Living Word Christian Magazine

Free Bible Study Magazine

For the Asking

“Power belongs to God,” but all that belongs to God we can have for the asking.  God holds out His full hands and says:  “Ask, and it shall be given you. . . . If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:7, 11).

The poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian finds its explanation in the words of the apostle James:  “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James. 4:2).  “Why is it,” many a Christian is asking, “that I make such poor progress in my Christian life?”  “Neglect of prayer,” God answers.  “You have not, because you ask not.”  “Why is it there is so little fruit in my ministry?” asks many a discouraged minister.  “Neglect of prayer,” God answers again.  “You have not, because you ask not.”  “Why is it,” many, both ministers and laymen, are asking, “that there is so little power in my life and service?”  And again God answers:  “Neglect of prayer.  You have not, because you ask not.” God has provided for a life of power and a work of power on the part of every child of His.  He has put His own infinite power at our disposal, and has proclaimed over and over again, in a great variety of ways in His Word, “Ask, and ye shall receive.”

How little time the average Christian spends in prayer! We are too busy to pray, and so too busy to have power.  We have a great deal of activity but accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery, but few results.  The power of God is lacking in our lives and work. We have not, because we ask not. Many professed Christians confessedly do not believe in the power  of prayer. It is the fashion with some to contemptuously contrast the pray-ers with the do-ers—forgetting that in Church history the real do-ers have been pray-ers; the men who have made the glorious part of the Church’s history have been without exception men of prayer.—Torrey.

I have been in that old church in New England where Jonathan Edwards preached his great sermon, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.”  He had a little manuscript which he held up so close to his face that they could not see his countenance.  But as he went on and on, the people in the crowded church were tremendously moved.  One man sprang to his feet, rushed down the aisles, and cried:  “Mr. Edwards, have mercy!”  Other men caught hold of the backs of the pews lest they should slip into perdition.  I have seen the old pillars around which they threw their arms, when they thought the Day of Judgment had dawned upon them.  The power of that sermon is still felt in the United States today.  But there is a bit of history behind it.  For three days Edwards had not eaten a mouthful of food; for three nights he had not closed his eyes in sleep.  Over and over again, he had been saying to God:  “Give me New England!” And when he rose from his knees, and made his way into the pulpit they say that he looked as if he had been gazing straight into the face of God.  They say that before he opened his lips to speak, conviction fell upon his audience.— Chapman.

To aim aright at the liberty of the children of God requires a continual acting of faith—of a naked faith in a naked promise or declaration.  By a naked faith in a naked promise I do not mean a bare assent that God is faithful, and that such a promise in the Book of God may be fulfilled in me, but rather a bold, hearty, steady, venturing of my soul, body, and spirit upon the truth of the promise with an appropriating ACT!—John Fletcher.

An extract from ”Kneeling We Triumph” by Edwin & Lillian Harvey

BUY ON KINDLE! £3.86 Reproduced by kind permission of Harvey Publishers.

Image© Winterberg

Find hundreds more Bible studies at http://www.biblestudiesonline.org.uk

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