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

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 II

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him” (Prov 15:8 ESV).

“There are some people to whom He will not give audience.  Sin shuts men out….”If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Ps 66:18 ESV).  Unbelief shut men out “…without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6 ESV).  An unforgiving spirit shuts men out “…if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:14-15 ESV).  An unstable mind shuts men out“…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.…that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;” (James 1:6-7 ESV).  A condemning conscience shuts men out “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;” (1 John 3:21 ESV).  A self-seeking motive shuts men out “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3 ESV) Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p106).

“God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will prevent none of the working of His spirit” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 30th).  “Prayers that lack sincerity and faith cannot be heard” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p126).

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

HOW PRAYER WORKS

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;” (Isa 55:6 ESV).

“When…the Father gave the Son…a place next to himself as His equal and His counselor, there was a way opened for prayer and its influence in the very inmost life of Deity itself” Andrew Murray (ref#11, p100).

“God is not meant to answer our prayers, He is answering the prayer of Jesus Christ in our lives; by our prayers we come to discern what God’s mind is, and that is declared in John 17” Oswald Chambers (ref#23, p397).

“As the Son began His prayer [John 17] by making clear His relation to the Father, pleading His work and obedience and His desire to see the Father glorified, do so too.  Draw near and appear before the Father in Christ.  Plead His finished work.  Say that you are one with it, that you trust on it, live in it.  Say that you too have given yourself to finish the work the Father has given you to do, and to live alone for His glory.  And ask then confidently that the Son may be glorified in you” Andrew Murray (ref#19, TWENTY-SEVENTH LESSON, brackets mine).

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 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).

SCRIPTURE

THE STORE HOUSE OF SCRIPTURE

“What informs your life?…We can allow a lot of things to supplant the proper role of scriptures in our lives…parents; friends; movies; music; media; scientific theories; teachers; professors” JD Blom (ref#276).

“…men and women, instead of taking the message as it is in the Bible, are imposing their own message upon it.  They are approaching it with their philosophies, their theories, their ideas, and their attempts to understand; and they are bypassing what is stated in this Book that is open before them in a language that all can understand” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, July 9th).

“The idea of much liberal theology is that Christian theology should be interpreted from the stand point of modern knowledge and experience.  Jesus is saying that this should absolutely NOT be the case.  The scriptures alone are the primary source for informing and guiding our lives” JD Blom (ref#276).

FATHER, I confess it is so easy to pluck up sensible facts from trusted friends and plant them in my personal doctrinal garden.  Trusting the Bible to inform me is hard work that I naturally don’t want to do.  Therefore, help me continue the habit of enlightening myself with Your Scriptures on a routine basis.

“…holy and sanctifying are the nature and the effect of divine truth….It brings down and lays low the high thoughts of man by revealing to him the character of God; it convinces him of his deep guilt and awful condemnation by exhibiting the divine law; it unfolds to him God’s hatred of sin and His justice in punishing and His mercy in pardoning it…it implants new principles, supplies new motives, gives a new end, begets new joys, and inspires new hopes—in a word, diffuses itself through the whole moral man, changes it into the same image, and transforms it into ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit’” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 22nd).

“Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces” (Jer 23:29 ESV)?  “God’s word shatters the sinful heart” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1417, [Jer 23:29]).

“We are never the same after listening to the truth; we may forget it, but we will meet it again….A man may not grasp all that is said, but something in him is intuitively held by it” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, April 3rd).

“…there is still an infinite storehouse of understanding of the mind of God waiting for us in Scripture” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p175).