TODAY’S POEM: “Receive, O Lord, In Heaven Above” by Francis C. Burkitt.
Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is II Kings 19:1-4 which reads: “And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.”
Our prayer motivator quote today is from David Wilkerson. He said: “After much prayer, careful study and reliance on the Holy Spirit, I have concluded this about Christ’s intercession for us. Jesus died on the cross to purchase peace with God for me – and He is in heaven now to maintain that peace, for me and in me.”
My personal encouragement for you today is this: Here are four more benefits that I have personally received from prayer to God, and that I know you can receive as well. (1) Prayer to God will deliver you from temptation, evil, and sin. (2) Prayer to God will protect you from hurt, harm, and danger. (3) Prayer to God will deliver you out of bad situations and trouble. And (4) Prayer to God will do things for you “exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think.”
Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAY ALWAYS” part 5 from the book, “Purpose in Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.
Robert Murray McCheyne’s biographer said about him, “Two things he seems never to have ceased from—the cultivation of personal holiness and the most anxious efforts to win souls.” The two are the inseparable attendants on the ministry of prayer. Prayer fails when the desire and effort for personal holiness fail. No person is a soul-winner who is not an adept in the ministry of prayer. “It is the duty of ministers,” says this holy man, “to begin the reformation of religion and manner with themselves, families, etc., with confession of past sin, earnest prayer for direction, grace and full purpose of heart.” He begins with himself under the head of “Reformation in Secret Prayer,” and he resolves:
“I ought not to omit any of the parts of prayer—confession, adoration, thanksgiving, petition and intercession. There is a fearful tendency to omit confession proceeding from low views of God and His law, slight views of my heart, and the sin of my past life. This must be resisted. There is a constant tendency to omit adoration when I forget to Whom I am speaking, when I rush heedlessly into the presence of Jehovah without thought of His awful name and character. When I have little eyesight for his glory, and little admiration of His wonders, I have the native tendency of the heart to omit giving thanks, and yet it is specially commanded. Often when the heart is dead to the salvation of others I omit intercession, and yet it especially is the spirit of the great Advocate Who has the name of Israel on His heart. I ought to pray before seeing anyone. Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, and then have family prayer and breakfast and forenoon callers, it is eleven or twelve o’clock before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system; it is unscriptural. Christ rose before day and went into a solitary place. David says, “Early will I seek Thee; Thou shalt early hear my voice.” Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre while it was yet dark. Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness; and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me. The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. I feel it is far better to begin with God, to see His face first, to get my soul near Him before it is near another. “When I awake I am still with Thee.” If I have slept too long, or I am going an early journey, or my time is in any way shortened, it is best to dress hurriedly and to have a few minutes alone with God than to give up all for lost. But in general it is best to have at least one hour alone with God before engaging in anything else. I ought to spend the best hours of the day in communion with God. When I awake in the night, I ought to rise and pray as David and John Welch.”
McCheyne believed in being always in prayer, and his fruitful life, short though that life was, affords an illustration of the power that comes from long and frequent visits to the secret place where we keep tryst with our Lord.
Men of McCheyne’s stamp are needed today—praying men, who know how to give themselves to the greatest task demanding their time and their attention; men who can give their whole heart to the holy task of intercession, men who can pray through. God’s cause is committed to men; God commits Himself to men. Praying men are the vicegerents of God; they do His work and carry out His plans.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Praying for You” by the Katinas