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

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  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

SHORT PRAYERS ARE LONG ENOUGH

“…God is in heaven and you are on earth.  Therefore let your words be few” (Eccl 5:2 ESV).

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words, than your words be without heart.” John Bunyan

“…prayer is fundamentally counterintuitive, we need grace to rescue us from our self-oriented religious meanderings so that, with humble hearts we may acknowledge God as the Redeemer-King and cast ourselves on his gracious care” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 3rd).

“Begin in silence.  Speak with simplicity.  Listen in meekness.  Never leave without a conscious season of real communion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p74).  “…silence is the best speech and listening is the best part of praying” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p38).

“Short prayers are long enough….Not length but strength is desirable.  A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity.  If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing, they would be all the better.  Verbiage is to devotion as chaff is to wheat” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 14th PM).

“…the prayer of the upright that delights God comes from a heart that at first feels precarious in the presence of God.  It trembles at the hearing of God’s Word, because it feels so far from God’s ideal and so vulnerable to his judgment and so helpless and so sorry for its failings….The first thing that makes a prayer acceptable to God is the brokenness and humility of the one who prays…what makes prayers pleasing to God is a felt awareness of our tremendous need for mercy….The other thing that marks the upright heart is trust in the willingness and power of God to give the mercy we need” John Piper (ref#220, p214).

PRAYER

PRAYERS IN JESUS’ NAME  II

“To pray in the name of Christ is to pray as one who is at one with Christ, whose mind is the mind of Christ, whose desires are the desires of Christ, and whose purpose is one with that of Christ” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p54).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12-13 ESV).

“…so intimate the communion effected by him between heaven and earth, that, while his disciples pray on earth in his name, he in heaven will act for them…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p88).

“…The works that I do…refers to those miracles like their Lord’s…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p85).  “…the conversion of sinners to God is a greater work…than mere bodily cures” Charles Ross (ref#241, p86).

“…the comparison is drawn between the limited sphere…of Christ’s work upon earth, and the…work by His servants’ witnessing work.…the…Christian who can go to a brother’s soul, and by word or life can draw that soul to …Christ…does a mightier thing than it was possible for the Master” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

“Praying in the name of Jesus is…declared to be the disciples’ part in these greater works” Charles Ross (ref#241, p86).  “Making their requests known to the Father in the name of the Son was the means God had ordained of supplying their needs in His service” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p61).  “’in My name’…means praying and working as Christ’s representatives in the same spirit in which Christ prayed and worked” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

“Prayers offered in the name of Christ are scrutinized and sanctified by His nature, His purpose, and His will.  They are endorsed by Him” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p55).

PRAYER

PRAYERS IN JESUS’ NAME  I

“It is in prayer that we hold up our desire to the light of God’s Holy Will, that our motives are tested, and proof given whether we ask indeed in the name of Jesus, and only for the glory of God” Andrew Murray (ref#19).

“…all our prayers to God ought only to be presented in the name of Christ, as there is no other name which can recommend them” John Calvin (ref#113, p593).

“Christ’s name is the revelation of Christ’s character, and to do a thing in the name of another person is to do it as His representative, and as realising that in some deep and real sense-for the present purpose at all events-we are one with Him” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“Prayer reaches its highest level when offered in the name which is above every name, for it lifts the petitioner into unity and identify with our Mediator Himself” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p53).

“…whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it….Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do” (John 14:11-14 MSG).  “…if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon…” (John 15:5-8 MSG).

“…to ask in the name of Jesus, is to ask as being one with him; it is to renounce all merit of your own; it is to ask as one depending entirely on his divine resources” Charles Ross (ref#241, p87).  “We might…close our prayers with the words, ‘I ask these things because I believe that Jesus would request them in this situation’” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p62).  “Effective prayer must ask for and desire what Jesus delights in” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2053, [John 14:13]).

“Prayer in the name of Christ is hard to offer….it excludes all self-will and selfishness…the end of the Son’s working is the glory of the Father, that same end, and not our own ease or comfort, must be the end and object of all prayer which is offered in His name….Prayers for other ends than this are excluded; not that it is said that they will not be granted, but there is no promise that they will” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:13]).

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).