Search for Its Hidden Treasure—The Bible, just as it reads, is to be our guide. Nothing is so calculated to enlarge the mind and strengthen the intellect as the study of the Bible. No other study will so elevate the soul and give vigor to the faculties as the study of the living oracles. The minds of thousands of ministers of the gospel are dwarfed because they are permitted to dwell upon commonplace things, and are not exercised in searching for the hidden treasure of the Word of God. As the mind is brought to the study of God’s Word, the understanding will enlarge and the higher powers will develop for the comprehension of high and ennobling truth. – 1MCP 93.2
The Bible Without a Rival—As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. Nothing will so impart vigor to all the faculties as requiring students to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. If occupied with commonplace matters only, to the exclusion of grand and lofty themes, it will become dwarfed and enfeebled. If never required to grapple with difficult problems or put to the stretch to comprehend important truths, it will after a time almost lose the power of growth.—Testimonies for the Church 5:24 (1882). – 1MCP 91.2
The Only True Guide—A familiar acquaintance with the Scriptures sharpens the discerning powers and fortifies the soul against the attacks of Satan. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit, which will never fail to vanquish the adversary. It is the only true guide in all matters of faith and practice. The reason why Satan has so great control over the minds and hearts of men is that they have not made the Word of God the man of their counsel, and all their ways have not been tried by the true test. The Bible will show us what course we must pursue to become heirs of glory.—The Review and Herald, January 4, 1881. (HC 31.) – 1MCP 89.3
Our savior taught His disciples to pray: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” A great blessing is here asked upon conditions. We ourselves state these conditions. We ask that the mercy of God toward us may be measured by the mercy which we extend to others. Christ declares that this is the rule by which the Lord will deal with us. “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Wonderful terms! but how little are they understood or heeded.
One of the most common sins, and one that is attended with most pernicious results, is the indulgence of an unforgiving spirit. How many will cherish animosity or revenge and then bow before God and ask to be forgiven as they forgive. Surely they can have no true sense of the import of this prayer or they would not dare to take it upon their lips. We are dependent upon the pardoning mercy of God every day and every hour; how then can we cherish bitterness and malice toward our fellow sinners! If, in all their daily relations, Christians would carry out the principles of this prayer, what a blessed change would be wrought in the church and in the world! This would be the most convincing testimony that could be given to the reality of Bible religion….
We are admonished by the apostle: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Paul would have us distinguish between the pure, unselfish love which is prompted by the spirit of Christ, and the unmeaning, deceitful pretense with which the world abounds. This base counterfeit has misled many souls. It would blot out the distinction between right and wrong, by agreeing with the transgressors instead of faithfully showing them their errors. Such a course never springs from real friendship. The spirit by which it is prompted dwells only in the carnal heart.
While Christians will be ever kind, compassionate, and forgiving, they can feel no harmony with sin. They will abhor evil and cling to that which is good, at the sacrifice of association or friendship with the ungodly. The spirit of Christ will lead us to hate sin, while we are willing to make any sacrifice to save the sinner.—Testimonies for the Church 5:170, 171.
Increased Power during Prayer
Let us focus on a factor that adds tremendous power to intercessory prayer: asking God to apply the blood of Christ to the individual you are lifting up in prayer. The book of Revelation specifies three elements essential for victory over Satan: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Rev 12:11) I call this verse the “crimson hinge” of Revelation because it is exactly in the middle of the book. The three elements of course are: the blood of Jesus, the word of one’s testimony, and a willingness to die for one’s faith.
“All that He endured-the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face-speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for Thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise.” (ibid)
We need to keep in mind that Jesus suffered for each of us, and for every person for whom we pray.
The efficacy of Christ’s blood
Definition of Efficacy=Power to produce effects or intended results; effectiveness.
Rev 12: 10 says, “I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before God day and night, has been cast down”
The Power of His Christ! The New Testament repeatedly points to the blood of Jesus, and it is especially prominent in Matthew’s account of the Crucifixion. Roger Morneau told his custom of opening to Matthew 27 and reviewing the Crucifixion section of that chapter (verses 45-65) before making intercessory prayer requests.
Matthew 27 mentions the blood of Jesus five times (verses 4, 6, 8, 24, 25.) Add the verses that describe the scourging, the crown of thorns pressed upon His brow, and the Crucifixion itself (verses 26, 30, 35) and you have a total of eight references to Jesus’ blood-more than any other Gospel writer. You can be sure that when any child of God turns to Matthew 27, points to those eight mentions of the blood of Jesus and urges that blood as a reason for God to act, Satan slinks away in anguish-totally silenced.
Ponder these points:
- It is the blood that makes atonement (Leviticus 17:11) “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
- We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus ( Our High Calling, 47)
“Satan….trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged.” Testimonies 5 p.317
The word “urge” comes from the Latin urgere, “to press hard.” Other meanings include “to prod” “to push” “to entreat” “to implore” “to beseech.” The meaning of beseech include “to ask for earnestly; solicit eagerly”
Let us unite at the foot of the cross to “press hard” and as we pray, may we take the following as God’s message to us (Hebrews 6:14) “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”
Morneau emphasizes what he calls “three principles for effective intercessory prayer”
- Ask God to forgive the sins of the person for whom you are praying.
- Ask that the person be surrounded by God’s Holy Spirit-with a sense of the Holy Spirits presence and the peace that can bring.
- Claim the blood of Calvary on that person’s behalf.
In your imagination open your Bible to Matthew 27:45-65 and travel from Pilate’s judgment hall to Calvary. Roger Morneau does this before presenting requests to the Lord in prayer on behalf of another.
Whether you use just Matthew 27:45-65, or the eight direct or implied mentions of Christ’s blood in this chapter, you have this assurance, “It is the blood that makes atonement” It causes Satan to flee.
Great Prayers and Pray-ers of the Bible, Joe Engelkemier