Summary: An interviewer asked Billy Graham if he had it all to do over again, would he do anything differently. He answered, “I’d travel less and pray more.”
Prayer Keys - Conclusion
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us... to pray.’” Luke 11:1
Mickey Mantle’s father was right handed and his grandfather was left handed. Between them, they taught him to switch hit. He is widely regarded to be the greatest switch hitter of all time, and one of the greatest players ever. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the All-Century Team in 1999. Among his many other honors was winning the Triple Crown in 1956, leading in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.
The men in his family all died young. "I'm not gonna be cheated," he would say. Long before seeking treatment for alcoholism, Mantle admitted his hard living had hurt both his playing and his family.
Mantle didn’t know that genetics had nothing to do with the men in his family dying young. They worked in mines and inhaled lead and zinc dust, which contribute to Hodgkins’ and other cancers. As the years passed, and he had outlived all the men in his family by several years, he frequently used a line popularized by football legend Bobby Layne, who also died in part due to alcohol abuse: "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken a lot better care of myself."
That’s a variation of something many of us have thought at one time or another. “I wish I had known then what I know now.”
Almost thirty years ago, was interpreting a computer programming class for a deaf student. The teacher brought in something some students had heard about but had never seen, a personal computer. I wish I had known then that a $1 investment in Apple computer would return over $2000.
Dr J. Edwin Orr, perhaps the twentieth century’s greatest authority on revival, took some students to England in 1940. One of the stops was Epworth Rectory where John Wesley lived. Next to John Wesley’s bed are two worn impressions in the carpet where it is said John knelt and prayed for England's social and spiritual renewal. As the students were getting back on the bus Dr. Orr noticed one was missing. Going back upstairs he found one student kneeling in the carpet kneeholes praying with his face on the bed: "O Lord, do it again! Do it again!.” Orr placed a hand on the student's shoulder and whispered, "Come on Billy, we must be going." Billy Graham rose and rejoined the bus. [sermoncentral.com]
An interviewer asked Billy Graham if he had it all to do over again, would he do anything differently. He answered, “I’d travel less and pray more.”
If Billy Graham had known over 60 years ago what he knows now, he would have traveled less and prayed more. We should learn from his wisdom.
For most of a year we have been studying prayer keys. You have been a very encouraging group to teach. Thank you. This has continued much longer than anyone expected when we started. I was just supposed to fill in for a few weeks. Now that we are completing this study, Bro. Jim has something he wants to teach on Wednesday nights.
This is not the end of the study for me. God has convicted me that many of these studies need to be revised. That will be my priority for the foreseeable future. I do not know what God’s plans are beyond that. Please pray for me.
Last April, when we introduced this series, I asked for you thoughts about the keys to prayer and your testimonies about prayer. Now that we are concluding, I want to do the same thing. What testimonies do you have about prayer? What thoughts do you have about the keys to prayer? What was not said that should have been said? What have you learned or what do you understand better now and how do you expect it to help you?
[As people share, you may want to follow up with some of the comments below to keep things on track.]
1. Abiding in Christ
2. Christ's Words Abiding in Us
If you remain [KJV, abide] in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. John 15:7
Abiding in Christ, a relationship more intimate than being at home with a loving family, is our source of life.
Christ’s words abiding in us should be so familiar to us that when we encounter the false we know it.
3. According to God's Will
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
Praying according to God’s will is not an incantation to pull God to our will, but a guide to pull us to His will.