In the last lesson we learned from Andrew Murray that loving obedience to the Father is key to receiving the good gifts in answer to prayer. This child-like living is best seen in the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, in that the child of God is one who is meek, pursuing righteousness, giving, forgiving, praying, being salt and light, and who not only say, Lord, Lord, but do the will of my Father which is in heaven.
But to many of us this can be a bit daunting. Are we to first be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, before asking or being given the good gifts? Asks Murray, will not such teaching discourage the feeble one? If we are first to answer to this portrait of a child, must not many give up all hope of answers to prayer?
And he answers: The difficulty is removed if we think again of the blessed name of father and child…The Lord does not demand of us a perfect fulfillment of the law; no, but only the childlike and whole-hearted surrender to live as a child with Him in obedience and truth. Nothing more. But also, nothing less. The Father must have the whole heart. When this is given, and He sees the child with honest purpose and steady will seeking in everything to be and live as a child, then our prayer will count with Him as the prayer of a child.
In the names of father and child he has the pledge that his petitions will be granted. He would have us see that the secret of effectual prayer is: to have the heart filled with the Father-love of God. It is not enough for us to know that God is a Father: He would have us take time to come under the full impression of what that name implies.
Certainly, even the best of earthly fathers are at best poor examples, but we can imagine the care, the tenderness and the love a good father should have, and the manner in which he listens to and grants each request.
Then, says Murray, as we think in adoring worship of the infinite Love and Fatherliness of God, consider with how much more tenderness and joy He sees us come to Him, and gives us what we ask aright. This Divine arithmetic is beyond our comprehension, but He would have us come and open our heart for the Holy Spirit to shed abroad God's Father-love there.
Let us do this not only when we want to pray, but let us yield heart and life to dwell in that love. The child who only wants to know the love of the father when he has something to ask, will be disappointed. But he who lets God be Father always and in everything, who would fain live his whole life in the Father's presence and love, who allows God in all the greatness of His love to be a Father to him, oh! he will experience most gloriously that a life in God's infinite Fatherliness and continual answers to prayer are inseparable.
Beloved fellow-disciple! we begin to see what the reason is that we know so little of daily answers to prayer, and what the chief lesson is which the Lord has for us in His school.
It is all in the name of Father. Jesus tells us the first is the highest lesson; we must learn to say well, Abba, Father!' Our Father which art in heaven.' He that can say this, has the key to all prayer.
Murray concludes: In all the compassion with which a father listens to his weak or sickly child, in all the joy with which he hears his stammering child, in all the gentle patience with which he bears with a thoughtless child, we must, as in so many mirrors, study the heart of our Father, until every prayer be borne upward on the faith of this Divine word: How much more shall your heavenly Father give good gifts to them that ask Him.'
Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the glad heart of a good father. Either because your own father was stern, distant, or just absent. Perhaps you are this way with your own children. Too many haven’t had a loving relationship with an earthly father and thus are unable to see the good, glad-heart of our heavenly Father. In the podcast, we give voice to what Andrew Murray included in his lesson, From Thoughts on Holiness, by Mark Guy Pearse, in hopes that it helps teach us all that God loves us not because we are clever, not because we are good, but because He is our Father.
Pray For The People Of God From The Word Of God
Here are four passages we are praying from (one passage per day):
Thursday - Acts 1:8
Friday - 1 Thessalonians 1:5
Saturday - Ephesians 6:18
Sunday - 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12
Will you join me in praying these verses, and ask one person to join you?
Until Monday, grace and peace