March 12: Moody – Restitution

D.L. Moody

This reading is excerpted from D.L. Moody’s classic book, Prevailing Prayer.

A third element of successful prayer is RESTITUTION. If I have at any time taken what does not belong to me, and am not willing to make restitution, my prayers will not go very far toward heaven. It is a singular thing, but I have never touched on this subject in my addresses, without hearing of immediate results. A man once told me that I would not need to dwell on this point at a meeting I was about to address, as probably there would be no one present that would need to make restitution. But I think if the Spirit of God searches our hearts, we shall most of us find a good many things have to be done that we never thought of before.

After Zaccheus met with Christ, things looked altogether different. I venture to say that the idea of making restitution never entered into his mind before. He thought, probably, that morning that he was a perfectly honest man. But when the Lord came and spoke to him, he saw himself in an altogether different light. Notice how short his speech was. The only thing put on record that he said was this: “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” A short speech; but how the words have come ringing down through the ages!

By making that remark he confessed his sin—that he had been dishonest. Besides that, he showed that he knew the requirements of the law of Moses. If a man / had taken what did net belong to him, he was not only I to return it, but to multiply it by four. I think that men in this dispensation ought to be fully as honest as men under the Law. I am getting so tired and sick of your mere sentimentalism, that does not straighten out a man’s life. We may sing our hymns and psalms, and offer prayers, but they will be an abomination to God, unless we are willing to be thoroughly straightforward in our daily life. Nothing will give Christianity such a hold upon the world as to have God’s believing people begin to act in this way. Zaccheus had probably more influence in Jericho after he made restitution than any other man in it.

Finney, in his lectures to professing Christians, says: “One reason for the requirement, ‘Be not conformed to this world,’ is the immense, salutary, and instantaneous influence it would have, if everybody would do business on the principles of the Gospel. Turn the tables over, and let Christians do business one year on Gospel principles. It would shake the world! It would ring louder than thunder. Let the ungodly see professing Christians considering the good of the person they are trading with—seeking not their own wealth, but every man another’s wealth—living above the world—setting no value on the world any further than it would be the means of glorifying God; what do you think would be the effect? It would cover the world with confusion of face, and overwhelm them with conviction of sin.”

Finney makes one grand mark of genuine repentance to be restitution. “The thief has not repented who keeps the money he stole. He may have conviction, but no repentance. If he had repentance, he would go and give back the money. If you have cheated any one, and do not restore what you have taken unjustly; or if you have injured any one, and do not set about to undo the wrong you have done, as far as in you lies, you have not truly repented.”

March 11: Moody – Confession

D.L. Moody

This reading is excerpted from D.L. Moody’s classic book, Prevailing Prayer.

Another element in true prayer is Confession. I do not want Christian friends to think that I am talking to the unsaved. I think we, as Christians, have a good many sins to confess.

If you go back to the Scripture records, you will find that the men who lived nearest to God, and had most power with Him, were those who confessed their sins and failures. Daniel, as we have seen, confessed his sins and those of his people. Yet there is nothing recorded against Daniel. He was one of the best men then on the face of the earth, yet was his confession of sin one of the deepest and most humble on record. Brooks, referring to Daniel’s confession, says: “In these words you have seven circumstances that Daniel uses in confessing of his and the people’s sins; and all to heighten and aggravate them.

  • First, ‘We have sinned;’
  • secondly, ‘We have committed iniquity;’
  • thirdly, ‘We have done wickedly;’
  • fourthly, ‘We have rebelled against thee;’
  • fiftly, ‘We have departed from Thy precepts;’
  • sixthly, ‘We have not hearkened unto Thy servants;’
  • seventhly, ‘Nor our princes, nor all the people of the land.’

These seven aggravations which Daniel reckons up in his confession are worthy our most serious consideration.”

Job was no doubt a holy man, a mighty prince, yet he had to fall in the dust and confess his sins. So you will find it all through the Scriptures. When Isaiah saw the purity and holiness of God, he beheld himself in his true light, and he exclaimed, “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips!

I firmly believe that the Church of God will have to confess her own sins, before there can be any great work of grace. There must be a deeper work among God’s believing people. I sometimes think it is about time to give up preaching to the ungodly, and preach to those who profess to be Christians. If we had a higher standard of life in the Church of God, there would be thousands more flocking into the Kingdom. So it was in the past; when God’s believing children turned away from their sins and their idols, the fear of God fell upon the people round about. Take up the history of Israel, and you will find that when they put away their strange gods, God visited the nation, and there came a mighty work of grace.

What we want in these days is a true and deep revival in the Church of God. I have little sympathy with the idea that God is going to reach the masses by a cold and formal church. The judgment of God must begin with us. You notice that when Daniel got that wonderful answer to prayer recorded in the ninth chapter, he was confessing his sin. That is one of the best chapters on prayer in the whole Bible.

We read: “While I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, while I was speaking in my prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.”

So also when Job was confessing his sin, God turned his captivity and heard his prayer. God will hear our prayer and turn our captivity when we take our true place before Him, and confess and forsake our transgressions. It was when Isaiah cried out before the Lord, “I am undone,” that the blessing came; the live coal was taken from the altar and put upon his lips; and he went out to write one of the most wonderful books the world has ever seen. What a blessing it has been to the church!

March 10: Moody – Adoration

D.L. Moody

This reading is excerpted from D.L. Moody’s classic book, Prevailing Prayer.

Let me refer you to a passage in the prophecies of Daniel. He was one of the men who knew how to pray; his prayer brought the blessing of heaven upon himself and upon his people. He says: “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes; and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments!”

The thought I want to call special attention to is conveyed in the words, “O Lord, the great and dreadful God!” Daniel took his right place before God—in the dust; he put God in His right place. It was when Abraham was on his face, prostrate before God, that God spoke to him. Holiness belongs to God; sinfulness belongs to us.

Brooks, that grand old Puritan writer, says: “A person of real holiness is much affected and taken up in the admiration of the holiness of God. Unholy persons may be somewhat affected and taken with the other excellences of God; it is only holy souls that are taken and affected with His holiness. The more holy any are, the more deeply are they affected by this. To the holy angels, the holiness of God is the sparkling diamond in the ring of glory. But unholy persons are affected and taken with anything rather than with this. Nothing strikes the sinner into such a damp as a discourse on the holiness of God; it is as the handwriting on the wall; nothing makes the head and heart of a sinner to ache like a sermon upon the Holy One; nothing galls and gripes, nothing stings and terrifies unsanctified ones, like a lively setting forth of the holiness of God. But to holy souls there are no discourses that do more suit and satisfy them, that do more delight and content them, that do more please and profit them, than those that do most fully and powerfully discover God to be glorious in holiness.” So, in coming before God, we must adore and reverence His name.

The same thing is brought out in Isaiah: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.”

When we see the holiness of God, we shall adore and magnify Him. Moses had to learn the same lesson. God told him to take his shoes from off his feet, for the place whereon he stood was holy ground. When we hear men trying to make out that they are holy, and speaking about their holiness, they make light of the holiness of God. It is His holiness that we need to think and speak about; when we do that, we shall be prostrate in the dust . You remember, also, how it was with Peter. When Christ made Himself known to him, he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man,

March 9: Moody – Prayers of the Bible

D.L. Moody

This reading is excerpted from D.L. Moody’s classic book, Prevailing Prayer.

Those who have left the deepest impression on this sin-cursed earth have been men and women of prayer. You will find that prayer has been the mighty power that has moved not only God, but man.

Abraham was a man of prayer, and angels came down from heaven to converse with him. Jacob’s prayer was answered in the wonderful interview at Peniel, that resulted in his having such a mighty blessing, and in softening the heart of his brother Esau; the child Samuel was given in answer to Hannah’s prayer; Elijah’s prayer closed up the heavens for three years and six months, and he prayed again and the heavens gave rain.

The Apostle James tells us that the prophet Elijah was a man “subject to like passions as we are.” I am thankful that those men and women who were so mighty in prayer were just like ourselves. We are apt to think that those prophets and mighty men and women of old time were different from what we are. To be sure they lived in a much darker age, but they were of like passions with ourselves.

We read that on another occasion Elijah brought down fire on Mount Oarmel. The prophets of Baal cried long and loud, but no answer came. The God of Elijah heard and answered his prayer. Let us remember that the God of Elijah still lives. The prophet was translated and went up to heaven, but his God still lives, and we have the same access to Him that Elijah had. We have the same warrant to go to God and ask the fire from heaven to come down and consume our lusts and passions—to burn up our dross, and let Christ shine through us.

Elisha prayed, and life came back to a dead child. Many of our children are dead in trespasses and sins. Let us do as Elisha did; let us entreat God to raise them up in answer to our prayers.

Manasseh, the king, was a wicked man, and had done everything he could against the God of his father; yet in Babylon, when he cried to God, his cry was heard, and he was taken out of prison and put on the throne at Jerusalem. Surely if God gave heed to the prayer of wicked Manasseh, He will hear ours in the time of our distress. Is not this a time of distress with a great number of our fellow-men? Are there not many among us whose hearts are burdened? As we go to the throne of grace, let us remember that GOD ANSWERS PRAYER.

March 8: Moody – Prevailing Prayer

D.L. Moody

This reading is excerpted from D.L. Moody’s classic book, Prevailing Prayer.

The two first and essential means of grace are the Word of God and Prayer. By these comes conversion; for we are born again by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever; and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

By these also we grow; for we are exhorted to desire the sincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby, and we cannot grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ except we also speak to Him in Prayer.

It is by the Word that the Father sanctifies us; but we are also bidden to watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.

These two means of grace must be used in their right proportion. If we read the Word and do not pray, we may become puffed up with knowledge, without the love that buildeth up. If we pray without reading the Word, we shall be ignorant of the mind and will of God, and become mystical and fanatical, and liable to be blown about by every wind of doctrine….

Prayer was appointed to convey 
The blessings God designs to give; 
Long as they live should Christians pray, 
For only while they pray they live. 

And shall we in dead silence lie,
When Christ stands waiting for our prayer?
My soul, thou hast a Friend on high;
Arise and try thy interest there.

If pain afflict, or wrongs oppress;
If cares distract, or fears dismay;
If guilt deject, if sin distress;
The remedy’s before thee—Pray!

Depend on Christ, thou canst not fail;
Make all thy wants and wishes known.
Fear not; His merits must prevail;
Ask what thou wilt; it shall be done!

Joseph Hart


March 7: Prayer Warriors – George Muller

How do you know if God has answered your prayers? Well, obviously, if what I prayed for happened. So, how many of your prayers has God answered last year? If you’re like me – we pray for things as we think of them, and not in a planned serious way. It seems as if we put more planning into our grocery list than into our prayer list. But if you start writing down your prayer requests, you can record your answers to prayer!

George Muller kept detailed prayer journals, and recorded 50,000 answers to prayer in his journals!

Once, while crossing the Atlantic on the SS Sardinian in August 1877, his ship ran into thick fog. He explained to the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but Captain Joseph E. Dutton (later known as “Holy Joe”) said that he was slowing the ship down for safety and Müller’s appointment would have to be missed. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The captain followed him down, claiming it would be a waste of time. After Müller prayed a very simple prayer, the captain started to pray, but Müller stopped him; partly because of the captain’s unbelief, but mainly because he believed the prayer had already been answered. Müller said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for more than fifty years and there is not one instance that I have failed to have an audience with the King. Get up, Captain, for you will find that the fog has gone.” When the two men went back to the bridge, they found the fog had lifted, and Müller was able to keep his appointment. The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.[43]

Steer, Roger (1997). George Müller: Delighted in God. Tain, Rosshire: Christian Focus. ISBN 978-1-85792-340-7.

What was the secret to his prayer life?

It has pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, the benefit of which I have not lost, for more than fourteen years. The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.

https://library.timelesstruths.org/texts/Renewed_Day_by_Day/Renewed_Day_by_Day/

March 6: Prayer Warriors – John Wesley

Have you heard of “The Powerhouse of Methodism”? It was a small little “closet.” John Wesley went to bed at 9:00 PM, and started his day in his “closet” at 4:00 AM, in Bible Study and prayer. Do you have a place that you spend a daily time with God?

John Wesley’s Prayer Room, Photo by Graham Portlock

God’s command to “pray without ceasing” is founded on the necessity we have of his grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air.

John Wesley

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:6

March 5: Prayer Warriors – Hudson Taylor

Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.

Hudson Taylor

Who was Hudson Taylor?

James Hudson Taylor (21 May 1832 – 3 June 1905) was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM, now OMF International). Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools[1] and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces.[2]

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

Hudson Taylor believed in prayer.

In the year 1854 a sailing vessel was becalmed in the vicinity of New Guinea. Seeing the distressed look on the captain’s face as he peered intently into the sea, a young Englishman inquired as to the cause of his anxiety. This was the reply: “A four-knot current is carrying us swiftly toward some sunken reefs over there. Our fate seems to be sealed.” On the shores of the island, cannibals were rushing about and lighting fires in great glee. Presently the captain spoke again: “We have done everything that can be done.” “No,” responded the young man, “there is one thing we haven’t done. Four of us on board are Christians. Let each of us retire to his cabin and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us a breeze immediately.” This was agreed upon and done. After a few minutes of earnest intercession, the young man came up on deck confident that the petition had been granted.

Finding the first officer, a godless man, in charge, he requested him to let down the corners of the mainsail. “What would be the good of that?” he asked. The young man told him that he and three others had been asking God to send a wind, that it was coming immediately and that there was not a minute to lose, since they were so near the reefs. With a look of contempt, the officer replied with an oath: “Nonsense! You can’t pray up a wind.” Noticing a few moments later that the topmost sail was beginning to tremble, he said: “That is only a cat’s-paw — a mere puff of wind.” “Never mind what you think,” cried the young man. “Let down the mainsail quickly.”

This he was not slow to do. Hearing the heavy tread of the men on deck, the captain came up from his cabin and saw that the breeze had indeed come. In a few minutes they were sailing away from the dangerous reefs, much to the disappointment of the native cannibals on the beach.

https://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/biotaylor3.html

Hudson Taylor knew that God could be depended upon!

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

1 John 5:14

March 4: Prayer Warriors – “Praying” Hyde

“Praying” Hyde was a fascinating missionary. Here’s some excerpts from different sources:

John Nelson Hyde (November 9, 1865 – February 17, 1912) was an American missionary who preached in the Punjab.

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

John was eventually sent to India as a missionary.

After a short time there he began to wonder if he was qualified for the work he was doing. He began to earnestly study the Bible and began praying for long stretches for guidance from God. After being satisfied that he was truly in God’s will, he went about his missionary work with such zeal that many began worrying about him.

John’s desire to know and do God’s will drove him to all night prayer vigils face down on the floor. By 1908, Hyde’s unquenchable desire to see souls saved led him to ask God for one soul a day for a year. Many thought this was impossible in a land not friendly to Christianity, but by the end of the year more than 400 people were faithfully serving Christ. The next year he asked God for two a day and more than 800 people became Christians.

http://www.mississippivalleypublishing.com/daily_gate/opinion/hyde-one-of-greatest-prayer-warriors-of-all-time/article_be3a83a6-229d-5c90-8815-74386109a061.html

In a letter back to his college he wrote,

Have felt led to pray for others this winter as never before. I never before knew what it was to work all day and then pray all night before God for another… In college or at parties at home, I used to keep such hours for myself, or pleasure, and can I not do as much for God and souls?”

http://www1.cbn.com/prayerandcounseling/profiles-in-prayer%3A-praying-john-hyde

While we may not be called to spend all night in prayer, let’s seek for a deeper time in prayer!

Pray without ceasing!

1 Thessalonians 5:17

March 3: Prayer Warriors – William Borden

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16

In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden family fortune, he was already wealthy. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world.

Even though young Borden was wealthy, he arrived on the campus of Yale University in 1905 trying to look like just one more freshman. Very quickly, however, Borden’s classmates noticed something unusual about him and it wasn’t that he had lots of money. One of them wrote: “He came to college far ahead, spiritually, of any of us. He had already given his heart in full surrender to Christ and had really done it. We who were his classmates learned to lean on him and find in him a strength that was solid as a rock, just because of this settled purpose and consecration.”…

Surveying the Yale faculty and much of the student body, Borden lamented what he saw as the end result of an empty, humanistic philosophy: moral weakness and sin-ruined lives.

During his first semester at Yale, Borden started something that would transform campus life. One of his friends described how it began: “It was well on in the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively whose suggestion it was, but I feel sure it must have originated with Bill. We had been meeting only a short time when a third student joined us and soon after a fourth. The time was spent in prayer after a brief reading of Scripture. Bill’s handling of Scripture was helpful. . . . He would read to us from the Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance.”

Borden’s small morning prayer group gave birth to a movement that soon spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer. By the time Bill Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale’s 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.

This was taken from the Southern Nazarene University by permission.
For more original content like this, visit: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert