PRAYER

ANSWERED PRAYER

“So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD did as Moses asked…” (Ex 8:30-31 ESV).

“Prayer…cannot request too much because the Father desires to glorify his Son as much as possible” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p97).

“God…satisfies his appetite for joy by answering prayers….he gets his satisfaction by magnifying the glory of his riches by filling up the deficiencies of people who pray” John Piper (ref#220, p216).

“…prayer may and must expect an answer.  Thou dost assure us that this is the fellowship of a child with the Father: the child asks and the Father gives” Andrew Murray (ref#19).

“Think, how many times the prayers of the saints have prevailed with God…Moses’ prayer prevailed to deliver Israel, when the Egyptians so closely pursued them….Asa’s prayer prevailed against Zerah and his Ethiopian army, and Jehoshaphat’s against the Ammonites.  And if prayer has been so prevalent, why may it not be so still?  It is an old, proven means, which has not used to fail….” John Collins (ref#225, Dec 13th).

“We see prayer perfectly…in the case of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  Look at Him.  He obeyed God’s commandments perfectly, and He received the Holy Spirit without measure.  He was led and guided of the Spirit. He had put aside His own eternal glory, and He came to live as man.  Then He received the Spirit and was guided and led by the Spirit and thus He lived this life of prayer….His supreme object and desire was to do the will of His Father, and as long as that is our supreme will and desire, as long as we are concerned about that and are submitting to the leading of the Spirit, our requests will be granted as His requests were granted” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p131).

“Never make the blunder of trying to forecast the way God is going to answer your prayer….Over and over again God has to teach us how to stand and endure, watching actively and wondering” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, Jan 15th).  “…you may discover that your real need was not to know the next step but to have a new revelation of God Himself” Lorne Sanny (ref#302, p195).

PRAYER

INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD

“The wonder is not that God hears prayer, but that He is our Father” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p63).

“Though we have God’s promises in the Bible and full liberty to take them, the spiritual power is lacking unless God himself speaks them to us” Andrew Murray (ref#11, p72).

“Prayer that comes as holy fire from God, and that rises as holy incense to God; prayer that takes me, with every want and infirmity, with every sin and sorrow, to the arms of the Father through the smitten hands of the Son; prayer that sweetens my solitude, calms my agitated spirit, weakens the power of sin, nourishes the desire for holiness, and transports the soul through anticipation beyond the region of winds and storms and tempests into the presence of God, where all is sunshine and peace—oh, what a wondrous privilege is this” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 3rd)!

“…when we are in His immediate presence and behold Him in all the glory of His throne of grace.  There, surely is the place for the child to trust its Father…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p32).

“There is nothing secret about communion with God.  If we live a holy life before God, broken of our pride and self-will, crying out for grace, then we will be in communion with God.  It is really that simple” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p247).

FATHER, I think of being in communion with You only when I pray.  But, of course we are together every moment that I am working out my salvation by making the effort to allow You to work Yourself into my actions which takes broken pride, self-will and crying out for grace.  Thank You for initiating constant communion.

“Hearts must be pure and hands clean that dare shut the door and be alone with God” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p29).

PRAYER

ABIDING IN CHRIST  II

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 ESV).

“Christ teaches us to pray not only by example, by instruction, by command, by promises, but by showing us HIMSELF, the ever-living Intercessor, as our Life” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIRST LESSON).

“Abiding in Christ, the soul learns not only to desire, but spiritually to discern what will be for God’s glory…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p138).

FATHER, written in Scripture is CHRIST’s death on the cross.  I have heard it also all my life.  To me it is a fact.  It stands in my head like all facts—there for me to use it for my benefit.  But when I consider CHRIST as my “mediator on the throne,” CHRIST no longer is just a fact, but a living Person who interacts with me.  CHRIST in heaven is “now”—Someone living presently with me.  I love CHRIST for His death on the cross, but I love Him more as mediation for me with You; He has become personal to me!

“The whole of salvation is Christ Himself: He has given HIMSELF to us; His mediation on the throne is as real and indispensable as on the cross.  Nothing takes place without His intercession:  it engages all His time and powers, is His unceasing occupation at the right hand of the Father.  And we participate not only in the benefits of this His work, but in the work itself.  This because we are His body” Andrew Murray (ref#19, TWEHTY-SIXTH LESSON).

“The pattern is gaze at Him and glance at our legitimate life needs, our problems, heart desires, difficulties, and impossibilities, and then bring them to His throne and leave them there, gazing steadfast at Him” Sylvia Gunter (ref#57, p190-191).

“Believer, abide in Christ, for there is the school of prayer—mighty, effectual, answer-bringing prayer.  Abide in Him, and you shall learn what to so many is a mystery: That the secret of the prayer of faith is the life of faith—the life that abides in Christ alone” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p140).

“It is in the personal presence of the Saviour, in intercourse with Him, that faith rises to grasp what at first appeared too high” (ref#19).

PRAYER

ABIDING IN CHRIST  I

“The great need of God is for intercessors” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p114).  “God looks for men who will stand in the gap (Ezek 22:30)” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p82).

“Because of what prayer really is, prayer is not natural for us.  It’s not natural for us to embrace our sin, weakness, and failure.  It’s not natural for us to be comfortable depending on the mercy of another.  It’s not natural for us to surrender our hope and dreams to the better vision of another.  It’s not natural for us to surrender our wisdom and control to someone greater than us.  It’s not natural for us to think that we need grace” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 3rd).

“And it is this the Father wills: He seeks daily intercourse with His children in listening to and granting their petitions.  He wills that I should come to Him day by day with distinct requests…” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIFTH LESSON).

“The rightness of the asking goes down to the rightness of the asker….Patriarchs and Psalmists fall back on their integrity as an argument with God, and their plea is admitted….It is the praying of the righteous man that is of great force.  Faith is no substitute for right living….There is no condemnation, but an assurance in the will of God that gives ‘boldness toward God…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p107).

“It is no use praying unless we are living as children of God” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 24th).

“If the name of Christ is to be wholly at my disposal, so that I may have the full command of it for all I will, it must be because I first put myself wholly at His disposal, so that He has free and full command of me.  It is the abiding in Christ that gives the right and power to use His name with confidence” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p138).  “…the abiding in Christ teaches the believer in prayer only to seek the glory of God” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p137).

PRAYER

INTERCESSION

“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.  To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people)” (Eph 6:18 AMP).

“However living and sympathetic we try to be, however sound our psychology, however frank and open our behavior, we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man, for there are no direct relationships, not even between soul and soul.  Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbours through him.  That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbours, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p98).

“In intercession you bring the person, or the circumstance that impinges on you before God until you are moved by His attitude towards that person or circumstance….put yourself in God’s place” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 13th).

“Let converting, sanctifying, restraining grace be the one constant petition presented at the footstool of mercy…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 13th).

“His delivering mercy depends upon intercessors—people who will put their shoulders under the burdens of others” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p109).

“You don’t realize to what extent you prevail with God for the prevention of national judgments.  When other means fail, prayer may yet prevail” John Collins (ref#225, Dec 13th).

PRAYER

THE PERFECT TEACHER

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt 7:7 ESV).

“You have to wrestle against the things that prevent you from getting to God, and you wrestle in prayer for others souls; but never say that you wrestle with God in prayer” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 16th).

“Let…all our prayer be the teachableness that comes from a sense of ignorance, and from faith in Him as a perfect teacher…” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIRST LESSON).

“Intercession means that we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Christ about the one for whom we pray…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 30th).

“O Lord, grant that I may do Thy will as if it were my will, so that Thou mayest do my will as if it were Thy will”  St. Augustine (ref#54, p126).

FATHER, my prayer work is to become happy in Your decisions.

PRAYER

POWER IN PRAYER

“…if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 John 5:14 ESV).

“Prayer may well be the most fragile of all God-given means of grace.  I say that not because prayer itself is weak, but because its effectiveness depends largely on the attitudes and wills of very weak people” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p100).

Yet…”We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God” Westminster Larger Catechism Q/A 185 (ref#228, p9).

 “…The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with…” (James 5:16-18 MSG).

“…prayer still remains…the power that is allowed to hold the hand that holds the destinies of the universe” Andrew Murray (ref#19, EIGHTEENTH LESSON).

“It was said of Luther that he prayed ‘with as much reverence as if he were praying to God, and with as much boldness as if he had been speaking to a friend.’” David McIntyre (ref#65, p98).

“…if Christian individuals and Christian communities are impotent, there is no difficulty in understanding why…They lack faith; and so their power is weakness….’Why could you not cast him out?  Because you do not believe that I, working in you, can cast him out.  That is why; and the only why.’  Let us learn that the secret of Christians’ weakness is the weakness of their Christian faith” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“The praying of Elijah is a demonstration of the supernatural power of prayer” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p86).  “Hear him plead the honor of God and cry unto the Lord for the affliction of the people.  It is always the same: Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief—Jesus in a sweat of blood….It turns ordinary mortals into men of power.  It brings power….There is no power like that of prevailing prayer” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p90).

“Power is the recompense of prayer.  It takes us long to learn that prayer is more important than organization, more powerful than armies, more influential than wealth, and mightier than all learning.  Prevailing prayer makes men invincible” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p81).

PRAYER

SHORT PRAYERS ARE LONG ENOUGH

“…God is in heaven and you are on earth.  Therefore let your words be few” (Eccl 5:2 ESV).

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words, than your words be without heart.” John Bunyan

“…prayer is fundamentally counterintuitive, we need grace to rescue us from our self-oriented religious meanderings so that, with humble hearts we may acknowledge God as the Redeemer-King and cast ourselves on his gracious care” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 3rd).

“Begin in silence.  Speak with simplicity.  Listen in meekness.  Never leave without a conscious season of real communion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p74).  “…silence is the best speech and listening is the best part of praying” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p38).

“Short prayers are long enough….Not length but strength is desirable.  A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity.  If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing, they would be all the better.  Verbiage is to devotion as chaff is to wheat” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 14th PM).

“…the prayer of the upright that delights God comes from a heart that at first feels precarious in the presence of God.  It trembles at the hearing of God’s Word, because it feels so far from God’s ideal and so vulnerable to his judgment and so helpless and so sorry for its failings….The first thing that makes a prayer acceptable to God is the brokenness and humility of the one who prays…what makes prayers pleasing to God is a felt awareness of our tremendous need for mercy….The other thing that marks the upright heart is trust in the willingness and power of God to give the mercy we need” John Piper (ref#220, p214).

PRAYER

FAITH  I

“…whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith’” (Matt 21:22 ESV).

“’He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ Faith, the simple act of loving trust in Jesus Christ, opens the door of our hearts and natures for the entrance of all His solemn Omnipotence, and makes us possessors of it” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“…truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say…’Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (Matt 17:20 NASB).

“Faith asks no signal from the skies,

To show that prayers accepted rise,

Our Priest is in His holy place,

And answers from the throne of grace”

Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 3rd AM).

“It is by faith alone that the difficulty is overcome.  When once faith has taken its stand upon God’s word, and the Name of Jesus, and has yielded itself to the leading of the Spirit to seek God’s will and honour alone in its prayer, it need not be discouraged by delay” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SIXTEENTH LESSON).

“…our faith will assure us of that which cannot be perceived by sense, i.e., that we have obtained what was fit for us, the Lord having so often and so surely engaged to take an interest in all our troubles from the moment they have been deposited in his bosom.  In this way we shall possess abundance in poverty, and comfort in affliction.  For though all things fail, God will never abandon us, and he cannot frustrate the expectation and patience of his people.  He alone will suffice for all, since in himself he comprehends all good, and will at last reveal it to us on the day of judgment, when his kingdom shall be plainly manifested.  We may add, that although God complies with our request, he does not always give an answer in the very terms of our prayers but while apparently holding us in suspense, yet in an unknown way, shows that our prayers have not been in vain” John Calvin (ref#113, p604).

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).