Results of Believing Prayer
By John G. Lake
HEALED OF INSANITY
A woman, holding the infant of Mrs Lloyd McLaughlin, was asked to stand.
Mr Lake: This baby is just one month old. When the baby was born the mother was given twilight sleep, which resulted in insanity, as it often does. This church has been praying for the dear woman. On Monday a group of our people went aside to particularly pray for this dear mother. I called them on the phone about five o’clock and asked one of the sisters, “What is the answer from heaven?” She replied, “Well, brother, we have the answer. Our hearts have the victory, and we know the woman is healed.” Yesterday morning the woman awoke, healed, praise the Lord.
CHILD HELPLESS AND DUMB HEALED
There was another case I want to present at this time, but the mother is delayed. This dear mother comes from Grangeville, Idaho. Here baby was injured in the birth, due to the child being delivered by instruments. The principle object of instruments these days is the $25 extra that is charged. God has had babies born for five thousand years without any of their accursed use. This little one had the usual thing that takes place in such cases; an injury so terrible that the child was never able to walk or speak. Apparently it was a partial detachment of the spinal chord from the brain. The mother testifies the baby has begun to walk and talk now.
PARALYSIS IN PROCESS OF HEALING
A dear young business man of the city, who has been paralysed from the neck down for six years, is walking now.
HEALED WHEN TOTALLY PARALYSED
Some of you will remember Mr Kelly who was totally paralysed from the shoulders down. He, his wife and their new baby were present in the meeting last night, and he testified to his perfect healing.
We have inquiries regarding Mrs Raymond, who was dying of tuberculosis. Day before yesterday she was outdoors for three and a half hours for the first time. Her mother says she is healed. She was delivered from very death.
We have a dear mother in Wooster. Four years ago her son broke down and went out of his mind. We ministered to him, and the Lord healed him. Recently, almost the same thing has taken place with the daughter. Here is a telegram asking us to pray for her. The daughter is greatly recovered since we prayed for her, but the mother says she still suffers from bad dreams, fear of fire, and fear of death. (Rev. Thompson was asked to present this case to the Lord.)
SCRIPTURE READING WITH COMMENTS
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married … and the Lord heard it.” Numbers 12.
A great many people lose the blessing that they might have had by sticking their nose into other people’s affairs. The Lord has been trying, from the very beginning, to get folks to learn this truth. This is one of the most severe lessons in the Word of God on the disadvantages of sticking your nose into other people’s affairs. The Lord somehow succeeds in looking after most people who put their confidence in Him and regulating them fairly well. You like to be governed by the Spirit of the Lord Himself, and so do I, so we must accord the same privilege to the other party.
“Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” Verse 3.
No other man in all history has so many reasons to get puffed up, if he had been puffable. The little fellow puffs up - the big fellow puffs down. No man ever listened to such words as the Lord spake to Moses. No one was ever dignified by the same commission that God gave to Moses. When God called Moses to His service and sent him to Egypt, He spoke these most startling words to him; “Thou shalt be as God.” He was endowed with all the authority of God, and was sent with the commission to deliver His people from the hands of Pharoah. His word became the Word of God, his action became the action of God. “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”
Aaron was the brother and Miriam the sister of Moses. When Moses was called at the burning bush, he began to make excuses because of his slowness of speech, and God gave him his brother Aaron, saying, “He will be thy spokesman unto the people.”
“Behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow. And Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.” Verse 10.
Some time ago I was called to minister to a leper in the State of Montana, ex-senator Willets, who had been confined several years. It was the first time since leaving Africa that I had a chance to examine a leper with care. So I went with him to his rooms and had him strip. The leprosy was as white as snow. His fingers were dead, and swollen three times the normal size. When he would put wood on the fire he would burn his fingers and not know it. His feet were in the same condition. He wrote me afterward that the first evidence of healing he noticed was in his toes. The colour and feeling returned.
“The cloud departed off the tabernacle; and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow, and Aaron said unto Moses, ‘Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not this sin upon us, where in we have sinned’ ... And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, ‘Heal her now, O God I beseech thee.’”
Moses’ prayer is characteristic of so many of the prayers of the Bible. It is brief. It contains only eight words, “Heal her now, O God I beseech thee.” But with Aaron’s whole hearted confession, the heart of Moses was moved even as the heart of God.
LECTURE ON PRAYER
I want to talk to you a little about this subject of prayer. It seems to me that this prayer of Moses is a wonderful example of that remarkable teaching of Jesus on the subject of faith in the eleventh of Mark. After cursing the fig tree, Jesus utilised the instance to give voice to His marvellous teaching of faith in God.
He said, “Verily, verily.” When an oriental used the words “Verily, verily,” he raised his hand, and it gave it the solemnity of an oath. “With the solemnity of an oath, I say unto you. What things soever ye desire, when ye pray.” You are to do something. “When you pray, BELIEVE that ye RECEIVE them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:23-24). The Revised Version gives greater force to it. “When ye pray believe that ye HAVE received.” When? Why bless your soul, “When you pray.”
HEALING OF APPENDICITIS
Mrs. Ferguson will you kindly stand? (Woman stands). A week ago Saturday, Brother Wiggins, Doogan, Mrs Lake and myself were just leaving the Healing Rooms on our way to Forest Grove, Oregon when a gentleman came in, and told us of this woman’s suffering and begged us to come. We went, laid our hands on the woman, and in one minute the Lord delivered her. I put my fingers into her side, holding the appendix between my fingers, to demonstrate the perfectness of the healing. Observing how the Lord touched her body, she said, “Brother, I want to give my heart to God.” So we called in her sons, and the other man, a cousin, and our sister gave her heart to God. Last Sunday she became a member of the church, and today is present to give public thanks to God for her salvation and healing.
“When ye pray, believe that ye receive, and ye shall have,” or “believe that ye HAVE received,” you have it; that is what it means. We used to have a little Englishman in our evangelistic party who would say to the people when they were praying, “Now let us stop praying for five minutes and BELIEVE God, and see what will happen.” It is perfectly amazing the wonderful things that will happen when people believe God.
THE SOUL CRY OF A BROTHER
There is an attitude of faith, an opening of the soul to God, a divine laying hold in the Spirit. I can imagine the soul cry in the prayer of Moses under those circumstances. Miriam, his own sister, now smitten and leprous “white as snow,” what were the feelings of his heart! I have sometimes thought that there is no other circumstance in my own life that ever called out so much faith in God and determination of soul to see God’s will done as in the healing of a sister. One of my sisters was a little older but was my chum. The vision of Christ as the Healer had just opened to my soul.
She was dying of an issue of blood. My mother called me one night and said, “John, if you want to see your sister alive, you must come at once.” When I arrived my mother said, “You are too late, she is gone.” I stepped to her bedside and laid my hand on her forehead; it was cold and dead. I slipped my hand down over her heart, and the heart had ceased to beat. I picked up a small mirror and held it over her mouth, but there was no discolouration. The breath was gone. I stood there stunned. Her husband knelt at the foot of the bed weeping - her baby asleep in a crib on the opposite side of the room. My old father and mother knelt sobbing at the side of the bed. They had seen eight of their children die; she apparently was the ninth. My soul was in a storm.
Just a few weeks before my wife was healed when almost dead. Just a few weeks before my brother had been healed after having been an invalid for twenty-two years. A short time before my older sister with five cancers in the breast, who had been operated on five times, and turned away to die, was healed. As I looked at my sister I said, “God, this is not the will of God, and I can not accept it. It is the will of the devil and darkness.” “He that hath the power of death, that is the devil.”
I discovered this fact, that there are times when your spirit lays hold of the spirit of another, and they just can not get away from you. Somehow I just felt my spirit lay hold of the spirit of that woman. And I prayed, “Dear Lord, she just can not go.” I walked up and down for some time. My spirit was crying out for somebody with faith in God that I could call on to help me. That was twenty-five years ago when the individual who trusted God for healing was almost insane in the mind of the church and the world. Bless God, it is different now. That is the advantage of having people who trust God, and walk out on God’s lines, come together, and stay together, put their hands and hearts together, and carry one another’s load, and form a nucleus in society which has some force for God. I have no confidence or faith in these little efforts that people run after here and there. Most of them go up in vapour. If you want something done for God and humanity, put your hearts and your hands together and your souls together. Organise your effort.
That baby’s mother (referring to the baby in the audience) would not have been healed, except that a little nucleus determined to pray until the woman was healed, and they stayed in prayer all day Monday. At five o’clock they had the victory. It took them all day. I wish we had spirituality and faith enough to look through the mists and see what was taking place all that day long, until the powers of darkness were dispelled, and the healing came.
As I walked up and down my sister’s room, I could think of but one man that had faith on this line. That was John Alexander Dowie, six hundred miles away. I went to the phone and called the Western Union, and told them I wanted to get a telegram through to Mr Dowie, and an answer back as quickly as possible. I sent this wire:
“My sister has apparently died, but my spirit will not let her go. I believe if you will pray, God will heal her.”
I received this answer back:
“Hold on to God. I am praying. She will live.”
Oh, God, I have said a thousand times, what would it have meant if instead of that telegram of faith I had received one from a weakling preacher who might have said: “I am afraid you are on the wrong track,” or “Brother, you are excited,” or the days of miracles are past.”
It was the strength of his faith that came over the wire that caused the lightnings of my soul to begin to flash, and while I stood there at the telephone and listened, the very lightnings of God began to flash in my spirit. I prayed, “This thing of hell can not be, and it will not be. In the Name of Jesus Christ I abolish death and sickness, and she shall live.” And as I finished praying, I turned my eyes toward the bed, and I saw her eyelids blink. But I was so wrought up I said, “Maybe I deceived myself.” So I stood a little while at the telephone, and the lightnings of God’s Spirit were still flashing from my soul. Presently I observed her husband get up and tip-toe to her head, and I knew he had seen it. I said, “What is it, Peter?” He replied, “I thought I saw her eyelids move.” And just then they moved again. Five days later she came to Father’s home and the Lake family sat down to Christmas dinner, the first time in their life when they were all well.
PERSISTENT PRAYER SOMETIMES NECESSARY
Beloved, it is not our long prayers, but believing God that gets the answer. However, I want to help somebody who finds persistent prayer a necessity, as we all do sometimes. We have not the least idea, Paul says, of the powers of darkness we are praying against.
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.
And sometimes you have to lay hold of God, and stay before God, and stay through the blackness and through the darkness and through the night of it, until the faith of God penetrates, Bless God, and the work is done.
Do you remember the experience of Daniel, One of the finest in the Book? He had to hear from Heaven. He fasted and prayed for twenty-one days. On the twenty-first day an angel came to him right out of heaven, and the angel said, “Daniel, a man greatly beloved, from the first day thy prayer was heard.” Not the last time you prayed, but the very first.
“O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright, for unto thee am I now sent ... Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before God, thy words were heard, and I came for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days.” Daniel 10:11-14.
Michael is spoken of again as the warrior angel. He made way against the devil and cast him out of heaven. Get the circumstance. Daniel had prayed, and God heard his prayer and answered it by sending an angel messenger, but the messenger himself was held up on the way by the power of darkness, until reinforcements came and God dispatched Michael, one of the chief angels to his help. I wonder what was necessary to be accomplished in the mind of those interested, before God could answer that prayer?
You are praying for somebody, you are praying for your friend, or your brother, or your son, or your daughter who needs your love and faith. Beloved, have you faith in God to stay and pray until the Spirit has a chance to work out the problem? That is the issue. Keep right down to it. Do not let go. It is the will of God, you have a right to an answer.
There is a ministry of intercession that comes from heaven. Oh, it is prayer by the Spirit of God. It is entering into the prayer spirit of the Holy Ghost. He prays, He prays for you, He prays for me, “with groanings that can not be uttered.” Our spirit in union with His we enter into oneness of faith, reaching out into the ether of God, and the love of His Spirit, and taking that power of God and fashioning the power of God into the souls desire. A lot of folks stop when half through. You hold on to God and pray through.
Then there are times like the one when my sister was restored, when the faith and power of God comes like the lightning flash, and to Moses when he prayed, “Heal her now O God, I beseech thee,” and the healing is instant.
There are times when it is only your humanity that prays. You know these times yourself, when you soul does not enter into your prayer, much less your spirit. There are times when your soul prays. People these days do not even have much conception of the realm of the SOUL, or psychic. It is a marvellous realm. People pray in the psychic. Then there is a prayer in the Spirit, that deeper quality of your life, deeper than the psychic, or soul. Oh, bless God, there is still a prayer where the spirit of man and the Sprit of God unite and become one.
Now one can imagine as Moses prayed that day how his soul must have been stirred.
Here is his own sister, the woman that had stood by the river side when he was a babe, had put him in a basket, hid him in the bullrushes and watched over his welfare. Don’t you think she was interested in him? Sometimes I have sympathised with Miriam. She had a sisterly and motherly affection for Moses. She wanted to keep him straight. She was afraid he had made a great mistake in his marriage.
Say beloved, you are a father probably, or you are a mother, or a sister or brother, and you have laid hold so tight on the other one that you are afraid to leave them in the hands of God. That is one of the hardest things folks have to learn, to just take their hands off the other and let God have them. There is no record that God had any quarrel with Moses about his wife.
THE EXPERIENCE OF STEPHEN MERRITT
Stephen Merritt was a godly old undertaker in the City of New York. His dear old wife and himself had lived a godly life. They had raised one son, and if there was ever a reprobate it was that son Charley. Charley would get into some disreputable affair, and the police would come and say, “Charley has done so and so. It will take so much money to get him out of the difficulty.” The next week another would come along with something else, and so it went on and on. And the two old grey heads were praying and pouring out their tears for that boy’s salvation. Stephen Merritt had a habit of receiving people into his office and helping them. John G. Wooley was one that he helped, He handed Wooley five dollars and said, “You meet me at such and such a camp ground.” Wooley was a drunkard. He had not been accustomed to being trusted with money, and he met the old man there and found God.
One day as he sat in his office he was praying about his son, and the floor was wet with his tears, when he heard the voice of God saying, “How long have you been trying to save Charley?” So many of us are trying to save Charley, and we have gotten in the way of the Lord. He replied, “Lord, a long time.” The Lord said, “Now if you are through, I will undertake.” The old man considered, and it worked out in his soul this way.
The police came and said, “Charley did so and so.” He asked, “Who is Charley?” “Why he is your son.” “No, I have no son, Charley.” That day as he knelt there he said, “Lord, He is not my son any more. I give him over to you until he is saved.” So he told the police, “No, I have no son.” They looked at him and shook their heads. Then they sent another officer. But it was no use to go to him any more. It looked as if the old man had gone crazy.
About nine months passed and one day an officer came and said, “Charley has jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and finished.” He wanted the old man to have the river dragged to obtain the body. But he said, “Oh, no, I have no son, Charley. Drag the river if you want to.” So they dragged the river, but the body they found was not Charley’s. Three months more passed, and one day a clerk said, “There is one of your friends in the office.” And when he came in it was Charley. He was beautifully dressed, clean faced, everything indicating the light of God, and when the old father came in the son fell at his feet, kissed them, and asked his forgiveness. He said in explanation, “Three months ago I was saved in a mission, but I did not want to come and see you until I came as a man.”
THE HUMAN CLUTCH
Not only is it so in your prayers for others, but in your prayers for yourself. Some of you are holding to your sickness, or difficulty, with such a clutch, and are so everlastingly conscious of it, that God can not get it out of your hands. You are in the very place spiritually where old Stephen Merritt was. He was so determined to save his boy that he was just doing it himself, and God was not getting a chance.
Open your hands, let go of the old difficulty. I was praying for a woman who had appendicitis, and as I prayed I saw she was holding on to it mentally so hard I had to do something. So I told one of the craziest stories I ever told, and finally she burst out laughing in spite of the pain, and when she got through the pain was gone. She just opened her clutch.
Maybe you are holding on to sin with that same clutch. Maybe you are holding on to disobedience to God with that same clutch. Maybe it is your sickness. If there is something that is keeping you from being blessed, let clear go and let your hands and heart open..
When I was a boy I used to visit the Soolocks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where my home was. One day a sailor was up in the masts, he lost balance and shot over the
ship into the water. Another sailor stood on the railing of the ship and watched him. He went down and came up, and went down and came up again, and everything was in foam around him. Still the fellow stood there. Then the chap went down the third time, limp, and just as he was disappearing he shot down into the water and came up with him. A couple of gentlemen standing by, one remarked, “That fellow has taken men out of the water before.” He just waited until the kick was all out of him. Otherwise both might have drowned.
A lot of us have to thresh and struggle and fight until the kick is all out of us before we are ready to let God take us. As a young fellow I was as proud as Lucifer - every Lake I ever knew was. Robert Burns wrote with his diamond on the window if a Highland Inn, “There’s nothing here by Highland pride, Highland pride and poverty.” It did not make any difference how poor they were.
The hardest thing I had to do was to make my surrender to God. I heard Riley tell the other night of having been a dope fiend, and gambler, and of how God saved him. I never knew anything about that kind of life. Never touched whisky in my life, never used tobacco, never committed an unholy act in the moral sense, but that proud heart of mine had to struggle like a drowning man until I was ready to say, “Lord, you save me.” The final consummation came when I knelt behind an old elm tree and poured out my heart to God, and made my surrender to Him. The light of heaven broke into my soul, and I arose from my knees a son of God, and I knew it.
Let God have you. Quit sweating, quit wrestling. About the most difficult class in the world to get healed is Christian Scientists. Why? Because they are working at it so hard. They have been reading so many lessons and concentrating their mind on healing, until almost exhausted. You have to lead them away from it all to that place where, “It is not TRY but TRUST.” That is the secret of Christ’s healing; that is the secret of Christ’s salvation. It is trusting Him for it, and believing HIM when He says he will do it, and the mind relaxes and the soul comes to rest.
There is a wonderful help in disarming people. I read a story of the healing of Mr Leake. He had become a most notorious drunkard. He bought whisky and buried it until he filled his whole lot with buried whisky. It was a mania. Everybody who tried to help him would say, “Leake, just make one promise, that you will not drink any more.” Finally he went to a woman who was wiser than the others. Before he went out of the room she said, “I want you to promise one thing.” He said, “I will promise you anything, except that I will not drink whisky. I’m nearly crazy for a drink now.” She said, “I want you to promise that every time you feel like taking a drink of whisky
you will do so.” “Sure I will.” Do you get the secret of that? She disarmed him right away. The thing he was clutching all the time was the fear that someone was going to make him promise not to drink whisky. One morning when he awoke he discovered that the cursed appetite was gone.
Say, dear hearts, let go! Open your clutch! Let God take you. Let God have you, whether it is for your spirit, whether it is for your soul, whether it is for your body. No matter what, just let go. “It is not TRY, but TRUST.” God bless you.