The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 102 of 202
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underwent the change, and he saw things in their true perspective. If this, and this alone,
was the outcome of prayer, it would be blessed indeed.
There are other aspects, however, and these we hope to enjoy together in subsequent
papers. Meanwhile, as we pray let us treasure the boldness and the access with which we
may draw near.
Intelligent co-operation.
pp. 201 - 204
There are many and weighty utterances distributed throughout the Holy Scriptures
concerning the immutability of the counsel of the Lord, the absolute certainty that all His
will shall be accomplished: that whether His people serve Him faithfully or whether they
are lax and faithless (and, alas, this can be laid to their charge throughout their history),
His purpose shall yet be accomplished, none being able, finally, to hinder or alter it.
Pharaoh may vacillate, change, repent, harden his heart over and over again, but when the
"time and the season" had arrived, concerning which God had previously told Abraham
(Gen. 15: 13-16), then the Egyptians themselves would thrust Israel out:--
"It came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the self-same day
it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt"
(Exod. 12: 41).
While we rejoice in all this glorious certainty, a question arises in the hearts of many:
If this be so, of what use is prayer? Let us face the question. Can prayer, however
earnest and prolonged, and made by those who agree concerning the request; can prayer
alter, modify, enlarge or contract one iota of the purpose of God?
"James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto Him, saying, Master, we would that
Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And He said unto them, What
would ye that I should do for you? They said unto Him, Grant unto us that we may sit,
one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory . . . . . To sit on My
right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give; but it shall be given to them for
whom it is prepared" (Mark 10: 35-40).
This, we are aware, is self-evident. No one could rightly expect an affirmative answer
to such a request, but it may be that often we ask for things that are really just as
impossible, for there can be little or nothing in our lives and experiences that are not
connected in some way or other with the great purpose of the ages. There are, however,
statements in the Word that are often taken in much the same spirit as that evidenced by
the sons of Zebedee. For example,
"All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matt. 21: 22).
"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye
shall have them" (Mark 11: 24).