We want men who will make it their first business to wrestle with God in prayer, and then go forth in the wisdom of the inspiration that God can give. Then we are a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. If men would not have their minds darkened, their hearts hardened, they must obey God at any cost to themselves. They are not only to pray to God, but to act their prayers.
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Let the prayer go up to God, “Create in me a clean heart;” for a pure, cleansed soul has Christ abiding, therein, and out of the abundance of the heart are the issues of life. The human will is to be yielded to Christ. Instead of passing on, closing the heart in selfishness, there is need of opening the heart to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Practical religion breathes its fragrance everywhere. It is a savour of life unto life.
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Here you can say, “In my hands no price I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.” If your prayers—yes, your prayers, feeble as they may seem—are sincere, if they are mixed with faith, then you may know that Jesus liveth to make intercession for you. The persevering, sincere seeker will surely be the finder, for as soon as you approach the mercy seat in faith, then Christ regards you as His client. He espouses your cause; He makes it His own. He is standing before the Father, your Substitute, your Surety. When you seek the Lord with all your heart, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”
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Whoever studies the Bible in regard to the fall of Satan and the first advent of Christ to our world, and enters into the spirit of His life, His teachings, miracles, death, resurrection, and ascension, will see that they have much need of humble, earnest prayer, of deep humility, of far less self-esteem. Their hearts will cry out for help from the living God. They will feel the necessity of trained intelligence, trained ability, to present the truth as it is in Jesus, which is to come to the people in a much higher sense than they have yet heard it. They will cry day after day to God alone in secret places for divine wisdom that they may discriminate between good and evil, righteousness and sin.
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What we want most is not learning and eloquence and the mastery in debating, but heart power, prayer to God in faith for His converting power, thoroughgoing piety. Half-way converts abound; singleness in love for Jesus is rare. It is not brain power or purse power, but heart power that the people need now.
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Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance, the perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Saviour until we acknowledge Him and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then the genuine ring in our faith. It works by love. Speak it from your heart, “Lord, I believe Thou hast died to redeem my soul. If Thou hast placed such a value upon my soul to give Thy life for mine, I give my life and all its possibilities in all my weakness into Thy keeping.” The will must be brought into complete harmony with the will of God. When this is done every ray of light that will shine into the heart and chambers of the mind will not be resisted, and the soul barricaded with prejudice, calling light darkness, and darkness light. The light from heaven is welcomed as light filling all the chambers of the soul, and this is making melody to God. How much do we believe from the heart, “Draw nigh to God, and God will draw nigh to you”? This means to be much with the Lord in prayer.
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My prayer is, O Lord, take the load of my mind, control my judgment, imbue me with Thy Spirit. In my very weakness I would glorify God. I would put my trust in Him; I would have sincere faith that works by love, and purifies the soul.
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