Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

The potency of prayer

“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

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Some of Paul Tripp’s remarks on prayer in a sermon on James 5:13-18.

“I need the reminder that God is present; He is near, and He’s a God of powerful, transforming grace. Do you live like you believe that?

“You can’t think about prayer without thinking about Jesus. Prayer is an argument for Jesus. It was the life of Jesus, that perfect life of obedience, the death of Jesus where he took our sins on Himself, the resurrection of Jesus where He conquered sin and death and gifted us with life.  That is the reason, the only reason that we can receive this invitation from our God to come to Him in prayer. He welcomes us because of Jesus. Jesus is the door of entry to the presence of God.”

“Do you really pray? Are you taking advantage of the resources God has placed in your life?”

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Loving others by praying for them

Prayer Religious Stock Photos“Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them.” ~ John Calvin

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Stephen gives some advice for destroying our boring, unimaginative prayer lists:

“Despite my affection for prayer lists, I tend to drift away from them. Sometimes it’s because I’m lazy, and I don’t feel like continually updating my prayer list. Other times it’s because I want to be more spontaneous in my prayer life. I don’t like being confined to what I have written on paper. But if I had to put my finger on it, I would say I tend to abandon prayer lists most frequently because my prayer lists are often boring and unimaginative. They are stale, like old, bland crackers. They read like recipes. . . .

“I don’t think I should stop using prayer lists. I do think my prayer lists should be inspired and bold and imaginative. And I should approach my prayer with eager expectancy. I should expect God to blow away my expectations! I should expect God to give more than I ask. I should expect God to surprise me.”

For more help read  Destroying Our Boring, Unimaginative Prayer Lists.

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“The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord.

Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be a saint at all; see to it, dear reader, that you are often in the way of private devotion. Be much on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel’s fields. ”— Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, October 18

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Why pray?

At the turn of the century, R. A. Torrey in his book How to Pray answered this question, “why is prayer so important?”  Here are ten of his reasons, which supplement what we’ve already seen in Isaiah 37:

  1. Because there is a devil and because prayer is the God-appointed means of resisting him (Mt. 6:13; Lk. 22:40).
  2. Because prayer is God’s way for us to obtain what we need from Him — a day at a time (Mt. 6:11).
  3. Because the apostles, whom God set forth to be a pattern for us, considered prayer to be the most important business of their lives (Phil. 1:3-5; Col. 1:3; Eph. 6:18-20).
  4. Because prayer occupied a prominent place and played a very important part in the earthly life of our Lord (Mk. 1:35).
  5. Because prayer is the most important part of the present ministry of our Lord, since He is now interceding for us (Heb. 7:25).
  6. Because prayer is the means God has appointed for our receiving mercy from Him and of obtaining grace to help m time of need (Heb. 4:16).
  7. Because prayer is the means of obtaining the fullness of God’s joy (John 16:24).
  8. Because prayer with thanksgiving is the means of obtaining freedom from anxiety and, in anxiety’s place, that peace which passes understanding (Phil. 4:6).
  9. Because prayer is the means by which we are to keep watchful and be alert at Christ’s return (1 Thess. 5:6ff).
  10. Because prayer is used by God to promote our spiritual growth, bring power into our work, lead others to faith in Christ, and bring all other blessings to Christ’s church (Col. 4:2; Mt. 6:9-13; Phil. 1:9-11).

So how’s your prayer life? Do you pray?

HT: Why pray?

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Prevailing prayer

There was a great revival in the Hebrides Islands in the North of Scotland in the mid-twentieth century, the effects of which are said to still be evident. This revival has been linked to the earnest prayer of two sisters named Miss Smith and of a group of seven young men in a church. The latter group covenanted to meet three nights a week in a barn to pray for revival. They committed themselves to pray in keeping with Isaiah 62:6, 7 (NIV): “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” They believed God had a plan for their islands, and they decided to storm the gates of Heaven—to give God no rest—until that plan was realized. One day as they prayed one of them led them in an act of confession and consecration. Heaven broke loose, and the revival that began with that small group spread to the whole island and then to many of the other islands.

Fernando, Ajith (2012-05-15). Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God (Preaching the Word) (p. 331)

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