Reading: “At that day ye shall ask in my name: … I will pray the Father for you.” John 16:26
In prayer believer, you are coming to one who bears on His head many crowns. You are coming to a King. Therefore enlarge your petitions. Be not niggardly in your expectations, as though these gifts went by desert. It is the very first thing which you have to unlearn in religion. The promise is, “I am he who brought thee out of the land of Egypt; open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.”
I am He that redeemed thee—make large requests, and be satisfied. This Great King has invited you here to bless you. He is able to subdue your enemies and deliver you from your sins. You cannot ask more than Christ’s power can effect. You are at liberty to multiply your prayers, in the way of intercession, for those whom you bring in the love of your hearts, to this sacred place. Be in haste to include in your petition all whom you would look around for, if the next moment should bring the crash of the universe. Can you ascend to heaven without these souls!
Go further—stretch more wide the arms of comprehensive benevolence!—By all His atoning blood, by all His regal crowns, plead with Him, instantly, and importunately, that He would speedily come and turn His enemies into friends! All the other thoughts, desires and passions of life ought to be swallowed up in this, and would be if we only saw things right.
No object, conceivable by man, can stand comparison for an instant with the reign of Christ over a subdued world. Perish all gain, all power, all science, all art, all honor, in comparison. Let the same mind be in you, that was in Christ Jesus. Look out for the deepest, fathomless part of the ocean, for a place whereinto to cast forever that burdensome millstone about your neck …. I mean self! Show it no mercy! For Christ—for His cross—for His crown—for His people—count all things but loss.
“When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words be without heart.”—John Bunyan
Adapted from J. W. Alexander (God is Love, 362ff)