PRAYER

PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING 

“…You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest…” (Isa 62:6-7 NIV).  “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2 ESV).

“…definition of prayer is: ‘practicing the presence of Jesus.’  Prayer is recognizing that the Lord is seated (or standing) right beside us…all the time, and having fellowship with him at all hours…Often we talk…often we are silent.  Sometimes we ask him for things…more frequently we simply want to tell him how grateful we are for his blessings….never say, ‘Lord, we come into thy presence.’  We should be in his presence all the time.  We should never leave his presence” Warren Wiersbe (ref#54, p 89-90)!

“The constant exercise of prayer makes light of every burden and smoothes every rugged step of a child of God.  It is this only that keeps down his trials;…he may pray down his crosses; prayer will lessen their number, and will mitigate their severity….Where this is honored, there is the divine blessing; where it is slighted, there is the divine curse” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, March 15th).

The prayer life does not consist of perpetual repetition of petitions. The prayer life consists of life that is always upward and onward and Godward.  The passion of the heart is for the kingdom of God; the devotion of the mind is to His will; the attitude of the spirit is conformity thereto; and the higher we climb in the realm of prayer, the more unceasing will prayer be, and the fewer will be the petitions….prayer with the whole desire Godward brings an answer….” George Campbell Morgan (ref#212, p130).

“We are to recognize that our entire life is to be lived in an attitude and atmosphere of prayer, of constant communication and connection with God so that we remain in a position to think God’s thoughts of infinite wisdom and feel God’s emotions of infinite compassion and love” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p66).

“Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 26th).

PRAYER

UNSTAGGERING CONFIDENCE

“…if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:15 ESV).

“…the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship.  Never disassociate yourself from the burden” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Apr 13th).

“…the believer requires constant exhortation to the sweet and precious privilege of communion with his heavenly Father….Christians…without the exercise of prayer…cannot live…this is the breathing of the divine life…the spiritual nature requires constant supplies of spiritual nourishment; and…the only evidence of its healthy existence is its constant rising toward God….if they cease to pray, their grace withers, their vigor decays, and their comfort dies” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 8th).

“He provides in everything for the life of His redeemed ones by giving His own life in them: He cares for their life of prayer, by taking them up into His heavenly prayer-life, by giving and maintaining His prayer-life within them.  Let us each find out what the work is, and who the souls are entrusted to our special prayers; let us make our intercession for them our life of fellowship with God, and we shall not only find the promises of power in prayer made true to us, but we shall then first begin to realize how our abiding in Christ and His abiding in us makes us share in His own joy of blessing and saving men” Andrew Murray (ref#19, TWENTY-SIXTH LESSON).

“…the right spirit in which to approach the throne of grace is that of unstaggering confidence…With our God before us in all His glory sitting on the throne of grace, will our hearts dare to say we mistrust Him” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p31).

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

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 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

HOW PRAYER AFFECTS GOD

“The answering hand of God waits for the lifted hand of man…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p17).

“That which is true of the promises’ of God is equally true of the purposes of God.  We might say that God does nothing without prayer.  His most gracious purposes are conditioned on prayer.  His marvelous promises in the thirty-sixth chapter of Ezekiel are subject to this qualification and condition: “Thus says the Lord GOD: This…I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them…” (Ezek 36:37 ESV) E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p37-38).

“God’s ultimate will is unchanging, but the way in which he chooses to realize this will is dependent on the prayers of his children” Donald Bloesch (ref#31, p31).

“Prayer affects God more powerfully than His own purposes.  God’s will, words, and purposes are all subject to review when the mighty potencies of prayer come in.  How mighty prayer is with God may be seen as He readily sets aside His own fixed and declared purposes in answer to prayer” E.M. Bounds (ref#54, p38).

“The God who determines the end determines the means; and if God in His infinite wisdom is determined that He is going to bring certain things to pass as a result of and in answer to the prayers of His people, I ask with reverence, why shouldn’t He Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 21st)?

“That it can alter His purpose, effect any change in His will, or afford Him information, no one supposes for a moment.  And yet, that it should be an ordained medium by which finite weakness seems to overcome infinite strength, a human will seems to turn the divine will, and man’s shallow mind seems to pour knowledge into the fathomless mind of God; that it should arrest a threatened judgment, remove an existing evil, or supply for a present need—these are marvels in which, like all others of divine revelation, I submit my reason to my faith, receiving and adoring what my reason cannot completely comprehend, unless I were God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135. June 3rd).

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

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

HOW TO PREPARE FOR PRAYER

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he…heard my cry” (Ps 40:1 ESV).

“…go to the Lord in your worst frames; do not stay away from Him until you get a good one.  Satan’s grand argument to keep a soul from prayer is, ‘Don’t go with that old and insensible frame, and with that hard and sinful heart; wait until you are more fit to approach God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 5th).

“…how we get into an abiding position with the Lord…being fully clothed in the armor of God” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p63).  “A Christian gets dressed for battle, not to go out into the world, but to go into the prayer closet” Doug Newton (ref#166, p89).  [“…pray…on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” (Eph 6:18 NIV).  This verse comes right after the description of the armor of GOD.]  “Because Jesus Christ has conquered the enemy of our souls, Satan has to drop his weapons when we resist him with prayer, using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” Doug Newton (ref#166, p89).

“Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations of Christ and of His glory….Place no limit on your knowledge of Christ.  Always consider that you have only read the preface to the volume, you have only touched the margin of the sea; stretching far away beyond you are undiscovered beauties, precious views, and sparkling glories, each encouraging your advance, inviting your research, and asking for the homage of your faith, the tribute of your love, and the dedication of your life” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 30th).

Of prayer, Andrew Murray suggests—“1.  Be slow…weigh all in the light of the…Scriptures and in the fear of God.  2.  Seek to have no will of your own…3.  But when you have found out what the will of God is, seek for His help, and seek it earnestly, perseveringly, patiently, believingly, expectantly; and you will surely in His own time and way obtain it” Andrew Murray (ref#19, THIRTEENTH LESSON).

“…Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.  Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.  The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace” (Matt 6:6 MSG).