But my God shall supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19,20.
...I am God, even thy God...For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine...Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me...Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Psalm 50:7-23.
To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? Remember the former things of old: for I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE; I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NONE LIKE ME. Isaiah 46:5,9.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But EVEN THE VERY HAIRS OF YOUR HEAD ARE ALL NUMBERED. FEAR NOT THEREFORE: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6,7.
Glory to God!
All of us can understand this: suppose someone got up in your church and made the announcement that you could go to any bank in the city and get whatever help you needed, on any day of the week, at any hour of the day or night? No matter your past "credit history"--it had all been wiped out: no one would be refused! Would that not be exciting?
Did you know there is such a place? This is Biblical FACT! There is just such a place, where we can go, any day of the week, any hour of the day or night. It's called THE BANK OF HEAVEN! There is only ONE way to gain entry, though: through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Talk about "unlimited" banking services? It is the ultimate in "ultimate"! If you are a born-again child of God, the sins of your past (your "history") have been wiped out! If you are living a daily commitment of serving the Lord Jesus Christ, you are qualified to do business with THE BANK OF HEAVEN!
And how do we access THE BANK OF HEAVEN? On the authority of Jesus Christ! Oh that name above ALL names (neither is there any other name)! Get a grip on this: none of us, neither you nor I, nor any other person, have any claim on THE BANK OF HEAVEN Those who have done the grandest, kindest deeds in all the world do not have enough merit in all those deeds to earn admittance into God's presence. Nor can we make a withdrawal from THE BANK OF HEAVEN based on our works!
There is no lifetime of dedicated service, however loving and kind and compassionate it is, that will earn our way into the presence of God. Understand: the ONLY way into God's presence is this: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22. There is NO WAY to enter into the presence of God than through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Merely saying, "In the name of Jesus" does NOT do it, my friend! We must realize WE have NO claims upon God--nor upon His riches in glory, but Jesus does! HE paid the cost. Our pedigrees, our heritage, our church memberships, our tithes, none of these will gain us audience with God! Yet because Jesus Christ was willing to shed His innocent, spotless blood for us, we can come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16.
We do such dishonor to our Heavenly Father by our lack of faith in Him. We are such miserly little selfish creatures, we are afraid to ask Him for "great" things. We know how "we" operate in our own little self-centered ways--and that's how we "see" God--petty and small-minded like we are. We need to repent of that and get a picture of our Heavenly Father Who owns the cattle of a thousand hills. He wants to supply ALL our needs and He wants to do so to the extent of His riches in glory! We come right back 'round to, ALL the promises of God are available to us if we will only meet the conditions of them! THE BANK OF HEAVEN is "open for business" 24/7.
The 12th Chapter of Acts tells us that Herod had already killed James, the brother of John. Then he seized Peter. (He held Peter during the holy days of Passover Week: perfectly willing to assassinate him, but just not on a Jewish holy day.) He had assigned 16 soldiers to guard him. 16 to 1: what a ratio! That's God's "kind of odds": He specializes in the IMPOSSIBLE!
Those who loved Peter, those of the early church, were very limited in what they could do--in so far as the world would determine "limits". There was no time left to circulate petitions, no time left to collect monies for a bribe to Herod. There was no way to break into the prison and take on the garrisons of soldiers: remember, Peter himself had 16 guards! There was no time to get a committee together and devise various plans: they had only one--PLAN A. And PLAN A was the power of effectual, fervent prayer--oh the power of prevailing prayer! The kind of prayer that gets the results sought! And the church was praying! Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. See, they had gone to THE BANK OF HEAVEN! Earthly banks deal only with financial matters--THE BANK OF HEAVEN is not so limited! It's where we go for ANY of our needs to be met!
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on...Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of LITTLE faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:24-33.
When the angel of the Lord woke Peter and led him outside the prison, Peter thought he was having a vision. That wasn't doubt that God could or would answer prayer--it wasn't surprise that God HAD done it. It was amazement at the awesomeness of it! See, God doesn't operate according to OUR ideas, our plans, our time, our limits, our selfish desires, our petty little small-mindedness! Ole' Peter finally realized where he was and said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. Ha ha! Glory to God! The Jews expected to wake up that next morning and get rid of Peter, but they hadn't factored the POWER OF PREVAILING PRAYER into their equation! Let me tell you: it ain't no till GOD says No and it ain't so till GOD says So! I don't care what man's plans and schemes are--prayer changes things--EVEN the Mind of God!!
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in THY sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years... II Kings 20:1-6.
Please notice there, Hezekiah did not say, "I have done that which is good in the sight of man," or "All these years and look how many times I have impressed folks with what I could do". NOPE. He said to God, "I have walked before THEE in TRUTH and with a PERFECT HEART, and have done that which is GOOD in THY SIGHT." The difference in a "man-pleaser" and a "God-pleaser". Do we get that lesson? Are we living our lives to please God or please ourselves and "impress" those around us? Or are we just too lazy to fully commit to Christ and live our lives as a witness of His power to change lives through salvation? But then we need something and as a LAST resort we cry out to God?
One might ask, "Is not ALL prayer unto God?" In a word, NO. There are many many prayers that are "said" everyday: some to idols, angels, saints, animals (the list goes on...). Then there are the prayers that are prayed so others can admire the speaker's eloquence of speech. And there are still others praying who don't have their thoughts on God--they are thinking of everything but God. That is using His name in vain (along with all the ungodly other things that proceed out of our mouths).
My friends, in order for our prayers to be effectual (effective) our prayers must come from a heart, soul, and mind united to think on God. If we are praying unto God, let's don't be moving our lips in "auto-mode" while our thoughts are afar off! Praying unto God should NEVER be considered a mere duty. It is a privilege unlike any other to be able to communicate our love, our praises, our needs, our innermost secrets to God! We don't need to be thinking, "How much time do I have to spend in prayer?" like a sulky child who has to stand in the corner. We SHOULD be thinking, "How much time MAY I spend with him?" Far far beyond what any earthly person, even of the highest peerage, could ever do for us--praying unto God is time spent with the Creator of ALL. He is OUR omnipotent, unlimited, everlasting to everlasting God! We are supposed to seek the CREATOR in need of that which HE created, but as usual, we've got it all backwards. We are going after the "created", then wonder why our prayers don't have any power!
Folks can take all the "blood" songs of worship out of their churches, they can omit all the "shed blood of Jesus Christ" messages from their sermons if they wish to: I've got some bad news for them--it won't work! There is ONLY one way to get to God the Father and that is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son! When we delete the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we take away the ONLY way to God there is!
Now let's go a bit further: when we go to God in prayer, through Jesus Christ, it is only by the HOLY SPIRIT that we can pray as we "ought" (should). This is the fundamental, basic, nitty-gritty of The Trinity:
We have God the Father to pray TO;
we have Jesus Christ the Son to pray THROUGH;
we have the Holy Spirit to pray IN.
It is ONLY through Jesus Christ by the direction of the Holy Spirit that we can pray effectively to God, that we can get from THE BANK OF HEAVEN that which we need.
Effectual fervent, earnest prayer is NOT emotionalism! I'm not being emotional when I'm sincere about something, when I mean it with all my heart. It's not the person who prays the loudest (or even the longest), cries the most, uses the most eloquent words who gets the best results through their prayers. It is he (she) who comes to God in prayer with a pure and sincere heart. Look again at the scripture passage about King Hezekiah. He had walked before God in truth and with a perfect heart, and had done that which was GOOD in the sight of God. Are we willing to meet the conditions of the promises of God so that we can go to the BANK OF HEAVEN and expect God to give what as we ask?
There are a lot of lazy, whiney "Christians" today! They whine, "Well, He must have not wanted me to have it." They need to get their hearts right with God, study the Word of God and learn what is available. When we meet the conditions of prevailing prayer, we WILL prevail in prayer! Jeremiah 29:12,13 tells us, Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, WHEN ye shall search for me with ALL your heart. Well, that eliminates the prayers we "perform" out of duty. That eliminates the prayers we pray using the name of God in vain--not even having our minds on what we are saying to Him! Folks, we MUST be in earnest when we pray to God!
So HOW do we pray? Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26, 27. Praying in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, not something we've "worked up"! We'd better remember Who we are dealing with when we pray! God sees the intent of our heart. Mere "emotionalism" might fake out some around us, but we won't fool God! To pray earnestly is NOT emotionalism--it is true intensity in what we are saying to God in prayer. There is no other service in which there is more power than in the service of earnest prayer!
There are two (2) enemies of prevailing prayer: the devil and old SELF. That's right. The enemy of our soul attempts to block us, hinder us, bind us so that we cannot pray earnestly. Old self doesn't like to take the time to earnestly pray--but get old self under subjection and pray the more earnestly! Paul wrote, Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye STRIVE TOGETHER with me in your prayers to God for me. Romans 15:30. STRIVE. Paul didn't want anybody doing any half-hearted praying on his account! And when you need an answer from God, you won't want anybody "playing at praying", either! You, too, will want someone STRIVING; being earnest, even to the point of agony. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly... Luke 22:44. Jesus Christ, the SON of GOD was in agony there in that garden--did He stop? NO! He prayed MORE earnestly.
God has made available to us the privilege of prayer, through which we can access the unlimited riches of HIS glory, by way of THE BANK OF HEAVEN. [ The End ]