Prevailing Prayer (1)

"And King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants" (1 Kings 10:13).

The Queen of Sheba came from afar to hear the wisdom of Solomon. She had heard his fame in her own land and desired to see him of whom she had heard so much. So she set forth on a tedious journey, with her mind full of questions and problems hard to solve.

What a picture of a soul first coming to Christ! How many are the difficulties that then arise — difficulties relating to the question of sin, the holiness of God, the power of Satan, the judgment of God, and eternity that looms before us all — these trouble and perplex souls when first awakened, and all the wisdom of men fails to give peace, or solve the problems that demand solution. But when the gospel message, speaking of Jesus, falls upon the ear and reaches the heart, it arouses a desire to see and know the One of whom the gospel tells. And faith makes the journey, believing Him to be as good as His word, when He says, Come to Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

The Queen of Sheba had not been long in the presence of King Solomon before all her hard questions were answered. And so it is with the one who comes to Jesus. For King Solomon is a figure of Him, raised from the dead, and in the glory. Let us bear that in mind. He is in the glory a real living Man, on the right hand of God, and in him we shall find the solution of every question. He took the sinner's place upon the cross, and settled in His death, for those who trust in Him, every question that could arise between the soul and God. The fact of His resurrection and exaltation proves that these questions are settled, and now believing in God, who raised Him from the dead, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

When the Queen of Sheba's difficulties were removed she could then look round on the glory of Solomon. And she was overwhelmed by his greatness, his glory, and his wisdom. There was beauty in everything she saw, and her heart was filled with praise. She speaks of the happiness of those who stood before Solomon, and praises God, who had delighted in him, and made him supreme in Israel. Now is not this what takes place in the soul that really turns to the Lord Jesus Christ? When delivered from doubts, and difficulties, and perplexities, it is free to be occupied with Christ, and to see how great are the glories that shine in His face. He is the effulgence of the glory of God, and the express image of His person, and all true greatness and moral excellency are seen in Him. As the heart is thus occupied, two thoughts possess it: first, the happiness of those who are brought to Him to be His companions for ever, and then the delight of God in setting Him upon the throne. And God has done this, not only because He loves His Son, but because He loves His people. Wondrous fact!

Then the Queen of Sheba began to make her requests, and we can see why they were more than granted. Her whole vision was filled with the greatness of Solomon, and being about to return to her own land, she says, so to speak, "I am going back to my people, who know you not. Give me those things which will exalt you before them, for I want them to know something of your greatness, and your wisdom, and your glory." And could Solomon deny such a request as that? We think not. And so it will be with us if our hearts are filled with the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall not be praying for something for ourselves so much, or that which will make us great in the eyes of others; but we shall earnestly desire to have that which will exalt the name of Christ. In this way we shall ask in the name of Christ, and He Himself tells us that whatsoever we ask in His name believing, we shall receive. And again: "In that day ye shall ask in My name: and I say not to you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loves you, because ye have loved Me." Receiving answers to our requests from the Father, we shall be able to go forth to men, to lift up and exalt Christ in the power and energy of the Spirit and the grace which God gives.

"So the Queen of Sheba turned, and went to her own country." This seems to answer very much to what is said in the Acts of the Apostles, that "they which were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." They went about speaking of Jesus, and this surely is the happy, privilege of all who know Christ for themselves. They turned into this world of darkness and death to shine as lights and hold forth the word of life; to proclaim the blessed saving name of Jesus, and thus to enlighten others as to the grace, the wisdom, the love, and power which are found in Him to meet all their desperate need. Oh, may God grant that we may know what it is to pray prevailingly, and the result must be a devoted life and fruitful service. But if we are to pray and prevail, Christ alone in His glory and love must fill our souls. Then all we ask for and seek will be for the exaltation of His name, and we shall receive all our desires, yea, exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.