INVITATION TO PRAYER!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name I will do it.” (John 14: 13, 14)
By God’s grace, I will prove definitively and conclusively in this brief treatise, that God not only answers the prayers of His trusting children, but that He delights in doing so!
The Bible says: “Now unto Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph.3: 20,21)
FOUR THINGS NOTED HERE!
First, God has the ability to meet every need presented to Him in sincere prayer. Our Sovereign Lord is omnipotent, meaning all powerful. Nothing is difficult for Him. He spoke the worlds into being and upholds all things by the Word of His power.
He (Christ) Who being the brightness of His Glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His Power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High.” (Heb.1: 3)
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth.” (Matt.28: 18)
Jesus demonstrated his awesome power when He raised Lazarus from the dead. Before healing the paralytic, our Lord emphasized that He could just as easily forgive sins as heal the sick. He didn’t say, “Which is harder?
Secondly, our greatest needs are miniscuel compared to the greatness of His ability to answer. Thirdly, He performs miracles in direct proportion to the Holy Spirit’s power that resides within us. Fourthly, we will glorify Him forever by Jesus Christ!
Jesus said: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in Him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15: 4,5)
The KEY to answered prayer is to “ABIDE IN CHRIST”. We know that God is more willing to give than we are to ask. When you consider how much He has already given us, then it is not difficult to believe that He desires to continue giving and meeting our needs! Consider these Scriptures:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3: 16); “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us…” (1 John 3: 16); “I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep.” (John 10: 11)
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13); “But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom.5:8)
JESUS GAVE US THIS ANALOGY!
Jesus invited: “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” (Matt.7: 7,8)
Our Lord stated, no Father would deny his son’s request for bread by giving him a stone (something useless) or instead of a fish, give him a serpent (something dangerous) to eat.
He concluded: “If ye then, being evil (carnal), know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven GIVE GOOD THINGS to them that ask Him?” (Matt.7: 11)
Only an ignorant or belligerent person would deny the willingness of God to meet the needs of those who cry unto Him in desperation! In the following parable, Jesus clearly made a case for determined and consistent prayer:
“And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not faint (cave in); Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man.
“And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto Him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
“Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says,
“And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily!” (Luke 18:1 – 8)
JESUS CHRIST: THE
EXPRESS IMAGE OF GOD!
It makes you wonder if any of today’s evolutionists, politicians or modernist theologians even have a clue of Who Jesus Christ really is! St. Paul made it clear that they just “DON’T GET IT.”
Here are the anointed words of that great theologian who brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile world:
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (mature): yet not the wisdom of this world nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, THEY would NOT have CRUCIFIED the Lord of Glory.” (1 Cor.2: 5-8)
The ONE who made all these staggering statements about our Heavenly Father was Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, Redeemer of Israel and Saviour of the World!
THE BIBLE says: “God…hath in these last days spoken unto us by His SON, Whom He hath appointed HEIR of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His PERSON, and upholding all things by the WORD of His POWER, when He had BY HIMSELF purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High.” (Heb.1: 1-4)
That Scripture make these things are very clear:
1. God had spoken to the world previously through His holy prophets, but He sent His Own Son to speak to us.
2. Jesus Christ is heir of ‘all things’.
3. Jesus Christ is the Divine Architect and Creator of the worlds.
4. Jesus Christ came to earth to reveal the Father to us.
5. The solar system, planets, stars and universes are kept in their orbits and proper functions by Christ’s power.
6. Jesus Christ doesn’t need any help to save us. He alone shed His precious blood to purge us from our sins.
7. Jesus Christ is NOW seated on the right hand of the Majesty on High!
INVITES US TO PRAYER!
We can trust His Word completely because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life…” (John 14: 6), Jesus Christ cannot change, fail or lie, because He is Holy, Righteous, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and His Word is Immutable!
He ALONE could say: “…I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that hath sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone, for I do always those things that please Him.” (John 8: 28, 29)
Seven times in John's Gospel chapters 14, 15 & 16 our precious Lord Jesus Christ invites us to bring our requests to God in prayer. He would not invite us to pray if He were not prepared to answer!
There are hundreds of Scriptures that promise answers to our sincere, faith-filled prayers, as we call upon the name of the Lord in Jesus’ holy name.
I have chosen three chapters from St. John’s Gospel where Jesus specifically invites us to pray, because He declares that we will receive an answer to our prayers!
SEVEN INVITATIONS TO PRAYER!
Here are the seven invitations our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ personally initiated, together with the conditions necessary for their implementation!
NUMBER 1. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14: 13).
The language that Jesus chose to use in issuing this promise is easy to understand. There is nothing duplicitous about it. He had nothing to hide and He had no problem expressing Himself.
Our blessed Saviour is TRUTH personified and His words were straight forward and to the point! He uses the word ‘whatsoever’ which means exactly what it says. There are no limitations. It covers whatever our needs are!
He specifies, however, that we must ask in HIS NAME. Herein, lies the key
to receiving from Him answers to our prayers. We must understand the value of His NAME; the authority and power that is inherent in His Name!
NUMBER 2. “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14: 14). Here, Jesus repeats almost word for word what He had said earlier. He stresses that nothing is too hard for Him.
We can bring Him the most difficult problems we have and He is able and willing to help us solve them. It staggers the imagination that the Creator, Life Giver and Great physician promised: “If ye shall ask ANYTHING in My name, I WILL DO IT.”
St. Paul quoted Isaiah: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.
GOD HATH REVEALED THEM TO US!
“But God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Cor.2: 9,10)
The nation of ISRAEL was terribly backslidden and the Prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord for mercy. In Chapter 63, he rehearses how the Lord had delivered them through Moses and asks for God’s deliverance again.
“Oh that Thou would rend the heavens, that Thou would come down…to make Thy name known…that the nations may tremble at Thy presence.”
Then, Isaiah stated: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.” (Is.64: 4)
The great Baptist preacher, DR. VANCE HAVNER, writes: “Paul quoted that in 1 Corinthians 2: 9, and he had in mind not only heaven but the riches of God’s grace for us here and now.
“It is impossible to imagine, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, what God can do TO us and THROUGH us and FOR us when He can find a man who really cares enough to be His instrument.
“That is indicated in verse 5: “Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in Thy ways.”
God will meet any man more than halfway if that man is in dead earnest and means business with heaven!
Here is the question: Who among us will be that man whom God can use to bring His people back into fellowship with Him? To bring the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ into repentance and faith, in order to see His power in revival fire with forgiveness, divine healing and deliverance in His Church again?
Again, our Lord teaches us the value and power that is inherent in His Name! Here is the reason the incomparable name of our Saviour Jesus Christ is so influential, so powerful and life giving!
WHY JESUS’ NAME IS SO POWERFUL!St. Paul declared: “Christ Jesus…Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God (He is God the Son): But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
“That at the NAME OF JESUS every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil.2: 5-11)
In the Great Commission, Jesus gave His Church AUTHORITY and POWER in HIS NAME to speak in new tongues, preach the gospel, cast out evil spirits, heal the sick and be protected from the devil and his cohorts!
He said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature…And these SIGNS shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16: 15-18)
Unbelieving theologians, using some later discovered older manuscripts with a few missing verses from St. Mark’s Gospel chapter 16 have sowed seeds of doubt as to the veracity of that text. What they don't disclose is that the same manuscripts have missing verses and entire chapters from other parts of the Bible, yet that information has been withheld from the population at large!
GOD'S WORD IS INSPIRED & INNERANT!
In his book, ‘Bodily Healing & The atonement’, DR. T.J. McCROSSAN wrote: “A few scholars have denied the authenticity of the verses in Mark 16, but IRANAEUS quotes these verses as a part of Mark’s Gospel, and remember he was a pupil of John the Apostle. This is positive proof that these words are genuine.”
NUMBER 3: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 7). Here is one of the most important lessons we must learn and practice in order to receeive miracles from God.
We must abide in Christ, meaning to give ourselves totally and unreservesly to Jesus Christ until we receive the assurance that we are His, and secondly to take His Word into our hearts to resonate and become a part of us.
NUMBER 4: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bare forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in MY Name, He may give it you.” (John 15: 16)
We are important to God since He has chosen us for Himself. When we understand the bond we have with Him and able to call Him our Father, it is easy. One of the first things that Jesus taught His disciples was that God was their Father, something none of the prophets stated.
Jesus teaches us that when we bare bear fruit, we please the Father. Bearing fruit for the Master also shows our devotion to Him and faith in Him. We must show God we mean business, by living the life He demands!
“But without FAITH it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”(Heb. 11: 6)
NUMBER 5: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” (John 16: 23)
He referred to the day when He would pour the Holy Spirit upon them. He would no longer be with them, but they would not be alone because He would send them the Comforter, the divine Helper.
He had walked with them for more than three years. He would soon leave them to sit on His Father's Right hand, and they were instrcted to pray directly to Him for whatever they needed.
The only prerequisite was, they must ask in His NAME. He was teaching them to use His name and His Heavvenly Father would honour that name, as though He was still with them.
NUMBER 6: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16: 24). Jesus continued teaching on the importance of His name. He and His name were synonymous. His Father would honour His Name just as if He were there in person. And He wanted them to be filled with joy by having their prayers answered!
NUMBER 7: “At that day ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.” (John 16: 26-27)
There is only one prerequiste for the Father to love us and that is that we love His Son and believe the record that He gave of His Son. If you love Jesus Christ and believe that our Heavenly Father sent His Son to this sin-cursed earth to save us from our sins, He is obligated to love us and come to make His abode with us.
JESUS made it clear that God knows us personally and He doesn't need to run interference for us, but we can have our prayers answered simply by using His name and our faith in His Word. He will keep His promises to us, when we PRAY to our Heavenly Father in faith in Jesus' name! Amen.
THE SEAL OF GOD'S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT!
Dr. John Lake, who was used greatly in the Ministry of Healing stated: Divine Healing is the seal of God's acknowledgment, the proof to the world that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John the Baptist was in prison.
He was troubled with doubt, as to whether Jesus was the Christ. He sent two of his disciples to Jesus to put the question, “Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another?”
His answer was to appeal to the signs of His Ministry. These were, and still are God's answer to doubt and unbelielf: “Go and show John those things which ye do hear and see; The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me.”
These are still GOD'S SEAL and ENDORSEMENT of the preaching of the TRUE GOSPEL. The preaching that lacks the SIGNS which Jesus promised lacks Divine attestation by which God confirms the preaching of His own True Gospel.
The results should be, “And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them to confirm the Word with SIGNS following.” (Mark 16:20)
Dear Heavenly Father:
I pray for every man, woman and child reading this article. Please, anoint these words with the Holy Spirit. May your blessing rest upon them all. Please Lord, touch them all with Thy nail-scarred hands and heal them from every evil power, all demonic activity and every sickness and disease. In Jesus' all powerful name, Amen.
P.S. My dear Friend, Please write us with your prayer request!