Dr. John Sung

(1901-1944)

THE SECRET OF PRAYER

(Matthew 15)

This morning I would like to speak on the secret of prayer. Prayer is communion with God. It is most important. A Christian who knows not how to pray is no Christian at all.

Now there are three secrets to victory. I have spoken on faith and filling of the Holy Spirit, now the secrets of prayer.

Vs 21 "Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon." Jesus left for Tyre and Sidon because there were none who believed in him where he was. We see therefore that those who have faith receive His help. Those without faith Jesus left them alone. Women have more faith than men. Now the Bible records the mighty faith of two women. One of them is the Syro-phoenician woman under our study.

Vs 22 "And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me. O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." As Jesus came there this woman of Canaan appeared with her darling daughter. This daughter was vexed by a demon. This woman had been looking to Jesus; praying to Jesus. She sought for Him though He was on the move. She cried aloud praying, “Lord have mercy on me.” Beloved brothers and sisters, we also have many whose children are possessed by evil spirits So, you should pray aloud to the Lord for mercy. If you don't pray aloud, you won't receive it. Pray aloud like this Canaanite woman. Prayer is our weapon, our cannon to fight Satan. By prayer you can conquer the demon in your house. Though we can't preach, we must learn how to pray.

Vs 23 "But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us." Did Jesus answer this woman's prayer immediately? Although Jesus did not reply she persisted without losing heart. The first secret is undaunted prayer. Such prayer is effectual.

There was a woman in Hong Kong who prayed three years for her daughter. The daughter would not listen to her mother's pleading. She told mother she preferred hell. But mother persisted. When I came to Hong Kong on May 9th to preach, her daughter came to hear me. She repented, turning to Christ. She said her mother had wept for her for years for her unfilial condition. Now this girl has entered Gingling Seminary. May we never lose heart.

There's a woman of a certain village, who prayed 13 years for her husband, a gambler and opium-smoker. She kept on praying even when her husband died. One day after, her husband resuscitated. He repented, and died finally on the third day. He was saved. The Canaanite woman likewise prayed without losing heart. Let us pray, without losing heart. Such prayer is most powerful.
 

Vs 24,25 “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying. Lord, help me." The second secret is without losing hope. This woman wept aloud. Did Jesus hear? No. The woman kept up from behind calling on Jesus to heal her. Jesus said, "I'm sent to the house of Israel, not to Canaan." Did the woman lose hope? No. She kept praying. Prayer not losing hope is powerful.

In Hinghwa there was a Church member surnamed Fang. The Church gave him $5,000 to buy timber from Foochow for building a Church Unfortunately he met with pirates on the high seas. All passengers were robbed. Only he remained praying in the hold. As the wind and wave raged, the pirates feared for the sinking ship. Seeing Fang in prayer they accosted him, "If you can pray to God to bring calm to the sea we will not rob you." As he prayed the sea calmed. The pirates were so moved that they threw their knives and guns overboard. They sent Fang back to Foochow safe and sound.

Once a fire broke out in a certain street. Everybody rushed to escape the fire. A church member surnamed Lee, engrossed in worship, refused to run. He kept on singing and praying. All the neighboring houses were burnt down, except his. This was due to the power of his prayer, without losing hope.

Vs 26, 27 "But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table." The woman prayed not losing heart, not losing hope. She prayed and she prayed. Jesus said she was a dog. Did she get angry? No. Did she doubt? No. The third secret is never doubting. Without doubting, the woman said, "Lord, you say I am a dog. That's right. I am a dog (She didn't doubt a bit.) She believed with all her heart. Brothers and sisters never doubt. God is not dead. You are dead, rather. Never doubt in your prayer. These three secrets are most important. The woman believed all. Did Jesus listen to her prayer?

Vs 28 "Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." Jesus declared great was her faith. Because of her great faith, Jesus said, “Go home. Your daughter is healed. May it be accomplished according to your faith.”  Accomplished up to where? Up to where your faith is. With these three secrets we can accomplish anything. God will surely accomplish it according to our faith.

Owing to three years of over work in a steel mill in US, I developed a sore. I was penniless.  My landlord sent me to hospital. The doctor seeing I was dangerously ill asked me to write a farewell letter home. I prayed after writing the letter. For two weeks no one knew, but I slowly recovered. The doctor wanted $60 for the medical bill. I was worried. I prayed daily to God to help me pay the bill. The doctor regarding me a foreigner cut down the bill by half. I replied I hadn't a cent, but God had the money. Then he disclosed, "Yesterday an elderly gentleman paid in $33 to help a poor student." Praise the Lord! He opened a way to pay the bill. God used all kinds of means to test my faith. Let us make doubly sure the foundation of our faith. God loves us. He is sure to hear our prayer. Because God is living, we are safe in Him in the midst of danger.

1 went to Manchuria to preach. Everybody advised against my going. Reason was I lacked a fur coat. I said, “Never mind God can provide." It snowed heavily in November and December. The cold was unbearable. One night a friend said to me  “Without a fur coat won't do.”  I replied, "I'll have one tomorrow.”  Next morning an old lady truly sent me a fur coat. She said, "Mr. Sung, my heart was troubled last night. God showed me that I must give you this fur coat. I made this coat throughout the night until this morning.” Praise and thank the Lord! I am a non-salaried preacher. What I need God sends. If we have faith, we fear nothing. Have faith, have everything. No faith, nothing. Faith comes from prayer, without losing heart or hope, without doubting. Such prayer causes faith to persevere to the very end.

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