PRAYER

OPEN BOOK PRAYER

“…thinking right thought about God demands that we anchor our minds in the bedrock of Scripture….Praying with God’s revealed truth out of sight and out of mind usually produces requests that reflect our will, not His.  Ironically, such prayers are never truly free.  True freedom comes when we present ourselves to our Father as His ‘slaves for obedience’ (Romans 6:16), not when we seek His power to fulfill our wishes” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p10).

“To pray in accord with God’s will, we do not need to pretend to see all the details of the road into the future.  Instead, we determine if our prayers are heading in the right direction by steering between two biblical fencerows: the fence of biblical righteousness and the fence of Christian prudence” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p143).

“Open-Book prayer isn’t noisy or frenzied.  It quietly listens to God’s gracious assurances of His love, care, and pardon.  And it short-circuits our attempts to move Him through self-righteous eloquence, ego-inflated demands, or worldly-wise bargaining.  It helps us curb pride and quiet our souls so that we can rest hopefully and wholly in His great sufficiency” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p53).

“God reveals Himself to us as the Creator (Genesis 1 – 2), who fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24); as the Lord God of hosts (Romans 9:29), who is present and near (Psalm 139:7); and as the God who provides (Genesis 22:14), heals (Deuteronomy 32:39), and sanctifies (Exodus 31:13).  Moreover, He offers Himself as our banner (Exodus 17:15), our peace (Hebrews 13:20), and our shepherd” (Psalm 23).  Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p54).

“The Psalms describe God as ‘great…above all gods’ (135:5) in whom no evil dwells (5:4).  They [the Psalms] say He is ‘resplendent’ (76:4), righteous (71:19), strong (68:34), awesome (65:5), holy, and great (77:13).  They tell us He is ‘compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness’ (103:8), ‘clothed in splendor and majesty, covering [Him]self with light as with a cloak’ (104:1-2)’’ Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p54, brackets mine).

“…trains move most freely when they are constrained by the tracks….a train must operate within the confines of its design.  And prayer is no different….it works best when confined to the revealed truth of Scripture” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p10-11).

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