Meditation Moments 67:
Someone wrote in and said they couldn't find "prayer changes things" any place in the Bible. Well, it's not in the Bible, but it certainly is Scriptural! God's Word teaches that, and it expresses the Truth. It's a Truth that needs to be burned on the tablets of our hearts.
And if prayer does change things, then how we ought to devote more time in prayer! There're such needs about us, and so many things that need to be changed! But if prayer doesn't change things, then what's the use of praying? We might as well quit praying! But we know that it does change things. Oh, we've seen things changed by prayer!
What victories we've seen won by saints who really knew how to pray! And we can change things that worry and defeat us! Let's pay the price, and let's really pray and get through to God! Well, you answer, I prayed, but things have not changed sometimes.
Give God time! We used to have an expression: "I'm going to pray through." -- You used to hear that a great deal amongst Christians, and it means importunity. There is a Scripture in God's Word, in Luke 18:1-8, where this word is used.
"And Jesus spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint." -- Now there's our trouble, isn't it! We do faint, we don't just hold on until we get the answer! -- And Jesus said, "There was in a city, a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man, And there was a widow in that city and she came to him saying, avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while, but afterwards he said within himself, though I fear not God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me." -- Now listen to the last of this:
"And the Lord said, hear what the unjust judge saith, and shall not God avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long time with them." -- Why, the Lord is saying, this widow by her continual coming got her answer to prayer. Then the Lord says, well, if that could happen with this unjust judge, shall not God avenge His own who are crying unto Him day and night?
And there you are with this importunity that God's Word speaks of. And here's this other passage in Luke 11: 5-9 "And Jesus said unto them, which of you shall have a friend and shall go unto him at midnight and say unto him, friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me and I have nothing to set before him.
"And he from within shall answer and say, trouble me not, the door is now shut and my children are in bed with me. I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend,
"Yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." -- Now remember it's the Lord Jesus Christ that's speaking here, and let me repeat it:
Though He wouldn't give to his friend just because he was his friend, but, Jesus said, "because of his importunity he will rise and give him as he needeth." -- And dearly beloved, this isn't just some little weak simpering sort of a coming to God and asking for something!
This is an asking that's got boldness behind it and importunity in it and a seeking and a knocking! "For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."(Mt.7:7) -- That's the Lord Jesus Christ Himself speaking here.
This importunity can be defined as a way of one's praying into a full faith, until you come to the assurance that not only has God heard you, but you yourself become actually aware, by a firm anticipation, that the things you ask for are going to come to pass!
How many times in God's Word we read about things like this. And I've given you wonderful passages along this line and there are many others in God's Word, to show you that you must hold on!
You just can't throw a little prayer in a hurry and then complain that God doesn't answer! There must be a waiting upon the Lord, there must be a giving God a chance! It takes time for God to answer prayer! There are so many Scriptures about your waiting for the Lord. That doesn't just mean waiting on Him in prayer -- that is, praying for some time before Him, -- but you're waiting, giving Him some time to answer.
In Isaiah 25:9 it says, "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him and He will save us. This is the Lord, we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice." And in Psalms 112:7 it says, "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings because his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord."
This man's heart is fixed! The Psalmist here is not just saying a little prayer and then forgetting about it and never expecting the answer! But his heart is fixed, he's trusting in the Lord to meet him! God's Word says, "His heart is established and he shall see his desire" -- Wonderful Scripture!
I love to read the Psalms! I get such a thrill in my soul when David comes back from a season of prayer with this wonderful assurance that God has heard him. He said, "The Lord hath heard my prayer." (Ps.66:19)
Sometimes David went to prayer almost in despair from some great trial, but then he comes back from having had this talk with God, and he said, "The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping." And in another place it says, "Verily God hath heard me, He hath attended to the voice of my prayer." (Ps.66:19)
Beloved, you'll have to come to that place where you have prayed with such perseverance, with such importunity, such "holding on" in fervency until there comes the assurance to your heart that the Lord hath not turned away your prayer. As the Psalmist says: "He hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me." (Ps. 66:20) And in Psalm 6:9 "The Lord hath heard my supplication, the Lord hath received my prayer!"
When you pray like that, holding on in such earnestness, such desperation as that -- That's what God's Word says, "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (Ja.5:16) When you have a fixed determination like that, and you hold on like that, then the answer is going to come!
How much do you want the desire of your heart? Are you willing to meet God's conditions? -- Or are you going to let little discouragements make you give up, and little obstacles block your way to victory?
There are many ways of meeting crises, but the best way is to pray straight through to the heart of God! Hold on my friend, victory is on the way! God says so, and He has promised to answer!
"In due season ye will reap if ye faint not." (Gal.6:9) "Throw not away your confidence which hath great recompense of reward!" (He.10:35) God bless you. He is on the Throne and prayer does change things!
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