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

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

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

PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6 ESV).

“Prayer opens our eyes to God’s glory, our hearts to His will, and our needs to His perfect provision.  It reveals, solidifies, and confirms the unity of the Spirit that we share with other Christians.  And it keeps us alert to the wiles of the Enemy.  Prayer is essential to a walk worthy of our high calling in Christ” J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p5).

“…in asking we must always truly feel our wants, and seriously considering that we need all the things which we ask, accompany the prayer with a sincere, no, ardent desire of obtaining them” John Calvin (ref#113, p567).

“Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath….Poverty of spirit enters into true praying.  ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’  ‘The poor’ means paupers, beggars, those who live on the bounty of others, who live by begging.  Christ’s people live by asking” E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p32).

“’Ask’ means beg….We will never receive if we ask with an end in view; if we ask, not out of our poverty but out of our lust.  A pauper does not ask from any other reason than the abject panging condition of his poverty, he is not ashamed to beg.—Blessed are the paupers in spirit” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 9th).

“The real beggar entreats in good earnest; he cries, he weeps, he heeds not the playing of the children, not the barking of the dogs; his wants pinch him, his stomach craves, nothing but food will please him….So it is the same with the upright and serious heart; he is really and deeply pressed down with sin, and needy of grace and comfort….and therefore let the devil or the world disturb what they can, or suggest what they will, he plies his business, he must have pardon and grace…” Richard Steele (ref#225, Sept 20th).

 “…’prayer is the falling of a tear’…Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven….Often a poor, brokenhearted one bends his knees, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears….that tear has been caught by God and is treasured in heaven.  ‘Put thou my tears into thy bottle’ (Ps 56:8) implies that they are caught as they flow.  The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 3rd AM).

PRAYER

WHAT TO PRAY FOR

“Our prayers should be expectant enough to offer God the largest possible stage on which to enact His glory” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p115).

“Come with your spiritual need…it shall be granted you….I want more grace to glorify Thee.  I want more simplicity of mind and singleness of eye.  I want a more holy, upright, honest walk.  I want more meekness, patience, lowliness, and submission.  I want to know more of Jesus, to see more of His glory to feel more of His preciousness, and to live more simply on His fullness.  I want more of the sanctifying, sealing, witnessing, and anointing influences of the Spirit….

Prayer is what keeps every grace of the Spirit in active, holy, healthy exercise….the channel through which all grace comes is prayer, ardent, wrestling, importunate, believing prayer.” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 2nd).

“We do not pray to inform God.  Neither do we pray to persuade Him, for His love needs neither to be induced nor coaxed” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p66).

“A true prayer is an inventory of needs, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty.  While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness.  The healthiest state of a Christian is to be always empty and poor in self, constantly depending on the Lord for supplies, rich in Jesus, weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 11th AM).

“Prayer is your only safety—prayer for grace to help in your time of need, for reviving grace, for quickening, restraining, sanctifying grace; prayer to be kept from falling, to be held up in the slippery paths; prayer for the lowly mind, for the contrite spirit, for the broken heart, and for the soft, close, humble walk with God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 2nd).

“The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous” (Prov 15:29 ESV).

PRAYER

WHERE TO PRAY—AT THE THRONE ROOM

“…the throne of grace.  It is a throne set up on purpose for the dispensation of grace…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p33).

“What a God our God must be, to thus appoint a meeting place….That God should have developed a throne of grace, a mercy-seat around which may gather the helpless, the burdened, the friendless, the vile, the guilty, and the needy, in clustering and welcome multitudes; that no poor one should meet with refusal or rejection, be his poverty never so great, his burden never so heavy, or his case never so desperate—this greatly develops and magnifies the riches of His grace, wisdom, and love to sinners.” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 11th).

FATHER, You have given me access to Your throne room through the greatest of sacrifice and I neglect too often to stop in and see You!!  Where is my head?  If I deem life is going well, I don’t think of praying.  But the throne room is not just for ‘hollering help.”  I forget the SPIRIT is always ready to point out my sins.  There is always reason to frequent the throne room.  Therefore, overwhelm me with my sins.

“…come you that are reduced to a beggarly bankruptcy by Adam’s fall and by your own transgressions.  This is not the throne of majesty which supports itself by the taxation of its subjects, but a throne which glorifies itself by streaming forth like a fountain with floods of good things” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p36).

PRAYER

WHAT IS PRAYER?

“…prayer…The word that conquers God” Clarence Edward Noble Macartney (ref#212, p10).

“The Christian’s trade is praying…” Martin Luther (ref#54, p167).

“…prayer…is an agony and entreaty, a pleading and striving, a wrestling and persistence” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p73).

“Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.  It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 2nd, AM).

“Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man’s disposition” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 28th).

“True prayer uncovers the emptiness in the petitioner but the fullness in the Petitioned” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p52).

“…true prayer is the breathing of the life of God in the soul of man.  It is the Spirit dwelling and breathing in him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 11th).  “It is more than asking, it is communion, fellowship, co-operation, identification, with God the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit.  Prayer is more than words, for it is mightiest when wordless.  It is more than asking, for it reaches its highest glory when it adores and asks nothing” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p61).

“Prayer is the means of unleashing God’s power on earth and the means of laying hold of God’s promises” Kay Arthur (ref#12).

“Prayer is the condition by which all foes are to be overcome and all the inheritance is to be possessed” E.M Bounds (ref#54, p27).

HEAVEN

FACTS OF HEAVEN

“Death not only cannot destroy a Christian, but it cannot hurt him….a child is frightened in the dark where there is no danger, because he is a child, so a good man may be frightened at the terrible looks of death.  But he will find this awful appearance to be only a shadow, that can look terrible but can do nothing terrible” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p116).

“The city of the great King – heaven – is a place of active service.  Redeemed spirits serve Him day and night in His temple.  They never cease to fulfill the good pleasure of their King.  They always rest, as far as ease and freedom from care are concerned, and they never rest, in the sense of laziness or inactivity.” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, July 12th PM).

“When the soul departs from the body it is received by the blessed angels and conducted by them to the third heaven….Luke 16:22: ‘And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom…” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p118).

“Heaven is far above the stars.  So it is said that Christ ascended far above all heavens (Eph 4:10)” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p119).  “There shall be no more indwelling corruption, wicked thoughts, or sinful dispositions to torment them….Rev 21:4” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p120).

“…more important than all the physical beauty of the heavenly city, more important than the fellowship we will enjoy eternally with all God’s people from all nations and all periods in history more important than our freedom from pain and sorrow and physical suffering, and more important than reigning over God’s kingdom—more important by far than any of these will be the fact that we will be in the presence of God and enjoying unhindered fellowship with him. ‘Behold, the dwelling of God is with men’” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p1164).

HEAVEN

REJOICING IN THE FUTURE

“…stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36 ESV).

“…I do not read in so many words that the saints are predestinated to Paradise, but I do read that they are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.  This is the end of the whole predestination of God: to make His elect like their elder Brother that He may be the first-born among many brethren” Charles Spurgeon (ref#232, p10).

FATHER, I think of Enoch who must have reached such perfect spiritual conformity that You took him to heaven before his bodily death (Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5).  What a smooth transition You have provided.  As You conform me to JESUS I gain eternal life on earth, then, just a small step to move to heaven.  Oh that I may be like kneaded clay in Your hands.

I thank You for Your unseen efforts to mold me into CHRIST’s image.  And, I thank You for the seen.  I rejoice in the future eternal life in heaven and I rejoice in the “now” eternal life.

“…as overpowering as a full unveiling of the majesty of the Lord Jesus would be to us in our present imperfect state, yet it ranks among our most prized and precious blessings that He sometimes so graciously manifests Himself to awaken the exclamation, ‘This is my beloved, and this is my friend!’ (Song 5:16)” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 17th).