By T.M. Anderson
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace for help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
It has been stated previously that the approach to the throne of grace is through Jesus, our High Priest. I have also said that it is important to form a mental picture of the Savior seated on His mediatorial throne, which is the throne of grace. If one does not have a Scriptural concept of the mediatorial throne, he will find it difficult to pray because his mind will have no certain resting place. Wandering thoughts are due to a lack of concentration.
If we come "boldly" to the throne of grace, we must base our confidence upon the infallible Word of God, believing that we shall obtain mercy, and find grace for help in the time of need. We can approach the throne of grace with courage and confidence, having no doubts and fears about being heard. The Savior will not deny His faithful people; He will answer their prayers, and give them the desires of their hearts.
We base our faith and courage upon the fact, that we have an High Priest that can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because He has been tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. The Savior is not unmindful of our infirmities of body and mind. He is sympathetic and understanding; He knows the meaning of our tears, and He knows the troubles which beset us in this world. Our prayers for mercy and help can touch Him, for He has been tempted in every point as we are tempted. He can sustain us in every trial, and enable us to win in every conflict; He has suffered for us in the flesh.
When we come to the throne of grace, we are not required to make an apology for our infirmities of body and mind; we do not need to explain our limitations. The Savior knows us, and is waiting to hear our prayers.
We should not overlook the fact that obtaining mercy is first in the order of praying at the throne of grace, for it is the Mercyseat. We have no meritorious claims of our own; we have nothing to commend us to God. Our only hope is in obtaining mercy, and not be rejected in a time of need. The consoling words of the Psalm encourage us to pray: "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." (Psalm 86:5)
When we have come humbly to the Mercyseat, and obtained mercy in the Name of Jesus, we shall find grace for help in time of need. In the clear light of this truth, let us come unashamed and unafraid, and make our requests known unto God.
The Lord has enabled me to pray the prayer of faith a few times in my life; but I have discovered more about the power of prayer since making the covenant of prayer with the Savior, than I knew in the forty years of my ministry. I have learned how to take people into the Presence of the Savior, and talk with Him about their needs. I witness to the power of prevailing prayer, that my Heavenly Father may be glorified in His Son.
I entered a small cafe late one evening after a service at the church. The manager told me that his wife was seriously ill in a hospital; he said she had been unable to speak for several days. Immediately my heart was burdened for the sick woman. I told the husband that I would pray for his wife, for which he was very grateful. About four o'clock in the morning, I took this unknown woman on my prayer, and held her up before the Savior.
He gave the assurance that He had heard my prayer, and would help her. I returned two days later, and entered the little cafe. When the manager saw me, he cried out, "Mother is up, mother is up, and talking, and walking about the room." His daughter said to me, "Mister, what did you do to my mother?"
I told her that I held her mother up before the Lord in prayer. She began to weep, and said, "Mister, hold me up to God in prayer, I am such a wicked girl." This sick woman was ninety miles from the place where I prayed, but the distance did not prevent the answer to prayer.
I was praying in the quiet hours of the morning in February, 1950; when I formed the mental picture of the Savior on His mediatorial throne, and presented my request, I was enabled to see certain facts about the person for whom I was praying. By a power never before known to me, I was enabled to see into the past lives of persons, and remind them of certain incidents in their past that affected them in their spiritual lives. I certainly did not seek gift of spiritual discernment, if this was such a gift. But in more than a hundred incidents I have not been mistaken at any time.
My daughter Ruth, lived more than a hundred and fifty miles from my home. Ruth was unsaved, and my heart was greatly burdened for her. I took her on my prayer, and presented her before the Savior at the Mercy Seat. I saw the Savior lay His hand on her head, I could see her curly hair between His fingers. I told my wife about the vision, and we wept before the Lord, and gave Him thanks. The next morning when I prayed for Ruth, I saw kneeling by her bed in prayer; I saw the same thing the third morning. But the fourth morning when I prayed, I saw her standing, and knew that she had been saved by grace.
In a letter she said that the Saviour had put His hand on her head, and her mind was cleared of all confusion, and she recalled the truth of salvation, and had been saved by grace.
I was in a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, in March, 1950. In the quiet hours of the morning I prayed for my son, who lived three hundred miles from where I was praying. I presented my unsaved boy before the Saviour at the Mercy Seat. The Saviour spoke to me, and said, "I will save your boy tomorrow, kneeling at the couch in your living room in your home." I called my son by phone, and asked him to meet me at my home the next day. He gave me no assurance that he would come; but when I arrived home, my son was there to meet me as I had expected. The Lord saved him kneeling by the couch in my living room at my home according to His promise to answer prayer. My Father which seeth in secret had rewarded me openly.
There was a young woman who was unmoved by the power of God manifested in the great revival at Asbury College, in 1950. She told some of the students that it was nothing but emotionalism and excitement, and that she would have nothing to do with it. Several students requested me to join them in prayer for the girl to be saved. About four o'clock in the morning I presented this girl before the throne of grace. I did not know the young woman, but the moment I began to pray for her, I saw her running out of a lighted building, and running toward the darkness. The vision so impressed me, that I told some of the students to inform the young woman that I had seen her running from God.
About nine thirty that night, the young woman came to my home. She sat on a small footstool in front of me, and in anger told me that she wanted no part of the revival, that it was all emotionalism and religious excitement. I could not reason with her; for she was very angry at me for sending word to her about running from God.
In my own mind, I was convinced that her attitude toward the revival was a pretense, and that she was covering her sins. I told her I could find her real reason for rejecting the Saviour; and I began to pray for her. When I presented her before the Saviour, I saw a large hall, and an orchestra, and the leader of the orchestra standing before a microphone. But my attention was drawn to a young man playing the piano; I knew he had something to do with this girl's attitude toward Christ. When I asked the girl about the young man, she began to cry; and confessed that she had been attending the dance, and was at one time planning to marry the piano player. She said it was a secret, and was amazed that I knew it.
I began to pray again for her, and I saw a lighted room, and a table set with glasses for liquor: and I saw this young woman filling the glasses with liquor. When I asked her if she drank liquor, she began to scream, and said, "That is a cocktail party given in my home, and I gave a preacher's daughter her first drink. I have damned her, I have damned my best friend." She confessed covering her many evil deeds by pretending that she did not believe in the revival. She had no more fight against conviction left in her; she was completely broken in spirit, and was contrite of heart. Once more I took her to the Saviour in prayer; and I obtained mercy for her at the throne of grace. The merciful Lord saved her instantly; and she shouted with great joy for deliverance from sin.
An elderly man was seeking help at the altar. He was in deep despair, and discouraged by the trials which had beset him in recent months. He was distressed by his doubts, and had given up his testimony of salvation. He was eighty-five years of age, weak, and sick in body. It was my joy to take this man before the High Priest, who can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. Knowing the truth, I came boldly to the throne of grace, and lifted this man up before the sympathetic Christ in prayer. I saw a little white church situated in a grove, out in the country. I saw a young man converted at the altar in that church; I could see him shaking hands with the people, and rejoicing with them. I saw the young man had dark hair, and a little mustache; and in some way, I knew that the elderly man at the altar was the young man I had seen in the little church. He told me that he was saved sixty-five years ago in the little white church in the country. He said, "My hair was dark, and I had a little mustache."
When I told him that the Lord had shown me these things, and that he had been converted in the little white church. The Savior blessed this humble man, and his doubts departed, and the joy of the Lord filled his heart. It was a time of need in the life of this man, and a merciful Savior had answered prayer, and given help in the nick of time.
Let us pray always, and not faint. God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him.