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Volume 21 - Page 100 of 202 Index | Zoom | |
Let us pray.
A sanctuary experience.
pp. 159, 160
What is prayer? Why do we pray? To whom and where? What may we scripturally
hope for from prayer? Is it according to revealed truth to speak of "warfare" in prayer?
These and other like questions are not to be lightly set aside.
Starting from a point which we believe will command the assent of every true child of
God, we say that prayer is the greatest privilege that any mortal can enjoy, for prayer is
nothing if it is not audience with God with Himself. It is an unspeakable mercy to be
able, through the written Word, to hear God speak to us, and it is surely no less a
privilege to have the right to draw near and to speak with God.
Even in days when, by the command of God, there stood a temple built especially that
it might be "a house of prayer", even then the wider thought was recognized that
"The heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee: how much less this
house that I have built" (I Kings 8: 27).
When, therefore, prayer was offered in that glorious temple, Solomon said:--
"Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and when Thou hearest, forgive"
(I Kings 8: 30).
Both tabernacle and temple were but "figures of the true" and of "heaven itself"
(Heb. 9: 8-12, 24). It is to no less a place than heaven itself "where Christ sitteth at the
right hand of God" (Col. 3: 1) that prayer rises to-day.
Let us turn for a moment to see what this sanctuary experience can accomplish.
Psa. 73: supplies a good answer. Putting Asaph's thought into modern language, we
translate "Truly", "Verily" and "Surely" of verses 1, 13 and 18 by the colloquial
expression, "After all":--
"After all, God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart" (Psa. 73: 1).
Verses 2-12 show his brooding and conclusions from contemplating the prosperity of
the wicked and their exemption from trouble:--
"After all, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For
all day long have I been plagued and chastened every morning" (Psa. 73: 13, 14).
Verses 14-16 show that, as to this apparent inconsistency, he could neither speak of it
to others nor contemplate it himself without pain, until he went into the sanctuary of God,
then understood he their end (verse 17).
"After all, Thou didst set them in slippery places" (Psa. 73: 18).
(To be continued).