"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.VII Pg.13b
February 1942

Prayer Avails

Charles Hugo Mccord

All God's heroes and heroines, since men began "to call upon the name of Jehovah," have been prayerful. Abraham changed God's mind by prayer. By fervent entreaty Moses changed the mind of the I am that I am, Prayer added fifteen years to Hezekiah. David spent hours valuably with the Lord. At least three times a day Daniel was on his knees, John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. James taught by Elijah's example that power lies in the earnest supplications of righteous men.

Do miracles happen today in answer to prayer? No matter how much one prays, emulating Daniel, he had better not risk getting among lions. Jehovah is the same God but he has changed his law about miracles happening, no matter how good the man is who prays. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but he does not feed five thousand today; he is the same, but he has changed his law.

Are there special acts of providence today? No, God's providence in this world is for saint and sinner alike: His sun shines as brightly on a villain as on a godly Christian, and warms his garden the same.

What then is the power of prayer today? We walk by faith, not by sight. If we could see and know the direct answers to prayer, it would not be of faith. Thomas and the other disciples saw Jesus and believed; we are blessed having not seen him, yet believing. Elijah and others could know of direct prayer answers; we cannot, but our praying will bless us.

How does God answer prayer today? That is not my business; my business is to pray. God always does his work just right; I should be concerned about mine. And

I have enough faith, I shall not worry about God's side of the matter. God is faithful, and he has told me, his child, that he wants me to pray; that he will hear; that he will answer my prayers according to his own will. There I should let it rest.

"But," says one, "I can't see how prayer does any good if there are no miracles and no special acts of providence." That's just your trouble: you want to see; you want to walk by sight. You never will understand the beautiful teaching of prayer till your faith grows. I can't see how immersion in water avails anything; by faith I know it does. Lord, increase our faith.

If the Perfect One received comfort by prayer, blessed others by his prayers, pleased his father by talking to him; if those things are so, I can never doubt prayer. If the

Perfect One so very busy, took time to spend night vigils with his God; if that is so, then I know enough about prayer. If his prayer to the Father could in anywise strengthen Peter's faith, then I want good people to pray for me, and do it often. If exhausted disciples could not watch one hour, if the weary Son flung himself on the ground, and made himself unnaturally awake, and prayed and sweated, then I know that prayer is one of the most powerful agents in the universe. And if he did not get what he prayed for, but did not lose faith in prayer, but is praying to this day; then let me doubt, never, never. If he prayed the same words over and over again, not vainly but fervently, then let me persevere, continuing instantly.

Prayer is abused and prayer is misunderstood. Nobody understands it. But he wants us to use it, not grudgingly or of necessity. Lord, teach us to love it more.