True prayer can only be maintained by feeding on the Word of God; and true Bible study must lead to prayer, communion with God and dependence on Him. The more we search the Scriptures, so to speak, live and walk in the Word of God, make it a part of ourselves, the more the Holy Spirit will lead us to praise, and the better shall we be fitted to pray in the Spirit.* [Allowing God to lead us into praying according to His will and purpose.] Neglect of meditating on the Word of Life will soon lead to a neglected closet. Hence the importance of turning much to the Bible to keep in the presence of the Lord and to be refreshed. Never was this so necessary as now. Our aim has been constantly through our little written ministry to assist God's people in this direction. To be led deeper into the knowledge of His will and His truth and to lead others into the Word is our continued desire and prayer.
And secret prayer is needed, as every spiritually-minded Christian knows, for a walk with God. George Whitefield, that earnest man of God, wrote in 1740 the following:
The spirit of grace is always accompanied with the spirit of supplication. It is the very breath of the new creature, the fan of the divine life, whereby the spark of holy fire, kindled in the soul by God, is not only kept in, but raised into a flame. A neglect of secret prayer has been frequently an inlet to many spiritual diseases, and has been attended with fatal consequences. Origen observed, '`hat the day he offered incense to an idol, he went out of his closet without making use of secret prayer'' It is one of the most noble parts of the believers' spiritual armor. `Praying always', says the apostle, `with all manner of supplication.' `Watch and pray', says our Lord, `that ye enter not into temptation.' And He spake a parable, that His disciples should pray, and not faint. Not that our Lord would have us always upon our knees, or in our closets, to the neglect of our other relative duties. But He means, that our souls should be kept in a praying frame, so that we might be able to say, as a good man in Scotland once said to his friends on his death-bed, `Could these curtains, or could these walls speak, they would tell you what sweet communion I have had with my God here'. O prayer! Prayer! It brings and keeps God and man together. It raises man up to God, and brings God down to man. If you would there, O believers, keep up your walk with God; pray, pray without ceasing. Be much in secret, set prayer. And when you are about the common business of life, be much in ejaculatory prayer, and send, from time to time, short letters post to heaven upon the wings of faith. They will reach the very heart of God, and return to you again loaded with spiritual blessings.
First Published in Our Hope Magazine, 1921. Written By A.C. Gaebelein Transcribed for the web by Cobblestone Road Ministries
*When A.C. Gaebelein taught of praying in the Spirit, he was NOT talking about the tongues movement. He publicly rejected the Azusa and "tongues, signs and wonders movement," calling it apostasy.
Every Believer in Christ must read the Word and pray-- for this is how we hear from God. A Christian walk is only fruitful when we are praying, grounded in the Word, walking in the Spirit and looking to the Lord to supply our strength and lead us through this life. We cannot maintain our salvation by good works for we are eternally saved-- the Lord saved us and keeps us saved. But our Christian walk upon this earth is cultivated through prayer and reading the Bible.
Prayer is the breath of every Christian and the Bible is the spiritual food for our soul.
The Lord Jesus said, "When you pray..." NOT "if you pray." He spoke in Matthew 6:7-13: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.