10. THE ESSENTIALS OF POWER IN PRAYER.
We must make a few distinctions at the outset. I take it there is a great difference between the prayer of a soul that is seeking mercy and the prayer of a man who is saved. I would say to every person present, whatever his character, if you sincerely seek mercy of God through Jesus Christ you shall have it. Whatever may have been your previous condition of life, if you now penitently seek Jehovah’s face through the appointed Mediator, He will be found of you. If the Holy Spirit has taught you to pray, hesitate no longer but hasten to the cross and there rest your guilty soul on Jesus. I know of no qualifications for the sinner’s first prayer except sincerity, but we must speak in a different way to those of you who are saved.
You have now become the people of God and while you shall be heard just as the sinner would be heard, and shall daily find the necessary grace which every seeker receives in answer to prayer, yet you are now a child of God and you are under a special discipline peculiar to the regenerated family. In that discipline answers to prayer occupy a high position and are of eminent use. There is something for a believer to enjoy over and above bare salvation. There are mercies, blessings, comforts and favours which render his present life useful, happy and honourable. And these he shall have irrespective of character. They are not vi- The Conditions of Power in Prayer Sermon #1103 www.spurgeongems.org Volume 19 2 2 tal matters with regard to salvation—the believer possesses them unconditionally, for they are covenant blessings.
But we now refer to the honours and the dainties of the house which are given or withheld according to our obedience as the Lord’s children. If you neglect the conditions appended to these, your heavenly Father will withhold them from you. The essential blessings of the covenant of grace stand unconditioned—the invitation to seek for mercy is addressed to those who have no qualifications whatever, except their need. But come inside the divine family as saved men and women and you will find that other choice blessings are given or withheld according to our attention to the Lord’s rules in His family. To give a common illustration; if a hungry person were at your door and asked for bread, you would give it to him whatever might be his character.
You will also give your child food whatever may be his behaviour—you will not deny your child anything that is necessary for life. You will never proceed in any course of discipline against him, so as to deny him his necessary food, or a garment to shield him from the cold; but there are many other things which your child may desire which you will give him if he is obedient, which you will not give if he is rebellious to you. I take it that this illustrates how far the paternal government of God will push this matter and where it will not go. Understand, also, that the text refers not so much to God’s hearing a prayer of His servants now and then, for that He will do, even when His servants are out of course with Him and when He is hiding His face from them. The power in prayer, here intended, is continuous and absolute power with God, so that to quote the words of the text, “Whatever we ask of Him we receive.” For this prayer there are certain prerequisites and essentials, of which we have now to speak, and the first is child-like obedience—“Whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments.”
If we are destitute of this the Lord may say to us as He did to His people Israel, “You have forsaken Me, and served other gods, therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which you have chosen.” Any father will tell you that for him to grant the request of a disobedient child would be to encourage rebellion in the family and render it impossible for him to rule in his own house. It is often incumbent upon the parent to say, “My child, you did not listen to my word just now, and therefore, I cannot listen to yours.” Not that the father does not love, but that he does love the child, and because of his love he feels bound to show his displeasure by refusing the request of his erring offspring.
God acts with us as we should act towards our refractory children. And if He sees that we will go into sin and transgress, it is a part of His kind paternal discipline to say, “I will shut out your prayer, when you cry unto Me; I will not hear you when you entreat of Me; I will not destroy you, you shall be saved, you shall have the bread of life, and the water of life, but you shall have no more. The luxuries of My kingdom shall be denied you, and anything like special prevalence with Me in prayer you shall not possess.”
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies of his books over 49 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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