The Way to Greater Works (Ronald Dunn)

A Series on the Ministry of Prayer: Part 1

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: dispensational | Seminary: Southwestern Baptist Theological

This series of lectures was presented in October 1979 by Ronald Dunn (Lifestyle Ministries / at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary's Bueermann-Champion Lectureship. The series is notable for its emphasis on intercession.

I was at another Seminary a week or so ago, and sitting on the front seat waiting for chapel to start and the professors entered, like an august body of deacons – you know how they sometimes arrive on Sunday morning. In this case, they all lined past where I sat. One stopped, looked at me, reached into his vest, pulled out a pocket watch, popped it open, leaned over, and said, "We leave this place at 10:25." He then shut it and walked off. That was very encouraging. Today, your chairman brought me to see the chapel, but the only thing he really pointed out was the clock. So I do know where the clock is!

It is a joy to be with you today and this week, and I trust that the Lord will give us a good time together in His Word. I appreciate the opportunity to share these times with you. It is my prayer that God will open His Word to us in a new way and give us a new appreciation of some old truths.

Actually all preaching is not telling people anything new, as much as it is telling them things that they already know, but have not done anything about. I have a very dear friend that was speaking before about five thousand pastors at a convention a few years ago. He spoke about fifteen minutes, then shut his Bible, and said, "That's all. You already know more than what you living up to." I think, of course, that that can be said of all of us and especially can it be said in this area of prayer.

So what I am particularly anxious for this week is not simply that the Lord will impart information to us, but that He will inspire us by His Spirit to actually pray, and it not be so much "Lord, teach us how to pray," but "Lord teach us to pray." I feel that if God does that in our hearts, then the week will have been a very profitable week, indeed.

May we begin this morning by reading from the Gospel of John, chapter 14; I will begin with verse 8. The Gospel of John 14:8-14.

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father, as He remains in Me, does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

Now I want to read again verse 12 because I think that this is the one of the most fantastic statements and promises that the Lord ever left His disciples.

Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father.

In that statement, Jesus promises basically two things. First of all, He promises His disciples that they will equal His works. He said, "The works that I do shall you do, also." If that were strong enough, that would be sufficient. Just to equal the works of Jesus would be a fantastic promise. But He goes beyond that and says that not only will we equal His works, but to those who believe in Him, they will exceed His works. "Greater works than these shall ye do; because I am going to the Father." A promise – "greater works than these shall ye do."

Now I believe that this promise is both universal and eternal in its application. It is not addressed, I think, only to the disciples, but it is addressed to those who believe. "Truly, truly I say to you, he that believes in Me" – one who personally commits himself to me, that one who goes on believing in Me, whose habit of life is that of trusting Me, that one shall do the same works that I have done. Not only this, but "greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father." It is not because Jesus is going to be absent, but because Jesus is going to be present with the Father, working through these disciples, and pouring out the Holy Spirit, that this promise is made, "Greater works than these shall ye do."

Well, that is a great promise and I have found that through the years most of us in the ministry have a habit of interpreting Scripture in the light of our own experience. By that I mean that if we find that our experience and the Scripture do not harmonize, what we do usually is to reinterpret Scripture. We try to match the Scripture with our experience. I think that many of us have tried to do just that with this particular verse. Sometime ago I heard a man speaking on this verse and he said, "What Jesus meant by that was that we would have a bigger organization, bigger organizations. In support he pointed to the fact that Jesus started with the twelve (and ended up with eleven which is not what you would call a record of success), but that today the church spans the globe in numbers in the multiplied millions. Our churches are wealthy, respectable, and influential. This enlarged organization was, he said, the exact fulfillment of Scripture. Well, I must say that I do not believe that Jesus is referring simply to the building of a greater organization. After all, General Motors has done that and so has IBM and the Mafia. I don't think that Jesus is referring simply to growing larger in number, having a greater organization.

Someone has suggested that to what the Lord was referring, of course, was the stature of the church, the influence of the church. And to be sure, the church has grown in influence. We have a great deal more influence today than the early church had. We have lobbyists in Washington. One of own is the President of the United States. You would have to say that being born again has almost come into vogue. It is true that the church of Jesus Christ today exercises far more influence than the early church. Again, I do not believe that this is what the Lord was referring. I think that He had in mind something far greater.

The early church did not have enough influence to keep Peter out of jail, but they had enough power to pray him out. I believe this concept is what the Lord intended. When Jesus said, "Greater works than these shall ye do," he meant exactly what it says. It is fine if we begin interpreting our experience in light of the Word of God. I think that we have in these promises certain birthrights that are ours as followers of Jesus Christ. It is God's intention that our experience should match the standards of Scripture. However, the Lord says that to those that follow Him, that believe? in Him (and the term does not refer to a merely formal believer, but to that person who has trusted, who has committed himself to the Lord Jesus Christ) the promise is that such a person will do greater works.

Now how is this to be fulfilled? Well, it seems to me that in verse thirteen, Jesus amplifies the promise in verse twelve. The promise in verse twelve is largely intended to be fulfilled by the procedure in verse thirteen. Notice what Jesus declares. The first word of that verse is the little word, "and," which indicates that this is a continuation or a completion of a thought previously mentioned. Jesus says, "And whatever you ask in My Name that I will do that the Father may be glorified in the Son." I like the way the Williams' Translation renders verse fourteen. Charles B. Williams Translation reads like this: "Yes, I repeat it. If you ask anything in my name, that I will do." Dr. Williams brings out the idea that it is a repetition, "Yes, I repeat it;" implying, of course, that perhaps the promise He had just made was difficult to believe, and perhaps the disciples found it a little too much to comprehend, so Jesus said, "Yes, I repeat it. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."

The position that I will be taking this morning and all week is this: it is my conviction that the "greater works" promised in verse twelve require and are exercised by the praying of verse thirteen. The ministry of Jesus Himself bears this out. If you study the life of Jesus you will find that there was a certain rhythm in His life, a certain method in His life. Jesus would move out to minister, but only after He had withdrawn to meditate. You will find this always. His public life was simply an expression and an expansion of His private life. Always there was that constant line of communication and meditation open between Him and His Father.

You will remember in the Gospel of John how He said, "The Son can nothing of Himself." Now that is a tremendous statement. "The Son can do nothing for Himself. But what He sees the Father doing, that is what He does. What He hears the Father saying, that is what He says." "These words are not My words," He said. "They are My Father's words." "These works are not My works; they are My Father's works." "And I only do what I see My Father doing. I only say what I hear My Father say."

If the only thing you are going to do is what you see your Father doing, and the only thing you are going to say is what you hear from your father, this I submit that you have to spend some time seeing what your father is doing and hearing what your father is saying. And the Lord Jesus, the pattern of His life as was His custom, was constantly withdrawing to the lonely place of prayer. Again, and again, you will find that emphasized in the Scripture. And so marvelous and magnificent was His prayer life that when His disciples saw Him praying, they said, "Lord, teach us to pray."

These men had been brought up to pray. it was a part of their religion that they had learned to pray, but when they saw the Master praying, they said, "This is prayer we have never prayed. Lord, there is something about you and prayer that we need to know. Lord, teach us to pray."

It was revealed, I think, in the life of Jesus. I believe you see it revealed in the life of the early church. A study of the book of Acts will reveal that that church was a praying church. I think that you will find that nearly every forward thrust in that church was preceded by a season and a period of prayer. Of course, it has been commonly mentioned that on the Day of Pentecost they had three thousand souls and, of course, that was preceded by ten days in the upper room of heart searching and prayer and waiting upon God. Ten days in the upper room, ten minutes on the platform and three thousand souls saved. Today we reverse it. We spend ten minutes in the upper room, ten days on the platform and if we have thirty conversions, we feel that Pentecost has happened all over again.

The early church, I think, vindicates this particular idea that the "greater works" of Jesus Christ are to be fulfilled, carried out by the ministry of prayer.

Some of you, I am certain, are familiar with the ministry of Dr. J. Edwin Orr. Dr. Orr has probably studied more, learned more, and known more about the history of revival than any other man alive. It has been my privilege to be with him on a number of occasions. Dr. Orr emphasizes again and again this one fact that in all the studies he has made of every recorded history of revival, there has never been a great out-pouring of the Spirit of God that did not begin with, and was sustained by a Spirit of prevailing prayer. Every great awakening in the history of the Christian church was always preceded by that season of prayer. I believe the order is this: first of all, there is a revival of praying. God pours out His Spirit of prayer upon His people. There is a revival of praying and then there is a praying for revival. And that's the pattern of revival through the history of the church.

A Scriptural Description of Prayer

I want us, in this time that we have, to examine this verse, verse thirteen, because it seems to me that you have in the Bible right at this very point, one of the most concise and complete descriptions of prayer to be found anywhere. So we are just going to take verse thirteen and look at it and examine it in detail. There are four or five movements in this verse. Jesus says, "Whatever you ask in My Name that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son." And we will simply divide that verse.

First of all, I want you to notice that Jesus says, "whatever you ask." Whatever, whatever. "Whatever you ask." One of the things you will notice as you study the Bible in regards to prayer is that the Lord constantly uses expansive language, all embracing language, when He talks about prayer. "If you shall ask anything in My Name." In John 15:7, He says, "If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will." "All things," He says; "All things whatsoever you desire when you pray, believe that you will receive them and you shall have them." Paul said to the Philippians, "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests by made known to God." And over and over again, you will find this repeated emphasis that there is no limit, there is not limit whatsoever to the scope of prayer. The measure of our praying is simply this, "whatever, whatever you ask."

You may say, "Well now, that goes without saying. We know that." But you would be amazed at how many people do not know that. You would be amazed perhaps to find out how many people that you will be ministering to in the local church believe that prayer is used only in case of an emergency. And it has to be a religious emergency. In other words, God is interested only in things that have to do directly related to church and things spiritual. I remember a businessman in my church one day who came to my office for some counseling and he began to pour out the woes he was having as far as his business was concerned. And I asked, "Have you been praying about it?" and he looked at me as though I had blasphemed something sacred. He said, "Of course not." I asked, "Well, why not?" He answered, "Well, that's business." And I came to discover that this fellow believed that it would be sacrilege to pray, do something as spiritual and religious as pray, to pray about something as commercial and secular as business.

There are a lot of people like that. But Jesus says, "Whatever you ask, whatever you ask."

In 1973, we started an intercessory prayer ministry in our church. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We would train the people and God moved in a mighty way upon our hearts to pray. We signed up and had people to register for that prayer ministry. One of the rules that we made for this prayer ministry was that any request that came in, regardless of how small or how large it was, was prayed for. I never will forget; we started our prayer ministry on a Sunday night at midnight in July. The first request, the first request that came in was this. A father had been out cleaning his car using some kind of high-powered cleaning solution and his little two-year-old boy had gotten hold of it and as little boys will do, proceeded to drink about half of it. Immediately he became violently ill, and they rushed him to the hospital. The doctor said that the boy just didn't have a chance of living, and if he did pull through, he would be blind. So the parents called and asked, "Would you pray for our boy?" They didn't just say, "Would you pray for our boy," but would you pray that God will heal him.

Now, I want to be very honest with you. I think that confession is good for the soul, and it is, but sometimes bad on the reputation, but I will hazard it. Do you know what my first thought was? I had spent twelve weeks teaching my people how to intercede, preaching on intercession. I want to tell you something. They were all psyched up. I mean they were "raring to go." They were ready to pray. They just believed that God would do anything through the power of prayer. I looked at that request and I said, "Oh, no!" I am being honest with you. I said, "Here I have gotten these people all excited about praying and they just believe that God can do anything, and they really believe in intercession, and now we come up with an impossible request. They are going to pray and that boy is going to die and what is that going to do for our prayer ministry."

Now, I confess, that was my first reaction. I thought it would be good if we started off with something easy and work our way up. But, they began to pray. after about twenty-four hours the mother of that little boy called and said, rejoicing, "It is just a miracle. The doctor doesn't understand it, but the Lord has answered our prayers and he is all right. There is no harm done to his body and no harm done to his eyes."

I came to the conclusion that the Lord knew what He was doing. You know, God started us off with something almost impossible and after that anything, you see, anything was easy to believe that God could do. The point I am making is that I could stand up here for three hours this morning telling you the diverse kinds of requests that came into that prayer ministry and how God moved upon them, how God answered them.

The Scope of Prayer

We need to understand that if it is big enough to worry about, it is big enough to pray about. Anything that is a concern in the heart of man is a concern in the heart of God. There is no limit to prayer. Now, of course, somebody says, "Now there is – it has to be according to His will." And, yes, you are right. But even that is not a limit, for that person who has committed himself to Jesus Christ, he finds everything he needs or wants within the will of God, you see. Outside the will of God we would not want it. We would not desire it. What we need to do is look upon the will of God, not so much as a limitation, but as realizing that within the confinements of the will of God is everything that we ever need. God has made ample provision for it. "Whatsoever"… that is the scope, the measure of our praying.

"In Jesus' Name"

Now, you notice the second phrase is: "Whatever ye shall ask in My name." "In My name…" Now when I first really got serious about learning how to pray and beginning to study it, I came across that phrase several times. Of course, I had always been taught that you were to pray in the name of Jesus and every prayer was to be closed with that little formula "in Jesus' name." As a matter of fact, I remember at the football games that was how we could always tell whether the fellow praying was a rabbi or a Protestant. I grew up thinking that was one of the ways that you identified yourself as a Christian, and as a Protestant. In the name of Jesus… Well, I think that it is very fine to end your prayers that way, but that is not at all what Jesus referred to.

Jesus is identified with His name. The name of Jesus signifies all that Jesus is and all that Jesus has done. It signifies that Jesus Christ Himself, in a very real sense, is making that prayer. In a very real sense, when you and I used the name of Jesus, we drop out of the picture and the Father hears us in the name of Jesus as though Jesus Himself were praying. It is the basis of our acceptability to the Father. Jesus identified with His name. He said, "If you give a cup of water in My name, it is the same as if you had given it to Me." He is identified with His name. His name represents all that He is and all that He has done.

Now that is very true, but that really doesn't help me a great deal in knowing how to pray. I would like to just share a little experience that happened at this very time in my own Christian life when I was asking the Lord to help me to understand exactly what it meant to pray in the name of Jesus. I was raised in Arkansas and my family, my brother and my father, they still live there. Several years ago, we went to visit them. They live in Sebastian County, Arkansas. When we arrived there, we found out that the Sebastian County Fair was in progress and, of course, that is a sight to behold and we knew the kids would really have a good time. So one night we decided to go to the Sebastian County Fair. And you know, we weren't there very long until it was obvious that our kids weren't at all interested in the blue-ribbon pigs or the prize bulls. They were interested in the rides – the carnival aspect of it. So we moved off from the cultural exhibition over to the carnival. It was just filled with rides. Now the tickets were ten cents apiece, and I remember that we did this very efficiently. So we bought a whole roll of those red ten cent tickets and I was custodian of them. The procedure was simple. I would stand at the entrance of the rides and as the children passed by I would tear off a ticket and give it to them. Very efficient (I didn't go to Seminary for nothing). So there I was. I remember standing at the entrance to the "Tilt-A-Whirl" with that roll of red ten cent tickets in my hand. So Rebecca, my brother's daughter, comes by and she holds out her hand and I tore off a ticket and gave it to her. Then Ronny, my oldest son, came and held out his hand and I tear off a ticket and gave it to him. Kimberly, my little daughter, comes by and holds out her hand and I tear off a ticket and give it to her. And then Stephen, who at that time was about seven or eight years old, comes by, holds out his hand, and I tear off a ticket and give it to him. Right behind Stephen, comes a little boy I have never seen in my life, hold out his hand for a ticket. Well, you know what I did? No, I didn't give him a ticket. I mean those things cost ten cents apiece. Have you ever tried to ignore a little boy standing there? The line forming behind him and he is just standing with his hand out. You just ignore him. I don't know that kid. They were my tickets. No reason I should give him a ticket! My son, Stephen, had stopped and turned around and came back, and he said, "Dad, this is my friend." He hadn't been there ten minutes and he had just met the kid. He said, "Dad, this is my friend. I told him you would give him a ticket."

You know what I did? Well, I tore off that ticket and I gave it to that boy. I didn't give it to that boy because that boy deserved it, or because that boy had any claim to it. I gave it to that boy because my son told him that if he asked father, his father would give it to him, and that boy, in a very real sense, was asking, "in Jesus' name." And I will tell you this much, asking in Stephen's name and I gave him that ticket in Stephen's name.

I will never forget it. As I stood there at the entrance of that "Tilt-A-Whirl," suddenly the Lord seemed to say, "that is exactly what I'm trying to say too." We go to the Father and we ask in Jesus' name, not because we are good, not because of what we have done, not because of our merit, but simply because of what Jesus has done, because of who He is and because of what He has accomplished. The Father hears us in Jesus' name. We ask in Jesus' name. Prayer is really simply going to the Father and saying, "Father, the Lord Jesus said that if we ask You for this, if we ask you to do this, if we call upon You for this help that You would hear, that You would answer."

I believe that is praying in the name of Jesus. Recognizing that we may not be worthy, but He is. We say, I am not holy, but He is. I am not faithful, but He is. It is not because of how much we have done for Jesus. The throne room and the throne of grace is not sprinkled with the sweat of our labors but with the blood of His sacrifice. We approach the Father on the basis of what Jesus did. He hears us, because Jesus is worthy. "If you ask anything in My name."

The next phrase, He says, "I will do it." That will I do. "If you ask anything in My name, that will I do." Now, I want you to compare that statement with the statement made in verse twelve. Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these he do." Notice that in verse twelve, Jesus is saying that it is the believer 'that will do it. So in one aspect you have a believer doing it, yet in another, it is the Lord Jesus doing it. Well, which is it? As a matter of fact, it is both.

God is the Source of our Sufficiency

If we had time, we could go back into that previous passage which I read a moment ago where Jesus is describing His relationship to His Father, and would discover that the pattern set down by Jesus in His relationship to the Father is meant to be the example of our relationship to the Lord Jesus. Jesus said, "Everything you hear Me say, it is not really Me saying it, but it is My Father who abides in Me. The works that you see Me do." Phillip said, "Show us the Father." Jesus said, "You have seen Him. When I healed those ten lepers, you saw the Father. When I made the blind to see, then you saw the Father. When I raise Lazarus, you saw the Father. Because, you see, that was not really Me doing those things that was my Father who dwells in me."

Now the disciples could have said, "No Lord. That was You. We saw You in the flesh. That was You." Jesus said, "Yes, I did it but it wasn't really Me. It was My Father dwelling in Me doing the works." That is the explanation of the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus was not the source of His own sufficiency. He was not the source of His own sufficiency. Everything Jesus did, He acknowledged that it was not Himself doing it, but it was the Father doing it through His human personality, through His human availability. And that is to be the pattern of our life. We are not to be the source of our own sufficiency. These "greater works" that you and I can do, in reality, flow from the Son through us. It is the Son doing them. He who dwells in us and He who is at the right hand of the Father on high, He does the works through our human personality, through our human availability. We are not to be the source of our own sufficiency, anymore than Jesus was the source of His own sufficiency.

Now, I think that this is a very important truth that we need to grasp and be grasped by. When I finished all my training in college and Seminary and such, I entered into the ministry. In pastoring my church, somehow I have to confess, I had the idea that my success in the ministry depended upon my cleverness, my preparation, my ability, my ability to stay one step ahead of the people. All of that! (This is not the fault of my teachers because they were very adequate, far more than adequate as far as I'm concerned.) Now I have to say that it was several years before it ever really dawned on me to expect the miraculous and the supernatural in my ministry. I don't believe that I am a unique case. I would have to say that expect that by far the majority of pastors that I know and come in contact with are men who intellectually know better, yet somehow that knowledge hasn't penetrated into their hearts, and all their success in the ministry rests upon their ability, their cleverness, their preparation, their training. Now all these things are important, but they are like a corpse without a life. They are all necessary, but unless the life is there, it brings forth no blessing. The greatest discovery I believe I ever made in my Christian life was when I discovered that it was not dependent upon my ability, but on His ability. Not on my sufficiency, but on His sufficiency. And Jesus said, "If you ask anything in my Name, I will do it." "I will do it. I will do it."

We are God's Instruments

Now the only way to adequately interpret these words is to say that in a sense my praying (I want to say this very carefully) enables God to do work that He would not otherwise do. And I say that very cautiously and carefully because I know that it can be easily misunderstood. How can you say that God can be enabled and there is something that He could not do, or that He would do or such as this? We are talking about a sovereign, all-powerful God. Yes., but we are also talking about a God who has ordained that He should work through certain methods and His program. His order. It is His sovereign choice to work, to work, through human instruments and there is a truth in that He limits Himself to human instruments. Yet because He is God, there is no limit. Jesus said, "If you ask, I will do. If you ask, I will do."

I believe that it is a legitimate, a legitimate implication to say that if we do not ask, He will not do. I know that opens a great many mysteries, and I cannot explain them. I just don't flat understand it. I don't understand about prayer. I don't know how it works. I don't know that a sovereign God can say, "If you ask, I will do." But I know that that is what the Scripture teaches.

I don't understand how airplanes fly. But I got here last night by an airplane. I like what Dr. Vance Havner says, "I don't understand about electricity, but I'm not going to sit around in the dark until I do. Jesus said, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." And I believe that the great power of prayer brings Jesus Christ into a given situation and releases His own ability, and I believe that it is Jesus Christ Himself doing the work though our human availability. He says, "I will do it. I will do it."

I submit to you that is what we need. We have seen too long what man can do. We need what Jesus can do. This is probably why Dr. R. A. Torrey said that prayer is "the only omnipotence that God has granted to man, and the only thing that lies beyond the power of prayer is that which lies beyond the power of God." John Wesley said, "God does everything by prayer and nothing without it." Jesus said, "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." Within a church, within a home, within a school, within a given situation, the believer has the privilege, more than that, the responsibility to bring the power of Jesus to bear upon that situation by prayer. I believe the history of the Bible and the history of the church says, "Amen" to that statement. In verse thirteen of this passage, we see that when the people do not pray there is famine in the land. But, every time the church of Jesus Christ arouses itself to grab hold of God in prayer, then God begins to manifest Himself in an unbelievable way.

He says, "I will do it." And what encouragement this was for these disciples who before long would be facing a hostile world basically unprepared, untrained, as far as the world was concerned. How were they going to match such opposition? Jesus said, "I give you supernatural ability. I place at your fingertips, at your disposal, the power of heaven."

The "Motive" of All Prayer

One last word… The last phrase. Jesus said "that the Father may be glorified in the Son." And I would call that the motive for all prayer. That's the real motive of our prayer: "That the Father be glorified in the Son."

R. A. Torrey said, "The purpose of prayer is not to get what we want, but that God may be glorified in the getting." That's the purpose that God may be glorified. I believe that's why the Bible, why the Father is so pleased to use prayer. Because you see when it is done in an answer to prayer, there is no doubt as to who has done it. We preachers are the world's best at giving God the glory while we take the credit, but when it is done in answer to prayer, there's no doubt that God not only gets the glory, but He also gets the credit. "That the Father may be glorified in the Son." And, I believe that you have here the real key to answered prayer. I believe when our motive for asking is the same as His for answering, then we are on true praying ground. His motive for answering prayer is "that the Father be glorified in the Son." And when we come in complete harmony with the will of God and we are enabled to pray in the will of God, in the name of Jesus, when the motive for our asking is the same as His for answering – "That the Father be glorified in the Son."

Tomorrow, we will discuss yet another aspect of prayer. We are going to look at what I call "The prayer that God always answers." There is a prayer that God always answers. I think that one of the biggest problems for a great many Christians is unanswered prayer. How can we pray such a prayer that God will answer? This is what we are going to be dealing with in the morning. May we bow together for just a word of prayer.

Heavenly Father, we are thankful for this time together this morning. I pray that the Word of God will be planted like good seed in our hearts and may it bring for the kind of harvest that You have desired. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Before his death on June 29, 2001, at the age of 64, due to Pulmonary Fibrosis, Ronald Dunn had an extensive itinerate ministry of Bible teaching and preaching and served as the Minister-at-Large for the MacArthur Blvd. Baptist Church in Irving. He was also the president of LifeStyle Ministries, an organization that produces Bible study cassettes, which he founded in 1970. He preached Bible Conferences all over the United States, Europe, Australia, Canada, Central America, South Africa and the Caribbean Islands.

A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, Ron was saved at the age of nine, began preaching at the age of fifteen and pastored his first church at the age of seventeen. After completing his Masters of Divinity at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary he pastored the Valley View Baptist Church and Munger Place Baptist Church of Dallas. In 1966, he became the pastor of the MacArthur Boulevard Baptist Church in Irving, TX.

During his time as pastor there, the church doubled in size and began a unique 24-hour Intercessroy Prayer Ministry. This Prayer Ministry has become the model for similar ministries in churches and Christian organizations around the country. In 1975, Ron resigned to fully devote his time to an itinerate ministry of bible teaching and writing.

"If you are ignorant of God's Word, you will always be ignorant of God's will."

Billy Graham

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