BY VERBAL BEAN
Since we do not understand how to pray, we have not seen the results. As a result, we have no desire to pray. Instead of a pleasure to go and talk to Him, and know He will answer, it becomes a drudgery, a
ritual. Man, there’s nothing more exciting than getting answers from God, and know He’s the one that did it, and there was no other way it could have been done, and you were the one that prayed that prayer of
faith! I want you to know, that will stir you up and excite you! If you’ve never had that excitement, you ought to try it.
You can teach the saints that there are two types of prayer. First, get it in your own craw, if you’ll pardon that expression, and learn it yourself. That’s the best way to teach anything. The old saying among the educators is, “If you don’t know how to do it, teach it.” But with prayer it won’t work. You need to know how to do this to transfer it. You can get up and harp about prayer, but if you have been casual about it yourself, there’s a hollow ring.
Your entire ministry reflects your prayer life. Your walk with God, your testimony, even your countenance witnesses either for or against you if you’ve prayed like you ought. People can tell. Don’t think you’ll learn the tactics of a minister, and promotions.
I know of men that told me they do not know how to pray, yet have great churches. I’m convinced that they meant what they said. They don’t know how to pray. One pastor told me, “I never did learn how to pray,” and he had a great church. But he had a praying wife, and a praying church. He learned to inspire them to pray.
If you want to take that dangerous route you can, but I refuse. If I learn to promote saints to do something that I’m not doing myself, I am exposing myself to fall in sin. If I say, “Come on folks, let’s worship, pray and fast,” and I never do it myself, I’m asking them to do something I will not do myself I’m exposing myself to some dangerous pitfalls. I don’t care who it is, it doesn’t make any difference. The man that can get by without prayer is walking along a dangerous road every moment of his life.
The danger is, a preacher produces some preachers, and he didn’t know how to pray. One will crop up, that isn’t going to have the ability that his pastor had, and doesn’t know how to pray either. You can imagine what the results would be. For your own soul’s salvation you need to know how to pray. A preacher of all people needs to pray.
After you get a little taste of success, the temptation will be to stop your praying, and start working upon the momentum of past experiences. There’s nothing more dangerous, because somewhere down the road your checking account is going to run out. You’ve got to continually deposit into your account.
We have two types of prayer: current and memorial. Understanding this is required if you are to be successful in praying. When you go to pay your bills, you have some current bills and some that are not current.
If you are buying a home or an automobile, you’ll have several months to pay it off. When you take the payment, and send it off in the mail, it doesn’t discourage you that they do not send a note back saying
“paid in full,” because you know more payments are due.
If you pay a light bill, and they don’t mark it “Paid in full,” that’s another subject. It’s a current bill, and it’s supposed to be paid in full, monthly. Some bills you know you will have to put some more down on them. You’ve signed up for that. If you could learn this in your prayer life, you could start seeing far greater results.
When praying a memorial-type prayer, if you don’t realize it’s a memorial-type prayer, you may give up just before the last payment. If you become discouraged, you’ll cease to pray, because this may have been over a period of several years that you’ve been asking for one thing, and it hasn’t happen. You need to drive this home to the church to which you are preaching.
You have a dear sister that has been praying years for an unsaved husband, and finally she gives up. You tell her, “Let’s believe for this revival,” but she gave up three revivals ago. Help her understand that she was praying a memorial-type prayer, because it will give her new hope for an answer. You’ll help her to not expect her “Paid in full” stamp overnight. It will give her new courage to go make another payment.
The example of a memorial prayer was prayed by Cornelius, in the tenth chapter of Acts. He was a Gentile praying an impossible prayer, and the Bible said that he simply prayed, fasted, gave alms and kept
sending up to God his supplication. I don’t know how long, but evidently it was over a period of time.
Finally, God said to the angels, “First of all, this little group of angels over here, I want you to knit a sheet, and find some fourfooted beasts to put on it, then take it to that apostolic preacher that’s asleep on that housetop. Then, I want this messenger angel to drop down at the house of Cornelius, because the man has made payments, and there are so many of them that I have to do something about them.”
The last day came, and Cornelius got up in the morning, and prayed. I wonder how many times Cornelius reached the point that he wondered if God would ever hear him. You must understand that he was a Gentile praying out of season. He arose to make his payment, and all of a sudden an angel steps down and said, “(Cornelius) thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4).
God has to do something, Boys. He paid and paid. The books are loaded with payments. God had to turn the page, and place “continued” on another one. Finally God says “I’ve got to do something. The man
can’t keep a sending it up here, and I not do anything!”
So, He reached out and started the operation to complete an answer to that prayer. No doubt, Cornelius prayed over a period that could have been years! Maybe his whole life! Starting as a child praying this
prayer. All I know, is it didn’t happen overnight to Cornelius, and what came up before God was as a memorial.
The memorial-type prayer needs to be taught first to yourself, then to others. You will build faith and a soul will have been saved, because you helped them to understand that answers may not arrive overnight.
Some prayers demand immediate results, like, when you are praying for someone that’s sick. You’ll find it written in God’s Bible the two types of prayer mentioned again.
“Is any is sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up ” (James 5:14-15). That’s current results. Did you ever notice the previous scripture, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray” (James 5:13).
It’s possible that their affliction won’t move overnight. We hope it does, but sometimes those afflictions have to be prayed over awhile, simply because it may be a test of our faith. It may be that we need to be washed out. There may be a lesson to be learned.
So, even in praying for the sick, there are two types of prayer. If you can convince that dear soul, whoever he or she may be, that has affliction in their body, because they didn’t get an answer tonight doesn’t mean they won’t be healed.
Faith has been destroyed, because Christians do not understand the two types of prayer even for the sick. “I didn’t see results tonight,” so faith dies. Help them to understand that “any among you afflicted? let him pray,” you may need to talk to God again tomorrow about it. Keep building up hope and faith that one of these days they’ll get an answer.
I’m sure that you have heard of the lay-away plan. I’ve used it myself, and I’ve actually had suits on lay-away so long till I forgot the color they were! It’s an exciting thing when you take that last three dollar payment, and they hand you a suit! Man, that’s a cheap suit! Pay three dollars and get a suit! But there are records that prove I paid a lot of those three dollars, and the majority of the time this is how prayer is answered.
Sometimes, at the least expected moment, your payments catch up. God says, “I’m ready to answer.” It seems so easy, so simple.
“Thou tellest of my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8).
God has a big bottle, every tear you shed is going in it. He has a book, and He’s writing down your prayers, and He tells of our wanderings. He knows all about what’s going on. He’s heard us the many times we sought Him over one particular need. After awhile that bottle becomes full and He has to do something about it.
You can help the saints understand, that unsaved boy, husband, or neighbor that you’ve prayed for so very long. If you keep paying three dollar payments, one more tear may do it. One more day of fasting may
get him out of lay-away.
I’ve seen it happen in revivals. I’ve enjoyed reaping the results of years of prayers. I remember in one particular revival, a man had faithfully come to church for thirty years! Fearful services, dreadful
services, Calvary-type services, love, mercy; you name it, he had heard it, and laughed at all of it. That wife of his kept paying her three dollars, believing someday he was going to mark it “paid in full.”
I’ll never forget the night that hard man came to the altar. Everybody had tried, and I wasn’t something special, because there had been greater preachers than I that preached for him and he’d sit back there
and smile. If there’s anything that’s hard for a preacher, it’s to preach the judgements of God, and to see somebody grinning at him. As though, “Buddy, you’re not affecting me, so you might as well get on
with your story! ” He’d sit back through so many, that he’d learned to shake them all off.
But this night that woman’s prayers were stacked up before God until He said, “I’ve got to do it!” You know what I did to get him to the altar? It was the simplest thing. I simply walked back there and I said,
“Come with me!” He got up and followed me like a little baby, and prayed through in a few minutes!
Thirty years of revival after revival! Was it any great thing that I did? No, the lady understood to keep stacking the payments, and I happened to be there when she received him out of lay-away, and could
enjoy it. Praise the Lord!
That’s fun! And if you want that kind of fun, teach the saints about current and memorial prayer. They’ll believe God. They’ll stack up some more sacrifices during your revival, and somewhere you’ll have
Expect some things now, but if you don’t get them, understand it as memorial-type praying. Don’t give up on it.
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).
This scripture alone tells me that I may not get my answer right now. I have need of patience to keep stacking up some payments. As we come into the channels of approach to prayer, we understand there are two types of prayer. Some prayers we must expect to come now, others we do not expect now, but we want them. If it can become current we’d like to have it, but if not, we’re going to keep praying. We’re going to
keep paying our debts. We’re going to keep putting the money into the layaway, until one of these days we’ll get them out.
One of these days, you may go to pastoring a church, and everything’s dried up, and things are not moving. Maybe you’ll have a little problem in the church, and you’ll pray, and pray, and it won’t look like anything’s moving. I’ll guarantee you that you’ll remember what Verbal Bean told you about memorial prayers! It will help you to go back the next morning, when everything is so dry, and nothing has happened. In fact, maybe the service you had that night was worse than ever, and you’ll go back, and wonder “Where in the world is God? Am I in the will of God? What in the world is the matter?” Remember, put another payment down, and one of these nights it’ll break. It’s a memorial-type prayer.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM “PRAYER” BY VERBAL BEAN, S.G. CARRIER, EDITOR, 1993, PAGES 7-13. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.