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

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

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).

PRAYER

PRAYER AND FASTING

“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly.  Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God and cry out to the LORD” (Joel 1:14 ESV).

“The faith that can overcome…stubborn resistance…is not possible except to men living in very close fellowship with God, and in very special separation from the world in prayer and fasting….faith needs a life of prayer in which to grow and keep strong…prayer needs fasting for its full and perfect development….Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the invisible; fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible” Andrew Murray (ref#19, THIRTEENTH LESSON).

“Fasting and prayer are proper means for the bringing down of Satan’s power against us, and the fetching in of divine power to our assistance.  Fasting is of use to put an edge upon prayer; it is an evidence and instance of humiliation which is necessary in prayer, and is a means of mortifying some corrupt habits, and of disposing the body to serve the soul in prayer…” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (ref#18, [Matt 17:14-21]).

“…fasting helps to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, to sacrifice ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God” Andrew Murray (ref#19, THIRTEENTH LESSON).

PRAYER

PRAYER—THE CHIEF PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

“…my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’” (Isa 56:7 ESV).

“…if in every Church united effectual prayer were regarded as one of the chief purposes for which they are banded together…who can say what blessing might come to, and through, those who thus agreed to prove God in the fulfillment of His promise….Most Churches think their members are gathered into one simply to take care of and build up each other.  They know not that God rules the world by the prayers of His saints; that prayer is the power by which Satan is conquered; that by prayer the Church on earth has disposal of the powers of the heavenly world” Andrew Murray (ref#19,FIFTEENTH LESSON).

“…it is when we know ourselves to be united to Christ and one with Him, and representative in a true fashion of Himself, as well as when, in humble reliance on His work for us and His loving heart, we draw near, that our prayer has power, as the old divines used to say, ‘to move the Hand that moves the world,’ and to bring down a rush of blessing upon our heads” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“All the doings of a Christian man, if done in faith, and holding by Christ, are Christ’s doings, inasmuch as He is the life and the power which does them all.  And Christ’s deeds are reproduced and perpetuated in His humble follower, inasmuch as the life which is imparted will unfold itself according to its own kind; and he that loves Christ will be changed into His likeness, and become a partaker of His Spirit” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“The prayer of faith links man’s petition to the power of God.  All men believe in the power of prayer to influence mind, develop character, and sanctify motive and will, but that is not all.  Prayer is force.  Prayer changes things.  The Lord God of Elijah had sovereign and omnipotent power, and these were at the command of the prayer of faith” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p88).

Paul felt himself the member of a body, on the sympathy and co-operation of which he was dependent, and that he counted on the prayers of these Churches to gain for him, what otherwise might not be given.  The prayers of the Church were to him as real a factor in the work of the kingdom, as the power of God” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIFTEENTH LESSON).

PRAYER

SEEKING THE SPIRIT

“…your heavenly Father is…ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks” (Luke 11:13 CEV).

“The Holy Spirit is the first of the Father’s gifts, and the one He delights most to bestow.  The Holy Spirit is therefore the gift we ought first and chiefly to seek” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SEVENTH LESSON).   “…we must first secure the Spirit’s presence and grace; then we can move out in powerful praying for all kinds of…needs” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p126).

“Do you earnestly desire the…Spirit?…As sure as you ask for it, sincerely, humbly, believingly, seeking it in the name of Jesus through the cross of Christ, you shall have it….Seek it with your whole heart; seek it diligently and perseveringly.  Seek it day and night, seek it in all the means of grace, seek it in every way of God’s appointment.  Seek it especially in the name of Jesus, as the purchased blessing of His atoning blood” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 12th).

“The apostles had never said, ‘Lord, teach us to preach’ or ‘Lord, teach us to lead worship.’  But they had asked, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ (Luke 11:1).  Something about Jesus’ ability to commune with his Father in heaven fascinated them” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p125).

“…you are on earth and He is in heaven;…you are a worm of the dust, a creature crushed before the moth, and He the Everlasting.  Before the mountains were brought forth He was God, and if all created things should pass away again, yet still were He the same…ask the Spirit of God to put us in a right frame of mind so that every one of our prayers may be a reverential approach to the Infinite Majesty above” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p29).

 

PRAYER

WAIT ON THE LORD

“…prepare your heart…stretch out your hands toward him” (Job 11:13 ESV).

“If but your ear be open, and your thoughts brought into subjection, and your heart prepared in silence to wait upon God, and to hear what He speaks, He will reveal to you His secrets” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p119).

“In his Autobiography George Muller gives a striking testimony:…if honesty of heart and  uprightness before God were lacking, or if I did not patiently wait before God for instruction or if I preferred the counsel of my fellowmen to the declarations of the Word of the Living God, I made great mistakes” David McIntyre (ref#65, p108).

“The Lord intends to keep his people dependent upon himself.  He has everything they can need.  He intends to supply all their needs; but he will be applied to.  He will have his people wait on him, and wait for him” James Smith (ref#303).

“Wait on Him first to realize His presence….Wait on Him for cleansing….Ask God to search your heart….Stand upon the firm ground of 1 John 1:9 and claim God’s faithfulness to forgive whatever specific thing you confess….God won’t be speaking to you if there is something between you and someone else that you haven’t planned to take care of at the earliest possible moment….As you wait on God, ask for the power of concentration….Next, wait on God to worship Him. Psalms 103, 111, and 145 are wonderful portions to follow as you praise the Lord for the greatness of His power.  Most of the psalms are prayers.  Or turn to Revelation, chapters 4 and 5, and use them in your praise to Him.  There is no better way to pray scripturally than to pray Scripture” Lorne Sanny (ref#302, p194-195).

“To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 1st).

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long” (Ps 25:4-5 ESV).

PRAYER

MEDITATE UPON THE LORD

“…Make me know the way I should go…Teach me to do your will, for you are my God!  Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Ps 143:8,10 ESV).

“…thinking right thought about God…that is essential to praying good prayers” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p9).

“…take more time to be still before God without saying one word….We are not ready to offer our petition until we are fully conscious of having secured the attention of God” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p48).

“It is difficult to steadfastly and unweariedly persevere in prayer….as fuel must frequently be added to preserve a fire, so prayer requires helps so that it will not languish and at length be extinguished….by meditating on…truth” John Calvin (ref#164, Feb 13th).

“A short, unhurried meditation on some fragment of Scripture and then silence quickens the spirit of devotion” William E. Sangster (ref#212, p157).

“We must meditate upon Him [CHRIST], upon what He is, what He has done, His love to us, and God’s care for us who are His people….we must look at ‘these things’ (John 17:13) that He speaks of, these truths that He unfolded.  Let us meditate upon them, contemplate them, dwell upon them, revel in them, and I will guarantee that as we do so, either in our own personal meditation or in reading books about them, we will find ourselves experiencing a joy we have never known before” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, March 13th, brackets mine).