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Here are four quotes I shared with our church family during my beginning of the year message on prayer as I encouraged us to pray with one another.  James 5:16 calls us to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another.”

God intends the church to be “an intensely intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven, redemptive community, where I’ve invited you to intrude in on my life”–Paul Tripp

“Sin drives Christians apart and produces a hellish individualism—a deadening autonomy.  But confession to a fellow brother or sister destroys this deadly autonomy. It pulls down the barrier of hypocrisy and allows the free flow of grace in the community.”–Kent Hughes
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“Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him.”– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Sin is most dangerous to an isolated believer. Sin seeks to remain private and secret, but God wants it exposed and dealt with in the loving fellowship of other believers.” –John MacArthur

“The potency of prayer has subdued the strength of fire, it has bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the fates of heaven, assuaged diseases, dispelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. There is (in it) an all-sufficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings!”– John Chrysostom

“Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of his love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year must be, “Continue in prayer.”

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). lightstock_149955_medium_dwight_Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

“The Bible is not meant merely to inform, but to transform.”–Author unknown

“My thesis in this book is that we must turn from the frantic search for “something more” to “something more sustainable.” We need to stop adding something more of ourselves to the gospel. We need to be content with the gospel as God’s power for salvation. We also need to be content with his ordinary means of grace that, over time, yield a harvest of plenty for everyone to enjoy.”

Horton, Michael S. (2014-10-07). Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (p. 126). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

“At its heart sin is the eclipse of thankfulness toward God (Rom 1: 21). Why thankfulness? Because rather than seeing ourselves as self -creators who choose our own identity and purpose, the biblical worldview tells us that we are on the receiving end of our existence. We are beholden to someone else. Our life is a gift from God, not our own achievement. And our ingratitude is the clearest expression that we have idolized ourselves.”

Horton, Michael S. (2014-10-07). Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (p. 89). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

To an evangelical culture that is always looking for the next big thing, the next big movement of God, Michael Horton asks:

Is it not remarkable enough that Jesus Christ himself is speaking to us whenever his Word is preached each week?  Is it not a miracle enough that a lush garden is blooming in the desert of this present evil age? Is it not enough of a wonder that the Spirit is still raising those who are spiritually dead to life through this preached gospel? Is water baptism an outward pledge that we make in response to a decision we made to be born again? Or is it a means of God’s miraculous grace? And is it not sufficient that those who belong to Christ are growing in the grace and knowledge of his Word, strengthened in their faith by the regular administration of the Supper, common fellowship in doctrine, prayer, and praise, guided by elders and served by deacons?

If our Christian life is grounded in a radical experience, we will keep looking for repeat performances. Not slow growth in the same direction, but radical spikes in the graph. This keeps us always on the prowl for The Next Big Thing.

Horton, Michael S. (2014-10-07). Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (p. 81). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Horton, Michael S. (2014-10-07). Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (p. 80). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

 

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