Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 34 — Grace to Help
Recently at the First Baptist Church of Hammond funeral services were conducted for an elderly lady who had lived one of the most unselfish lives that we had ever witnessed. Something very sweet and blessed happened at her funeral. A young man stood up and said, "She paid my way through college. Nobody knew about it, but very quietly with little fanfare she helped me through college."
A young lady stood up and said that the deceased woman had been like a mother to her. She had no living mother, and the lady to whom we were paying respects had taken her and treated her as her own daughter. Then all over the building people stood up testifying to the fact that this dear lady who had just recently entered into the presence of her Lord had helped them.
How did she get this way? The answer is in Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Notice the words, "find grace to help in time of need." We normally associate these words with finding grace to help us in the time of our needs, but there is more here than that. This also means that when we come boldly to the throne of grace we may find grace to help others in their time of need. It is in the prayer closet where one meets unselfishness. It is in the prayer room where one dies to self. It is at the throne of grace where one learns to live for others. Notice that this passage does not say, "Find grace to be helped in time of need," but it says, "find grace to help in the time of need." This grace is found at the throne of grace where grace is dispensed to the children of God. It takes grace to help others. It takes grace to forget self. It takes grace to forget your own needs and remember those of another. Ah, there is a graduate course on prayer in this wonderful passage.
Most of the Christian life is selfish. Most of us got saved in order that we might go to Heaven and escape the fires of Hell, or perhaps we got saved to find peace, contentment, joy and fulfillment. Many of us serve the Lord in order to avoid chastening. We tithe in order that the windows of Heaven may be opened and that God will pour "out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10) We separate ourselves from the world in order to avoid the chastening rod of God. We pray in order to get things for ourselves. We read the Bible and meditate in order that we may be successful and prosperous. Psalm 1:1-3, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
These things are not wrong. It is not wrong to get saved in order to escape Hell and go to Heaven. It is not wrong to meet the conditions to tithe in order to open the windows of Heaven in order that we might receive a bountiful blessing, but there is a life into which we can enter that gives us more lofty motives. It is possible for a person to get saved because he wants his life to bring glory to God. It is possible for a person to serve God because he loves Him. It is possible for a person to tithe because he wants to be a co-laborer with God. It is possible for a person to pray and ask God for the needs of others. This advanced post-graduate life is conceived at home at the throne of grace. It is there that we lose ourselves in the service of others. It is there that we find grace to help others in their time of need. To be sure, there is nothing wrong with coming to the throne of grace in order that we find grace to be helped in the time of need, but there is a way that the Christian can come to the throne of grace in order that he might find grace to help others in their time of need, and to think, this unselfish life for others is available, yea, bountifully so, at the throne of grace! What a way to live!
PREVIOUS | NEXT | TABLE OF CONTENTS