September 20: Listening with Elijah

We’re looking at the subject of listening in prayer, and we’re looking at making sure we’re listening to the right voice! Samuel heard a voice that he didn’t know was God’s. We’ll see today how Elijah heard many voices and had to find out which one was God’s.

[11] And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
[12] And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
[13] And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:11-13

Sometimes we’ll see signs that indicate we should do something. It used to be that people attributed these signs to God, now people attribute them to the universe:

Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something, but you just don’t understand the message? Do you find yourself seeking answers to questions in your life and never quite finding a solution?

You might feel this way because you aren’t fully aware of the “language” of the universe. The answers are likely right in front of you. The “language barrier” with the universe is a major hindrance for many; once you’re able to learn the lingo, your experience of life will only grow.

https://chopra.com/articles/how-to-recognize-signs-from-the-universe

If you are looking to the universe for signs, you may end up confessing your sins to the plants and trees like an American seminary did recently!

There will be many voices that speak – and sadly despite popular opinion, we’re not all God’s children.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do…

John 8:44

Pray to God that he will help you discern which voice is God’s voice!

September 19: Listening with Samuel

We’re on our 11th segment of the hour of prayer!

How can we listen to God? If we look back at time we spend in church, in Bible reading, and in prayer, He doesn’t usually speak to us audibly.

First – we must learn to recognize His voice. Vic Eliason, the long time director of VCY America, told me how when he had the opportunity to speak to a college full of preacher boys, he spoke on the child Samuel. The Lord called to Samuel and he didn’t recognize God’s voice (1 Samuel 3:4). God called to Samuel again and he still didn’t recognize God’s voice (1 Samuel 3:6). God called to Samuel a third time and he still didn’t recognize God’s voice (1 Samuel 3:8). Eli finally guessed that this was God talking to Samuel, and told Samuel how to recognize who was speaking (1 Samuel 3:9).

As Vic shared with me, too many people are called into the ministry by their mothers, and not by their Heavenly Father.

But many people have the opposite problem – their Heavenly Father is calling them, but their earthly father says “the ministry doesn’t pay much, but if you get a good job you can support a lot of missionaries.”

God doesn’t want what we can do for Him (in case you’ve forgotten, He’s omnipotent {all-powerful}, and we are impotent {no power}), He wants us.

Like Samuel, take time to lay quietly (1 Samuel 3:15), and learn to discern what voices are talking to you. (Our friend Carl Kerby even has a talk on this topic!)

September 18: God uses a 2-week-old newspaper!

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle reports how God works even when we think it’s hopeless – for how much more hopeless can things get than a 2 week old newspaper?

“I had another acquaintance who was also greatly distressed. With a wife and family to care for, and all his means gone, and no prospect of employment, he was in trouble indeed. We induced him to present his case for prayer here, as it would encourage him to have others pray for him.

Then we inserted an advertisement in one of the daily papers, offering his services, hoping the Lord would bless the means used and answer prayer. Day by day passed, but no response came.

Some two weeks after the advertisement was inserted, a merchant picked up an old paper, and noticing the advertisement, showed it to his partner, remarking, ‘Why, this is just the man we need.’ Observing the old date on the paper, his partner said he thought it would be too late to respond; but the trial was made.

The man was requested to call, and proved to be just what these merchants had been wishing for, and was very quickly engaged. He feels that the Heavenly Father who cares for the sparrows, undoubtedly met his need, and that all the circumstances connected with the case were providential.”

September 17: A Double Prayer Answered

Daniel Whittle brings another answered prayer (and a bonus) from the Prayer meeting revival!

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

At the Fulton Street prayer-meeting a number of remarkable cases were related of real answers to prayer for recovery to health, and obtaining of positions.

“I must tell you how God has been answering prayer, for his glory and for your encouragement. Your prayers were asked for a sick wife. She was thought by the doctors to be beyond recovery, but in response to prayer God spared her life, and she and her husband returned their heartfelt thanks to Him. But there was another trouble. The husband had long needed employment, and was in great pecuniary distress. He had been praying for help, beseeching the Lord to open up a way for him. But help did not come, and the cloud seemed darker, and the poor man got discouraged. Friends begged him to hope on, and not to give up his trust in that God who, in answer to prayer, had raised his sick wife to health. He continued to pray, and on the long, dark night, morning at last dawned. He is now in a good position, and sends a request to friends to thank God with him for this two-fold goodness of the Lord.

September 16: He didn’t keep his promise, but God did

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle shares another account from the Fulton Street Prayer Meeting. Often we hear of people bargaining with God. Some like Louis Zamperini bargained with God (as recorded in the book and film, “Unbroken”) but eventually followed thru. Others, well… let’s pick up with Daniel Whittle’s account:

A remarkable instance of how God keeps his promises and is faithful, and how man often forgets to keep his, and at last receives deserved punishment for his thanklessness to God, was recently related in the Fulton Street prayer-meeting.

A very urgent case was presented by a friend. He said: “A friend of mine is seeking Jesus. A little while ago his only child lay near death. He prayed God to restore her to health, promising to serve the Lord for the rest of his life if the child’s life was spared. His daughter recovered, but the man forgot the promise he had made and sought not after God. In a very little while the child was suddenly taken sick again, and almost as suddenly died. The father remembered his vows, and feels that this is God’s solemn warning to him to seek the Savior.”

September 15: Does God hear written prayers?

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

While there were many blessed events at the Fulton Street Prayer Meeting, prayers did not have to ‘arrive’ at the meeting to be answered. The Prayer Meeting was not how some people treat the Western Wall – as a place of ‘special’ power. Rather, it is the one prayed to not the prayer itself or the means of the prayer. Prayers do not need to be verbal – they can even be written if that helps you concentrate! Here’s an account of a written prayer from Daniel Whittle:

An incident was related at one of the meetings by a clergyman who had written a telegram asking for prayers. God heard it before it was sent.

“When we were in Switzerland, my daughter was taken very ill, so that the doctor despaired of her life. I felt the need of sympathy and help and prayer, and I made up my mind that I would send a telegraphic dispatch to this meeting, where I had so often united with you in prayer. I wrote the dispatch and was prepared to send it, when all at once there was poured out such a joyful faith and confidence in God on me as I never felt before in all my life, and I fell on my knees in devout thanksgiving for the assurance that God gave me that he had heard and answered our prayers, for we had prayed for that dear daughter’s life. There lay the telegram ready to be sent. There I was waiting and praying. In less than half an hour my wife came into the room and said, ‘There is a change for the better in our daughter,’ and the telegram was never sent, though I believe the writing of it was the prayer that God answered.”

September 14: Deliverance from drink and disease!

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Another round of praises from the 1857 Prayer Revival from the records of Daniel Whittle:

A GRATEFUL TRIBUTE.

“For a long time I have been the subject of personal affliction, caused by two internal tumors of the worst type. Speedy death seemed inevitable; yet there was a little hope that a surgical operation might possibly remove the difficulty and prolong my day. To this hope I clung, submitted to the operation, and it was a success. To the earnest prayers of Christian people is due this grateful acknowledgment.”

WAS A PERFECT SLAVE TO LIQUOR.

“Please return thanks to our kind Heavenly Father for this answer to prayer. All last Winter requests were sent in for a gentleman, a perfect slave to liquor. Those prayers were answered, and he is attending church regularly, striving to do what is right to please his Heavenly Master.”

September 13: Praying for those easily diverted

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 9Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica….

2 Timothy 4:8-10

So many that can be used in fruitful ministry are turned aside into distractions. Are you praying for those who need encouragement to stay on the path of following Christ?

Daniel Whittle brings us another prayer request from the Prayer Meeting Revival:

“I sent a request to you for a young man, who was called, and eminently fitted for the ministry, but was tempted, by ambition, not to listen to the divine call, and obstacles had hedged his way somewhat. After I requested your prayers in his behalf, this temptation was removed, and nearly one hundred persons were converted in the church which was under his care.”

September 12: Can I pray about my job?

Some websites offer seemingly magical “powerful prayers for job opportunities” – yet God just wants to hear from you! God has much to say in his word about finding work:

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

I Timothy 5:8
Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

God wants you to have a job, and to work, and to provide for your family! If you don’t – you shouldn’t eat – and not eating isn’t a long-term survival plan. How can you get a job?

Daniel Whittle shares more prayer requests from the Prayer Meeting Revival how requests for employment were answered!

PRAYER ANSWERED FOR EMPLOYMENT.

“A foreigner without means and friendless tried in vain for ten months to succeed in finding some employment. He requested your prayers to God, and God answered. In less than eighteen hours a splendid position was offered to him. He and his wife give thanks, and pray that they may devote their lives usefully to the cause of God who has been so good to them.”

FOUND EMPLOYMENT.

“God has answered our united prayers, and given employment to his child.”

September 11: Continued Prayer reaches the wayward sinner

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle shares another account from the Prayer Meeting Revival:

In the last fourteen years I have stood beside the deathbeds of eight who were near and dear to me, and the last words that each spoke to me as they were leaving the world were, “Will you not meet me in Heaven?”

I have been a wayward child. Eight years ago I became addicted to strong drink. I became a drunkard, which brought my dear old father down to an untimely grave. I made a promise on his death-bed that I would not drink any more, and for six long years I kept that promise, but at last I broke it.

I again became a drunkard, which began to tell on my wife. I promised her that I would not drink, but that promise was broken time after time.

Within this year, in the week of prayer, I attended the prayer-meetings, asked prayers for me, and on the night following, I erected the family altar, which had for four years been neglected, and, thank God, it is there yet.

I am now trusting in the promise that He will not let his children be tempted beyond what they are able to endure.