"ASKING AND ABIDING"
John 15:7: " If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you."
Rarely can a Christian be found whose prayer life has developed past "spiritual kindergarten." |
Ask the church to enumerate its ministeries and not one in twenty-five will have
any kind of an organized prayer program.
Prayer is the most neglected ministry in the church today.
If we were as lax concerning our finances as we are concerning prayer,
most of our churches would be bankrupt in ninety days.
If every person who was failing His Lord by his lack of prayer were removed from the rolls,
there would not be enough members left to fill the choir loft.
Is it not a sin against God to fail in praying for others?
"...God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.." 1 Samuel 12:23
If we do not abide in Christ, how can we hope to pray as we ought?
If we are willfully disobedient to any one of His utterances (words), will not this account for failure in prayer?
The best praying Christian is the one who believes in and is most familiar with the promises of God.
After all, prayer is taking God’s promises to Him, and saying “ Lord, Thou hast promised.”
Spurgeon said, "Prayer is the promise utilized.”
He also said, "A prayer which is not based on promise has no true foundation.”
You that have Christ’s words abiding in you are equipped with those things which the Lord
regards with attention.
If the word of God abideth in you, you are the one who can pray because you meet
our great God with His own words.
You put your finger upon the very promise and say, “ Lord, Thou hast promised!”
This is the best praying that you can do.
Abide in Him.
Be filled with God’s Word!
Study what is said by the prophets.
Study what is said by the holy men of God.
Especially should we study the precious words of our Lord.
In proportion as we feed on the Word; in proportion as we are filled with the Word;
in proportion that we retain the Word in our faith; in proportion that we obey the Word in our life;
it is that proportion that we will be most blessed in the matter of prayer.
Let us review a portion of the prayer promises of which the Bible is filled:
- Jeremiah 33:3 - “ Call unto me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things,
which thou knowest not.”
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 - “ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
- Romans 8:26 - “...For we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
but the Spirit itself maketh intercessions for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
- Matthew 21:22 - “ And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
- Mark 11:24 - “ Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray,
believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.”
- John 14:13-14 - “ And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name. that will I do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
- 1 Peter 3:12 - “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.”
- Proverbs 15:8b - " But the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
- Psalm 145:18-19: - “ The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”
- Isaiah 45:11 - “ Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker,
Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
- Isaiah 45:11 - “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”
- 1 John 5:14-15 - “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask
any thing according to his will,
he heareth us: and if we know that we have the petition that we desired of him.”
- John 15:7 -” If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
These are only a few out of a vast storehouse of promises. Treasures from heaven!
Yet, with all these promises, how little we seem to believe in prayer!
If we really believed in what these verses claim, our lives and our world would be different.
If, suddenly, our spiritual eyes were opened to the potential power of prayer,
we would be praying much more than we do.
If we could see how many tragedies could be averted; how many battles would not have been lost;
how many lives could have been spared; and how mightily the Kingdom of God would have prevailed;
had we prayed - surely we would commit ourselves to a ministry of prayer.
You still may say that you do not quite see why one who abides in Christ, and in whom
Christ’s words abide, shall be allowed to ask whatever he wills, and it shall be done unto him.
I answer that it is so, because in such a person as that, there is a predominance of grace,
which causes him to have a renewed will, which is according to the will of God.
Suppose a child of God is in prayer, and he thinks that such a thing is desirable, and yet,
he remembers that he is nothing but a babe in the presence of his all-wise Father,
and so he bows his will, and asks as a favor to be taught to have as his will, the will of God.
Though God bids him ask what he wills, he shrinks and cries,
“ My Lord, here is a request which I am not clear about.
As far as I can judge, it is a desirable thing, and I will it;
but Lord, I am not fit to judge for myself, and therefore, I pray Thee, give not as I will,
but as Thou wilt.”
Do you not see that, when we are in such a condition as this, our real will is for God’s will.
Deep down in our hearts we will only that which the Lord Himself wills;
and what is this but to ask what we will and it is done unto us.
Text: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White