Ever since Jacob struggled and overcame the power of the enemy through prevailing prayer, God's children have been earnestly seeking His help; through their insistent prayers! By way of introduction, here are some quotations on prevailing prayer.
“Jacob is an illustration for all time of the commanding and conquering forces of prayer. God came to him as an antagonist. He grappled Jacob, and shook him as if he were in the embrace of a deadly foe. Jacob, the deceitful supplanter, the wily, unscrupulous trader, had no eyes to see God. His perverted principles, and his deliberate overreaching and wrong-doing had blinded his vision. To reach God, to know God, and to conquer God, that was the demand of this critical hour. Jacob was alone, and all night witnessed to the intensity of the struggle, its changing issues, and its veering fortunes, as well as the receding and advancing lines in the conflict. Here was the strength of weakness, the power of self-despair, the energy of perseverance, the elevation of humility, and the victory of surrender. Jacob's salvation issued from the forces which he massed in that all-night conflict. He prayed and wept and importuned until the fiery hate of Esau's heart died and it was softened into love. A greater miracle was wrought on Jacob than on Esau. His name, his character and his destiny were all changed by that all-night praying. Here is the record of the results of that night's praying struggle: "As a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." "By his strength he had power with God, yea, he had power over the angel and prevailed."
“Prayer is a command of God, and is to be practiced both in public and in private; yes, such a command brings those that have the spirit of prayer, into great intimacy with God; and the prevailing prayer, will receive great things from God, both for the person that prayed, and for those that are prayed for. Prayer opens the heart of God, and is a means by which the empty soul is filled. By prayer the Christian can open his heart to God, as to a friend, and obtain fresh testimony of God's friendship to him. My purpose today will be to show you the very heart of prayer, without which, all your lifting up, of hands, eyes, and voices, will be to no avail.”
“Benevolent desires are doubtless pleasing to God. Such desires pervade heaven and are found in all holy beings. But they are not prayer. Men may have these desires as the angels and glorified spirits have them. But this is not the effectual, prevailing prayer spoken of in the text. Prevailing prayer is something more than this. Prevailing, or effectual prayer, is that prayer which attains the blessing that it seeks. It is that prayer which effectually moves God. The very idea of effectual prayer is that it effects its object.... 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 fulfill the conditions, and will prevail in prayer. But it cannot be too distinctly understood that none others will. What we commonly hear in prayer and conference meetings is not prevailing prayer. It is often astonishing and lamentable to witness the delusions that prevail upon the subject. Who that has witnessed real revivals of religion has not been struck with the change that comes over the whole spirit and manner of the prayers of really revived Christians? I do not think I ever could have been converted if I had not discovered the solution of the question: “Why is it that so much that is called prayer is not answered?”
“If there be any regrets in heaven — heaven is not supposed to have any regrets, we think of heaven as having all the regrets turned out and kept out, — and yet, if there could creep in regrets, I think there would be at least two, as we look back to the earth-life from the hills of God. One regret would be this: that we did not do more quiet praying, more claiming. I do not mean more simple repetition of religious language on our knees, but more insistent claiming, that the power of the Lord Jesus Christ shall apply here, and there, over the earth. That will be one regret, if there be regrets: that we did not ask enough, and did not ask big enough. We will say to ourselves, "What beggarly askers we were down on the earth!" The second regret, I think, if there be regrets, will be this: that we did not trust enough, that we did not trust God enough. We did not step out, when we could not see where to put the foot down, when He said, "Step out." And if we might rule our lives here by what we shall think of them when we get yonder, then, I believe, we shall surely wear down the doorsills into our prayer-rooms.”
"We must believe that God is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The Father is the object of our prayer, through the mediation of our Lord Jesus and by the aid of the Holy Spirit; but however we conceive of it-whether the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit is the prominent object before our thought-we must believe that there is an eye that witnesses our poor endeavors, an ear that listens, a mind that can be impressed and affected by our requests. But further, we need a living faith which reckons on the faithfulness of God and believes that it has already received its petitions, when they are founded on speciï¬ï¿?c promises and evidently prompted by the Holy Spirit. When we pray, it is not enough merely to speak a long list of requests into the ear of God; it becomes us to wait after each one and to receive by an appropriating act of the soul. It is as though we saw God take from the shelves of His storehouse the boon on which we had set our heart, label it with our name, and put it aside until the precise moment arrived in which He could bestow it on us without hurt."
“There is not a more blessed and powerful weapon for the children of God, than that they should give themselves to prayer. For thus they can have the power of God on their side—the almighty power of God. And by making use of this power, through the instruments of prayer in all things we need, we can have the infinite wisdom of God brought to work for us, and have God Himself at our side, as children of God. Therefore we should seek to make a far better use than ever we have clone of prayer. And you, my beloved Christian friends, who are in the habit of meeting often at the noonday prayer meeting, expect great things at the hands of God; look out for wondrous blessings, and you will find how ready He is to give those things which we ask for.” George Müller, Counsels to Christians
“We wanted to have the comfort and the joy and the strength first, that we might do the work easily and without any feeling of difficulty or self-sacrifice. And He wanted us in faith, without asking whether we felt weak or strong, whether the work was hard or easy, in the obedience of faith to do what He said: the path of fruit-bearing would have led us to the place and the power of prevailing prayer. Obedience is the only path that leads to the glory of God. Not obedience instead of faith, nor obedience to supply the shortcomings of faith; no, but faith’s obedience gives access to all the blessings our God has for us. The baptism of the Spirit (xiv. 16), the manifestation of the Son (xiv. 21), the indwelling of the Father (xiv. 23), the abiding in Christ’s love (xv. 10), the privilege of His holy friendship (xv. 14), and the power of all-prevailing prayer (xv. 16),--all wait for the obedient. Let us take home the lessons. Now we know the great reason why we have not had power in faith to pray prevailingly. Our life was not as it should have been: simple downright obedience, abiding fruitfulness, was not its chief mark. And with our whole heart we approve of the Divine appointment: men to whom God is to give such influence in the rule of the world, as at their request to do what otherwise would not have taken place, men whose will is to guide the path in which God’s will is to work, must be men who have themselves learned obedience, whose loyalty and submission to authority must be above all suspicion. Our whole soul approves the law: obedience and fruit-bearing, the path to prevailing prayer. And with shame we acknowledge how little our lives have yet borne this stamp.”
“NEARLY the whole of Church history furnishes us with some remarkable examples of the power of prevailing prayer - examples which should encourage us to lay hold of God's strength in the exercise of this important duty. Moreover, the Bible teems with promises which are backed up with testimonies of God's faithfulness in answer to the earnest pleadings of His people. Therefore it is possible, by these, and by the help we may derive from the following examples, to prove the omnipotence of prayer in a manner we have never yet dreamed, and should cause us thereby to let go all our doubts with regard to its reality and power. “
“I had never more cause to fear than I have now, when my Lord has restored me to my second created heaven on earth, and has turned my apprehended fears into joys, and great deliverance to His church, whereof I have my share and part. Alas! that weeping prayers, answered and sent back from heaven with joy, should not have laughing praises! Oh that this land would repent, and lay burdens of praises upon the top of the fair Mount Zion! Madam, except this land be humbled, a Reformation is rather my wonder than belief, at this time. But surely it must be a wonder, and what is done already is a wonder.”
“But this I do say, that not praying is a clear proof that a man is not yet a true Christian. He cannot really feel his sins. He cannot love God. He cannot feel himself a debtor to Christ. He cannot long after holiness. He cannot desire heaven. He has yet to be born again. He has yet to be made a new creature. He may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope, and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if he does not pray…. And I say, furthermore, that of all the evidences of the real work of the Spirit, a habit of hearty private prayer is one of the most satisfactory that can be named. A man may preach from false motives. A man may write books and make fine speeches and seem diligent in good works, and yet be a Judas Iscariot. But a man seldom goes into his closet, and pours out his soul before God in secret, unless he is in earnest. The Lord himself has set his stamp on prayer as the best proof of a true conversion. When he sent Ananias to Saul in Damascus, he gave him no other evidence of his change of heart than this, "Behold, he prayeth" (Acts 9: 11).”
“There is a knocking prayer, to which the promise is given, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." This is more than seeking. This is the prayer that surmounts the great obstacles of life, the closed doors of circumstances, the brazen gates and adamantine mountains of hindrance and opposition, and which, in the name of our ascended Lord and in the fellowship of His mediatorial rights and powers, presses through every obstacle and treads down every adversary. It is not so much the prayer that knocks at the gates of heaven and extorts an answer from an unwilling God, as the prayer which, having received the answer and promise, carries it forth against the gates of the enemy and beats them down, as the walls of Jericho fell before the tramp and shout of Israel's believing hosts. It is the prayer which takes its place at the side of our ascended Lord and claims what He has promised to give, and even commands, in His mighty name, that which He has already commanded through His royal Priesthood and all-prevailing intercession. It is faith putting its hand on the omnipotence of God and using it in fellowship with our Omnipotent Head until it sees His name prevail against all that opposes His will, the crooked thing s made straight, the gates of brass opened, and the fetters of iron broken asunder.”
“Oh! that you studied your Bibles more! Oh! that we all did! How we could plead the promises! How we could plead the promises! How often we should prevail with God when we could hold him to his word, and say, “Fulfill this word unto thy servant, whereon thou hast caused me to hope.” Oh! it is grand praying when our mouth is full of God’s word, for there is no word that can prevail with him like his own. You tell a man, when you ask him for such and such a thing, “You yourself said you would do so and so.” You have him then. And so when you can lay hold on the covenant angel with this consecrated grip, “Thou hast said! thou hast said!” then have you every opportunity of prevailing with him.”
“Should we not do well to suspend our present operations and give ourselves to humiliation and prayer for nothing less than to be filled with the Spirit, and made channels through which He shall work with resistless power? Souls are perishing now for lack of this power. . . . God is blessing now some who are seeking this blessing from Him in faith. All things are ready if we are ready."
“We may smile at this peculiar way of testing the acceptability of a prayer. But is it not a fact that the majority of Christian men and women who pray to a Living God know very little about real prevailing prayer? Yet prayer is the key which unlocks the door of God’s treasure-house. It is not too much to say that all real growth in the spiritual life-all victory over temptation, all confidence and peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers, all repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss, all habitual communion with God-depend upon the practice of secret prayer…. Oh, how great must be God’s wonder today! For how few there are among us who know what prevailing prayer really is! Every one of us would confess that we believe in prayer, yet how many of us truly believe in the power of, prayer? Now, before we go a step farther, may the writer most earnestly implore you not to read hurriedly what is contained in these chapters. Much — very much — depends upon the way in which every reader receives what is here recorded. For everything depends upon prayer…. Men of power are without exception men of prayer. God bestows His Holy Spirit in His fullness only on men of prayer. And it is through the operation of the Spirit that answers to prayer come. Every believer has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him. For “if any have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” But a man of prevailing prayer must be filled with the Spirit of God.”
“There is necessity of diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. You will obtain the blessing you desire if you faint not. Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden him; you cannot weary him. He who numbers the hairs of your head, who notices the fall of a sparrow, is not indifferent to the wants of his people. "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." He is affected by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them. Take everything to him 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 is too small for him to notice that in any way disturbs our peace. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for him to read; there is no perplexity too sore for him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of his people, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere, contrite 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."