Jack Carroll - Sidney, Manitoba Convention - Sunday Evening, November 8, 1914

Jesus still takes the bread and gives it to the disciples and the disciples to the multitude.  That is your responsibility and mine.  These miracles always teach us some lessons.

 

How many of us have learned to pray?  The disciples of Jesus came and said, “Lord teach us to pray.”  There is an awful difference between praying and saying prayers.  Prayerlessness is the secret of weakness.  Prayerfulness is the secret of strength in the church and in the work.  Many saints and workers have found prayer to be a disappointment — prayer does not bring the encouragement they expected.  This ought not to be so.  It ought to be the source from whence we derive all our strength.  Yet some of us think so lightly of it that we can hardly afford five minutes out of the twenty-four hours to seek the thing we most need. 


The hardest thing in all the world to get saints and servants to do is pray.  They will testify, preach and study, but somehow, we all neglect prayer.  One of the reasons we don’t get much joy out of it is because we don’t pray intelligently.  In our childhood, we often prayed for things from our father and mother that were not good for us.  No wise father or mother will give to their child all that the child demands and no child prays for the things it needs most.  Children of God need to be taught to pray intelligently and ask the things that God delights to give.  Jesus said, “Knock and it shall be opened unto you, seek and ye shall find.”  These promises were not given to mock us.  In the same place to the same people He says, “If ye being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to them that ask Him?  If ye who are not always right and wise give good gifts to your children, how much more will God who is always wise give good things to those that ask Him?  Have we been getting the things from God that are helping us to get the victory over world, flesh, and devil?  We have been seeking things God cannot give to us because they would ruin us.  He will give us exactly what is best for us along every line so don’t bother the Lord about your crops.  The whole world has been polluted with folly and nonsense with regard to prayer.  A woman in Pennsylvania was very much troubled with mice.  She got cats, etc., but it was no use, so she and her husband decided to pray about it and it was not long until all the mice were gone.  The mice had come there for the winter, but in the spring when there was better food outside than inside, they left.

 

Matt S. was brought up in a home where the parents had wonderful faith in God, always taught their children God hears and answers prayer.  Every night, he had to bring the horses home and as there were no fences, they would sometimes get quite a piece away.  Matt thought it would be a great advantage to him if he had a pair of wings.  There were great stumps from 8 to 12 feet high, so one night when he could not find the horses, he got down behind a stump and prayed.  Then he climbed up on the stump, shut his eyes and jumped off, expecting his wings to work.  He got an awful fall and after that said he had no use for God.

 

God does hear and answer prayer and prayer can be a continual source of comfort to the servants and saints of God if they will only seek His face and wait upon Him.  Old Testament saints renewed their strength by waiting upon God.  If we follow their example, we too will prove what it is to run and not faint and get above the difficulties that harass others.  There are some people in the world that would not miss a little time alone with God every day for all the dollars that could be made.  It will help you mentally, physically, and spiritually.  Most of us are so scattered in our minds that it is almost impossible to pull ourselves together and centre our thoughts and minds upon the things concerning His kingdom and get our vision filled with Him that we may be changed to His likeness.  You may often have to wait for half an hour before you can get your thoughts together but the discipline will help you wonderfully in making progress in the way of life. 


Praying saints hardly ever get into trouble with their neighbors and with each other.  They always find a way of escape in the hour of temptation.  They find God is on their side and that He is true to His promises that He will never leave or forsake.  I have noticed that saints and servants who are going on have a weakness for being alone.  A man following the plow can have a wonderful time if only he will seek to centre his mind upon God and the things concerning His Kingdom.  I have known some women that are nervous wrecks because they have never learned to hold their tongue - talk all the time.  If such men and women would only make up their minds to spend one hour alone with God every day, gather up their thoughts and fix them upon God, set their affections on things above, it would do them more good than all the medicine in Canada.  It would cure them of worrying and getting themselves into a fever over nothing. 


Jesus felt His need of prayer.  He prayed in the garden, in the wilderness, with His disciples and without them.  If He needed to be often alone with His Father, surely it is absolutely necessary for our development as children of God to wait upon Him alone in prayer.  The Lord’s prayer was never intended to be parroted over.  It was meant to be a guide.  The first words are good:  “Our Father.”  It takes a long time before we can say these words.  There is a sweetness about them that is very comforting.  We could not always say “Our Father.”  There was a time when we looked upon Him as our judge rather than One to help us and comfort us.  With John we can say, “Behold what manner of love…that we should be called the sons of God.”  It necessitates being born again.  By nature we were the children of Adam; we have human nature, but by regeneration, we become partakers of the new divine nature which enables us to say “Our Father.”  Heaven is a place God has prepared for His own sons and daughters, not for yours or mine - for those that are born again.  We are told very simply how it happens.  Peter says, “Being born of incorruptible seed.”  A preacher of the gospel is like a man going forth to sow.  We know that if men and women receive the good word of the kingdom into honest and good hearts, such men and women will be born into the family of God.  We know that if we sow good seed in good ground, it will grow.  Some people wonder why, at the close of the meeting, we ask them to stand or hold up their hand.  This is a way of causing the seed to spring up.  If you rightly present the gospel and sow the seed, there cannot fail to be results.  That is how men and women take the first step and cross the line and say, “Our Father.”

 

“Our Father which art in heaven.”  We have not to go up and bring Him down or go down and bring Him up.  The best definition of Heaven is the place where the will of God is done.  He wants to give you a little foretaste of heaven here and now and when you have purposed in your heart to let the will of God be done in you, then you can have a foretaste of heaven. 

 

“Hallowed would be Thy Name.”  If you are in the family, you will be jealous about that Name.  We who have taken the Name of Jesus should be very careful lest by any action of ours, it should be dishonoured.  There is an awful lot about the Name.  He leadeth us for His Name’s sake, gathered out a people for His Name, another mark that you are very much interested in the kingdom.

 

How many shares have you in the kingdom?  Are you a partner in it?  How much real interest do you take in it?  You say, “I have my home and business to attend to, I have no time.”  When I was in business, nothing gladdened me more that to hear of the progress of the kingdom.  I like to see saints that keep in touch.  How many workers are there in Saskatchewan?  In Alberta?  Have any of them ever been to the Peace River country?  How much place has the kingdom in your heart?  The saints at Philippi kept in touch with Paul for ten years.  What about the Kingdom in Europe?  We need to lift up our eyes and behold the fields white unto harvest.  In every life, something is first.  What is first in your life?  Can you honestly say it is the kingdom?  You will get more satisfaction in living for the kingdom than any other thing in all the world.  There may be sorrows and trials, but the joy of getting men and women to walk with Him more than repays. 

 

“Thy will be done on earth, in you and me, as it is done in the courts of Heaven.”  It is not easy to say that.  We find something within and much without that makes it difficult for us to say, “Thy will be done.”  Have you ever had a little Gethsemane in your life?  Did you ever know what it is to have the cup pressed to your lips and shrink from it?  Everything that was in Jesus fought against the cup the Father pressed to His lips, but He said, “Not My will, but Thine be done.”  And in the strength of that victory, He allowed Judas to kiss Him, etc.

 

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  Just as we need nourishment for our physical life, so we need nourishment for our spiritual life.  It is very helpful to the children of God to take their food regularly.  Morning by morning, the Israelites gathered enough for the day.  Don’t try to get enough for the next day.  The best thing to do when the Lord gives you anything is to pass it on at the first opportunity.

 

“Forgive us our sins.”  We all like to be forgiven. The only way the children of God can get forgiveness of sins is by forgiving others.  In order to enjoy prayer, see that you don’t hold in your mind an unforgiving spirit towards anyone whom you think has done something against you.  Kill them with kindness.  There is no better way of breaking them up.  If they don’t forgive and cannot forgive, that is no reason why you should follow their example.  Ephesians 4:31-32, 5:1:   Supposing a brother or sister has said things that are unkind and untrue, forgive and forget.  It is not easy to do it, but you can do it.  Be ye followers of God.  We are to forgive as God does – as far as the east is from the west.  It will help you wonderfully. 

 

What are we to pray for?  We are told to pray for each other, to pray for our enemies.  I have found it very helpful to pray for your enemies, those that are against you.  If it doesn’t help them much, it will help you; it will soften you up and give you a feeling of love toward them — not to see them suffer, but to see them saved.  Another thing we can pray for is wisdom.  The sum and substance of all prayer is conformity to Jesus.  See to it when you pray that there is a desire there to be made like unto the Son of God.  Prayer is a great hardship when you don’t want to be made like Jesus.

 

Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will be added.  We don’t live by faith; we live by obedience.  If I take thought for the kingdom, I will never suffer lack.  My bread until my race is run is surer than yours.  Crops may fail but the promise of God never fails.  I have no right to expect provision will be made for me unless I seek first the kingdom of God.  A farmer has to get out and hustle for what he gets.  I believe I earn my bread honestly as God’s servant.  Jesus didn’t die of want, though He was often hungry and had no place to lay His head.  Paul didn’t die of want or starvation; he died a martyr.  I don’t pray for my bread in the physical sense.  Saints should pray every day for the bread from God that will sustain the spiritual life that they may be true overcomers.