"I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you."-COL. ii. 1.
As men who are undertaking a great thing have to prepare themselves and summon all their powers to their aid, so Christians need to prepare themselves to pray, "with their whole heart and strength." This is the law of the Kingdom. Prayer needs sacrifice of ease, of time, of self. The secret of powerful prayer is sacrifice. It was thus with Christ Jesus, the great Intercessor. It is written of Him, "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed." "He shall see of the travail of His soul." He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death." In Gethsemane "He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying: and tears." Prayer is sacrifice. David said: "Let my prayer he set forth before me as incense ; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."
Prayer is sacrifice. Our prayer has its worth alone from being rooted in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As He gave up everything in His prayer: "Thy Will be done," our posture and disposition must ever be the offering up of everything to God and His service."
A pious Welsh miner had a relative whom the doctor ordered to Madeira. But there was no money. The miner resolved to take the little money that he had, and ventured to use it all. He procured a comfortable lodging at 7s. 6d. per day for the invalid. He was content with an out-room for himself, and lived on ten-pence a day. He spent much time in prayer until he got the assurance that the invalid would recover. On the last day of the month the sick one was well. When the miner reached home he said that he had now learned more than ever that the secret law and the hidden power of prayer lay in self-sacrifice.
Need we wonder at the lack of power in our prayer where there is so much reluctance to make the needful sacrifice in waiting upon God. Christ, the Christ we trust in, the Christ that lives in us, offered Himself a sacrifice to God. It is as this spirit lives and rules in us, that we shall receive power from Him as intercessors to pray the effectual prayer that availeth much.
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