F. J. PERRYMAN
[* These extracts are taken from Mr. Perryman's He Must Reign Till - a strong tonic word on prayer in the present crisis.]
The things which stagger and baffle, depress and challenge most people are the persistent alternating and overlapping manifestations of evil in political, social and economic upheavals. Hatred, revenge, wars, revolutions, strikes, persecutions and all the subtle and terrifying technique of Godless policies follow hard on the heels of each other, and it is not surprising that without God and the Lamp of His Word, people grope in darkness - even gross darkness, with a corresponding apprehension and dread of what will come next.
But the believer is made so one with Christ by consenting to be immersed into Him and [inspired by] Him that he is in a position to wrestle against, not in order to get victory, but in order to register against these fallen world rulers the Victory of Christ over them. So that the Cross and all that Christ meant when He cried, It is finished, is behind the believer and with him and in him. Christ in you. Ye in Me, and I in you. Jesus had said a day would come when that would be known. Here it is. The believer, the Church in Christ and with Christ, far above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
You see how sweeping it is - how full - how complete! Far above all - a superlative term used only three times in scripture: once of the cherubim of glory shadowing the Mercy Seat (Heb. 9: 5); once of Christ having ascended up far above all heavens that He might fill all things (Eph. 4: 10); and in 1: 21 of Christ having been raised to God's own right hand in the heavenly places, with all under His feet, as Head of the Church united to Him in that position. We, far above all, in Him and with Him. I do not know that any summary of this stupendous thing can do justice to it.
The significant thing is that the Bible word for witness is martus, from which we get our word martyr. This martyr spirit is not confined to witnessing - speaking and outwardly displaying the Spirit of Christ, but it is the warp and woof of the prayer life and the work of faith. There is a sense in which you bleed your way through to the throne, and there is a sense in which in prayer you lay down your life for the brethren. You are born into the martyr class.
So prayer must be difficult. The phrases used, such as labouring fervently, persevering, contending, supplicating, beseeching, crying, seeking, knocking, day and night, with fervency and understanding, all point to a life of vigour and labour which will put high pressure test upon every power conferred upon you. It is intended to be so because in its essential essence and nature it is a fellowship with Christ. You are in and with Him in this matter. I hope you will get that clear, because prayer, and warfare in prayer, is by no means something in which you go to God in Christ's Name and stand alone. We are there together, and we are workers together with Him. What an unspeakable comfort!
Prayer thrusts. It is a channel for God's driving, creative energy. It must be readily admitted that, under certain circumstances, we may be very much on our knees while we are on our feet. I remember Dr. F. B. Meyer, when giving a series of talks on Romans 8, saying how much he had dreaded dealing with verses 26 and 27, because he felt he knew so little about the subject. He said he had never been able to agonize or spend long nights in prayer; he always had so much else to do, and excused himself on that account.
But, he added, I do not want to take refuge in that. I feel that there is a great deal about prayer which we ought to know and do not. For my own part I try to keep up a running conversation in the presence of the Lord, asking Him to undertake this and that and the other thing, and telling Him how much I hate the devil. A thing will come back to my mind again and again pressing its claims on my attention, and when it does I turn to the Lord in the way I said, until I get the assurance that He really has undertaken it. The burden of it then passes, and I leave it. I trust Him. Now I feel we can all do that, whatever the demands of other duties upon us. Cultivate this practice of the Presence of the Lord and speak to Him.
years ago I met a lady missionary who had spent most of her life in
she handed herself over to Him to fashion her according to His will. But do what she would she made no conscious
advance. Rather to the contrary, she seemed to be going back, and the time
came when in broken health she was obliged to leave
The phrase, Back to Pentecost - I must get back to Pentecost, got hold of her and haunted her, and, bless her, she did get back to Pentecost, but with no visible results. Her spirit still lived in a prison, and prayer as she had known it ceased. With her soul in iron she, night and day, sought release, but the heavens were as brass, and she was truly perplexed. As for her body, well you can guess that it would be a miracle if that was not falling to pieces. She had a racking cough and had pretty well settled down to the last lap down here.
I met her at Keswick and she told me her story, saying over and over again, I need to get back to Pentecost. Never! I exclaimed. And she started up. But this, and but that, she went on. Makes no difference, friend, I replied. Pentecost is behind - still there, in the background - foundationally, just as the Cross is foundational, historical, life-giving, immovable. But what you need is to claim that in the impetus of the Cross and of Pentecost you move on and up unto the reign of Christ. Say it until it grips you - that in all things He might have the pre-eminence - until you grip Him and enthrone Him."
rest of the story is simple. The Holy
Spirit there and then witnessed to Truth, and quicker than I can tell you she
was a freed soul. Her cough disappeared,
her health recovered. She was soon back