THE OLD PATHS
The Old Paths Magazine is a free bi-monthly periodical that is made available for the entire body of Christ. The main focus is to propagate and promote the message of genuine biblical revival to this generation with a theme of emphasizing the “authentic Christian”. This chief aim is expressed through many voices from Christian history and current warriors for Christ.
From this issue, March/April, 2011, forward the magazine will be published through ReStart Ministries. The Old Paths Magazine Staff is led by Senior Pastor Tim Lueking of Cicero Christian Church in Cicero, Indiana.
In this Edition:
By Tim Lueking
Psalm 40:1-3 (NASB) – 1 I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.
Rise up dear Christians. The time for travailing in prayer is now. The world is in desperate need of the Light to shine through the people of God. We must be the light bearers to a world that is drowning in darkness. If there ever was a time for Christians to travail in prayer, NOW is that time.
We live in a time in which the world is in great turmoil—from natural disasters to political upheavals to great apostasy within some churches. The world is crying out in utter despair and God is prompting the hearts of His people to rise up and preach the Gospel message to those who are perishing, to those who are in the dark, miry pit. Hear the plea from the living God: Rise up oh Christians and be the Light to this dark world.
Rise up and travail in prayer. May God stir our hearts with greater urgency, with greater expectancy, and with greater willingness to give all for the glory of God. If we ever have a desire to see revival sweep across our churches, our communities, our countries, and our world then it must begin with a steadfast, undeterred willingness to labor in prayer. We must labor in prayer until revival occurs or until Christ returns. But make no mistake. God is crying out for His people to rise up and travail in prayer. The world is in need of a new generation of Christians who are undeterred in their pursuit of God and their desire to see the lost saved. Will you be that Christian?
By David Wilkerson
When the book of Daniel was written, Israel was in captivity to Babylon. And by chapter six, after a long life in ministry, Daniel was eighty years old. Daniel had always been a praying man. And now, in his old age, he had no thoughts of slowing down. Scripture makes no mention of Daniel being burned out or discouraged. On the contrary, Daniel was just beginning. Scripture shows that even as this man turned eighty, his prayers shook hell, enraging the devil.
King Darius promoted Daniel to the highest office in the land. He became one of three co-equal presidents, ruling over princes and governors of 120 provinces. Darius favored Daniel over the other two presidents, putting Daniel in charge of forming government policy and teaching all the court appointees and intellectuals (Daniel 6:3). Obviously, Daniel was one busy prophet. I can only imagine the kinds of pressures placed on this minister, with his busy schedule and time-consuming meetings. Nothing, however, could take Daniel away from his times of prayer; he was never too busy to pray.
Prayer remained his central occupation, taking precedence over all other demands. Three times a day, he stole away from all his obligations, burdens and demands as a leader to spend time with the Lord. He simply withdrew from all activities and prayed. And God answered him. Daniel received all his wisdom, direction, messages and prophecies while on his knees (Daniel 6:10).
You may ask—What is the prayer that shakes hell? It comes from the faithful, diligent servant who sees his nation and church falling deeper into sin. This person falls on his knees, crying, "Lord, I don't want to be a part of what's going on. Let me be an example of your keeping power in the midst of this wicked age. It doesn't matter if no one else prays. I'm going to pray." It is fervent prayer that is steadfast, ongoing and seeking strength
Too busy to pray? Do you say, "I just take it by faith"? You may think to yourself, "God knows my heart; he knows how busy I am. I give him thought prayers throughout the day." I believe the Lord wants quality, unhurried time alone with us. Prayer then becomes an act of love and devotion, not just petition time.
By Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones
What is the place of prayer in your life? What prominence does it have in our lives? It is a question that I address to all. It is as necessary that it should reach the man who is well versed in the Scripture, and who has a knowledge of its doctrine and its theology, as that it should reach anyone else. What part does prayer play in our lives and how essential is it to us? Do we realize that without it we faint? Our ultimate position as Christians is tested by the character of our prayer life. It is more important than knowledge and understanding. Do not imagine that I am detracting from the importance of knowledge. I spend most of my life trying to show the importance of having a knowledge of truth and an understanding of it. That is vitally important.
There is only one thing that is more important, and that is prayer. The ultimate test of my understanding of the Scriptural teaching is the amount of time I spend in prayer.
If all my knowledge does not lead me to prayer there is something wrong somewhere. It is meant to do that. The value of the knowledge is that it gives me such an understanding of the value of prayer, that I devote time to prayer and delight in prayer. If it does not produce these results in my life, there is something wrong and spurious about it, or else I am handling it in a wrong manner.
By E.M. Bounds
The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees.
He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, he will be in the last place the remainder of the day. Behind this early rising and early praying is the ardent desire which presses us into this pursuit after God.
David’s heart was ardent after God. He hungered and thirsted after God, and so hesought God early, before daylight. The bed and sleep could not chain his soul in its eagerness after God. Christ longed for communion with God; and so, rising a great while before day, he would go out into the mountain to pray. The disciples, when fully awake, would know where to find him. We might go through the list of men who have mightily impressed the world for God, and we would find them early after God.
A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully. The desire for God that keeps so far behind the devil and the world at the beginning of the day will never catch up. It is not simply the getting up that puts men to the front and makes them captain generals in God’s hosts, but it is the ardent desire which stirs and breaks all self-indulgent chains.
We need a generation of preachers who seek God and seek him early, who give the freshness and dew of effort to God, and secure in return the freshness and fullness of his power that he may be as the dew to them, full of gladness and strength, through all the heat and labor of the day. Our laziness after God is our crying sin. The children of this world are far wiser than we. They are at it early and late. We do not seek God with ardor and diligence. No man gets God who does not follow hard after him, and no soul follows hard after God who is not after him in early morn.
By Leonard Ravenhill
In an old town in Ireland they’ll show you with reverence a place where four young men met night after night after night praying for revival. In Wales, there’s a place in the hills where three or four young men only 18 or 19 years old met and prayed night after night.
They wouldn’t let God go; they would not take no for an answer. As far as humanly possible they prayed a revival into birth. If you’re thinking of revival at your church without any inconvenience, forget it. Revival costs a lot.
I can give you one simple reason why we don’t have revival in America. Because we’re content to live without it. We’re not seeking God - we’re seeking miracles, we’re seeking big crusades, we’re seeking blessings.
In Numbers 11, Moses said to God, “You’re asking me to carry a burden I can’t handle. Do something or kill me!”
Do you love America enough to say, “God, send revival or kill me”? Do you think it’s time we changed Patrick Henry’s prayer from, “Give me liberty or give me death,” to “Give me revival or let me die”?
In the 30th chapter of Genesis, Rachael goes to Jacob and throws herself down in despair. She says, “Give me children or else I die.”
Are you willing to throw yourself down before God to seek the spiritual birth of spiritual children in our country? People say, “I’m filled with the Holy Spirit.” If the coming of the Spirit didn’t revolutionize your prayer life, you’d better check on it. I’m not so sure you got what God wanted you to get.
Jesus, the anointed of God, made prayer His custom. Paul, with his background and intellect, depended on prayer because he said he was weak. David, the king, called himself a poor man and cried to the Lord. Hannah prayed for a son and gave birth to a prophet. The prayers of a handful of young men sparked revival.
There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer.
By E.M. Bounds
Where are the Christly leaders who can teach the modern saints how to pray and put them at it? Do we know we are raising up a prayerless set of saints? Where are the leaders who can put God’s people to praying? Let them come to the front and do the work, and it will be the greatest work which can be done. An increase of educational facilities and a great increase of money will be the curse to religion if they are not sanctified by more and better praying than we are doing. More praying will not come as a matter of course. Nothing but a specific effort from a praying leadership will avail.
The chief ones must lead in the apostolic effort to validate the vital importance and fact of prayer in the heart and life of the Church. None but praying leaders can have praying followers. Praying apostles will beget praying saints. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews. We do greatly need somebody who can set the saints to this business of praying. We are not a generation of praying saints. Non-praying saints are a beggarly gang of saints who have neither the ardor nor the beauty nor the power of saints. Who will restore this breach? The greatest will he be of reformers and apostles, who can set the Church to praying.
We put it as our most sober judgment that the great need of the Church in this and all ages is men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that their prayers, faith, lives, and ministry will be of such a radical and aggressive form as to work spiritual revolutions which will form eras in individual and Church life.
We do not mean men who get up sensational stirs by novel devices, nor those who attract by a pleasing entertainment; but men who can stir things, and work revolutions by the preaching of God’s Word and by the power of the Holy Ghost, revolutions which change the whole current of things.
Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter; but capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory, and an ever-present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God -- men who can set the Church ablaze for God; not in a noisy, showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God.
God can work wonders if he can get a suitable man. Men can work wonders if they can get God to lead them. The full endowment of the spirit that turned the world upside down would be eminently useful in these latter days. Men who can stir things mightily for God, whose spiritual revolutions change the whole aspect of things, are the universal need of the Church. The Church has never been without these men; they adorn its history; they are the
That which has been done in spiritual matters can be done again, and be better done. This was Christ’s view. He said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” The past has not exhausted the possibilities nor the demands for doing great things for God. The Church that is dependent on its past history for its miracles of power and grace is a fallen Church.
God wants elect men -- men out of whom self and the world have gone by a severe crucifixion, by a bankruptcy which has so totally ruined self and the world that there is neither hope nor desire of recovery; men who by this insolvency and crucifixion have turned toward God perfect hearts.
Let us pray ardently that God’s promise to prayer may be more than realized.
By Evan Roberts
If God can do things without prayer in the church, why does He not carry them out in His own time instead of delays and hindrances?...And why does God lay a complaint against the church that she does not pray?...Why did Christ say, “Pray ye the Lord of the Harvest to send forth labourers?” Why did He not send them apart from prayer? ...There is value in the expression of prayer. What is the meaning of “Ye have not because ye ask not”? Is it God’s unwillingness—i.e., you shall not “get” if you do not ask? Or is it that God sees the need, and He cannot meet the need, until the prayer is made?
The cycle of prayer moves in this wise: (1) God wants a thing done; (2) He moves the believer to pray that that thing might be done; (3) God does it in answer to that prayer....There is a thought abroad in the church: “Oh! God works so slowly.” He does not. HE WORKS ACCORDING TO THE PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, and according as there is co-operation with Him. Did God work very slowly in Egypt in delivering the bound nation? He did not. He worked for a prolonged season in getting the instrument ready in the wilderness—forty years....God’s work is rapidly done when the instruments see to it that the divine conditions are fulfilled. There must be conformity to the laws of God before God can work; and according to the absolute conformity to God’s will and laws there is a fullness of operation.
By Leonard Ravenhill
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door...” (Matt. 6:6)
Do you know what the secret of praying is? Praying in secret. You can’t show off when the door’s shut and nobody’s there. You can’t display your gifts. You can impress others, but you can’t impress God.
I Samuel 1:1-15 gives an account of the yearly trip Elkanah and his wife, Hannah, made to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord. During this time, Hannah had been distressed that she was not able to bear a son for her husband. This passage of Scripture gives quite a descriptive account of her time in prayer. It says that Hannah wept. More than this, she wept until she was sore. She poured out her soul before the Lord. Her heart was grieving; she was bitter of soul, provoked, and of a sorrowful spirit.
Now that’s a pretty good list of afflictions - sorrow, hardship, and everything else that came upon this woman. But the key to the whole situation is that she was a praying woman. In verse 20 it says that she reaped her reward. “And it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I have asked him of the Lord.’”
Now I say very often: God doesn’t answer prayer; He answers desperate prayer! Your prayer life denotes how much you depend on your own ability, and how much you really believe in your heart when you sing, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling....” The more self-confidence you have, the less you pray. The less self-confidence you have, the more you have to pray.
By R.A. Torrey
…You have not, because you ask not (James 4:2)…
The Secret of Christians Powerlessness
These seven words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian, of the average minister, and of the average church. “Why is it,” many a Christian is asking, “that I make such poor progress in my Christian life? Why do I have so little victory over sin? Why do I win so few souls to Christ? Why do I grow so slowly into the likeness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?” And God answers in the words of the text: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”
“Why is it,” many a minister is asking, “that I see so little fruit from my ministry? Why are there so few conversions? Why does my church grow so slowly? Why are the members of my church so little helped by my ministry, and built up so little in Christian knowledge and life?” And again God replies: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”
“Why is it,” both ministers and churches are asking, “that the church of Jesus Christ is making such slow progress in the world today? Why does it make so little headway against sin, against unbelief, against error in all its forms? Why does it have so little victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil? Why is the average church member living on such a low plane of Christian living? Why does the Lord Jesus Christ get so little honor from the state of the church today?” And, again, God replies: “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.”
Turn, for example, to Acts 2:42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers.” That is a picture very brief but very suggestive of the early church. It was a praying church. It was a church in which they prayed, not merely occasionally, but where they all “continued steadfastly . . . in prayers.” They all prayed, not a select few, but the whole membership of the church; and all prayed continuously with steadfast determination. “They gave themselves to prayer,” as the same Greek word is translated in Acts 6:4.
Now turn to Acts 6:4 and you will get the rest of your answer. “We will give ourselves continually to prayer.” That is a picture of the apostolic ministry: it was a praying ministry, and a ministry that “gave themselves continually to prayer,” or, to translate that Greek word as it is translated in former passage (Acts 2:42), “They continued steadfastly in prayer.” A praying church and a praying ministry! Ah, such a church and such a ministry can achieve anything that ought to be achieved. It will go steadily on, beating down all opposition, surmounting every obstacle, conquering every foe, just as much today as it did in the days of the apostles.
Robert Murray McCheyne
“Pray for me, that I may be made holier and wiser--less like myself, and more like my heavenly Master; that I may not regard my life, if so be I may finish my course with joy.
Learn that urgency in prayer does not so much consist in vehement pleading, as in vehement believing. He that believes most the love and power of Jesus will obtain the most in prayer.
Give yourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. If you
No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shop window to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.
Let the fires go out in the boiler room of the church and the place will still look smart and clean, but it will be cold. The Prayer Room is the boiler room for its spiritual life.
The secret of praying is praying in secret.
Prayer is our most formidable weapon, the thing which makes all else we do efficient.
Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.
Jesus taught that perseverance is the essential element of prayer.
Men must be in earnest when they kneel at God’s footstool. Too often we get faint-hearted and quit praying at the point where we ought to begin. We let go at the very point where we should hold on strongest. Our prayers are weak because they are not impassioned by an unfailing and resistless will.
It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.
Every true Christian should be exceedingly earnest in prayer concerning the souls of the ungodly; and when they are so, how abundantly God blesses them and how the church prospers!
Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.