10 Quotes from “If Ye Shall Ask” by Oswald Chambers

One constant, and necessary, refrain throughout the pages of this short book is that our ability to pray was costly. We only have access to our Father’s heavenly throne because of sacrifice of the Son and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. This work has a wonderful, and correct, trinitarian emphasis on prayer. One that sees prayer as not just an option for Christians, but a necessity due to the instruction from our Lord, and the implications of the ongoing conformity into the very image of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

If you’d like to purchase the book, you can do so here, or there is a version available with more modern English here.

Here are 10 of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!

1. Page 5

When a man is at his wits’ end, it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way to get in touch with Reality. As long as we are self-sufficient and complacent, we don’t need to ask God for anything, we don’t want Him; it is only when we know we are powerless that we are prepared to listen to Jesus Christ and do what He says.

2. Page 19

Prayer is easy to us because of what it cost God to enable us to pray. It is the Redemption of God, the agony of our Lord, that has made our salvation so easy and prayer so simple. When we put the emphasis on the line of prayer being a cost to us, we are wrong. The cost to us is nothing, it is a supreme and superb privilege marked by supernatural ease because of what it cost God.

3. Page 27

The meaning of waiting in both the Old and New Testament is ‘standing under,’ actively enduring. It is not standing with folded arms doing nothing; it is not saying, ‘In God’s good time it will come to pass’–that often means in my abominably lazy time I let God work. Waiting means standing under, in active strength, enduring till the answer comes.

4. Page 39

He allows these things for his own purpose. We may say what we like, but God does allow the devil, He does allow sin, He does allow bad men to triumph and tyrants to rule, and these things either make us fiends or they make us saints, it depends entirely on the relationship we are in towards God.

5. Page 44

When we pray relying on the Holy Ghost, He will always bring us back to this one point, that we are not heard because we are in earnest, or becasue we need to be heard, or because we will perish if we are not heard; we are heard only on the ground of the Atonement of our Lord (Hebrews 10:10).

6. Page 50

Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and immense broadening of our interest in God. In other words, sanctification means an intense concentration on God’s point of view–every power of spirit, soul and body chained and kept for God’s purpose only.

7. Page 62

We think of prayer as a preparation for work, or a calm after having done work, whereas prayer is the essential work.

8. Page 65

As long as we get from God everything we ask for, we never get to know Him, we look upon Him as a blessing-machine that has nothing to do with God’s character or with our characters. “Your father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” Then why pray? To get to know your Father. It is not sufficient for us to say, ‘Oh yes, God is love,’ we have to know He is love, we have to struggle through until we do see He is love and justice, then our prayer is answered.

9. Page 66

We have no business to remain in the dark about the character of our Father when He has made His character very clear to us.

10. Page 81

Are we learning to bring ourselves into such obedience that our every thought and imagination is brought into captivity to the Lord Jesus Christ, and is the Holy Spirit having an easy way through us more and more? Remember, your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, but the Holy Ghost makes intercession in our particular editions, without which intercession someone will be impoverished. Let us remember the depth and height and solemnity of our calling as saints.