, I usually
only look at the circumstances. They stayed in the homes of pastors during
say, "No one came to the altar for sal- revival meetings, and I often felt sorry
vation last night. They probably won't for their children.
tonight, either." This kind of person I particularly remember one
is looking at the wrong thing. He may pastor's 12-year-old son. His parents
pray for souls, but he does not see were impatient and short-tempered
them coming to Christ. He really with him. They were always telling
doesn't have confidence that they will him he would never amount to
come. His faith is only in what he can anything. Sure enough, he didn't! He
see. broke the hearts of his parents. He
was married several times, and he
never provided a living for his
We Can Nullify Our family.
Prayers These parents may have prayed
Often people undo their prayers! and asked their church to pray. They
They may have prayed and even asked may have shed many tears and even
others to pray, but then they nullify fasted. But their lives nullified the
their prayers and the faith of those effects of their prayers.
who are praying with them by speak- From the spiritual standpoint as
ing negatively. Talk faith, not doubt! well as the natural standpoint, the
I once knew a minister who asked things that happen to children in their
me and others to pray for his son. early years are what mold their lives
However, at the same time he was as adults. Let these years be spirit-
requesting prayer, he would tell his ually rich and meaningful for your
boy, "You'll never amount to children. Let your life match your
anything. I don't know what in the words. Work with God; don't work
world I'm going to do with you! I have against Him.
done everything I can do. I have I also have seen pastors' children
prayed and prayed, but it looks like my neglected. The pastors' wives were so
prayers don't do any good." busy working in the church that their
This man was confessing defeat children were left alone to do as they
and failure rather than victory and pleased. That's why I told my wife
faith. He was building doubt and inse- when we were first married, "I'll run
curity into his son. This is why so the church and you run the house."
In the first church we pastored
after we were married, we were told it family, have struggled and begged
was their custom for the pastor to God to save them, but they have not
teach the adult Bible class of men and backed up their prayers by claiming
the pastor's wife to teach the women. the promise. Thus, they have prayed
I told them my wife didn't teach Sun- in darkness instead of in the light of
They argued, "But it's our custom
Our text says, "... if we ask any
here. We have been doing this for more
than 20 years!" thing according to his will [we know
"Well, I just changed that cus- that salvation for our children is God's
tom," I replied. "We'll consolidate the will], he heareth us: And if we know
two classes and make one big that he hear us ... we know that we
auditorium class, and I will teach it. have the petitions that we desired of
My wife doesn't teach Sunday him" (I John 5:14,15).
School." If we know God heard us, we don't
When they asked me why, I told have to keep begging Him to save our
them, "I am going to preach and children. This doesn't mean that the
pastor the church. My wife is going to whole family will come to Christ over-
stay home and keep house and take night, but as we stand in faith, thank-
care of me and our children, when we ing God, they will be saved.
have them. I want her to run things For us to continue asking and beg-
there, and I'll run things here. There ging God is a confession that we don't
are many capable people in the church believe we have our petition. If we
who can work, so let's put them to really believed we had the petition we
work." desired of the Lord, as the Scripture
When they wanted to make Oretha
says, we would be thanking Him for it!
president of the women's missionary
Sometimes, you see, we go through
council, I put my foot down again.
the right motions but without the
"She can attend the meetings," I told
them, "but she won't serve in any right believing. We can go through
capacity." This has paid off well for us. the motions because someone told us
to do so or because someone else did
Authority To Claim it, but for it to work, we must have
Your Family faith for the answer down in our
Every believer has authority in his The thought never entered my
own household. We have more author- mind that our children would not be
ity there than we have anywhere else. saved, because I had authority and
Acts 16:31 tells us, "... Believe on the power in that area. I prayed for them
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be once and claimed their salvation on the
saved, AND THY HOUSE." Too basis of the Word. When the thought
many people, in praying for their would come to me that they might not
be saved, I would reject it immediately
in the Name of Jesus. I had confidence Memory Text:
— I had boldness — that our children "And this is the confidence that we
would be saved because I had prayed have in him, that, if we ask any thing
according to God's will. according to his will, he heareth us:
Knowing what the will of God is And if we know that he hear us, what-
concerning lost souls, we never should soever we ask, we know that we have
pray, "Lord, if it be your will, save this the petitions that we desired of him"
person." We know it is His will! (1 John 5:14,15).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . "
5 But he was wounded for our transgres- "I thought you would pray for me,
sions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the and if it's His will, 111 be healed. If it
chastisement of our peace was upon him; isn't, I won't."
and with his stripes we are healed. Under these circumstances I knew
the woman was not going to receive
MATTHEW 8:16,17 healing. I knew her unbelief would
16When the even was come, they brought stop the flow of God's healing power.
unto him many that were possessed with
I wanted to talk to her and show her
devils: and he cast out the spirits with his
word, and healed all that were sick: some things from the Word of God
17That it might be fulfilled which was before I prayed for her, but she said,
spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, "Go ahead and pray for me. I am in so
Himself took our infirmities, and bare our much pain and misery."
sicknesses. I anointed her and prayed, knowing
in my heart that she wouldn't receive
1 PETER 2:24 anything because she wasn't believing
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his in line with the Word. I stumbled
own body on the tree, that we, being dead through a prayer and had hardly said
to sins, should live unto righteousness: by "amen" when she said to her husband,
whose stripes ye were healed. "Pete, go call the doctor."
We see from these verses that heal- The thing that really puzzled me
ing the sick is God's will because was that she had just gotten through
Christ bore our infirmities and carried saying if it was God's will for her to
our diseases. Just as He purchased our be healed, He would heal her and if it
salvation through His death on the wasn't, He wouldn't. She didn't get
cross, so He has purchased our heal- healed; therefore, by her own admis-
ing: "... by whose stripes ye were sion, it wasn't God's will for her to be
healed." When we have His Word healed. Yet here she was calling the
firmly settled in our hearts, we need doctor and paying him to get her out
not wonder if it is His will to heal us. of the will of God!
We need not pray, "Lord, heal me if According to her reasoning, it
it be thy will." would seem she wouldn't even want to
Years ago while pastoring, I was get well, because she would be getting
called to pray for one of the members out of God's will. It would be wrong
who was ill. Knowing the importance to buy medicine and enlist the help of
of her own confession of faith for the doctor to get her out of the will of
healing, I asked, "Sister, will you be God.
healed now as I anoint you with oil and Certainly this is a foolish line of
lay hands on you in Jesus' Name?" reasoning, but this is the logic some
"Well, I will if it's God's will," she people follow concerning prayer for
answered. their healing.
"How are you going to find out if As we noted before, if we want to
it's His will?" I asked. know God's will concerning a matter,
study His Word. His Word is His will. learn His will.
His Word tells us it is His will to heal Then there are those who know
us. Let's not doubt His Word, but what God's Word says about a matter,
instead claim its promises for our yet they find it difficult to believe it
healing. will work in their case.
They are like a man who knows he
Look to the Word for will need some extra money, so he goes
God's Will to his banker and arranges for a loan.
He does not need the money right
Many people try to find the will of away; he just wants to have
God by saying, "If it's His will He'll everything ready so he will have access
do it, and if it's not, He won't." We to it when he needs it.
should determine God's will by look- The man has his banker's word
ing into the Word. that everything is in order and he may
If I am uncertain about something, pick up the money anytime he wants,
I go to the Word first. I don't pray in but then he thinks What if he doesn't
uncertainty, because I would be
give it to me? What if he didn't mean
wasting my time. I could not pray in
what he said?
faith; I would be praying in unbelief
The man will have to believe what
and doubt, and it wouldn't work.
the banker said and then act on it to
When we know what God's Word says
get his money.
about a matter, we know what His will
Some people are like that with God.
Often people want to put all the They know what He said in His Word
responsibility for a matter on God, so about salvation for their loved ones,
they say, "It must not have been healing, or any other need they might
God's will, because I prayed, 'If it be have, but they find it difficult to
thy will, do this,' and He didn't do it." believe He will do what He said He
These people want to relieve would do. But thank God, He keeps
themselves of all responsibility and His Word!
put it on God. But we can't get out of
it that easily. Memory Text:
God gave us His Word and told us "If ye abide in me, and my words abide
to "Search the scriptures ... which in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and
testify of me" (John 5:39). In them we it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . " (James 1:22).
we pray according to the Word, it is confidence that we have in him, that,
a lamp unto our feet and a light unto if we ask any thing according to his
our path. We know which way to walk. will, he heareth us: And if we know
Too much of the time, however, that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we
because we fail to see what God's know that we have the petitions that
Word has to say about a subject, we we desired of him.'
stumble about, not knowing just "I know God's will for you because
where we are going. Prayer then 1 know what God's Word says. It isn't
becomes a matter of desperation, His will to give you grace to bear your
begging God to do something. But load of care. Nor is it His will to take
when we know the Word ahead of half of it away and let you carry the
time, we can come to God with confi- other half. How do I know this?
dence. Because of what His Word says.
"First Peter 5:7 says, 'Casting all
your care upon him; for he careth for
God's Will Concerning
you.' That verse doesn't say to cast
half of your cares; it says all. That
1 PETER 5:7 verse doesn't say God will give you
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he grace to carry your worries; it says to
careth for you. cast all your care upon Him. Why?
A woman with a look of despera- Because 'He careth for you.' "
tion on her face once came to me Then I said, "Sister, isn't it
requesting prayer. She began crying as wonderful that we already have the
she said, "Brother Hagin, the cares of answer for your prayer right here?"
life, the anxieties and worries, are just Then I read her this same verse
so great." She began to cry harder as from The Amplified Bible, which is
she said, "I just can't carry all my more explicit: "Casting the whole of
burdens. I want you to pray that God your care — all your anxieties, all your
will do one of two things: that He will worries, all your concerns, once and for
either give me grace to carry them or all — on Him; for He cares for you
else take about half of them away. I affectionately, and cares about you
can carry half of them, but I just can't watchfully."
carry all of them."
"Well, I can't pray that prayer," I God's Will Concerning
told her. "It would be unscriptural." Financial Blessing
A bewildered look came across her
3 JOHN 2
face. I went on to explain, "I cannot 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that
pray for you out of the will of God. If thou mayest prosper and be in health, even
I am going to have any confidence that as thy soul prospereth.
God will hear my prayer, I must pray
in line with the Word of God. PHILIPPIANS 4:19
"The Bible tells us, 'And this is the 19 But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ our prayers* for financial prosperity by
Jesus. not cooperating with God; by not enter-
ing into the doors God opens for us.
In Paul's letter to the Church at I knew a young, able-bodied fellow
Philippi, he was commending the who was without work for quite some
Christians for their generosity in time. He had a wife and five children.
giving, as we see in the verses just People in the church they attended
preceding the above verse. They had helped by taking them groceries and
taken up an offering of money and clothes for the children. The church
goods to send to other Christians. women also helped all they could by
Because of this, Paul was saying to giving ironing and other work to his
them, "Because you have given to wife so she could earn a little money.
them and helped them, God shall When I talked to the man he told
supply all your needs." He was talk- me, "Well, the Lord said He would
ing about material and financial meet all of our needs. Some people tell
matters. me to get out and look for a job, but
Another verse we think of in con- I am just waiting for the right one to
nection with financial blessing is found come to me. The Lord will do it. And
in Luke 6:38: "Give, and it shall be in the meantime, we are getting along
given unto you; good measure, pressed all right." (But someone else was
down, and shaken together, and run- paying his house rent and feeding his
ning over, shall men give into your family.)
bosom. For with the same measure We can't just sit and wait for
that ye mete withal it shall be something to come to us. The only
measured to you again." We often hear thing that will come will be a pile of
this verse quoted when an offering is bills! A man can believe that God will
being taken. The emphasis usually is help him and bless him financially, but
on "give" in the first part of the verse. he needs to move in the right direction
But let's not overlook the results of and do whatever his hand finds to do.
that giving: "... it shall be given unto If the first job he finds isn't exactly
you.. . . " Thus, we see financial bless- what he prefers, at least it will help
ings promised in this verse. him until something better comes
Would you like to see increased along. In the meantime he can pray for
financial blessings in your life? guidance in getting a better job. God
Increase your giving, because the can open another job for him as he is
Scripture says that your returns will faithful in whatever he finds to do in
be "... pressed down, and shaken providing for his family.
together, and running over.... For
As we continue to dig deeper into
with the same measure that ye mete
God's Word, we will see more and
withal it shall be measured to you
more things showing us His will in
On the other hand, we can hinder For example, we know to pray for
the lost in heathen lands, because His will of God," we will say "according
Word says, "Ask of me, and I shall to the Word of God." Then we will
give thee the heathen for thine inheri- have the right perspective.
tance, and the uttermost parts of the
earth for thy possession" (Ps. 2:8).
We also know to pray that God Memory Text:
would send ministers forth in the "And this is the confidence that we
power of His Spirit: "Pray ye therefore have in him, that, if we ask any thing
the Lord of the harvest, that he will according to his will, he heareth us:
send forth labourers into his harvest" And if we know that he hear us, what-
(Matt. 9:38). soever we ask, we know that we have
As we study the Word of God, the petitions that we desired of him"
instead of saying "according to the (1 John 5:14,15).
THE LESSON IN ACTION: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers o n l y . . . " (James 1:22).