THE DOCTRINE OF PRAYER
By Robert E. Hanna
"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:nb-13). With these words our apostle reveals much in regard to how we are to pray in this age of grace.
If, as so many believe, prayer is a means of obtaining whatever the petitioner desires, then why does Paul make the above statement? Why did he not simply ask and receive whatever comforts and abundance he may have wished? And why, after explaining his willingness to be deprived, does he assure us that "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (verse 19)?
Paul is affirming his faith in the Lord, Who enables and provides according to His will and purpose. He is teaching reliance upon God for strength to endure and withstand and perform; and he tells us that God shall supply all our need- not all our self-determined and whimsical favors.
In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul wrote, "Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick" (II Timothy 4:2ob). Why didn't he just pray healing upon Trophimus instead of leaving him incapacitated at Miletum? We must follow Paul in prayer, so that "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
The Natural Man – The Spiritual Man
By Les Feldick
Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey