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THE NEED FOR PRAYER—PART TWO

“…God shall supply all your need…” Phil 4:19

 

Furthermore, in continuing to look at the need for prayer, what other ways does prayer affect our lives? God answers prayer to bring healing to the body, soul, and spirit of man. Our Heavenly Father is concerned about the whole being of His children. He made provision for their healing in the chastening and sacrifice of His Son. Jesus “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” “and with his stripes we are healed.” All healing comes from God. It may come through medicines which He created in the minerals and plants of this earth. Healing may come through doctors and scientists to whom He has given wisdom; or it may come by a miraculous answer to prayer that is unexplainable by human reasoning. Jesus healed mental sickness, blindness, deafness, fevers, and diseases of all sorts. He restored limbs that were eaten away with leprosy, and even restored life to the dead. Although these miracles were meant to bear witness of who He was, nonetheless, it was His compassion that moved Him to heal. Because He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” we can have the assurance that He is concerned about us also. Nothing is beyond His ability to do, if we will but believe His Word and pray.

Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Matt 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Matt 17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Matt 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?
33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.
34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

If a believer is sick, we are told to “call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”; and God’s promise is that “the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” Most believers however, are too sophisticated to take this promise literally. They say that while they believe in prayer, the anointing with oil is not necessary because it is only symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s work. While it may be true that oil does represent the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures, and He is the one who does the healing, however, to try and reason away what we are specifically told to do is pride and unbelief. We can be sure that James, who wrote these verses, and dealt with many down to earth issues in his Epistle, knew the symbolism concerning oil. If he dealt with so many practical issues in his Epistle, why would he change course, and insert something that is impractical and symbolic?

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another,
and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

There are others although, on the opposite end of the spectrum, who would say that it is God’s will to heal all sickness and disease, denying the plain Scriptural evidence to the contrary. As we have already studied throughout this book, pain and suffering, sickness and disease, accidents and disasters, are a part of God’s dealing in the lives of His people. The Apostle Paul himself was denied healing after repeated prayers; to whom the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Prayer in itself does not do anything, nor does prayer control God, or make God do anything. Prayer only gives us access to the Sovereign God; who chooses what He will do and what He will not do; who He chooses to heal, and who He chooses not to heal. We need to accept His will in all things; but He also tells us to pray, and keep on praying until His will is made known to us.

2 Cor 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me

2 Sam 12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

God also supplies all of our other needs through prayer. While most of us may think only of material things that have to do with this life—food, clothing, shelter, money for bills, transportation, etc, which things are important to us, and “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things”—God is also concerned with the intangible aspects of our lives. We need times of rest and restoration; we need peace in the midst of storms; and we need patience in tribulation. We need companionship, fellowship, a godly spouse to be our friend, lover, helper, and father or mother to our children. We need wisdom in raising our children, wisdom to run our companies, or to do our jobs, and wisdom to deal with all the situations of life that will come up. There is nothing too inconsequential, or trivial that we should not pray about, or that God is not concerned about in our lives. Any of you that have children, even if they have grown to adulthood, and possibly have families of their own, are you not concerned about everything that goes on in their lives?  Does God love us any less than we love our children, or is He less concerned about us than we are of our children? Let us offer up to God our every need, and even those things which we want or desire; and God shall “supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Matt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Phil 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Prayer is the means by which we are brought into the presence of God, and it reveals our relationship with Him. It is the most intimate way that we experience fellowship with the Heavenly Father. Just as close friends, sweethearts, and spouses can sit for hours and talk, sharing the most intimate details of their lives, so the time we spend in prayer, and the spirit by which we pray, reveal our closeness to God and how much we truly love Him. Do we find it hard to spend time in prayer? Is our prayer mechanical, more of a ritual than a conversation? Is it void of any real sense of being in God’s presence? Do we pray having no feelings towards God or about what we are praying for? Then that betrays the coldness in our hearts towards God. We have only to look at the prayer life of Jesus—the amount of time that He spent in prayer, the intimacy that He expressed toward His Father, the intense feelings, the times of great agony, and also the times of great ecstasy—to see the shallowness of our own prayers. His whole life was consumed with prayer because He knew the importance of it, and because He longed to be in the presence of His Heavenly Father. I am sure that all of us have been where public prayer was being offered by some saint of God; and as we listened to their prayer, we ourselves were carried into the presence of God. We said to ourselves, ‘This man’ or ‘this woman knows something about real prayer. They have a real, intimate relationship with God’; and we had no doubt that the ear of the Father was listening to their every word.

Matt 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:
that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Furthermore, God uses prayer to give us insight into His Holy Word. The Bible is a spiritual book, in that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” It is therefore, not “of any private interpretation”; meaning that men, of their own resources, cannot interpret its spiritual message—“the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” Only believers have the spiritual eyes with which to read and understand the real message. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who can and must teach us, and show to us the things of Christ. However, as with all things that come from God we need to pray, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” We must ask for God to “instruct” us, “and teach” us “the way which” we should “go”; and to show us “great and mighty things, which” we know “not,” out of His Word.

2 Pet 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Matt 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

1 Cor 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

Jam 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Psa 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Psa 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

 Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Through prayer, God gives us divine protection and strength to carry out the work of His Kingdom. As believers, we have many enemies both of the natural world and also the spiritual. If we have been brought to see our own weakness, through the work of the cross, we know that we cannot stand against these foes, much less have any victory against them. Only the Father in Heaven, the Word of God in our hearts, and the Spirit of Christ in our lives can shield us from those foes that would destroy us. As believers we have a mission to be on the offensive against “the works of the devil,” and to preach the Gospel in this world that is controlled by Satan and “the rulers of the darkness of this world.”  Through prayer God works in us and through us so that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against,” or withstand the onslaught of His church. Gates are defensive fortifications that are meant to protect against invasion, and Satan certainly has his defensives well established in this world. As believers we must have the resources of God to overcome them, and send forth the light of the Gospel into the dark fortresses of the Evil One.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;

2 Thess 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Matt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Finally, in our study about the importance of prayer, and why as believers we should pray, let us make the following summations:

We are to pray because God has told us to “pray without ceasing.”

1Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

We are to pray because God has so ordained that everything He does for us and gives to us comes through prayer—“every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.”

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Jam 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

There is nothing too great or too trivial that should not be prayed about—God has a great concern about every aspect of our lives.  We are to “be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Those who spend the greatest time in prayer have discovered that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” keeps their “hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”—because they commit everything in their lives into the hands of God.

Phil 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is through prayer that the world is affected by the power of God, and the souls of men are brought to see Christ. If it were not for the restraining forces of God upon this world, evil, chaos, and anarchy would overrun all decency and order. Prayer calls upon God to restrain this evil, and to direct the hearts of those in authority to rule for the good of His people. Through prayer, laborers are sent into the great harvest field of souls. They are empowered, protected, and provided for by the power of God. Prayer calls upon God to save the lost, open their hearts to His Word, and bring them to see Christ.

1 Tim 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

2 The 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Prov 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent?
as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Prayer can be as simple as a baby’s cry, but those who have been taught by the Master the secrets of God-honoring prayer, will receive the greatest blessings. They will see God working in miraculous ways, both in their lives and in the lives of others. They will witness the power of God at work—knowing from whence it has come and how it has come. Most importantly, they will see the souls of lost men and woman, boys and girls being drawn into the Kingdom of God; and they will see the name of the Lord Jesus Christ magnified in the lives of others through their prayers.

Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

Jere 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Matt 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

1 Thess 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

2 Thess 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

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