PRAYER

PRAYER IS NOT… 

“The chief thing is, not to know what God has said we must do, but that God Himself says it to us.  It is not the law, and not the book, not the knowledge of what is right, that works obedience, but the personal influence of God and His living fellowship.  And even so it is not the knowledge of what God has promised, but the presence of God Himself as the Promiser, that awakens faith and trust in prayer.  It is only in the full presence of God that disobedience and unbelief become impossible” Andrew Murray (ref#19).

“…don’t hunt for a feeling in prayer.  Deep in our psyches we want an experience with God or an experience in prayer.  Once we make that our quest, we lose God.  You don’t experience God; you get to know him” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p21).

“The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God….We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 6th).

“The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 22nd).

“It is not…by a sort of imputation that the Father looks upon us as if we were in Christ, though we are not in Him.  No; the Father wants to see us living in Him: thus shall our prayer really have power to prevail.  Abiding in Christ not only renews the will to pray aright, but secures the full power of His merits to us” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p139).

PRAYER

PLAYING AT PRAYING

“…beware of playing at praying…If I am called upon to pray in public, I must not dare to use words that are intended to please the ears of my fellow-worshippers, but I must realize that I am speaking to God Himself and that I have business to transact with the great Lord….my very soul speaks unto the Most High.  Do you think that the King of heaven is delighted to hear you pronounce words with a frivolous tongue and a thoughtless mind” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p32)?

“…as only in so far as God permits….For not only do many without modesty, without reverence, presume to invoke God concerning their frivolities, but impudently bring forward their dreams, whatever they may be, before the tribunal of God” John Calvin (ref#20, section 5).

“…We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to Him as to what we wish Him to do.  We do not worship God, nor do we seek to form the mind of Christ….” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 30th).

“…if prayer is a coming before the throne of God, it ought always to be conducted with deepest sincerity…If anywhere you dare repeat holy words without heart let it not be in Jehovah’s palace…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#212, p32).

“Prayer is…not…a means to some…end as a delightful and practical end in itself” Steve Brown (ref#228, p21).

PRAYER

HOW TO RECEIVE

“…whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matt 21:22 ESV).

“God means prayer to have an answer, and that it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive what God will do for His child who gives himself to believe that his prayer will be heard” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIRST LESSON).

“Jesus teaches us to ask and we will receive (Luke 11:9-10), he does so only after telling us that those who believe in him ask for the will and purpose of God above all things…” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p52).

The conditions of true prayer are: “…the first thing—we must be utterly and entirely free from a sense of condemnation….the second condition…confidence…we must have boldness and assurance and confidence in our access….I must have assurance with regard to my petitions” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p128-129).

“One can only expect to obtain answers to prayers which are according to the mind of God; and even then, patience and faith may be exercised for many years…” Andrew Murray (ref#19, THIRTEENTH LESSON).

PRAYER

NO PERSONAL AGENDAS

“You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3 ESV).

“…petitions asked in ignorance may be most truly answered when they are not granted” Charles John Ellicott (ref#304).

“They do not cry to me from the heart, but they wail upon their beds…”(Hos 7:14 ESV).  “…when the pressure of sore trial comes upon us, we are concerned only with deliverance from it, and not that God may be glorified or that the trial may be sanctified to our souls.  Left for himself, man asks God for what would be curses rather than blessings, for what would prove to be snares rather than helps to him spiritually” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p146).

“…how often we attempt to make God the Servant of our carnal desires.  Shall we ask our heavenly Father for worldly success!  Shall we come to Him who was born in a stable and ask Him for temporal luxuries or even comforts” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p147)!

“It is quite useless knocking at the door of heaven for earthly comfort; it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there” C.S. Lewis (ref#31, p62).

“The desire that He writes on our hearts will move His heart and bring down a blessing; but the desires of the flesh have no power with Him….The true suppliant gathers force as he proceeds, and grows more fervent when God delays to answer….The longer…the more resolved he is that he will not let…go without receiving the blessing” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 8th PM).

“’Ask’ means beg.  Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are like that spiritually.  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).

FATHER, if my prayer requests are within Your will, I’ll have to beg, for I can obtain them no other way but by Your grace.  Everything spiritual comes from You.  And spiritual welfare is Your will and what I want for the people I pray for.

PRAYER

THE WORK OF PRAYER

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1 ESV).

“Intercession means that I strive earnestly to have my human soul moved by the attitude of my Lord to the particular person I am praying for.  That is where our work lies, and we shirk it by becoming active workers; we do the things that can be tabulated and scheduled, and we won’t do the one thing that has no snares” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, Sept 16th).

“There are certain things we must not pray about—moods, for instance.  Moods never go by praying, moods go by kicking” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 20th).

“Ask yourself how much time you have taken up asking God that you may not do that thing you do.  He will never answer; you have simply not to do them….We should do well to revise what we pray about.  Some of the things we pray about are as absurd as if we pray, ‘O Lord, take me out of this room,’ and then refuse to go.’” Oswald Chambers

“…pray for the willingness and ability to walk as worthily on the hard paths as…on the easy ones….Nothing confirms God’s transforming work like a believer’s righteous response to hardship” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p114).

“Prayer for power is the quick and the short way, circumnavigating internal growth.  There is a vast difference between the outward clothing of the Spirit’s power and the inward filling of the Spirit’s life.  In the first, despite the power, the hidden man of the heart may remain unchanged.  In the latter, that monster is dealt with” Gene Edwards (ref#226, p39).

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

IMPORTUNITY IN PRAYER

“I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence…he will get up and give him as much as he needs.  So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened” (Luke 11:8-10 AMP).

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:16 ESV).  “…pray…day and night, continually.  Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD” (Isa 62:6 NLT).

The definition of importunity in prayer is: “…the condition of being troublesome or persistent because of a deep sense of urgency” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 13th).  “…the earnest, persistent, believing prayer that will not take no for an answer…” Ruben Archer Torrey (ref#212, p89).  “…an importunity that persists and insists in spite of discouragement…with strong cries and tears” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p107).

“…it is very much for our interest to be constantly supplicating him; first, that our heart may always be inflamed with a serious and ardent desire of seeking, loving, and serving him…secondly, that no desires, no longing whatever, of which we are ashamed to make him the witness, may enter our minds, while we learn to place all our wishes in his sight, and thus pour out our heart before him…” John Calvin (ref#113, p564-565).

“Of all the mysteries of the prayer world, the need of persevering prayer is one of the greatest.  That the Lord, who is so loving and longing to bless, should have to be supplicated time after time, sometimes year after year, before the answer comes, we cannot easily understand.  When after persevering supplication, our prayer remains unanswered, it is often easiest for our slothful flesh…to think that we must now cease praying, because God may have His secret reason for withholding His answer to our request. It is by faith alone that the difficulty is overcome….When…faith has taken its stand upon God’s word, and the Name of Jesus…it need not be discouraged by delay” Andrew Murray (ref#19, SIXTEENTH LESSON).

“The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Feb 19th AM).

PRAYER

ANSWERED PRAYER

“So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD did as Moses asked…” (Ex 8:30-31 ESV).

“Prayer…cannot request too much because the Father desires to glorify his Son as much as possible” Bryan Chapell (ref#66, p97).

“God…satisfies his appetite for joy by answering prayers….he gets his satisfaction by magnifying the glory of his riches by filling up the deficiencies of people who pray” John Piper (ref#220, p216).

“…prayer may and must expect an answer.  Thou dost assure us that this is the fellowship of a child with the Father: the child asks and the Father gives” Andrew Murray (ref#19).

“Think, how many times the prayers of the saints have prevailed with God…Moses’ prayer prevailed to deliver Israel, when the Egyptians so closely pursued them….Asa’s prayer prevailed against Zerah and his Ethiopian army, and Jehoshaphat’s against the Ammonites.  And if prayer has been so prevalent, why may it not be so still?  It is an old, proven means, which has not used to fail….” John Collins (ref#225, Dec 13th).

“We see prayer perfectly…in the case of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  Look at Him.  He obeyed God’s commandments perfectly, and He received the Holy Spirit without measure.  He was led and guided of the Spirit. He had put aside His own eternal glory, and He came to live as man.  Then He received the Spirit and was guided and led by the Spirit and thus He lived this life of prayer….His supreme object and desire was to do the will of His Father, and as long as that is our supreme will and desire, as long as we are concerned about that and are submitting to the leading of the Spirit, our requests will be granted as His requests were granted” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p131).

“Never make the blunder of trying to forecast the way God is going to answer your prayer….Over and over again God has to teach us how to stand and endure, watching actively and wondering” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, Jan 15th).  “…you may discover that your real need was not to know the next step but to have a new revelation of God Himself” Lorne Sanny (ref#302, p195).

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

ABIDING IN CHRIST  II

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 ESV).

“Christ teaches us to pray not only by example, by instruction, by command, by promises, but by showing us HIMSELF, the ever-living Intercessor, as our Life” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIRST LESSON).

“Abiding in Christ, the soul learns not only to desire, but spiritually to discern what will be for God’s glory…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p138).

FATHER, written in Scripture is CHRIST’s death on the cross.  I have heard it also all my life.  To me it is a fact.  It stands in my head like all facts—there for me to use it for my benefit.  But when I consider CHRIST as my “mediator on the throne,” CHRIST no longer is just a fact, but a living Person who interacts with me.  CHRIST in heaven is “now”—Someone living presently with me.  I love CHRIST for His death on the cross, but I love Him more as mediation for me with You; He has become personal to me!

“The whole of salvation is Christ Himself: He has given HIMSELF to us; His mediation on the throne is as real and indispensable as on the cross.  Nothing takes place without His intercession:  it engages all His time and powers, is His unceasing occupation at the right hand of the Father.  And we participate not only in the benefits of this His work, but in the work itself.  This because we are His body” Andrew Murray (ref#19, TWEHTY-SIXTH LESSON).

“The pattern is gaze at Him and glance at our legitimate life needs, our problems, heart desires, difficulties, and impossibilities, and then bring them to His throne and leave them there, gazing steadfast at Him” Sylvia Gunter (ref#57, p190-191).

“Believer, abide in Christ, for there is the school of prayer—mighty, effectual, answer-bringing prayer.  Abide in Him, and you shall learn what to so many is a mystery: That the secret of the prayer of faith is the life of faith—the life that abides in Christ alone” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p140).

“It is in the personal presence of the Saviour, in intercourse with Him, that faith rises to grasp what at first appeared too high” (ref#19).