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PRAYER

July 27, 2014

Praying_Hands
PRAYER
– Draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…pray without ceasing…lift up your heart and hands toward God in heaven…call upon His Name…the Name of the LORD, the Everlasting God…praying and making confession…pouring out your heart before Him…being sober minded and self-controlled for the purpose of prayer…keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving…praying at all times in the Spirit…with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…not worrying about anything, but praying about everything….casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you…drawing near with confidence to the throne of grace, to receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need…(from) the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, (to Whom) be the glory forever. Amen. (Heb 10:22, 1Th 5:17, Lam 3:41, 1Chr 16:8, Ge 21:33, Ezra 10:1, Ps 62:8, 1Pe 4:7, Col 4:2, Eph 6:18, Php 4:6, 1Pe 5:7, Heb 4:16, Ro 16:27)

C H Spurgeon encourages us to pray, reminding us that…

Prayer is the breath of God in man, returning whence it came.

Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian.

Short prayers are long enough. There were but three words in the petition which Peter gasped out — “Lord, save me.” (Mt 14:30) — but they were sufficient for his purpose. Not length but strength is desirable. A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity. If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing they would be all the better. Verbiage is to devotion as chaff to the wheat. Precious things lie in small compass, and all that is real prayer in many a long address might have been uttered in a petition as short as that of Peter. Our extremities are the Lord’s opportunities.

If any one should ask me for an abstract of the Christian religion, I should say it is in that one word prayer. If I should be asked, “What will take in the whole of Christian experience?” I should answer, “prayer.” A man must have been convinced of sin before he could pray; he must have had some hope that there was mercy for him before he could pray. All the Christian virtues are locked up in the word prayer. In troubling times our best communion with God will be carried on by supplication. Tell Him your case, search out His promise, and then plead it with holy boldness. This is the best, the surest, and the speediest way of relief.

If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things, but prayer makes the common pebbles of God’s temporal bounties more precious than diamonds. Spiritual prayer cuts the diamond and makes it glisten more. When you are wrestling like Jacob with the angel and are nearly thrown down, ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen your arm. Consider how the Holy Spirit is the chariot-wheel of prayer. Prayer may be the chariot, the desire may draw it forth, but the Spirit is the very wheel whereby it moves.

Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the hallowed labour of prayer.

Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets, that they may learn to mount above the clouds.

Prayer girds the loins of God’s warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader comes out of their closet, even as the sun arises from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run the race.

Prayer is that uplifted hand of Moses which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua; it is the arrow shot from the chamber of the prophet foreboding defeat to the Syrians.

Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God.

We know not what prayer cannot do!

Because God is the living God, He can hear; because He is a loving God, He will hear; because He is our covenant God, He has bound Himself to hear.

No care, but all prayer. No anxiety, but much joyful communion with God. Carry your desires to the Lord of your life, the guardian of your soul. Go to Him with two portions of prayer and one of fragrant praise. Do not pray doubtfully, but thankfully. Consider that you have your petitions, and therefore thank God for His grace. He is giving you grace; give Him thanks. Hide nothing. Allow no want to lie rankling in your bosom; “make known your requests.” Run not to man. Go only to your God, the Father of Jesus, Who loves you in Him. This shall bring you God’s own peace. You shall not be able to understand the peace which you shall enjoy. It will enfold you in its infinite embrace. Heart and mind through Christ Jesus shall be steeped in a sea of rest. Come life or death, poverty, pain, slander, you shall dwell in Jesus above every ruffling wind or darkening cloud. Will you not obey this dear command? (Php 4:6-7) Yes, Lord, I do believe Thee; but, I beseech Thee help mine unbelief.

Anything is a blessing which makes us pray. Indeed the very act of prayer is a blessing. To pray is, as it were, to bathe in a cool, swirling stream and so to escape from the heat of earth’s summer sun. To pray is to mount on eagle’s wings above the clouds and get into the clear heaven where God dwells. To pray is to enter the treasure-house of God and to gather riches out of an inexhaustible storehouse. To pray is to grasp heaven in one’s arms, to embrace the Deity within one’s soul, and to feel one’s body made a temple of the Holy Spirit. Apart from the answer, prayer in itself is a blessing. To pray, my friends, is to cast off your burdens. It is to tear away your rags; it is to shake off your diseases; it is to be filled with spiritual vigor; it is to reach the highest point of Christian health. God grant us to be much in the holy art of wrestling with God in prayer.

Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation. As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer. We must be immersed in prayer as in our element, and so pray without ceasing. Lord, teach us so to pray that we may be more and more prevalent in supplication.

Let your thoughts be psalms, your prayers incense, and your breath praise.

So…Let us pray…

Play Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Let Us Pray”

See Spurgeon’s Gems on Prayer…

Link to “Spurgeon’s Gems on Prayer”

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