How Then Shall We Live?
Devotions on Living the Deeper Christian Life
“I consider the present suffering are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18
Prayer and Promises
Mary Slessor (1848-1915) knew that prayer would be the key element in her ministry. This red haired, blue-eyed Scottish missionary served Christ in Africa where she was commonly called “Ma” Slessor. The story is told of how a young Mary stood her ground against a local gang who swung a metal weight on a string closer and closer to her face. This young woman defied the gang by obtaining their agreement that should she not flinch, then all her tormentors would join the Sunday School class. Mary triumphed, and gained experience which she would later use in her contacts with even more threatening tribes in a distant land known as “The white man’s grave.”
This courageous woman doubted her own ability to perform such deeds in Africa, describing herself as “Wee and thin and not very strong”. Her recurring illnesses and general hardships all took their toll on Mary. By 1915, her physical strength had greatly declined, and the woman who had once thought nothing of all-night treks through the rain forest was finally reduced to traveling in a handcart propelled by one of her assistants. Still persistent to the end, on January 13th, 1915, after an excruciating and prolonged bout of fever, Mary Slessor died.
In her lifetime, numerous savage tribes were converted, churches were planted, schools were built, and medical help was made available through her ministry. Mary Slessor commenting on her life filled with many remarkable deeds, attributed her success to prolonged prayer. She said, “My life is one long, daily, hourly record of answered prayer for physical health, for metal overstrain, for guidance marvelously, for errors and dangers averted, for enmity to the Gospel subdued, for food provided at the exact hour needed, for everything that goes to make up life and my poor service. I can testify with full and often wonder-stricken awe that I believe God answers prayer. I know God answers prayer!”
Matthew Henry (1662 – 1714) the English nonconformist minister and author used to say, “Whatever we have in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ.” The world puts little stock in prayer and is filled with promises to make you rich and prosperous if you put yourself first. Mary Slessor knew that “the present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18).
Dwight L. Moody used to give this prescription for times when you were struggling with your Christian walk; “If you were to spend a month feeding on the precious promises of God, you would not be going about with your heads hanging down like bulrushes, complaining how poor you are; but you would lift up your heads with confidence, and proclaim the riches of His grace because you could not help it.”
Someone once counted the promises in the Bible and totaled more than 3,800. How many of us could list the promises that God has for the very thing that we are struggling with today? Your prayers and His promises will mark the life of a believer with experiences that will last an eternity.
<>————<> W O R D S OF W I S D O M <>—————<>
<>–HOW SHOULD YOU PRAY–<>
“The most promising method of prayer is to allow oneself to be guided by the word of the Scriptures, to pray on the basis of the word of Scripture. In this way we shall not become the victims of our own emptiness.” – Dietrich Bonhoffer February 4, 1906-April 9, 1945 (Killed in a Nazi death camp).
<>–GOD’S UNCHANGING LOVE–<>
“I am sure that there is in me nothing that could attract the love of one as holy and as just as You are. Yet You have declared Your unchanging love for me in Christ Jesus.” – A.W. Tozer
“No man is greater than his prayer life.” Leonard Ravenhill, (1907 – 1994) English Christian Evangelist
<>–THE PROMISES OF GOD…–<>
“Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pledged before Him with this reasonable request: Do as Thou hast said.” – Charles H. Spurgeon.”
“If you were to spend a month feeding on the precious promises of God, you would not be going about with your heads hanging down like bulrushes, complaining how poor you are; but you would lift up your heads with confidence, and proclaim the riches of His grace because you could not help it.” – D. L. Moody