PRAYER

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN PRAYER  II

“In all circumstances take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication….” (Eph 6:16-18 ESV).

“…wherever the Spirit dwells, He produces a spirit of prayer and supplication….wherever He is poured out as the Spirit of grace, He is also poured out as the Spirit of supplication (Zech 12:10).  He helps Christians before they pray by stirring up their spiritual affections and stimulating holy desires.  He helps them in prayer by teaching them to ask for those things which are according to God’s will.  He it is who humbles the pride of their hearts, moves their sluggish wills, and out of weakness makes them strong.  He helps them after prayer by quickening hope and patience to wait for God’s answers” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p101-102).

“…His Holy Spirit…has access to our heart, and teaches us to pray by showing us the sin that hinders the prayer, or giving us the assurance that we please God” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIRST LESSON).

“The Spirit brings to expression the unutterable things of the soul.  His groanings are before our praying, and our prayers are born of His travail.  In Him is the supply of life and desire, wisdom and faith, intercession and power.  He quickens desire, purifies motive, inspires confidence, and assures faith” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p61).

“…let the Holy Spirit be acknowledged as the Author, and constantly sought as the Sustainer, of this holy exercise… Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 9th).

From Romans 8:26-27, we learn that the longings that the Holy Spirit creates in our hearts are often too deep for utterance…God Himself must search the heart to know “what is the mind of the Spirit” (verse 27)…He does know what those Spirit-given longings mean, even if we don not.  These longings are “according to his purpose” (verse 28), and He grants them.  He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20) R.A. Torrey (ref#339, p77).

PRAYER

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN PRAYER  I

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Ps 145:18 ESV).

“…’Be ye filled with the Spirit’ we have the measure of what God is ready to give, and what we may obtain.  As God’s children, we have already received the Spirit.  But we still need to ask and pray for His special gifts and operations as we require them.  And not only this, but for Himself to take complete and entire possession: for His unceasing momentary guidance” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SEVENTH LESSON).

“…the ever-blessed Spirit, from the throne of grace, will help us and teach us words and even write in our hearts the desires themselves.  The Spirit will direct your desires to the things for which you ought to seek; He will teach you your wants, though as yet you know them not; He will suggest to you His promises that you may be able to plead them; He will, in fact, be Alpha and Omega to your prayer, just as He is to your salvation” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p36).

“It is in prayer that we wait for the leading of the Spirit to show us whether we are asking the right thing and in the right spirit” Andrew Murray (ref#19, ELEVENTH LESSON).

“God has not only provided us with an Intercessor at His right hand…God has given His needy people a Divine Intercessor at their right hand, even the Holy Spirit….One to represent God to us, the Other to represent us before God” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p152).

PRAYER

WE ASK, GOD GIVES

“’You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13 ESV).

“…the faults of the petitioner himself shall not prevent the success of his prayer” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p35).

“…when you can do least yourselves, you may engage God, by prayer, to do most” John Collins (ref#225, Dec 13th).

“And if there should be grave defects in our spirit and failures in the fervency or in the humility of the prayer, though these should not be there and are much to be deplored, grace overlooks and forgives all this, and still its merciful hand is stretched out to enrich us according to our needs” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p37).

“Blessed be God, neither the faults of the prayer nor yet of the suppliant shall shut out our petitions from God who delights in broken and contrite hearts” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p35).

“He does withhold His aid when we forget our need of it and do not ask Him for it” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p145).

“…as the father likes the child to keep on coming because he likes the personal contact, so God desires us to come into His presence….we must know that God is much more ready to give than we are to receive” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#212, p83).

“If I cannot find words in which to utter my desires, God in His grace will read my desires without the words….God…will dive into the soul of our desires and will read there what we cannot speak with the tongue” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p35).

PRAYER

THE RELENTING OF GOD

“…the Father-heart holds itself open and free to listen to every prayer that rises through the Son, and that God does indeed allow Himself to be decided by prayer to do what He otherwise would not have done” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SEVENTEENTH LESSON).

“And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people” (Ex 32:14 ESV).

But, notice the conversation between the LORD and the intercessor, Moses: the LORD says: “…I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, lest I destroy you on the way” (Ex 33:3 NAS).

The LORD continues: “…’The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth;…who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin;…” (Ex 34:6-7 NAS).

Moses, finding fellowship with God an absolute necessity, listens very carefully to the LORD and replies: “…I pray, let the LORD go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate; and do Thou pardon our iniquity and our sin…” (Ex 34:9 NAS).  The LORD answers Moses’ prayer and goes up with the Israelites.

“God has so made it that by means of intercession certain types of blessing come upon men” Oswald Chambers (ref#23, p396).

Actually GOD loves to relent of His wrath.  In Scripture He is constantly warning us of our sins, begging us to leave them and ask forgiveness in prayer.  A couple more examples:

“…Jeremiah spoke to…all the people, saying…mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you” (Jer 26:12-13 ESV).

“…let them intercede with the LORD…that the vessels that are left in the house of the LORD…may not go to Babylon” (Jer 27:18 ESV).

PRAYER

HOW PRAYER AFFECTS GOD

“The answering hand of God waits for the lifted hand of man…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p17).

“That which is true of the promises’ of God is equally true of the purposes of God.  We might say that God does nothing without prayer.  His most gracious purposes are conditioned on prayer.  His marvelous promises in the thirty-sixth chapter of Ezekiel are subject to this qualification and condition: “Thus says the Lord GOD: This…I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them…” (Ezek 36:37 ESV) E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p37-38).

“God’s ultimate will is unchanging, but the way in which he chooses to realize this will is dependent on the prayers of his children” Donald Bloesch (ref#31, p31).

“Prayer affects God more powerfully than His own purposes.  God’s will, words, and purposes are all subject to review when the mighty potencies of prayer come in.  How mighty prayer is with God may be seen as He readily sets aside His own fixed and declared purposes in answer to prayer” E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p38).

“The God who determines the end determines the means; and if God in His infinite wisdom is determined that He is going to bring certain things to pass as a result of and in answer to the prayers of His people, I ask with reverence, why shouldn’t He Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 21st)?

“That it can alter His purpose, effect any change in His will, or afford Him information, no one supposes for a moment.  And yet, that it should be an ordained medium by which finite weakness seems to overcome infinite strength, a human will seems to turn the divine will, and man’s shallow mind seems to pour knowledge into the fathomless mind of God; that it should arrest a threatened judgment, remove an existing evil, or supply for a present need—these are marvels in which, like all others of divine revelation, I submit my reason to my faith, receiving and adoring what my reason cannot completely comprehend, unless I were God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135. June 3rd).

PRAYER

GOD’S REACTION TO PRAYER II

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him” (Prov 15:8 ESV).

“There are some people to whom He will not give audience.  Sin shuts men out….”If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Ps 66:18 ESV).  Unbelief shut men out “…without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6 ESV).  An unforgiving spirit shuts men out “…if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:14-15 ESV).  An unstable mind shuts men out“…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.…that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;” (James 1:6-7 ESV).  A condemning conscience shuts men out “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;” (1 John 3:21 ESV).  A self-seeking motive shuts men out “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3 ESV) Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p106).

“God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will prevent none of the working of His spirit” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 30th).  “Prayers that lack sincerity and faith cannot be heard” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p126).

PRAYER

GOD’S REACTION TO PRAYER I

“he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer” (Ps 102:17 ESV).

“…wherever there is a heart that is full of sorrow, lips that are quivering with agony, a deep groan, or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open.  He marks it down in the registry of His memory.  He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there will be a precious fragrance springing up from it” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 3rd AM).

“…he forgetteth not the cry of the humble” (Ps 9:12 KJV).

“Do not think that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded…. Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 3rd AM).

“God delights to hear prayer.  He has allowed His people a thousand times over to be tried that they might be compelled to cry to Him, and learn to know Him as the Hearer of Prayer” Andrew Murray (ref#143, p90).

PRAYER

THE TRINITY IN PRAYER

“…the doctrine of the…Trinity…is…the way in which it were possible for man to be taken up into the fellowship of God, and his prayer to become a real factor in God’s rule of this earth” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SEVENTEENTH LESSON).

“Oh, what a costly and precious privilege is prayer!…with the throne of grace accessible moment by moment; with the Holy Spirit disclosing each want, indicating each petition, and framing each request; with Christ at the right hand of God presenting the petition; and with a Father in heaven bowing down His ear and listening so He can answer, surely we may ‘trust and not be afraid” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 24th).

“Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts; so graciously has God provided for the encouragement of the praying remnant” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Rom 8:26-28]).

“…what encouragement is here: the Spirit creates within us holy desires, the Son presents them, the Father understands and approves them” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p154).  “’O Lord Jesus Christ, let Thy grace be with us; O God the Father, let Thy love be manifested unto us; O Holy Spirit, let Thy saints enjoy much of thy communion” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p193).