Prayer, Faith and Self-Denial
“The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:15
“It should be impressed on all who have decided to become workers for God, that they must give evidence that they are converted men. A young man without a sound, virtuous character will be no honour to the truth. Every worker should be pure in heart; in his mouth should be found no guile. He should bear in mind that in order to be successful he must have Christ by his side, and that every sinful practice, however secret, is open to the view of Him with whom we have to do. Sin has marred the divine image in man, but through Christ this may be restored. But it is only through earnest prayer and the conquest of self that we can become partakers of the divine nature. Many do not rise high enough to meet the standard. Their faith is weak, they expect but little from God, and they receive according to their faith. They need far more faith in God, and far less confidence in self. When they have this, they will be more successful in attaining perfection of character.
The true toilers in the Lord’s vineyard will be men of prayer, of faith, of self-denial,—men who hold in restraint the natural appetites and passions. These will in their lives give evidence of the power of the truth which they present to others; and their labours will not be without effect.
The apostle Paul, in his dying charge to Timothy, says: “The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” [2 Timothy 2:2.] The instruction given to Timothy contains lessons to be learned by all the servants of Christ. Everyone who anticipates engaging in the solemn work of the ministry, should give heed to the apostle’s charge to his son in the gospel, as the latter was entering upon his work; “Let no man despise thy youth.” Timothy might pursue so wise a course that he would gain the confidence of all with whom he should be associated. The ground of this confidence the apostle specifies: “But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” The work of a student was enjoined upon him. “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” Gospel Workers 92 289.1-3
“These lessons are important, not only to ministers, but to all the workers in the cause of God. Each should give them careful study. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” [2 Timothy 4:12-16.] Gospel Workers 92 290.1