CALL TO OBEDIENCE #411
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Continue in Prayer... (Col. 4:2)"
By Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
How much weight shall be given to these words? What will be the result if we follow this advice: Continue in prayer? What will this add up to in the decades and generations to come? Can it be measured? Let me briefly give you a few thoughts of inspiration for you to continue in prayer until you see your Savior’s face.
1. Prayer Is the Holiest Exercise of the Believer.
By exercise we mean first of all that which is exercised in the soul of man. For prayer engages all of his spiritual faculties and indeed, it draws much on our physical energies such as we see in Jacob wrestling with God and Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Prayer is spiritual breathing. It is interacting with God; it is also meditation; it is embracing our beloved Bridegroom; it is exploring with Him the depth of His promises. Prayer is promoting holiness of heart. It is the refining of our lifestyle to bring it totally into conformity with our Master’s will. Prayer brings transformation and is waiting upon God. Prayer is making the soul red-hot. After Moses came down from the mount after communion with God, he was so transformed that his face shone (Ex. 34:35). Continue in prayer.
2. Prayer Is Solace in the Midst of Trouble.
When battles rage about you, when the darts of the wicked come flying your way, when the accusations assail you, my friend, withdraw yourself for a season to be alone with God. Be still and know that He is God. In these moments of solace, let Him teach you the magnitude of what and who He really is, and what really matters in the light of eternity. So prayer can be talking, and prayer can be waiting upon God. It can be holy quietude and awe-inspiring adoration. Prayer is a shelter in the midst of storms. It is a repair station for the inner man in his warfare with the forces of the Prince of the Air. Continue in prayer.
3. Prayer Is the Resolving of Our Doubts.
In the presence of God, doubt withers, doubt dries up, and doubt dies. In the presence of the Holy, doubt begins to doubt its doubts. There is no doubt in the saints who are praising God with the angels around the sacred throne of God. Paul says the backslider’s journey always begins with the neglect of praise which is always preceded by doubts about God’s power, wisdom and benevolence causing Paul to say: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened (Rom. 1:21). Stay in praise and never leave its heavenly sanctuary. Never!
And beloved, keep putting your fingers into His nail-scarred feet, hands and side, and be not faithless, but believing. It is that which removed Thomas’s doubts, it will remove yours also. If you do so, you will say with Peter: ...Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Continue in prayer.
4. Prayer Is Deliverance from Perplexities.
David did not understand why the wicked prospered until he went into the sanctuary of the Lord. Reason is weak in resolving spiritual perplexities. It often only compounds them. But revelation opens the eyes of those hungering for righteousness. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God... (Heb. 11:3). By faith Abel, Enoch, Abraham and others lived, conquered and moved forward in divine light. Faith opens the encyclopedias of God. Faith admits us to God’s university. As we believe and surrender, the burden of our perplexities will dissipate, even as the morning fog vanishes with the rising of the sun. Jesus said: ...that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness (John 12:46). Faith gives light and light gives understanding. Continue in prayer.
5. Prayer Is Our City of Refuge from Trouble.
Job said that man is born unto trouble as the sparks of a fire fly upwards. All of us will have our time of being troubled. When Jesus contemplated His vicarious death, He was troubled (John 12:27). His spirit was troubled at Judas’ betrayal (John 13:21). He was troubled and wept over Jerusalem because her inhabitants were like sheep without a shepherd (Luke 19:41). He was troubled over the disciples’ hardness of heart and the peoples’ unbelief.
But there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God. God assigned cities of refuge for troubled souls in the days of old. Oh, what a loving God! When Jesus heard of the ignominious death of John the Baptist, He sought to find rest in a desert place. All of us need to pull back from time to time to be comforted, refreshed and empowered before resuming our journey. It is often in times like this when we say our loftiest prayers, as Moses did in the hour of his greatest trial, praying: Lord, ...shew me thy glory (Ex. 33:18) or like Paul did writing from prison to the Ephesians praying: ...that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19). Whenever you get busier with the work of the Lord than with the Lord Himself, it is time to get away. For it is ...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (Zech. 4:6). Let the risen Christ be your city of refuge. Continue in prayer.
6. Prayer Is Our Resource in Adversity.
Prayer equips us to be more than conquerors. It is by prayer that we put on the armor of God and we receive direction from our great General on how to go into battle. When a great multitude of nations came against Judah in the days of King Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat sought the Lord in prayer and fasting. He engaged his people in it. And God gave him the battle plan: send a white-robed choir before the army and have them praise the Lord. The enemy was defeated without the loss of a single soldier of God’s army, and no widows or orphans were left behind (2 Chron. 20:1-28). Pray for direction before you go into battle lest you leave behind widows and orphans, lest you split heads or cut off ears. Continue in prayer.
7. Prayer Is Balance in Prosperity.
Prosperity is wonderful, but it is also dangerous. Jesus warned that it is nearly impossible for a rich man to go to heaven (Matt. 19:24). Why so? A rich man easily becomes so engaged in what he has, that he will neglect prayer and he will soon think that what God has given is his own rather than knowing that he is only a steward of what he has and that he should be ready to distribute much of this to others: ...good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over... (Luke 6:38). Prayer is balance in prosperity. Continue in prayer.
8. Prayer Accomplishes the Most Good in the World.
Prayer is the power that moves the hand of God. Someone said that God does nothing but in answer to prayer. By this principle we know that behind every soul saved there has been someone who prayed. For the Word says: Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance... (Ps. 2:8). Reluctant Jonah preached a short sermon and brought a whole city to its knees in genuine repentance. Yet, it was not his preaching so much, but rather that there were people somewhere asking for Nineveh to be saved, perhaps for a long time. Most often, the prayer ministry is hidden. You have not because you ask not. No one is saved but by prayer. Prayer accomplishes more good in the world than all the welfare agencies and all the governments have ever done in all of history. Continue in prayer.
9. Prayer Knows No Boundaries.
Prayer is the greatest power in the universe. In His resurrection body, Jesus walked through walls and He could travel from Jerusalem to Galilee in less than a second. So it is with prayer. It knows no boundaries, no barriers. Distance means nothing to prayer because it travels faster than the speed of light. The Scripture actually tells us that before we even finish uttering a request, God already hears it (Is. 65:24). You can reach someone in Siberia, in Beijing, in South Africa, in a plane over the Atlantic, at the speed of lightning. Prayer is marvelous in its power to change everything. It can turn rock into water, it can cause the sun to stand still. It can cause the hardest heart to melt, give solace to the mourner and help you find a lost coin. It will assist you in every endeavor through every day. Prayer is the greatest power in the universe. It has more power for good than nuclear bombs have for evil. Engage in it continually and behold what will happen. Continue in prayer.
10. The Power to Pray Is Given to Everyone Alike.
The poor have the same power in prayer as the rich. The unlearned have the same power in it as the learned. A little child has the same power as a seasoned saint. The sick have the same power in prayer as the healthy, the weak are as powerful in it as the strong. The only man who is truly poor and useless is one who does not pray. All of us are born of God to pray, because prayer is life and life is prayer. By prayer and obedience, we dwell in Him and He dwells in us. That means we are never homeless. On Judgment Day, I believe that each one’s accomplishments will be measured more by their prayer life than anything else they did. Continue in prayer with thanksgiving.