You are on page 1of 60

The Art of Successful Praying

The writer considers this volume one of the most important he has ever prepared. In it he shows that God has provided an infallible method by which any person can have a successful life. Indeed, if these directions are carefully followed, it is possible for ones life to be completely revolutionized. Through praying, you can change your world. By the means of prayer, you can cause God to become your active partner. By it you can be assured that the great decisions of life will be right. You can protect yourself against unforeseen dangers and possible tragedies. In effect, the result will be that all things will wor together for your good. !aturally, to achieve this, it will re"uire an honest effort on your part. It ta es time and wor to learn to pray right. There is a period of preparation involved. #e who masters the art of praying is in a position to lay up great treasures in heaven and at the end of life will be able to say with the $postle %aul, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness ! &II Tim. '()*+,. -any boo s appear on the mar et today, proposing to show how one may have a successful life. .ome of these have real merit as far as this world is concerned, but little in relation to the world to come. /n the other hand, 0hrist has promised the faithful follower a hundred*fold in this life, and in the world to come, life eternal1 In the following pages, the writer first relates certain special visitations from the 2ord on the matter of the prayer ministry. Then, step by step, he shows those things which are necessary to effective praying. #e earnestly prays that the lessons of this school of prayer will help each reader to add a new dimension to his prayer life.

The Art of Successful Praying

by Gordon Lindsay

%repared for The 3orld 0orrespondence 0ourse

%ublished by The 4oice of #ealing %ublishing 0o. 5allas, Te6as 2itho 7. .. $. The Year 89:)

Introduction.................................................................................; 2esson I<The .chool of %rayer.................................................9 2esson II<%rayer Begins 3ith =epentance.............................8> 2esson III<=estitution.............................................................8; 2esson I4<3hen You %ray ?orgive........................................8) 2esson 4<The Importance of the %rayer #our........................89 2esson 4I<=ecognizing the %resence of God.........................@> 2esson 4II<True %raying %uts God ?irst................................@; 2esson 4III<%raying -ust Be 5efinite...................................@) 2esson IA<%raying in the 3ill of God....................................@9 2esson A<The %ower of 0onfession and Intercession............>8 2esson AI<The Bey to %rayer %ower<$biding in 0hrist......>> 2esson AII<%raying and 3orshipping .hould Be in the .pirit ..................................................................................................>) 2esson AIII<The %ower of %raise............................................>9 2esson AI4<The %ower of the !ame......................................'> 2esson A4<C#ave ?aith in GodD............................................'; 2esson A4I<True %raying 4isualizes the $nswer..................') 2esson A4II<The .ecret of %rayer in the .pirit......................'9 2esson A4III<The %lace of %raying and ?asting....................;> 2esson AIA<The %rayer That $voids Evil..............................;; 2esson AA<The $greement %rayer.........................................;)

This volume is dedicated to the encouraging of men and women to pray. -ost people pray at least some time in their lives, but not many have learned how to pray well. They have not mastered the art. It is to help people to achieve this end, that this volume has been prepared. 2esson by lesson, the reader is given a special training in GodFs school of prayer. The 2ord has, during the past years, dealt especially with the writer in the matter of prayer and the need of Gods people to Goin together in their praying so that the nations of the world might be reached with the gospel. To further that cause, a 3orld %rayer Band has been formed. 5uring a series of prophetic visitations, the 2ord gave special instructions about this prayer band. #e said(
Thou shalt begin to pray that I will assemble people and that I will bring people all agreeing together, and thou needest not worry, but thou needest to intercede and pray with divine power and divine supplications and intercessions. $nd the angels of God shall be camped around thee to protect thee against the violence of .atan, and the .pirit within thee shall teach thee how to pray and when to pray. ?or a regular hour was established in the temple of the 2ord, and so it shall be established in Israel. ?or my people are li e scattered sheep. The people of my body have not come together even yet as one peopleH they are not united fully. ?or my .pirit shall come upon them to pray day and night. ?or I shall have a world prayer band. $nd they shall pray alone and pray together, and there shall be ones and twos and threes, and there shall be thousands that pray daily.

3e sent out the call for people to Goin this 3orld %rayer Band and many responded. It is largely due, we believe, to the united prayers of thousands of people, that the great results on the foreign fields ;

The Art of Successful Praying

have been achieved. Each prayer partner sets aside a specified hour to pray. Those who have prayed have been richly rewarded in having a part in the world harvest. In addition, according to their many testimonies, God has been faithful in meeting their own personal needs. $t a later time, the 2ord spo e about the intercessory phase of prayer. #e said(
$nd so hath the 2ord designed a great and mighty move of prayer in the very thing of intercession and reGoicings and than sgivings. .o that the intercession shall be tempered with than sgiving... ?or were there no Goy for the intercessor, then thou wilt be silent continuously. But the 2ord will have thee to now that #e will give thee reGoicings, so that it will temper the power of intercession, of weeping and mourning and crying out. $nd supplications shall have their courses. .o intercession shall follow supplication, and there shall be than sgivings and reGoicings and again intercessions and than sgivings and reGoicings and petitions and re"uests and repenting, and all the conditions of the prophet of old will be repeated.

/n still another occasion, the 2ord spo e of the ministry of prayer against the powers of dar ness. #e said(
%rove me saith the 2ord. %ress into my presence, for the powers of dar ness are against you. But I say unto you that if ye press into my presence and prove me, I will prove to you that I am God. I will prove to you that I am behind the clouds, that I am in the heaven and that I hold the world in my hand. Yea, I hold the heavens and the earth and all those things that are therein, even every man. Everyone in the earth is mine. $nd now the 2ord thy God shall see that the harvest is completed. $nd there shall be a great seething. /h my people shall pray. -y people shall wor . !ow is the time to encourage those who by sorrows are oppressed by the circumstances coming on the earth. Yea, they shall see me early. Yea, they shall pray the 2ord of the harvest. Thousands, many thousands of souls shall be rescued before the very end of the harvest comes, when they shall say the summer is ended, the harvest is past, and we are not saved.

Introduction Ye shall pray for all nations and all ingdoms. But ye shall not pray against my will. Ye shall pray for my wor to come, and my ingdom to come, but ye shall not pray against my word that I send forth to destroy those who are destroying my people. ?or my Gudgments must be in the earth. Because the earth is filled with my GudgmentsH then the people shall learn righteousness. Yet will I show this world that I am also a God of wrath. In a time when sin shall come forth, when it shall increase and when it shall destroy many people, I shall send forth the word of Gudgment... I do not say that you shall pray then. You will not be able to reach me in the time of my great wrath. !o, you will not need to because you will not be here. If ye shall be obedient to me, ye shall be caught away into the realms of bliss and glory. ?or there will be some that will be left, and their prayers shall not be heard. ?or it is a time that I am see ing you to pray now... Ye shall now that this is your hour. This is your hour to pray and not to delay. Ye shall begin this very hour, and do not put it off. ?rom this day forth, .atan will build new bulwar s against you. But when ye come into the realm of prayer, ye enter into a place that ye are praying against the wor s of .atan. #e has much power, and he can press against those that are in my will. But I tell you that you have one thing to do, and that is to command his power to cease. You have the authority of a believer to brea his chains any time and anywhere.

$fter you have carefully studied this boo , we invite you, if you are not already a member, to Goin the 3orld %rayer Band. The reward of the intercessor is great.

#esson I$The School of Prayer

$s we have said, the purpose of this boo is to help 0hristians to learn to pray and to achieve results from their prayers. The disciples of 0hrist had observed the 2ord in #is private praying. They saw how #e was able to obtain definite answers. .ometimes #e prayed only a short prayer. /n other occasions, #e prayed for hours and with great earnestness. But always #e prayed until #e prevailed. It was not surprising, therefore, that one day when #e had finished praying, the disciples should come to #im saying, #ord, teach us to pray! &2u e 88(8,. 0hrist not only responded to their re"uest and gave them instructions on how to pray, but throughout #is ministry #e continued to teach them new lessons in the art. $lthough the youngest convert can pray and receive answers, praying is an art of such scope that no one ever fully masters it. There are always new vistas to e6plore, a further outreach to be obtained and greater victories to win. .ome people regard praying as an e6ercise that has a beneficial influence upon them. %raying is indeed beneficial, but it is certainly much more than an influence. It is a very real means by which we can get definite answers to definite re"uests. It is something that can ma e the impossible possible. Yet praying is more than as ing God to supply our needs. -any persons come to God merely to implore #im to give them material benefits( food, raiment, health, safety, and comfort. 2i e Iacob at Bethel, they are disposed to e"uate worship of God with bread to eat and raiment to put on. But worship that goes only this far is essentially selfish. 3e worship God because we are #is creatures, because #e has made us in #is li eness and image and has endowed us with gifts and potentials that ma e us the masterpiece of #is creation.

The Art of Successful Praying

There are many things that we must learn about praying if we are to be e6pert in the art and to enGoy its full possibilities. The first thing we should understand is that God is a God of holiness. It is a sad testimony of our times to find people who are actually flippant about God. The true worshipper always approaches God with reverence. 3hen -oses met God at the Burning Bush, he was told to ta e the shoes off his feet. It is not unusual to hear men tal ing about holiness, but too often they are referring to their own. It is not our holiness that we need to tal about, but Gods1 3hen Isaiah saw the vision of the 2ord, he beheld the seraphim crying to one another, Holy, holy, holy, is the #ord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory ! Isaiah saw himself as undone and said, %oe is me& I am a man of unclean lips! &Isa. :(;,. 3hen Isaiah saw himself as he really was, God could then ta e him and ma e him one of Israels greatest prophets. 3hy are so many prayers unansweredJ Isaiah gives us the answer. ?irst he says, 'ehold, the #ord(s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save) neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear! &Isa. ;9(8,. .o far, so good. But the prophet goes on and says. *our ini+uities have separated ,etween you and your -od, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear! &Isa. ;9(@,. %rayer is generally regarded as a pious act, a sign that a man is spiritual, but this is not necessarily so. %roverbs says, He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall ,e an a,omination ! Yet God is merciful. $fter 5avid committed his terrible sin against 7riah, he was led to pray, Search me, . -od, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me into the way everlasting! &%sa. 8>9(@>*@',. God was merciful to 5avid and restored him again into fellowship. #e who would ma e a success in life is the man who learns how to pray. $ny person who wishes to fulfill the purpose for 8K

Lesson IThe School of Prayer

his coming into the world and who will ma e a covenant with God to bring before #im daily all the problems of life, involving his home, family, wor , and every detail of life<will have a successful life.


#esson II$Prayer 'egins %ith /epentance

And he spake this para,le unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray) the one a Pharisee, and the other a pu,lican The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, -od, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, e0tortioners, un1ust, adulterers, or even as this pu,lican I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess And the pu,lican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, ,ut smote upon his ,reast, saying, -od ,e merciful to me a sinner I tell you, this man went down to his house 1ustified rather than the other: for every one that e0alteth himself shall ,e a,ased) and he that hum,leth himself shall ,e e0alted 2#uke 34:56378

These words of Iesus are tremendously significant. Iesus was calling to our attention that class of persons who consider themselves righteous and despise others. #e used the parable to show that all men are sinners and that the prayer of the publican, -od ,e merciful to me a sinner,! is the one that all should pray before they pray another. -odern religious teaching often gives the impression that men may have access to Gods blessings without personal repentance. This is a serious mista e. -en may come to the ?ather only through 0hrist. 3hen certain of the Iews reGected Iesus, #e told them plainly that God was not their ?ather. #e said, If -od were your 9ather, ye would love me *e are of your father the devil! &Iohn +('@, '',. In other words men in their sinful state cannot approach God on their own merits. 3hen the .yrophenician woman came to 0hrist as ing #im to heal her daughter, the 2ord answered her not a word. .he had approached #im as the son of 5avid, rather than the .on of God, 8>

The Art of Successful Praying

and as a man only, #e could not help her. 3hen finally she recognized #im as 2ord and came in deep humility, offering no merits of her own but depending only on #is mercy, #e heard her prayer and healed her daughter. %rayer must begin with the ac nowledgment that we are sinners. 3hen %eter came into the 2ords presence, he was deeply convicted of his sinfulness and cried out, :epart from me) for I am a sinful man, . #ord! &2u e ;(+,. 0onscious of his sinful condition, he thought there was no hope for himH but actually it was only after he realized that he was a great sinner that the 2ord could help him. God will never ta e second place in our lives. 3e must receive #im first before we as for #is blessings. True prayer begins when we desire God in our lives more than anything else.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you And ye shall seek me, and find me, and ye shall search for me with all your heart 2;er <5:3<63=8

3hen we see the 2ord with all of our heart, we may rest assured that #e will hear us and accept us. $s believers accepted of the ?ather through 0hrist, we are then ready to learn the art of prayer. 3e have the promise that if we as anything according to #is will, #e hears us.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us 2I ;ohn >:378


#esson III$/estitution
There is an old*fashioned word called restitution that is rarely heard today. But it is an element of successful prayer. 5. 2. -oody said that it was a singular thing but he rarely ever touched on the subGect without having immediate results. #e told the people that if they had ta en what did not belong to them, their prayers would not go very far toward heaven. Before Lacchaeus met 0hrist he probably loo ed upon himself as an honest man, but after he met the 2ord, things loo ed altogether different. #is only words on record are 'ehold, #ord, the half of my goods I give to the poor) and if I have taken anything from any man ,y false accusation, I restore him fourfold! &2u e 89(+,. Lacchaeus by ma ing that remar confessed that he had been dishonest. #e made restitution which was re"uired by the law.
If any man steal an o0, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it) he shall restore five o0en for an o0, and four sheep for a sheep 2?0 <<:38

3e find this principle of restitution insisted on throughout the whole law. 0ertainly men in this dispensation ought to be "uite as honest as they were re"uired by the old law. 3e might as well face itH a mere sentimentalism that does not straighten out a mans life is no good. It has been the writers e6perience that not only laymen but even some ministers are guilty in that way. They will pay their bills only as it is convenient to do so. They do not seem to realize that it is Gust as criminal in the sight of God to refuse to pay an honorable debt as it is to hold up a man with a revolver and ta e his money from him. $nd yet they wonder why their prayers are not answered1 8;

The Art of Successful Praying

True repentance will bring forth fruit. If we have wronged someone, we should not as God to forgive us until we are willing to ma e restitution ourselves. There is no doubt that many do not get their prayers answered because there is something on their conscience that they refuse to ma e right. $s we enter into this prayer ministry, we should ma e certain that we have made right everything that is within our power. 2et us clear the line to heaven. In this respect there is another subGect to which we need to give our attention<the matter of forgiveness.


#esson I@$%hen *ou Pray 9orgive

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your 9ather also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses 2Aark 33:<>8

These words follow immediately the great prayer promise of -ar 88(@', %hat things soever ye desire, when ye pray, ,elieve that ye receive them, and ye shall have them ! 3hen Iesus said, Have faith in -od,! #e was calling our attention to the fact that to get an answer to prayer, we must have the right relationship with God. In His next words He shows that we must also have the right relationship with man. /ur love for God and our love for our fellow man cannot be separated. %raying from a heart that is not right with God on one hand or with man on the other will not prevail. The 2ord taught this great truth in #is .ermon on the -ount &-att. ;(@>*@',. #e told #is disciples that when they came with their gift to the altar, and they remembered they had ought against their brother, they were to leave their gift and to go and be reconciled to their brother. .ome in reading -ar 88(@'*@; fail to see the connection between the two verses. The 2ord spea s of the dynamic power of faith<that nothing is impossible to the believer and that whosoever spea s in faith can have whatsoever he saith ! ?ollowing this statement the 2ord introduces the matter of forgiveness which at first sight seems to be another subGect altogether. But it does have a connection, a direct relation, to getting our prayers answered. 3e are told that we should not e6pect the forgiveness of God until we forgive our fellow men. ?or it is in the consciousness of having forgiven our brother that we find the faith that reaches out to claim the promise. %eople sometimes say they forgive, but it is a forgiveness with strings attached. $ reluctant half*hearted forgiveness is 8)

The Art of Successful Praying

really no forgiveness at all. But how can we truly learn to forgiveJ It is in our realization of Gods forgiveness of us. 3ithout #is great mercy, we would all be sinners doomed and lost. But God through #is infinite love has for 0hrists sa e reversed the sentence and given us a full pardon. 3hy worry and fret because someone has ta en advantage of usJ 3hy not rather go on and claim the promise, And what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, ,elieve ye receive them, and ye shall have themB!


#esson @$The Importance of the Prayer Hour

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Aary the mother of ;esus, and with his ,rethren 2Acts 3:378

The church of Iesus 0hrist was born in a prayer meeting. Iust before the 2ords ascension to heaven #e told #is disciples to tarry in the city of ;erusalem, until ye ,e endued with power from on high! &2u e @'('9,, and that is what they did until the 5ay of %entecost when the #oly Ghost fell on the 8@K disciples in the upper room. $fter the outpouring of %entecost, it might be thought that the apostles could now rela6 and that constant prayer would no longer be needed. But they did not understand it that way. They instituted a regular daily hour of prayer. In fact it was while they were on their way to the temple to attend the hour of prayer that the first great miracle of the Early 0hurch occurred.
Cow Peter and ;ohn went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, ,eing the ninth hour 2Acts =:38

3hy the special hour of prayerJ %eople are creatures of habit. 7nless a time is specified, the pressure of other things will press in and soon the spirit of prayer will be lost. .o in the Early 0hurch a time was appointed for prayer<the ninth hour of the day<three ocloc in the afternoon by our rec oning. 3hatever time is chosen for prayer, it must be regular. $s the thousands of new converts flowed into the church, they too were taught to observe this special time of prayer.
Then they that gladly received his word were ,aptiDed: and the same day there were added unto them a,out three thousand souls And they continued stedfastly


The Art of Successful Praying in the apostles( doctrine and fellowship, and in ,reaking of ,read, and in prayers 2Acts <:7367<8

3ith this mighty united prayer force ascending upward to God, the church moved forward, overcoming all obstacles. ?ive thousand on one day accepted Iesus as their 2ord. This resulted in a fierce opposition, during which the apostles were seized and thrown into Gail. The great company answered this challenge by gathering at the regular time of prayer, lifting up their voice to -od in one accord! &$cts '(@',. $nd God honored their faith by sha ing the very place where they were assembled.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assem,led together) and they were all filled with the Holy -host, and they spake the word of -od with ,oldness 2Acts 7:=38

It may be added that the apostles were "uic ly released from prison. In the course of time the number of the disciples greatly multiplied. %roblems arose( there were complaints concerning ine"uities in ministering, and soon it became apparent that the apostles time might be ta en up in a round of petty duties. They saw the danger of their prayer ministry being affected, and they called together the multitude and as ed them to choose deacons who would share the load and permit them to give themselves to their spiritual duties. ?or they said,
It is not reason that we should leave the word of -od, and serve ta,les %herefore, ,rethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy -host and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this ,usiness 'ut we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word 2Acts E:<678

The boo of $cts continues to emphasize the all*important role that prayer played in the Early 0hurch. 3hen another great crisis arose and %eter was cast into prison to await e6ecution, the church prayed without ceasing until an angel was sent to open the doors of the prison for him. 3hen the church sent out their @K

Lesson The Importance of the Prayer Hour

first missionaries, the elders gave themselves to prayer and fasting. The !ey to consistent victory among the people of "od today is that they will set a prayer hour and allow nothing to hinder nor interrupt it.


#esson @I$/ecogniDing the Presence of -od

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not ,e as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the comers of the streets, that they may ,e seen of men @erily I say unto you, They have their reward 'ut thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy 9ather which is in secret) and thy 9ather which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly 2Aatt E:>6E8

$fter busy days of ministering, our 2ord made it a rule whenever possible to find a place of seclusion where #e could hold uninterrupted communion with #is ?ather. There was a reason for this. Iesus in becoming the .on of -an too upon #imself the limitations of man. $s a man #e found it necessary to free #imself from all things that would distract #im in order to pray effectively. Prevailing prayer #egins with a recognition of "od$s presence. %eople have a tendency to rush into prayer with irreverent haste. The incoherence of some prayers shows that those who pray have little consciousness that they are in the presence of God. They pray as if they were praying into empty space. 3e must realize that God is present when we pray and that #e leans forward to catch even the whisper of those who earnestly see #im. $lthough Gods throne is in heaven, in a very real sense #e is also on earth. 2i e the great sun which is many millions of miles away but reaches to every part of the earth by means of its rays, so God through #is .pirit reaches into every heart that is open to #im. 2i e the radio waves that go out and ma e their presence nown to everyone who is tuned in, so Gods .pirit reaches each person who opens his heart to #im. @>

The Art of Successful Praying

God is everywhere. #is .pirit does not come and it does not go. $lthough the .amaritan woman at the well in her ignorance supposed that God could only be found at a certain place, Iesus set her right by saying that all who worship in spirit and in truth may worship the ?ather at any time and at any place. To pray effectively, we must recognize that God is as much present as 0hrist was present when the people brought their petitions to #im while #e was on earth. 3e must believe that #e is present with an ear open to hear. $s the writer of the #ebrews says, 'ut without faith it is impossi,le to please him: for he that cometh to -od must ,elieve that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him! &#eb. 88(:,. It is in the recognition of the presence of God that we find it easy to pray and easy to e6ercise faith. In learning to recognize #is presence, praying turns from a chore to a Goy and a delight.


#esson @II$True Praying Puts -od 9irst

Thy kingdom come Thy will ,e done in earth, as it is in heaven 2Aatt E:3F8

To a remar able e6tent all man ind believes in prayer. But a large proportion thin s of prayer as useful mainly in time of an emergency or crisis affecting their personal interests. 2et a disaster stri e, and saints and sinners ali e instinctively have a prayer on their lips. There are some who pray as a matter of habit, but who loo upon praying mainly as a means of supplying their own needs. $ smaller number pray unselfishly for the whole cause of 0hrist. .till fewer understand that praying is worship and that God, too, e6pects to get something out of their prayers. To understand this is one of the great secrets of prayer. 3hile it is natural to thin of our own needs first when we come to God, Iesus teaches us that we should consider God and #is interests first. In fact #e reverses the usual order. It is thy name, thy ingdom, thy willH then it is give us, forgive us, lead us, and deliver us. In other words, God must come first. The more we forget ourselves in the desire that God may be glorified, the greater will be the blessing that will eventually be ours. There are two inds of prayer( personal and intercessory. -ost people spend the greater part of their time on their personal needs and very little in intercession for others. But it ought to be the other way around. /ur prayer life is immature until we learn this lesson. The first recorded words of Iesus are, %ist ye not that I must ,e a,out my 9ather(s ,usinessB! &2u e @('9,. If we put God and #is business first, then #e will put us first. @;

#esson @III$Praying Aust 'e :efinite

%hat things soever ye desire, when ye pray, ,elieve that ye receive them, and ye shall have them 2Aark 33:<78 9riend, lend me three loaves 2#uke 33:>8

/ne of the mista es that people ma e when they pray is that their praying is not definite. %eople as God to bless them, guide them, be with them, help them<all of which is very well, e6cept that their prayers are not specific. Iesus encouraged us to pray for definite things and to e6pect God to answer. In all other things of life we are specific. If we go to a grocery store, we as for bread, canned goods, meat, butter, fruit, etc. 3e specify the brand, the amount, the "uantity. If we go to a furniture store, we ma e it clear to the salesman whether we desire a table, a chair, a bedroom suite, or a divan. If we are in a appliance store, we tell the man who waits on us Gust what we want, whether it is a washer, a refrigerator, or an electric stove. /nly when we pray are we indefinite. %eople can e6press themselves well in their daily business, but when they come to God, they tal in vague terms and generalities. 3hat is it that you need from GodJ Is it a special leadingJ 5o you have a financial problemJ 5o you have an unsaved loved one you wish to see brought into the ingdomJ Is there trouble in the homeJ 5oes someone in the family need healingJ .pell out what you need and e6pect God to give the answer, but do not wait until you see the answer to believe. 4isualize in your mind that you have it now. $s Iesus said, 'elieve ye receive them, and ye shall have them ! @)

#esson IG$Praying in the %ill of -od

Thy will ,e done in earth, as it is in heaven 2Aatt E:3F8 Cevertheless not my will, ,ut thine, ,e done 2#uke <<:7<8

It is true that all things are possible to him that believeth. But this assumes that the believer is committed to the will of God. It has to be that way. 3e would have a strange universe indeed if everyone lived according to his own pleasure. 3e would have a devils universe. .elf*will has made the devil what he is. Gods will envisages the best for all #is creatures that infinity, omnipotence, and omniscience wor ing together can produce. /ur praying potential, therefore, depends to that degree by which we can move from the realm of self*will, which is ultimately harmful both to ourselves and to others, into the divine will which is the best for all of us. %raying, therefore, is not a means by which we obtain anything that might ta e our fancy. .uppose, for e6ample, that a young lady prays that a certain young man might be her husband. There is no promise in the Bible that any person she chooses may be her husband. .he must first find Gods will in the matter. Then let her pray. $ man might pray that he might ma e a million dollars. 3here in the Bible does God give a promise that #e will give a man a million dollarsJ .till another may pray for the gratification of an ambition that is entirely out of Gods plan for his life. God has a plan for everyone. To achieve the best possible in life, the man must find what that plan for him is. -an does not @9

The Art of Successful Praying

happen on this planet by chance or accident. God new all about Ieremiah and his calling before his birth &Ier. 8(;,. #e foretold the coming of 0yrus who would liberate his people from Babylonian captivity long before he came into the world. God has a purpose for all of us, a purpose in harmony with the divine plan of the ages. $las, many never discover this plan and live their lives according to their own choosing, only to find that at the end of the road they have missed the purpose for their living. /thers enter into Gods plan to the degree that they are saved, but it is only as by fire, and they have no reward &I 0or. >(8K*8;,. Gods will is entirely beneficent. It is in harmony with our best interests. #is will is not something mysterious and incompatible with reason. The Bible has revealed many things which are #is will. It is the will of God that sic ness be ta en from our midst. &E6. @>(@;,. It is the will of God that we should prosper as our soul prospers &III Iohn @,. It is the will of God that we should rise above worry &%hil. '(:,. It is the will of God that we should be baptized in the #oly .pirit &-att. >(88H $cts @(8)*8+, >+*>9,. It is the will of God that our household should be saved &$cts 8:(>K*>8,. The list could be e6tended indefinitely. !evertheless, there are matters in which Gods will is un nown. 3hen we pray for these things, we must add, Cevertheless not my will, ,ut thine, ,e done ! 0hrist prayed that if it were possible the cup might pass from #im. But it was not Gods will that the cup should pass from #im. #e had to drin it to the dregs. $nd in drin ing it all, even unto death, God highly e6alted #im so that #is name is above every name whether in heaven above or in earth below.


#esson G$The Power of "onfession and Intercession

And I set my face unto the #ord -od, to seek ,y prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the #ord my -od, and made my confession, and said, . #ord, the great and dreadful -od, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments 2:aniel 5:=678

The prophet 5aniel was reading the boo of Ieremiah. $lthough God had given him some of the most outstanding revelations ever given to man, the prophet did not neglect the prophecies which were already given. 3hile reading the boo of Ieremiah he learned that the desolations of Ierusalem were to continue for seventy years. =ealizing the time was then up, 5aniel set his face unto the #ord to seek ,y prayer and supplication, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes ! Then the prophet began his confession. $lthough there is not a single recorded failure in 5aniels life, he identified himself with the nation and its sins. !otice the prayer of confession(
%e have sinned, and have committed ini+uity, and have done wickedly, and have re,elled, even ,y departing from thy precepts and from thy 1udgments: Ceither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets . #ord, righteousness ,elongeth unto thee, ,ut unto us confusion of faces ,ecause we have sinned against thee Ceither have we o,eyed the voice of the #ord our -od, to walk in his laws *ea, all Israel have transgressed thy law therefore the curse is poured upon us 2:aniel 5:>6338

There is much more of 5aniels confession in which he identified himself with the sins of the people. $nd then while the prophet was in the midst of his confession of my sin and the sin of my people Israel,! the >8

The Art of Successful Praying

angel Gabriel came and gave him the wonderful prophecy of the -essiah. The angel addressed him saying, I am come, to show thee) for thou art greatly ,eloved ! &5an. 9(@>,. /ne of the great privileges of the believer is that of intercessor. #e confesses not only his own sin to God but the sin of the whole nation. #e stands in the gap between the living and the dead, that his people will be preserved from destruction &Eze . @@(@K*>8,. 3e see 0hrist in #is supreme office of intercessor in Iohn 8) in which #e prays not only for #is own disciples but for all that would believe through their ministry &Iohn 8)(@K,. $gain we see the apostle %aul following in the same role of the intercessor, praying for the children of Israel, who were ignorant of Gods righteousness and who went about see ing to establish their own righteousness &=om. 8K(8*>,. %aul showed his compassion and solicitude for Israel when he said, 9or I could wish that myself were accursed from "hrist for my ,rethren ! 3hat a love he had for his people1 3hat a need we have today for intercessors who will cry day and night for our nation which is standing on the brin of catastrophe1


#esson GI$The Hey to Prayer Power$A,iding in "hrist

If ye a,ide in me, and my words a,ide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall ,e done unto you 2;ohn 3>:I8

3ith every promise in the Bible there are conditions. The promises and the conditions are inseparable. 3e can as what we will, and it shall be done only if we abide in 0hrist and #is words abide in us. The law of the ingdom is, :raw nigh to -od, and he will draw nigh to you! &Iames '(+,. God always hears 0hrist, and if we abide in 0hrist #e will always hear us. 0onversely, we have the right to be heard only if we abide continually in #im. 3hen we compare the actual e6perience of most 0hristians with this powerful promise, we are shoc ed by the startling discrepancy. 3e have to admit that thousands of prayers go up to God that are not answered. 3hyJ There can only be one of two reasons. Either God does not fulfill #is promise, or else those who pray are not fully abiding in 0hrist. It is against human nature to admit our faults, and this causes us to put in the "ualifying phrase, CIf it be thy willD to all our prayers. /f course this ind of praying is not only proper but absolutely necessary in matters in which Gods will is not revealed. %ut it dishonors "od for us to pray that way for things in which His will is clearly revealed. It is obvious that we pray that way so that our sense of complacency will not be disturbed. By means of this comfortable e6planation, we e6cuse our failuresH but the effect is only to short*change ourselves. !otice in this connection that Iesus used the illustration of the vine and the branches. If a branch abides not in the vine, it withers away and cannot bear fruit. $biding in 0hrist is not a >>

The Art of Successful Praying

static e6perience. The branch must ever grow. The young convert abides in 0hrist today by living up to the measure of light he has received. But he must go on and grow in grace. -any a person has lamented that there was a period in which he got his prayers answered, but then there came a time when it seemed that many of his prayers were not answered. 3hat went wrongJ The answer often lies in the fact that he was probably trying to live in the same light he had in the past, instead of going on into a deeper consecration and into new challenges of faith. ?aith in God is one thing. /bedience is another. The two are tied together. There is a school of thought today that spea s much about faith but says little about obedience. ?aith is considered a means of achieving spiritual power in the same way that man harnesses the forces of nature. But faith apart from obedience to God can only wither and die. 9aith without works is dead ! True faith re"uires a conscious, daily submission to the will of God. There must be a constant crucifi6ion of the flesh. $s the apostle %aul says, I die daily,! so must we die to our own selfish personal desires and continue yielding ourselves to the divine will. #ow strong self*will can be1 #ow it stubbornly refuses to die1 .ome are so headstrong that they will give up everything else if they can retain self*will. They would wor for God in self*will. !othing is more worthless than the fruit of self*will. Iudas schemed and connived to betray his -aster for thirty miserable pieces of silver. $nd then when his effort was successful and the silver was in his hand, it suddenly became cursed money which moc ed him, so that he threw it away. Too late he saw himself as a traitor who for a few paltry pieces of silver had sold the most sacred thing he possessed( his friendship with the .aviour. !o wonder in his blac despair he went out into the night and committed suicide. ?ew of us would commit the crime Iudas did. But all self* will leads in the same direction<to the loss of the very thing that is desired. /ne second after death we must throw ourselves >'

Lesson &IThe 'ey to Prayer PowerA#iding in (hrist

upon the mercy of God and #is faithfulness. 3hy should we, therefore, wait until thenJ .hall we not give ourselves now wholly and unreservedly to the cause of 0hrist to do #is will, to fulfill #is purpose in our livesJ 3e shall not be losers in so doing. ?or if we abide in #im and #is words abide in us, we shall as what we will, and it shall be done unto us. Yes, the abiding life is within our reach.


#esson GII$Praying and %orshipping Should 'e in the Spirit

'ut the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the 9ather in spirit and in truth: for the 9ather seeketh such to worship him -od is a Spirit) and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth 2;ohn 7:<=6<78

-uch worship is merely soul worship<the worship of the mind. But man has also the capacity to worship in the spirit. Yet many people who pray do not now what it is to worship in spirit. The woman at the well was one of these. .he did not now this when she as ed Iesus whether men ought to worship in Ierusalem or on -t. Gerizim. .he supposed that worship consisted only of finding the proper geographical location. Iesus pointed out to her that the location was not of importance. 3hat was important was that God was a spiritH therefore, true worship was worship in the spirit. -an is more than a bodyH he is also a spirit. The sad thing is that man is so carnal that he hardly realizes he is a spirit. Indeed materialists declare that man is nothing more than a human body. 3hen the body dies, that is the end of him. But man is body, soul, and spirit. The baptism of the .pirit renews the spirit of man. If Gods .pirit is permitted to have right of way, then mans spirit will become the dominant part of his nature. /n the other hand if the flesh dominates the spirit, the spirit will atrophy. God is a spirit. #e is everywhere and not limited to certain places. Therefore, we can worship #im whether we are on a high mountain, in a valley, or down in the bowels of the earth. Iesus said the hour cometh when men should worship in the .pirit. 3ith the coming of the #oly .pirit this was made >)

The Art of Successful Praying

possible. The worship in the .pirit is one of the great secrets of prevailing prayer. #ow do we enter into true worship in the .piritJ -ore particularly we enter through the spirit of praise. 3e are told to ?nter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise! &%sa. 8KK(',. 3e consider this in our ne6t lesson.


#esson GIII$The Power of Praise

And he said, Hearken ye, all ;udah, and ye inha,itants of ;erusalem, and thou king ;ehoshaphat, Thus saith the #ord unto you, 'e not afraid nor dismayed ,y reason of this great multitude) for the ,attle is not yours, ,ut -od(s *e shall not need to fight in this ,attle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the #ord with you, . ;udah and ;erusalem: fear not, nor ,e dismayed) tomorrow go out against them: for the #ord will ,e with you 2II "hron <F:3>, 3I8

%raise is prayers most powerful ally. It is not only an allyH it is an important element of praying. Even as God hears and answers our prayers, so in return #e e6pects us to give #im praise and than sgiving. Israel came under Gudgment because although she enGoyed great benefits, she was not than ful.
'ecause thou servedst not the #ord thy -od with 1oyfulness, and gladness of heart, for the a,undance of all things) Therefore thou shalt serve thine enemies, which the #ord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things 2:eut <4:7I6748

%salms 8K)(@@ says, And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with re1oicing ! The apostle %aul and .ilas were arrested and beaten. The instruments of torture had plowed furrows in their bac s. Bleeding from these lacerations they were cast into the prison with their feet made fast in stoc s. #ere was a picture of perfect miseryH certainly it would seem a most unpropitious time to praise God. But the two disciples chose that very hour to give the sacrifice of praise. At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto -od: and the prisoners heard them! &$cts 8:(@;,. They not only prayed, but they praised God. $nd as they prayed, God sent an earth"ua e<the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and >9

The Art of Successful Praying

every one(s ,ands were loosed ! It is possible that they might have complained to God all night without an answer, but when they too the attitude of deliverance and victory and began to praise the 2ord, the earth"ua e came, and set them free. If at the time of the greatest trial, at the moment of the most pressing need, you ta e the attitude of victory and praise to the 2ord, God will if that should be necessary send an earth"ua e to bring your deliverance. $s you praise God in faith, the very foundations of your prison* house will be sha en. It is at the time of severe trial that praise has its greatest effect. Iehoshaphat had found himself in serious trouble. 3ord came to him that -oab and $mmon had allied themselves and were ma ing common cause against Iudah. The news was dismaying to say the least, but the ing refused to panic. Instead, he called the nation together to a time of prayer and fasting &II 0hron. @K(>*',. In his prayer before the people, he confessed their helplessness, saying, 9or we have no might against this great company that cometh against us) neither know we what to do: ,ut our eyes are upon thee! &II 0hron. @K(8@,. $nd so they prayed and waited on the 2ord. The prophet Lechariah received the word from the 2ord. #e told the people that they were not to be afraid nor dismayed for *e shall not need to fight in this ,attle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the #ord with you ! Iehoshaphat obeyed the command of the 2ord and set his people in array, not to fight but to worship the 2ord and praise #im in the beauty of holiness. $nd as they did this, the victory came.
And when they ,egan to sing and to praise, the #ord set am,ushments against the children of Ammon, Aoa,, and Aount Seir, which were come against ;udah) and they were smitten 2II "hron <F:<<8

/ur warfare is not one against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces. In our war against them there is a time to pray 'K

Lesson &IIIThe Power of Praise

and a time to praise and worship the 2ord. The two<prayer and praise<are the wings by means of which we can soar upward and onward and triumph over all the power of the enemy. The clouds may seem dar and heavy, but as we praise the 2ord there will come a rift, and we shall see that the sun is still shining. The reason many people are unsuccessful in their prayer warfare is that they enter into GodFs presence with heaviness and gloom. Their attitude is not conducive to the building of an atmosphere of faith. The psalmist says, ?nter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise! &%sa. 8KK(',. Even before we ma e nown our re"uests, we ought to pour forth our hearts in praise to God as a fitting approach to #im who has shown us #is great mercy. If you have a spirit of mourning and heaviness, e6change it for the garment of praise. The prophet says, To appoint unto them that mourn in Jion, to give unto them ,eauty for ashes, the oil of 1oy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness! &Isa. :8(>,. #ow can we do thisJ The answer is simple. 3e must get our eyes off of ourselves, and off of circumstances, off of feelings and upon 0hrist and #is promise. The writer of #ebrews adds these words, 'y him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to -od continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name! &#eb. 8>(8;,. %raise is sometimes a real sacrifice. It costs something to praise the 2ord when we do not feel li e it. But the spirit of praise is acceptable in the sight of God, and together with prayer it ma es an irresistible combination to cause heaven to move on our behalf.


#esson GI@$The Power of the Came

The master ey to prayer lies in the use of the name of 0hrist. 0hrist placed the power of omnipotence in the hands of #is disciples. It was on the basis of this e6traordinary transfer of power to #is disciples that #e gave them the Great 0ommission saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth -o ye therefore, and teach all nations! &-att. @+(8+*89,. !otice some of the promises given through the use of the name.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the 9ather may ,e glorified in the Son If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it 2;ohn 37:3=6378 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing @erily, verily, I say unto you, %hatsoever ye shall ask the 9ather in my name, he will give it you Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your 1oy may ,e full 2;ohn 3E:<=6<78 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the 9ather for you: 9or the 9ather himself loveth you, ,ecause ye have loved me, and have ,elieved that I came out from -od 2;ohn 3E:<E6<I8

There is a clear implication of the tremendous power represented in the name. It was the name that gave power to the apostles. They were to cast out devils in #is name. They were to lay hands on the sic in #is name. They were to do these things because all power in heaven and earth had been delivered to them. Therefore, no power in the universe can thwart or prevent the believer who uses the name from having the answer to #is prayer, providing of course he is as ing in the will of God.


The Art of Successful Praying

In praying in the name of Iesus, we are acting as #is representative. 3e are ta ing the place of the absent 0hrist, using #is name and authority to fulfill #is will on earth. 3hat is our needJ Is it the salvation of an unsaved son or daughterJ Is our praying for the healing of a sic one at a distanceJ Is it deliverance for ourselves from some chronic afflictionJ %erhaps it is a serious financial problem. 3hatever the need is, we can ta e the place of 0hrist as we use #is name, Gust as if #e were present in person. 3hen %eter told the lame man to rise in the name of Iesus, he did not even pause to pray for him. #e had already prayed, and 0hrist had given him the authority. 3ith that authority he Gust said, In the name of ;esus "hrist of CaDareth, rise up and walk ! .o li ewise when we have prayed and waited upon the 2ord and have ta en authority in the name, we are to believe we have the answer, nowing that Iesus has said, If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it! &Iohn 8'(8',.


#esson G@$Have 9aith in -od!

'ut without faith it is impossi,le to please him: for he that cometh to -od must ,elieve that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him 2He, 33:E8

?aith is the all*important re"uirement of those who come to God. Iesus said, All things are possi,le to him that ,elieveth! &-ar 9(@>,. Iames ;(8; declares, The prayer of faith shall save the sick ! %ithout faith it is impossi,le to please him ! .ince Iesus commanded us to have faith in God, it is evident that #e has given all men some measure of faith. .in, however, can cause men to lose their faith. ?aith is not something hard to understand. ?aith merely means ta ing God at #is word. $ll business in the world would come to a standstill if men did not have faith. It is the matter of ma ing the right choice of whom to believe. C0an the man be trustedJD is the first in"uiry of every businessman before he considers a business deal. To find out, he loo s at the facts. Is the mans credit goodJ 5oes he pay his obligations on timeJ Is his Gudgment reliableJ 3hat is his past recordJ $re his present earning capacity and assets sufficient to ma e it possible for him to meet his new obligationsJ 7pon the basis of this evidence a good businessman ma es his decision as to whether or not he should trust the man with whom he is dealing. .o it is with God. Is the God of the universe a good GodJ 0an #e be depended upon to eep #is promisesJ 3hat is the record of millions who have trusted #imJ #ave the prophecies come to pass as set forth in the .cripturesJ 5oes 0hrist give peace to the heart of him who puts his trust in #imJ The answer is that all history proves the veracity of God, #is faithfulness, and #is certainty to eep #is promises.


The Art of Successful Praying

7pon this evidence, we put our trust in God. 3e believe what #e tells us. ?aith then is no mysterious thing. It is merely ta ing God at #is word. The evidence of the faithfulness of God to honor #is word has become so overwhelming that it would ta e far more faith to disbelieve God than to believe #im1 7nbelief then is the sin of a wic ed heart. It is a deliberate turning away from light to dar ness. The unbelief of Gods people is sin. Iesus never condoned unbelief in #is disciples. /n occasion #e up,raided them with their un,elief and hardness of heart ! %ut faith to wor in your prayers. %raying is a business transaction with God. Ta e for granted that God will ta e care of #is end of the bargain. ?aith is the set of the soul. If we ta e the attitude that the thing for which we have as ed is done, we will surely have it. -ost believers have the faith they need, but they must put it to wor . ?aith is not faith, after the thing has come to pass and the natural eye sees it. ?aith is faith when we dont see anything, and we dont feel anything. ?aith needs nothing but Gods 3ord. #aving satisfied ourselves that Gods 3ord is true, we stand upon it and are not moved by anything that appears to contradict the promise. 3hat a need there is in the world for men and women to have faith in God. 2et us begin at once to put that faith to wor for God.


#esson G@I$True Praying @isualiDes the Answer

Therefore I say unto you, %hat things soever ye desire, when ye pray, ,elieve that ye receive them, and ye shall have them 2Aark 33:<78

#ere indeed is one of the most important secrets of praying. -an alone, as the masterpiece of Gods creation, possesses the ability to pray and to visualize the answer to his prayers. God imparts to him a prerogative that #e #imself possesses. God created the world out of things that did not appear. #e visualized what would be when there was nothing. -an has been given this remar able ability which is denied the lower creation. The animal ingdom lives entirely in the sense realm. .ome animals senses are more highly developed than those of the human, but man on the other hand has the capacity to live in the faith realm, a realm above the senses. By faith man can see what does not e6ist as far as the natural is concerned. $lthough the faith realm cannot be seen, it truly e6ists, for by faith that which we desire can be made to appear in the physical realm. Iesus said, %hat things soever ye desire, when ye pray, ,elieve that ye receive them, and ye shall have them ! In other words, we are to see by the eye of faith what we have prayed for and to act as if we already possessed it. 7nfortunately the vast maGority of 0hristians do not pray in this way. They pray, but they do not believe they have received until they see it with their natural eye. They live to a great e6tent only in the sense realm. They believe little more than what they see. Instead of loo ing with the eye of faith to Gods promise, to Gods word, they loo to their symptoms and to their feelings and to the circumstances. If they feel better, they believe their prayer for healing is being answered. If they feel worse, they suppose it has not been answered. Their faith is not based upon Gods ')

The Art of Successful Praying

word, but upon their feelings. Iesus gave us the secret of prevailing prayer. 3hen we pray we are to believe we receive at that very moment. 3e are to see the answer by the eye of faith. 3e visualize the answer as having received it. ?or that which we see by the eye of faith shall come to pass.


#esson G@II$The Secret of Prayer in the Spirit

#ikewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: ,ut the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot ,e uttered 2/omans 4:<E8

The apostle %aul said, I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also ! There is such a thing as praying in the .pirit, and there is such a thing as allowing the .pirit to pray through us. $s we learn to pray day by day, it is an ever*increasing Goy to watch our prayers being answered. !evertheless, it must be admitted that many of us still find certain obstacles that seem to remain in the way of unanswered prayer. The complete victory appears to be always Gust out of reach. It may be that some habit, some secret sin, some chronic affliction stands in the way of our full deliverance. #ow can we fully overcomeJ 3hat is the answerJ There are several things that may cause the hindrance. It may be that we are so accustomed to defeat, that we cannot bring ourselves to believe for the miracle. 3e may be so used to our problem that we cannot visualize being delivered from it. -oreover, we must not forget that we war not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the dar ness of this world, and against spiritual wic edness in high places. The enemy may have gotten himself so entrenched in a certain part of our nature that our capacity to come to grips with this particular problem is not sufficient to get through to the answer. Is there deliverance in this caseJ Than God there is. There is such a thing as praying in the .pirit, and there is such a thing '9

The Art of Successful Praying

as abandoning ourselves so completely to the .pirit that the .pirit prays through us. There is a place in God wherein we let the Spirit itself make intercession for us with groanings that cannot ,e uttered ! There are no limitations with "od except our own limitations. If we should find that we have reached that limitation) then let us *uietly wait #efore "od. +hile we !eep the posture of prayer with our minds yielded and focused on "od) let us wait until the Spirit #egins to move through us. The answer lies in the power of the .pirit. .ometimes the .pirit will come as a rushing torrent in overwhelming force that will carry everything before it. 3hile we seem almost as a spectator, we will feel within us another force, another power separate from ourselves coming against the problem that seemed beyond our own faith to master. It is as %eter sin ing in the water, reaching up his hand to that of 0hrist, and being saved by the faith of another. Yes, there are no impossibilities with God. $s we learn to yield to the .pirit we can achieve victories that seem "uite beyond us. $s we decrease in our strength, so 0hrist increases. There is no place for human glory in such victories. 3e simply become the instrument through which omnipotence in #is great condescension chooses to wor . 3e see this truth beautifully depicted in 5avids war with the %hilistines. God had given him several great victories over the enemies of Israel. #e had destroyed their idols and sent them fleeing in a disastrous defeat. It might have appeared that the menace was ended for all times. But the %hilistines came again in great force and spread themselves out in the 4alley of =ephaim. 5avid was impatient. #e had many things he wanted to do. #e wanted to bring bac the ar and set it in its place in the tabernacle. But how could he do this if the %hilistines &typical of our warfare against the flesh, were to harass him continually. 3hat was the answerJ The 2ord gave 5avid the answer. #e was not to ma e a direct onslaught himself. #e was to let the .pirit of God bring the victory this time. #e was to ;K

Lesson & IIThe Secret of Prayer in the Spirit

fetch a compass and to wait over against the mulberry trees.

And let it ,e, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mul,erry trees, that then thou shalt ,estir thyself: for then shall the #ord go out ,efore thee to smite the host of the Philistines 2II Sam >:<78

5avid obeyed the 2ord, and when the .pirit of God moved in the mulberry trees, the %hilistines suffered a defeat so overwhelming that from that day on they were never again a serious menace to the children of Israel.


#esson G@III$The Place of Praying and 9asting

How,eit this kind goeth not out ,ut ,y prayer and fasting 2Aatt 3I:<38

?rom the above .cripture we see that Iesus taught that in some cases praying and fasting were needed to secure deliverance. 3e have many e6amples in the .criptures which demonstrate the power that comes as a result of fasting. !one is more impressive than the instance in which 5aniel fasted twenty*one days before the answer came. $t that time the prophet was informed by the angel that on the very first day of 5aniels prayer, God had dispatched the answer, but a prince under control of .atan had withstood the angelic messenger. 7ltimately God sent reinforcements by the archangel -ichael, and the answer to his petition came. This incident indicates that on occasion there are tremendous forces involved in the heavenlies which have much to do with getting an answer to certain prayers. In the case of the demon*possessed boy which the disciples could not heal, Iesus e6plained to the disciples why they could not cast him out. The devil had left readily enough when 0hrist gave the command, which shows that nothing was involved in the will of God that would prevent the childs deliverance. The 2ord declared that their failure resulted in their lac of faith. ?rom this, it follows that praying and fasting are re"uired in building a faith that is strong enough to cast out certain types of demons. In fasting one should always have his eye single to Gods glory and not for self glory. In Isaiahs day the 2ord complained that some fasted for debate and to ma e their voice heard on high ! But the 2ord said that the fast #e had chosen was to ;>

The Art of Successful Praying

loose the ,ands of wickedness, to undo the heavy ,urdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye ,reak every yoke ! &Isa. ;+(>*:,. The "uestion is often as ed, C3hen and how shall I fastJD There should be a definite obGect in view. 3hen divine Gudgment was pronounced against !ineveh, the people from the ing on down fasted in deep repentance, in see ing deliverance for !ineveh. $s a result God graciously spared this city of 8@K,KKK souls. 3e might say that a similar crisis faces the nations today. %raying and fasting at this late date is the only possible remedy to forestall catastrophe. There are some problems that can only be solved by praying and fasting. .ome people wait for a convenient time when the 2ord will put a fast upon them. .uch persons rarely fast. ?asting is not a pleasure but a self*denial. There are other things that are important to now about fasting. If one feels called to a lengthy fast, it is often advisable to go into it slowly for two or three days. $t the end of the first day, one may confine himself to a light meal. The second day they might parta e only of li"uids. By the third day he should be ready for the fast. 0onversely when the fast is over one should brea it slowly, ta ing li"uids at first, and then light meals. 5uring the fast, one should give much time to praying.


#esson GIG$The Prayer That Avoids ?vil

And lead us not into temptation, ,ut deliver us from evil: 9or thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever Amen 2Aatt E:3=8

.ome prayers are prayed too late. In the great and terrible day of the 2ord the multitudes will cry out for the mountains and the roc s to fall on them that they might hide themselves from the wrath of God &=ev. :(8;*8),. $las, had they prayed a little sooner, they might have had mercy instead of wrath. 3hat a terrible hopeless realization that although ones whole soul and being cries out in prayer, that which would have once brought the great mercies of God, now can accomplish nothing1 There are other prayers that are prayed too late, not by sinners, but by believers. .ome people see God earnestly after tragedy overta es them, not seeming to realize that had they prayed sooner they might have avoided the disaster. There is such a thing as foreseeing evil and preventing it. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself) ,ut the simple pass on, and are punished! &%roverbs @)(8@,. There is a place of safety hidden from the eyes of the ordinary passerby. God has promised to protect the man that dwells in the secret place from the snare of the fowler &%sa. 98(8*>,. The sad mista e that so many 0hristians ma e is that when everything is going rosy and well, they have a tendency to settle into a smug complacency and lose the burden for praying. .uch persons rarely attend a prayer meeting. But when trouble stri es, they are calling on everyone to pray for them. There is no respite from this warfare. $ soldier on the front line always must be on the alert for the enemy to stri e. Those who would follow 0hrist must stay on the front line. .ad to say, ;;

The Art of Successful Praying

many are found sleeping at their post when they should be on duty. 0hrist said to pray, #ead us not into temptation ! This does not mean that God is personally tempting us. Iames 8(8> shows that God never tempts man. =ather it is God who protects us from temptation and evil. Yet #e has bound #imself to do this only if we pray and as for #is protection. .o many people do not understand this. 3hen disaster stri es, they complain, C3hy did God allow this to happen to meJD But God only grants #is protection to those who lean upon #im and who pray, #ead us not into temptation, ,ut deliver us from evil ! The promise is not for those who are careless in their prayer life. Iesus saw temptation coming to #is disciples as #e prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. #e warned them saying, %atch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation! &-att. @:('8,. But %eters eyes were heavy with sleep, and he slept on, only to fall into the devils trap and to deny his 2ord three times. #ow much better not to wait until disaster stri es and then have to struggle and go through soul*searing e6periences before we finally are recovered from the snares of the enemy. 3e should remember that it is a tric of .atan to snea up on us, and if we are not watchful we shall have no premonition of the attac . But if we daily invo e Gods protection, #e will stay the hand of .atan and eep us from the danger that threatens, while we perhaps are blissfully unaware of the evil that came so near us. God will send #is angels to protect us if we pray. #e has promised that There shall no evil ,efall thee 9or he shall give his angels charge over thee in all thy ways They shall ,ear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone! &%sa. 98(8K*8@,.


#esson GG$The Agreement Prayer

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall ,e done for them of my 9ather which is in heaven 9or where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them 2Aatt 34:356<F8

$s we bring these lessons to a close, it is fitting that we spea of the agreement prayer. There is an important place for private prayer. There is also another place for united prayer. 3e are told in the /ld Testament that one shall chase a thousand, but two shall put ten thousand to flight. Evidently there is a special chemistry to prayer. Two or more persons praying and agreeing together greatly increase their individual potential. 3hen two or more persons Goin in faith and agreement, their prayers become irresistible. The early church was able to accomplish great things because they prayed together in one mind and in one accord. $ classic e6ample is found in the 8@th chapter of $cts, where the people gathered together at -ar s house and prayed without ceasing for %eter who was in prison and scheduled to be e6ecuted. $pparently none of them individually had faith for %eters release. Indeed, their lac of faith is seen in the fact that after he was out of prison, none of those praying actually believed it was %eter at the door. Their combined faith reached an intensity beyond which their minds had reached individually. %erhaps the most positive proof of the power of united prayer is seen in the fact that Iesus, when #e was agonizing in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, re"uested #is disciples to watch with #im. /ne might thin that surely 0hrist was so adept in the art of prayer that #e would not need the assistance of #is disciples. But #e did need their help and #e needed it badly. 3hen #e loo ed upon them and saw that they had fallen asleep, ;)

The Art of Successful Praying

#e reproached them saying, %hat, could ye not watch with me one hourB! The agreement prayer is the Bible way by which special problems can be dealt with, that individual prayer may not reach. Through the agreement prayer, the powers of hell can be bound and their evil schemes frustrated and defeated. 0hristians would do well to institute prayer meetings with friends and neighbors. They can Goin in ta ing definite re"uests for their church, for their own needs, and for world missions, and they can agree together in faith for God to move. Iesus said that they could have anything they should as (
@erily I say unto you, %hatsoever ye shall ,ind on earth shall ,e ,ound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall ,e loosed in heaven Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall ,e done for them of my 9ather which is in heaven 2Aatt 34:346358

&0aution( %rayer groups should be for the purpose of prayer only. $void any group that considers the prayer service a substitute for church, or which promotes some teaching that is out of harmony with the mainstream of truth generally accepted by .pirit*filled believers.,