Linda Larsen - Williams and Perth Special Meetings - May, 2006

Hymn 213

A little verse in Revelation 5:8, “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having everyone of them harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” Can we even begin to take in how precious prayer must be to God that He has kept prayers in heaven, in these golden vials? Reading this verse inspired me again; I want to learn how to pray prayers that will end up in these golden vials for all eternity.

There’s a verse in Matthew 6:6, “When thou prayest enter into thy closet and when thou hast shut thy door, pray thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” When does God start being a Father to us? It’s when we learn how to cry for the first time: with the spirit of a child, isn’t it? When we cry as a child with the need of a child: that’s when God becomes a Father to us. Can we say we know God as a Father?

We sing in hymn 306, “He waits for thee – God longs a Father true to be, and He waits for thee.” What is God waiting for? I had the privilege last year of being with a family that had a stillborn child, and was in the fellowship meeting the next day after the birth. And the father, in his broken testimony said that when their first child was born, he wondered how they could make it stop crying. But when this second child was born, all he wanted to hear was just one little cry. And he said he was just beginning to understand a little of the grief to God when we don’t cry out to him. How long does God have to wait for our cry sometimes? How long has it been since we cried as a little child, making God our Father?

We were talking recently of things that we would be the most grateful for in eternity. Someone made the comment it would be the things that keep us needy and crying. How long since we have cried as a child to the Father? I have been wondering what kind of prayers are in these golden vials? Praying for others, prayers of intercession are found in these golden vials.

Back in Genesis 18, we read of Abraham’s prayer on behalf of Lot. Remember when they had to separate and Lot took off in an opposite direction to Abraham? Maybe it wasn’t easy for Abraham, to see this special relative making choices in a dangerous direction and it must have grieved his heart when he knew God was going to destroy that city. There wasn’t much he could do in his natural strength, but he prayed. Maybe you have loved ones that are making choices that grieve your heart. Pray for them, they need your prayers. Maybe things have happened that have separated you from loved ones in your family and situations haven’t been so easy like it was for Abraham and Lot. You can always pray prayers of intercession, prayers of sacrifice.

I know I am only here today because of prayers of sacrifice. After I offered for the work I had to go and tell my Dad about it, and it’s not often I had seen my Father cry. But he cried that day because it was answered prayers. Back in the early 1970’s when my parents were married: they were talking about bringing children into the world. But because of things that had happened in the 1960’s, they were worried, so they decided to pray about it. The answer was that the Lord would always need labourers in the harvest field: and if Mum and Dad would be willing to send forth, God would bless them. That’s why Rhonda and I are in the work today. Maybe you wonder as parents, how to guide your children, and what is the greatest gift you can give them? The greatest gift my parents gave me was their secret prayers, and I never knew until I offered for the work. You can always give them secret prayers, prayers of sacrifice – even to yourself. And those are prayers that will end up in those golden vials in heaven.

I was thinking of the prodigal son: prayers of repentance. Prayers when he realised that he had sinned and had brought grief to the heart of God. I want to turn again: I want to try again and want to give my best to the Lord. It’s when we get on our knees it touches the heart of God and I am sure there will be many prayers of repentance in those golden vials.

Martha and Mary - I had been reading of them in Luke 10. Mary had been sitting at Jesus’ feet and Martha was cumbered about with much serving and came to Him and said, “Lord dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus said unto her Martha, "Thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and maybe she could have been looking at Martha and seeing she was doing a lot of serving and realised Martha had a problem at sitting at Jesus’ feet. We need never feel guilty of the time we spend at Jesus’ feet. Maybe we live with people that don’t totally understand the time we must give to God. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty. No time spent with God is wasted time: it’s not in vain to give our time to God in prayer. She came to Jesus and said, “Don’t your care?” What had put this feeling in Martha’s heart that Jesus had stopped caring for her? She had got away from sitting at Jesus’ feet herself: got away from the place that Jesus left her and Jesus was pointing her to again, “You choose the place that Mary has chosen and you will understand that I do care for you and I do love you." If you feel God has forgotten you, get down on your knees and cry again and God will draw very near.

There’s a lot to be found in the sanctuary; our comfort is found in the sanctuary. There’s a verse in Psalms, “Thy way O Lord is in the sanctuary.” If the sanctuary is a foreign place to us, how can we say what the way of God is? It’s only those that spend time in the sanctuary that know the place of God. I long it wouldn’t be a foreign place, but a familiar place to get in touch; make Him our Father so we know what the next step is for us.