"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Prevailing Prayer Must Be Persevering Prayer

    Jacob said: "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me" (Gen. 32:26). The most important and mightiest act man can do on earth is to prevail with God in prayer.

    In Christ's parable of the widow and the unjust judge He asks, "And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him?" (Luke 18:7). The Lord teaches in this parable that we are to besiege the Throne of Grace day and night until we receive an answer.

    Our prayers for a spiritual awakening today are not being answered because they lack the "point of urgency and the push of prevailing" necessary to precipitate a great nation-saving, soul-saving revival.

    In the wrestling of Jacob and Elijah, the pleadings of Abraham and Moses, the confessions and supplications of Samuel and David, and in the parables of Christ, there is rich and sacred instruction as to the importance of importunate intercessory prayer. "Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him?… I tell you that He will avenge them speedily" (Luke 18:7-8).

    Men and women who have mightily prevailed with God in prayer have done so often simply because of their indomitable perseverance. Their unwearying, unyielding pleading has carried it with their faith to Pisgah-heights of blessed Victory.

"If I Perish, I Perish!" (Esther 4:16)

    If our resolution to pray through for the interposition of God in this hour does not commit us to complete victory at all costs, we cannot fully prevail. There must be in the heart a complete commitment. Such commitment to fast and pray for divine intervention and for revival of righteousness must be made in such whole-souled reliance on the Spirit's help, as will shut us up, if necessary, to day and night persistence for the answer.

    Such a commitment implies a vigorous, venturing faith. It also implies a complete submission to all the will of God.

    Again and again in Scripture we read how unwearied perseverance became a humble and holy violence. Fervency alone may last but an hour. There must be in our prayers an unyielding perseverance as we set our faces day and night to plead for divine intervention in the affairs of men and nations.

    Behold Jacob's perseverance. After the Angel of the Lord had touched his thigh and put it out of joint, utterly depriving him of all power to wrestle, Jacob still cried: "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me!" (Gen. 32:26).

    A fully surrendered soul refuses to give up as he rises in holy violence, exclaiming: "Thou almighty Friend and Lover, except Thou bless me and yield to my request, I will not let Thee go!"

    Facing the alternative of the loss of our religious liberties and freedom of worship or a return to God, demands that, in our fasting and prayers day and night, we fearlessly exercise our rights in Christ, and rise up in the utmost exercise of our will – as well as in faith, and violently take the kingdom of heaven by force (Matt. 11:12).

    Such holy violence delights our Heavenly Father as we claim humbly, but unyieldingly, our full rights in Christ, His dearly Beloved Son and our Saviour. Thus Jacob did violence to the covenant Angel and hung on with an all-conquering purpose. He demanded! He prevailed! He conquered!

    Persistent prayer, accompanied by faith, subdues the invincible, and prevails with omnipotence! Hallelujah!

    "Let me go, for the day breaketh" (Gen. 32:26). So God says to every persevering, wrestling soul. Jacob perceived in the request that the Angel of the Lord might not go without his (Jacob's) consent. "O, loving, willing Captive too, for I will not let Thee go, except, Thou rule and overrule and bring us in a penitential return to the God of our Founding Fathers!"

    Conquering prayer depends on how much will power we put into our effort. God has made many things in the execution of His will depend on the will of man. When God reveals in His Word and His promise His willingness to help and bless us, the responsibility for the execution of that will rests with us. Will power in prayer is one of the most important conditions of prevailing prayer. All spiritual giants have had great will power.

    They became spiritual giants because they willed to conquer, then conquered, through Christ – the world, self and Satan. The mightiest conquerors who have won the greatest spiritual victories have conquered on their knees because they willed that they would fully surrender to God and did it, and because they willed that God, in fulfillment of His promise, should surrender to them and He did it. This is not irreverence but a Biblical statement of a loving Father's pleasure and plan.

    "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you an expected end. Then ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:11-13).

    "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jer. 33:3).

    "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" (Eph. 3:20).

    We do not prevail with God in prayer by simple acquiescence to His will. It is true we cannot prevail against His will; but God has in love and wisdom conditioned the bestowment of certain favors on a faith supported by the mightiest and most persistent efforts of the will. Limpness in the hands of God is not prevailing prayer. Utmost prayer is to unyieldingly refuse a denial, and most ardently insist and persist on having our rights in Christ.

    To make us resolute as Jacob, bold as Moses, persistently humble as the Syrophenician woman, and incorrigibly persistent as one who has an unjust judge to worry down – God permits wrestling in prayer to develop in us force – will power! In this way our Lord seeks to beget in us the utmost power implied in desperation and consistent with reverence (Matt. 15:21-28).

    He would gird us up in our righteous personality to the highest point possible, and then having set up and energized and developed our infirm personality to royalty, He declares that He will enthrone us in the ages to come to reign with Him, because, as prevailing princes, we have power with God and have prevailed (Rev. 3:21-22).

    Thus in this fateful, dreadful hour – wrestling day and night in fasting-prayer to prevail with the High and Lofty One who inhabits Eternity, for divine and direct intervention in world affairs – furnishes in us that discipline and hardness the soul needs to transform it into the likeness of Christ, for did not He, in the violence of His effort, sweat great drops like blood while He prayed and prevailed? (Isa. 57:15; Luke 22:39-46).

A Prayer

    O God, take the bands from our souls! Give us such burdens of prayer that we cannot rest day or night till our faith, fanned by the intensely fervent, intercessional current of the Holy Spirit, in holy violence takes the Kingdom of Heaven by force! (Matt. 11:12).

    "Is not this the fast I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?… And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in…Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob… for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isa. 58:6, 12, 14).

    – Selected.

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