The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. 2 Peter 2:9.
In the time of trial before us God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. . . . The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every faithful one will surely be gathered. . . .
What part will you act in the closing scenes of this world’s history? . . . Do you realize the grand work of preparation that is going on in heaven and on earth? . . . Let none now tamper with sin, the source of every misery in our world. . . . Let not the destiny of your soul hang upon an uncertainty. Know that you are fully on the Lord’s side. Let the inquiry go forth from sincere hearts and trembling lips, “Who shall be able to stand?” Have you, in these last precious hours of probation, been putting the very best material into your character building? Have you been purifying your souls from every stain? Have you followed the light? Have you works corresponding to your profession of faith?
Is the softening, subduing influence of the grace of God working upon you? . . . Are you letting your light shine to illumine the nations that are perishing in their sins? Do you realize that you are to stand in defense of God’s commandments before those who are treading them underfoot?
It is possible to be a partial, formal believer, and yet be found wanting and lose eternal life. It is possible to practice some of the Bible injunctions and be regarded as a Christian, and yet perish because you lack qualifications essential to Christian character. . . . While mercy lingers, while the Saviour is making intercession, let us make thorough work for eternity.
The great crisis is just before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require persevering faith. But we may triumph gloriously; not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the enemy.
Maranatha p. 96
—– Please lift Joe Edwards in prayer. He came home from the hospital yesterday, has terminal cancer, and is now on hospice care. His wife, Bev, and I have been friends for 50 years. Donna
—–Please pray that my children will find good jobs. L
A few years ago, a coworker brought in a doll that her brother had given her. It was called the perfect man doll. Whenever its stomach was pressed, the doll would say things that a wife would want to hear such as “You shouldn’t be cleaning that, let’s hire a maid” or “I can watch football any time, let’s go shopping.” It was so funny! Even the men laughed at it. After a few days, it was no longer as funny. As people would play with that doll, I knew exactly what it would say. Soon, no one was playing with the doll any longer.
On the way home one evening, I realized how much like that doll we can become when we pray. We tend to pray for the same things in the same way. It’s not that what we pray for is not good or that we are not sincere, but how often by praying the same phrases in the same order, our prayer become a routine and almost unthinking as if we were that doll.
Jesus spoke of this very principle. “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them.” Matt 6:7, 8 On the way to work every morning, I pass by a Buddhist temple. At certain times there are hundreds of prayer flags waving in the wind. Are our prayers like those heathen flags because of our repeating the same things day in and day out?
Paul bids us to “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thes 5:17 How can we pray without ceasing and not be repetitious? We must believe with all of our heart that God will answer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” James 1:5-7 “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb 11:6
We must abide in Christ. Jesus promises, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:7 Think of it! If we ask, we will receive. (Matt 7:7) Sometimes, we must press our heartfelt petitions many times before that Father’s throne. “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:5-13
Our prayers must not be selfish, self-centered prayers. James explains, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3
Sometimes, we do not receive exactly what we ask for, yet God answers with a “no” or wait awhile” or “here is something better” because only He can see the end from the beginning.
May we keep asking, seeking, and knocking for the right things until we see and understand God’s answer to our prayers. May we believe that we receive them because He is is faithful Who has promised. May we claim His precious promises that are found in His Holy Word.