Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 43 — The By-Products of Prayer
Of course, the main reason to pray is that we might get things from God. Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." John 16:24, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 14:14, "If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it." Matthew 7:11, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" Matthew 7:8, "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." James 4:2, "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." Matthew 21:22, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Let us remember now that we are talking about praying, which is asking.
Praise is good. Psalm 50:23, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God." Psalm 150:6, "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD." However, praise is not praying!
Meditation is good, for Psalm 1:2 says, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night," but meditation is not praying!
Confession is good. I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Daniel 9:4, "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." However, confession is nor praying!
Thanksgiving is good! Philippians 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." However, thanksgiving in not praying!
Praying is asking. The main thing is getting things from God. However, there are blessed bonuses that come to the child of God God when he prays. These are in additional to the answer itself.
1. Prayer keeps the Christian from temptation. Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." Luke 22:40, "And when He was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation." Luke 22:46, "And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Of course, we are to pray for God to deliver us from evil, for Him to "lead us not into temptation," but even prayer itself, when we are asking for something from God, comes wrapped with resistance to temptation.
Let us suppose that one of my church members who is easily tempted could talk with me several times a day. We may not mention his temptation. We may not discuss his weakness, but we just talk. He may ask me for help in other areas, but the very fact that we interact with each other and talk together would give him added strength to resist temptation. When the Christian comes to God in prayer, he may or may not mention his temptation. He may be asking for daily bread. He may be asking for some special need, but just to fellowship with God builds a person's general spiritual health and his resistance to temptation. This is a blessed bonus of prayer.
2. Prayer gives joy. John 16:24, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." A child sits at the table. He asks his daddy to pass the meat. His daddy does pass the meat. It brings joy to the child. Now the child didn't ask the dad to pass joy; he asked the dad to pass the meat, but in his dad's provision, joy accompanied the meat. In receiving provisions from parents, joy is an accompanying by-product.
A young couple gets married. The husband is a good provider and supplies his wife's needs and wants. Her every request in his desire, and he gladly grants her wishes according to his ability. This security and love gives the wife more than her requests, her needs and her wants; it gives her a joy of being provided for, a joy of having security and a joy of being loved. When the child of God comes to his Heavenly Father and requisitions Him for a need, when that need is supplied, there is a blessed by-product called joy.
3. Peace of mind is another by-product of prayer. Philippians 4:6,7, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." The child who lives in a house provided by his father, eats food provided by his father, wears clothing provided by his father and lives neath the care, provision and protection offered by Dad has no need to fret. He knows his dad will care for his needs. The child of God who walks with his father and who has his prayers answered will soon find that he has no need to fret or worry, and as the Father answers his prayers, He places in His bag of blessings a sweet little item called peace of mind, contentment.
There are many other sweet little bonuses that God gives to His child who prays. To be sure, the main purpose of prayer is to receive our needs in answer to our petition, but isn't it nice to get home from the heavenly commissary to find that the Heavenly Groceryman has placed a few little things in the bag of blessings that we did not order—such things as peace, joy and protection from temptation.
4. When we pray for others, God often gives us some of the same thing that He gives to our friend in answer to our prayer. In Luke 11, in the story of the man who went to his friend at midnight and asked for three loaves, it is interesting to see that the Bible does not say the friend gave him three loaves; it says he gave him, "as many as he needeth." He asked for three loaves for a friend, but he got AS MUSH AS HE NEEDED. It seems that God said, "Here take some for yourself too." At least, this is a Biblical principle.
When Jacob came to Jabbok and prayed for Esau, God gave to Jacob something special. He changed his name to Israel, which means "a prince," and He made him a prince with God.
When Moses came to God to pray for his people, God gave Moses a bonus and made him His friend, for Exodus 33:11a says, "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend."
I another chapter I tell the story of Cindy coming to ask me to buy a dress for a friend who was poor and needed a dress appropriate to wear to a Valentine banquet. Cindy prevailed and I agreed to purchase a dress. Cindy and I went down to pick out the dress. I was so proud of her for being concerned about her friend that I said, "Puddin', pick one out for yourself too." Often God is so pleased when we are concerned about others when we pray for a certain need for a friend, that when God answers that prayer, He gives our friend the thing for which we asked, and God says, "Here, you can have one too." This is just another of His wonderful bonuses to those who pray!
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