By Verbal Bean
“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
The difficulty in teaching prayer, is you’re talking to people that already pray; therefore, they feel they already know how to pray. It’s difficult to teach people that feel like they already know how, when very possibly they learned the wrong way. We think just to get down and make a noise, if we’re saying it pretty loud, then we’re praying. There is more to learn about praying than kneeling down and saying a bunch of words. If you’ll be willing to learn that, it’ll certainly change your life. I do not say this at all boasting on my part, but I’m saying the word of God teaches us these things, and I have in times past, brushed up against young men who were anxious to know more, and I took time with them to tell them some of the very things I’m telling you, only to have them tell me later that their ministry was changed, and the results started happening.
Is that not what you want? Is that your desire, thirst, aim, and purpose? If it is, then I believe we can go somewhere. I believe we’ve got a team in here tonight that can win.
We are going to go back over some of the points that we went through, and then start branching out from these points in a little more detail.
We have the two types of prayer, current, and memorial. Is that fixed in your mind? Does that mean anything to you? Does it build your faith for prayers that have not received answers?
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10: 17).
This is the first method of receiving faith. The second is,
“Building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20).
If you can learn to pray in the Holy Ghost, your faith is going to be stronger. A man full of faith is unlimited in what he can do! If you question that at all, please read your Bible in Hebrews, chapter eleven, and see the giants of faith, and see what happened to them!
I build myself up in faith by hearing the Word, and by praying in the Holy Ghost. Then, of course, the third way to build faith is having it tested.
“That the trial of our faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire ” (I Peter 1:7).
If you do not know how to pray, and you do not pray in the Spirit effectively, you will be weak in faith. Effective prayer is the hidden source of strength for not only a preacher but for every saint of God. The built-in reserve of faith and strength comes when you get alone with God and talk to Him. Remember this, God can be absorbed!
This does not contradict the spiritual application of not gathering the manna. Do you remember the story that Israel was not to gather more than what they needed for one day of the manna? That has it’s spiritual application and it’s good, but you can build up a reserve of consecration and prayer, so when you need it, you can call on it effectively.
I’ll give you an example, and then you can catch the thought a little better. When Peter went to pray for Tabitha, he did not call a prayer and fast conference; he didn’t call a three-day fast, he already had. He simply prayed to find out the will of God, and then he said to Tabitha, “Arise.” And spoke life into that woman’s body. What happened, in the days previous, he had been absorbing God.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
The secret is learning to get that power working in you, and one of the best ways in the world to do that is to learn to pray and enjoy praying.
I don’t mean that every time you go to pray you will be overanxious! The flesh gets to a place where it doesn’t want to pray. If you’ll make it over the little dry places, then the majority of your prayer life will be enjoyed. The more you pray the more you’ll want to pray; the less you pray the less you will want to pray. Consecration calls for more consecration, and if you start neglecting your prayer life, the first you know, you don’t want to pray. Prayer will become a drudgery.
Somebody says, “We’re going to have a morning prayer meeting.”
You may not say, “Well, my Lord!” but inside you think it. The more you pray the more you begin to enjoy praying because you find results and because there’s a strength, refreshing and renewing in prayer. It recharges your battery. It keeps you going.
I was praying one night here in this church, and I happened to be laying down on the floor, on my back praying. I got on that carpet, and I was laying there praying. A thought came to me. Does this displease God for me to be laying here? Reckon He’d rather have me on my knees? Does it matter what physical position that I’m in, o God?
As I began to think of it, scriptures came to my mind, and the importance of the physical position left. God only used that as a starter to get me thinking. It led me to something that was a blessing, and I trust will be a blessing to you.
As far as physical position, I do not believe that matters at all. There are some pitfalls of that, especially if you’re about half sleepy already. Don’t lay down, you’ll go to sleep! Sometimes I’ll do a lot of walking in prayer, but sometimes that’s a pitfall. You’ll see things around you, and we learned last night that the only way to get God’s attention is for Him to get our attention. With your mind divided, you’re walking and looking at everybody, thinking about what they’re doing, and that can be a pitfall.
The only reason that posture would mean anything is what it does to your mind. I do recognize the fact that the apostle made mention of his bowing his knee unto the Father of lights. There are times we need to bow our knee because it is a sign of our humility. But I do not believe, and I cannot find scripture that physical position has any bearing on prayer. With this thought in mind, and this may have puzzled you as it did me, you don’t need to be plagued with any thoughts when you’re praying. You don’t need to be bothered with any kind of doubts. You need to clear that up in your mind, but God led me out into some thoughts that helped me a whole lot, and here they are. God told Job,
“Gird up now thy loins like a man: for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me” (Job 38:3).
Gird your loins like a man, and answer me. That told me something. I learned something from that. Be a man, and gird up thy loins. The position I referred to would almost be obvious. To gird up his loins, he would be in a standing position.
I thought of another case where he told Daniel, the man we have used as our starting point in teaching on prayer,
“Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright” (Daniel 9:18).
Daniel sat up. He was on his face praying, and God had him sit up. Though this may sound like a contradiction, I do not believe that necessarily God was interested in him just standing there on his two feet. There was an attitude He was trying to develop in him that He wanted. He was not just wanting Him to physically stand, but he wanted something to happen inwardly. There is such a thing as standing up inside.
The false impression that has been for a long time prevalent in our ranks, is in regards to what is true humility. It is important that you learn the balance between true humility and pure unbelief.
God wants me to talk to Him like a man. Some folks have it figured out that humility is to constantly beat yourself over the head! They get hung up on step number two, “Father forgive,” and believe it’s humility!
I’ve taught you that sin in your life will hinder prayer. Wrong spirits, and attitudes will hinder prayer. Your heart must be clean, but on the other hand, don’t hang up there, and destroy your power in prayer. Humility is not what some folks think.
Here’s a very typical prayer. “Ohhh, God. Lord Jesus. Help me, Lord. Oh God.” Simply going through vain repetition. Then next they say, “My Lord, I’m sooo unworthy. Oh God, I’m soo unworthy.” I’m not saying never to do that. I believe every once in a while, we need to tell God how sorry we know we are. But dear Lord Jesus in heaven, help us if our prayer life is going to stop right there! We will be without results, because by the time we’ve spent one solid hour telling God how sorry we are, and He ignoring it, we have thoroughly brainwashed ourselves into believing we are unworthy of whatever we were asking.
The reason God told Daniel to get up, was He wanted an attitude developed in him. Do you know that God enjoys a relationship with us? He enjoys a relationship that is manly, not cowardly, backward, and always in the lowlands of self-pity, and self-abasement. Every now and then He wants you to stand up as His honorable creation that has been justified by the blood, the name, and the Spirit.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace”‘ (Hebrews 4:16).
Here we are saying, “Oh God,” and that old guilty feeling comes over you, and believe me, the devil can give you a guilty feeling. You’re so thoroughly milking out all the juice you can get, and after one solid hour, that’s all you’ve got, is the brine of self-defeat!
You’d be surprised how many saints live their prayer life in self-defeat, thinking they’re being humble. Man, they figure that’s the thing God enjoys! “I’m just a wallowing all over the ground, saying how sorry and no good I am.” He knew that! You don’t have to tell Him that!
If you’re ever going to pray a successful prayer, it will because you have faith in God’s mercy, and His ability to justify you. A common practice of the devil is to pull an old sin from back yonder and show it to you. You didn’t think of it until you went to pray, but he shows you that old skeleton, then you say, “Oh Lord, forgive me!!
The first three years of my Christian experience were spent with this condemnation. I never made a sensible prayer in the first three years! I thought because I felt guilt, I was supposed to repent. I thought if I felt evil, I was sinning.
I have found saints who have had the Holy Ghost for thirty years, living under the pressure of condensation, because they feel evil. How can I touch God if I believe I have sinned? I don’t have much faith in His forgiveness, so I repent of the same old sin for hours. This is ridiculous, but when I went to church, I spent the whole service saying, “My God forgive me. Devil, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus! My God forgive me!” You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. Every waking moment the devil tormented me. If I was thinking evil at all, I had sinned and didn’t have the Holy Ghost. I was either rebuking the devil or asking forgiveness.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
An old preacher helped me out. He said, “Son, you can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair!” That solved it! In my searching, studying, and listening, I found that beautiful scripture.
“For the word of God .. is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The Word of God divides thoughts from intentions. We feel guilty because an evil thought came in our mind, but the Book divides the thoughts from the intentions, and there is a difference.
This is a sermon thought I hope you will preach many times, wherever your ministry leads you. I have found many churches full of good saints, but because an evil thought came in their mind, they felt totally guilty.
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin” (James 1:15).
When you sit and muse on something lustful, you know you’re doing wrong. But, if a thought flashes through your mind, and you ignore it, no sin has occurred. As long as you are in this world, the devil has a certain access to your mind. The Holy Ghost could be running out your ears, but the devil has one spot, God will never take away, and that is the ability to touch your mind. When you are glorified and immortal, it will no longer be that way, but as long as you’re in the flesh it will. Jesus Christ Himself fought evil.
“(Jesus) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
How was He tempted, if He didn’t think evil? I contend He was even tempted with fornication, yet without sin. The devil carried Him up and showed Him all those pinnacles. That didn’t occur physically, but mentally, yet without sin. It’s possible to think something and not sin. God divides the thoughts from intentions, and if you can get that in our mind, your prayer life will start producing more results. You’ll live a more happy, victorious life!
The best way to handle the devil is to ignore him. I was constantly fighting him, and he wanted me to do that, because I was giving him attention, instead of God! If an evil thought comes to your mind, dismiss it. Say, “Thank you, Jesus!” Don’t repent, or rebuke the devil. Just ignore it! As a result, be happy with your victory over the devil!
That doesn’t justify going around beholding evil or letting your mind run loose all day. Some folks can’t pray, because they let their mind be scattered all day, and when they come in to pray, it’s still running wild. The best way to walk with God is to consistently keep your mind in subjection.
“Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind” (I Peter 1:13)
Throughout the day, if your mind starts wondering, bring it back to a scripture, or to Him. If you love Him, that’s not going to be a drudgery. If you allow your mind to run wild, you’re damaging your most valuable asset. You are saying to your mind, “Go footloose and free,” then when you need to gird it, it’s like trying to break a wild horse. Your mind must be constantly worked on. Every thought isn’t going to be like it ought, but if you keep training your mind, it will be less and less on these other things.
If you’re not going to let this great religion consume you, you’re wasting your time in this little room! If it’s going to be a part-time deal, and you’re going to work in the meantime. You’re going just “preach on the side,” and think of God every now and then, and preach when you’re called on for a special occasion, then forget it!
Do you know what this is to me? My life! Everything about it, I love! I always wanted to be a preacher! Let it consume you!
The meekest man on earth was Moses. Here’s what the meekest man on earth did in a prayer meeting. If you are confused about humility, look at this prayer meeting. There stood the meekest man on earth. The cloud of shekinah glory was hanging all around him! The divine glory of God was literally shaking the mountain that Moses was on! All of a sudden, the eternal Jehovah God of the universe said to the meekest man on earth,
“Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation” (Exodus 32:10).
God? Deity? Saying to one man, one little man, for him to let Him alone?! “Turn Me loose, Moses, you’re holding Me. Let Me get out of your grasp! Moses, turn Me loose, so I can destroy the people you brought out of Egypt!”
The meekest man on earth with divine glory crackling all around him stood there and said to the eternal God,
“Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, an with a mighty hand?” (Exodus 32:11).
I thought you were supposed to say, “Oh, forgive me, Lord. Don’t hit me right now, let me take one little lamb, and let me live in peace!” The meekest man on earth recognized his position. His rod gave him the golden opportunity to be bold enough to say, “I didn’t bring them out, You did!”
I want you to read your Bible, and notice there is a definite pause A real genuine break in a sentence, where it says,
“If not, blot me I pray thee, out of thy book which thou has written” (Exodus 32:32).
That pause tells me Moses in an intercessory spirit, broke wi travail for the people, but not one time did he back down from hi pleading with God. He didn’t scream, “I’m unworthy!” He didn’t plead, “I’m so sorry, and unfit to be up on this mountain! ” H simply took what he knew God was allowing him to take, an there’s nothing God enjoys more than you praying with boldness God enjoys you holding Him with genuine, manly hands!
“Let me alone, Moses!” If God will plead with a man to turn Hi loose, there must be power in prayer! There must be some God-given rights for men. I don’t come, telling God what to do. There must be balance in everything. I cannot come in as a commander and say, “God, don’t do that!” No, but there is a certain holy boldness that is a product of confidence.
“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:21-22).
Consistently living before God; knowing you’re clean, gives you faith to stay before Him. The general opinion of God is He’s sitting up there and has big, heavy eyebrows! He has frowned so long until His forehead is deeply wrinkled. He has a big club laying beside Him, and bullwhip in His hand! He’s frowning down at a little, Jesus’ name saint that has done everything he could, to keep the commandments! The saint is in desperate need, so he cowardly and apologetically comes over and says, “Excuse me, don’t hit me! I’m a dummy, please don’t hit me! I just need something.
“Ah, which one of these clubs must I use on you! Get out of here! ”
This sounds exaggerated, but you would be surprised to know the attitude some saints have about God. They think He’s like a hard businessman, that’s half-sour to the world. He doesn’t have much to give, and He’s going to hold on to what He has! Of course, this is ridiculous. He’s a God of judgment. He’ll judge your sin. He’s a God that demands righteousness. He will not put up with iniquity, but on the other hand, His greatest moments of pleasure, are when you are talking to Him!
Why did he make man? He made us to love Him by choice. The sweetest moments with God are when He hears your voice. A good sermon for you to preach would be based upon this scripture.
“Oh my dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely” (Song of Solomon 2:14).
This is the story between a lover and His bride. It depicts a portrays Jesus Christ with His church. The sweetest moments affection for God is when you’re talking to Him in prayer. If y could believe the door does not have a sign, “No admittance,” b instead the veil was rent in twain, and written all over the walls that holy place are the signs, “Whosoever will, let him com. Welcome, Come on in, I’m ready! ”
I could prove that God has written the promises of this Book simply encourage you to pray. That’s how much He enjoys you praying. He is not a vagrant businessman that’s disgruntled; H enjoys answering.
Moses recognized this, and when he approached God, he did n approach him in the manner that you’d think. Somewhere we’ve g to balance humility and unbelief Some of this self-defeat nothing but unbelief. You’ll find this working around the altar. Or young man I heard repented for a solid hour, and he was praying though he was meaning it, but he was as mad as a hornet It grieves God for you to doubt his forgiveness. Man, that grieves him!
I finally stopped him and said, “I don’t want to hear that anymore You’ve repented enough to save the whole world! Why don’t you stop now, and believe He’s forgiven you, and start saying, “Thank you, Jesus.”
We must teach the people about God’s mercy! Along with o teaching strictness, and the fear of God, you’ve got to teach H mercy. As in the days of Joshua, the blessings and the cursing were read, for their safety and protection.
Our attitude determines what we get from God. If I come s thoroughly defeated, I’m going to leave defeated. God wants us t stand up like men, and talk to Him, as friend to Friend.
Let me show you in God’s Bible, a friend of God. The Bible calls him God’s friend. What’s his name? Abraham.
One day, God said, “I believe I’m going to have to do something To-M-S6dom. Things are getting awfully wicked down there, and I can’t stand it anymore, so I’m going to destroy it. But before I do, I want to talk to my friend.” Can you imagine, God confiding with a man before doing anything to a city?
Did Abraham beat his head on the ground, and scream bloody murder, when God walked up and started talking to him, and telling him about what He planned in that city?
When we went to South America, we’d go into a place, and find something we wanted to buy, and then we knew we could talk their price down. They considered us Americans wealthy, so they’d start with a high price. We’d say, “No,” and start to walk away. Then they’d come after us, pleading for us to come back. They would slowly begin reducing the price as we would continue this process. God said to Abraham, “I’m going to destroy that city over there.”
Abraham stood there like a man, without any fear, guilt, or remorse, and said,
Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein” is 18:23-24) 2
“Oh no, friend, I won’t do that. For your sake, I’ll spare it if there are fifty.”
Abraham got to thinking, “I know Lot and those boys are rotten to the core,” and he didn’t believe there were fifty righteous down there, so he began dickering with God until God agreed to spare the city for ten righteous. This tells me that God is not an untouchable, unreasonable God. He said,
Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).
Go boldly to the throne, and learn to just talk to Him. An old prayer warrior I love to hear pray, every chance I get, is Joe Duke. He’s a blind man, and when he was here in revival, I would do my best to come in, and him not know about it, and listen to him pray. Any of you that know Brother Duke, know there has not been an evangelist in our time that has prayed more people through to the Holy Ghost. I wouldn’t have any way of knowing how many thousands he’s prayed through by the laying on of hands. Nor how many miracles have occurred in his ministry. I’m talking about blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, and cancers failing off!
You know where he gets it? He prays like a man goes on a job. In revival, I’ve seen him get up in the morning. Maybe he’d have a bite to eat, and then he would go to the church and pray until lunch. He would eat a bite, rest a few minutes, and then go back to, pray. There’s no telling how many hours a day he would put into prayer, but when he walked into the pulpit, something was fixing to happen!
I love to hear him pray. Very seldom does he ever kneel. The majority of the time he walks around, talking to God. “Father, now you now that man that was here last night? I sure wish you’d bring him back tonight, and fill him with the Holy Ghost! And Father, I wish you . . .” Just talking to God.
We complicate God so often. If we could be as a little child. A little girl was praying, and sneezed, and said, “Excuse me, Jesus, for sneezing in Your face.” If only we could believe He’s that near, and that He’s listening.
Brother Duke just keeps talking, “Now Father, you know this…” I’ve heard him pray for churches throughout the county. “Brother so-and-so is over there in a revival, and I wish you’d give him a mighty outpouring!” Just talking to him. Brother, that’s faith. That’s confidence.
There was a man around home, by the name of Sam Mitchell. I have honored him since I was a little boy, and I’ve always enjoyed listening to him pray. He believes he can just talk to Him.
I’ll never forget my mother was real sick, for five weeks, here in Houston. It looked like every day was her last. She couldn’t do a thing. For five weeks she laid at the point of death, sometimes not even conscious. One day, she arose and said, “Somebody go get Brother Sam, and ask him to come pray for me.”
He lived way back in the sticks of Louisiana, so we had to call the closest place with a phone. They went down to find him, and he was down behind the field, praying and fasting. God had him prepared. They told him what they wanted, and the put him on the train.
Brother Sam had never been to Houston. His shoes were not shined, his hat was not well fixed, it was kind of lop-sided. His shirt was not a good match for the rest of his clothes, and his coat didn’t match his pants. He got off the train, and made about three steps, and stopped. That’s where I found him. He said, “I was afraid I’d get lost, so I decided I had best stay right here, until you came.
I looked at that old man, and normally an average young man would have been ashamed, but I would have rather met that man than the President of the United States! I knew what was in his background! I greeted him and took him back through the main corridors of the station, and I was as proud of him as I could be!
He was the one who helped pray for me when I was eleven months old, and died as much as anybody will ever die! The room was full of witness, and God raised me from the dead!
There were many times that he had prayed the prayer of faith, and Mother said, “Brother Sam, can you still pray the prayer of faith?”
He said, “I believe I can!”
He got his little bottle of oil out of his watch pocket, opened the lid, and instead of putting a little on his finger, he turned it up and poured it on her head. He said, “Jesus, You speak the word, the work will be done, and everything will be okay.”
My Lord! We had been praying for five weeks, and couldn’t get any results, but instantly she was healed!”
I’m convinced in all I’ve observed, attitudes determine results when you go to God. Get up! God wants you to be a man when you approach Him. He wants you to have confidence in Him. He doesn’t want you to come all defeated, and cowardly. None of us are worthy. Oh no, we’re not worth shooting! Yet, because of His love and His mercy, and what He has done for us, I can come like a child to his Father.
Our children don’t come crawling, barely looking up, afraid they’re going to get knocked on the head! My girls come running! They believe in their daddy!
Brother James Kilgore said his little girl ran into the office, saying “Dad give me a nickel,” and before he had time to say, “Get out of here!, I don’t have time to fool, I’m busy!”
She said, “Dad, you’ve never let me down!”
I said, “Did she get the nickel?”
He said, “What do you think!”
Praying when you come with confidence, and express that confidence. God. enjoys being trusted, and for you to have some courage, when you pray.
I hate to use myself as an example, because I certainly do not feel that I’m a great prayer warrior, but let me share some experiences illustrating what I’m trying to impress to you. If you are a man who has a work of God at heart, there will come a time when you’ll need to stand up like a man, and make your request known unto God. Forget your unworthiness, and failings, and come like a man. I remember I was in a revival in Miami, Florida, we had gone through a number of nights without praying anybody through, and I could not stand that in revival. I kneeled behind the altar and the pulpit, and said “God, not to threaten you. I’m just simply in desperation. I’m telling you, either fill somebody with the Holy Ghost tonight, or daylight will not touch me here in the morning. I refuse to stay in a place where I can’t pray people through to the Holy Ghost!” I wasn’t commanding God; however,
“Concerning the work of my hands command ye me” (Isaiah 45:11).
There’s a difference between human ingenuity, and telling God what to do. There’s a difference in thinking you’re smarter than God, and being bold and persistant. I’m trying to impress you, that we can be friends to God, and tell Him what we want. Talk to Him, He’s pleased with it.
Sister Bohannon was telling us about her grandson, John, who was not saved. He was in the Navy, and his mom had a letter in her possession that said that he was somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, on his way overseas. He couldn’t tell in the letter where he was.
“I don’t know when I’ll see you, Mom, but I’m on my way to some point overseas, and I’m somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Sister Bohannon said she had not seen John in about a year. She got down on her knees, and started talking to the Lord. I can hear her soft voice, “Okay Lord, get some hammers, and wrecking bars, and see that little boat out there? Tear that engine up to where it will take them two or three weeks to fix it, because a day or two won’t suffice to be able to see our boy! Do it now, while he’s close to Dallas, because if You wait, they’ll be in New Orleans, and it will take him longer to get home, and he can stay home more if he can come from Dallas. You Messengers, go whisper in that Captain’s ears to give John a leave, because one of my children told me they want to see their boy! ” When you get right with God, and know how to contact God, there’s no end to what God will do!
A dear brother in South Africa told me they were clearing an area to make a little runway for a little plane that the organization gave him. In that part of the country, way back in that jungle, the trees are mammoth things. They grow one hundred and fifty feet high, their roots are thirty feet high and go out thirty feet from the tree all the way around it. Nature has prepared these trees for those big storms they have.
He said there was one of those trees standing beside this little clearing, and they had spent days trying to cut one of the roots! They had cut it about half way through, expecting it to fall in the opposite direction. The reason they were interested in cutting it down, they figured some night the wind could come and blow it across the runway, and they’d have no place to land. So, they were clearing it out of the way, hoping it would fall away from the runway.
The sky was clear, and all of a sudden that tree started popping, breaking and was falling towards the runway! They knew as giant of a tree as it was, they’d never be able to move it. He stepped back, and said, “Oh God, with a present help in a time of trouble, come help me!”
Instantly there was a clap of thunder, a cloud arose, lightning flashed, and a wind came and picked that tree up and dumped it out in the forest! After it was over, there was not a cloud in the sky! They went on working the rest of the day. A friend of God.
We’re not dealing with a bankrupt businessman, that has a frown on his face. We’re dealing with God who has storehouses, bulging! When you start opening the door, be careful! It may fall out on you at one time! The meekest man on earth said “God, first of all, I want you to know I didn’t bring them.” I don’t believe there was sarcasm in that, I believe there was a confidence there. Daniel said,
“O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name.for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies” (Daniel 9:18).
“This is your cause, God.” This obligates God. “God, this is not my church, this is not my program! I didn’t instigate all this. God, You wanted it.” God doesn’t mind being reminded that it’s His, and that’s exactly what Moses was doing.
If you like adventure, the greatest place for adventure is in a prayer room! You can soar so far! The most interesting things can happen when you pray. I know that you’d laugh at me, but I could tell you things that God did for me as a boy, that were miraculous. Sometimes I didn’t even ask for them, but he did it! Adventure! I loved it, and I still love it!
I like to deal with power. If I’m going to drive a tractor, I want the biggest bulldozer they make! I sometimes look at those things, and think I could get up there, and knew what to do! Pull back those levers, and let all that power go to work! I’d like to drive one of those big things they drive that cuts down those big trees. They drive with those trees falling. I’m talking about big trees! Man, wouldn’t I like to pull back the levers on that!
I take all that desire out in prayer! I grab hold of some levers, I almost wish I hadn’t got hold of them, because they’re so powerfull! I don’t know what to do with all of it!
If you like adventure, power, and want interesting experiences added to your life, then become a real prayer warrior! The most interesting people are great prayer warriors. Have you ever been around them? There’s an attitude, spirit, and attraction there. You know they know something. There’s a secret they know, and the secret is in the fear of the Lord. Praise God!
I’m trying to present to you, a faith that you can have it! There’s no particular scriptures to confirm this, and some people are against telling experiences, but I don’t believe it’s unscriptural. I believe it’s healthy, if you’ll give God the glory for it. Paul spoke, himself, of the great work that was done among the Gentiles by his hands. He wasn’t glorifying himself, he was trying to show what God was doing among the Gentiles. Faith building. How can you build faith, if you have not had the experience? The best way to have experience is to get alone with God, and start pinpointing, talking to Him.
The spirit of prayer is not necessarily a special subject, but I do believe there is a spirit of prayer that we need to be sensitive to.
God’s dealings with the human family is usually soft, easy, can be grieved easily, and tender. Whether it be worship, prayer, or finding the will of God in a service. Generally, the softest voice you’ll hear will be that of God. The prophet Elijah tried to hear God in the wind, and fire, but after a while he heard a still, small voice. I would say that’s the general case. God can thunder at us, and can speak loudly. If we have missed this first voice, then He can use louder tones. He can bring correction. Sometimes, the problems of life, is the voice of God in louder tones.
If you are sitting around waiting for God to force you to pray, you probably won’t pray. The voice of prayer comes soft, tender, and a lot of times, easy to grieve.
“Grieve not the holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30).
It takes but a few times of God calling you to prayer, and you disobeying it, until God won’t speak. The danger comes in your spiritual life, when you simply bulldoze on over the Spirit that’s calling you to prayer, and finally that dies, and you’re left without desire. You’re left without the feeling of a need of prayer. You’re left without the inspiration. If you get it back, you generally have got to do it on your own, and that generally takes extra sacrifice.
If anybody needs to be sensitive to the Spirit of prayer, it ought to be a preacher. He should to be able to hear that voice speedily, and respond speedily. He should not argue with it, or put up his excuses why he doesn’t want to pray. When you start justifying the flesh, in disobedience to the spirit of prayer, you are doing a great damage to your spiritual experience.
Brethren, I don’t know when I’ve ever had such a burden to inspire men. I want to inspire this group of men right here, to pray more than you’re praying, and enjoy it. I’ve found that the more I pray, the more I want to pray. I feel like when we learn to pray, as we ought to, to get results, it will be an inspiring thing to us. There are times when the flesh has to be made to pray. God doesn’t seem to be anywhere around, and I think He does it on purpose. If you want to be consistent, there are times when you’re going to go and seek after Him. You shouldn’t always wait on Him to come and bid you. We should search for God, and seek after God, that shows we want Him. There will be times in your busy schedule, that you’ll have to make yourself pray, and that’s the reason I believe a particular time set aside for your prayer hour is best.
I think a person would do well to fix the time. I’ve driven fifteen hundred miles to see certain friends, and arrived there at their time of prayer. “You are welcome to go with us, or you can stay here. We’ll be back about an hour later.” They would not break that hour of prayer if the President was there. I thoroughly believe in that.
God is pushed off. If everybody else is tended to, we’ll finally go tend to God, when he’s the most important factor of our lives.
I had a church write a list of things they did each day, as they did them. They brought them to church to read. Not that I wanted to know what they were doing, I wanted them to know where God was on their list. It was an amazing thing for faithful saints to see
how far down the list He was. They’d get up and clean the house, go shopping, get the kids to school, husband to work, shop, and iron.
One lady read for fifteen minutes, and covered a period of about four days. She broke down crying, then said: “Until this time I had not knelt to pray.” She was a very faithful saint in the church.
You can see what a busy schedule can do to us. The sensitive sweet spirit of prayer that bids you come, if you grieve it a few times, will leave you. It’s a dangerous place to be left, because it remains to be seen if you’ve got it in you to go on and pray, anyhow.
We can’t exist without prayer; forget it, you can’t even live for God without prayer. One of the most effective preachers I knew (that is a sad note, that l don’t enjoy telling it at all, but for your benefit, and to remind all of us) was very effective in many respects; well loved, and had everything fixed right. He had some rental property, a little acreage, some cattle, a good church, peace in his church, harmony, yet he fell into sin.
This was his confession, and tonight he is still in sin. “I had it so easy, I had no need to pray.” Beware when everything’s going well I The Bible said for us to pray how?
“Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).
When everything’s going well, pray. When everything’s going bad, pray. I was raised around prayer warriors. They enjoyed praying. They prayed by the hour. They prayed whole nights. It seems anymore, you can hardly find one. If anybody prays, it’s strictly a necessity; never enjoyment, or never a pleasure. There’s something wrong with us, when we cannot enjoy talking to the One we love the most.
Most of you are unmarried, but as an example, someday you’ll understand it, when you do get married. There’s got to be something wrong when you don’t want to commune with your companion, the person you love, the dearest on earth. There’s got to be something wrong with you. There’s a cross somewhere. It doesn’t make sense when we have all sorts of benefits out of praying. We get our strength, our salvation, God’s promises, souls and rewards. Just name it, and we get it from prayer, yet we don’t want to go there! It’s almost a pleasant thing to find an excuse not to pray.
If I was the devil, I would see to it that preachers wouldn’t pray! That’s the first thing I’d do, to stop the progress of the church. I’d stop that preacher from praying. I’d get him so busy until he felt justified not to pray.
Many times you’re going to face that one decision, and whether you’re man enough to go on and pray without ceasing, that remains to be seen. If you want to become a mediocre, nonchalant, lackadaisical, no-results preacher, just don’t pray! Pray just when you have to, when somebody gets desperately sick, or one of your loved ones or things get in bad shape. Then cry out to God, and then forget it until the next serious trouble comes along.
That’s an insult to God, for us to wait until He has to bring trouble on us to pray. It should be in our hearts, if you’re burdened for a lost world, an automatic thing that burden alone will draw you to prayer.
If you care for dying humanity, and, Gentlemen, if you don’t care, stay home!. Don’t reproach the ministry. Don’t fool the people. Don’t take their money, and become a hireling, not caring for their souls. The most honorable thing I would know, would be to drop the profession and go back to whatever you can do, if that burden is not there. God, give us the burden that will eat us up, day and night. Learn to weep for a lost soul until you feel your prayer go through.
I’m expecting the spirit of prayer to come to this school. I’m expecting it, if for no other reason, as a result of teaching on prayer! God will honor His word. If you teach on faith, then faith will be built up. We’re teaching on prayer, and I’m desperately reaching for you! I’m asking God to let a spirit of prayer settle on you.
My wife’s grandfather, Dad Kilgore, and his wife went into a season of prayer for thirty days! One of them was praying at every moment for thirty days. When one would play out, or need to do something; maybe he needed to go downtown to tend to business, she was praying. When she would need to get up to cook and tend to the children, he was praying, day and night for thirty days!
As a result, during that time, a spirit of prayer spread through that community. It was so strong that when they’d walk in a saint’s home, they would not even speak to one another as you would to greet one another. The spirit of prayer would hit, and they’d go into travail.
He’d walk to the pulpit with not a word; not a sermon. He had not opened his mouth, and would stand and look at his audience for a moment or two, and there would be such anointing that sinners would start running, screaming to the altar and he hadn’t opened his mouth. When you walk with God as you ought to, the anointing with you will do more in five minutes than you can do all week long. Forever correct it in your mind, you cannot make it without touching God, and touching Him consistently. Sometimes you’ve got to just pray. There’s no feeling there; it’s hard, it’s dry.
It’s as the time when the children of Israel were without water, and the men, and cattle were dying. It looked like they were going to be defeated by the Moabites. Elisha said,
“Bring a minstrel” (II Kings 3:15),
After they played a little while, he got an inspiration and a word
“Make this valley full of ditches, … ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water” (II Kings 3:16-17).
Can you imagine how dry that must have been? Digging a ditch, no water, no cloud, just digging a ditch? Sometimes that’s your prayer life. Digging a ditch when there’s not a drop of rain in sight, but by faith, you’re going to dig. You’re going to pray. You’re going to talk to God. You’re going to seek Him when there’s nothing there. After a while, Gentlemen, there will be something there. He promised if you’d pray, He’d answer your prayers.
‘Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain: so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field” (Zechariah 10: 1).
He simply said, “Ask,” and He’ll send the rain. There are days in your revivals, or in your pastoring when you’ll pray against walls that seem insurmountable. You cannot get around them or over them or under them, but keep on praying. Just keep digging ditches, and the first thing you know, heaven’s going to send its refreshments to you.
God will test your faith, hunger, and your desire. If everytime you prayed, you immediately plugged into an intercessory spirit, you’d take it for granted, and it would become a common thing. Every once in a while, God pulls all the plugs loose, and leaves you high and dry, now what are you going to do? David said,
“My soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land” (Psalm 143:6).
Let it dry up, but I’m still going to touch God! Let everything get out of order, no feelings, no inspiration, no faith, no hope and the whole church is not praying like they ought. If somebody else is praying with you, you can generally get an inspiration from them, but there will come times when your whole church will die on you as far as the spirit of prayer. It will be left in your lap, Friend! If you don’t have it in your mind that you’ll pray without ceasing, then it’s going to be difficult, because they’ll leave you high and dry.
I’ve seen times in revivals and in pastoring, when I honestly could have walked off the platform. Not that I was discouraged in serving God, nor even discouraged with preaching. I’ve always wanted to preach, but I could have walked out, and closed the door, because it seemed like there simply was no desire. They threw the entire burden on me, and it seemed like it was more than I could take, but I kept plugging.
After a while, you’ll see a saint firing up a little bit to pray. The prayer meeting will ring up more clear tones of prayer. First thing you know, four of five have it, and a shower comes through the whole church! It’s worth it! It’s definitely worth it!
The spirit of prayer will come to you at odd times, simply because God wants to see how obedient you are. Next, the need of it, the demands! You cannot wait on prayer. When it calls, you had better answer it, night or day.
There are times of special dedication of prayer we need to go pray, but God loves consistency more than anything. He would rather you to pray three times a day, fifteen minutes each time, than to wait and pray all night long, once a month. He loves consistency. He’d rather you be consistent in your prayer life. God stir us to pray
When I read The Autobiography of Charles Finney, it makes me feel like a sheep-killing dog, to think that I have the truth, and he didn’t. He would spend three days and nights in a haystack, with groanings that could not be uttered. Making demands of God through faith and persistence. “God, I will not come out of here until you have answered me.”
He recorded revivals where infidels and atheists would scream out for mercy. Such a spirit prevailed that he went to a woman’s house whose husband was an infidel. The door burst open, and while he was sitting in the living room, this woman fell in the middle of the floor. It sounded like a dying animal. She had been in travail, and the only release she would get, was when someone else filled that position; she’d get a little rest. After a while, this hardhearted infidel fell on his knees, raised his hands, and said “Oh God of heaven, save me a sinner!”
There is no way of knowing what will happen to the man who will give himself wholly to prayer. There’s no way of knowing what areas he could enter into if he’d give himself wholly to prayer. Prayer is more or less just a fill-in now. “Somebody said I needed to do it, so here goes.”
God give us the desire to pray. Can you say Amen to that? Would you ask Him for desire to pray? God give us a sweet spirit of prayer, a stronger urge and desire to talk to You. God we’re asking a pinpoint prayer right now, would You give us a stronger desire to pray? I sincerely ask it from the bottom of my heart, in the name of the Lord.
One of our dear old preachers, Brother Arkols contends that a man can’t live for God without praying at least three hours a day. I’ve always put it at one hour, but I’m not sure as the time grows toward the end, if he’s not right and I’m wrong. Of course, anything less than an hour is totally lost. I do not believe you can make it. Daniel is our example that we’ve used thus far. The reason I use him is he was a praying man. That’s what got him in trouble. That’s why the children tell the story about the lions’ den, because a man chose to pray when others said he couldn’t. Three times a day he raised his window; turned his face to Jerusalem, and said “I’m going to pray if it kills me.” He made a choice, that he’d rather have his prayer life than his life. He made that choice, and God honored him in it. God, sweep over us with that sweet spirit of prayer, and let us attain.
I’ve chosen to pray from five to six in the morning. That’s a beautiful time to pray. You may not realize it, but if you wait until up in the day; ten and eleven o’clock; it’s harder to touch God, than it is at five. Spirits and human beings are stirring and the atmosphere is adverse. You can say what you want, but before people get to moving, you can touch God easier. It’s a beautiful time of the day to pray!
The old-time prayer warriors would not let the sun catch them in bed, they were already praying. God have mercy on us and forgive us for our slothfulness and our laziness! Help us, God, to follow the path of our Master, who prayed with strong crying. I mean He offered up some strong tears and crying. It was common for Him to go to the garden and spend the night in prayer.
I do not say it to bring glory unto myself, but Brethren, when I was on the evangelistic field, the revivals with the most results were those I sacrificed the most in prayer. There is no substitute for prayer and fasting. You can’t preach well enough, you cannot sing pretty enough, you cannot have a good enough personality to make up for prayer. Sometimes, a prayer warrior is one of the most lonely people in the world. You cannot find God in the crowds. You generally find Him alone. Don’t feel badly if one of your companions here at school feels like getting alone. I’ve had to do that many times, Brethren, when people misunderstood me. They thought that I was sulky and unkind. They thought I was rude, but if you’re going to touch God like you need to, there will be times you’ll have to get alone with God.
Draw yourself away from the crowd, the frivolity, and the playfulness. You don’t find Him when everybody is gaily talking and laughing. Sometimes, praying together is wonderful, but there are times when you’re going to be forced to get alone with God, to know, just you and Him, what the need is. You’ll be forced to do it, if you are to be effective, and you want to do a work for the Lord. I could weep tonight when I think of the lack of prayer! Prayer in the ministry has died! I’ve traveled all over the country, and I’ll have to say with a bowed head, and blushed face, that I’ve found very few preachers that pray.
They usually get their church to a point of success, then the momentum of the church carries it, or they know how to promote others to do the praying, and they do not pray.
A young man came to me that traveled with some preachers for the first time. It was his first introduction to be with preachers. He said, “I got the shock of my life. I was with preachers for two weeks and I stayed with them day and night, in motels, churches, and pastor’s homes. Not one time did I see them kneel the whole time I was with them. I felt conspicuous to kneel by my bed to pray before I went to sleep, while they were standing around joking, telling the latest, Pentecostal joke.” Gentlemen, it should not be named among us.
“Shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (II Timothy 2:16).
That doesn’t mean you don’t laugh. I enjoy laughing as much as anyone, but if you’re going to walk with God, there will be days that you’re going to have a burden on you. Be as courteous as you can, but understand one another.
It is good to have a particular time, and place to pray. I believe you’ll find that to be an asset in your prayer life, as little as it may seem. When you change your places of prayer or time, you are hindering from entering into your closet. Find the most familiar ground you can, and go back there, and you’ll touch God much quicker. Set a certain time of the day, and let it be early enough that the world is not moving as fast. You can touch Him a lot easier early in the morning than you can up in the day. I believe you have experienced that yourself Spirits rise stronger up in the day. Here’s a dangerous point in a revival. It’s been going a week or two, and it’s been an uphill climb. All of a sudden, you break loose and you pray through several to the Holy Ghost that night. I’ve seen great revivals lost like that. The greatest danger is after a victory, you’ll quit praying. If you’re not careful you’ll try to coast on that blessing. If you’ll hold what you’ve got, and keep climbing from there; keep digging, and keep sacrificing, you could break into far greater results.
Revivals come in sections. I’ve seen as high as four in one. Anyone can have some sort of a blessing the first two weeks, but it’ll die on you. You’ve got to dig deeper. You’ll go through a dry place, usually, and then you’ll pick back up. I’ve seen four of those in one revival.
Each dry place gets harder to dig through, but each time you dig through it, the victories are greater. So, you’ll have to watch it, you’ll think revival is over, but God is seeing how desperate you are, and if you’ll dig through all of these dry places, and dig some ditches, so He can send you some more.
The spirit of prayer, and desire to pray is left up to you. My Bible teaches me that there are none that stirreth himself up; to lay hold on God; none. That’s terrible when nobody wants to stir themselves up, to lay hold on God.
“Oh Lord, hear, forgive, hearken, do and defer not.” We have explained to you, and I hope you understand that the way to get girded when you come to pray. Train yourself to enter into your closet, then talk to God, and you’ll certainly get greater results.
Don’t get to where you feel you can do wrong, and still pray over it. Always have a repentant heart toward God and man. Some folks can repent to God, but they can’t repent to their brother. Buddy, you might as well not repent to God. You can’t get forgiveness from God if you don’t get it from your brother!
Always have a repentant heart in your approach to God, but don’t stay there. Don’t stay on step number two, “Forgive me Lord, I’m sorry, I’m no good.” When you’ve asked Him to forgive you and you’ve cleared it with your brother, forget it, He did!
Hearken now, do and defer not. A perfect example of this was Jacob. Oh, it would do you so much good to study his life.
“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13).
I love Jacob, but I hate Esau. Would you please compare in your mind and study the difference in the men’s characters? Esau never did commit the sin that Jacob did. I know the Bible called Esau a fornicator, but that did not mean an immoral thing. I don’t believe Esau was an immoral man. I believe that was spiritual fornication of selling his birthright. You have no proof that Esau ever committed the horrible sins that Jacob did, and yet God says, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
I find him, on the contrary, a home lover, evidently a kind boy, his daddy liked him, he liked his daddy. His main interest was to kill a deer, come in, and prop his feet on the front porch and eat venison with his dad and talk about the hunt.
You never saw him out in any mischief, but from the day Jacob arrived here, he was heel grabbing! That’s the meaning of his name, Jacob means “heel grabber.” When he was born, he grabbed his brother’s heel, and from the day he arrived he was figuring out some way to cheat or bypass, and yet God says “I love him, and hate Esau.”
Does that mean that God loves sin? Certainly not. There was something in Jacob. Why did God say “I like him, and I don’t like Esau?” If you’ll learn this lesson, you’ll start having results tomorrow.
Jacob heard about the first blessing that was to be given to the firstborn. Esau having been born first was promised the blessing. I’m putting it in my own words, but Jacob may have said “I will not take second place around this house. If there’s a first blessing I’m going to get it.”
So he got his momma over in a comer, and said, “Mom, what can I do to get that first blessing?”
She said, “Your daddy’s blind, and you could come and dress yourself up, go in and tell him you are Esau. He’ll pronounce a blessing on you, and once he’s pronounced a blessing on you, he can’t turn it back.” So, she helped him dress up his arms.
Esau was a hairy man, and he put some hairy skin on his arms, and he put Esau’s coat on so he’d have the smell of the woods on him. I can imagine that old venison smell on that old coat. Jacob walked in, and said to his poor blind daddy sitting there on the bed about ready to die, “I’ve come after the first blessing.”
He said, “Is this Esau?”
Jacob said, “Yes Sir, it’s Esau.”
The old man said, “That sounds like the voice of Jacob, come closer.” He reached out and felt his arms, and said, “Yeah that’s the arms of Esau all right; the smell of the woods is on you. Okay, I know I’m about to die, I’d better get this done.” So he laid hands on Jacob and gave him the first blessing.
Jacob wanted the birthright, so he cooked Esau some pottage. I guarantee, Jacob knew what trail Esau was coming down that day. I’d almost be willing to guarantee he had that soup boiling! What an aroma was coming out of that tent when Esau came staggering up there and had not killed anything. Have you ever been hunting, I mean you got about half lost, and get home later than you felt you would, and how starved you were? Here Esau staggers up there, looks and smells that pottage, and says “How much would you charge?”
Jacob said, “Give me the birthright.”
Buddy, that fellow was on his toes to get the blessing.
“Okay, I’m going to die, anyhow. I might as well. Give me a bowl.”
Jacob had to leave home, so he went away and he found the girl he wanted, her name was Rachel. Boy, I mean he wanted that girl! He believed in her. So he told her, “Take me to your father’s house.” He asked her dad, “What would it take for me to get Rachel?”
“Work for me seven years.”
“All right, where at? Show me the field, I’m ready.” He worked seven years, it came time to get Rachel, and the old man deceived him. Jacob was getting a little bit of a pay-back for what he had been doing himself. You reap what you sow. His father-in-law deceived him and gave him Leah instead. If that had been Esau, I’d guarantee you he would have said, “Fine, just so she can cook venison, that’s all I care.”
But not Jacob, Mister! He said, “I’m going to have Rachel, I don’t care how many more years! ”
Jacob worked seven more years to get the woman he wanted. That’s determination, persistence, and desire.
He told his father-in-law one day, “Look out there, when I came here you hardly had anything. As a result of my being here, look what God has done for you. It’s time for me to reap some of these cattle, and sheep. I’ll make a deal with you. Any calf that’s born striped or spotted, you give it to me.”
That old man looked out at that bunch of white brahmas, and said “What a deal!” Why they won’t produce nothing but white brahmas. “Sure I’ll make a deal like that with you!” But, he didn’t know who he was fooling with!
My Bible teaches me that when those big fat cows came up there, to give birth to a calf, he grabbed him a striped stake and stuck it in front of her, and she gave birth to a striped calf. Those lean ones, he’d holler, “Hooey.” He wouldn’t even fool with them. The first thing you know, every fat cow in the whole herd had a striped calf!
It’s time to go now, so he headed out of there with the best of the land. He got over there and met an angel of the Lord, and the angel said, “Esau’s coming.” So Jacob had a prayer meeting, and that would satisfy most people. They would say, “An angel met me, and talked to me, I was so blessed!” They’d spend the rest of their life on that experience, and that would be their testimony from here on in.
Not Jacob. He wasn’t satisfied with that. He knew he needed to touch God. An angel experience didn’t satisfy. So he gathered all his family together, and said, “You stay here, I’m going across the brook.”
He was there a while praying, and as far as Jacob knew, a man took a hold of him. I believe Jacob thought it was one of Esau’s men. It was dark. He didn’t know who it was, but somebody grabbed him. A mistake is made in quoting that scripture, and it makes a difference. You often hear that Jacob wrestled with an angel; that’s not true.
“And there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Genesis 32:24).
There is a difference. My Bible teaches me that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then there came a time when it dropped Abraham, and Isaac, and said,
“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help” (Psalm 146:5).
You and I are far more Jacobs than we are Abrahams. Abraham was a good, clean man; full of faith. Isaac had few problems in his life but look at Jacob. You and I fit far more into the category of Jacob than we do Abraham or Isaac. So God drops mention of them, and said, “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help.”
God was determined to be Jacob’s God, one way or another. He saw the human ingenuity in Jacob; the do-it-yourself spirit, and He wanted that out of him. So He wrestled with Jacob; not Jacob wrestling with an angel. All night, here is the tussle. Can you hear the loud breathing? Can you hear the bushes being knocked down as these two individuals are wrestling?
The break of day is come, and Jacob hadn’t budged. He had not been conquered. God could not make his claim on him. So he reaches and touches his thigh, and it withers. All of a sudden, the great man Jacob is left with no strength to wrestle, but he does have the courage and the determination to hold on.
The angel said, “I’m going now, I’ve conquered (let me use my terms), I have become your God by mastery. I wanted to be your God by choice, but so far it’s been mastery alone. I’ve just overpowered you that’s all. So I’m going, I’m leaving.”
Jacob grabs hold of him, in that trial of his withered joint. Jacob grabs the angel and says,
“I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26).
I’ve said all of this to say, God loved Jacob and hated Esau. God did not like for Jacob to get ahead of Him. Did you know that God planned to give him that first blessing anyhow? But Jacob got ahead and cheated to get it. That was human ingenuity. That was a do-it-yourself spirit. That spirit he had while working with his father-in-law, was human ingenuity.
God saw the difference between human ingenuity, and down to earth desire to better things. Jacob was born with desire for higher things. When he heard of a first blessing, he said “Man I’m going to have it. I’m not taking second place! ” Here is the thing God guarded in Jacob. “I want to knock the self out of him, but I don’t want bother that desire for better things.” The fact that Jacob had it in him to want better things is why God loved him. The reason He hated Esau, was he sat on his shoulder blades the majority of his life and didn’t care!
If you want God to frown on you, just have that old lackadaisical, nonchalant, unconcerned attitude, and take life as it comes, and let come what may. “I’m just going to make it through, anyhow.” God thoroughly despises that spirit, but He thoroughly enjoys a man that says, “If I can pray fifty through in this revival, I can pray seventy-five through in the next one!” Some people are satisfied to have “one reclaim and three blessed,” and advertise themselves as some big singer! Brother, I mark them off as Esaus! Status quo. “I’m satisfied just how it is. I don’t want any greater ministry. I don’t want a more powerful ministry, here I am. Just kind of make it through easy, and casual. Taking it for granted I’ve got the first blessing anyhow.” Did you know there’s a danger, if you don’t use what you’ve got, he’ll take it away, and give it to another? That’s in God’s Bible. If you can learn the spirit of persistence. Daniel had it, “I set my face.” That’s persistence. Abraham staggered not at the promise of God; that’s persistence, and faith. God says, “I sure do love Jacob, if I can just weed out some of that human ingenuity, and still leave that bursting burden and desire in him for greater things. I’ll have him just like I want him!”
“God is not ashamed to be called their God ” (Hebrews 11: 16).
If you want to be in that category, let your desires go, turn them loose! “God, I refuse to be second place. If I’m going to be an evangelist, I’m going to be an evangelist. If I’m going to be a pastor, I’m not going to be satisfied to go down at Burgerbranch, and take care of a few old widow women, and never attain anything!
I’m not throwing off on small churches, because God knows that we need them, and some communities have just about grown to the fullest of their extent. I’m not reflecting on that at all, but I’m talking about this attitude that “I’ve got one hundred in Sunday school, and that’s as good as my neighbor has, so I’m going to relax, and draw my tithes. I’ve prayed two through to the Holy Ghost, and reclaimed four, and this other evangelist that’s my age, he didn’t do that well in revival.” Paul said,
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (II Corinthians 10:12).
The greatest danger to your ministry is to compare yourself with somebody else. If you want to go back to the Book and compare yourself to the early church, fine! There’s not much danger of you getting nonchalant when you look and see what even the deacons did! It’ll stir you up as a preacher to do at least a little more than the deacons did.
I’m trying to put in you that God thoroughly enjoys somebody saying, “God, I’m not coming out of this haystack until you bless. I’m having a revival! ”
I don’t say this boasting, but I was in a place one time that had never in any one revival prayed over ten or twelve through to the Holy Ghost, in thirty years! I stood up there one night, and made a bold claim, and you’d better know where you’re at in God! You’d better know it’s God talking to you, because you can make a false prophet out of yourself I said: “I’m not leaving until there’s thirty prayed through!” They looked at me as though I was something to be auctioned off!
After church, the pastor said, “Where will you even get them?”
I said, “You just wait around and see! In the first place, it might get through to this bunch by the help of the Lord, how to worship!”
He said, “I hope so, I can’t get an ‘Amen’ out of them.”
The night I left there, exactly thirty people had prayed through to the Holy Ghost!
When you set your face, God will enjoy that! You don’t have to be denied.
All heaven’s at your disposal! Do you realize what you have at your disposal tonight if you wanted to turn it loose? The angels of God are there to help you! I could command angels to come here tonight, and do service for me!
“Are they not ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ” (Hebrews 1: 14) ?
That’s us! I’ve had Him to do it! I’ve commanded angels in revivals to go do certain things for me and they did it! If you could suddenly see what’s in the storerooms, and artillery rooms of heaven! He’s not going to place us on a battlefield, and give us a BB gun! Can you imagine those boys in Vietnam with a BB gun? I know that’s ridiculous, but sometimes I think that’s what we think about God, “I only got a little BB gun, so I’d better be careful!” He says, “Call on me, and I will answer, even before you pray. Sometimes I’ll get so anxious to answer you, I’ll dump it in your lap. I will show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
“The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 12:32).
“We prayed one sister back through that was a dippin’ snuff, and one man started paying his tithes.” It used to sicken me when every report was the same. We had some evangelists that were advertising about how they were wonderful singers, and while they were there, the Sunday school increased, one was reclaimed, and three blessed! “We certainly want them back!” Brainwashing themselves to believe that’s all God wants to do.
I’ve had people come to me, and say “I don’t believe you prayed eighty people through to the Holy Ghost, if you did, they won’t last!” Somewhere, somebody’s got a negative attitude about all of this. If you get a negative attitude and leave this school with a negative attitude, it’s just in you to be negative.
I am determined, somehow, by the help of God to raise your sights to see, that a hundred soul revival is not a big revival! Whoever told anybody, that was a big revival? By what scale are they judging that to be a big revival?
Dear Lord, the Bible promised me at least one-fourth of the land to be good! A man went forth to sow, and he sowed seed, and three-fourths of the ground was no good, but one part was! One fourth!
Okay, figure that one out for a city of a million and a half. If you could sow the seed to all one million and a half, with the promise of God. He promised at least one-fourth of that ground to be good!
Then, of course, He said, later on, cut that in half, because half were wise and half were foolish. So, okay, take one fourth, and divide that in half, how many people could you save in Houston if you start praying and fasting, and sowing the seed to a million and a half people? Yet we think we’ve had a big revival if we have “One reclaimed, and three blessed!” The devil wants you to believe that’s a revival!
I’m not teaching you to disrespect age, but I’ve heard older preachers get up and make fun of big revivals, until honestly, if I did not already know what God would do, and if I had been a young evangelist trying to make a success among men, I wouldn’t have even tried to have a big revival. The ones occurring were the ones that were being downgraded. Unbelief has been taught, until if you say, “A hundred,” they’ll respond, “That’s ridiculous!”
When you know that this world is lost, look at the number. Did you know that we have to reach more in our generation, than any other time? I am told that the number of people in our world tonight, we have to reach with this gospel in our generation is equivalent to all that lived from Adam and Eve to the year 1890! One reclaimed and three blessed will surely get us there, won’t it? Sit around on your shoulder blades and relax and say, “Well, I’m doing as well as anybody else.”
I never did want to compare myself with anybody! God, I want to be the preacher You want me to be! I want to be able to lay hold on you, and pull out of you everything I can get!
I never had a revival where I was satisfied. God spoke to me before I left the field, and said “I’m going to give one hundred souls in a revival,” but he didn’t tell me where. Every revival I went to, I was believing, trusting and hoping it would be the one. I can see now why God would tell me that, and not tell me where, nor when. It made me reach in every revival, and I’d tell the saints, and they’d start believing. As a result, at least we squeezed as much out as we could.
Did you know the last revival I had, God gave me that hundred souls! One hundred and six. He gave me a bonus in case some of them didn’t last. I’m not bragging. That’s nothing! There are three hundred thousand people in the Baton Rouge area. What percent is a hundred of three hundred thousand? Isn’t that a puny little predicament to be in to face God with? Don’t set figures in your mind, however, I don’t believe it’s wrong to number people in your revival because I have scripture for it.
“The number of names together were about an hundred and twenty” (Acts 1:15). “There were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).
If you want examples for revivals to compare yourself, go back to these, and Brethren I’m contending from God’s Word as we close this dispensation, we’re going to bring the church back to what it originally was, in results! I guarantee, there will be added to the church before the end of time three thousand in one day! I’ve always believed, and I’ll always believe it, until the end, that it could easily happen. America is so full of unbelief, and you and I are so full of unbelief, that it may not happen here, but there are countries right now, that are ripe and ready for three thousand to get it in one day.
One of our Brethren went over into a part of Africa, to preach and a man stood there that had ten thousand saints in his church. He said, “Would you come teach baptism in Jesus’ name to my church.” The brother said he didn’t have time, he had to go on. I believe I’d have taken time! He could have easily preached, they came in for a big convention, and the majority of them would come. He was begged to stay there and preach!
Can you imagine, here’s a leader of all these people asking him to preach to ten thousand, and if this man stands up and acknowledges the truth, and says, “Folks he’s preached the message, let’s obey it.” Could you imagine ten thousand, if you could get enough
to baptize them!
We’re entering into a time when God’s going to move quickly and mightily among those who will let him, but you will not be a foolish preacher and attain that. You will not be a showboy and get it! You’re going to find God many, many hours to qualify for such a ministry.
(Student) I was listening to a preacher, saying that people won’t come to church anymore. You can’t pray them through; they’re not interested in hearing the truth.
(Bean) Oh, it’s the most dangerous thing in the world. They use the scripture,
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (II Thessalonians 2:3).
I no more believe that had anything to do with what I’m revealing tonight. I think that’s already happened.
“Let both (wheat and tares) grow together until the harvest” (Matthew 13:30).
I know iniquity is increasing. Sin is abounding everywhere, but the Book says the tares and the wheat both grew. I’m contending,
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
I’m contending that I’m going to have a revival! Did you know, there are preachers that believe it’s over? No more revivals! Brethren, I don’t care who tells you that, don’t accept it. Don’t damage your ministry with such unbelief You have no scripture to back it up! You know what that is? That’s some lazy preacher, not wanting to pay the price and sacrifice!
Certainly, we’re having to fight a little harder. I don’t know what I’d have given if I could have preached in the early days of Pentecost, underbrush arbors when they came by the hundreds and thousands! About twenty years ago, you could pray through and could go on it for a week, but you pray this morning, and by noon if feels like you didn’t even pray, because of darkness. Does that mean I’m going to back up and say it’s over? Let’s just give them credit for knowing what they are talking about, but I’m still going to have revival.
I found two loopholes, and you can use them if you want, I’ve been using them for years. Jesus had it recorded in his Bible, that through persistence a widow woman came to an unjust judge. Every morning that gal came up there, and said,
“Avenge me of mine adversary (Luke 18:3).
It got to the point where that secretary said to the judge, “Here’s Susie again, what are we going to do with her?!”
Finally, the old judge says, “Get that woman away from me! I’m sick of hearing Susie. I don’t fear God, nor regard man, but I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to get this silly woman out of my hair! I’m tired of listening to all of it! Sure I’ll avenge you!”
“Okay fine, that’s all I wanted.”
A neighbor had some friends come in, and he didn’t have any bread in the cupboard, so he went to his neighbor’s house at midnight, and knocked at the door. “Hey neighbor, I need some bread! ”
“Bread? This time of the night! My Lord.” They were sleeping on top of the houses, and the children were asleep on the door. “The children are on the door, and I’d have to get them up, and open the door, and go downstairs and get it. Man, what are you talking about, can’t you wait?”
“No sir, I have friends coming, and they’re hungry, and I don’t have a thing to feed them, couldn’t you get up?”
“In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16).
Dear God in heaven, someone’s going to claim that promise! Why did He put it in there, if He didn’t mean for us to claim it?
I realize it’s an inconvenient hour. It may be midnight, and I’m certain the children are asleep. I’ve found that to be true, but I’m fixing to get some youngins up off the door, and that’s what you’ll find in a lot of these churches, a bunch of saints asleep on the door. Won’t get in or out. I’m fixing to wake them up and get some bread because there are hungry souls here, and I don’t have any bread in the cupboard. Dear God, you know I don’t have anything to feed them!
Somebody’s going to claim that! That’s a type of our approaching God. I’m going to keep going to Him revival times or no revival times. Late hours, or no late hours, revival’s over, or no revival’s over. He led me to souls and I’m going to claim them for revivals because He said I could have them!
After all, if I sit back, and take a nonchalant attitude, and defeatist attitude that it’s over, I am actually damaging precious souls that I could have saved. It’s not me that’s being damaged, it’s the souls to which I’m supposed to reach. Some have this thing all in reverse. They think what we’re doing is for ourselves. I owe it to the sinners of this city to believe that God will still give a revival! I’ve done them the greatest injustice by cutting them off with my unbelief. So, I set my face! If you want it badly enough, you can get it. If you want a revival badly enough, you can have it.
I trust and pray, Brethren, that there are men sitting in this room right now, that in a matter of a few years, it will be heard of you, “The man prayed two hundred through to the Holy Ghost in a revival!” I mean that, and it’s not impossible! If I didn’t think that was possible, I’d say “Boys go home tonight, and I’m going home, this school’s over.”
I’m not here in competition with anybody’s bible school, God knows that, but I know what’s being taught is not this. It’s book learning. It’s some other phase of learning. It’s some form of education.
The reason for this school is to try to embed something in you to help you believe you can walk with God, and have mighty results. The whole purpose is to give a few points of experience, and knowledge that we have attained through the years, that by chance you could exceed what we have done. I want you to exceed.
Prayer has died among us. It’s gone! When those old timers went to pray, for a next revival, there would be times they’d pray two or three weeks before they’d know the will of God where to go. This scheduling business wasn’t heard of, and if you want to get in serious trouble; start scheduling, instead of following God. I got myself in the biggest bind, pinches, and trouble with God, trying to schedule when I first started out. I threw the schedule book away.
Don’t tell me when I start a revival, and God’s a blessing, I’ll have to close it down in two weeks to get to Brother Jones’ place. I’m going to stay until heaven’s through with me there. If Brother Jones can’t wait, that doesn’t mean I’ll be unkind to him. I’ll apologize to him, many times, that I wasn’t able to come on, but in the meantime, I’ve got a God to whom I’ll listen.
Dad and Sister Sharer didn’t have any money, so they started a week of praying, fasting before the Lord. All of a sudden, one day, the Spirit of the Lord moved on them. The lady that traveled with them gave one of the most accurate prophesies that have come in our time. “Go to a certain train station depot, and get off the train. There will be a wagon pulled by a horse and mule, and a man sitting in the driver’s seat. A dog will be following. The wind will be blowing the leaves and the grass a certain direction. You will walk up to that man, and he will say certain words to you, and you’ll answer him certain words. Go with him, that’s the place.”
So they prayed and sought God. No money had come in to go. They had to trust him for the money, and transportation. In the first place, they didn’t even know where this place was, they just knew what it was called. They searched around, but couldn’t find it on the map. Nobody knew anything about it. One of them said it’s a false prophecy. Brother Sharer said, “Not so, I feel the witness of the Spirit, and it’s of God.”
One day in that little town, he saw the old postmaster and said, “Say, have you ever heard of this place?”
He said, “Yes, years ago I remember hearing about that place. It’s an old deserted East Texas community,” and he told him about where it was.
Dad Sharer went home and told them about it, and they said, “Let’s get ready to go!”
He said, “No, the Spirit told me to wait another week!”
They almost had a fit! “What do you mean? We’ve found where we are supposed to go, and now we’ve found out where it is.”
“The Holy Ghost said to wait another week!”
They prayed, fasted, sought God, and waited a week. Sure enough, in came the money they needed, so they got on the train and rode to this particular station. They got off, and here came a wagon pulled by a horse and a mule! A man was sitting in the driver’s seat, and a dog was following! The wind was blowing a certain direction! Dad Sharer walked up to the wagon, and the man said exactly the words he was supposed to say! They answered the identical words they were supposed to say. They got on the wagon and went with him.
Come to find out that where they were going to preach was an old deserted community, and nearly everyone had left. There was an old school building still there. The reason they were to wait a week was every month an old circuit-riding Presbyterian preacher would come by, and preach a week, and that was his week.
After all, they had no place to stay, and no money, and had nothing to eat, so God couldn’t just let them go and hang in the balances there. So He said, “Hold up until that preacher gets out of the way.”
They went, and by the time the next circuit-rider came through, two hundred had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost! Dad Sharer let the old Presbyterian preacher get up, he said, “It’s your turn now. I’ve had three weeks of it.”
He got up there and started fighting speaking in tongues, and getting the Holy Ghost, but his problem was his whole congregation had just got it! Nobody responded! In fact, they clamped upon him, he saw it, got mad, grabbed his suitcase, and headed out.
Don’t tell me you can’t have it in our day! If you’ll pray and fast three weeks until you know it’s the will of God to go to a place! You could leave there with some results! Pray for the Jacob spirit! That God would get you off your hip bones, and get up and do something!
“The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12).
There are some things you have to take over. I have been in revivals, praying, until honestly, it felt like I was chewing on something and beating something. Paul said, “So fight I, not as one that beateth the air” (I Corinthians 9:26).
We’re not beating the air, we know what we’re hitting! You’re weeding, plowing, pressing through it. The kingdom of heaven is preached, and every man presseth into it.
There are times when you need to put up some real effort to get God to move. It’s not that God’s unwilling; it’s the forces that hinder. Daniel’s prayer was heard the first time, but the king of Persia withstood him. There are a lot of hindrances, but if you’re determined, God will see to it that you get your revival.
I set my face; I’m determined, I refuse to be denied. I’m a Jacob, I’m not an Esau. Jesus said,
“This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).
I get it by prayer and fasting.
I’ve been in churches where the wrong word could have divided the whole church and tore it all to pieces! It was that tense and serious. We were at a point when the pastor had lost control, and I had too. You start digging sin out of a church, getting worldliness out of there and you can arrive at some dangerous points. I’ve been where one misstatement, or one wrong move, could have cost us the whole church.
You know what to do then? Back off from the table for two or three days, and go to praying day and night, and watch God start putting the pieces back together. It’s the most beautiful sight in the world! You go into an old dead church where nobody wants to pray, everybody’s carnal, nobody has a burden for souls and you go to work on it. A few weeks later you see them all full of the Holy Ghost! They can’t wait until another prayer meeting! They’re praying people through!
It’s worth it, Brethren! You’ll have to walk through some mighty hard spots to get there, and you’ll be the one to wade on out, they won’t. Don’t sit and wait on them. Sometimes you can’t even fuss at them because you must prepare the way for them.
I set my face; hearken, do and defer not. God, I’ve got to have it. Don’t defer. I’m persistent in this matter. I’m determined. My face is set, and I won’t be denied, I’m going to have a revival. Oh, when you get that kind of a burden, and love that drives you concerning the works of God’s hands!
“Concerning the work of my hands command ye me” (Isaiah 45:11).
God enjoys this if it comes from a burdened heart. Praise the Lord! Are you seeing anything? Am I reaching you? I’m not trying to flower it up. I want you to see it just as it is. I hope as long as you live on earth, you’ll remember at least some of these points that we’ve given you tonight. Someday, they’ll come back to you. You may not think you’ll need them, but you’ll be in a hard battle one of these days, and you’ll see this as sure as the world. That is if you want to win. We’re in a dangerous time, where, if you don’t have revival, it’s not too bad, “The one that was here before didn’t have one either.”
There’s not much required anymore. Some folks seem to think they have to just go along to get revival. I never did go along with them! I don’t mean I was unkind, but I held what I believe to be truth. There’s a way you can work with pastors that don’t even believe what you believe. They want what you’ve got. They’re going to take all of me, or they’re not going to have any of me. There’s a spiritual independence that you can have when you’re walking with God.
Young men have come to me, some of them crying, saying, “If it weren’t for the fact that I needed revival so badly Look, I’m not going to get myself in a fix such as that. I’d rather be working at a public job, than preaching at a place where I knew I couldn’t preach what I needed. I mean that. It would be more honorable.
“Brother Bean I’ve thought about preaching against television, but the pastor warned me not to do it,” or, “I felt like having a victory march, and they said they didn’t want it.” I wouldn’t waste my time with it. There are too many people wanting sound preaching, for me to waste my time. The pastor needs to be behind you.
I went riding with my buddy on a horse, and I was behind the saddle. We were going so slow, and I got tired of that. I didn’t say a word to him, I just touched the pony in the flanks! I was sitting on the ground looking up at him trying to get loose from that saddle, and he was hung in it. One foot on the ground and one in the stirrup, and the horse about halfway dragging him. He said, “I don’t know what in the world happened! ”
The moral of that story is, if you’re not in the saddle, or at least if you do not warn the man in the saddle, don’t speed the horse up! If the pastor puts you in the saddle, and hands you the reins, kick him. Or, if he won’t let you have the saddle, but gives you permission to kick him, and he’ll tell you carefully that he has the reins in his hand, go ahead kick it, but don’t kick it until he knows, or you’ll both wind up on the ground.
I mean that. I learned it the hard way, but it stayed with me and in revival after revival, I learned the value of it. Some men say, “It’s yours, take it.” I don’t want to be pastor, I just want liberty to preach and obey the Lord, and they knew it.
In that place, you can pretty well kick it when it’s time to kick. If it goes to bucking, you’ve got the saddle, and the saddle horn to hold onto, and the bridle reins in your hand. Man, I didn’t have anything. My feet weren’t in the stirrup. I didn’t have the reins, and he didn’t know it was going to happen. Never again!
Misunderstandings can occur so many times. You’re trying to drive the church further than he realizes, or maybe he doesn’t see where you’re headed. Even with friends, it can get tense and difficult.
If you’re ever in revival and it gets to that hard spot, make yourself scarce around the house. In every revival, there comes a tense moment, and if you’re not careful you’ll have trouble. I could see how many times the pastor and myself could have had a problem. We’re friends, but everyone’s under pressure. The breakthrough hasn’t come, and what I’m doing, he thinks, “My Lord!”
I heard Brother O’Brien say about me and Joe Duke, “Honestly, when I got them, I wondered if I didn’t miss God!” You’ll get that feeling sometimes.
There’s a tenseness, and the pastor’s wife mothers the church. She can hardly stand for you to whip the saints. She wants to be nice, but she’s almost throwing plates on the table! While you’re feeling, “Bless God, if you don’t want it, let me out of here!”
No, you be patient and make yourself scarce around the house. When they pass by, smile and speak, but don’t say much. Don’t act like you’re mad. If they want conversation give it to them, but otherwise, go to the church, ride around, go somewhere, until the revival breaks and then they’re the greatest friends you’ve ever had!
I’ve known good evangelists that had serious troubles with pastors during that tense moment. They didn’t know how to handle themselves. You’re in the same house, many times. It gets tiresome to have strange people in your home. It’s an awkward condition; revival’s not breaking, and what you’re a doing looks like it’s making it worse instead of better.
Sometimes you have to tear it down before you build it. While you’re tearing it down, they can’t see the building, all they see is you tearing it down. It would be very well for you to learn to get real scarce about then. Just come in time to eat, if you want to eat.
Just sit and go to your room, and close the door. Smile, don’t act like you’re mad, or they’ll think you’re pouting.
“Well, what’s the matter with him? He won’t even come around the house. He’s pouting.”
No, just be as friendly as you can be, but don’t be friendly too long. They’re almost ready to slap the kids down.
“My church is about tore up, and the man I thought was going to help me, has my deacon mad at him.” If you’re going to have revival, you’re just as sure to have this, as I’m six foot tall. You can’t have revivals without stirring something up. If you learn to handle yourself while things are tense, you’ll do well.
I preached in one place, and that pastor and his wife didn’t want me to have one ounce of credit for anything that was done! One of the main men came up, and said, “This is the greatest revival we’ve ever had! ”
The pastor’s wife said, “We don’t need Verbal Bean to have a revival! We can have one without him.”
Your first impulse is to say, “Okay, fine, I’ll see you later, now have at it!” You’d better not! You’d better just swallow and say, “That’s the truth, I realize that” and go right on like nothing ever happened.
Give them a revival, because you’re protecting them. I could have closed that revival and that man would know why I closed it. It would probably embitter him against his pastor. You’ve done more damage than if you’d just took it yourself It’ll all work out. You’ll be gone, forget it, then if you’re ever a pastor, don’t ever have such a stingy spirit!
If you want results, don’t you want a man they like? Who wants to pick a man they hate to have in revival? The reason I’d get one is because I figured he’d help me, and the only way he can help me is to get them to love and respect him. You’ll never get that with a jealous spirit. Saints will detect that, and it will make it worse for you. They’ll lose respect for you. That’s not on prayer, but I’ll tell you what, it’ll help, along with praying!
This reminds me of Mason Starks. He was over there in Whiskey Chitter, Louisiana, one of the roughest places in the country.
One night he was having church and a man got up and walked out of the building. The church heard a shot outside, and here he came, screaming, and bleeding like a stuck hog. He ran and fell at the altar.
A man followed him there and emptied the revolver right there. Five more shots. He looked up at Brother Starks and said, “I had it to do Brother Starks.”
Brother Starks said, “If you had it to do, you had it to do!”
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him” (Matthew 5:25).
Some of the saints were screaming, and bullets were a ricocheting around there, one hit a baby, and of course, they thought he was killed, but it was a little scratch and was bleeding. Somebody hollered, “My Lord, pray Brother Starks, pray!” Brother Starks said, “The Bible says watch and pray, and I did my praying before I got here, now I’m going to watch awhile!” So along with your praying, you need to watch some things! Praise the Lord!
Don’t you love this great experience of prayer? Do you feel a challenge to go to heights in God?
It’s a shame we have things so easy, that we don’t have to pray. That’s what is difficult. We don’t need to pray. When we were starting out, we even had to pray for the meals on our table. We prayed for the cars. Now we have a mechanic. We have lawyers. We can borrow money at the bank. What do we need to pray about? As a result, we don’t, and yet the Bible says,
“Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).
We discussed one of the channels of approach, and we dwelt on number two, which was praying. Paul mentioned supplication, prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving. We dwelt mainly the last lesson on prayer.
It seems strange that it would be included in these other channels of approach, and yet be called prayer, but that’s what it is.
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God” (Romans 10:1).
Prayer is the expression of the heart’s desire. God has chosen that we express to Him our desire. Does our attitude have importance while expressing desire? I’m going to try my best to stress that it does. Please let this forever stay in your mind. God thoroughly enjoys your having the confidence in Him, and His provisions, that you can come boldly to the throne of grace.
I believe God enjoys thoroughly when I can sit down, kneel or stand, and tell Him as if man to Man, what I want, and know in my own heart He hears me.
It’s not a strong physical appeal that I have made. It’s not necessary to beat an altar bench, but believe me, there will be times you’ll do it. When you reach the groanings that cannot be uttered, there’s no way to foretell what kind of contortions you’ll get into. But, it’s not so much that, as the attitude of confidence to approach him.
The meekest man on earth talked to God almost in an insulting tone, but I believe that Moses knew where he was at, and on what ground he stood.
If you can learn that, prayer will be a privilege and a blessing to you. To walk in there, and know that God wanted me here, to begin with. He wants me to pray. That’s why He fixed it so I can’t get
anything without asking Him. He wants the human heart to commune with Him. He could take care of our problems before we ever had them, but He wants and enjoys communion.
A scripture that expresses how God feels about our praying is in the Song of Solomon. The book of Song of Solomon portrays Jesus Christ as a bridegroom and we as the bride.
“Oh my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely”
(Song of Solomon 2:14).
God thoroughly enjoys hearing our voice. He thoroughly enjoys us coming to Him with even the small problems. He is not nervous, busy or overtaxed. He enjoys us coming as children to Him with our problems, small and great. Please, remember the contact with God.
“Samuel get up! Daniel get up! John the Revelator, I’ll strengthen you to get you up to where I can talk to you. Job, gird yourself like a man, and stand up here and talk to me.”
God enjoys an attitude of boldness, confidence. However, you cannot come to God, saying, “God, you’d better get over here and do this!” We’re not that bold, but He enjoys us approaching Him in a bold, confident manner.
I encourage you to read The Autobiography of Charles Finney. It changed my prayer life. From the day I read it, I began to pray differently. Though he did not have all the truth, evidently he had some experience with God. Another book to read is Praying Hyde.
Brother Shoemake, do you have any others that you would like to recommend for these boys?
(Shomake) I recommend Atomic Power through Prayer and Fasting. Read it with an open mind. I think it’s one of the more stimulating books on praying and fasting. I would caution you to be careful because some that went overboard fasting, and absolutely wrecked themselves.
(Bean) Charles Finney prayed whole nights. He said at one particular time he had been in a haystack three days and nights. In his persistence, faith, and boldness he told God, “You don’t believe I’m coming out of here until You answer me, do You?” It almost sounds irreverent, but it’s not. The burden of your heart and the fervent desire of your heart can pressure you to that place, and God does not get offended. He certainly welcomes boldness in your approach I believe the examples are found throughout the Scripture.
First, you may not be having this problem, but we might discuss some points that you could help others having the problem of self-condemnation, dealing with mistakes, and weaknesses in life that directly affects your prayer life.
I repeat we must have balance. There are some people altogether unrepented, yet feel justified, and still pray, and get no answer. On the other hand, some have repented enough to save the world, and won’t forgive themselves, and still will not get an answer. The devil is a tricky little boy, and anyway he can stop your prayer, and the progress of prayer from going through, he’ll do it. It doesn’t make any difference what it is if he can get you not to repent, and that hinders your prayer, then that’s what he’s going to do. If he can keep you repenting to hinders your prayer, he’ll do it, too.
There are some scriptures in reference to prayers and hindrances. You receive not, first of all, because you ask not, and this has to do with the pinpointing of your prayers. I believe that some folks could spend hours a week praying, and still not ask for anything. You receive not because you ask not. Taking it for granted that God knew what you needed, that He was going to fix it and answer it, anyhow.
I believe God is so anxious to give us things that He will answer us according to the degree of our faith, or the degree of our concern. There is a certain level of unconcern that I believe shorts it out completely. If you go there too unconcerned, your words mean nothing to God.
But, I do feel like you don’t have a total loss in your prayer life, even though you never reach the point of travail or intercession. There are degrees of prayer and concern that God honors. I believe He will answer according to the measure of your faith.
I imagine that if you’d study it through, faith and concern are very closely connected. I doubt that a person could believe for something that they did not have concern. In fact, I preached a message a while back on the fact that concern and faith work together. I doubt you could have faith if you’re not wanting for which you’re asking.
(Student) I heard a minister make the statement, “Praying for a job shows lack of faith. The promise is already in the Word of God. All he has to do is stand on the Word of God. He doesn’t have to ask God to supply his needs, God has already said He’d do it.”
(Bean) There is a worthy thought in what He’s saying. Many promises are given that we’ve got to come to Him for asking. Here is a point that I’d like for you to consider. It’s a valuable point, but it’s almost dangerous because I don’t know too many that know all that much about it. It sounds contradictory, but listen to it carefully, and then you’ll understand.
Pinpoint your prayers. I believe I have scripture to prove that’s what God wants. His example to prayer is, “Give us this day our daily bread.” He didn’t say give us something, sometime, somewhere! He said give us some bread, today! Say to this mountain, this particular mountain, “Be thou removed,” and to this particular tree, “Be thou plucked up.” But, instead of praying, He’s saying to us ” Say it. it
My Bible teaches me that the word of faith which we preach is in our hearts. It does not say that we should ascend to heaven to bring Him down, or descend to bring Him up, but the word of faith is in our hearts. We speak it with our lips and the work is done.
There are valuable helps available if we could understand the difference between speaking it into existence, and praying for it.
I talked to a man who gave me some beautiful points but went too far with it. He stated that a person that has faith, doesn’t need to pray. If I called his name, every one of you would know him. He’s a great man of faith, and he gets things done. He declares the only reason you need to pray is to build your faith. I cannot believe that, but he did possess some beautiful thoughts.
He said, “If you have faith, speak it into existence.”
I’ve preached this for years, myself, but not the degree that he presented it to me. Paul turned to that demon possessed woman, and did not call a prayer and fast conference, he didn’t even pray. He just turned around and said,
“I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” (Acts 16:18).
There was no evidence of him praying. He spoke into existence and operated the gift of faith. Jesus demonstrated the same gift by saying to the fig tree to wither. He didn’t pray over it. There was a time when Jesus prayed, He said,
“Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 11:41-42).
That. was at the tomb of Lazarus. Here’s the danger of that doctrine. If the person is lazy about their praying, they would try to speak things into existence without a background of dedication. I believe you must have a reserve of consecration, prayer, and personal devotion before you can claim any of the promises.
Another preacher was preaching on the cross, and our responsibility to daily carry a cross. He said, “We want to quickly jump up and say, ‘Whatsoever we ask in his name, he’ll give it to us without any of this daily carrying the cross.” We want to shortcut it, and try to imagine that we have a bunch of faith, without carrying a cross or consecrating ourselves to any of the responsibilities of personal devotion.”
Here’s the secret. If you’ll build a reserve of prayer and fasting, when the time comes that you need help from God, you can actually speak it into existence. I believe you can say as Peter did to Dorcas,
“Tabitha, arise” (Acts 9:40).
The fact that we have to fast and pray for three days to get anything is a direct confession that somewhere we haven’t deposited enough in our bank account, and we’re having to make a quick deposit to make that check good. Many of our prayer lives are like my bank account. Write the check, then go hurry and make the deposit early the next morning.
We should have a reserve of consecration built up, so we can say to this mountain, “Be thou removed.” I don’t believe Jesus Christ was offering us an impossible task, do you? He made it so simple that if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this tree, “Be thou plucked up,” and tell it where to go. I long to see that day!
I trust out of this class, God can get hearts He can ream out, to get carnality and frivolity out, and replace with a bursting fervency. Don’t ever think you can exercise any of these things for your own personal gain! This has happened throughout the country and has brought a reproach on healings and miracles, for personal display, and money for personal gain. They pitch their tents and supposedly heal the sick. God does not want you to make merchandise of His gifts, and of the people. If you have a burden, compassion and a prayer life behind you, I believe you have the right to operate in the realm of the miraculous. In fact, if we’re not, we’re frankly living beneath our privileges.
“The Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20).
He’s not a respecter of persons. If you and I would build up a reserve of prayer and fasting, we could have an assurance. We’re not praying and fasting enough. Every time we come to pray we are condemned. When do we ever pay our debt?
Assurance follows dedication. Have you ever been to the place where you’ve set aside some days of fasting, and some extra praying? Doesn’t it give you an assurance to approach God? “I’ve been doing my part God, now do Yours!” So many times, we are condemning ourselves because of this lack. Why don’t we catch up! Why don’t we just say, “Look here flesh, we’re going to God.”
I heard one man talking to himself one day. He said, “All right body, I take you to the table three times a day and let you eat, now you’re going to go with me, and feed me three times a day!” The inner man talking to the outer man.
God knows we need it! If it was there it could be built up. Then the first thing you know, you could be calling not to say “Come down here Lord,” but if the word of faith is in our hearts, we speak, and the work is done. Confession is made unto salvation, and the manner confession is made unto healing or any other miracle we need. Here is where claiming the promises becomes a deeper assurance to us. Rather than saying “My God you’re able,” and “Please give me a job,” and so forth.
A preacher I know was one of around twelve children in this particular family. His dad and mom prayed through to the Holy Ghost. This preacher was telling this story about how his mother and all the kids turned against the father.
For three or four years, his dad went out behind the field, under a certain oak tree. He’d take his finger and point out a scripture, and held it up to God,
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).
His father took that to mean “His house.” He literally wore holes through the pages of his Bible. For three years he held up his Bible saying, “God I want to remind You again today of what you told me; through your Word, what you’ll do for me. I believed and obeyed that form of doctrine that was delivered me. You said, “You’d save my house!” For three years he went to God every day with that promise. Instead of asking, he just reminded God of what he said he’d do. After the third year, a revival broke out in that family, and every one of them prayed through to the Holy Ghost! I forget now how many preachers came out of that one family! He saw the promise, and he knew how to claim it. God enjoys you reminding Him. It’s no insult to God for you to say “Look, here’s what you said, and here’s what I’m believing You will do for me.” That is one of the mosteffectivee ways to get things from God.
I long for the day when you and I can attain a faith that can be exercised just by speaking into existence. I believe it can be done. In fact, I’ve done it! I figured I’d try what the Book said. During revivals, in morning prayer meetings I said, “Church, faith is building up, so we’re not going to ask for a good service tonight, we’re going to speak one into existence!” I’d have every one of them say three or four times “Special service, tonight!” I believe we spoke them into existence!
Brother Dross went to South America, and he hadn’t had any results. So, he went into his room and told his wife, he said, “I’m not coming out of here until I have a revival. Nobody bother me! ”
It wasn’t but two or three hours until a young man came and said I need to see Rev. Dross, and he put up such a desperate plea. Sister Dross went to the door and said, “Brother Dross, the boy says he has to see you.”
He was so aggravated! “To think I can’t have a revival, and now I get alone with God to pray, and they won’t leave me alone!” But he said, “Well, okay.” He went out to the boy, and the boy mentioned Brother Dross had preached in their community. He preached, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s able to do anything.
The young man said, “My mother would like to see you, Rev. Dross. Come over my brother’s sick.”
He went over and the woman walked to the door, and said, “Rev. Dross, do you believe what you preached the other night?”
That’s what ought to happen to every one of us! He said, “Why certainly I believe it!”
She said, “Come out to the back, I want to show you my boy.” In the backyard here is this raging maniac, just prancing back and forth, foaming at the mouth. Finally he fastened his eyes on Brother Dross, and headed toward him. Brother Dross was trying to use the Spanish language, and he hadn’t learned it too well. He was trying to use it to rebuke him, and finally God spoke to him, and said, “You’re not talking to the man, you’re talking to the devil. He understands English, talk to him!”
Finally, he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out,” and the man fell out on the ground. He laid there for a
little while, then he shook his head and rubbed his eyes, and said, “Where am IT’
Brother Dross said, “You had a devil cast out of you, come on in the house.” The man came in and sat down on a stool beside Brother Dross, and heard the first gospel message he ever heard in his life.
As a result, about forty people received the Holy Ghost over that one miracle! We need that power, Brethren. So, don’t let a little shadow scare you! Get power enough to handle them that you see face to face!