Some Talked With God – Part 2

(Continued)

I have listed the names of a few of those that practiced talking with God, the dates in which they lived and how they described their conversing with God in His own words. Some of these ancient ones were foreign and wrote in such archaic, abstruse and obsolete terminology that you might not be able to grasp what they are trying to say. Therefore, the writer has translated their words into modern, every-day English as is spoken today. The meaning, however, is carefully preserved to be the same as the original.

David Brainerd (1718-1747)

“I read the story of Elijah the prophet, 1 Kings, 17th, 18th, and 19th chapters; and also 2 Kings, 2nd and 4th chapters. My soul was much moved, observing the faith, zeal, and power of that holy man; how he wrestled with God in prayer. My soul then cried with Elijah, `Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’ O I longed for more faith! My soul breathed after God, and pleaded with Him, that a `double portion of that spirit’ which was given to Elijah, might `rest on me.’

Afterward I read from the 3rd chapter of Exodus to the 20th, and saw more of the glory and majesty of God discovered in those chapters more than ever I had seen before. Frequently I fell on my knees, crying to God for the faith of Moses, and for a manifestation of the divine glory… The 15th chapter of Exodus seemed to be the very language which my soul uttered to God…

The cry of my soul was, Psalm 65:3 `Iniquities prevail against me…’

My soul was sundry times in prayer enlarged for God’s church and people. O that Zion might become the `joy of the whole earth!’ (Psalm 48:2)…

Afterward, was enabled to pray fervently, and to rely on God sweetly, for `all things pertaining to life and godliness’ (2 Peter 1:3)…

Though in a very weak and low state, I enjoyed a considerable degree of comfort and sweetness in divine things; and was enabled to plead and use arguments with God in prayer, I think, with a child-like spirit. That passage of Scripture occurred to my mind, and gave me great assistance, “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’ (Luke 11:13). This text I was helped to plead, and insist upon…

In the evening I was much assisted in meditating on that precious text, John 7:37 `Jesus stood and cried,’ I continued long in prayer and meditation, intermixing one with the other; and was unwilling to be diverted by anything at all from so sweet an exercise…

Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

By daily weighing the Scriptures with prayer, my ministry waxed riper and riper. Prayer and the Holy Scriptures have been my wells of salvation out of which I drew daily the living water for my thirsty immortal soul…

By prayer, by reciting Scripture, by praying over it, by casting myself simply upon Christ… I was carried through a season of great tribulation…

I began reading Isaiah, learning by heart the promises scattered through the twelve first chapters, hoping it may prove profitable matter for meditation as well as prayer…

Edward Bickersteth (1786-1850)

“Pray before you begin, blend your prayers with your Bible reading, and pray when you have finished reading. Pray fervent, earnest, and repeated entreaties for the help of the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind. By means of prayer, bring home to your heart all that you read in God’s Word…

Turn passages of Scripture into prayer. When James says, `Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,’ (James 4:10) pray in this way; `O Lord God, grant that I may be humbled for my many and great sins.” Look up to God who can alone give you this spirit of prayer…

“Some have found it useful to take a Psalm, or a chapter to form a prayer. Try the 103rd Psalm for praise, the 51st Psalm for confession, the 9th of Daniel for intercession, the 12th of Romans for petition…

John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)

Study the Bible, dear brother, with prayer. Seek the Lord there, and not knowledge–that will come too. Then the heart is well directed in seeking the Lord: the eye is single, and as a result, the whole body is full of light.

George Muller (1805-1898)

I recommend you read the autobiography of George Muller, of Bristol, England. At the beginning of his Christian life he would get out of bed and start praying. Soon, he discovered something much better. He found that it was a far greater blessing to him when God would speak to him first than for him to speak to God. Consequently, as soon as he would get out of bed, he would read God’s Word, pondering on what he was reading. In that way he found sweet comfort, great encouragement, stern warning, frank reprimand and patient instruction. His reading of God’s Word became much slower, but far more blessed. No more did he go to the Word to find sermons to preach. Now he sought meeting God Himself, to have very lively, timely and loving fellowship with God. Time after time he found that after mere minutes, God would bring him to confess sins, to thank God wholeheartedly, to intercede for others, or to pray for his needs or the needs of others.

Muller used to take walks through his garden. As he walked, he would read a verse of Scripture and immediately pray about it, almost verbatim! Then he would read the next verse, making it his own prayer and so on. No wonder his faith grew and grew! “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Consequently, he housed, fed, educated and sought to lead to Christ 4,000 orphans without ever disclosing their needs to anyone, except God alone!

Some of my favorite quotations from George Muller are the following:

“Reading about George Whitefield has stirred me to always follow his example, namely his intense prayer life, and his habit of prayerfully reading his Bible on his knees…

I began therefore to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning… When thus I have been for a while making confession, intercession, supplication or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse. As I go on, I turn all, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word of God may lead to it. I still continually keep before me that spiritual food for my own soul that is the object of my meditation.

The Lord enabled me to put it to the test of experience, by laying aside commentaries, and almost every other book, and simply reading the Word of God and studying it. The result of this was that the first evening I shut myself into my room to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously… But the particular difference was that I received real strength for my soul in doing so!

Andrew Bonar (1810-1892)

“In the afternoon I found myself much drawn out in prayer while singing verse 18 of Psalm 51 “Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem…”

I find that reading much Scripture beforehand is excellent preparation for prayer…

Got comfort in prayer about this matter. Pled Isaiah 48:12. “I am the First and the Last,” seeing the end from the beginning…

I prayed over and felt much Job 41:4 “Behold! I am vile!…”

In my ordinary reading of Scripture, I often get a single expression which serves as a key-note to my prayers, and sets my soul in order…

“In the evening I spread out Daniel 10 before the Lord…

Prayed over Isaiah 11:2,3 very specially.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843)

“The best way of knowing the meaning of the Bible, and of learning to pray is to turn the Bible into prayer…

The prayer-meeting I like best, is where there is only praise and prayer, and the reading of God’s Word… Pray in secret before going. Let your prayers in the meeting be formed as much as possible upon what you have read in the Bible. You will thus learn a variety of petition, and a Scripture style.”

C.H. MacKintosh (1820-1896)

“Points of truth however interesting, scriptural knowledge however profound and extensive, Biblical criticism however accurate and valuable, may all leave the heart barren and the affections cold. We want to find Christ in the Word; and, having found Him, to feed on Him by faith…

The grand point for us is, to have a target laid upon our hearts by the Holy Ghost–a target to lay the finger of faith upon some distinct promise in the Word. To persevere in prayer until we get what we want…

What are we to do? Fold our arms in cold indifference? Give up in despair? Or give vent to complaining, murmuring, fretfulness, or irritation? God forbid! What then? Come together, “with one accord in one place;” get down on our faces before God, and pour out our hearts, as the heart of one man, pleading Matthew 18:19 “Again I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901)

“The petitions of the true disciples are echoes (so to speak) of Christ’s words. As He has spoken so they speak. Their prayer is only some fragment of His teaching transformed into a supplication, and so it will necessarily be heard.”

Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Back in 1947, when I was a very young believer, eager to go on with the Lord, I went to the local Christian bookstore. The enormous volume of books overwhelmed me, so I prayed,

“I will never be able to read all of these books. Which should I read? Heavenly Father, help! Lead me to choose the very best of these books.”

God answered my prayer marvelously. Among the books I bought, was a copy of “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray. I took it home and as I began to read, I soon dropped on my knees and eventually, read most of that precious book slowly and prayerfully, conversing with God about it.

Thus, back in 1947 I got started reading God’s Word prayerfully, talking about it with Him as I read. I was ushered into the Holy of Holies of God’s Presence. For a young believer it was a marvelous experience, a great incentive to daily read the Word of God, simultaneously communing with the Divine Author!

Through the years I have found this practice a marvelous blessing to me, an open door into God’s wonderful Presence!

I strongly recommend you get a copy of that book from Whitaker House, Pittsburgh and Colfax Streets, Springdale, PA 15144.

Reading that book you will readily discover how easy it was for Andrew Murray to pray after he read a portion of Scripture. In fact, each chapter in that book is preceded by a verse of Scripture and followed by his spiritual analysis of that verse. He then closes every chapter with a prayer based on what the Holy Spirit had quickened to him from the verses he just expounded. Thus he gives us a perfect example of how to read the Scriptures prayerfully. Andrew Murray gives us a most practical demonstration of how this principle works and how it was effectively practiced throughout his entire ministry as an outstanding preacher and Christian author.

Some of my favorite quotations from Andrew Murray are the following:

“For communion with God, His Word and Prayer are both indispensable; and in the inner chamber of prayer they should not be separated. In His Word, God speaks to me: in prayer, I speak to God.

How blessed would the inner chamber of prayer be, what a power and an inspiration in our worship, if we only took God’s Word as from Himself, turning it into prayer, and definitely expecting an answer.

The Word comes from God’s heart, and brings His thoughts and His love into my heart. Then the Word goes back from my heart into His great heart of love. Prayer is the means of fellowship between God’s heart and mine.

God’s Word must dwell in us richly. Our faith must seek to hold it clearly and intelligently, and to plead God’s Word in prayer. To have the words of Christ abiding in us, filling life and conduct, is one of the secrets of acceptable prayer.

Read a few verses from the Bible. Do not concern yourself with the difficulties contained in them. You can consider these later; but take what you understand, apply it to yourself, and ask the Father to make His Word light and power in your heart. Thus you will have material enough for prayer from the Word which the Father speaks to you.”

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

“While wrestling mightily with God in prayer, these precious words were brought with power to my soul, `Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.’ (Psalm 50:15). I was enabled at once to plead them in faith, and the result was deep, deep unspeakable peace and joy.”

Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911)

“Say God’s words over to yourself with all the will power you can muster, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” He is. He is! No matter what I feel, He says He is, and He is! I am going to believe it, come what may!”

Then repeat the words with a different emphasis each time:

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

“The Lord is my Shepherd.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1835-1892)

“It is a great thing to pray one’s self into the spirit and marrow of a text, working into it by sacred feeding thereon, even as the worm bores its way into the kernel of the nut. Prayer supplies a leverage for the uplifting of ponderous truths…

New veins of precious ore will be revealed to your astonished gaze as you quarry God’s Word and use diligently the hammer of prayer…

Use prayer as a boring rod, and wells of living water will leap up from the bowels of the Word. Who will be content to thirst when living waters are so readily to be obtained…

Divine commands should direct us in the subject of our prayers…

“O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!”

It were well if all who hear the Word would copy this example and turn all that they hear into prayer. Let each one say, “Teach me Thy statutes.” This is a sweet prayer for everyday use…

“The Word of the Lord evidently arouses prayer…

Let us always resort to prayer in our times of discouragement. It is the surest and shortest way out of the depths of pessimism. In that prayer let us plead nothing but the Word of God; for there is no plea like a promise, no argument like a word from our covenant God…

David had but few promises to quote, and many of these had been recorded in his own psalms, yet he pleads the Word of the Lord; how much more should we do so, since to us so many holy men have spoken by the Spirit of the Lord in that wonderful library which is now our Bible! Seeing we have more promises let us offer more prayers…

Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request:

“Do as Thou hast said,” The Creator will not cheat His creature who depends upon His truth; and, far more, the Heavenly Father will not break His word to His own child.

“Remember the word unto Thy servant, on which Thou hast caused me to hope,” is most prevalent pleading. It is a double argument: It is Thy Word, wilt Thou not keep it? Why hast Thou spoken of it if Thou wilt not make it good? Thou hast caused me to hope in it; wilt Thou disappoint the hope which Thou hast Thyself begotten in me?”

Edward M. Bounds (1835-1913)

“God’s Word is the basis, as it is the directory of the prayer of faith…

As this word of Christ dwelling in us richly is transmuted and assimilated, it issues in praying…

The Word of God is the fulcrum upon which the lever of prayer is placed…

His Word becomes the basis, the inspiration of our praying…

The prayer of faith is based on the written Word…

The Word of God is made effectual and operative, by the process and practice of prayer…

The Word of God is the food, by which prayer is nourished and made strong…

Prayer and the promises of God are interdependent. The promise inspires and energizes prayer, but prayer locates the promise, and gives it realization…

Prayer in its usual uniform and deep current is conscious conformity to God’s will, based upon the direct promise of God’s Word, and under the illumination and application of the Holy Spirit. Nothing is surer than that the Word of God is the sure foundation of prayer. We pray just as we believe God’s Word. Prayer is based directly and specifically upon God’s revealed promises in Christ Jesus. It has no other ground upon which to base its plea. All else is shadowy, sandy, fickle. Not our feelings, not our merits, nor our works, but God’s promise is the basis of faith and the solid ground of prayer…

Unless the vital forces of prayer are supplied by God’s Word, prayer, though earnest, even vociferous, in its urgency, is, in reality, flabby, and vapid, and void. The absence of vital force in praying, can be traced to the absence of a constant supply of God’s Word, to repair the waste, and renew the life…”

You (Contemporary)

Reader: “Who, me?”

Writer: “Yes, you, the very one that right now is reading these lines! You can have wonderful fellowship with God prayerfully reading God’s Word. God will greatly bless anyone who dares to believe His Word and reads it prayerfully. Your daily life will become a living testimony! Try it! Check it out! Be like the Bereans, of whom God’s Word declares that,

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore, many of them believed…” (Acts 17:11,12a).

From Communing With God – Chapter 8


Updates from Cuba

Starting in the 1990’s Fred was significantly involved with Cuba.  The Lord has continued to move strongly in Cuba through many brothers and sisters in Christ including some key workers who Fred helped to disciple.  Since 2009, a project to evangelize the whole country has reached over 2 million Cubans with hundreds of thousands of new believers added to the kingdom of God.  The work is ongoing with plans to evangelize the entire island country.  See below for recent news from the work in Cuba.

Click here to find out how to access the links below.  They are protected pages.

Updates from Cuba

Posted in Communing With God, Fred Malir

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