Eating at the King's Table

Bible Book: Selected Passages  7 : 14
Subject: Prayer; Forty Days of Prayer

Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman once told of how he had been holding meetings in England, but the attendance had been disappointingly small. Then he received word that a man named John Hyde, referred to many as Praying Hyde, was going to pray down God's blessing upon him and his work. As a result of Hyde's powerful praying, the tide soon turned and the meeting hall became packed with people. At Chapman's first public invitation, fifty men received Christ as their Savior.

Relating the story, Chapman said: As we were leaving I said, "Mr. Hyde, I want you to pray for me." He came to my room, turned the key in the door, and dropped to his knees, and waited five minutes without a single syllable coming from him lips. I could hear my own heart thumping, and his beating. I felt hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God. Then with upturned face, down which the tears were streaming, he said, "O God." Then for five minutes at least he was still again; and then, when he knew that he was talking with God, there came from the depths of his heart such petitions for me as I had never heard before. I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was."

"I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day;

I had so much to accomplish that I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task.

"Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered. He answered, "You didn't ask."

I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak;

I wondered why God didn't show me. He said, "But you didn't seek."

I tried to come into God's presence; I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided, "My child, you didn't knock."

I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day;

I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray."

God has rolled out the red carpet for us to walk into the “throne of grace and obtain grace and find mercy to help in time of need.” The red carpet is called prayer. It is an invitation to eat at the King’s table, but in order to RSVP we must be:


[2 Chronicles 7: 14]

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

A. A HUMBLE People

Hebrew word is kana. It literally means, “To become low.” When we ‘humble” ourselves, we put ourselves in our proper position before God. We recognize who He is, what He is, and where He is. We recognize how BIG He is, and how LITTLE we are.

Humility is to be a normal posture, and position of God’s people.

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt thee in due time.” [1 Peter 5: 6]

An elderly minister who survived the great Johnstown Flood of 1889 loved to regale audiences with tales of that harrowing event. When he died and went to heaven, he found himself in a meeting of saints who were sharing their life experiences. He took St. Peter aside and asked if he could tell about surviving the Johnstown Flood. Peter hesitated, then said, "Well, you can tell your story, but just keep in mind that Brother Noah will be in the audience."

WE have nothing to be proud of, or proud about. Spiritually speaking, our father is Abraham, our grandfather is Adam; and, our great-grandfather is DIRT!

We are nothing, He is our EVERYTHING!

B. A HUNGRY People

Hebrew word is baqash. It literally means, “To consult, or to seek to secure.”

A hungry people are those who consult, and seek to secure God’s counsel, and God’s will.

C. A HOLY People

If we become humble and hungry, we will become holy. We will “turn from our wicked ways.”

The word “turn” is the word shub. It has a 2-fold meaning: “To turn from, and to follow after.”

We see sin as God’s sees it. We become sorry over our sin, not because we got caught; but, because we have violated God’s law and broken God’s heart.

In his book, “Wash Your Hands Before Praying,” Joe McKeever gives a prayer that gets us ready to pray.

"Father in Heaven, my Lord and Savior, Lover of my soul, Friend in need; Helper and Encourager, hear the cry of my heart:

Please cleanse me and make me whole. Take away from my heart:

…--anything that does not bow before Thee as Lord;

…--whatever in me does not have Thy name on it;

…--all that is resistant to the Holy Spirit;

…--everything impure and unworthy of Thee;

…--attitudes and opinions and convictions that do not originate with Thee;

…--desires, motives, plans and ambitions in conflict with Thy will for my life;

…--anything that runs and hides when You enter,

…--that laughs when I believe,

…--that squirms when I pray,

…--that fears when I trust;

…--whatever in me that does not give Thee joy, make Thee proud, or serve Thy purpose;

…--all of this and everything else that holds me back, weighs me down, and cheapens the product.

O Lord, by Thy precious blood, purge my iniquity. Take away my sin. Make me holy, pure and clean. Give me a heart for Thee, O Lord, one that longs to do only Thy will, that answers only to Thy call, that serves only to hear 'Thy will be done.'

And now, Holy Father, I am ready to pray to Thee....."

Ivor Powell tells of a man who used to always close his prayer the same way by saying, “Lord, knock down the cobwebs in my heart.” Finally, after hearing the man pray this way, one old saint jumped up and said, “Lord, forget about the cobwebs, and just KILL THE SPIDER!”

We need to become humble, hungry and holy and ask God to KILL THE SPIDER in our lives.

As a result, a humble people, a hungry people, and a holy people have the promise of becoming:

D. A HEARD People

If we meet the preceding requirement, God gives an outstanding and overwhelming promise. He promises to “HEAR FROM HEAVEN.”

What a thought that God would incline His ear unto us and step into our prayers. Once we become a heard people, we become:


He will “forgive our sin,” which speaks of removal; and, He will “heal our land,” which speaks of restoration.

I believe the promise can be taken Nationally. This was a promise God made to Solomon, but included the entire nation of Israel.

Ladies and gentlemen, the only hope for our country is not found in gold, goods, greed, or gain, but in GOD. The hope of this country is not in political reformation, but in spiritual transformation.

The promise can be taken Personally. God promises to, personally, “forgive OUR sin” and “heal OUR land.”

The promise can be taken Spiritually. God is not a “respect of persons,” but He is a Respect of Principles. God doesn’t love one church any more than He loves another church; and, He doesn’t love someone else more than He loves.

He doesn’t respect persons, but He does respect principles. If we do it HIS way, we will be blessed. If we do our way, we will get blistered.

Finally, a humble people, a hungry people, a holy people, a heard people, and a healthy people will be:

F. A HAPPY People

If the previous conditions are met, God promises in verse 15, “Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.”

I think of an old, godly Methodist woman, years ago, named Clara Tear Williams. She lived in a one room shack, with a dirt floor, curtain walls, and lighting courtesy of an oil lamp. She had a day's supply of food in the cub bard, and her only money was found in a Tupperware bowl behind her bed. However, one day, a friend asked her to write a poem, and this is what she wrote:

All my life I had a longing

For a drink from some clear spring,

That I hoped would quench the burning

Of the thirst I felt within.

Hallelujah! I have found Him,

Whom my soul so long has craved!

Jesus satisfies my longings,

Through His blood, I now am saved!

All of this comes from seeking God’s face! Then, from seeking God’s face we move on to:


[Psalm 80: 19]

“Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”

A. What Does it MEAN?

The favor of God is something that is quite mysterious, but also quite marvelous.

The word “shine” is the word sa ah. It literally means “to light up, to gaze, or to take an interest in.”

The favor of God means that God’s face lights up with pleasure and approval. We have met God’s terms; thus, He takes an interest in our plans, prayers, and petitions.

The face is known for many expressions. But, here we are told that it is possible for God to cause His “face to shine” upon us. In other words, it is possible for God’s face to light up, and take an interest in the endeavors of our lives.

B. What Does it MATTER?

As you study the Bible you quickly learn that the favor of God is something that altered the course of history. All the way from Abel to Jesus to the church, the favor of God has turned the world upside down.

The favor of God protects us. The favor of God prepares us. The favor of God preserves us. The favor of God prospers us. The favor of God provides for us. The favor of God promotes.






The favor of God qualifies the unqualified. The favor of God gifts the ungifted. The favor of God enables the unable. The favor of God equips the unequipped. The favor of God empowers the powerless.

The favor of God does what natural, human ability could never do!

The favor of God, Psalm 84: 11, “gives grace and glory,” and will cause Him not to “without no good thing from them that walk uprightly.”

The favor of God, in Psalm 90: 17, causes “the beauty of the LORD our God” to “be upon us”; and, causes Him to “establish the work of our hands.”

The favor of God, in Genesis 39: 21, causes “the Lord to be with” us as He was with Joseph.

The favor of God, in Psalm 5: 12, causes Him to “bless the righteous; with favour” and “compass him as with a shield.”

The favor of God can transform a nation, alter the course of history, bless a life, invigorate a church, and open doors no man can shut, and close doors no man can open.

Jacob begged for it. Hezekiah looked for it. Nehemiah cried for it. Daniel prayed for it. And, we can ASK FOR IT!


[Acts 4: 31]

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken.”

This is our theme verse for our 40 Days of Prayer. We are praying that God will shake me, shake you, shake this church, shake our community, shake our city, shake our families, shake our friends and shake our loved ones.

I believe you would agree that if the early church prayed, and God shook the place, there must have been something about their prayer.

A. What they REQUESTED

The goal of their prayer meeting is found in verse 29, “grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.”

Their motive was pure. Their hearts were clean. The request was sincere. They prayed responsibly, and they prayed righteously. They were a spiritually expected people; as well as, a scripturally excited people.

They knew how to pray. They knew when to pray. They knew where to pray. They knew WHAT to pray.

It reminds me of the prayer of Jabez, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me.” [1 Chronicles 4: 10]

I mentioned earlier the prayer life of John Knox. It is said of John Knox that we could get anything from God that he asked. Having become familiar with John Knox through biographies, I am of the conviction that his prayers always had the will of God and the glory of God as the motive.

They weren’t asking for beautiful budgets, bigger buildings and better business; although there is nothing wrong with those things if it is the will of God.

Rather, they asked for to be BOLDER BELIEVERS for the Kingdom of God!

As a result of what they requested, we see:

B. What they RECEIVED

They have laid our their request before God; as a result, we read in verses 31-33, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. [32] And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. [33] And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

They became the recipients of God’s favor and God’s fire. They were bestowed with Unity. They were of “one heart and of one soul” and “had all things common.”

We don’t read any time where there was a discussion, much less a disagreement of what color paint to put on the walls, or carpet to put on the floor, or whether they should sing hymns or praise music. The heart of God became instilled into the heart of man.

They were bestowed with Authority. God imparted unto them “great power” and “great grace.” Ladies and gentlemen, when those 2 things come together, “great power and great grace,” you better watch out, because THERE’S ABOUT TO BE A SHAKING!

One of the most moving places I have ever been was the George Mueller Museum in Bristol, England. It was not until I saw the pictures of his orphanages and the children for which he cared (up to 2,000 at one time) and saw the actual buildings he built (now part of the City of Bristol College) that I really appreciated all that he accomplished by prayer and by prayer alone. It was his policy to never let his needs be known to man, but only to God in prayer. Early in his ministry, George Mueller had joyfully dedicated his "whole life to the object of exemplifying how much may be accomplished by prayer and faith."

I think of how on one occasion it was time for breakfast and there was no food and no money to buy food. A small girl whose father was a friend of Mueller’s was visiting in the home. Mueller took her by the hand and said, “Come and see what our Father will do.” In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Mueller prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2:00 o’clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is.”

Mueller thanked him and then gave praise to God. Soon after the baker had left, there was another knock at the door. When Mueller opened it, it was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He told Mueller that he feared the milk would spoil and asked if he would like to have it for the children. Such is but one example of answered prayer in his life.

During his 68 years of ministry, he touched the lives of nearly 150,000 pupils. On top of caring for his homes in Bristol, he distributed to missions nearly $1,300,000, circulated nearly 2 million Bibles and over 1 million religious books, tracts, and pamphlets. During that time he would pray in and distribute over $7,500,000 in Christian enterprises. At today’s prices that would be approximately $129 million dollars.


Ladies and gentlemen, we have been made and given the “righteousness of God in Christ.” That simply means that we have been MADE right, and we have been GIVEN rights.

Therefore, we have a RIGHT to “come boldly before the throne of grace and obtain grace and find mercy to help in time of need.”

We have a RIGHT to “call unto” Him and allow Him to “answer” us, and “shew us great and mighty things we know not.”

We have a RIGHT to “ask.” We have a RIGHT to “seek.” We have a RIGHT to “knock.” We have a RIGHT to “receive.” We have a RIGHT to “find.” And we have a RIGHT to have the door “opened” unto us.

We have a RIGHT to expect that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” How much? It is as much as we need God to do.

Let me give you an example. When I was a boy, there were times when we were privileged to sit down, as a family, and enjoy a meal together. It did not happen a lot because dad would often be gone somewhere preaching, and mom would be at work. But, when it did happen, it was a family feast.

The table was spread with everything your heart would ever desire, fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, squirrel gravy, fried okra, homemade “Cat-head” biscuits, and homemade bread pudding, or blueberry cobbler.

I love potatoes. It matters not if they are fried, died or laid to the side, I love any and all kinds of potatoes. So, after we prayed over the meal, the buckets of food would be passed.

Once I had filled my plate, I would often ask, “Would you please pass the potatoes?” I didn’t have to beg or plead, because the provision had already been made. My mother had cooked them, prepared them, and placed them on the table.

They were already there, so I simply requested that it be passed down to my end of the table. Furthermore, I didn’t have any reservation or hesitation to ask. Why? Because I wasn’t a stranger, a hireling, or someone off the street. I was a family member sitting down at my family’s table.

Do you know what prayer is? Prayer is simply ASKING GOD TO PASS THE POTATOES!! It’s already there. The provision has already been made. God doesn’t have to turn on Food Network to get a quick recipe, or scurry to the kitchen to throw something together.

No sir. The provision has already been bought and paid for by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, as a family member, I have a right to ask God to pass the provision down to my end of the table.

Someone has wonderfully written:

"Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring,

For His grace and pow’r are such,

None can ever ask too much!"

If you are saved, you are an “heir of God” and a “joint heir with Jesus Christ.” You have been born into the family, and “adopted” as child and given adult status in the family.

Therefore, because you are a family member, you have a right to seek His face, find His favor, and experience His fire. You have a right to eat at the King’s table! Don’t be afraid to ask, because He has plenty of potatoes!

But, this is not for the faint of heart. If you mean business, I can assure you that God means business. If are willing to pay the price and seek His face, you can find His favor, experience His fire and eat at His table!