Pray toward the answer in faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear friends. How in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world, but not of it? You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush. Tou don’t have to be dirtied with the world’s dirt. You can be kept as Peter says, “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation”. May our blessed Lord keep each of you in His care this day, I pray.
You and I’ve been looking at Mark chapter 1. We came to verse 35, “In the morning, rising up a great while before day, Jesus went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed”. “He departed a great while before day, into a solitary place and there prayed”.
It’s a little outline of thought there, that I’d like share with you before we go on.
You have to get up. Now, God will wake you up. Have you noticed that? When you have something on your heart and you want to really to — get up and seek the Lord about it. Tou can trust Him to wake you up. I’ve done that many a time, but you have to do the getting up. I found that if you put one foot out of bed, the other generally follows it. Have you tried that?
I went to a course years ago where the man said, “The minute you wake up, you ought to say at the top your voice, ‘Oh boy, time to get up!’”, and then get up.
Well, if you do that with a family around you, you’re apt to become extremely unpopular. So, I don’t think I’d advise that as standard operating procedure, but you have to do the getting up.
“He arose a great while before day”, and it says, “He went out”.
You have to deliberately separate yourself from the things and people of daily routines. Deliberately separate yourself from the things and people of daily routines. “Departed a solitary place”. You have to find some place where you’re alone.
Now, this isn’t as hard to do as you might think. I know many of you’re busy homemakers or business people, or students, and you say, “Oh, it’s impossible to be alone”. Yes, I suppose that you may think it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. You can find a place where you can be alone with your Lord. And it said, “And there He prayed”.
Opening your heart to God, seeking the presence of your Heavenly Father, letting Him speak with you and graciously teach you and guide you in His ways. That’s the procedure in prayer, and there isn’t anything, any shortcut seems to me, that you can use. You do have to carve out time. You do have to get alone. You do have to, by faith, open your heart and life to Christ and let the Holy Spirit of God pray through you. And when that happens, God begins to work in your life. You want to give some thought to this matter of praying as a procedure and in your life?
Everybody who knows the Lord prays. Sometimes, mostly on a crisis basis. We get into some kind of a jam and we’ll pray. But to seek Him, to seek His presence early in the day, that means getting up a little more earlier than you would ordinarily and seeking His face.
I’ve done it both ways. I’ve hit the day running, so to speak, because I was late for everything. And honestly, I felt like a refugee all day long. I never did catch up with myself, spiritually or emotionally. Finish the day breathless, tired, frustrated. But other days, when I’ve taken the time to be alone with the Lord, talk things over with Him, then, I’ve been poised. I’ve been ready. Even the surprises that came along life’s way didn’t shake me up.
Can you learn that with me dear friend? I have to relearn it all the time. There is your procedure. Rising up, that’s up to you. Before day, carve out a time, aside from the schedule. “Went out and departed to a solitary place” — find a place to be alone with the Lord. And then open your heart to Him and let the Holy Spirit of God guide you in real praying.
Now somebody’s saying, “I don’t think I could pray for an hour”. Well, pray for five minutes. There is no law that says you have to pray for a long time.
The prayers in the Bible, for the most part, are short prayers. The prayer that we call The Lord’s Prayer, which actually is the prayer He gave to His disciples, is a very short prayer. And our Lord Jesus criticized the people who prayed a long time, so as to get some credit with the people around them.
He said, don’t be like the hypocrites, because then you won’t have any reward. He said, “They love to pray standing in the synagogues, in the corners of the streets, that they might be seen by men”. Well, He said, “They already have their rewards”. Long prayers. God isn’t interested in the length or the decibel level of your praying. He’s interested, He’s interested in the earnestness and the truth of it.
“They that worship Him” our Lord Jesus said, as recorded in John 4, “must worship Him in spirit and in truth”. And when the Holy Spirit is praying through you, and you are telling God the truth about things, it may not be a long prayer, but it will be a good prayer. So, it isn’t in the length of the prayer.
Just relax. Nobody is saying you have to pray for an hour or two hours or three hours. I can guarantee you that if you get in the habit of talking the day over with your Lord before you get into it, you will invest more than a casual three minutes in praying. You’ll find that the most valuable time you have all day long, is the time you spend speaking with your Heavenly Father listening to Him.
By the way, small thought here — always have a notebook and a pen or pencil handy when you’re praying. The thoughts that the Father drops into your heart and mind while you’re praying are always very valuable. He likes to talk with you while you’re talking with Him, so have a notebook handy and when some precious thought is dropped into your heart, write it down, so that you may keep from forgetting it and you might store it away in your heart and mind and memory.
Let God talk to you as well as you talking to Him. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a prayer list. Do you have a prayer list? The various matters that are deep concerns that lie heavily upon your heart. And you want to bring them to God, day by day. He doesn’t weary of your coming. He said in the one of the prophets, “Ye, who are the Lord’s, rememberancers, give him no rest until we establish peace in Zion”. The Lord’s rememberancers, that is people who remind God of His promises.
Eric Hutchings, who is now with the Lord, a dear servant of God with a ministry, chiefly in Great Britain, was journeying in Korea, two or three years ago. And so it was that he arrived early, at 4 o’clock in the morning, before the 5 A.M. prayer meeting was to begin.
These dear Korean saints believe in praying, and at 5 o’clock in the morning, the churches are jammed with people praying, seeking God. Great revival going on there in Korea. So anyway… Eric was there at 4 o’clock and the service wasn’t scheduled to begin until five. And so he, speaking through an interpreter, he asked one of the people, “Why are you here so early?”, oh, the reply came back, “I’m looking up promises that I can throw up to Heaven to remind God about His promises when I pray”.
God likes to be reminded. He’s our Heavenly Father. Do you like a little child to remind you? ‘You promised me’. Do you like that? Of course you do. You like the trust that a child places in you as parent or grandparent, don’t you? Well, God the Heavenly Father, enjoys being reminded of His promises as you trust in His word.
So, have a prayer list and remind your Heavenly Father of those things that are lying heavily upon your heart. And then when He answers, put a hallelujah beside the request with the date when the answer came, and you will be encouraged later on as you read that record of praying and answers that came in answer to prayer.
I’ve done that many a time. Have a prayer list. Learn to pray in specifics. Many years ago, I said to someone, “Pray for me”, and the answer came back, “What shall I pray for, for you, dear brother”? You see, it is one thing to say pray for me, it’s another thing to say “pray that I might be cured of my nasty temper, or my selfishness, or my pride, or my tendency to get discouraged and quit”, or whatever it may be. Pray in specifics and build a hedge of real intersession around the people for whom you’re praying.
You have an unsaved husband — pray for him as he goes off to work. Pray for the contacts he may make in traffic and on the train or the subway or the bus or whatever it is. Pray for him concerning his relationship with the boss, and with the coworkers in the officer the shop. If he’s in sales, pray for him as he contacts various potential clients, customers. Pray for them all the way through the day. Pray for and regarding who he’s going to have lunch with, and pray for him in his relationships with all the people he’s going to meet. Pray that God may speak to his heart in these relationships. Pray that God may send someone across his path who knows the Lord Jesus, who at the same time may establish rapport with him and help to lead him to Christ. Pray specifically for that unsaved husband of yours. And at the same time, pray that your own life may shine, shine beautifully and brightly for the Lord Jesus. Don’t preach quite so much, don’t nag, don’t preach, but shine. Love and trust and faith and shining for Jesus can do a big work in the hearts of people all around you.
Pray pray specifically and then pray toward the answer. I learned this from a little booklet that someone sent me years ago. And I don’t even have the booklet — and I don’t know who sent it, but I do remember what it said. It said don’t pray toward the problem, pray toward the answer. You can tell God in seventeen words or less, this writer said, what the problem is and then focus on the answer. Let your faith reach out and visualize what God can do in answer to prayer on the basis of His inerrant and inspired holy Word, and the promises contained therein. Pray toward the answer in faith.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Oh, to believe God when you don’t have the answer in hand. But when it’s in His hand and based on His promise, that’s faith. Pray toward the answer. Learn the secret to praise.
Praising God, praise opens up the door to miracle. Paul and Silas in prison prayed, it says, “And sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them”. Learn the secret of praise, even when you don’t feel like it. Praise will raise your own spiritual level in a hurry, if you start to thank and praise God, for what He has done, is doing and will do. Prayer. There’s a lot of good ideas there. Put them to work, will you beloved?
Dear Father today, we pray that we may be praying people — getting answers from the God who answers prayer, in Jesus’ 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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