Notes Adapted from Charles Finney
I) Why so little is received; while so much is asked!
- We are not willing, upon the whole, to have what we desire and ask.
- God has expressly informed us that if we regard iniquity in our hearts He will not hear us.
- You are uncharitable.
- Resist conviction of sin.
- Refuse to confess to all parties concerned.
- Refuse to make restitution to injured parties.
- You are prejudiced and uncandid.
- You are resentful.
- You have a revengeful spirit.
- Have a worldly ambition.
- You have committed yourself on some point, and become dishonest, and neglect and reject further light.
- You are denominationally selfish.
- Selfish for your own congregation. (Assembly Group)
- You resist the teachings of the Holy Spirit.
- You grieve the Holy Spirit by dissension.
- You quench the Holy Spirit by persistence in justifying wrong.
- You grieve Him by a want of watchfulness.
- You resist Him by indulging evil tempers.
- Also by dishonesties in business.
- Also by indolence and impatience in waiting upon the Lord.
- By many forms of selfishness.
- By negligence in business, in study, and in prayer.
- By undertaking too much business, too much study and too little prayer.
- By a want of entire consecration.
- Last and greatest by unbelief. You pray for this enduement without expecting to receive it.
"He that believeth not God, hath made Him a liar."
This then is the greatest sin of all. What an insult!
II) Prevailing Prayer
Prevailing prayer is that which secures an answer.
Do you comply with the conditions upon which God has promised to hear prayer?
- Faith in God as the answerer of prayer.
- Asking according to the revealed Will of God.
- Unselfishness is a condition of prevailing prayer = JAMES 4:3
- A conscience void of offence toward God and man = 1 JOHN 3:20-22
- A pure heart is also a condition = PSALM 66:18
- All due confession & restitution to God & man is a condition = PROVERBS 28:13
- Clean hands is another condition = PSALM 26:6; 1 TIMOTHY 2:8
- Settling of disputes & animosities among brethren = MATTHEW 5:23-24
- Humility is another condition of prevailing prayer = JAMES 4:6
- Taking away stumbling-blocks is another = EZEKIEL 14:3
- A forgiving spirit = MATTHEW 6:12 but N.B. verse 15!
- The exercise of a truthful spirit is a condition = PSALM 51:6
- Praying in the Name of Christ is a condition of prevailing prayer.
- The inspiration of the Holy Spirit = ROMANS 8:26,27
- Fervency is another condition = JAMES 5:16
- Perseverance or persistence in prayer = e.g. Daniel; Jacob; Elijah etc.
- Travail of soul = ISAIAH 66:8; GALATIANS 4:19
- The consistent use of means to secure the object prayed for = Tithes; leaflets and works etc.
- Prevailing prayer is specific = pray for a definite object; an aim!
- Mean what we say in prayer... no false pretences... be childlike, sincere.
- Have a state of mind that assumes good faith of God in all His promises.
- Be "watching unto prayer" & "pray in the Holy Spirit" = guard against everything that can quench or grieve the Spirit of God in our hearts.
When the fallow ground is thoroughly broken up in the hearts of Christians, when they have confessed and made restitution - if the work be thorough and honest - they will naturally and inevitably fulfil the conditions, and will prevail in prayer!
by Charles Finney
Source: Revival Movement Association