As we have been considering the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I thought it might be helpful to think again about how we pray. The Holy Spirit longs to lead us in our prayers, and to reveal God’s heart to us, so we can pray more effectively. I trust these 2 quotes from Oswald Chambers might help our discussion at the next nourish. As you read them, what stands out to you? What questions do they raise? We’d love to know your thoughts.
May 29th Undisturbed relationship. At that day ye shall ask in My name … The Father Himself loveth you. John 16:26, 27.
“At that day ye shall ask in My name,” i.e., in My nature. Not—‘You shall use My name as a magic word,’ but—‘You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.’ “That day” is not a day hereafter, but a day meant for here and now. “The Father Himself loveth you”—the union is so complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that life will be free from external perplexities but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, so by the baptism of the Holy Ghost He can lift us into the heavenly places where He can reveal the counsels of God to us.
“Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name …” “That day” is a day of undisturbed relationship between God and the saint. Just as Jesus stood unsullied in the presence of His Father, so by the mighty efficacy of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we can be lifted into that relationship—“that they may be one, even as We are one.”
“He will give it you.” Jesus says that God will recognize our prayers. What a challenge! By the Resurrection and Ascension power of Jesus, by the sent-down Holy Ghost, we can be lifted into such a relationship with the Father that we are at one with the perfect sovereign will of God by our free choice even as Jesus was. In that wonderful position, placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in His name, in His nature, which is gifted to us by the Holy Ghost, and Jesus says—“Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested by His own statements.
May 26th Think as Jesus taught. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess. 5:17.
We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the conception we have in our minds of prayer. If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly. The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on. We are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect joint with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life. Beware of anything that stops spontaneous prayer. “Pray without ceasing,” keep the childlike habit of spontaneous prayer in your heart to God all the time.
Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer; He had the boundless certainty that prayer is always answered. Have we by the Spirit the unspeakable certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when God does not seem to have answered prayer? “Every one that asketh receiveth.” We say—‘But …, but …’ God answers prayer in the best way, not sometimes, but every time, although the immediate manifestation of the answer in the domain in which we want it may not always follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?
The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jesus says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it were only common sense, it was not worth while for him to say it. The things Jesus says about prayer are supernatural revelations.
Quotes from :
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986).