Quote for Today – E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today

“If we want to pray well and get the most of our praying, we must look at our obedience. This brings us closer to God. Disobedient living produces extremely poor praying. No man can pray – really pray – who does not obey.
Our will must be surrendered to God as a primary condition to all successful praying. Everything about us receives its coloring from our innermost character. Our will determines our character and controls our conduct.”
E.M. Bounds

The Throne of Grace

The Throne of Grace

“Lord, lift thou up
the light of thy countenance upon us”
Psalm 4:6

Prayers of godly ones have been uttered throughout the ages and are eternal. His own of every generation have breathed this prayer, in one form or another, unto the Lord our Shepherd. Often these words are inspired in times of sorrow and testing. There are times when tears become the simple language offered to our great God. He who bears the title “man of sorrows” hears and feels the heart throb of His Own. His heart is near to those who in absolute trust and hope lift their eyes to the only One who can bring Light and Life into every situation.

“Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and we may find grace for timely help”
Hebrews 4:16

We have the privilege of drawing nigh unto The Throne of God; a Throne so high that all must bow in its presence, yet one that is available to the broken, the lost and the weak. Here the broken are mended and the lost are filled with a new determination and purpose. Let us worship the One who made this Throne accessible!

“And when He took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having harps, and golden bowls full of incenses, which are the prayers of the saints
Revelation 5:8

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Charles Finney

Quote for Today

“Prevailing prayer is that which secures an answer. Saying prayers is not offering prevailing prayer. The prevalence of prayer does not depend so much on quantity as on quality”
– Charles Finney

The Path to True Ministry – Relationship and Prayer

The Path to True Ministry

Part Four

Relationship and prayer

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

In the midst of much speaking, praying and Christian activity we see little in terms of the release and the power of Christ. While much of these endeavours are born out of a desire to make Christ known, the issue is not desire but the source of the power. Let these words penetrate our hearts afresh…

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself…neither can you, unless you remain in me”.
John 15:7

Relationship and Prayer

The heart and power of the New Covenant is founded on one fundamental truth: relationship. It is not in our abilities, money, strength of personality or associations with others whereby this power is known.

Endless prayer meetings and strategies in themselves will not make this power to be released. It is in our being in Him alone wherein we will find the enablement to make Him known. Too often the religious have exalted prayer over obedience and relationship. It can become the panacea for all of our ills when in reality it is only effective in proportion to our relationship with Him.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you”
John 15:7

Religion always excludes the relationship aspect of our place in Christ. In Israel’s darkest days the priests were still praying, offering sacrifices and observing all of the rituals, while they neglected to walk in obedience from their hearts. We want answered prayers; God looks for obedience and relationship. We want His benefits apart from His person, His life apart from the Cross, His blessings apart from obedience; it will never be.

We hear much today concerning prayer and rightfully so; yet how little attention we pay to God’s Word concerning this. We often hear a partial quotation of the scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people will pray then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. When in reality the full quote is as follows…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Religion can have the appearance of sincerity and earnest appeal unto God, but it often ignores the need to take heed to our ways so that we may be properly related to Him from our hearts.

The remedy to the crisis of this hour is simple and available to all who desire Him out of a pure heart.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you
John 15:7

Σ

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Twelve – Praying for Others

Effectual Prayers

Part Twelve

Praying for Others

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The true efficacy of prayer is only realized when our hearts become Christ-like. The power of the cross brings the heart to see others through His eyes. To be able to pray for those (as did Job) who marginalize, speak evil of you and persecute you is the gift of Christ to us. It is in overcoming the bitterness within we find freedom and healing without.

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”
Matthew 28:18

He who is all powerful expressed that power in forgiveness. It requires more power to forgive than to avenge. It requires the very life of Christ to bring such power into the hidden recesses of our prayer life. It is the life of His resurrection pulsating through us that enables us to be free from the contagion of bitterness and selfish living. It brings new levels to prayer and fresh glimpses of His heart.

Job’s own predicament was changed
as he prayed for his detractors.

It is in our giving that we receive. In our concern for others we place ourselves in His hands. As we forgive others, we draw near to Him in the beauty of truth, peace and joy.

“Whenever you stand praying,
forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you…”
Mark 11:25

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship

Effectual Prayers

Part Nine

Discipleship

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts”
James 4:3

The nature of our walk will influence our requests to God. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with His desires. If we walk in the flesh our entreaty can be influenced by the lusts and appetites of the flesh. Prayers delayed or unanswered may at times be prayers offered amiss because we are asking to satisfy or fulfill our own desires; or we may read our desires into the needs of others. Only those who are in the process of dying to self are able to be free of the taint of self. Our sympathies to the needs of others (especially ones we are close to) can skew our ability to see and pray clearly. It is here that our walk in God will determine our effectiveness. Only true disciples can learn to pray effectually for discipleship is only known by carrying our cross and following Him. The outworking of the Cross in our lives brings us to the heart and mind of Christ. It is within the confines of His rule that we begin to touch the true power of prayer.

“If ye abide* in me,
and my words abide* in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
John 15:7

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon translates the word “Abide” as “something that has established itself permanently within my soul and always exerts its power in me”. The depth of abiding in Him is revealed in His Word exerting power within us. Obedience is the evidence of His Word wielding power over me. Those who do not obey express a life in which His Word has no power. Men and women may quote the scriptures, may teach others with seeming knowledge, but if there be no life of doing His word, it in fact has no real influence in their lives. If His Word has no power in us, our prayers will have no power with God. It is as we abide in Him that our prayers become the extension of His heart; His nature praying through us to the Glory of the Father.

Our progress in effectual prayer is contingent upon the growth and reality of our abiding in Him. We all begin our walk in Christ as children and we are “born anew” into a whole new realm of life and wonder.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 Peter 2:2

This initial stage of our journey is blessed and one which we all experience and walk through. Prayer time is spent asking for things and often the answers from our heavenly Father come quickly as He seeks to strengthen and confirm our faith in Him. However, as time goes on God brings us into deeper things as He seeks to teach us the ways of relationship and intimacy. We are required to grow in the wisdom of His ways and as this transpires it effects the tenor and spirit in which we pray.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child: but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

A life of change is the evidence of life. Where there is little or no change in the lives of His Own it is the result of His Word having little or no effect within. As we grow from a child into maturity we begin to speak differently and think differently which brings a dramatic change in our prayer life with God. As we put away the former things we begin the process of becoming men and women of God.

“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you”
John 15:14

*Pulpit Commentary
And our Lord next unfolds the principle of prayer which laid such hold on the mind of the Apostle John: If ye abide in me (and then, instead of adding, “And I abide in you,” he says); and my words abide in you; i.e. if my teaching so abide with you as to control your thoughts and ideas, remain in you as your guide and inspiration, “then ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you”.

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus

Effectual Prayers

Part Ten

Knowing Jesus

“Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you had known the gift of God and who it is saying to you,
‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him,
and He would have given to you living water”
John 4:10

It is as we come to know Him that prayer rises for the “living waters” of Christ. He becomes the cry and the desire of our heart. He does not measure out this gift of living water; it flows from the abundance of His heart. Our partaking, our seeking and our asking will be in proportion to us knowing who He is. He is ever pouring out yet never running dry. His grace and mercy are as endless as the love from which they spring. The greater our thirst the deeper are the waters of His Supply. Continue reading “Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus”

Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz

Effectual Prayers

Part Eight

Ruth and Boaz

“And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.”
Ruth 3:4

How powerful and penetrating is the story of Ruth and the right of redemption! Her need was great, her commitment to God pure and her hope of redemption was tied to the man Boaz. So is it with us. Boaz was the name of one of the pillars in Solomon’s Temple and its meaning to us is the foundation of all prayer: “In Him is strength”! Ruth went to the ONE who had the right and the ability to move on her behalf. It is a picture of the Lord as our hope for answered prayer; it is He who has all power and might to move on our behalf. What were her instructions concerning this ONE?

“And it shall be, when he lies down, you shall note the place where he lies down, and shall go in and uncover his feet, and lie down and he will tell you that which you are to do” (LITV)

May God show us afresh the beauty of this interaction between Ruth and Boaz. How many times do we rush feverishly into prayer with our requests and burdens with little regard for His person? Often in our haste we ignore His Lordship and Omnipotence and miss out on the peace and the repose of the moment with Him. Ruth did not clamour Boaz; she laid down at His feet expressing the need for him to move on her behalf. She then uncovered his feet speaking of the desire to KNOW His way in the matter! This is to impress upon us the wonder of our resting, asking and discovering His ways and His provision.

As with Ruth there are times in the situations of life where the need is great and the way seems shut. It is in these moments where as a child we come in surety and love and find rest at the feet of Him whose very name means “In Him is Strength”.

“And now, my daughter, fear not;
I will do to thee all that thou requires”
Ruth 3:11

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Effectual Prayers

Part Eleven

The Fragrance of Prayer

“While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance”
Song of songs 1:12 (BSB)

The life of prayer brings us to many different experiences and aspects of our relationship with Him. At times while sitting in His presence we are simply struck with Him and are left without words. We are overwhelmed with just the wonder of His presence. It is in these times of quietude there is simply the wonder of His peace resonating through the silence. We feel the simplicity of a love arising from our hearts filling the moment with the fragrance of our worship for Him. It is here where prayer touches the unknowable and in the silence speaks the unspeakable elements of a shared love.

This spontaneous worship is worth life itself. Holy bonds of grace arise from the giver of all good things touching the heart of a redeemed soul binding it in the cords of His love. These are rich and precious times where we are sitting at His table and are bidden to simply feed upon the very presence and glory of Himself.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone should hear My voice and open the door,
then I will come in to him and will dine with him,
and he with Me.” (BLB)
Revelation 3:20

It is the hearing ear and the obedient heart which gives way to such communion with Him. He ever stands at the door of our hearts beckoning us unto Himself. It is in the Holy chambers of our time with Him that our hearts are made right, our fears alieved and our love for Him intensified.

“Jesus saith unto them,
Come and dine”
John 21:12

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho

Effectual Prayers

Part Seven

Elisha and Jericho

“…Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with the nature and sphere of our walk. If we walk in the flesh our request will be congruous with the lusts and appetites of the flesh. It is here we are given insight into the heart of our heavenly Father. In His love he may not answer or at the least delay prayers that are offered amiss.

Asking amiss can include anything from our own selfish desires to praying on behalf of others without understanding the purpose of God within the situation. It requires a seeking on our part as to what the will of God is in order to pray in faith. As we come before Him we discover the “secret of the Lord” in the need presented to us. There are many things hidden from our eyes; secret things known only to the Lord. Yet as we seek His face it is His joy to reveal the hidden things that our petitions may be accurate and aligned with His purposes. Such prayers readily find their way to the “Throne of Grace” where He is waiting to meet the need of the moment.

Elisha and Jericho

“And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, now, the site of the city is good, as my lord sees, but the waters are bad; and the ground causes barrenness. And he said, “bring a new dish to me, and put salt there.” And they took it to him. And he went out to the source of the waters and threw salt there, and said, so says Jehovah, I have given healing to these waters; there shall not be death and sterility there anymore. And the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke.”
2 Kings 2:19-22

One of Elisha’s first miracles was healing the waters of Jericho. Rather than praying for the waters at the city, Elisha understands in the Spirit that the waters needed to be traced to the spring from which they flowed. Many times we pray and offer counsel concerning a situation at hand but if we seek the Lord He will lead us to the “source” or cause; therein we discover a true and lasting solution. Left to ourselves we tend to deal with the symptom rather than the cause. Prayers asked amiss will hinder the power of God being released.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”

Prayer and Obedience

Another cause of unanswered prayer is that often our prayers require obedience to be combined with insight. Elisha took the “new” dish of salt, cast it into the spring of the waters and then spoke the Word of the Lord over it. We must see that prayers without obedience can remain unanswered. Sometimes we ask amiss because we walk amiss!

Obedience and Prayer cannot be separated.

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel