August 13: Why He Failed

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle shares about a prominent business man who failed in the Spring of 1877. He had been for years a prominent and consistent member of a Christian church. He had even supported a church once almost entirely. Nothing was known against his character, but he failed; he failed in business. No one knew the reason why, but there it was, failure.

At last, in moments of bitter repentance before God, he unbosomed himself to his pastor, and said, “Long ago I promised to give the Lord one-tenth of all the profits I gained from my business, and while I did so, I was immensely prosperous and successful; never did any one have any such splendid success,–but I forgot my promise, stopped giving, thought that I did not need to spend so much, and I began to invest my means in real estate. When I stopped giving I stopped getting. Now all is gone. I lost my all because I did not keep my promise to the Lord.”

This incident is a practical one, telling how utter is the impossibility of true success, without the aid of the Lord, and how absolutely necessary it is to our own peace and comfort of mind to religiously observe one’s promises made to God. The Bible only too truly tells of the end of those who forget Him.

But Jeshurun waxed fat… then he forsook God which made him…
And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them….And he said, I will hide my face from them

Deuteronomy 32:15, 19, 20

…ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.

2 Chronicles 24:20

…There shall be desolation 10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength…

Isaiah 17:9-10

August 12: The Wonderful $25

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle shares the following incident, marvelous, as at the time of its occurrence neither party had ever been known to each other:

In New Haven, Conn., lives a little invalid widow, almost helpless, with no one upon whom to rely for support, and only indebted to friendly acquaintances for a temporary home. With no money, no acquaintances, she had nowhere else to turn to but to the Father of all good. She had prayed often, and often had answers, but this time, though needing money, still she received none. The answer was long delayed; she was almost discouraged. “Was God at last to fail and forget her? No, it could not be. Let God be true even if I perish, I shall still cling to Him. I can not give Him up.”

Just at that time a business man in New York, who had been absent on a long journey for the Summer and had just returned, happened to pick up a note among many hundred lying on his desk, and noticed that the writer asked for some trifling favor, saying she was poor, had no means.

Her circumstances were unknown: he knew nothing but her name. He was eager to minister to the little ones of the Lord, and felt deeply impressed in prayer that morning, in asking a blessing on his day’s labors, that he might be able to help the need of some of “his children” who might then be in want. In his business hours the thought came over him with the depth of emotion, “WHAT CAN I DO? LORD, THY SERVANT IS READY.” Just at that moment he picked up this note of the little invalid, who asked the trivial favor, saying it would be such a comfort. (No money whatever was asked for in this note.)

Suddenly the thought came to him, “Perhaps this is my very opportunity. This may be the Lord’s little one in need.” But there was nothing in the letter to indicate she was a Christian. She solicited no money or pecuniary help.

Immediately there came to his mind, amid floods of tears, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my children, ye have done it unto me.” Instantly he understood it as a message from the Lord, and the intimation of the Holy Spirit. He immediately sat down and wrote a check for $25, and enclosed it to her, saying, “I know not your need; you have not asked me for help, but I send you something which may be useful. I trust you are a Christian. I shall be happy to learn if it has done good, and made you happy. Give me no thanks. The Lord’s blessing is enough for me.”

The letter was sent and forgotten, but a strange presentiment came over the mind of the writer. “I am afraid I did not direct that letter right.” He sent a second postal card, asking if a letter had been received at her home; if not, to go to her post office and inquire.

Now notice the wonderful singularity of incident. Here is a man sending money, never asked for, to an unknown person, about whom he knew nothing; then misdirecting his letter, and then remembering and sending another message to go and find where the first had gone to. But notice the marvelous result. The little invalid received the postal card, but not the letter. She sent to the post office, and sure enough there was the first letter with its misdirection. She was just in time to save it from being sent to another woman of the same name living in another part of the same city.

She opened her letter, and with tears of thankfulness perused this wonderful reply, a marvelous witness to the power of an overruling Spirit, who had directed everything.

“My heart is full, that God should so answer my simple prayer. I first asked him for $10, then $15, and then for $25. I asked him for $25 several times, and was astonished at my boldness, but the amount was so fixed in my mind, I could not ask for anything else, and then I humbly trusted it to Him, and from that time I thought, I will not name any sum; let it be as He knows my need. And how He has honored my simple faith and trust in these dark days. Your letter contained exactly the $25 I prayed for. I have not had $1.50 to spend this Summer. I have suffered for everything. But through it all I have felt such perfect faith in the Lord, that his hand was leading me, even when I could not see a step before me; and that He should move your heart to help me seems so wonderful, so good. I am so glad I can thank you now, but ah, so much “over there” where words will express so much more in the beautiful atmosphere of heaven. Your letter and kind gift was mailed the very same day that I was praying in great distress and trial. I knew not but that I should be without even a home. My verse was Psalms 50: 15. O, how I had to pray that day. So day by day I was comforted, and now to-day the answer has come.”

Here, then, is a portion of the story of a sweet life who trusted God, not as a God of the past, nor far off, but ever living, ever present, ever faithful, and believed Him able, willing, and that He would help her in her daily life. She tried her Lord, to prove if his promises were indeed true, and she clung to them to the very last. No one knew her need. No one knew what she was praying for. The stranger did not know anything of her. She had asked money of no one but the Lord. Hesitant ever, she dared not name any amount of the Lord, but that ever present Spirit of God guided her heart, made her fix the amount, and then touched the heart of the stranger and fixed the amount also in his mind, and then, by his own guidance saved the letter from being lost, and behold! when opened the prayer of the one and the gift of the other was the same.

What a comfort, what a privilege, then, it is for the true-hearted Christian thus to feel, “There is one who careth for us.”

August 11: A Remarkable Decision by a Jury

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle tells us of God’s help even in the courtroom!

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psalm 50:15

“In one of our northern cities, a trial at law took place between a Christian and an infidel. The latter had sued the former for a heavy sum, falsely alleging his promise to pay it for some stocks which he claimed to have sold him. The Christian admitted AN OFFER of the stock, but protested that so far from promising the sum demanded, he had steadily refused to make any trade whatever with the plaintiff. Each of the parties to the suit had a friend who fully corroborated their assertions. Thus the case went before the jury for decision.

“The charge of the judge was stern and significant. ‘It was a grave and most painful task which devolved upon him to instruct the jurors that one of the parties before them must be guilty of deliberate and willful perjury. Their statements were wholly irreconcilable with each other; nay more, were diametrically opposite; and that either were innocently mistaken in their assertions was impossible.

“‘Your verdict, gentlemen,’ he said in conclusion, ‘must decide upon which side this awful and heaven-daring iniquity belongs. The God of truth help you to find the truth, that the innocent suffer not.’

“It was late in the day when the judge’s charge was given, and the finding of the jury was to be rendered in the morning. The plaintiff went carelessly from the court arm in arm with the wicked associate whom he had bribed to swear falsely on his behalf. The defendant and his friend walked away together in painful silence. When the Christian reached his home, he told his family of the judge’s solemn charge and of the grave responsibility which rested upon the jurors. ‘They are to decide which of us has perjured ourselves on this trial,’ he said; ‘and how terrible a thing for me if they should be mistaken in their judgment. There is so little of any thing tangible for their decision to rest upon, that it seems to me as if a breath might blow it either way. They cannot see our hearts, and I feel as if, only God could enable them to discern the truth. Let us spend the evening in prayer that he may give them a clear vision.'”

The twelve jurymen ate their supper in perplexed silence, and were shut in their room for deliberation and consultation. “I never sat in such a case before,” said the foreman. “The plaintiff and defendant have sworn point-blank against each other; and how we are to tell which speaks the truth, I can not see. I should not like to make a mistake in the matter; it would be a sad affair to convict an innocent man of perjury.” Again there was silence among them, as if each were weighing the case in his own mind. “For myself I feel as if the truth must be with the defendant; I am constrained to think that he is an honest man. What say you, gentlemen?” Every hand was raised in affirmation of this opinion. They were fully persuaded of its truth, and gave a unanimous verdict accordingly.

Thus the Christian man was rightfully acquitted, and gave thanks to God, with a new and stronger confidence in the power of prayer. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me,” saith the Lord.

August 10: The Lord Will Provide

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle records another account of the Lord’s provision:

A poor but pious widow in Boston, in her eighty-seventh year, said to a friend, “When I was left a widow with three little children, I was brought into such extremity that they were crying for bread, and I had nothing for them to eat. As I arose on a Sabbath morning, I knew not what to do but to ask my heavenly Father to feed my little ones, and commit myself and them to his care.

“I then went out to the well to get a pail of water, and saw on the ground a six cent piece, which I took up; and learning that it did not belong to any of those who lived in the same house with me, I thought I might take it to feed my famishing children. Though it was a Sabbath morning, I felt that it would be right to go to a baker who lived in the neighborhood, tell him our circumstances, and buy bread with the money Providence had thus cast in my way. The baker not only did this, but the Lord opened his heart to add a bountiful supply; and from that hour to the present, which is nearly fifty years, I have never doubted that God would take care of his children.”

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-31

August 9: The prayer for wind

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle shares a remarkable incident, showing how God makes the winds to obey him in obedience to the prayer of his righteous ones, and the expectations of their faith, that occurred also in Samuel Hick’s life, which is really an astonishing proof of God’s supernatural power.

A church gathering was to take place at Micklefleld, and Samuel had promised two loads of corn for their use. The day fixed drew near, but there was no flour in the house, and the wind-mills, in consequence of a long calm, stretched out their arms in vain to catch the rising breezes. In the midst of this death-like quiet, Samuel carried his corn to the mill nearest his own residence, and requested the miller to unfurl his sails. The miller objected, stating that there was “no wind.” Samuel, on the other hand, continued to urge his request, saying, “I will go and pray while you spread the cloth.” More with a view of gratifying the applicant than of any faith he had, the man stretched his canvas. No sooner had he done this than, to his utter astonishment, a fine breeze sprung up, the fans whirled around, the corn was converted into meal, and Samuel returned with his burden rejoicing,and had everything in readiness for the festival.

In the mean time, a neighbor who had seen the fan in vigorous motion, took also some corn to be ground; but the wind had dropped, and the miller remarked to him, “You must send for Sammy Hick to pray for the wind to blow again.”

But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Matthew 8:27

August 8: Petition – Put Off & Put On

We’re on our fifth day of looking at petition in prayer.

What are other things that we should pray for? Paul tells us that we have an important goal:

[21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Ephesians 4:21-24

What does it look to put off the old man and put on the new man? It’s a change in behaviors – replacing anger with kindness.

[8] But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
[9] Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
[10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
[11] Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
[12] Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
[13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
[14] And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:8-14

It’s putting on the armour of God!

[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
[14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
[15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
[16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
[17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ephesians 6:11-17

Is this a one time prayer? No, Paul says in 2 Corinthians that it’s a daily request!

[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16

We have the power because our old man is crucified!

[6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Romans 6:6

So pray that God would help you reckon your old man dead, so you can yield not to sin but yield unto God!

[11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
[13] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 6:11-13

We must tell Jesus all of our trials – we cannot bear them alone!

August 7: Petition – What should I ask for in the Doldrums?

We’re on our fourth day of looking at Petition – and today let’s consider – what should I ask the Father for?

Sometimes we have personal tragedies, illness, pain, suffering, duties at work, papers due at school, upcoming athletic activities, or other things we pray to God for. But some days life seems normal – nothing sticks out as “unmanageable” {yet that still means we can take everything to God in prayer!}

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

But what about the doldrums of life? Doldrums is a technical term – referring to the area of the oceans where the water is calm. In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, we read:

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rime_of_the_Ancient_Mariner

There are times when life is good, the sea is not fighting us but rather we’re enjoying the blessings of life. In times like this we can dig into Proverbs and see what we need to do to get into high gear!

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Proverbs 6:9

If life is calm – let’s pray to God for some energy to accomplish His will!

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:19-20

August 6: Petition – Ask for Wisdom

This is our 3rd day of looking at Petition – praying for ourselves.

Wisdom is needed by everyone. How can you be the best employee at your job, or manager to your team? Fulfill your responsibility as a father, mother, pastor, friend, or coach? Provide advice to the child, friend, co-worker, or relative who needs help? Wisdom is calling for you to heed her voice:

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Proverbs 1:23

How do we partake of this wisdom? Let us ask of God!

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

In your prayer time today, ask God for wisdom!

August 5: Petition – The Answer to Worry

We’re on Day 2 of Petition – how to pray for personal prayer requests:

WebMD lists the following as possible results of worry:

the chronic anxiety and outpouring of stress hormones can have serious physical consequences, including:

Suppression of the immune system

Digestive disorders

Muscle tension

Short-term memory loss

Premature coronary artery disease

Heart attack

If excessive worrying and high anxiety go untreated, they can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.

https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/how-worrying-affects-your-body#1

What does the Bible say we should do?

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJRd65Y1QUE

August 4: Petition – The Prerequisite for Personal Prayer Requests

We’re returning to the Hour of Prayer and looking at Personal Prayer – the Petition.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:7

First – It’s ok to ask God for personal needs!

Second – How do we abide? What do we need to do to abide?

John MacArthur points out this is something that should already be decided. He says that Jesus is contrasting those who are in proximity to Jesus with those who are “abiding” in Jesus. You can be near Jesus but not “plugged in” – a lamp won’t go on if it’s near the outlet, it must be plugged in. Judas was “close” to Jesus, but he didn’t “abide” in Jesus.

You can be connected with Jesus Christ and not saved. Do you realize that people were called disciples of Jesus, according to John 6:66, that “many of his disciples went back and walked no more with Him.” They were identified with Christ, but they weren’t for real. In John 8 they believed on His name, and He said, all right, if you believe on My name, you’ll continue with Me, and they didn’t. They left. In 2 Corinthians 13, Paul warns us and he says you better examine yourself to see whether you’re really in the fellowship or not, because there’s so many people who think they are. So you have here some professing people in John 15, and they are similar to the ones in Hebrews 6 in the sense that they are on the edge, but they’ve never made that genuine commitment; and they’re in tremendous danger of being cut off, cast into the fire.

John MacArthur

Throughout church history people have tried to bridge the gap to allow people to be “near Jesus” that weren’t “plugged in” / “abiding” in Jesus. During the Colonial period, this was known as the Half-Way Covenant.

The Puritan-controlled Congregational churches required evidence of a personal conversion experience before granting church membership and the right to have one’s children baptized. Conversion experiences were less common among second generation colonists, and this became an issue when these unconverted adults had children of their own who were ineligible for baptism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-Way_Covenant
Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards

It was in this setting that Jonathan Edwards warned them that “half-way” wasn’t good enough. They were still Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

Make sure that you are not just nearby Jesus, or even half-way. Make sure you are abiding in Jesus!