Rev. John Townsend
TOM 1986 (Tape of the Month)
You’re wonderful. Thank you God bless. You may be seated please. Bless your heart. I’d like
to open with a word of prayer, please. Gracious and loving heavenly Father, thank you for the beauty of
your Word, the greatness of it as you’ve given it to us. Thank you for the understanding that is available
to us. Thank you for your spirit within. Thank you for the exceeding great and precious promises that are
ours each and every day and to have the surety of those promises that they are yea and amen that we can
go to them. And thank you for your blessing on our people here tonight and for the ministry of your
Word around the world for all our brothers and sisters. Thank you for continuing to keep us in the hollow
of your holy hands through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Now I believe your program says Prayer is the topic for this evening, but I wanted to share a few
things with you before we get into this topic of Prayer. God certainly has been exceeding abundant in His
grace and mercy during these days in which we live, and I was thinking again this morning about how
much we have to be thankful for. Sometimes when you have so much (and certainly we, as a ministry,
are not lacking in that sense – we do have very much as a ministry), the temptation at times is to take it
for granted and, of course, that can happen in different ways. You can not only take it for granted in the
sense that maybe you don’t appreciate it as much as you should, but sometimes you think you can afford
the so call “luxury” of worry – you know where you have so much you can sort of take the extra mental
time to worry a little bit. I was thinking perhaps maybe this is why, whenever you pick up newspapers or
watch the TV or anything, it always seems Americans are complaining about something. They never
really seem to be thankful – they don’t like this, they don’t like that. Yet, I know there are men and
women today who live in other parts of the globe who if they had even half as much as we have would be
so thankful they’d probably cry themselves silly. We have unbelievable benefits, privileges, abundance –
the many, many things that we have not only as a country, but also as a ministry of God’s people.
Perhaps this was part of God’s thinking (I don’t know, but it seems like a good idea) that He would tell
us in Psalm 103, Bless the LORD, O my soul … and forget not all his benefits. God never says (praise
the Lord) remember them all. Isn’t that great? So, we’re not to forget. God does not want us to forget.
The key to a walk of thanksgiving is in that great truth. If you’re going to walk with thanksgiving, then
you’ve got to remember the things that God has done for you.
So, tonight I wanted to say (since I have the privilege of sharing the Word with you) how
thankful I am for the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. This Sunday before the anniversary of his birth, I’m
thankful that there was a woman in the believers’ line who had the believing to say, “Be it unto me
according to thy word,” and that there was a lord and savior who accomplished what he accomplished
during the time of his first coming because without that there would be no Way Ministry; it just wouldn’t
be here – wouldn’t be a Word, wouldn’t be a lot of things. I’m also very thankful this evening for the
stand of our founding fathers and all those who have stood with them through the years because certainly
without their stand and commitment to the Word Over The World and their dedication to the Word of
God, then we would not be as privileged as we are to have the many benefits that we have today as
followers of him who is the way, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I was reading through the introduction this morning of one of the books, Jesus Christ Is Not God,
and in the closing remarks of that book I thought, again, of this great heart of what our ministry was built
on and how this is very much my heart for you and with you tonight and, of course, written very
beautifully by our own Victor Paul [Wierwille].
Before closing let me bare my soul. To say that Jesus Christ is not God in my mind does not
degrade the importance and significance of Jesus Christ in any way. It simply elevates God, the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to His unique, exalted and unparalleled position. He alone is
I do believe the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the son of man because he had a human for a
mother; and he is the Son of God because of his created conception by God. So on the basis of
the parentage of God alone, besides his choosing to live a perfect life, Jesus Christ is by no means
a fun-if-the-mill, unmarked human being. Thus to say that I do not elevate and respect the
position of the Lord Jesus Christ simply because I do not believe the evidence designates …
[him] as God is to speak the judgment of a fool, for to the very depth of my being I love him
with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
It is he who sought me out from darkness.
It is he who gave me access to God; even now he is my mediator.
It is he who saved me when I was dead in trespasses and sin.
It is he who gave me the new birth of God’s eternal life – which is Christ in me, the hope of glory.
It is he who gave me remission of sins and continues to give forgiveness of sin.
It is he who filled me to capacity by God’s presence in Christ in all the fullness of God’s gift of
It is he who was made unto me my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
It is he who called me and set me in the heavenlies.
It is he who gave me his joy, peace and love.
It is he who appointed me as a spokesman of God’s accurate Word; may I be found faithful in
It is he who is all in all to me that I might give my all for him.
It is he who is God’s only-begotten Son.
In spite of all my human frailties and shortcomings, I endeavor to love him with all my being. I
love him and the one and only God who sent him. May His mercy and grace continue to be yours
as well as mine, and may God be magnified by our testimony of Him who gave His Son that we
might have life and have it more abundantly – yes, that life which is eternal and therefore more
Being thankful has nothing to do with circumstances and situations. Being thankful has to do
with attitude. In Ephesians 2:11 it says:
Ephesians 2:11a, 12
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh …
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
… having no hope … without God in the world:
Now you might ask why would God want us to remember that? You would want to forget it, you would
think. Why would God ask us in the greatest revelation given to the church (the apex, Ephesians), to
remember what we were before we got in the Word? Very simple, He doesn’t want us to forget. It’s only
when people start forgetting what God has done for them (how much they really have) that they become
ungrateful and in turn start becoming critical and lose that appreciation. If we had to close the doors
tonight, if we had to put a bar over the doors to the Word Over The World Auditorium, we still would
have more by God’s grace and mercy than when this ministry first started. We have so much to be
thankful for. That’s why the admonition of the Word – and whenever God talks about our past you’ll
always see in close proximity, “but now in Christ Jesus” – God sets the contrast of our past to magnify the
greatness of what we are now. Truly we do have a lot to be thankful for.
In our opening of our staff and Way Corps this past week, I made the statement from a great
teaching of God’s Word that I had heard, “Man is not a product of society or circumstances. He is a
product of his own freewill.” We are products of our own freewill. We are what we want to be. There is
no destiny out there that makes us something or like people say, “Well, that’s just the way I am.” Well,
why are we just that way? Because we want to be. It is important that not only when we hear the
teaching of the Word to agree with it in our minds (and I think we basically all do), when we hear the
Word, we agree, but, then after hamburgers and fellowship we also need to be diligent to practice the
Word. You didn’t learn to type by reading a book on typing, then say, “Boy, I really want to do that. I
think I can do that.” How did you learn to type if you learned? You practiced right? Graduated ten
words a minute, really up there (like I did in my summer school class back in high school) you practice,
you practice. Sometimes I think people (in their minds) elevate the scriptures to some ethereal place
where you give mental agreement to it. But, you need to make it a practical reality, like you practice
reading the Word and remembering it. You practice, you work your mind to remember the
manifestations. You practice being thankful. Maybe you have to write everything down. Maybe you just
have to start when the day’s over – everything you’re just thankful for, I don’t know. You have to … you
have to work that in your own heart. You’ve got to practice, and the same is true with prayer. I’m
believing tonight that there can be a few practical keys and specific direction to help you because what’s
the point of teaching if we don’t practice it, if we don’t utilize these things because God is not going to do
it for us because we have freewill and by our freewill we determine what we want to do.
In Matthew 21, the Gospel of Matthew we have a foundational scripture regarding prayer. Prayer
(as we all know from the foundational class) is not religious ritual. It’s a way of life. It’s to be a way of
life which involves, as we have been taught through the years, practicing the presence of God. Prayer
involves practicing the presence of God. We pray because God’s Word instructs us that we should, and it
teaches us how we should. Our prayer life is not to be determined by circumstances or situations. The
boundaries for our prayer life are to be determined by the Word. Most people, the temptation is (I won’t
say most people ‘cause I don’t know that many. Okay, most people within my contact, how’s that – all
five of them.), the temptation is when everything’s going okay to not pray so much, but when the
pressure’s really on, then out of desperation to turn to God. Boy, everybody’s praying like crazy when
the pressure’s on. But, I trust and believe by God’s grace and mercy that we can see from the Word of
God tonight that prayer is to be a very big part of day-by-day living regardless of situations. And that it is
perhaps one of the greatest keys in the Word of God to tapping the resources for the more abundant life
and for God’s solutions in our day and time.
In Matthew 21:22 it reads:
And all things [all things], whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Believing emanates from the heart. Believing emanates from the heart, so we’re talking about the heart of
a man – that inner most part of his being, and that believing should be positive believing. The Word
governs positive believing. So, when we’re talking about prayer (prayer as defined by the Word) we’re
talking about believing that emanates from the heart. In order to have that believing there must be a godly
response to the Word. It’s something that is to be our heart. When you first started typing (I’ll use that
example or driving a car, perhaps) that was not your heart. In fact, it was more like your legs and your
hands as they would shake or whatever. You would get it in your head, of course (Now I had to learn on
a manual shift back in the old days in drivers’ education. I don’t know what they do nowadays – but you
had to learn a manual shift.), so it’s all supposed to be this smooth push in the clutch, give a little gas, put
it into gear, ease it out, give it more gas. Of course you’re very mechanical, and the guys next to him
pushes the clutch in and okay now hit the break … the break, oh … mechanical. It definitely was not
second nature, but through practice, after a while [engine rev noises, speeding sounds – police siren] You
get versatile at getting tickets or something. Sure you practice – same thing with the Word. You start
with your mind, you work with your mind, you put it on, you stay your mind on the Word; you work with
it to the end that it becomes your heart. That is the great key to an effectual prayer life. It must emanate
from the heart of man.
In Matthew chapter 6. What we’re going to do here is look at some of the boundaries that God’s
Word places on our prayer life.
… when thou prayest [this of course is a different administration, but a lot of great insight
here], thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the
synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Nothing wrong with praying in those places, but the key here was their motivation. They were in it for
Verse 5b, 6a
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
Bishop Pillai, the man who was very instrumental in teaching Dr. Wierwille about the oriental culture (the
Bible is an eastern book comes from a culture, an eastern culture), handled this closet as the inner most
part of your heart, the inner chamber of your heart. When you enter into that closet:
and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father …
[who sees thee] in secret shall reward thee openly.
… [and] when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they
shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father … [knows] what things ye have need
of, before ye ask him.
Therefore verily I say unto you, do not ask. Does it say that? No. It doesn’t say you’re not supposed …
it just says God knows before we ask and doesn’t say we shouldn’t – just the opposite. Shut the door of
the closet means the door of your mind. You have to keep your mind stayed. You stay it upon God. You
don’t let anything else get in there. You don’t let your mind wander. You shut out those extraneous
thoughts, distractions, doubts, whatever. You lock in your mind. (Obviously in the gospels they were not
speaking in tongues.) So, when it comes to prayer with understanding you have to stay your mind in the
church, in a believer’s meeting when someone else is praying, you have to stay your mind. You have to
lock in on that, otherwise the “just flipping across the top of the mind” you don’t get the desired results.
You have to stay your mind. That means you have to work with your mind, again, you have to practice
We used to do this in summer school years ago. We’d get out a stop watch and we’d start timing
– you’d read the Word. Now, as soon as you catch your mind wandering hold up your hands. People
would start holding up their hands after five, six seconds – all the way up to maybe a minute or some.
Generally by then everybody’s mind was pretty well flipped out. Yet the Bishop could sit for three, four
hours and never let his mind wander. How come? Very simple, from a child he was taught that. He was
raised in the Hindu faith. He was … came from a high caste Hindu family. That was his background, but
the principles that they taught were very wonderful from the standpoint of how to discipline the mind.
Today, our culture does not teach that, so you have to work at it.
You have to get your mind to stay put when you talk to God, when you pray (be it understanding
or be it speaking in tongues). Same as the manifestations – work your mind so that you can remember
them. I started practicing (becoming more conscious when I hear manifestations) to stop and think, “Now
what did they just say when that guy stood up over there? What did he really say? Do you remember?”
Then you stop to think, “Well, I remember God loves me and I remember …” That’s how you work.
Isn’t it something how people can watch a movie and almost give it back verbatim. Now does that mean
you love movies more than you love God or His Word? No. You know what that means? You’ve been
trained to remember movies. You’ve worked your mind in that category, the same as you did typing or
driving a car. Well, it’s no different with the Word. You just have to work with that because when you
pray you’ve got to get locked in. Notice there’s no time limit here. It just says do it. You’ve got to stay
In Romans chapter 8 (great teaching that the Bishop gave to us through the years) this, of course,
is very familiar to us.
Likewise the Spirit also … [helps] our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray
for as we ought:
So now there is one of the boundaries on prayer in the spirit. When do you speak in tongues, when do
you pray by way of the spirit? We just read it: when we don’t know what to pray for. When you don’t
know what to pray for, then you can pray perfectly. For example, someone says my uncle has a need.
You don’t even know that person’s uncle, but you can stay your mind (however you would picture that in
your mind or perhaps when that person who’s lifting their uncle with their understanding) and you speak
in tongues and that spirit makes intercession. You lock in, then you speak in tongues for that because you
do not know what to pray for.
Speaking in tongues is definitely a big part of our prayer life today. It’s one of the great leverages
of power that God made available to us in the new birth. You can do this, the Word gives guidelines in
the church, in the body of believers present. When you do this, you do it how? Silently, you do it
privately on the inside. You don’t … well someone says I want to pray for something and you don’t
stand up and start speaking in tongues out loud while the other guy’s praying. Some groups do that. But,
that’s not the guidelines of the Word. In your own private prayer life when no one else is around, does
the Word say you have to do it silently? No, you can do it out loud. You can do whatever you want to do
– you and God, babe. Just get out there, do’er. I used to do it in the shower in the army. I had a great
time. I’d … when I’d be planning or sometimes I just wanted to speak in tongues or sing in tongues and
I’d kind of get carried away and forget. All of a sudden someone would come and stick his head in there
and say, “You okay in there?” I’m, “Eh, oh, sure.” But, the key, one of the great definitions here: when
you don’t know what to pray for (and there are a lot of things that we deal with), then the Word of God
says that we can pray by way of the spirit.
Look at I Corinthians chapter 14 verse 14:
I Corinthians 14:14
For if I pray in an unknown tongue [that’s to pray by way of the spirit], my spirit …
[prays], but my understanding is unfruitful.
So, do we all have minds? Let’s testify, how many have minds tonight? Ah, good. So, in your mind,
your understanding is not going to be fruitful. So, when you pray, when you stay your mind and speak in
tongues, we know from the Word that it’s perfect prayer, but our understanding is what – unfruitful.
What is it then? [God will – no] I will [I will, I will by my free will – I will. When I want
to, I will] pray with the spirit, and I will [I will] pray with … the understanding also
You have two types: you have prayer with your understanding and you have prayer by speaking
in tongues by way of the spirit – both in your absolute control, but you have to will to do it. If you want
to pray … maybe you heard some of these things – they’re walkin’ down the street speaking in tongues
and they go, “Okay, every need’s been met ‘cause I was speaking in tongues while I was here.” Now
wait a minute, is that what that says that you just randomly speak in tongues? No, it says, “I will.” You
have to will to do it. You have to put conscious mental effort into it. You must will to pray by way of
speaking in tongues and by way of your understanding. Prayer with understanding in the church (like we
did here tonight or in any Twig Fellowship) has a lot of benefits: it unifies us in our believing; it edifies
us; helps us to see results come to pass – you get together in the Twig, you pray for something, see the
results, bums ya out right? No, you get turned on, you’re thrilled, you’re excited. It’s supposed to be that
way. I think at times people think because you speak in tongues … that speaking in tongues is greater
than prayer with your understanding or like now that you’ve got speaking in tongues you don’t really
need prayer with your understanding. Well, I guess God better take this verse out of the bible then, huh,
because you have how many kinds of prayer in here? Two – and he’s instructing the church. There are
conditions for both, see. So, you have to will to pray. You’ve got to do it, and you will to do it according
to the guidelines that the Word of God gives – both speaking in tongues and understanding.
Look at Luke chapter 6. Luke 6 verse 12:
[You have it coming] to pass in those days, that he [Jesus] went out into a mountain to
pray, and continued all night in prayer to God [he continued in prayer all night].
And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve,
whom also he named apostles;
So here he was before a big decision, he had … he had to make up his mind, right. He had to get locked
in, so what did he do? He isolated himself, he went out into a mountain. He got away, he isolated
himself, and he prayed. What kind of prayer did Jesus Christ have? Understanding. He got to where he
would not be interrupted. Through the gospel records, I’ll only show you … I’ll show you two here
tonight basically – great word study “prayer”. Just go read through the gospel records and see how prayer
was such a big part of Jesus Christ’s life because he needed that. His life needed that prayer and when
you’ll see him in there, for example, many times he prayed until he got the answer or he would pray until
his presence was required somewhere else, where he had to go. But, he prayed – prayed during the day,
prayed at night, got up early in the morning, stayed up late. But, he walked with God, he talked with
God. It’s not in the connotation so many have today: getting down on bended knee or closing your eyes
and lowering your head or whatever. It has nothing to do with it. You can do that and be praying or not
do that and be praying. He really walked with God. He was … prayer … he was genuinely involved in
prayer in his day by day living. It just wasn’t something that he did five minutes before work in the
morning. You know what I mean. It wasn’t something that he reserved for a certain time in the evening
when the believers got together. He prayed. Obviously praying by his understanding meant he had to
close the door of his closet. He had to lock in and stay put be it out loud or to himself because that’s all
he had was with understanding. You can do both. The same as we can do today and also to speak in
tongues. Same thing.
Look at Matthew chapter 14 (show you one more here) look at verse 22.
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him
unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
You know they had this big doo here, they eat and everything. So supper’s over and he says, “Okay,
boys, shove off and I’ll get rid of the house guests here.
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and
when the evening was come, he was there alone.
Now obviously when you’re dealing with multitudes and disciples and everything you’ve got to
have a little organization in your life. I know this is a common complaint at Root Locations: we’re so
inundated with work, we’re so busy with the needs of others that we really feel there’s not much time to
do these things. So you know what he did? He just sent those guys out in a boat, sent the other people
away and got out of there – ran off, went to the mountains. I’m sure that the disciples were just … “Now,
where’s that Jesus? My goodness, he’s never punctual. What’s a matter with him?” Hey, you do what
you need to do, and you have to organize your life. Obviously, if you have other responsibilities you so
organize your life that you can do that, but at the same time taking the time that you need. You have to
do it, in other words. You have to organize your life. You have to decide. You not only will to pray, but
you’ve got to will when you’re going to pray. If you’re just looking for that break or lull or you’re going
to wait till the walls are crashing in and … “Oh, I think I’d better pray now.” No people. Remember.
What determines when we pray and how we pray? The Word – not circumstances and situations – we
don’t let that govern our prayer life, but the Word, the Word. We are in control. We set our own pattern,
our own pace, our own lifestyle.
Ephesians chapter 6. So we gotta make time to pray.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in [or by way of] the spirit,
So now we know we’re talking about speaking in tongues, here.
Verses 18b, 19
and watching thereunto [watching, watching] with all perseverance and supplication for
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to
make known the mystery of the gospel,
You’re to watch. You’re not to fall asleep at the switch where you lift something to God, you lock in, and
then you just go your merry way and never think about it again. You know, like you’re praying for
somebody, so you watch in prayer when that person comes to your mind you pray you’re watching.
That’s like … lift lists, why do we do lift lists: to help us to watch, to remember because our minds aren’t
always so disciplined like we would like them to be. To watch … and when you see that person you just
lock in you can just for … even if it’s for 15, 20 seconds. Then there’ll be times during the day where
you, perhaps, will want to separate yourself and just lock in and to pray for them both with understanding
(if you know specifics that you can pray for in your understanding) and speaking in tongues. That’s what
so great about our age. We’ve got both, but you’ve got to watch. It’s interesting when you start looking
at the words in God’s Word that are associated with prayer. It’s not idle; it’s not let yourself go, brother.
It’s not as the spirit moves, brother. Watching, persevering.
Colossians 4:12: laboring fervently (talking about Epaphras, remember?), laboring fervently for
you in prayers that God’s people would stand, praying for them that they’d stand on the Word. Romans
15: 30ff talks about striving together, striving together in prayer with Paul, praying together for the work
of the ministry, striving together, working, watching, persevering. You know what God’s saying about
prayer: it’s work. It’s no different than witnessing; it’s no different than teaching or reading or writing.
You have to apply yourself. The exhortation of the Word is with diligence, with fervor, with faithfulness,
with continuance. It’s pleasurable work: prayer is a pleasure because the benefits that you get out of
prayer are going to far outweigh any effort that you put into it, I guarantee. I don’t have to guarantee, the
Word guarantees. The benefits that are available … that people don’t pray is got to be idiotic. Again, it’s
not reserved till we wait till there’s a crisis, then let’s … hey let’s pray about it. Now maybe there is a
crisis, fine, pray then, too. But what if there’s not? Pray. Well, I don’t know what to pray for? Then
what do you do? Speak in tongues. So do you just [noises] … let myself go … no, what do you do? You
lock in. Well, okay, what do you want to pray for? How about the United States? Okay, I can stay my
mind and speak in tongues for it. How about the Middle East situation? Most people rather than praying
about it read and watch and worry about it. Why worry? Why complain? Why not pray. I’ve been
praying for a long time with a brother in the ministry that God will open a door for the Word in the
Middle East. I don’t care that they’re fighting. (I mean, you know sure it bothers me when things devilish
happen and people get hurt), but I don’t really care in terms of a solution. That’s not the solution. The
solution comes from God. I’ll just keep praying because the Word says I can pray for an open door, and I
happen to think that God’s a lot bigger than Muslims or all the nations of the Middle East combined or
the oil cartel or whatever else it is. Sure.
You know, it’s so easy (that’s what I was talking about), it’s so easy in our mind to just stop
being thankful. “Well, there’s such and such community. Nobody wants to believe around here.” That’s
right. Why not pray for it then. Why not stay your minds. Pray for our communities. Why not pray for
our public schools. You know, “Well, I don’t think my school’s so hot.” Then quit complaining about it
and start praying for it. Why not pray for the things of the ministry because yacking about it doesn’t do
much good at all unless we’re doing this kind of yacking which is basically the Word – or the yack of
what we need to yack to move the Word, but otherwise we ought to be praying for these things.
It’s not a cop out type thing where you can just shoot a few tongues, then that takes care of it.
That’s my expression. You know. You know you just kind of do it for a few seconds, then it’s okay.
No. You’ve got to apply yourself just like the Word of God says here in Colossians 4, another good one.
Colossians 4:2 here it is again.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the
Those people, he was encouraging them, exhorting them to pray “and watch in the same with
thanksgiving” for the ministry, for people, for themselves. Prayer is one of the great ways of continuing
to take care of yourself, of your need, of others, of things in the ministry. It’s to be done with an attitude
of thanksgiving. In other words, don’t get negative when you pray. Don’t start getting all “negged out”
in your mind. You know people can say, “Thank you, Father,” but it does no good to say the words,
“Thank you, Father” unless that “thank you” is from the heart, the thanksgiving that emanates from the
heart. It will only emanate from the heart because that person has practiced it in their mind sufficiently
that it has become their heart. If “thank you” is the only word you say when you’re praying, then I’d say
you’re probably not too thankful. That’s a superficial statement, but I’ll still use it for my illustration. If
the only time we’re saying, “Boy, I’m thankful,” is when I’m in a prayer (that I’m doing maybe once a
day), how thankful am I? Do I consciously sit down and think of what I’m thankful for or do I just live
and eat it and slurp it and drive it and use it and ram it and everything else and go to bed (growl noises)
take an AlkaSeltzer. Okay, the Word makes us get honest, it really does. I love it. You know (grumbling
noises) “If all this stuff wasn’t going on, then I’d be thankful.” No, no, no, no, no, no. If all this stuff
wasn’t going on … where does it say that? No. If you’re not thankful then, sorry, you don’t want to be.
If you want to be, then change your attitude. If you want an effectual prayer life, then practice this. If
you want more … your mind to be more disciplined to remember things, then you got to practice. That’s
what I’m … you may never get there, bless your heart. I may never get there, but God cannot say that we
did not put forth the effort, and rewards are dependent upon faithfulness not results. That’s right. If
you’re diligent in your application, God’s going to bless you. I’ll tell you. God takes a little and does a
whole lot with it. As Ralph Dubofsky’s been saying lately, “God’s been “unbelievable” (imitating Ralph)
to us.” God has taken our little efforts (that we have been expending) and doing great things with it only
because we’ve been operating the principles of His Word. People just have to make up their minds,
There’s also the reference in I Timothy 2 where it talks about praying that we can live a quiet and
peaceable life in godliness and honesty. You see again, there’s where I think we just need to be thankful,
pray for things – why not pray for these unbelieving nations that God will open doors in them. Pray for
this unbelieving nation that God will open doors. Why complain when we can pray. I John 5:14 & 15
says that “whenever we ask anything according to His will”, so if we want to know what to pray for,
we’ve got to go to the Word. The Word must govern our prayer life, that’s what I’m endeavoring to
communicate here tonight. We are to be specific according to the Word of God in our prayer life, not
circumstances. You want to get a good chill going through a group of people: start lifting someone and
use the word cancer. Hey, I’ll tell you eyebrows will raise. I’ve lifted people that have had serious
illnesses and have never used the word cancer, aids, gangrene, stroke, palsy. Why, why do you have to
use those words? There’s nothing in there that says you have to say all that stuff. Story prayers I call
them, some of them. You know, “Thank you for this person that was just mugged in the park a half hour
ago and was taken to the hospital … or just thank you for being (noises).” Everybody’s going, “Whoah.”
They’re sitting there praying and all of a sudden all this stuff, this true confessions starts coming out.
What’s the profit? I mean, what does it help? The specifics on the Word, yes, not according to situations,
but according to the Word. God knows what the need is. So, if you don’t know everything, fine, at least
speak in tongues. What you do know you can pray for by your understanding. Use both of them and you
just lift that thing to God and give it to Him and let Him do His thing and let Him go to work.
Philippians 4 verse 6:
Be careful [or be anxious] for nothing;
The root of this word “anxious” means mental distraction, literally “you do not allow your mind to be
distracted”. This is sort of the New Testament application of what we read back in the gospel records
there. You’re not to be anxious for anything.
but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known unto [whom] God.
Being anxious in the context of this chapter deals with the how of pressing onward with one mind in the
Lord – great teaching that Dr. [Wierwille] did a number of years ago back in the ’70’s sometime. Being
anxious in the least common denominator is divisive because anxiety cuts at the very heart of fellowship
with God. You see, if something is going wrong, something’s happening where that … you can have the
… you know, let your mind go, start getting’ anxious about it. Is that going to add a little pressure to your
life? Come on, come on testify. It’ll add a little pressure to your life, right? It’s going to put your mind
through changes. Well then, to the end that you are concerned, you better pray and (let’s see how much
we’ve been praying … paying attention, praying attention here) what kind of prayer would you want to
use? Understanding. Why? I Corinthians 14, there’s a chapter and verse for it, we just read it, 14. When
we pray in the spirit our understanding is what? Unfruitful. So when the problem’s on, is it your spirit
that’s getting anxious? No. Oh, I’m anxious in my spirit – no. Where are you anxious? Mind. Ah, so,
you better pray with your what? Your understanding, so that you’re happy, you’re blessed, you’re at
peace, you give it to God. Sure.
You know (I’ve heard this in the ministry), we’re great, we like phrases like: when the pressure’s
on, speak in tongues. Ah great, speak in tongues, but I’ll tell you what, you better pray with your
understanding also because speaking in tongues won’t do anything for what? You mind. That’s right.
I’ve seen this, people, “Well, I’ve been liftin’ it. I’ve really been (noises).” What do you mean? “Well,
I’ve been speaking in tongues like crazy for this thing.” But meanwhile (noises) your mind … “Go back
over here, pick this thing up.” Sure. Yet God’s Word says don’t be what? Anxious. So, you by your
freewill have to determine … but then you’ve got to do what the Word says. That’s why it says, “In
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.” That’s the key to it. You’ve got to learn to
give it to Him. You’ve got to lock in and you give it to God in your understanding. Sure. And I think …
it’s wrong to think that because I don’t understand everything, therefore I don’t use prayer with my
understanding. That’s not what the Word says. There are both, otherwise your mind is going to be
running like crazy.
“Be not anxious” is a commandment, it’s a command. In other words, God is not saying think
about it, He’s saying do it. You do it. So, therefore, God has placed boundaries on our thoughts, right?
Is that not what He’s doing … in case we care to walk in fellowship with Him. Because if I’m being
anxious am I inside the will of God, is that God’s will? No, I just read what His will is. Don’t be that
way. So, I have to control my mind to lock in, and here’s one of the great ways of doing it, not sitting
down and counselling and talking for hours: prayer, people, prayer. Prayer and the Word will move as a
far greater leverage of power in our ministry than all the wise counsel combined. I’m not … nothing
against counselling. I’m just simply saying that we need to do a lot less yacking and a lot more praying.
Those of us that have been around know the reason we get in hot water and have gotten in hot water if we
recall is because, again, facts, facts, facts, facts. “Well, I gotta get all the facts. Gotta talk facts, facts.”
Phooey facts … how about the Word, prayer, locking in our minds. Right. So therefore God’s telling us
that it has to be possible for me to control my mind sufficiently that it does not get what? Anxious.
Sorry, that’s what it says. So, if I confess, “Well, I just can’t handle this, I just can’t handle the pressure.”
Whoah, who’s right me or God? God. If I say I can’t handle it, the Word of God says I can, somebody’s
wrong some place or like I think, somebody’s right some place – God’s right and that man’s wrong
because you can handle it. You handle it by applying Philippians 4:6 and 7 (or 7 is the benefit of it). So,
when you stay within those mental boundaries of the Word and you give it to God, then the peace of God
which passes all understanding is going to keep your what? Heart (and what emanates from the heart –
believing) and minds (seat of personal life) through or in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus – is that sonship or
fellowship? Fellowship. So, you want that peace of God to guard your heart where believing emanates
from to the end that you’ll walk with Him, you talk with Him. It can be all around you, it can be a sunny
day and the birds are singing and you’re still in fellowship. That’s right. That’s why we just got to stay
put on the Word.
I want to read you this one little excerpt out of Fellowship is the Secret:
I John 3:21,22:
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. [This is I John 3]
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him ....
Whenever and wherever sons fail to get prayers answered the cause is [guess what] broken
fellowship … God is faithful who has promised and He will bring it to pass; thus, if it does not
come to pass it is due to a flaw on the man’s part.
Well, guess what the flaw is? He lets his mind get outside the mental boundaries that the Word of God
set regarding his life and in this context regarding prayer. I told you it’s one of the great ways of / keys to
God’s solutions in situations, but we are in control. We’ve got to lock in both by way of speaking in
tongues and prayer with our understanding. That’s the only way it’s going to happen. If you want it
you’ve got to practice the presence of God by way of prayer in light of Philippians.
Dr. Wierwille, in a letter to the Way Corps a number of years ago, wrote the following and I think
it’s so appropriate in light of what we’ve been doing here:
You know, years ago I learned that someone is always giving me orders, like in school they told
me what to read and study and so on. In the logic of that, I arrived one day at the great
conclusion regarding all my thinking, namely why not take orders from God, not people, religion,
tradition, but from God and His Word. So, I looked at my life, and with the greatest reality of
understanding I had, I waved good-bye to the past and left it all behind thinking of it as Paul said
in Philippians: what things were gain to me those I counted loss, but for the excellency of Christ
Jesus my lord. Then, I moved up to a new level of thinking and believing. I no longer think
about myself, and I might add I no longer think what others think about me. I think about what
God thinks. Previously, I was constantly running away, I had mind lapses, daydreaming even
weary with my own self in life, but after that decision and to this day, I have learned to live and
enjoy simple, beautiful, tender, kind, loving and other pleasures of life. Philippians 4:8 is my
daily thinking along with I Corinthians 13:5, “Thinketh no evil.”
Isn’t that great. He just made up his mind – he willed, he moved that way.
Here is I Thessalonians 5, in our closing section tonight, verse 15 says:
I Thessalonians 5:15-17
See that none render evil for evil unto any … [you don’t fight negatives with
negatives] but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all …
Pray without ceasing.
Unvarying operation – means you stay at it. To not pray would be abnormal. Normality according to the
Word is prayer.
In every thing give thanks [that’s right; that’s normal, to be thankful] for this is
the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
So people it’s got to be a day by day reality where we continue in His divine presence, practicing
the presence of God, partners with God, where we walk with God, we talk with God. I believe it was Dr.
Wierwille who taught that if you’re not walking with God than you’re going to be fighting with God –
you’re either going with God or you’re going against Him, you’re bucking up against Him. There’s no in
between with God. The Old Testament record, can two walk together except they be agreed. That’s the
essence of it, I think it’s Amos. You never agree with God unless your thoughts line up with what His
Word says. So, we just have to make up our minds … make our minds track. Practice the Word. If God
loves us, cares for us, He’s always with us, then we might as well enjoy Him. Learn to enjoy God and
don’t forget to allow God to enjoy you – the reality of His presence. Meditate in His Word, His heart.
Practice thanksgiving. Practice His divine presence with the pleasure of prayer. I’m believing with you
(and in light of what little we’ve seen here tonight, and there’s obviously a lot in the Word) that by God’s
grace and mercy this wonderful privilege and responsibility of the pleasure of prayer can be a part of our
day by day living. So let’s practice class, okay. That’s your homework assignment for this year, okay.
Well, Father thank you for your love, your goodness, your grace and tender mercy unto us. And
thank you for our people, thank you for the simplicity of your Word and yet all its wonderful dynamics
and Lord, thank you for just working with us and just helping to understand these things that we can tap
the resources for the more abundant life. And we’re thankful for your presence and power in us, thankful
that we do have a savior thankful that we can have fellowship with you not only now through a glass
darkly, but then in the future, Father, it’s gonna be face to face. So, thank you again, and we surely love
you and love your Word and just continue to expect and pray for your continued blessing on the ministry
of your Word. Sure love you Father, and again thank you for blessing your people abundantly this week
all over the world through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Before we close tonight I’ve asked my brother John [Kish] to sing that great hymn/song My God
My God and I
My God and I go in the field together;
We walk and talk as good friends should and do;
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.
He tells me of the years that went before me
When heavenly plans were made for me to be;
When all was but a dream of dim reflection;
To come to life, earth's verdant glory see.
When all was but a dream of dim reflection;
To come to life, earth's verdant glory see.
My God and I will go for aye together,
We'll walk and talk just as good friends do;
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
But God and I will go unendingly.
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
But God and I will go unendingly