Monday, March 2, 2020

Faith & Persistence in Prayer

Mountain of Adversity
This story is so good and encouraging, I just had to share it. It comes from a book that has John G. Lake's sermons in it. The title of the story is simply: "Adventures in Religion, Radio Lecture 5, June 28, 1935." 

I've laid hands on literally hundreds of people since I first started doing this. Oftentimes something tangible happens immediately and pain diminishes, or there is a feeling of heat, or of cold, or sometimes, tingling. Other times there is just a feeling of great peace. But occasionally, nothing at all seems to happen. It is times like that, that we need to press in. Yes, Jesus healed the sick instantly, but there were a few cases where the sick were healed over a period of time. For example:
  • Lepers were cleansed "as they went" (Luke 17:14)
  • The nobleman's son "began to amend" (John 4:52)
  • Jesus prayed twice for a blind man (Mark 8:22-26)

And why would Paul tell us to stand for something if it were not occasionally necessary to do so? He writes, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to standStand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints– (Ephesians 6:10-18)

So we are to stand "in the power of His might," not ours. And notice above he says for us to stand no less than 4 times. I believe we fail in healing many times simply because our faith is not long enough. We do not persist. We pray once and then that's it. But we must push against that mountain constantly, never letting up, until we see the manifestation of the power of the Kingdom of God; until we see "His Kingdom come" and exercise its complete dominion and rule over all the power of the enemy! We are not pushing God, we are pushing the adversity. It is the thief (the devil) that comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy, not God (John 10:10). Jesus comes to bring life. And He never changes (Hebrews 13:8).

Here is the short story in its entirety:
"This afternoon I want to talk to you on the subject of miracles. From the year 400 until now, the Church has assumed the attitude that the days of miracles are passed -- without any scriptural evidence whatever. They have taught that miracles were to demonstrate the divinity of Jesus and, therefore, the divinity of Jesus being demonstrated, there was no longer any need for miracles.
"We had a local incident that demonstrates the effect of this teaching, I think. My conviction on the matter is that it has done more damage to the Christian faith than any other teaching that has been promulgated. There is a gentleman who works at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, O. A. Risdon, who is one of the engineers there. He had a son with a deformed head. The top of the head raised up like the ridge of a roof, the forehead and back of the head also were forced out in similar manner, giving the head the appearance of the hull of a yacht upside down. He was born with what the physicians call a closed head. The boy was always slobbering. The pressure on the brain caused the right side to become paralyzed, and the boy was dumb. He was five years old at this time.
"The physicians said there was nothing they could do. Then in desperation, he appealed to his pastor. The pastor told him the days of miracles were past, that the Lord did not heal now, that miracles were given to demonstrate the divinity of Jesus. The father replied, 'If Jesus would heal my son I would be convinced that He is divine now. If He is divine he could lift this damnation from our house.'
"Finally, he came to us seeking help. We began to minister to the child. In a few days we observed that the paralysis began to depart. Instead of walking on one side of his ankles he began to walk on the foot, and that indicated that the pressure was relieved on the brain. In seven weeks the child was perfectly well. The bones of the head softened and came down to normal. The paralysis disappeared and the child began to talk. In three months he was in the public school. He is a young married man now.
"Dear friends, if we had continued to believe that the days of miracles were past, that boy would be in the insane asylum. But we believed that Jesus Christ was the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the boy was healed. It is a delight to believe the works of Jesus. I have used this rule in my study of the Scriptures. If there is any question on any Scripture I settle it with the words of Jesus. I consider all the Scriptures are a common court of the Gospel, but the words of Jesus are the Supreme Court of the Gospel. When I want a Supreme Court decision I appeal to the words of Jesus.
"You can read all the words of Jesus in two hours or less in a red-letter New Testament. Make a practice of reading the words of Jesus on any subject that troubles you, and make a compilation of what He says. He ought to be sufficient authority on any question, for the heavenly Father called attention to the fact that He is the Son of God and that we are to hear Him. He said: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.' (Matthew 17:5)"