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A little insight on the best posture in prayer!

“‘The proper way for man to pray,’ said Deacon Lemuel Keyes;
‘The only proper attitude is down upon his knees’
‘Nay, I should say the way to pray,’ said Reverend Doctor Wise,
‘Is standing straight with outstretched arms with rapt and upturned eyes.’

‘Oh, no, no, no,’ said Elder Snow, ‘such posture is too proud.
A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.’
‘It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front
With both thumbs pointing to the ground,’ said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

‘Last year I fell in Hodgkin’s well headfirst,’ said Cyril Brown.
‘With both my heels a-stickin’ up, my head a-pointing’ down;
And I done prayed right then and there; best prayer I ever said,
The prayin’est prayer I ever prayed, a-standin’ on my head.’”

 

This is why we need to pray continually!

“Prayer is the work; preaching is gathering up the results. Whenever a person confesses Jesus as Lord or whenever gospel advance is made you will always find it it tied to the people of God. What is observed by God in secret will ultimately be rewarded openly.”–Alistair Begg

“Let us call upon our good God and Father, since all fullness of wisdom and light is found in him, mercifully to enlighten us by his Holy Spirit in the true understanding of his word, and to give us grace to receive it in true fear and humility. May we be taught by his word to place our trust only in him and to serve and honour him as we ought, so that we may glorify his holy name in all our living, and edify our neighbour by our good example, rendering to God the love and obedience which faithful servants owe their masters, and children their parents, since it has pleased him graciously to receive us among the number of his servants and children.”

You can do more after you pray but not until you’ve prayed.

Henry Martyn, who later became a missionary India, wrote in his journal one Sunday evening about what he had heard in the message earlier that day.  He was speaking of Charles Simeon, a minister who preached in the same church for fifty-four years.  “Mr. Simeon, in his excellent sermon tonight, observed that it was easier for a minister to preach and study five hours than to pray for his people for one half hour.”

Many pastors can relate to this quote personally.  One of the greatest ways to support your pastor is to pray for him and to encourage him, despite his many other duties, to spend extended times in prayer, interceding for His people and asking God to empower the preaching of His Word.

Alistair Begg received this note from a conference attendee:

A friend was suffering through brain cancer and its treatments.  His relationship with Jesus was such that the nurse wrote as a critical comment on his chart, ‘Mr. X is inappropriately joyful.”  Since then it has become one of my goals to be inappropriately joyful.

Peter wrote of this type rare joy that characterizes people going through turbulent times:

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” (1 Peter 1:8, ESV)

How many really joyful Christians do you know?  Are you one of them?

I am like James and John.

Lord, I size up other people

in terms of what they can do for me;

how they can further my program,

feed my ego,

satisfy my needs,

give me strategic advantage.

I exploit people,

ostensibly for your sake,

but really for my own.

Lord, I turn to you

to get the inside track

and obtain special favors,

your direction for my schemes,

your power for my projects,

your sanction for my ambitions,

your blank check for whatever I want.

I am like James and John.

–Robert Raines as found in Kent Hughes’  Mark : Jesus, servant and savior. Preaching the Word