(Diary entry written October 27, 1902, at "Elmshaven," St. Helena, Ca.)
I retired last night at seven o'clock. I could not sleep past twelve o'clock. My mind is burdened with many matters.
We should understandingly present to God the prayer that Christ taught His disciples. In it is mentioned all that we need. We are not to think that we should always limit our petitions by simply repeating this prayer, but it is short and embraces everything.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Christ said, "When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward" [Matt. 6:5]. The hypocrites, while praying, are seen of men, but their pretended prayers bring no returns from above.
Christ continued: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into they closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him" [verses 7, 8].
By the expression "vain repetitions" the Saviour meant words without meaning, words oft repeated without corresponding thought or proper
understanding, words spoken without true and earnest desire. God is not pleased with a careless, unmeaning repetition of many words. This is what makes many prayers long and tiresome. Short, heartfelt prayers, right to the point, offered with an earnestness corresponding to the soul-hunger for the Holy Spirit, are not wearisome to God or to the people; for they reveal a longing desire for needed strength--strength which can be obtained only from the Source of all strength. An effectual, fervent prayer avails much to the one who seeks God for the wisdom that is promised to those who ask in faith. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him than earthly parents are to give bread to their hungry children.
Having cautioned His disciples not to use vain repetitions in their prayers, Christ gave them a model prayer. "After this manner therefore pray ye," He said:
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
I am instructed to say to all our churches, Pray the prayer that Christ taught to His disciples. Study this prayer; live it; and you will win a crown of life everlasting.
"Hallowed be Thy name." The name of God is always to be spoken with thoughtful reverence and love.
"Thy kingdom come." Let us pray the Father to help us receive the kingdom of heaven into our hearts. Christ is to be enthroned within, as the source of all power and supremacy. Let us look to God in faith, saying, "Lead us, strengthen us, inspire us by Thy Holy Spirit to do Thy will on earth as it is
done in heaven." This will necessitate our receiving into the heart an abundance of grace from Christ Jesus day by day, hour by hour.
Shall we not include in our prayers the words, "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done," and then understandingly answer our own petitions by keeping the human will in subjection to God's will, in order that the unsanctified desires and ambitious devisings of the human mind may not become a controlling power? Shall we not receive the Holy Spirit as a welcome Guest into the soul-temple, that the will and the purposes of Christ may be worked out in and through us to God's glory? Shall we not, in word and deed, carry out the expressed will of the One who cannot err or make a mistake?
We cannot afford to consult fallible minds, or to depend on human judgment, so often unsanctified and perverse. This is why true followers of Christ have such a great soul-hunger for the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit so works through human agents that God's will is done on the earth as it is in heaven.
Those who, in cooperation with heavenly intelligences, endeavor to answer the prayer that Christ has given us, will be enabled to do the will of God on the earth as it is done in heaven. The Master will take possession of, and use in fulfilling His will, every mind that is entirely surrendered to Him. This is the higher education which every Christian should most earnestly strive to obtain.
The world's plan, the world's policy, the will and the suggestion of unsanctified hearts, are striving for recognition. Of many, the world, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, is master. Selfishness is strengthened by the unsanctified desires and will of the human agent. Christians in name, many are practicing a fraud upon the world, for into the life-practice they bring worldly principles. In dealing with their fellow men, they use the hasty, sharp
words that worldlings use. Revealing the same nature as the unconverted, while claiming to be converted, they are false witnesses against the meek and lowly Saviour.
The world has no claim to our service, for by a solemn, holy covenant we accepted God's badge of services at the time of our baptism. On that occasion we pledged ourselves, in the presence of the three great heavenly Powers, to come out from the world and be separate.
In the third of Colossians we read: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" [Col. 3:1-4]. <03
This whole chapter should be carefully studied. What is the charge given us? "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now [after pledging yourself to serve Christ in truth and verify] ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth" [verses 5-8].
Notice the next verse: "Lie not one to another." If you have solemnly covenanted with God, in the presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit, to act as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King, you will not in your life lie against the truth you profess to believe. You will not reveal by your works that you are a sinner, while professing to be a saint. If you are sincere in making this pledge, you will not be found nullifying your prayer. "Thy
kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven," by acting as sinners act whenever it best suits your convenience to act thus, and when you can advantage yourself and at your neighbor's disadvantage.
Those who choose to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, must reveal their choice by bringing their words and actions into harmony with the principles they advocate. My brother, my sister, is the kingdom of God enthroned in your heart by Christ's presence abiding there? Or is self still a controlling power within? Whose subject are you? If a selfish spirit continues to keep you out of Christ's service, pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
Pray, oh, pray most earnestly, "Put Thy Spirit, Lord, Thy Holy Spirit, within my heart, that I may be sincere in keeping my baptismal vow." Pray that the intercession of Christ in your behalf shall not be in vain. Pray that unbelief shall no longer lead you to live a life that bears witness against the truth; no longer lead you to claim to be in God's service while in the life-practice, because of a perverted will, you reveal that you are not bearing the fruits of the Spirit. Pray for power to demonstrate to the world that you are dead to sin, and that your life is indeed hid with Christ in God.
Christ Our Example in Medical Missionary Work . Of His disciples Christ says, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." In doing medical missionary work, we can have efficiency and power only by working as Christ worked. And we can be Christlike in word and deed only when His will is perfected in us. Then shall His righteousness go before us, and the glory of the Lord shall be our rearward.
The life of Christ must become our life, our light, our exceeding great reward. Then our words will bear a living testimony that in our lives we are not
lying against the truth we claim to believe. If Christ is indeed formed within, the hope of glory, the soul will be filled with Christlike joy. As true believers we shall sit together with Christ in heavenly places. Our hearts will be humble, our spirits contrite. We will have fervent love one for another, and the preparedness for heaven will begin with us here on earth, and the world will believe that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. The proof that we are not of the world will be the manifestation of Christ's glory--His character--in the life-practice. When He dwells in the heart, we shall manifest that tenderness, that love, that fervency of spirit, which reveals His character formed within. Many will acknowledge that Christ's followers can with truthfulness say, "Thy gentleness hath made me great."
We can walk as Christ walked only when we abide in Him. We can do medical missionary work in a Christlike manner only when we are one with Him, only when we wear His yoke. To those who bear His yoke He promises rest. He urges all to come to Him with their burdens. "Learn of Me," He pleads; "for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Yoked up with Christ, we receive spiritual life and power, for then we are "laborers together with God," and of us as church-members it can be said, "Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." Through sanctified cooperation with Christ, every one of us can form a life-character that will be accepted in the heavenly kingdom. Thus we can cooperate with God in answering the prayer, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
When we become true followers of the meek and lowly Saviour, we shall do the will of God on the earth as it is done in heaven. The will of man's unrenewed, unsanctified nature can no longer exercise a ruling, kingly power
over the human agent. No longer can the leaven of unrighteousness--professing Christians who in their lives lie against the truth--leaven the whole church and prevent the divine will from being carried out on the earth as it is in heaven.
The Saviour lived on this earth a life that love for God will constrain every true believer in Christ to live. Following His example, in our medical missionary work we shall reveal to the world that our credentials are from above, that as representatives of the kingdom of heaven we are fulfilling the words of the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come." United with Christ in God, we shall reveal to the world that as God chose His Son to be His representative on the earth, even so has Christ chosen us to represent His character. Everyone who has genuine faith in Christ Jesus will represent Him in character.
Christ knew that His Father had chosen Him to carry out the great plan of redemption by coming to the fallen world to die for sinners. And when He came to fulfill His mission, He was, in every sense of the term, a medical missionary. Those who yoke up with Him and learn of Him, will also be true medical missionaries. Receiving the Spirit of Christ, every one of His followers will fulfill a divinely appointed mission not merely to be an influence among influences, but to be an influence for God in every sense of the term.
Our medical missionary workers must arise to heights that can be reached only by a living, working faith. At this time in our history the men at the head of the work are to allow no confusion of sentiment to prevail in regard to what should really be expected of medical missionaries sent of God. There should be a more clear, definite understanding of what medical missionary work comprehends. It must be defined as standing on an altogether higher plane, and
as accomplishing results of a much more sanctified order, before God can endorse it as genuine. Those who desire to honor God will not mingle worldly policy plans with His plans in attempting to accomplish the results that this work is ordained of God to accomplish.
The people of God, those who claim to love Him and keep His commandments, are to reflect a much clearer, purer light than they now reflect. Even Christ desired men to know that He was not acting independently, but in behalf of Another, who had sent Him. He never for a moment lost sight of the greatness of His mission. He was always conscious of the fact that He was the Sent of God. And to His Father He declared concerning His disciples, "As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."
Our work is clearly defined. As the Father sent His only begotten Son into our world, even so Christ sends us, His disciples, as His medical missionary workers. In fulfilling this high and holy mission, we are to do the will of God. No one man's mind or judgment is to be our criterion of what constitutes genuine medical missionary work. Altogether too much has been introduced in connection with this work. That which is attached to it largely destroys its sanctity and its power to fulfill the purpose which it is ordained of God to accomplish.
True medical missionary work is of heavenly origin. It was not originated by any person who lives. But in connection with this work we see so much which dishonors God that I am instructed to say, The medical missionary work is of divine origin, and has a most glorious mission to fulfill. Make no mistake in this matter. In all its bearings it is to be in conformity with Christ's work. Those who are workers together with God will just as surely represent the
character of Christ as Christ represented the character of His Father while in this world.
I am instructed to say that God will have the medical missionary work cleansed from the tarnish of earthliness, and elevated to stand in its true position before the world. When schemes that imperil souls are brought into connection with this work, its influence is destroyed. This is why there have arisen in the carrying forward of medical missionary work many perplexities that demand our careful consideration.
When Christ was about to ascend to heaven, He committed to His disciples the mission that His Father had committed to Him. And He instructed them how to fulfill this mission. He declared that as He had represented His Father to the world, so they were to represent Him. Although He would be invisible to the natural eye, yet all who believed on Him would be able to behold Him by faith. He told His followers to work as He had worked. They were to be a spectacle to worlds unfallen, to angels, and to men, revealing the Father through the Son.
Nothing will help us more at this stage of our work than to understand and to fulfill the mission of the greatest Medical Missionary that ever trod the earth. Nothing will help us more than to realize how sacred is this kind of work and how perfectly it must correspond with the lifework of the Great Missionary. The object of our mission is the same as the object of Christ's mission. Why did God send His Son to the fallen world? To make known and to demonstrate to mankind His love for them. Christ came as a Redeemer. Throughout His ministry He was to keep prominent His mission to save sinners.
Clothed with humanity, Christ performed a work that revealed the invisible Father in order that His disciples might understand the meaning of the prayer, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." But how many
who claim to be His followers concede to a worldly policy! This is because their hearts are not filled with a love for the truth. They are not pursuing uncorrupted principles. God's purpose in committing to men and women the mission that He committed to Christ is to disentangle His followers from all worldly connivings and policy, and to give them a work identical with the work that Christ did, that they might continually be Christ's representatives in character (John 17:18, 20, 23).
Christians should bear in mind that God has a personality as verily as has Christ. They should so represent Christ's person and conduct that by doing His work they will manifest the character and spirit of the Father. Christ is the express image of His Father's person and character. Those who are imbued with His Spirit will have an intense love for everyone for whom He died, and will work earnestly to bring into the heavenly garner a harvest of souls. Filled with His Spirit, men and women will be animated with the same desire to save sinners that animated Christ in His lifework as a missionary sent of God.
To those who receive Christ He gives power to become the sons of God, in order that they may be transformed into His likeness. His followers must reveal Him in speech, in spirit, in obedience to His law, in long patience, in love, in conformity to His will in all things. They are to show forth His character in love and patience toward those who are faulty. They are to seek to restore, and not to destroy, ever manifesting a heavenly love toward every erring fellow being. Their own personality is to be submerged in the personality of Christ, as revealed in their words and actions.
Let us remember that it is not by word and precept alone that we are to reveal Christ's character. Our works must bear witness to His indwelling presence in the heart. His disposition, His kindness, His compassion,
manifested in our actions, will inspire hope in the minds and hearts of the most hopeless. Thus in act, as well as in word, we shall reveal to the world the character of the Unseen.--Manuscript 130, 1902. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. Nov. 5, 1987. Entire Ms.