The Price of Gods Miracle Working Power
by A. A. Allen
Chapter 6 titled "Self Denial"
While we read in the scripture of Jesus, “Rising up A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY, he went out, and departed into a solitary place and there prayed,” (Mark 1:35) how many of those who would do the works he did, find little or no time for prayer. How few of them can bear solitude. Yes, often they pray beautifully in a crowd, or when others may be listening. But the lonely hours of the night spent in solitary prayer bring no glory to SELF. Self would rather turn a little, to find a more comfortable spot on his comfortable bed, and drift softly back to sleep. Self says, “I must have my rest.” Self will raise his hand smilingly, when asked who will pray an hour during the night or early morning. Self will rejoice that he has been seen taking this sacrificial hour, and how well his neighbors will think of him. But self will turn off the alarm when it sounds, and go back to sleep. Self says, “It does no good to pray anyway, when you don’t feel like it.” Jesus said, “Let him DENY HIMSELF.” This is sacrifice — real sacrifice to God. And God honors sacrifice.
In one of my early meetings, in southern Missouri, good crowds had been attending for a week, but not one soul had responded to the altar call. My wife and I decided that this MUST be changed, and agreed between ourselves that we would pray all night for souls to be saved in that meeting. Already we were weary in body, for the hour was late, and the service had been a hard one. Soon weariness began to creep down upon us, and even to stay awake seemed almost impossible. Again and again one must waken the other. There was no shouting, no excitement — nothing to keep us awake but the knowledge that in this little community which God had given to us as our responsibility, souls were lost, and we must see them saved. And we had promised God to pray it through. As the sun crept over the eastern horizon, we knew that we had kept our vow, and that something was going to happen that night. We could hardly wait for the time of the service. And that night, victory came. One after another responded to the call, until nineteen souls had found salvation, and were shouting the praises of God in a little country schoolhouse, under the ministry of a preacher who had only been preaching three weeks. As we went home rejoicing from that service, we knew that God had taught us a lesson — it pays to DENY SELF the rest he may think is rightly his. It pays to pray it through, whether self is stimulated by any good feelings, or urge to pray, or not.
SELF says, “Pray if you feel like it.” SELF DENIAL says, “PRAY ANYWAY.”