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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Prevailing Prayer: What Hinders It? Dwight Lyman Moody:


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Prevailing Prayer: What Hinders It?

  

                  Dwight Lyman Moody


PREFATORY NOTE.
The two first and essential means of grace are the Word of God and Prayer. By these comes conversion; for we are born again by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever; and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
By these also we grow; for we are exhorted to desire the sincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby, and we cannot grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ except we also speak to Him in Prayer.
It is by the Word that the Father sanctifies us; but we are also bidden to watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.
These two means of grace must be used in their right proportion. If we read the Word and do not pray, we may become puffed up with knowledge, without the love that buildeth up. If we pray without reading the Word, we shall be ignorant of the mind and will of God, and become mystical and fanatical, and liable to be blown about by every wind of doctrine. prefer.
The following chapters relate especially to Prayer; but in order that our prayers may be for such things as are according to the will of God, they must be based upon the revelation of His own will to us; for of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; and it is only by hearing His Word, in which we learn His purposes toward us and towards the world, that we can pray acceptably, praying in the Holy Ghost, asking those things which are pleasing in His sight .
These Addresses are not to be regarded as exhaustive, but suggestive. This great subject has been the theme of Prophets and Apostles, and of all good men in all ages of the world; and my desire in sending forth this little volume is to encourage God's children to seek by prayer "to move the Arm that moves the world."
Prayer was appointed to convey
The blessings God designs to give; 
Long as they live should Christians pray,
For only while they pray they live. 
And shall we in dead silence lie,
When Christ stands waiting for our prayer? My soul, thou hast a Friend on high;
Arise and try thy interest there.
If pain afflict, or wrongs oppress;
If cares distract, or fears dismay; If guilt deject, if sin distress;
The remedy's before thee—Pray!
Depend on Christ, thou canst not fail;
Make all thy wants and wishes known. Fear not; His merits must prevail;
Ask what thou wilt; it shall be done!
Joseph Hart.
PREVAILING PRAYER.
CHAPTER I
THE PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE. 
Those who have left the deepest impression on thi* sin-cursed earth have been men and women of prayer. You will find that prayer has been the mighty power that has moved not only God, but man. Abraham was a man of prayer, and angels came down from heaven to converse with him. Jacob's prayer was answered in the wonderful interview at Peniel, that resulted in his having such a mighty blessing, and in softening the heart of his brother Esau; ttie child Samuel was given in answer to Hannah's prayer; Elijah's prayer closed up the heavens for three years and six months, and he prayed again and the heavens gave rain.
The Apostle James tells us that the prophet Elijah was a man "subject to like passions as we are." I am thankful that those men and women who were so mighty in prayer were just like ourselves. We are apt to think that those prophets and mighty men and women of old time were different from what we are. To be sure they lived in a much darker age, but they were of like passions with ourselves.
We read that on another occasion Elijah brought down fire on Mount Oarmel. The prophets of Baal cried long and loud, but no answer came. The God of Elijah heard and answered his prayer. Let us remember that the God of Elijah still lives. The prophet was translated and went up to heaven, but his God still lives, and we have the same access to Him that Elijah had. We have the same warrant to go to God and ask the fire from heaven to come down and consume our lusts and passions—to burn up our dross, and let Christ shine through us.
Elisha prayed, and life came back to a dead child. Many of our children are dead in trespasses and sins. Let us do as Elisha did; let us entreat God to raise them up in answer to our prayers.
Manasseh, the king, was a wicked man, and had done everything he could against the God of his father; yet in Babylon, when he cried to God, his cry was heard, and he was taken out of prison and put on the throne at Jerusalem. Surely if God gave heed to the prayer of wicked Manasseh, He will hear ours in the time of our distress. Is not this a time of distress with a great number of our fellow-men? Are there not many among us whose hearts are burdened? As we go to the throne of grace, let us remember that GOD ANSWERS PRAYER.
Look, again, at Samson. He prayed; and his strength came back, so that he slew more at his death than during his life. He was a restored blackslider, and he had power with God. 11 those who have been backsliders will but return to God, they will see how quickly God will answer prayer.
Job prayed, and his captivity was turned. Light came in the place of darkness, and God lifted him up above the height of his former prosperity—in answer to prayer.
Daniel prayed to God, and Gabriel came to tell him that he was a man greatly beloved of God . Three times that message came to him from heaven in answer to prayer. The secrets of heaven were imparted to him, and he was told that God's Son was going to be cut off for the sins of His people. We find also that Cornelius prayed; and Peter was sent to tell him words whereby he and his should be saved. In answer to prayer this great blessing came upon him and his household . Peter had gone up to the house-top to pray in the afternoon, when he had that wonderful vision of the sheet let down from heaven. It was when prayer was made without ceasing unto God for Peter, that the angel was sent to deliver him.
So all through the Scriptures you will find that when believing prayer went up to God, the answer came down. I think it would be a very interesting study to go right through the Bible and see what has happened while God's people have been on their knees calling upon him. Certainly the study would greatly strengthen our faith—showing, as it would, how wonderfully God has heard and delivered, when the cry has gone up to Him for help.
Look at Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi. As they prayed and sang praises, the place was shaken, and the jailor was converted. Probably that one conversion has done more than any other recorded in the Bible to bring people into the Kingdom of God . How many have been blessed in seeking to answer the question—" What must I do to be saved?" It was the prayer of those two godly men that brought the jailer to his knees, and that brought blessing to him and his family.
You remember how Stephen, as he prayed and looked up, saw the heavens opened, and the Son of Man at the right hand of God; the light of heaven fell on his face so that it shone. Remember, too, how the face of Moses shone as he came down from the Mount; he had been in communion with God. So when we get really into communion with God, He lifts up His countenance upon us; and instead of our having gloomy looks, our faces will shine, because God has heard and answered our prayers.
I want to call special attention to Christ as an example for us in all things; in nothing more than in prayer. We read that Christ prayed to His Father for everything. Every great crisis in His life was preceded by prayer. Let me quote a few passages. I never noticed till a few years ago that Christ was praying at His baptism. As He prayed, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended on Him. Another great event in His life was His Transfiguration. "As He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering." ,
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