Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Forward»

The Youth’s Instructor

February 15, 1900

“If Any of You Lack Wisdom, Let Him Ask of God”

True prayer, offered in faith, is a power to the petitioner. Prayer, whether offered in the public assembly, at the family altar, or in secret, places man directly in the presence of God. By constant prayer the youth may obtain principles so firm that the most powerful temptations will not draw them from their allegiance to God.

The child Samuel was surrounded with the most corrupting influences. He saw and heard things that grieved his soul. The sons of Eli, who ministered in holy office, were controlled by Satan. These men polluted the very atmosphere that surrounded them. Men and women were daily fascinated with sin and wrong; yet Samuel walked untainted. His robes of character were spotless. He had no fellowship with the sins that filled all Israel with fearful reports.

In God there is strength; in him there is power. If we would take hold of this strength and power, we must not cease our watchfulness and prayer for a moment. We are safe only when we feel our weakness, and cling with the grasp of faith to our mighty Deliverer.

The world's Redeemer spent much time in prayer. He loved the solitude of the mountain, where he could hold communion with his Father alone. We read: “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” “He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” If Jesus manifested so much earnestness, how much more need for us to wrestle with God, and say, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”

“Which of you shall have a friend,” Christ said, “and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I can not rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

In the place of bearing your perplexities to a brother or a minister, take them to the Lord in prayer. Do not place the minister where God should be. The minister of Christ is like other men. True, he bears sacred responsibilities, but he is not infallible. He is compassed with infirmity, and needs grace and divine enlightenment. He needs the heavenly unction, in order to do his work with success. Those who know how to pray, who know what are the invitations of the gospel of Christ, show dishonor to God when they lay their burdens upon finite men. It is always right to counsel together; it is right to converse together; it is right to make the difficulties that present themselves in any enterprise plain before your brethren and your ministers. But do not depend upon man for wisdom. Seek God for the wisdom that comes from above. Ask your fellow laborers to pray with you; and the Lord will fulfill his word, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst.”

The Lord does not say to us: If any man lack wisdom, let him go to his pastor or to his neighbor, and pray to him for help. Lay your burden on finite men, as weak as yourself, and seek their wisdom. He says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.”

The Lord invites us to ask of him. Shall we turn from God's wisdom, to ask of men? We can not obtain from men the help that comes alone from God, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. They may advise us to do what is best; but unless they receive their light from heaven, they can have no certain light to give us. The Lord is acquainted with our ignorance and darkness, and he bids us come to him, the source of all light and wisdom. “Come unto me,” he says, “all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Promises are estimated by the truth of the one who makes them. Many men make promises only to break them, to mock the heart that trusted in them. Those who lean upon such men lean upon broken reeds. But God is behind the promises he makes. He is ever mindful of his covenant, and his truth endures to all generations. “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”

The gift of God's dear Son makes the promises ours of a surety. Christ clothed his divinity with humanity, and paid the ransom for man, and he desires that man shall rightly estimate the life thus provided. Man is to understand, by an experimental knowledge, the tender love of God for his creatures. God expressed his love in a wonderful way. He could not make man a partaker of the divine nature, until his only begotten Son, equal with the Father, should stoop to human nature, and reach man where he was. God did not withhold his Son. In Christ humanity touched humanity. In him man becomes a child of God, an heir to all the treasure of heaven.

The Lord is always the same. He keeps truth forever, and there is no unfaithfulness in him. We have confidence in our fellow men; then why are we so apt to distrust the promises of God? Christ declared that heaven and earth would pass away, but that not one word of God would fail. Why, then, do we not honor the Lord by believing his word, which is not yea and nay, but yea and amen in Christ Jesus? Why do we not come to our Heavenly Father as a little child comes to its earthly parent, and ask him for the things we need? Christ says: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

Let us not grieve the Spirit of God any more. Let us not show distrust of his word; for he alone is to be depended on. He is “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” He has a mighty arm; strong is his hand, and high is his right hand. He is a mighty God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think. He is wonderful in counsel, the only wise God. If he is for us, who can be against us? “Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

Mrs. E. G. White

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Forward»