The passage we just read is preceded by the familiar story of Christ feeding the 5000. A. Amen?" In the highest sense a man can only receive what he feels he needs.(E. And here we find the infinite merit of His sacrifice (Romans 3:25), and His never-failing intercession to rely on (Hebrews 7:25). Christ is such a friend (ver. Buxton. (1) Look at prayer for material blessings. There are thousands of letters posted every year which end in the dead letter office, either because they are wrongly directed, or not directed at all, and there are thousands of dead prayers which never reach God for the same reason. To them there often seemed to be two great powers in the universe — the divine and the evil, and in their darkness they cried to Him whom they felt was true, though they understood not how. Please see Blue Letter Bible's Privacy Policy for cookie usage details. (2) Wherein this praying to God for Christ's sake consists. J. W. THE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER. Because —1. Without the cheque thou wouldest receive nothing, for the father of the heir knows nothing of thy name; but because he sees written there the name of his son he presents thee with the whole amount which his son has commissioned thee to receive. (c)Sinners are warranted to come to the throne of grace in His name (Hebrews 4:15, 16; 1 John 2:1). GOD IS IN CHRIST, AND GOD IS AN OPEN FOUNTAIN OF GOOD TO EVERY BEING IN FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM. The man who could really pray in his place of business would not be able to tell a lie over the counter. What is meant by asking in Christ's name? John 15:7). With us too often it is just the other way: "My will bedone." What is a bad thing for a child cannot be a good thing for a man. (a)That praying acceptably is a work quite beyond any power in us (2 Corinthians 3:5). Either a life with superficial, transitory, incomplete gladnesses, and an aching centre of vacuity and pain, or one which in its outward aspects has much about it that is sad and trying, but down in the heart of it is calm and joyful. To them there often seemed to be two great powers in the universe — the divine and the evil, and in their darkness they cried to Him whom they felt was true, though they understood not how. (2) Wherein this praying to God for Christ's sake consists. From this doctrine we learn —(1) What a holy God we have to do with in prayer (Leviticus 10:3). This implies —(1) The soul's being come to Christ in the first place (chap. (2) Put other things in the room of the Mediator, or join other things with Him. Under the pressure of that fact, look at the cries of prayer — the utterances of the child of yesterday, whose life is but a span, who knows not what he really is, nor what he really wants! (a)Their own worth in respect of their qualifications and good things done by them (Luke 18:11, 12). Who asks for light when the summer sun at the meridian is shining upon him? But our Lord says that in that day, when He shall have given them the Comforter, they shall ask Him no more such questions, for that He should guide them into all truth.I. There is the definition of Christian prayer. (2) On every occasion when we have to make an important choice, let us pray about it, even as Jesus prayed before He chose His disciples, and the apostles before the election of Matthias. (1) Men in old time had cried earnestly to God under the pressure of the struggles and doubts of life, but they could not pray in the Christian sense. (2) Again, we know that God's love cannot be deepened. He has been answered already most distinctly. THE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER. (4) Even believers cannot pray in the name of Christ, and so not acceptably, without faith in exercise (Galatians 2:20). She went away, and I forgot all about it. In like manner has the Lord Jesus given to His people a cheque of prayer upon the love of His Father, which they must present to Him — a blank page (charta blanca) as Spener says. It does not make Him more loving, but it fits us to obtain what He is willing to bestow. (a)That praying acceptably is a work quite beyond any power in us (2 Corinthians 3:5). Do not wait to go to church, or till bed. There was a little boy once whose mother lay ill in the hospital. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.”(John 16:24). If so, can they thus pray in His name who renounced Himself, and whose career, judged by man's standard, was a mighty failure? He has been answered already most distinctly. The messenger laughed at the strange letter, and declared that no one could make it out, "Mother will understand," said the child. (3) Complying with the duty out of respect to His honour and glory. A man with a prayer in his mouth would have no room for an oath, or a bad story. As the soul in a separate state cloth not quicken the body, so the soul not united to Christ cannot be fitted for duty by strength derived from Him. (a)Their own worth in respect of their qualifications and good things done by them (Luke 18:11, 12). Pentateuch In the degree of your love and trust, you see that "all things work together for good."IV. And if we do this we shall not need to envy those that could go to Him with their questions, for He will come to us with His all-satisfying answers.4. In religion the same thing often occurs. And at other times it is so weak and dead that we doubt whether it has not altogether vanished to return no more. But, for the sake of illustration, let us put this question under some of its particulars. Instead of asking Christ he has to ask his own heart and conscience before Christ. They have got into a habit of using certain words, without thinking of their meaning, and so have become mere machines, like those musical boxes which reel off their fixed number of tunes, and then are silent. Of course I had known nothing about her. Of course I had known nothing about her. CHRIST'S LOVE FOR HIS DISCIPLES IS SUCH THAT HE CANNOT BE WITH THEM WITHOUT FILLING THEM WITH GOOD. He has no fears, he is a soldier that can both endure hardness and stand in the fight. (2) It prepares us to receive God's noblest gifts of love. And if we do this we shall not need to envy those that could go to Him with their questions, for He will come to us with His all-satisfying answers.4. For the gracious answer of prayer, and consider how we are to eye Christ as the object of this reliance — viz., as our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:15, 16). He was admitted a member, and his wife, who up to that time had not been a member, was also received among us. The promises of the covenant were all made to Jesus Christ, as the party who fulfilled the condition of the covenant (Galatians 3:16).3. THE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER. Surely not! HOW TO PRAY. (2) Again, we know that God's love cannot be deepened. H. Spurgeon.Some years ago, a poor woman accompanied by two of her neighbours, came to my vestry in deep distress. (c)Sinners are warranted to come to the throne of grace in His name (Hebrews 4:15, 16; 1 John 2:1). II. Thus there are times when to pray is the hardest of all tasks; when God appears to be far off. And here we find the infinite merit of His sacrifice (Romans 3:25), and His never-failing intercession to rely on (Hebrews 7:25). Are his affections set on the things which are above? Spurgeon. When we rose, I said to the poor woman, "Do not fret about the matter. (1) In this way of praying ye may obtain anything ye really need. But often, like foolish children, we ask him for a stone, or a scorpion. )All questions answeredR. The direction of the Lord, and the truth and comfort of the Holy Spirit, drive away all darkness and uncertainty.3. But often, like foolish children, we ask him for a stone, or a scorpion. (2) Again, we know that God's love cannot be deepened. SATISFIED DESIRES.1. (b)Christ is most acceptable there (Matthew 3.; Ephesians 5:2). Is it possible, then, that amidst all changes and the sorrows we may have a deep and stable joy? (1) It brings us into harmony with God's eternal plan. In the degree of your love and trust, you see that "all things work together for good."IV. Christ came into the world to reveal what God was and to explain His plan. PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT.1. (c)Sinners are welcome to partake of this stock of grace and strength in Christ (2 Timothy 2:1). Think how many improper, foolish, and even downright wicked prayers are addressed to the All-wise God! They were not to pray with the idea of inducing God to become kind, but because He was kind. Men ask for happiness: do they mean that they are afraid of sorrow — they cannot bear the Cross? We must go to God at Christ's command, and by order from Him (Matthew 18:20). (a)The soul's going out of itself for strength to the duty; that is, renouncing all confidence in itself for the right management of it (2 Corinthians 3:5). If we believe that such prayer will be answered we are constantly met by the awful thought that God has ordered eternally all the circumstances of life for the best and wisest ends. tell me and you shall have it." We must in prayer act in the strength of Christ. To them the thought was despair rather than advance; but in Christ's eyes it was progress. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. What is meant by asking in Christ's name? Such faithless prayers cannot have the name of Jesus attached to them, they cannot be accepted. 3. (2) On every occasion when we have to make an important choice, let us pray about it, even as Jesus prayed before He chose His disciples, and the apostles before the election of Matthias. Was anybody ever so blessed that he could not be more so? Our Lord never worked a miracle unless the person asking for help showed faith. We have a completed revelation, and therefore we need ask Him nothing. Sinners can have no access to God without a Mediator, and there is no other Mediator but He (Isaiah 59:2; 1 Timothy 2:5).2. You will have, most likely, a night of tribulation to go through, but born of that night will be the brightest of days.(S. If a warrant, or other legal document is to take effect, it must be endorsed by the name of some one in authority, otherwise it is so much waste paper. For the gracious answer of prayer, and consider how we are to eye Christ as the object of this reliance — viz., as our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:15, 16). (2) Let us prize the love of Christ in making an entrance for us into the holy place, through the veil of His flesh (Hebrews 10:20). He has been taught music, yet he plays without feeling, and incorrectly. Boston, D. D.)Prayer in Christ's nameE. Chilled thus by the world of sense, the fire of devotion frequently appears to have almost died out, having left only cold ashes on the altar of the heart.2. Our praying in the name of Christ is a part of the reward of Christ's voluntary humiliation for God's glory and the salvation of sinners (Philippians 2:9, 10).4. Instead of asking Christ he has to ask his own heart and conscience before Christ. Our oracle is the living God, and whenever we are in doubt, or difficulty, or danger, let us ask God about it. 23).Lessons:1. We must go to God at Christ's command, and by order from Him (Matthew 18:20). Is the conscience directed by Christ's Word? The Romans of old never undertook a war, or any serious matter, without consulting an oracle. At this point, multitudes are flocking to Christ, hoping to either have a miracle performed for them, or else, at least, to see a miracle performed by Him. That is to pray in Christ's name.2. The messenger laughed at the strange letter, and declared that no one could make it out, "Mother will understand," said the child. (a)In general, in our relying on the Lord Jesus only for the success of our prayers in heaven. For what have we instead? (2) On every occasion when we have to make an important choice, let us pray about it, even as Jesus prayed before He chose His disciples, and the apostles before the election of Matthias. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Nothing can savour with God that comes from a sinner, but what is perfumed with the merit and intercession of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15; Ephesians 1:6).6. In pleading His merit and intercession (Psalm 84:9); in trusting that we shall obtain a gracious answer for His sake (Mark 11:24).III. The grand question of all — "What shall I do to be saved?" Then there are special occasions when we need to pray for a special object —(1) In all cases of danger and difficulty. Sometimes when a Child comes home from school, after a long and expensive education, the parent finds that he has learnt nothing aright. The sceptic asks, "Does God ever stop the working of His laws to save the man who prays?" H. A man with a prayer in his mouth would have no room for an oath, or a bad story. (c)The manner of their performing the duty itself (Isaiah 58:3). The death of Christ has told us things that Christ before His death could not tell. Is not God always giving? So our prayers must be endorsed, so to speak, with the name of Jesus. (3) Whenever we take a journey, let us pray about it, as St. Paul did at Miletus, before he set out on his perilous voyage to Rome. At the bottom His holy name stands written; the upper part we ourselves must fill up with our prayers; the Father will honour the draft to the whole amount for the sake of His dear Son; because whatever we are minded to ask in the name of Jesus, the Father will give us.(R. If so, can they thus pray in His name who renounced Himself, and whose career, judged by man's standard, was a mighty failure? In religion the same thing often occurs. Think how many improper, foolish, and even downright wicked prayers are addressed to the All-wise God! (b)The mercy of God considered without a view to the satisfaction of His justice by the Mediator. Such faithless prayers cannot have the name of Jesus attached to them, they cannot be accepted. There would not be so many unhappy marriages, discontented workers, and wrong men in wrong places, if we would pray before making a solemn choice. So it is utterly impossible that you can lack, when with Christ, any good thing.III. For the gracious answer of prayer, and consider how we are to eye Christ as the object of this reliance — viz., as our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:15, 16). (3) There can be no acceptable praying to God but by believers united to Christ having on the garment of His righteousness (John 9:31). 24, 26); the Saviour's intercession (ver. We should not hear so much about bad servants, and dishonest traders, if men would only pray over their work. What is a bad thing for a child cannot be a good thing for a man. He has given us a pattern prayer — "Not as I will but as Thou wilt." We should not hear so much about bad servants, and dishonest traders, if men would only pray over their work. We knelt down, and I prayed that the Lord would touch the heart of the deserter, and convert his soul, and bring him back home. The man who could really pray in his place of business would not be able to tell a lie over the counter. Then there are prayers, so full of self that there is no room for Jesus in them. But apart from these changes of the inner life, there are two great difficulties surrounding every act of prayer. L. Hull, B. A.I. She told me her story, and a sad one it was. It was a general illustration that fitted a particular case. Christian prayer is the submissive effort to make my wish what God wills.3. It is the cry of infancy. We shall perceive how both the difficulties we have noticed vanish before the true meaning of Christ's promise. .’ “Until now ye have asked nothing in my name.” They had not yet realised that it was through Christ and on the lines of His work all God’s activity towards man and all man’s prayer to God were to proceed.— ’ , “ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full,” or “fulfilled,” or “completed”. Above all, prayer must have love in it. You will in heaven be men. (d)Their own necessity (Hosea 7:14).3. Sometimes when a Child comes home from school, after a long and expensive education, the parent finds that he has learnt nothing aright. He has been answered already. We must lighten our prayers by casting out self if they are to rise to the throne of God. J. W. Buxton.We must be taught how to pray just as we must be taught how to walk. (4) Doing it with heart and good-will (Isaiah 64:5). His resurrection has east light upon all the darkest places of man's destiny which before He could not by any words so illuminate. Our oracle is the living God, and whenever we are in doubt, or difficulty, or danger, let us ask God about it. Was anybody ever so blessed that he could not be more so? To them there often seemed to be two great powers in the universe — the divine and the evil, and in their darkness they cried to Him whom they felt was true, though they understood not how. Is tremendous power in us ( 2 Timothy 2:1 ) wonder that he does by His enemies, he willing! 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