Dwell A Little Longer
Life's battles are won on your knees.The balance of power in any situation rests with people who pray.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright today? Yes, it’s a sinful old world, but you can be in it without being of it. You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush. You can be kept by the power of God. Peter says, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” You can be kept clean in a dirty world. Hallelujah.
Well, I trust everything’s alright at your house. I’m feeling great and just so happy for the privilege of sharing with you once again by radio. Thousands of you, whose faces I shall never see until we get to heaven, but to whom I kind of belong. And when I meet me you now and again, different ones of you say, “I know you. I know about you because of the stories you tell.” Well, I give myself away on these broadcasts, I know that, but I kinda like it. I’m the kind of person that needs to belong to somebody and so I give myself away to you so I can belong to you in the bonds of Christian love and fellowship. Is that Alright with you? [chuckle] I hope so.
We’re looking at Mark 14. Our Lord Jesus had just told the disciples that they were all going to be offended because of Him. And Peter, of course, started the chorus of protest, “No, we’re all willing to die for you.” And Lord Jesus said to Peter, “Before the rooster has a chance to crow twice, you will three times have denied that you even know me.”
We’re now on verse 32 of Mark 14 if you’re following it in your own Bible, “They came to a place which was named Gethsemane and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit ye here while I shall pray.'” Mathew puts it, “Sit here and watch with me.” And that expression is repeated, “Watch with me.” Later on He said, “Couldn’t you watch with me one hour?” Mark doesn’t have it that way, but Matthew puts it in, which tells us something about our blessed Lord.
In this hour of supreme trial, when the pressure and the suffering upon Him was so great that the Gospel writers say His sweat was like drops of blood. The pressure so great that the little blood vessels ruptured and perspiration was mixed with blood as He prayed. And an hour of extreme spiritual agony when the prospect of being made sin, He who knew no sin, God hath made Him to be sin for us, He who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. When that prospect of awful spiritual revulsion and suffering, let alone the delicate agony of every joint and sinew being strained to the screaming point. When all of that faced Him, and He knew what was coming, He needed somebody to be with Him.
Our Lord Jesus Christ looks for somebody to be with Him. Have you ever… Let me just talk to you about this for a minute. Have you ever sat down and spent time with the Lord Jesus just to be with Him? Not asking Him for anything, but just to be with Him? You say, “How do you do that?” Well, how do you do it with any dear friend? There are some people with whom you have to make conversation. [chuckle] I know that and always you’re thinking of, “What am I going to say? And I gotta be careful what I say,” and all that. There are some people with whom you have to make conversation, but there are other dear, dear friends with whom you don’t have to say a thing. You’re just there together. Isn’t it true? Now, spend a little time with your Savior that way. He longs for people to be with Him. That is to say, to share in what He feels and in the plans He has.
I think for the first thing, you have to get through with the I, me, and mine part of your praying. Years ago I read it somewhere that, “You never really pray effectively until the I, me, and mine factors have worked themselves out of your praying.” Yes, pray about your needs, and pray about your weaknesses and failures, and pray about your longings and plans and visions and hopes, but when you’ve laid that all out before the throne of grace, then what? Then spend a little time just being with your Lord without asking Him for anything, just to worship, just to listen as the Holy Spirit whispers something to your own heart. Just to be with Him. He said, “Tarry ye here and watch with me.”
One of the blessed things about knowing the Lord is that He invites you to belong to Him, to be with Him, to have fellowship with Him. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, that’s you and Jesus, just not you and other believers. You and Jesus, fellowship, one with another. And the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, keeps on cleansing us from all sin. Spend a little time alone with your Lord, just being with Him, will you? And when the Spirit of God whispers something to your heart, be smart about it and write down what the Spirit of God whispers to you. You’ll find that there are certain impressions that come to you as you’re waiting before the Lord. Now you’ve prayed, you’ve prayed your way through the I, me, and mine factors in your life, you’ve laid all your burdens before Him, you’ve prayed through all the different concerns in your life, and now you’re just with your Lord, not asking for anything, but just worshiping and expressing your love to Him.
And in those moments, I can guarantee you, the blessed Spirit of God will whisper to your heart some precious truths generally based on the Word of God, because God always acts in conformity to His word, to the law and to the testimony, “For if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there’s no light in them,” said Isaiah. God will apply His blessed Word to you in a special way, and when He does, you write that down and follow it through in obedience. You’d be amazed at what God will do in your life. Jesus looks for you to be with Him. Not asking now, just to be with Him. Would you work on that concept? I know that it will enrich your life immeasurably, if you will.
Well, He said to the disciples, “Sit here. I shall pray,” and He took Peter and James and John and began to be sore amazed and very heavy and said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Tarry ye here and watch.” Matthew says, “Watch with me,” and He went forward a little and fell on the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass from Him, and He said, “Abba Father, Papa God, all things are possible unto thee. Take away this cup from me nevertheless not what I will but what thou wilt.” I thought it might be helpful in these couple of minutes to think again about the prayer life of our Lord Jesus Christ. He prayed in the morning. Mark 1:35, “In the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out and departed into a solitary place and there prayed. Have you tried getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning to pray? I know it sounds like a hard job, but it will revolutionize your entire day. To be with your Lord before the household starts the turbulence of early morning preparations, to seek the face of your Heavenly Father before you say a word to any other person, to lay out the day in prayer makes you poised and ready.
Frau Dr. Wasserzug ran the Bible school at Beatenberg after her husband’s death, and a great leader and general she was indeed. We came there in 1948, 500 delegates of us from all over the world, and descended upon the Bibelheim, the Bible school up on the top of the mount overlooking Lake Thun in Switzerland, and I was amazed as I saw the precision and the calmness with which this dear lady presided over the innumerable details of hosting a week-long conference of 500 eager delegates. I said to her one day about midweek, I said to her, “You know, Frau Doktor, you are so calm and poised. If I were under the pressures that you have to face every day, I think I would be climbing the wall. What’s the secret?” And she didn’t say anything, just smiled and walked away, but there was a lady who was with her at that moment, and she came up to me and she said, “You wanna know the secret, Bob Cook?” She said, “By 5:00 this morning, the Frau Doktor had prayed through the whole day and was ready.” She said, “I know because I’m sharing my room with her. We gave up our rooms so that you Americans could have a place to sleep.” Ah, by 5:00 this morning, she had prayed through the whole day and was ready.
That, my friend, is the secret of being poised and ready for the day. You don’t achieve it any other way. Set the alarm just a few minutes early and get up and seek your Lord. It doesn’t have to be an hour’s worth of prayer at first, although you may extend it after you find out how important it is, but just a few minutes extra with your Lord at the beginning of the day. He prayed in the morning, then He prayed in the evening when He had sent them away, He departed into a mountain to pray and when the evening was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea and so on. He prayed in the evening. He prayed alone. He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, Luke says in chapter 5 verse 16 and prayed. He prayed all night. It came to pass in those days, He went out into a mountain to pray, Luke 6:12 says, and continued all night in prayer to God. He prayed when the disciples were with Him.
It came to pass as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him, and He asked them, saying, “Whom say the people that I am?” Of course, He prayed this verse that we have in the Garden of Gethsemane. Public prayers, of course, he prayed in public at the tomb of Lazarus and elsewhere. Always prayers of confidence and worship and thanksgiving. He said as He faced the tomb of Lazarus, “I thank thee that thou hast heard me and thou hearest me always, but because of those that stood by, I said it that they may believe that thou has sent me public prayers, but so much private prayers.” Prayer early in the morning and in the evening and all night long and with your buddies and friends. Prayer, a life of prayer.
Now, why am I saying all this? Simply, dear friends, because we tend to neglect the one activity that could make life a miracle for us. The battle is won on your knees, beloved, not in the committee meeting, not on the voting floor, not in the pulpit, not in the press. The battle is won on your knees. The balance of power rests with people who pray. I have never heard anybody else preach it quite that way, but for a number of years that’s been one of the points in my sermons on prayer. The balance of power in any situation rests with people who pray. Oh, be a man or a woman of prayer, would you? Seek your Lord in the morning, pray before you make decisions, pray your way though the day and let God lead you as you seek His presence and His power. “Sit ye here while I shall pray.” Well, they failed. They failed to be with Him. They failed to care enough to stay awake.
He went forward and prayed and came and found them sleeping. He said, “Simon, sleepest thou? You were just bragging that you would even die with me. You can’t even stay awake. Could you not watch one hour?” Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. He went away and prayed again, came back, they were asleep. Went away again the third time and found them still sleeping. They failed soundly because they didn’t realize the importance of prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, today make us people of prayer and people of loyalty to our blessed Lord, I ask in His name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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