Quite a common concept that is found among the multitudes of religious folk, is the notion that a massive amount of prayers will cause the LORD to pay attention to the petitioners. Thus the practice arises of sending out prayer requests, chain letters, or emails that assure us that results are sure to occur if we will just pass them on to others and thereby multiply the number of prayers that are being offered for whatever it is that the “pray-ers” desire.
We would never seek to discourage any one from making their requests known unto the LORD but we are certain that men cannot cause GOD to “hear” them due to the volume of requests that are made or how many people are involved in the particular endeavor. The LORD gave instruction upon this very matter saying, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Mat 6:7)
The Psalmist very plainly tells us that men do not make the LORD “hear” but rather HE “causes” HIS own ear to hear those whose heart HE has prepared to pray. It is this preparation of the heart, which is the precursor to true prayer. “For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Mat 6:8) Prayer that is not performed in the sons of GOD by the SPIRIT working in them, is no prayer at all, but merely the vanity of the flesh which seeks to merely fulfill its own desires by performing empty religious habits. (see James 4:2,3)
Nothing can prevent true prayer from occurring according to the ordained purpose of GOD, though there is not a greater hindrance to prayer among the saints than this weak and sinful flesh in which we presently dwell. The LORD pointed this out to those disciples who could not watch with HIM for even an hour, as HE agonized in the Garden.
The LORD gave HIS disciples some very specific instruction on the matter of prayer after pointing out the example of those who make a religious show of it. Prayer is to be a very private exercise which is not entered into for the benefit of those who might hear the prayer. “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. ---- But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.” (Mat 6:5-6) This does not preclude public prayer or group prayer when the saints are gathered together but it is a warning against “praying” to be heard or seen of men.
True “prayer” is essentially worship, as we see the example of Lydia and other women who gathered by the river, “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer (i.e.; worship) was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened.” (Acts 16:13-14)
The LORD taught this very principle when HE began HIS model prayer by addressing the FATHER in a worshipful fashion. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Mat 6:9) This term “Hallowed”, means “holy” or “set apart”. This was why Moses was told to take off his shoes at the “BURNING BUSH”. HE is that ONE “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting.” (1Tim 6:16) It is fitting that HE be approached in fear and trembling.
Then HE demonstrated the necessity of a desire to be reconciled to the will and purpose of HIM who does all things according to the good pleasure of HIS will. “THY Kingdom come, THY will be done, in earth as (it is) in heaven.” (Mat.6:10) Only as the LORD is pleased to give a man a humble heart, can he truly desire the LORD’s will rather than his own. Many is the time that men simply add this phrase because they think it proper, rather than casting themselves at HIS feet in genuine submission. “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psa 51:16-17) This is indeed the “desire of the humble” which the LORD will cause HIS “ear to hear”. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1John 5:14-15)
The “desire of the humble” is the gift of GOD. We have no greater blessing than to be found worshipping at HIS footstool. “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isa 66:1-2) Can the sons of GOD be in any more blessed place than under HIS watchful eye? “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 5:3)
The “desire of the humble” is the only “desire” which will be heard in the courts of heaven. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psa 37:4-5) Where else can the sons of GOD find “delight” except in HIM? Well did David say, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psa 119:105) “Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1Pet 5:5)
The “desire of the humble” is manifested in those who are delighted to see the triumphs of the kingdom of GOD in this world. “THY Kingdom come.” This is a very present desire and not one which is relegated to some future age or carnal fulfillment of prophecy. The LORD said, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:31-32) This kingdom is seen by the manifestation of the “fruit of HIS SPIRIT” in the sons of GOD. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23) Can the man who is born of the SPIRIT of GOD desire anything less than that this fruit be found in him?
The “desire of the humble” is demonstrated as brethren esteem one another above themselves. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Php 2:3) For it is in this operation of the SPIRIT in the sons of GOD that the example of CHRIST (in whose steps we are to follow; see I Pet. 2:21) is seen. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.” (Php 2:5-7) There is no place among the humble for those who love to have the preeminence.
The “desire of the humble” is seen as a man counts all of his religion, accomplishments, and activities therein to be totally void of any merit even as Paul confessed, his own were “but dung”. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.(Php 3:8-10)
The “desire of the humble” is met in that man who is acquainted with his own sinfulness and who by grace has fled to CHRIST as his only refuge. Even as Paul testified, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1Tim 1:15) The man who can discover some righteousness in himself, either when compared with others, or especially to the law, is void of the humility that is brought about by the SPIRIT of GOD. When the holiness of the law is revealed to the conscience a man will be slain and his pride laid low, even as Paul testified, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” (Rom 7:9-11) Oh to be humble before HIM. Is that your desire?mam