Breath of the Soul - World's Last Chance


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Prayer Breath of the Soul “Prayer is the opening of the heart to YAH as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to YAH what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring YAH down to us, but brings us up to Him.” (Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 94, YAH's Name supplied) A recent expert study, published by Fox News in 2012, asserted that the primary cause for divorce is a breakdown in communication between partners. Marriage councilors understand that without communication, there is no understanding. Without understanding, there is no sympathy and, ultimately, no love. The same holds true for our relationship with the Heavenly Father. A close, intimate relationship with Him also requires communication. As one inspirational writer put it: “Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Well-spring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience."1 Yahuwah* is all-knowing and all-wise. He has no need for His earth-bound children to pray to Him. The one who has promised, “Before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24)

has no need to be told anything! He is omniscient. He knows everything! There is nothing you can tell Yahuwah that He does not already know. That is not the purpose of prayer. The importance of prayer is not to be found in the transfer of information from your heart to the ears of Yahuwah. Prayer is important because it is what we need. Yahuwah loves us already. But our sense of closeness to Yahuwah, our trust in His promises, our faith in His love, are all linked to maintaining our part of a close relationship with Him. A normal, emotionally healthy parent already loves his/her child. The infant, lacking more mature understanding, does not automatically feel for the parent the same depth of emotion the parent feels for the child. This emotion in the heart of the child develops overtime. As the child’s needs for food, a clean diaper, sleep and comfort are met in response to his cries, trust forms that Mommy and Daddy will always be there to provide for his needs. As he grows, trust in his parents deepens into gratitude as the tender attentions of the parent are recognized. The gratitude, in turn, awakens love. As a loving, divine parent, Yahuwah understands this process in the growing parent/child relationship. In their journey to the Promised Land, the Children of Israel were repeatedly brought into difficult, even dangerous situations. Infinite Wisdom, omnipotent Love, allowed these various circumstances in order to turn the hearts of the people to Him. It was Yahuwah’s plan that, as they were brought into difficulties from which they had no escape, they would cry to Him for help and He would provide deliverance. This He did repeatedly, from dividing the waters of the sea, to turning bad water into good, to providing 40 years of manna and water in a dry and desolate land. As the people repeatedly experienced deliverances in answer to prayer, their faith, gratitude and love would grow. The same is true today. Yahuwah is intimately acquainted with the details of your life. He knows your hidden struggles and He has prepared the very means necessary to provide you with strength, courage, wisdom – whatever you need. But it is necessary that you put this into words in prayer. Were not miracles wrought by Christ and His apostles? The same compassionate Saviour lives today, and He is as willing to listen to the prayer of faith as when He walked visibly among men. The natural cooperates with the supernatural. It is a part of Yahuwah’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.2

Therefore, by laying our cares before the divine throne, we have continual assurance of His great love for us as we are witnesses to answered prayer. Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, Yahuwah speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual [interactive communication] with our heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with Yahuwah, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual life. Prayer is the opening of the heart to Yahuwah as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to Yahuwah what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring Yahuwah down to us, but brings us up to Him.3 Heaven is waiting with longing to bestow rich gifts on the children of men. But when approaching the throne of divine grace it is important to ask in faith. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Yahuwah, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Yahuwah; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-7) Prayer is such an important element to a vital, healthy spiritual life that it was actually one of the subjects taught in the schools of the prophets. One useful method for effectual prayer is to follow the acronym of ACTS.

ACKNOWLEDGE The first important element of any prayer is to acknowledge Yahuwah’s majesty, power, divinity, and His love for us. As we put into words our gratitude and acknowledgement of His might and mercies, we are led to ADORE Him, thus following the Biblical injunction: “Praise be to Elohim!” (Psalm 68:35) The act of acknowledgement and adoration increases our confidence in His limitless power as well as His infinite love.

CONFESS Confession puts you, the suppliant, in proper relation to the All-mighty. There is no place for pride when approaching the Omnipotent One. All our works, the accomplishments in which human pride delights, are seen as nothing when, in contrition, we kneel before the everlasting throne, confessing our sins. There are certain conditions upon which we may expect that Yahuwah will hear and answer our prayers. One of the first of these is that we feel our need of help from Him. . . . The heart must be open to the Spirit's influence, or YAH’s blessing cannot be received. Our great need is itself an argument and pleads most eloquently in our behalf. But Yahuwah is to be sought unto to do these things for us. He says, "Ask, and it shall be given you." And "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Matthew 7:7; Romans 8:32) If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, Yahuwah will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that Yahuwah will answer our petitions. Our own merit will never commend us to the favor of YAH; it is the worthiness of Yahushua that will save us, His blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance.4

THANKSGIVING With the wealth of Heaven’s riches poured out to save sinners, easing their way through this vale of tears, all should unite heart and voice in returning praise and thanksgiving to Yahuwah. The acknowledgement of blessings received inspires us with gratitude, love and more faith in our loving Heavenly Father to meet our needs as He has promised. Shall all our devotional exercises consist in asking and receiving? Shall we be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive? Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never express our gratitude to YAH, never praise Him for what He has done for us? We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of Yahuwah called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of Yahuwah and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You who complain that Yahuwah does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants. Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but do not forget to praise. It becomes every child of Yahuwah to vindicate His character. You can magnify Yahuwah; you can show the power of sustaining grace.5

SUPPLICATION It is only after acknowledging the goodness of your Creator, confessing your unworthiness and returning thanks for His boundless kindnesses and mercies, that it is appropriate to make supplication. The previous acknowledgement, confession and expression of gratitude serves to inspire greater faith which is essential when asking for still greater gifts. The Book of Hebrews explains: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Yahuwah must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Or, as Yahushua stated: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24) Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before Yahuwah. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. "Yahuwah is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James 5:11) His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3) The relations between Yahuwah and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.6

Paul’s instructions to the Thessalonians are as important today as when first given. He said: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of Yahuwah in Yahushua the Anointed for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) This is a positive command from Yahuwah. If followed, it will increase the faith and lead to ever more effective prayers which Yahuwah delights to answer. Yahushua encouraged His followers to pray, for their prayers were heard in Heaven: So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:9-13) We must not only pray in Christ’s name, but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This explains what is meant when it is said that the Spirit “maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) Such prayer Yahuwah delights to answer. When with earnestness and intensity we breathe a prayer in the name of Christ, there is in that very intensity a pledge from Yahuwah that He is about to answer our prayer “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)7 Prayer is vital to a personal relationship with the Saviour. The saddest words ever to fall on human ear at the Second Coming will be: “I never knew you. Depart from Me.” (Matthew 7:23) Now is the time to become acquainted with the Redeemer. The gracious invitation is still extended, waiting only for your acceptance: “Draw near to Yahuwah and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Develop a vital, loving, trusting relationship with Father and Son now. In Heaven, the relationships begun on earth will continue, there to find their deepest, truest expression. Begin today, to walk with YAH as did Enoch.

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*

All quotes use the Father and the Son's proper Names.

1

E. G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 83.

2

E. G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 525.

3

4

5

E. G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 317. 6

White, Steps to Christ, p. 101.

7

E. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 147.

E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 93. Ibid., p. 95.