Some Keys to Prayer

Scripture for Today, 4-17-19: Don't Pray? - JESUS, OUR BLESSED HOPE

In this post we’ll go over some unique counsels on prayer. The final message of Elijah tells us how important the subject of prayer really is —

 

The Key to the Science of Holiness?

“Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock Heaven’s storehouse…?”—Steps to Christ, p. 95. It is the breath, the life, of the soul, “the secret of spiritual power.”—Gospel Workers, p. 254; Education, p. 258. Hence “in the prayer of faith there is a divine science.…a science that every one who would make his lifework a success must understand.”—Education, p. 257.

“Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the condition, insult Jehovah.”—Christs Object Lessons, p. 142.

How important, then, that prayer meet the conditions laid down—be correct, scientific, inspired! This weighty truth will compel the whole-souled believer critically to re-examine his entire prayer life to make certain that it is not unscientific and uninspired and thus ineffectual—a fraud and a cheat to him, and an insult to God! (SC, vol. 8, no.1-12, p.12)

Let us now look at three specific issues of prayer.

1 — Does the Bible speak of a time where God says to NOT pray for someone?

Yes indeed, let us read —

“And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.

For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” (Jeremiah 11:9-14)

Straight, God-breathed words! Yes, we are reading right, there was to be no prayers lifted up for such rebels. How is it that one can get so spiritually offensive that even our King says not to insult Him with prayers on their behalf??

One of our basic core Christian values, indeed one of our most treasured privileges, is prayer. All throughout the Word we read about praying and the value of this. But contrarily we find that under certain dire and repulsive conditions we are are told to refrain from it, for our God knows perfection and even in prayer–what is right and what is wrong!

So how do we know when someone is not to be prayed for? A great question indeed! The Lord’s Elijah message gave us a clue, let us read —

“For only a true Christian, one who has a personal experience with God, a perfect knowledge of His Word, and who is filled with His Spirit, can discriminate saint from sinner. He, only, can recognize who has the seal and who does not have it, when the latter is cloaked in a counterfeit robe of righteousness.” (Tract 5, p. 63)

Thus we see that once we have ” a perfect knowledge of His Word” we then have spiritual discernment. We can know the pretenders from the real deals.

Obviously Jeremiah was the real deal and as such God warned him not to insult Him by praying for those repeat offenders and stanch rebels. Isaiah also enlightens us —

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” ( Isaiah 59:1-2)

2 —  What is the proper position to be in when praying?

“Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.”[3 LUKE 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.”[4 ACTS 9:40; 20:36, 21:5.] Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[5 EPH. 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt.[6 SEE EZRA 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.”[7 DAN. 6:10.]

True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realisation of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there; and as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanour, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened. “Holy and reverend is His name,”[8 PS. 111:9.] the psalmist declares. Angels, when they speak that name, veil their faces. With what reverence, then, should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!” (Gospel Workers, p.178)

Of course, as we posted before, prayer and supping are both meaningful ways to communicate with our King. As such, supping would naturally be more relaxed and experienced in ways such as driving, walking, resting in bed, etc. Prayer on the other hand is more formal, especially in public and this, when at all possible, should be in the form of kneeling.

Unfortunately we as Adventists have long since not kept this counsel active in our church. Sure we rigidly kneel as a robot during a brief part or two of the service. But there is often other times in the service where we carelessly stand.

Our prophetess, was moved to rebuke a pastor for not kneeling —

“I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees.” This is the proper position always….” (Prayer, p.207)

3 — How do we address our God in prayer?

Unfortunately, our adversary has tried to trick some believers in this way. The name of God being so important, they say, that if you incorrectly call Him a name He is not to be called, well you are doomed. But not to fear the Lord, again sets us straight on this issue. A true restoring, if you will. The counsel is found in Tract 13 called “God’s Titles Not Restricted To One Language.”

To read it click here —

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/tracts/tract_11.html

In closing, let us remember that prayer is our lifeline, our cell line to use modern terms direct to the Throne of Heaven. Both prayer and supping are so valuable that we should, as Inspiration says – make it a “science”. A Sweet Science indeed!

Color Code: Orange –The Lord speaking,  Blue — Bible or SOP, Brown– Elijah message brought by Victor Houteff

2 Responses to “Some Keys to Prayer”

  1. vegaraw Says:

    If I were that pastor who was rebuked, I would rather have the ground to swallow me up.

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Yes, it must have been quite a shock and embarrassment!

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