W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
PRAYER LISTING DIRECTORY
THE LANGUAGE AND LIFE OF PRAYER
As to the topic PRAYER, and
in particular answers to it,
there are some points which should help, below.
This time we shall first look at sources, then at two salient scriptures on this topic, before resuming the question: What is the significance of these things for Christian Apologetics ?
As noted on site, there are
two sets of indexes, each with two items, found as such on the HOME PAGE.
One item in each case is the TOPIC, and the other is the listing of
BIBLE verses used on site, which you may want to check if any such
verses hold special interest for you.
The two sets of double indexes arise because one set is for The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, a trilogy of some 800,000 words setting out Christian Apologetics in logical order; and this needs a reference of its own. Hence there is for it by itself, a topical index and a biblical index. Then there is the similar set of indexes for all the rest, entitled, The Rest. You will find the hyperlink to take you to these indexes in the first few lines of the Home Page. Then you simply look up "prayer" in each of the topical indexes, and check out the various items under that.
In the case of "prayer" I
see it is listed only in The Rest, the set of
indexes NOT the trilogy.
The second aspect in this listing, is the SELECTION from the Index, below.
These references include in particular the following:
Times for Timely Truth Ch. 6
This deals directly with your topic.
2. Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 5 This gives some prayer background elements, in life.
Biblical Workman Appendix This gives some prayer background in FAITH.
4. Biblical Blessings Ch. 11 This gives a dramatic episode in my ministerial life, fighting for the Biblical faith, and the outcome of prayer in the proceedings.
5. You may also find
relevant references, which come under a variety of sub-headings in THE
REST Index, at Christian Life which is found
as one listing.
Question of Gifts 3, at X.
7. SMR Ch. 7, at pp.
612ff. at pp. 612ff..
8. SMR Ch. 4, pp. 347-348 at *2.
The third aspect is BOOKS. Outside these, in terms of books, one commends the following for thoughtful study.
1. The Essentials
of Prayer by E.M. Bounds (Baker Book House)
2. Purpose in Prayer - E.M. Bounds (Moody Press)
3. Power through Prayer - E.M. Bounds
4. G.F. Dempster Touched by a Loving Hand
5. G.F. Dempster Finding Men for Christ
There are many books by this author, whose amazing and continual answers to prayer in seeking for specific lost persons (both spiritually and sometimes locationally) is one of the ornaments of the church. Any of them should contain multiplied instances of procedure, prayer and precise and notable results.
6. A choice work, allying courage, character, persistence and sacrifice with prayer and its remarkable answers in a situation both touching and dramatic, is How I know God Answers Prayer by Rosalind Goforth (Moody Press). This is in a missionary situation. It would not be easy to improve on this work.
7. A work by Andrew Murray and C.H. Spurgeon is entitled (it is a composition from their writings) The Believer’s Secret of Intercession (Word Publishing). These authors of course abound in warm, practical and sensible presentations, with a biblical background. Andrew Murray in particular, like Spurgeon, has authored MANY books!
8. A classic on answers to prayer is the famed George Müller in the little work, The Diary of George Müller, and you can find the (much) larger work also, doubtless in a good library. His work in orphanages was associated with prayer answers so frequent, common and precise, at the financial level in particular, that his name is proverbial.
9. Another classic is John Bunyan whose words on this topic can be found to some extent, in a volume called PRAYER. It is published by the Banner of Truth Trust.
10. Another practical
and interesting work is When the Fire Fell, by George T.
Davis, for this details some of the prayer and product results in famous
revivals. It was published by The Million Testaments Campaigns.
11. Of special interest because of its historical detail and fluency of writing, is another famed volume, W.B. Sprague, Lectures on Revivals. This was published more recently by The Banner of Truth Trust.
12. Again, Samuel Chadwick’s The Path of Prayer is an interesting and informative work on various aspects of prayer, with some zeal! Our edition of this was published by Hodder and Stoughton, England.
13. For that matter, of course, you see much of prayer’s place in practice in the famed Memoirs of McCheyne, by Andrew A. Bonar. McCheyne himself seems universally acknowledged as an especially choice character, and the spiritual background to prayer in works of faith, for this great scholar, McCheyne who died young, may be tasted here.
It was published by Moody Press, and this selection includes a number of letters by McCheyne, the simplicity of which is part of their eloquence and force.
14. Hudson Taylor's life - perhaps as in Retrospect, or in the volume by Pollock. This covers a wide swathe of prayer answers and dynamics.
You may of course not be able to get some of these, as they may be out of print, but sometimes other publishers take them up, and a good library should be able to help, or any large bookshop, since nowadays many have extensive listing devices to detect what is being published now and by whom.
Here in Adelaide we have an Evangelical Library which is able to provide some older books, while the Banner of Truth Trust publishes many more. Moody and such publishers may be able to show, if they do not now publish a book they once did, who does; or the Library indexes.
The FIFTH listing is SERMONS.
A useful background sermon, focussing somewhat on Christ’s prayer, is to be found at That Magnificent Rock Ch. 2.
and another is at Biblical Blessings Ch. 16.
Further on prayer and its
nature, power and prevailing, in what follows below.
2. REVELATIONS ON PRAYER - TWO
Now one feels it incumbent to notice two texts out of the multitude particularly at this point.
1. Romans 8:26 and
FIRSTLY, ROMANS 8:26
As to Romans 8:26, notice how the chapter has moved from solidity of structure of salvation in Christ, in victory, in purity, in mortifying the desires of mere flesh, independence without meaning or measure in spirit, or mind or body; and then, in the very midst of the cursed environment, labouring and travailing till its time comes, and this banal penalty is removed forever. With this travail, as the 'sons of God' in their complete manifestation, even the redemption of the body (8:23), are awaited, there is another travail.
It is the labours of prayer (8:26). Now notice here, that the Spirit is moving in the midst of OUR infirmities, just as WE move in the midst of the infirmities of the environment, until its compromised condition is finally removed. So too, till our pilgrimage is consummated in glory, there is travail IN PRAYER this time, for US. In this - teaching us that prayer involves labour and can indeed reach to the point of suffering (cf. Luke 22:39-46), indeed may even involve 'an agony' - we are helped by the Spirit. He is characterised here as making intercession 'with groanings which cannot be uttered', as He provides aid to our weaknesses.
This is a prayer portent: it speaks of spiritual speech, when God is indeed your Father. You are NOT alone speaking to God. Rather, as a Christian (Romans 8:9), and hence someone inhabited by the Spirit of God (there are no exceptions), who finds essentially that he/she is a child of God and knows it (Romans 8:15), someone of whom it can be said that yours is 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Colossians 1:27): you are given STRENGTH in your weakness by the Spirit of God, even direction. In your condition, He in His position so acts that you are "led by the Spirit of God." As a sunset leads an artist, so He leads your soul. As a friend clasps the hand of friend on dangerous rock, so he. As a counsellor leads the troubled soul, so and far more also, He guides and gives governance. It is inter-personal, not fully automatic; it allows the possibility of providing even some measure of grief to the Lord; but it enables frequently such an intercourse, as a stream pouring to fortify a brook, as the sunshine casting its joules to the flowering shrubs, that there is a felicity bathed in love, tempered with mercy, energic and illustrious.
Nor is this some vague, let alone confused, sort of involvement. Deep are the emotions: deep calls to deep, as David is inspired to write (Psalm 42, NAB),
Here deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents.
All your waves and breakers sweep over me.
At dawn may the LORD bestow faithful love
that I may sing praise through the night,
praise to the God of my life.
Yet it is the LORD who so acts. Profound the feelings and interchange may well be, but the MIND of the SPIRIT is what is KNOWN by the Lord Himself (Romans 8:27), so that there is if you will, a codification, or an organisation: all is clear. It is conveyed, and so received. Moreover, notice the result after such depths and profundities: "Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer to the God of my life" - 42:8. If a cloud passes over the spiritual sky, then faith intervenes: "Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the healthy of my countenance, and my God."
Christ Himself (as in Hebrews 7:25) is making intercession for the saints according to the WILL of GOD! (Romans 8:27). Thus the trinity is operative in this beautiful and blessed provision for prayer.
It is then in Romans 8 that Paul proceeds to show that just as Christ is making intercession according to the will of God, so ALL THINGS work together according to the same will, for those of whom two things are true: those who 1) love God, and 2) are called according to His purpose. These of course are co-incidental, or intersecting companies. IF you love God, you are already in the first commandment. How that love is entire! so that THE ONES CALLED according to His purpose may be seen as further defining, or giving the sense to the first category. Love of God naturally has to be relative to WHO HE IS, and so with all the mind and soul and heart and strength, the first and the greatest commandment. As I John 5:2 tells us, you love your brother if you love God and keep His commandments.
This love, then, fits with Luke 14:27ff., where you (again of course) are willing to forsake ALL*1that you have for Christ Jesus. Otherwise, says Christ, of whom the whole religion is justly named, you not only ARE not His disciple, but you CANNOT be so! Thus the love of God in view is nothing which makes you anywhere near perfect (I John 1:7ff.); but it is a love so whole-hearted that the concept of compromising it in principle is an outrage. It is, as the mathematicians might say in their discipline, not something that you can have (like an unreal number, when the question is its value).
In that case, since God would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2, Colossians 1, Matthew 23:37 and so on cf. SMR Appendix B), then you are going to be led to become amongst those who are THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. It is not that the CALLED come AFTER those who love; the categories are mutually defined. You SO love that it evinces your call; and you are SO called that it is expressed in love. Thus, logically, if you love, you are called, for the love in view is that which is relative to God, unrestricted. Nor is the call any cluck of the hen, if you want the imagery of Matthew 23:37, for the chicks in that illustration refuse to come to the call! Rather it is a call ACCORDING to His purpose, which leaves you being conformed to Christ (Romans 8:29). THIS call starts in foreknowledge (8:29), moves through predestination, to call, justification and glorification. It is co-ordinate with Ephesians 1:4. It is sometimes called 'effectual calling'. It is that which is heard, heeded and evocative of response, even to that faith in Christ which assures eternal salvation (John 6:47, 10:9).
You may fall into some sin, as David did with Bath-Sheba; and be disciplined (as in Hebrews 12); but since you cannot be saved without faith (Hebrews 11:6, John 3:16, 36), then when saved, in faith you will live. On this, see Cascade of Truth, Torrents of Mercy Ch. 7 (and further on the love of God in predestination, Ch. 2, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4). By faith you will repent, and in faith be cleansed, corrected, disciplined, whatever the case may require. HIS seed stays in you when you are begotten of Him (I John 3:9). Nothing can eradicate it; nothing separate from the love of God (Romans 8:35ff.). Condemnation is here excluded (8:33-34).
All this is to show that as a Christian, you WILL be acting as the CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. It is a glorious category: you may be crucified, but what is that ? You are being so, as called to it. In any case, if a Christian, your love for Christ, your peace in the Lord is such that you are correctly said to be "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20), and to die daily (I Cor. 15:31); and if you lack in this dimension, then it will be added. You cannot serve two masters, for it is impossible, as Christ declares (Matthew 6:24). How then could you serve yourself, for that would be a second master, nothing less!
Hence it is most important to stress to young Christians two things. Firstly, NEVER make an exception for yourself from the commandments of God. If you do, then repent at once, and be clean. Subjectivism can merely be another name for illusory salvation, visions in mirages, and hopes in the sun. You love THE GOD, then do THE WILL of this God; and NEVER even consider the temptation to sin in PRINCIPLE. In prayer, by faith, fight, and this is the victory, even your faith (I John 5:4 cf. I John 2:12ff.).
Two cases have come to one's attention here, one involving a lady who accompanied her husband who had come here to study from another country. She formed an attachment to someone else, when she got here, a man younger, indeed a student, and thinking of leaving her husband, after a long and searching conversation with the author, she indicated that she would expect to be PARDONED for the sin she was actively scheming to bring about, over some months. She then did it! Seldom has one seen such a stupendous impudence, such an elaborate insolence against the Lord. This is not the appearance of a chaste spirit, a contrite heart (Isaiah 66:1-2), but of taking advantage, as did Judas, of assumed situations. God, however, is not mocked. If one trusts in oneself, serves oneself, how then is He Master, who says, Take up your cross and follow Me! (Luke 14).He does not stay, Go on and I'll follow!
II Timothy 2:19 stands like a mountain in the way of such presumption. Let those who name the name of the Lord DEPART from sin, from iniquity; and moreover it adds this: THE LORD KNOWS who are His!
What loves self-will, if it penetrates into the body of the church membership, seems an immigrant into the church, an alien unnaturalised; but it cannot be so into heaven, where NO UNCLEANNESS is permitted. WHO precisely IS Lord ? Sin or Christ! To fall is one thing; to do it in principle is merely to live as divorced; and then, where is the 'marriage'! How is one married to the Lord, if one lives in divorce! (cf. I John 3:9, where making a PRACTICE of sin is excluded).
Thus the teaching in Romans 8,
on prayer,We do not name Him and live to our own specifications. God forbid! This is a lively relationship to the living God, through the bodily resurrected Lord, and there is nothing at all vague about it! nor about His discipline as the case may require (Hebrews 12). LOVE, we there read, is the basis of such paternal discipline.
comes amidst a whole series of structural elements of salvation,
victory over sin,
rest in Christ's attainment in the atonement,
mortification of rebellious urges,
adoption in spiritual assurance as a child of God,
pilgrimage in a fallen world and
through it to glory, prayer in the Spirit with labour and earnestness,
as one of those who love God and are among the CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.
But then, take an aircraft. If I were an aircraft, I should hate to be sloppy with bits sticking out here and there for no purpose, a rather autonomous engine which could fail me at any time and so on; I should love the discipline of the wind tunnel, the moving of stress to bearable proportions so that the task could be done (I Cor. 10:7), the repair of stress fracture and the like. It would make me better able to sweep the skies, and swoop, to negotiate narrow and difficult places, and altogether to be something worth being, and do things worthy doing!
Discipline! delightful if necessary, and besides, what father does not do it, if he really loves the one he is seeking to bring to a beautiful fulfilment in life, to life as he ought to live! It is the point of it which is attractive: it is to aid conformity to Christ, growth in the wonder of His name, the intimacy of His communion, the strength of His friendship, in the glorious working of God.
That then is one text
on prayer which seems especially needful in any thought about it.
SECONDLY, EPHESIANS 6:18
Another deeply important text in the context of PRAYER, is Ephesians 6:18.
It is easy to remember since 3 times 6 is 18. The trinity is 3, and each one of them is involved in prayer as we have seen.
Is it equally easy to remember the force of this verse ?
Paul here in Ephesians is in the very midst of specifying the armour of the Christian, in terms of various warlike articles or clothing pieces, which metaphorically constitute the preparedness for the battle which is to be fought and wrought in this life, in Christ's name.
It is a fascinating battle, since victory is certain, and the contrary odds are, from this world's point of view, quite overwhelming. However, this is the interest: for IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO SHALL BE AGAINST US! (Romans 8:31). It is all completely certain, just as is the glorification of those called, and justified (Romans 8:29ff., 17), since once you are in ANY part of that circle and cycle, the rest of necessity as declared, follow. You are justified ? Then you MUST have been predestinated, and MUST be glorified. There are no exceptions: THOSE WHOM He foreknew, these are they whom He predestinated, called, justified and glorified. It is not difficult. Faith simply takes it as read, for it trusts Him and hence His word! Faith however has no substitutes!
YOU follow, if a Christian, as a sheep follows the Shepherd (John 10:27-28); and of course, you KNOW your Shepherd, since He has saved you (as stated in Ephesians 2:8, Titus 3:5, and in Romans 8:24 - 'were saved', in Romans 8, in the NKJV is less ambiguous than is the KJV here, and it is correct as a translation).
These things being so, we notice the fact that there is an ENTIRETY to the armour of God (Ephesians 6:11). It is not a heterogeneous admixture of odd garments! There is discipline, order and competence in the army of Christ, and specifications are exact; in one sense (only), they can even be exacting, for when you act with ALL YOUR HEART, it must by the nature of the case be anything but half-hearted, and ALL your talent, however much you may have, is going to be involved in a real effort. War is like that... It is not hard in principle, since His commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3); but the battle itself is most enthralling, demanding and energetic. Never doubt that.
If you do not know that and are a soldier, the sleep of death may seem to sit heavily upon you. Eternal life is the opposite of eternal death, and as to sleep,
Fittingly, this exhortation of Paul comes in the chapter immediately preceding our present one.
Thus equipped, the warrior, in Christ, stands complete (Ephesians 6:10-17). There is the sword of the Spirit (the Bible), the Helmet of Salvation (assurance in the fact that the Saviour never misses His man, or woman, or child, but keeps and loves them to the end - I Thess. 5:9-10), the waist belt of truth, which holds you together neatly and firmly, the breastplate of righteousness, which shields you against sudden appeals to the heart, in the form of angry daggers (perhaps from some apostate who while shaking your hand, with his left and devious hand, circles around and from the other side, attacking your heart with his sly words), the shield of faith which is not even touched by the appeal to listen to the devil, whose insolence is equalled by his arrogance.
It is thus and in this mode that the Christian is exhorted to pray (Ephesians 6:18).
HOW is such a one to pray ? It is all a question of inclusion, as presented.
It is with "ALL prayer" (every type, every niche, every need, every contingency or perception of problem area or pit), and supplication in the Spirit (not mere barren and tiny, tidiness of speech, but real and earnest entreaty, sustained and aspiring as aided by the Spirit of God as just shown above, in Romans 8). You are exhorted further to be alert, clear-eyed, watchful to such a plan, process, labour and life, for this is fitting to faith, and pleasant in the goodness of the Lord of all comfort and mercy. In this, you persevere. You proceed, then, "with all perseverance". Even the entreaties are "all supplication" since there is a thrust to cover the case, the notes and organ stops are to be in use, not withheld, as if dulness were duty, and duty were dull.
You are not a prayer, not an intercessor, fitful like the breezes of Summer; but the call and company is towards persevering as the sun in Autumn. For the saints, you are no mere selection kit, but seek to keep in mind their variety and scope: for ALL the saints you pray. You cannot enumerate them! but your sweep of concern can spread over categories, your desire can be informed of specialties and you can be led to focus as the Lord leads you. As we have seen, one can be and should be 'led by the Spirit', though this of course does not mean to forsake the talents given, but the better to use them, nor does it mean to forsake the word of God, but the better to lean on it! After all, the Spirit of God indited the word of God, in the prophecies, we read (I Peter 1:7-10)!
Paul then, in Ephesians 6, asks for prayer for himself, this reminding one to pray
Thus posited before prayer is life, and in life, Christ, and for life, the word of God, and in this word, faith, and with this faith, obedience, and in this obedience, faithfulness in the choice of career, wife or husband, friend, of Church, not to please yourself, but the Lord. Indeed, in all this, there is the armour of battle, the love of God and the call according to His purpose, neither to BE nor to DO what you want, 'expect comfort out of my religion' and so on, but what the Lord wants. There is an all but inexpressible comfort in Christ, but this is not the object. Taking up one's cross is NOT intrinsically comfortable, and if you want the ease of transmission to the coffin, then this is not for you.
But Christian: If Christ, to save your soul, turned down what He would like, to do what was needed, in love, how much should you be exacting on yourself to fulfil what His word requires and faith betokens, in this, that HE is the LORD, living and knowable, as well as KNOWN to all who are His (John 17:3). After all, this IS eternal life, to KNOW God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent! If you KNOW Him, He will SHOW you, and prayer in depth and liberty through faith, according to His word, prayer with Gethsemane for a pattern, with the temptation of Christ for a stimulus, the pattern of the prophets for an example, the power of God for an impetus, the grace of Christ for a way, this is one vast and beautiful channel on which the bark of your faith can float, following the stream.
With the pastor, and the whole consecrated body of the church, for prayer, might go all faithful missionaries, in group or particular, as the case may be (cf. Ephesians 6:19), and awareness such as Solzhenitsyn so focussed, of those in prison, as in China and other lands, of those assailed in home, pocket or person, assaulted for the faith.
These two verses then, seem,
in their contexts, vitally important in any Biblical consideration of prayer.
3. RELEVANCE TO CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS
But how does prayer of this kind enter into the field of Christian Apologetics ?
or that merging of life and prayer, as in John Bunyan, when so faithfully, when in prison he wrote one of the greatest allegorical classics of all time, nurturing many millions:
It is all of One. It is simply the result of conversation and communication with the living God in accord with directions, subject to inspections, aided by the Spirit, following the word of God, seeking in the love of Christ. Nothing is ever too hard, too much, or too demanding. NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD! (Genesis 18:14), and He moreover "able to do exceedingly abundantly above everything we ask or think, according to the power which works in us" - Ephesians 3:20.
This, that nothing is too hard for the Lord, practically, is what one constantly finds. It is, in fact, precisely like being a branch in a vine. You do not dictate to the vine; but find from its branch and sap, what is the situation, and finding this agreeable as branches in general do, you implement it with the power supplied.
In fact, the difference, when you pass from analogy to actuality: it is love, instead of mere natural attachment. This is something of more strength than sinew or bark, wood or flesh. In the love of Christ, the power of Christ is inherent; and in the power, the love is express. In both the peace is implicit; in all, the will of God is the aim, as the nature of God is the frame, and the delight in God is the elixir. Like a garden, a bower of beauty, it is all one, and everything in it, from weeding, to fertiliser, from construction of chairs for the comfort of those who come, or the air, unpolluted and from above, to the trees of inspiration, the scriptures in their delicate compositions, the mountains in their massive steadfastness, in the background, the righteousness of God personally, is His. It speaks of Him, He speaks to it.
At times, as when a tree needs vigorous pruning, it is not mere continuance, but rigorous reality! At times, it is not mere warfare, but profundity of peace. At times, again, it is not the soughing of the wind in the trees of grace, but the call to dig trenches. Yet in the end, there is a beauty of holiness about it all, and when one learns to accept what is given, knowing it is wise and true, then the rest is as remarkable as the beauty.
In this garden, prayer is the movement of the air. It communicates, it carries, it has results, it brings perfumes and helps one to breathe them.
In reality, the glory of the thing is not least this, that SPEECH is conceived for man, enabled in man, and in this, comprehension inheres, like the blue in the sky, the snow purities of the heights and the tiny geometries of the desert flowers. In speech, PERSONALITY is permitted, excavated and implemented; and in this, being a child of God is interpreted, as one interprets a book one reads. One finds it in losing oneself in the reading of it. So he who loses his life shall find it (Matthew 16:25). In prayer, one is lost in finding God, and found in the discovery.
This provides the solution to the problem areas of belonging, meaning, communication, understanding, being understood, reciprocity, relationship, priorities, the vertical and horizontal types of relationship, the difference between apperception and comprehension, the basis of truth, the truth of one’s basis, the composition of power and love, fidelity and character. It is all there. Once there is a relationship both supernatural (since God is supernatural) and natural (since one is in part of the natures which He made), for the personal (since the Persons in that Being who is the trinity, made it) and the impersonal (since this is mere a substratum of His creation), for the friendship of truth and the truth of friendship (since the truth is one’s Friend and one loves it, that is Him, since He is personal): the coherence and the comprehensibility of man is complete.
Its incompletion is purely an arbitrary, autonomous, superficial, supervening, supercilious or supererogative thing, in invention of man far worse than that of the atomic bomb. THAT merely destroys the physical; the incompletion of man without the cover of and communication with Christ, it is spiritual. It is deleterious finally, an excruciating acne, an irreversible irreconcilability, an ultimate lie, since to avoid the truth, is nothing less (cf. John 8:44, I John 2:22). The pang is inherent, the pain is inevitable and the severance is unutterable. It is also wholly unnecessary. GOD WOULD HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED says I Timothy 2 (cf. SMR Appendix B). It is useless to blame Him because He has always known what He is doing, and knows the end from the beginning.
THAT is merely the certainty in function, of the knowledge in fact. So far from barring, He calls; and so far from being innocent, man in his intransigence loves to say, "I am innocent", but this is unacceptable, because it is untrue (Jeremiah 2:35). There is no lack of power with God, but throughout His word the examples are multiplied, the illustrations are continual, of His seeking, and man's hiding, of His protestations and man clamming. God surpasses man, and in judgment knows all; but He does not forget him, and so loved the WORLD that He sacrificed His Son, a propitiation on behalf of all (I John 2:2), though but few partake of it. Thus the payment transfer for them is never made.
There is no measure to the immeasurable, in its beauty, but there is also no end to the measure of what is lost in His impact, when rejected, and no splendour in the measurements of a loss so ultimate, ineradicable, that it is like walking about minus the heart. This, it is not a subject for negotiation, but for destitution.
That is spiritual pathology, relentless, remorseless, in spiritual severance.
Prayer, on the other hand, it is an activity of constitution, with Christ, with comprehension, with apprehension, with beauty, with truth.
The matter is so awesomely simple. Without Christ, without covenanted prayer connection, man is exhibiting his nakedness. In nakedness, he feels the omission. In omission, he lacks the commission. With Christ, in commission, man lives in communication; in prayer, he exhibits it, while in answers God confirms the texture of His revelation, the force of His reality, and so to the vitalities of life, He contributes the counterweight to the acuities of reason. That is the blackboard; this is part of the laboratory of life!
Again, all agree in one, and one agrees with all. THIS, it is the one, the ultimate source and nature of unity for which so many have looked so necessarily in vain in physics and allied sciences. It is in the Creator, not the creation that it is to be found. ]
It is as with the architect of many famous buildings. They do not cohere as one. HE does. They have resemblances BECAUSE he is one. They are NOT the same BECAUSE he has imagination. They inspire because he is inspired. They have multiple purposes, because he has. All rationalistic, and ultimately reductionistic efforts to reduce the architect’s work to one style, one purpose and so forth, this is childish presumption. That is simply not the way the architect is.
He is personal and has purposes of various kinds, and invents means of various kinds, although there are principles with which his work is fraught.
He, not it, is one. This merely illustrates the creation. The Creator is one, and His works are many, but through them all, as in the SOLE language of life in all DNA, as in the geometrical precision, the astounding mathematics, the elaborate contrivances, the brilliant meshing of matter, mind and spirit, each in its place, yet each related for functionality, there is the mind of One. Its steadfast wisdom, its grand design, its strong discipline, its staggering gift of liberty, its provisions for rebuke, it is all one; but it is only when it is interpreted by Himself, that the whole affair is realised in its grandeur. In computing terms, at least, this is known as 'documentation'.
It is when He is known, that
the realities are discerned personally; and it is when one reads His documentation,
the Bible, that all is again, yes yet again, one. The apperception, the
comprehension, the principles, and the diversity, the overarching predictability
(FROM His word only, since He is Himself, and not another), all are one.
Prayer is the wind in the midst of the trees, and it is very cool.
One should be clear on this aspect. 'Forsaking' is not to or for this world. It is to and for Christ. Your talents, on the other hand, heart and life, your money and gear, goods and hopes, all are put into the hand of your God. If you receive Christ as Lord, and recognise His deity, then and then only does this make sense. If you do not, it is idolatry. Christianity runs on this, that Christ is God, not some god, some principle, some exhibit, but God as man (John 1:1, 8:58), and anything less has not only nothing to do with Christianity, it has nothing to do with God, except for scraps of mercy He may throw out. In short, if you reject Christ, you reject God; if you receive Him, then you receive the Father likewise (cf. John 14:9-14, Matthew 11:25-27, John 5:19-23).
But then consider. Would you withhold something from God ? If so, you are a traitor, coward or compromiser, if you maintain yourself as His. To forsake all for Him is merely natural, necessary and due recognition of who He is.
you receive Christ as the Lord and Saviour, it is as natural as getting
wet when you swim to have all your hopes and dreams and vision and vigour
FROM Him, and all that you are and have, WITH Him. Then He directs, guides,
helps, inspires, fires, opens and shuts doors, leads and gives your assignment
on this earth, which is a privilege. Imagine being able to work with and
for GOD! Read Micah 2:7, 6:8 with Romans 8:29, I Thessalonians1:5, Ephesians