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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 301-350 (Peace - Service)

F.E. Marsh :: 311. Prayer

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“THEY TELL HIM OF HER” (Mark 1:30).

“THEY tell Him of her.” How simple and yet how striking the words! In them are found the essential and essence of prayer. Emphasize each word.

They tell Him of her.” The men who are in touch with Christ have the ear of Christ. Holy John, zealous Peter, discriminating James, and faithful Andrew, are the men who are in touch with Christ. These men in their several characteristics may be taken as illustrating four essentials in prayer, namely, holiness, zeal, discrimination and faithfulness.

  1. Holiness of heart and life are the foundation of prayer. It is no use lifting up our hands if they are not holy (1 Tim. 2:8); nor must we approach the golden altar of incense to offer praise before we have washed away the filthiness of flesh and spirit at the laver of God’s truth by confession (2 Cor. 7:1).
  2. Fervency of spirit is the prevailer in prayer. It was the importunate widow who got her plea granted (Luke 18:5); it was the persistent friend who got his need supplied (Luke 11:8); and it was the incessant knocking of Peter which caused the inmates to let him into the house (Acts 12:16).
  3. Discrimination is the wisdom of prayer. There are some things for which God’s people ask, that they have already got in Christ; others are praying when they should be acting, asking God to do things which they can do themselves; and others are praying in a wrong spirit. To discriminate in prayer is to observe the conditions for prevailing in prayer.
  4. Faithfulness is the backbone of prayer. Faithfulness may be read two ways. First, consistency or fidelity to the Word of God in whole-hearted obedience; and second, fulness of faith, that is, an unhesitating and unceasing confidence and trust in God.

“They tell Him of her.” What is prayer? It is illustrated here. Speaking to Christ is prayer. Prayer is not getting on to the stilts of wordism, nor floating in the balloon of honeyed phrases by the aid of the gas of human eloquence, inflating the mind with self-conceit; but it is simply telling the Lord the heart’s need, or speaking to Him in a natural manner as we ask favours for others.

Telling Him the trouble, as the disciples of John, when they went and informed Christ that their teacher was beheaded (Matt. 14:12).
Telling Him the sorrow, as when Mary went to Christ about her dead brother Lazarus (John 11:32).
Telling Him the pain, as when Paul prayed about the thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:8).
Telling Him the grief, as when the Syrophenician woman cried to Christ about her daughter (Matt. 15:22).
Telling Him the joy, as when the disciples spoke of the demons they had cast out in His name (Luke 10:17).
Telling Him the difficulty, as when the disciples asked to be taught how to pray (Luke 11:1).
Telling Him the sickness, as in the present case.

“They tell Him of her.” There is no need to mention His name, we have only to put a capital H to the pronoun for it to be recognised that we speak of Christ. He has made it possible for us to tell Him, for He has died for us; hence we can come boldly to the throne of grace through the consecrated way of His atonement, and speak to Him face to face. He has told us to come to Him, for He has said “Whatsoever we shall ask in prayer, believing, we shall receive.” His promise is our plea and introduction in speaking to Him. We remember who He is, and as we do so we are drawn towards Him, as the needle is drawn to the loadstone.

He is the Shepherd who tends us, and ever looks after our interests.
He is the Priest who represents us, and succours us in the hour of temptation.
He is the Friend who thinks of us, and always sympathises with us.
He is the Brother who cares for us, and is ever ready to aid us.
He is the Saviour who delivered us, and will always keep us.
He is the God who has blessed us, and will never leave us.
He is the Lover who loves us, and will never be unfaithful.

Tell Him, for He cares. Tell Him, for He knows. Tell Him, for He loves. Tell Him, for He is listening. Tell Him all. Tell Him often. Tell Him always. Tell Him now.

“They tell Him of her.” They were very definite in their petition and pointed in their plea. They did not vacillate or hesitate, but they went right to the mark and hit it. And methinks as they saw the once fevered patient calm and cool, as she waited upon them, they rejoiced; and if they had wanted a new name for Simon’s wife’s mother, they might have called her Answered-Prayer.





CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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