“I do not recollect to have ever attended a prayer-meeting until after I began the study of law. Then, for the first time, I lived in a neighborhood where there was a prayer-meeting weekly. I had neither known, heard, nor seen much of religion; hence I had no settled opinions about it. Partly from curiosity and partly from an uneasiness of mind upon the subject, which I could not well define, I began to attend that prayer-meeting. About the same time I bought the first Bible that I ever owned, and began to read it. I listened to the prayers which I heard offered in those prayer-meetings, with all the attention that I could give to prayers so cold and formal. In every prayer they prayed for the gift and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Both in their prayers and in their remarks, which were occasionally interspersed, they acknowledged that they did not prevail with God. This was most evident, and had almost made me a skeptic.
Seeing me so frequently in their prayer-meeting, the leader, on one occasion, asked me if I did not wish them to pray for me. I replied: "No." I said: "I suppose that I need to be prayed for, but your prayers are not answered. You confess it yourselves." I then expressed my astonishment at this fact, in view of what the Bible said about the prevalence of prayer. Indeed, for some time my mind was much perplexed and in doubt in view of Christ's teaching on the subject of prayer and the manifest facts before me, from week to week, in this prayer-meeting. Was Christ a divine teacher? Did he actually teach what the Gospels attributed to him? Did he mean what he said? Did prayer really avail to secure blessings from God? If so, what was I to make of what I witnessed from week to week and month to month in that prayer-meeting? Were they real Christians? Was that which I heard real prayer, in the Bible sense? Was it such prayer as Christ had promised to answer? Here I found the solution.
I became convinced that they were under a delusion; that they did not prevail because they had no right to prevail. They did not comply with the conditions upon which God had promised to hear prayer. Their prayers were just such as God had promised not to answer. That they were overlooking the fact that they were in danger of praying themselves into skepticism in regard to the value of prayer, was evident”
What scriptures speak of this Prevailing Prayer?
Joh 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
1Jo 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1Jo 5:15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
Jam 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
It may be good to look as a reminder the new covenant:
Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story. "A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the girls responded. 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.' That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, 'If God sent that, I'm sure He also sent a doll!' And she was right! The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child's sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies' group to include both of those specific articles."
How did the ladies group know it was God’s will to put the doll & the hot water bottle in the care package? How did the little girl know exactly how to pray?
FIRST point – God already has a plan (answer) of deliverance. He fully understands the situation and knows what He wants to do.
The modern church, and I am guilty of this also, has tapped an ending on to most of their prayers which is “if it be your will”
A misunderstanding of Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
i. This is clearly shown in Psalm 67:2-7
ii. Speaking of God’s will being done perfectly…
Doesn’t line up with James 1:6 – doubting
Doesn’t line up with 1Cor 2:15-16 – the spiritual having the mind of Christ
Prevailing prayer is answered prayer and is the kind of prayer that God wants us to pray.
Prevailing prayer is not this name it/ claim it garbage that you see some modern day preachers espousing.
Prevailing prayer is knowing the will of God, which is perfect and right, and praying specifically for such.
i. For many we become God’s counselor instead of the other way around…we like to tell him what we want, need and what to do in situations instead of knowing His will and praying for that.
ii. Eze 36:37 ---Here is an example of the will of God waiting upon our asking.
iii. In any situation God desires us to come to Him for the answer to any and all situations
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angry, he rose his voice to his father and said “with all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house.Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He hadn’t seen him since that graduation day.Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Mat 7:11 “And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?”As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL
* How many times do we miss God’s blessing because we can’t see past our own desires?
SECOND point is that we must desire God’s character to be revealed in this situation…NO matter what the cost.
9. The fight of faith is the battle that must be waged
We will either look at God’s fullness and character OR
We will look at the scope of the problem or situation
Why did God part the red sea and drown Pharaoh and the Egyptian army?
Exodus 14:10 – Israel cries out to God