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).

PRAYER

PRAYERS IN JESUS’ NAME  II

“To pray in the name of Christ is to pray as one who is at one with Christ, whose mind is the mind of Christ, whose desires are the desires of Christ, and whose purpose is one with that of Christ” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p54).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12-13 ESV).

“…so intimate the communion effected by him between heaven and earth, that, while his disciples pray on earth in his name, he in heaven will act for them…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p88).

“…The works that I do…refers to those miracles like their Lord’s…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p85).  “…the conversion of sinners to God is a greater work…than mere bodily cures” Charles Ross (ref#241, p86).

“…the comparison is drawn between the limited sphere…of Christ’s work upon earth, and the…work by His servants’ witnessing work.…the…Christian who can go to a brother’s soul, and by word or life can draw that soul to …Christ…does a mightier thing than it was possible for the Master” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

“Praying in the name of Jesus is…declared to be the disciples’ part in these greater works” Charles Ross (ref#241, p86).  “Making their requests known to the Father in the name of the Son was the means God had ordained of supplying their needs in His service” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p61).  “’in My name’…means praying and working as Christ’s representatives in the same spirit in which Christ prayed and worked” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

“Prayers offered in the name of Christ are scrutinized and sanctified by His nature, His purpose, and His will.  They are endorsed by Him” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p55).

PRAYER

PRAYERS IN JESUS’ NAME  I

“It is in prayer that we hold up our desire to the light of God’s Holy Will, that our motives are tested, and proof given whether we ask indeed in the name of Jesus, and only for the glory of God” Andrew Murray (ref#19).

“…all our prayers to God ought only to be presented in the name of Christ, as there is no other name which can recommend them” John Calvin (ref#113, p593).

“Christ’s name is the revelation of Christ’s character, and to do a thing in the name of another person is to do it as His representative, and as realising that in some deep and real sense-for the present purpose at all events-we are one with Him” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“Prayer reaches its highest level when offered in the name which is above every name, for it lifts the petitioner into unity and identify with our Mediator Himself” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p53).

“…whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it….Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do” (John 14:11-14 MSG).  “…if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon…” (John 15:5-8 MSG).

“…to ask in the name of Jesus, is to ask as being one with him; it is to renounce all merit of your own; it is to ask as one depending entirely on his divine resources” Charles Ross (ref#241, p87).  “We might…close our prayers with the words, ‘I ask these things because I believe that Jesus would request them in this situation’” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p62).  “Effective prayer must ask for and desire what Jesus delights in” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2053, [John 14:13]).

“Prayer in the name of Christ is hard to offer….it excludes all self-will and selfishness…the end of the Son’s working is the glory of the Father, that same end, and not our own ease or comfort, must be the end and object of all prayer which is offered in His name….Prayers for other ends than this are excluded; not that it is said that they will not be granted, but there is no promise that they will” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

PRAYER

THE SPIRIT HELPS

“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness…” (Rom 8:26 ESV).

“[Maketh intercession]…it simply means that the Holy Spirit greatly assists or aids us: not by praying for us, but in our prayers and infirmities. [With groanings]… [Which cannot be uttered]…This does not mean that the Spirit produces these groanings; but that in these deep-felt emotions, when the soul is oppressed and overwhelmed, he lends us his assistance and sustains us…’The Spirit greatly aids or supports us in those deep emotions, those intense feelings, those inward sighs which cannot be expressed in language, but which he enables us to bear, and which are understood by Him that searcheth the hearts’” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Rom 8:26]).

“’The Spirit…helpeth our infirmities.’…the least that we can do is to seek His aid, to definitely ask Him to undertake for us” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p146).

“We must not sit still, and expect that the Spirit should do all; when the Spirit goes before us we must bestir ourselves.  We cannot without God, and he will not without us” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Rom 8:26-28]).

“He who prays, receives help from the Spirit of God; but he who prays not receives no such help.  Whatever our strength may be, we must put it forth, even while more implicitly depending on the strength of God himself” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [Rom 8:26]).

PRAYER

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN PRAYER  III

“…you shall call and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he wills say, ‘Here I am…’” (Isa 58:9 ESV).

“True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God….it is spiritual communion with the Creator of heaven and earth.  God is a Spirit…to be perceived by the inner man…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p27).

“The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for, as a sanctifying Spirit works and excites praying graces, as a comforting Spirit silences our fears, and helps us over all our discouragements.  The Holy Spirit is the spring of all our desires and breathings towards God.  It is not the rhetoric and eloquence, but the faith and fervency, of our prayers, that the Spirit works, as an intercessor, in us” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Rom 8:26-28]).

“…the Holy Spirit’s work of assuring  us of our redemption helps us to pray” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p71).

“God…sent His Spirit into the heart as the Author of prayer, indicting the petition, breathing in the soul, implanting the desire, convincing of existing needs, unfolding the character of God, working faith in the heart, and drawing it up to God through Jesus.  This seems the very perfection of His wisdom, benevolence, and grace….all true prayer is of the Spirit…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 11th).

“The High Priest intercedes for us in heaven, and the Holy Spirit intercedes within the temple of the consecrated soul….what is prayed by the intercessor on earth is prayed by the Intercessor in heaven….Intercession through the Spirit implies a Spirit-filled temple” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p112).

“…there is and can be no good in us except what God works.  We then see light on the divine mystery of prayer, and believe in the Holy Spirit as breathing within us desires which God will fulfill when we yield to them, and in faith present them in the name of Christ” Andrew Murray (ref#143, p117).

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).