Torrey - Man -14.4- When should we pray?

IV. WHEN SHOULD WE PRAY? Daniel 6:10 — "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and, his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Psalm 55:16-17 — "As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." Acts 10:9,30 — "On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:... And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting unto this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing." (See also Acts 2:1,15 — "The third hour.")

First Proposition: The holy men of the Bible prayed three times a day — evening, morning, and at noon.

 Psalm 119:146-147 — "I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word." Mark 1:35 — "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."

Second Proposition: We should pray very early in the morning, before dawn. Luke 6:12 — "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."

Third Proposition: Our Master and example "continued all night in prayer to God. ' This was on the eve of a decisive step in His life, the choice of the twelve.

He prayed similarly at a great crisis in His life, when the multitude wished to take Him and make Him king ( John 6:15). (Compare to Mark 6:46-48.) It is a good example to follow. There are some who strangely object to whole nights spent in prayer. They say that faith takes at once what it asks. Does this mean the Savior didn't have faith? (Compare also to Isaiah 40:31.) Nights of prayer to God are followed by days of power with men. It is recorded of John Livingston that he spent a night in prayer and religious intercourse with a company like minded, and that the next day he preached with such power in the kirk of Shotts that five hundred people dated their conversion or some definite advance in their spiritual life from that sermon. Of course, one can keep a night of prayer in a false and legal way. Psalm 88:1 — "O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee."

Fourth Proposition: We should pray day and night.

At all times our heart should be looking up to God, and this upward look of the heart will be frequently uttering itself in a cry to Him. Matthew 14:19 — "And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude." Acts 27:35 — "And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all; and when he had broken it, he began to eat." 1 Timothy 4:4-5 — "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."

Fifth Proposition: We should pray at every meal. Psalm 50:15 — "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Psalm 81:7 — "Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah."

Ps 77:1-2 — "I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the LORD: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted." Psalm 86:7 — "In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me."

Sixth Proposition: We should pray in the day of trouble.

Compare to Psalm 18:6; 120:1; 118:5.) Here two different Hebrew words are used, but both are from the same root as the words used in the passages given above.) Psalm 3:1-2 — "Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah."

Seventh Proposition: We should pray when those who trouble us increase in number and many rise up against us.

When enemies increase we should not despair, but cry to God. Then we can lie down without fear to sleep. We need not fear though ten thousands of people set themselves against us. (Compare to verses 5-6.) 1 Chronicles 5:20 — "And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him."

Eighth Proposition: We should pray in the day of battle.

Victory is of the Lord ( Proverbs 21:31 RV). Therefore, in every battle we should cry to Him. 2 Chronicles 14:8-9,11 — "And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valor. And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with a host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah .... And Asa cried unto the Logo his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Logo our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee." 20:1-4, 12 — "It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them others besides the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, the), be in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Logo, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Logo: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Logo .... O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee."

Ninth Proposition: We should pray when outnumbered by enemies and when we have no might against them, and don't know what to do.

When there is nothing else left to do, there is one thing that always remains — pray to God. 2 Chronicles 13:13-16 — -"But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them. And when Judah looked back, behold, a battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the Logo, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hands."

Tenth Proposition: We should pray when in grave danger. Psalm 60:11 — "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man."

Eleventh Proposition: We should pray when all human help fails. Jonah 2:7 — "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple."

Twelfth Proposition: We should pray when our soul faints within us. Psalm 61:2 — "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Thirteenth Proposition: We should pray when our heart is overwhelmed. <19D001> Psalm 130:1 — "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD."

Fourteenth Proposition: We should pray unto God when in the depths. Deuteronomy 4:25-29 — "When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger; I shall call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it: ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Logo shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul."

Fifteenth Proposition: We should pray in the day when we are being chastened for sin, when we feel far from God and desire to come back to Him.

The chastisements of God are a call to prayer. Isaiah 55:6 — "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near."

Sixteenth Proposition: We should pray while God is near and may be found. <19B601> Psalm 116:1-2 — "I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live."

Seventeenth Proposition: We should pray as long as we live.

The last utterances of Christ were prayers. The last words of the Bible are prayers. Luke 18:1 — "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Ephesians 6:18 RV — "With all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." 1 Thessalonians 5:17 — "Pray without ceasing."

Eighteenth Proposition: We should pray always, at all seasons, without ceasing, and never give up.

A Christian should breathe an atmosphere of prayer. Faith in God has always an upward look. True trust in God is constantly crystallizing into definite prayer to God.