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When Thou Prayest--Helpful Thoughts from Hudson Taylor

By J. Hudson Taylor


      WHEN THOU PRAYEST

      Helpful Thoughts From Hudson Taylor

      One For Every Day In The Month

      FIRST DAY -- "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us" (Psa. 90:17).

      This prayer is not less appropriate in our own day than it was in the time of Moses. Let it not merely be revealed to us, but let it be reflected by us, let it rest upon us. And when Moses came down from the mount, the beauty of the Lord was upon him, so his prayer is that all the people of God may reflect the beauty of His character.

      SECOND DAY -- "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him" (Psa. 145:19).

      He knew the desire of my heart, and simply trusting like a child, I brought all to Him in prayer. Thus I experienced, quite early, how He is willing to help and strengthen and to fulfil the desire of those who fear Him.

      THIRD DAY -- "Search me, O God, and know my heart" (Psa. 139:23).

      Let us ask Him to search us and remove all that hinders his working by us in larger measures . . . If our Bibles or secret prayer have been neglected, let us confess the evil before God and claim His promised forgiveness, carefully avoiding such occasions of weakness for the future.

      FOURTH DAY -- "In everything . . . let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4:6).

      The Lord's will is that His people should be . . . strong, healthy and happy. Shall we not determine to be "careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving" bring those things that would become burdens or anxieties to God in prayer, and live in His perfect peace?

      FIFTH DAY -- "Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities" (2 Cor. 12:9).

      Paul was distressed by a burden which he had not strength to bear, and asked that the burden might be removed. God answered the prayer, not by taking it away, but by showing him the power and the grace to bear it joyfully. Thus that which had been the cause of sorrow and regret now became the occasion of rejoicing and triumph.

      SIXTH DAY -- "Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive" (Matt. 21:22).

      Seeing that in days of old faith wrought such mighty wonders . . . and that we have the same God . . . shall we not ask great things? . . . Believing prayer will lead to whole-hearted action, and the Lord for our encouragement says, "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven."

      SEVENTH DAY -- "Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering" (James 1:6).

      A full knowledge of the Word will often bring to our recollection appropriate promises, and thus enable us to pray with that faith and confidence which are so closely connected with answers to prayer.

      EIGHTH DAY -- "For your sakes He became poor, that ye . . . might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).

      Pray that we may daily follow Him Who took our nature that He might raise us to be partakers of the Divine nature. Pray that this principle of becoming one with the people, of willingly taking the lowest place, may be deeply inwrought in our souls and expressed in our deportment.

      NINTH DAY -- "Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high" (Isa. 32:15).

      Our God is an Almighty Saviour, and my hope is in Him. If His Spirit be poured out, evil will be kept in check; and if we ask for it, will it not indeed be so? Let us pray then, much, for this, that division and discord may not prevail instead of unity and love.

      TENTH DAY -- "In everything . . . let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil 4:6).

      Shall we not determine to "be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving" bring those things that would become burdens or anxieties to God in prayer, and live in His perfect peace? He is always gracious and tender. "If we believe not, He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself."

      ELEVENTH DAY -- "Mary . . . sat at Jesus' feet" (Luke 10:39).

      At every time, in every place, about every matter, if you feel heavy-laden, pause at once; come to Jesus and rest. Pillow your head on His bosom, pour your burden into His ear, delight your soul in His love. And then, when rested and refreshed, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, so be it."

      TWELFTH DAY -- "We will give ourselves continually to prayer" (Acts 6:4).

      Shall we not, each one of us, determine to labour more in prayer; to cultivate more intimate communion with God by His help; thinking less of our working and more of His working, that He may in very deed be glorified in and through us!

      THIRTEENTH DAY -- "That I may know Him" (Phil. 3:10).

      Oh, to know Him! How good, how great, how glorious - our God and Father, our God and Saviour, our God and Sanctifier: to know Him! Pray on and labour on. Don't be afraid of the toil; don't be afraid of the cross; they will pay well.

      FOURTEENTH DAY -- "I count all things but loss . . . that I may win Christ" (Phil. 3:8).

      Sometimes when pressed with correspondence the hour has come for united prayer, and the thought has arisen, ought I not to go on with this or that matter? Then it has come back to me - "Nothing too precious for my Lord Jesus." The correspondence has been left to be cared for afterwards, and one has had the joy of fellowship unhindered.

      FIFTEENTH DAY -- "The peace Of God . . . shall keep your hearts and minds" (Phil. 4:7).

      Familiar, precious words to every child of God[ We love to ponder them. We have doubtless often tried to carry out the command, and may have prayed earnestly and frequently to be enabled to do so. And yet are we not conscious that we are not careful for nothing, and that the peace of God does not always keep our hearts and minds?

      SIXTEENTH DAY -- "How much more shall your Heavenly Father give . . . to them that ask Him" (Luke 11:13).

      The many blessings enjoyed even by those who know Him not . . . are still given and continued by His grace; and how much more may the children of this Heavenly Father look to Him with confidence, knowing that He will supply their every need in life, in death, and in the world to come!

      SEVENTEENTH DAY -- "I prayed to the God of Heaven . . . so we laboured in the work" (Neh. 2:4; 4:21).

      You can work without praying, but it is a bad plan; but you cannot pray in earnest without working. Do not be so busy with work for Christ that you have no strength left for praying. True prayer requires strength.

      EIGHTEENTH DAY -- "Ask of God . . . and it shall be given" (James 1:5).

      We must all get nearer to God, we must all abide in Christ; our lives must be more up to our principles and privileges, and all will be well. Let us trust for all, and we shall find all. God can bless; let us ask it in faith, and expect it. Nothing else, nothing less can satisfy Him; nothing less must satisfy us.

      NINETEENTH DAY -- "Continuing instant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).

      Do not be cast down if you meet with difficulties. All things are working together for good, as in due time we shall see. Pray much. Satan is a terrible reality, so is the flesh; but more is He Who is within us. If God be with us, who, what can overcome us?

      TWENTIETH DAY -- "Worthy is the Lamb . . . to receive . . . glory and blessing" (Rev. 5:12).

      Do we sufficiently cultivate this unselfish desire to be all for Jesus, and to do all for His pleasure? Or are we conscious that we principally go to Him for our own sakes, or at best for the sake of our fellow-creatures? How much of prayer there is that begins and ends with the creature, forgetful of the privilege of giving joy to the Creator.

      TWENTY-FIRST DAY -- "Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord" (James 1:7).

      Those prayers only will be answered which are in harmony with the revealed wilt of Go,d. Unless the word of God is abiding in us, how can we be sure that our petitions are in harmony with His will.

      TWENTY-SECOND DAY -- "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14).

      Not many days after this, in answer to united and continued prayer, the Holy Spirit did come upon them, and they were all filled . . . Since the days before Pentecost, has the whole Church ever put aside every other work, and waited upon God for ten days, that that power might be manifested? We have given too much attention to machinery, and to resources, and too little to the source of power.

      TWENTY-THIRD DAY -- "The Lord called Moses up to the top of the Mount" (Exodus 19:20).

      We must get on to a higher plane of thought altogether, and of prayer, if we are to walk worthy of God... Do we not want more really to meditate on God; to gaze on Him; take in what we are even now competent to take in of His greatness. His resources. His assurances and promises? Dwelling thus on Him, should we not be enabled to grasp more of the heights and depths of His character and purposes, and be more ready and able to do His will?

      TWENTY-FOURTH DAY -- "Behold, the Lord's arm is not shortened neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear" (Isa. 59:1).

      We have to do with One Who is Lord of all power and might. Whose arm is not shortened that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear; with One Whose unchanging Word directs us to ask and receive that our joy may be full, to open our mouths wide that He may fill them.

      TWENTY-FIFTH DAY -- "The righteous . . . are in the hand of God" (Eccl. 9:1).

      "Let us leave all in the hands of God" . . . make it a matter of prayer and then leave it in the hands of God our Father. I have prayed about it, and I am sure I can trust God. He will do all things well. God knows what is best and we must learn to welcome His will, which is good, acceptable and perfect.

      TWENTY-SIXTH DAY -- "My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord" (Psa. 5:3).

      Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instruments afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with him.

      TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY -- "Ask what I shall give thee" (1 Kings 3:5).

      Now let us stop and ask ourselves; what do we desire? And then let us claim the promise at once. Have we loved ones unsaved - Have we difficulties to conquer? Have we mountains to remove? Then let us take it to the Lord in prayer.

      TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY -- "Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come" (Hab. 2:3).

      There are many other prayers that are proper petitions, offered in a proper spirit; in which nevertheless the answer does not come just in the way in which the offerer may have expected. When a great need is brought before God in prayer, He may answer that prayer by supplying the need or by removing it.

      TWENTY-NINTH DAY -- "The eyes of the Lord.are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers" (1 Pet. 3:12).

      From the commencement of my Christian life I was led to feel that the promises were very real, and that prayer was in sober matter of fact transacting business with God, whether on one's own behalf or on the behalf of those for whom one sought His blessing.

      THIRTIETH DAY -- "Pour out your heart before Him" (Psa. 62:8).

      In the gladness of my heart I poured out my soul before God and again and again confessing my grateful love to Him who had done everything for me . . . I besought Him to give me some work for Him as an outlet for love and gratitude.

      THIRTY-FIRST DAY -- "We know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:15).

      No prayers can be discredited if offered in the Name of Jesus, so long as we keep within the extent of Christ's credit - a tolerably wide limit? If we ask anything unScriptural or not in accordance with the will of God, Christ Himself could not do that; but, "If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us, and . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

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