The Prayer of Faith in the Judgment Hour
Acceptance with God has always depended upon grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith." Salvation begins with grace and ends with grace. Adam, the first sinner was justified and accepted before God by grace and so also the last sinner who is ever to be saved just before Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven will be justified and accepted before God by grace alone.
The grace of which we speak is called the "unmerited favor of God". This means that we are adopted into the family of God only because of His pity and mercy for us as "ungodly" and unworthy of acceptance.
"To him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."
In Christ, God accepts the unacceptable; He loves the unlovable; He forgives the unforgivable. This is so at the BEGINNING of our life of faith and at the END of our life of faith. Whether we are new born babes in Christ or whether we have walked the way of faith for many years, we are always dependent upon the unmerited acceptance of God. We are always God's children only because He does not treat us as we deserve. He grants merciful favor towards us who are always unworthy, unlovable, and yes even "ungodly".
But some may say, "Ah, but I am not the same person I was when I first came to Christ. I can praise God that I am now chaste, sober, kind, gentle and not the person I used to be." Yes, we Christians are not what we were when we first came to Christ. We can give honest and sincere thanks that we are not the people we once were. But having said that, we must also in the same breath always confess that we still are not what we ought to be. Christians are always "righteous yet unrighteous". We have all things in Christ that pertain to eternal life: justification, sanctification, wisdom, adoption, regeneration, and rebirth.
Yet Christians still must always confess that we are poor, blind, miserable, and naked. Our prayer is always that of the poor publican who stood "afar off and would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. this man went down to his house justified. for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
This prayer is the prayer of the justified man and it is also the continual prayer of the truly sanctified man. This means that it is our prayer at the beginning of faith and at the end of our faith when Jesus comes again. It is our CONTINUAL prayer day and night as we walk the way of the Christian.
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
He bears long with His people. He will avenge us of our Adversary who stands by to accuse us. We must never cease or "faint" in the offering of this prayer. Regarding the CONTINUAL nature of the prayer of the publican, Jesus warns us to not forget "that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." We must be as the poor widow who cries day and night to the judge of all.
When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth? Soon we will stand before the glory of the Son of Man when He returns. Today and even at His appearing, the prayer of faith is to be our prayer as we gather to the heavenly sanctuary by faith on these final days of the great Day of Atonement.
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, and call a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate ,..because he hath magnified to do great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things... Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain. Joel 2
Will He find us praying the prayer of faith which begins in grace and which ends in grace? The prayer of the poor Publican will always be the prayer of every believer even until the final day of our pilgrimage on earth. Amazing grace how sweet the sound!