What the Bible Teaches



Chapter 430

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How to Pray

430.070.000       Torrey: p445, T:VII
Topic 70:   How to Pray

430.070.010       Torrey: p445, T:VII, P:1
POINT 10:   We should pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

      John 14:13-14 [13] And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. [14] You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

      John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

   QUESTION: What does it mean to pray in the name of Christ?


      Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

      Compare: Acts 10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

      Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'

      Mark 9:38-39 [38] "Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." [39] "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, [40] for whoever is not against us is for us."

      Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

      1 Corinthians 6:11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

      Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

      James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

      John 16:23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

   To pray in the name of Christ is to pray relying upon what Christ is and has done, to pray on the ground of Jesus Christ's acceptability with the Father. When I go to a bank with my own name on the check I ask money in my own name, and if I have that much money there I get what I ask. WHen I go to a bank with another man's name on the check, I ask in his name, and it matters nothing whether I have money in the bank or not. If he has, I get it. Jesus Christ has given to believers in Him the right to put His name upon their checks. We have nothing in the bank of Heaven, no claim on it. He has unlimited credit there. If we ask God in our own name, on the ground of any claim we have upon Him, we will get nothing. But if we come renouncing any claim of our own and simply trusting in the claims of Christ, we will get "whatsoever we ask."

   The distinctive characteristic of Christian prayer is that it is prayer in the name of Christ. It is that which radically distinguishes Christian prayer from pagan prayer.

430.070.020       Torrey: p446, T:VII, P:2
POINT 20:   We should call upon the Lord "in truth."

      Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

   QUESTION: What is it to call "in truth?"

   ANSWER: The primary meaning of the word translated "truth" is "firmness", then "faithfulness", then "truth as opposed to falsehood", "good faith", "sincerity as opposed to hypocrisy." This latter is evidently the meaning. Compare the following:

      Joshua 24:14 Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

      1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

      1 Kings 2:4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: "If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel."

      Isaiah 10:20 In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

   To call upon the Lord in truth is to ask Him for that which we really desire and to really depend upon Him to give it. There is much prayer that is not in truth. People constantly ask God for things which they do not really desire. They also constantly ask Him for things which they do not expect Him to give, and which they are not depending upon Him to provide. Before asking God for anything we should ask ourselves, Do I really desire this? and then, Do really expect God to give it? and AM I depending upon Him for it? ... There is very much that is called prayer that is really profanity, taking the sacred and awful name of God in vain.

   (Reviser's Note: The common interpretation of the word "awful" is "horrible", but that is not the sense in which Torrey means it here. The root of the word "awful" is "full of awe." This is similar to, but not quite the same as "awe-inspiring.")

430.070.030       Torrey: p447, T:VII, P:3
POINT 30:   We should pray to the Lord with all our heart and all our soul.

      Jeremiah 29:12-13 [12] Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. [13] You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

      Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

   Many prayers are sincere so far as they go, but the whole heart is not in them. We must not expect such prayers to have much power with God. When our whole heart is in the asking, His whole heart will be in the giving.

430.070.040       Torrey: p447, T:VII, P:4
POINT 40:   We should pray earnestly -- intensely.

      Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

   The word translated "earnestly" in this passage is a very strong word. It means, literally, "stretched-out-ly." It is a pictorial word. It pictures the mind stretched out in intensity of desire. The same word is used of our Lord's praying in Luke where, the intensity of His agony:

      Luke 22:44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

   It is the prayer into which the whole soul goes in an intensity of desire that lays hold upon God. These indifferent, heartless, bloodless prayers that we offer, and soon forget what we ask for, count little with Him. Paul called upon the believers in Rome to "strive together" with him in their prayers to God.

      Romans 15:30 I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

   The word for "struggle" means literally, "to enter a contest", "to contend", "to endeavor with strenuous zeal." It is the word from which our word "agonize" is desired. There seems to be little praying of this sort in our day. Some fancy it is a mark of faith to take things easy in prayer as well as elsewhere. They call it "the rest of faith." This is evidently a form of faith the Lord Jesus had not learned.

      Hebrews 5:7 During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

   If this kind of praying is rare, it has power today when it is found, even as it had in the olden time.

      Compare Genesis 32:26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

430.070.050       Torrey: p448, T:VII, P:5
POINT 50:   We should pray with steadfast continuance -- perseverance.

      Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

      Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

      Luke 18:1-8 [1] Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. [2] He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. [3] And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.' [4] "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don't fear God or care about men, [5] yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " [6] And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. [7] And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? [8] I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

   The true and earnest prayer will not give up because his petition is not heard the first time. It is a form of spiritual laziness that tries to palm itself off as submission to the will of God, that concludes because we do not get a thing the first time we ask for it that is not the will of God to give it. God often tests our faith and our earnestness.

      Compare Matthew 20:31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

      Matthew 15:23-28 [23] Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." [24] He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." [25] The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. [26] He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." [27] "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." [28] Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

   Of course, there are times when we can count the thing we have asked for as already ours, so we need not continue praying.

      John 11:4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."

      1 John 5:14-15 [14] This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. [15] And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we asked of him.

      Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

   Some say it indicates a lack of faith to ask anything a second time, and not take it by simple faith upon the first asking. But Jesus prayed three times for the same thing.

      Matthew 26:44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

430.070.060       Torrey: p449, T:VII, P:6
POINT 60:   We should not use vain repetitions when we pray.

      Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

   The word here translated "use vain repetitions" means, literally, "to stammer or stutter", and thus to repeat the same thing over and over. The thought is, as the rest of the verse clearly shows, that we are not to keep repeating the same request over and over in the same prayer, as if God saw some merit in each time it was offered, and thus multiplied merit in the frequency with which it was repeated. On the other hand, there is repetition that comes from intense earnestness.

      Contrast 1 Kings 18:26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

      1 Kings 18:37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.


   Repetition is a common practice in the Roman Catholic religion, e.g., "for penance, say ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys."

430.070.065       Torrey: no
POINT 65:   We should believe that we have God's attention.

   This analog to vain repetition was demonstrated by Rev. Delaney at a Holy Ghost Conference in Dallas in March 1997.

   How many times have you heard prayers such as:

   "Father, we come to you today, Father, thanking you, Father, for the blessings we have received from you, Father, and we praise you, Father, ..."

   Consider this secular analogy:

   "Fred, how are you doing, Fred? Fred, how's your wife, Fred? Fred, how's your son, Fred? Fred, how is your job going, Fred? Fred ...."

430.070.067       Torrey: no
POINT 67:   We should give God a chance to get a word in once in awhile.

   There are different kinds of prayer, e.g., prayers of supplication (asking) and prayers of worship.

   Some supplications require a physical answer, e.g., "give us this day our daily bread."

   Other supplications require an informational response, e.g., "God, I have been offered a new job, and I have some reservations. Should I take the job or not?" In the previous Point, Fred doesn't have a chance to get in a word edgewise. We can't hear God if we won't stop talking!

   Usually, God has one of four responses to a supplication:

   (a)   Provide us with a strong feeling in favor of one course of action or another, e.g., the reservations grow to the point where you just know not to take the job.    (b)   Change conditions so that one course of action becomes impossible, e.g., the company withdraws the job offer.    (c)   Change conditions to provide strong encouragement, e.g., your present employer gives you a layoff notice.    (d)   Ignore the prayer, for reasons discussed in other Points.

430.070.070       Torrey: p449, T:VII, P:7
POINT 70:   We should pray with fasting.

      Daniel 9:3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

      Acts 13:2-3 [2] While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." [3] So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

   This, of course, does not mean that we should fast every time we pray. But there are times of emergency or of special crisis in work, or in our individual lives, when men of downright earnestness will with draw themselves from even the gratification of natural appetites, that would be perfectly proper under other circumstances, that they may give themselves up wholly to prayer. There is particular power in such prayer. Every great crisis in life and work should be met in that way. On the appropriateness of fasting in the present dispensation see also:

      Matthew 9:15 Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast."

430.070.080       Torrey: p450, T:VII, P:8
POINT 80:   In times when we have wandered from God we should pray with humility of self and renunciation of sin.

      2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

430.070.090       Torrey: p450, T:VII, P:9
POINT 90:   We should pray with thanksgiving.

      Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

      Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

   In approaching God to ask for new blessings we should not neglect to return thanks for blessings already granted. Doubtless one reason why so many of our prayers lack power is because we have neglected to return thanks for blessings already received. God is deeply grieved by this thoughtlessness and ingratitude of which so many of us are guilty.

      Luke 17:17-18 [17] Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? [18] Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"

430.070.100       Torrey: p450, T:VII, P:10
POINT 100:   We should pray in union with others.

      Matthew 18:19-20 [19] Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. [20] For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

   God everywhere emphasizes and blesses the unity of believers and there is especial power in united prayer. Note that the two must not merely agree together to ask, they must agree concerning the thing that they ask -- i.e., there must be real unity of desire concerning this specific thing. It is very easy to get someone to unite with me in asking something I desire, but still there may be no unity of desire. The other asks it simply because I wish it. But when the Holy Spirit leads two believing hearts to beat as one concerning some coveted blessing, then there is power, -- when, for example, two persons in a community have a common desire for the outpouring of the Spirit in that community. Whenever you can find another whose heart the Holy Spirit is drawing out in the same direction He does yours, you can approach God with great confidence of obtaining this thing.

430.070.110       Torrey: p451, T:VII, P:11
POINT 110:   We should pray believing.

      Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

   Believing in this place doe not mean a general trust in God, but the unwavering expectation of getting the thing we ask.

      James 1:5-6 [5] If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. [6] But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

   Indeed, faith goes beyond expecting and reckons the thing asked as already ours. WHat we thus reckon ours becomes ours in actual experimental possession.

      Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

   God delights to honor the faith that counts on Him.

   QUESTION: How can we have such faith?


   By the Word of God:

      Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

      Compare: Romans 4:20-21 [20] Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, [21] being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

   By the Holy Spirit's teaching:

      Romans 8:26-27 [26] In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. [27] And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

430.070.120       Torrey: p451, T:VII, P:12
POINT 120:   We should pray in the Holy Spirit.

      Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

      Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

   All approach to God should be in the Holy Spirit's power. The true believer has no confidence in the flesh.

      Philippians 3:3-4 [3] For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh -- [4] though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

   The flesh may prompt me to pray for many things. That is no reason for asking them. I should no more follow the promptings of the flesh in praying than in sinning. I should submit every desire to the Holy Spirit, and seek His guidance in prayer. Very much prayer of many excellent people is in the flesh, and is, of course, not answered. Many a minister's longing for a revival, many a wife's longing for the conversion of her husband, is thoroughly carnal. We should pray in the Holy Spirit, under His prompting and guidance. As the disciples said to Jesus during His earthly life, "teach us to pray," so we should look constantly to the "other Paraclete" to teach us to pray and Hie will.

      John 14:16 [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

      John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

   This thought disposes of all the objections against prayer from the standpoint of its "subjecting the infinite wisdom of God to the foolish whims of finite creatures." Those who thus talk are ignorant of the Bible doctrine of prayer. It disposes also of most of the other objections that the spiritually superficial and ignorant urge against prevailing prayer.

430.070.130       Torrey: no
POINT 130:   Spirit versus Soul.

      Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.


      John 4:24 God is [a] spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

   Man's spirit is non-corporeal (spiritual); it is distinct from his soul, which consists of his intellect (mind), will and emotions. Man's soul is intangible, i.e., it cannot be physically touched, but it is part of "the natural man." Because the natural man is at enmity with God, man's soul cannot worship God unless man's spirit forces his soul to worship God.

   One useful analogy is a computer: (a) your physical body is the physical computer; (b) your spirit is the computer program, (c) the data is your soul -- it is what makes that particular combination different from any other computer with the same computer program.

      Romans 8:7 [7] the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. [8] Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

      1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

430.070.140       Torrey: no
POINT 140:   We should pray with specificity.

   When we pray, we should be specific. Consider this from the Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:11:

Do what
Give whom
Do it when
Give what
this day
our daily bread
there's more and
Do what
Forgive whom
Forgive what
our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us
there's more and

   Of course, one must realize that God isn't an "Endless Gift Service." We must not ask for things in greed, lust, etc.

430.080.000       Torrey: p452, T:VIII
Topic 80:   Hindrances to Prayer; or, Why Many Prayers are not Answered

430.080.010       Torrey: p452, T:VIII, P:1
POINT 10:   Prayer is often unanswered because it is offered from a selfish purpose.

      James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

   The chief purpose in prayer should be that God may be glorified in the answer. If we ask merely that we may receive for us in our pleasures, or for our own gratification in one way or another, we "ask amiss," and need not expect to receive what we ask. This explains why many prayers remain unanswered.

430.080.020       Torrey: p452, T:VIII, P:2
POINT 20:   Prayer is unanswered because sin separates between the one who prays and the God to whom he prays.

      Isaiah 59:1-2 [1] Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. [2] But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

   If we ask God for anything and do not get it, we should not conclude necessarily that it is not God's will to give the thing we have asked. We should rather ask if there is any sin in our outward or inward lives that is separating us from God and closing His ear to our cry. So long as we hold on to sin or have nay controversy with God, we cannot expect Him to heed our prayers.

430.080.030       Torrey: p453, T:VIII, P:3
POINT 30:   Prayer is unanswered when the one who prays takes idols into his heart.

      Ezekiel 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?

   Many professedly Christian men and women have idols in their hearts as truly as the ancient Israelites. They do not recognize these things as idols, but they are. Anything upon which we have set our heart, and would not give up for Christ's sake, is an idol and hinders prayer. God often calls our attention to the fact that we have an idol by not answering our prayer, and thus leading us to ask why our prayer is not answered. Thus we discover the idol, put it away, and God hears our prayer.

430.080.040       Torrey: p453, T:VIII, P:4
POINT 40:   Prayer is unanswered because we do not forgive those against whom we have something.

      Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

      Mark 11:26 King James Version But if ye do not forgive, neither will your father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

   (Note: Mark 11:26 does not appear in many source manuscripts. Although it appears in the King James Version, it is not included in the New International Version, New English Bible, New American Bible, or the Revised Standard Version.)

   This is one of the commonest hindrances to prayer. Far more common than we think. Prayer is answered on the basis that our sins are forgiven, but God cannot deal with us on the basis of forgiveness while we are harboring ill will against those who have wronged us. Anyone who is harboring a grudge against another has fast closed the ear of God against his own cry.

430.080.050       Torrey: p453, T:VIII, P:5
POINT 50:   Prayer is unanswered because of our unbelief -- i.e., because we question whether we shall receive that which God has promised.

      James 1:5-8 [5] If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. [6] But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [7] That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; [8] he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

   God demands that we shall believe His Word absolutely. To question it is to make Him a liar. Many do this when they plead his promises, and it is no wonder that their prayers are not answered.

430.080.060       Torrey: p454, T:VIII, P:6
POINT 60:   The prayers of husbands are hindered because they do not render to their wives that considerate regard which is their due.

      1 Peter 3:5-7 [5] For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, [6] like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. [7] Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

   It is doubtless also true that the prayers of wives are hindered because of their duty toward their husbands and vice versa. If husbands and wives should seek diligently for the cause of their unanswered prayers, they would often find it in their relations to one another and actions toward one another as husband and wife.

430.090.000       Torrey: p454, T:IX
Topic 90:   The Results of Prayer

430.090.010       Torrey: p454, T:IX, P:1
POINT 10:   Prayer avails much in its working.

      James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

   How much does prayer avail us in its working?

      James 1:17-18 [17] Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. [18] He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

      1 Kings 18:37-38 [37] Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." [38] Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

   The great secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average believer and average church is found in James 4:2:

      James 4:2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

430.090.020       Torrey: p454, T:IX, P:2
POINT 20:   Prayer secures the very thing asked.

      John 14:13-14 [13] And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. [14] You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

430.090.030       Torrey: p455, T:IX, P:3
POINT 30:   Whatsoever we ask from God we receive when we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight.

      1 John 3:21-22 [21] Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God [22] and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

430.090.040       Torrey: p455, T:IX, P:4
POINT 40:   If we ask anything according to His will He hears us, and when our prayer is heard the thing asked is ours.

      1 John 5:14-15 [14] This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. [15] And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we asked of him.

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