A Promise for Service

from Out and Out magazine-1907

“If ye ask, I will do.” Concerning those things which only God can do, we naturally betake ourselves to prayer. For knowing that wetelegraph ourselves cannot do them, we find our hope only in that asking which brings God’s doing.

But let us remember, too, that our own personal service, in the things which we can do, needs also that asking which will bring God’s doing into it. Do we realize that everything we do, need to be saturated with the spirit of prayer that God may be the real doer, the real worker in the things which we are busily doing? Yet this is a mighty truth: “If ye ask, I will do” applies to your own service as well as your intercession for others.

Have you ever toyed with the key of a telegraph while the circuit was closed? If so, you have noted this fact. On that key you may write a complete message, from address to signature. Upon it every telegraphic character may be perfectly formed; every condition of expert operating may be fulfilled. But it matters not how skillful an operator you are, so long as the electric circuit is closed, all your efforts are simply sounding brass and clattering platinum. Not a single spark of electric life do you transmit; not a single message of good or ill, of bane or blessing is conveyed to the waiting listener at the other end of the line.


Because the battery is not working. And all your working is effort without result, activity without power.

But now you open the little brass lever which connects your key to the battery hidden beneath the table. Immediately every letter you form thrills with life, every word you write flashes a living message into the mind and heart of the far-away receiver. Through your work, dead and mechanical in itself, the electronic battery is now pouring forth its vital stream, flooding with life and power every deft motion of your flying fingers.

The Lesson is Plain

It is in spiritual telegraphy as in material. If the battery is not working, the message is mere clatter. We may do, but if God is not doing through us, then all our doing is naught. If we work in our own fleshly strength we will but effect fleshly results, for “whatever is born of flesh is flesh.” God alone is spiritual life. God is the only begetter of life. Our highest function as servants is to be transmitters of the life of God to others. Our highest doing is that in which God is doing through us.

And how shall this be?

Through Prayer

Prayer connects you with the divine battery of life and power. Prayer puts you “in the Spirit,” and “it is the Spirit that quickeneth.” From the chamber of prayer you come forth to men with the unction, the subtle power, the thrill of God’s own life upon you. As you keep asking, God keeps doing. When you grow prayerless, your deeds grow powerless. Lead no meeting without asking that God may be the real leader through you; speak no message without asking that He may speak through you; begin no work without asking that God may work though you. For, “If ye ask, I will do.”

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1 Timothy 4:13

  • 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Tuesday 30-May, 2023