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The Faith of a Little Girl
We need to learn from children in prayer.

Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew.

All she knew was that he was very sick and they werecompletely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have the money for the doctor's bills and ourhouse. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no one to loan them the money.

She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now."

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages", he said without waiting for a reply to his question. "Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a miracle."

"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist. "His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?" "I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money".

"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago. "One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents-the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. "That surgery," her Mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?" Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost... one dollar and eleven cents ...... plus the faith of a little child.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law. (This is a true story)


For an Effective Prayer Life, Have a Prayer List

Why? Because we pray for something a week or two and they drop it, forget it, give up or just quit when the parables on prayer in Lk 11 and 18 teach us to "KEEP ON ASKING." Also, too often we do not pray for the very things God tells us to pray for and we miss a great blessing, see 26-32. Look at Jabez's prayer. Awesome, for God is still granting these request to "ordinary" people like Jabez. 

I have these on 3 by 5 cards and have given away thousands. Hundreds have told how these prayer lists have transformed their prayer life. "I received the prayer list cards, and they are tremendous, what a blessing! My prayer time will never be the same." Print them out and put them on a 3 by 5 card and add cards with item numbers 33 and 34 listed.

My Personal Prayer List-Ps 100:4
(Please read all verses at least once)

1. Thankful-Saved,De.16:3-Bless,Lk 17:17
2. Praise-Ps100:4-Who and what He does
3. Laver-judge self-confess sin 1 Jn 1:9
4. Lovest thou Me? Say: I love You Jn 21:15
5. Ask for Holy Spirit to fill-control you,1 Jn 5:14f 
6. Wisdom of Solomon Jas 1:5 Proverbs 3:13ff
7. What do You want me to do? Acts 9:6 
8. How can I please You-Lk 3:22;Ro 15:3
9. Ask for lost souls-Jas 4:2;Acts 16:14
10. Grant me boldness-Acts 4:29;2Tim1:7
11.Heal me-Asa sought not God 2Ch16:12 Jabez prayer list 1 Chron 4:10
12. Bless me indeed cf Jacob Gen 32:26
13. Enlarge my borders, ministry, impact
14. Let Your hand be upon me Ezra 7, 8
        Ez.7:6 King gave him all his requests
        7:9 Came from Babylon to Jerusalem 
        7:28 ...strengthened by hand of God
        8:18 Brought help he asked for
        8:31 Delivered from hand of enemy
15. Keep me from evil Jabez was a nobody and God granted him his requests!
        Ask, He is still doing it today! Ja 4:2 The Lord's Prayer List Lk 11
16. "Say": Hallowed be Thy name Lk 11:2
17. Thy kingdom come-U come Rev 22:20
18. Thy will be done on earth-as in heaven
19. Give us this day our daily bread-needs
20. Forgive us our sins as we forgive 11:4
21. Lead us not into temptation
22. Deliver us from the evil one
23. Thine is the kingdom-not mine Lk 6:46
24. Thine is the power-not mine Zech 4:6
25. Thine is the glory-not mine Isa 42:8 Biblical Prayer List 1 Tim 2:1-4
26. Pray-"first of all": 1 Tim 2:1-4;Lk 5:5
27. All kings-to be saved-Thy will be done
28. All in authority-Gov. etc-saved-Thy will
29. All men-6 billion-to be saved vs 4" "
30. God to send forth laborers Mt 9:37
31. Peace-Jer-all Is-saved Ps 122;Ro 10:1
32. Enemies-God bless-do good Mt 5:44
33. List family, children, loved ones, friends
34. Pastor, church, ministries, missionaries What to pray for people:
        God put a hunger within them Ps 42:1,2
        Put a hedge around them Job 1:10
        Put Your hand upon them Ezra 7,8
        Put halo on their face Ex 34:29f;2 Co3:18


  
"To have an effective prayer life you must have a prayer list." When the disciples asked the Lord Jesus, "Teach us to pray" He gave them a prayer list! We call it the Lord's Prayer. In reality it is a prayer list. It is a list of things we are to ask of the Father "daily." We will get to more on it later. Right now I am giving a list gleaned from all over the Bible that God told us to pray for. 

First we were told "first of all" to pray for "Kings and all in authority" 1 Timothy 2:1. It amazes me how we seldom pray for these.

Second, in that same passage we are told to "pray for all men," all 6 billion people. Who would have "all men to be saved." You have a part in the salvation of every person who gets saved when you pray for these every day. ASTOUNDING TO ME! 

Third, we are told to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and as Paul prayed "for all Israel to be saved" Romans 10:1. Israel is His people and just as you would be thrilled if someone prayed regularly for your loved ones to be saved, so God must be thrilled when you and I obey Him and pray for His people.

Fourth, Jesus said, "Pray the Lord the harvest to send forth laborers" Matthew9:37. Today there is a great emphasis on the 10-40 window, that strip through the Arab countries across North Africa and middle east and then right on through the Asian countries as the most unevangelized groups of people. The laborers are certainly very few in these countries. Why? Well, if the Scriptures mean anything, it is because "we ask not." Do you pray this regularly? I have very seldom heard this prayed for in church except during a missionary conference and that won't cut it. You add this to your prayer list and it will surely please God and for sure make a difference in the number of laborers going into this most needed harvest field. 

When I was a pastor and we caught this verse and began to pray for laborers regularly, we saw over 30 young people go off to school to study for Christian service. It works. It was electrifying to see God call deacons and young people from our church to go into all the world. It was awesome. It will thrill you beyond words to see God answer this prayer that He told us to pray. Not only that but it will enrich your prayer life beyond words.
  

"I've wandered far...." Sometime ago I started a series on prayer and have gotten away from it. For the next few months I want to discuss prayer. Let me summarize what I have written on prayer in case you have not read the others.

1. There are two parables on prayer in Luke 11 and Luke 18. Both teach one main thing, "keep on asking." We pray for something a week or two and then drop it or forget it and that is where we miss it.

2. To "keep on asking" we must have a prayer list written out, lest we forget or get side tracked. Jesus gave a prayer list when the disciples asked Jesus to "Teach us to pray." More on this later. There is another powerful prayer list in the Bible that God is granting those who "keep on asking" for these same things today. We will cover these in the months ahead.

3. There is a list I have compiled of things God told us to pray for that are most often overlooked.  Two I have written about. No. 1, in 1 Tim 2:1ff we are told to "pray for all men" all 6 billion! The context is to pray "that they might be saved." If we do this we will find in heaven we had a part in all who are saved that we prayed for. This is awesome if you really think about it! No. 2 we are told in the same passage to pray for "Kings" and "all who are in authority." That means all Kings, Presidents, all governors, mayors, Senators etc. WOW. He said do it, then do it! They ought to be prayed for every Sunday from the pulpit so people will learn to do it just Like God said! Does that make sense to you? It does to me. Why pray for them? "That we might lead a quiet and peaceable life." Why don't we have a quiet and peaceable world today? "You have not because you ask not." Does that make sense? It does to me!

4.A new one to pray for. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" Ps 122:6. They are His people. He loves them. He asked that we pray for His people just as you ask someone to pray for your loved ones. Shouldn't we do it? Do you do it? If not then start now. "They shall prosper who love thee." There are great dividends in praying what He asked us to pray! Then pray for Israel to be saved as Paul did in Rom. 10:1. I have found great delight and great rewards for praying for Israel just as fervently as I do for my loved ones and others. Add this to your "daily" prayer list. You know you are praying in the will of God when you do!


Just like studying Christology, the theology of Christ, you must pull together verses from all over the Bible to really understand the doctrine of Christ, so it is with prayer. There are hundreds of verses that have to do with prayer to really know how to pray.

"Enter into his gates with thanks giving" Psalms 100:4. This tells us something very important about prayer. This is a picture of entering the Tabernacle. You come through the one gate and are faced with the huge brass altar where the animals were slain and sacrificed. It is the picture of Calvary where the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, was slain and sacrificed. This is the way you come into the Holy Place, the place of prayer at the altar of incense. 

God says enter in "with thanksgiving." Prayer should always begin with "thanksgiving" and not with "gimme." First and foremost, should be thanksgiving for His dear Son, the Lamb of God, who died for our sins, paid our debt in full and rose again. He is to have :"preeminence" (Col 1:18) in our payers as well as everything else in life. In Deut 16:3 God told the Israelites, clearly, when they went into the promised land, the center of His will, to "remember the day" you came out of bondage "all the days of your life." Here is the secret to keeping "the first love" (Rev. 2:4) alive in your heart. You leave (not lose) that first love when you stop remembering "what manner of man you were" before you came to Christ, the bondage you were in and the thrill of getting saved. 

I was saved March 28, 1940 and celebrate that birthday just as I do my physical birthday. Often I give my testimony of how I got saved and it always stirs my heart and rekindles that "first love." Begin your "quiet time," your "daily devotions" with thanksgiving for your Savior and your salvation and you will not leave that "first love" but stay fresh and excited about God and prayer. 

Then be thankful for His blessings. Someone said, "To praise God for His blessings extends them and not to ends them." Remember in Luke 17:17 when the Lord Jesus healed the 10 lepers that only one returned to give thanks. That blows my mind. That was the "aids" of the day. It was horrible and their fingers dripped off their hands as puss. They were healed and were not thankful enough to say "thank you" to the Lord Jesus. We must not be unthankful today but incredibly God tells us that in the last days, men shall be "unthankful," (2 Tim 3:2). Have we ever arrived? 

Begin every prayer, and especially your personal prayer time, with "thanksgiving" and it will transform your prayer life and please the Lord God of glory to no end. 


How to Get Rid of Your Enemies

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love you enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" Matt 5:43,44. 

We are "in the world:" though we are not "of the world" and God tells us, "marvel not if the world hates you" 1 Jn 3:13. "Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you" Matt 5:11,12. What do you do? "pray for them and do good to them." Matt 5:44

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets" Lk 6:26. It is not uncommon to have enemies. You are in good company for the Lord Jesus and the apostles had enemies. God says, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles lest the Lord see it and it displease Him and He turn away His wrath from him" Pro 24:18. What do you do? You "Pray for those who despitefully use you" for "Vengeance is mine says the Lord."

Friends can spitefully use you. Does this happen in the Christian world? The psalmist very candidly states, "For it is not an enemy who reproached me, then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who magnified himself against me then could I hide myself from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together and we walked to the house of God in the throng" Ps 55:12-14. What do you do? You pray for those who spitefully use you"

Families can spitefully use you. Jesus warned us, "Do not think that I came to being peace on earth: I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man's foes will be those of his own household" Matt 10:34-36. What do you do? You pray for them and do good to them. This would solve so many terrible hurts and hates. 

A person in ministry, who could not stand me, you wonder how that could be, had cut me to pieces behind my back. By faith I began to pray for them just as the Bible tells us. Months later they were in a meeting where I spoke. A few day later I came face to face with them. To my utter amazement they said, "When you spoke the other day, God unusually blessed me and I want to thank you." From that day on they became a real friend to me and what ever the animosity, it was gone. I have seen this happen over and over as I have "prayed for those who spitefully use you." We must live that way, it works. All because of Calvary - Sumner

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