Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 Testimony Meeting
Theme: Desire is Prayer
Read by Dede and Fairlie
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
James 4:3 (to ,)
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
James 1:5 (to 3rd ,) (and)
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally … and it shall be given him.
James 5:16 (The)
16 … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
1 Kings 3: 1 (to 1st ,), 3 (to :), 4 (to ;), 5-7 (to :), 9 (to :) 10-15 (to ;) (And) (to 3rd ,), 16 (to 1st ,) (unto)-19 (to ;), 20, 21(but)-26 (to 1st,) (and)-28 (to ,)
1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt,
3 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father:
4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there;
5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father:
9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad:..
10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
15 And Solomon awoke; And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings,
16 Then came there two women, … unto the king, and stood before him.
17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.
18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.
19 And this woman’s child died in the night; …
20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
21 … but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.
22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.
23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.
25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.
27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, …
1 Thessalonians 5:17
17 Pray without ceasing.
Matthew 6:6 (when)-7 (to 2nd ,), 8 (for) – 13
6 … when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions,
8 … for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 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.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds.
What are the motives for prayer? Do we pray to make ourselves better or to benefit those who hear us, to enlighten the infinite or to be heard of men? Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void.
What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring,- blessings which, even if not acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be partakers of Love.
Prayer is not to be used as a confessional to cancel sin. Such an error would impede true religion. Sin is forgiven only as it is destroyed by Christ, – Truth and Life. If prayer nourishes the belief that sin is cancelled, and that man is made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil. He grows worse who continues in sin because he fancies himself forgiven.
Consistent prayer is the desire to do right. Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord, we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.
Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer. There is some misapprehension of the source and means of all goodness and blessedness, or we should certainly receive that for which we ask. The Scriptures say: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” That which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always best for us to receive. In this case infinite Love will not grant the request. Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then “ye ask amiss.” Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus’ prayer, “Forgive us our debts,” specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, “Go, and sin no more.”
In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must “pray without ceasing.” Such prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice. The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity.
No and Yes
True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection. Prayer is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us. Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is.
One thing I have greatly desired, and again earnestly request, namely, that Christian Scientists, here and elsewhere, pray daily for themselves; not verbally, nor on bended knee, but mentally, meekly, and importunately. When a hungry heart petitions the divine Father-Mother God for bread, it is not given a stone,—but more grace, obedience, and love. If this heart, humble and trustful, faithfully asks divine Love to feed it with the bread of heaven, health, holiness, it will be conformed to a fitness to receive the answer to its desire; then will flow into it the “river of His pleasure,” the tributary of divine Love, and great growth in Christian Science will follow,— even that joy which finds one’s own in another’s good.