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

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

PRAYER—THE CHIEF PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

“…my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples’” (Isa 56:7 ESV).

“…if in every Church united effectual prayer were regarded as one of the chief purposes for which they are banded together…who can say what blessing might come to, and through, those who thus agreed to prove God in the fulfillment of His promise….Most Churches think their members are gathered into one simply to take care of and build up each other.  They know not that God rules the world by the prayers of His saints; that prayer is the power by which Satan is conquered; that by prayer the Church on earth has disposal of the powers of the heavenly world” Andrew Murray (ref#19,FIFTEENTH LESSON).

“…it is when we know ourselves to be united to Christ and one with Him, and representative in a true fashion of Himself, as well as when, in humble reliance on His work for us and His loving heart, we draw near, that our prayer has power, as the old divines used to say, ‘to move the Hand that moves the world,’ and to bring down a rush of blessing upon our heads” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“All the doings of a Christian man, if done in faith, and holding by Christ, are Christ’s doings, inasmuch as He is the life and the power which does them all.  And Christ’s deeds are reproduced and perpetuated in His humble follower, inasmuch as the life which is imparted will unfold itself according to its own kind; and he that loves Christ will be changed into His likeness, and become a partaker of His Spirit” MacLaren Expositions on Holy Scripture (ref#242, [John 14:12-14]).

“The prayer of faith links man’s petition to the power of God.  All men believe in the power of prayer to influence mind, develop character, and sanctify motive and will, but that is not all.  Prayer is force.  Prayer changes things.  The Lord God of Elijah had sovereign and omnipotent power, and these were at the command of the prayer of faith” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p88).

Paul felt himself the member of a body, on the sympathy and co-operation of which he was dependent, and that he counted on the prayers of these Churches to gain for him, what otherwise might not be given.  The prayers of the Church were to him as real a factor in the work of the kingdom, as the power of God” Andrew Murray (ref#19, FIFTEENTH LESSON).

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

WHEN TO PRAY

“…pray without ceasing,” (1 Thes 5:17 ESV).

“…God wills that men should pray everywhere, but the place of His glory is in the solitudes, where He hides us in the cleft of the rock, and talks with man face to face as a man talks with his friend” Samuel Chadwick (ref#4, p35).

“…watching and praying is always necessary…we can never…overcome our old nature on our own.  The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak; therefore we must watch and pray” John Calvin (ref#164, July 10th).

 “Come overwhelmed with life.  Come with a wandering mind.  Come messy.  So, instead of being frozen by your self-preoccupation, talk with God about your worries.  Tell him where you are weary…We are often so busy and overwhelmed that when we slow down to pray, we don’t know where our hearts are.  We don’t know what troubles us.  So, oddly enough, we might have to worry before we pray” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p33).

“God has willed that the working of His Spirit shall follow the prayer of His people.  He waits for their intercession because that is evidence of their preparation of heart—revealing to what extent they are ready to yield to His Spirit’s control.” Andrew Murray

“…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom 8:26 ESV).

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).

HOLY SPIRIT

VICTORY OVER THE WORLD

“Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth.  It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon….It preforms great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work…it deceives those who dwell on earth…”  (Rev 13:11,13-14 ESV).

“The Dragon-Lamb (Rev 13:11-14) is capable of great signs.  In the realms of wisdom and knowledge, faith and healing, miracles of power, prophecies and discernment of the occult, tongues and their interpretation, the wisdom of this world outlives the works of modern religion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p147).

FATHER, for the most part our modern religion succumbs easily to this “Dragon-Lamb” because prideful flesh has taken over the Church, ignoring Your SPIRIT.  We have so silenced Your SPIRIT that most pew sitters today don’t even know enough to seek Him.

“There are no reasons why the gifts of the Spirit should be operative in one dispensation and not in another.  They did not cease at the close of the Apostolic Age.  They have been manifest in all ages of the Church, and there are abundant proofs that they are still available…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p146-147).

And with joy the SPIRIT still pours out His desires!  It may seem that the SPIRIT has stepped back presently and stopped giving His spiritual gifts.  But that is a lie from the “father of lies.”

“A revival of spiritual gifts in the Church would bring to naught the mocking pretensions of the world….in the Spirit of God there is victory over the world” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p147).

But, it takes two to tango.  Is the Church ready to give the SPIRIT freedom in our lives?  We need to abide with Him in order to understand Him and His desires.  Are we ready to take time in our days to get to know Him?

“What unspeakable joy to be secluded with Him in the secret closet, and for hours drink of that fountain of everlasting life and eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life.  You can come out of that prayer chamber already in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165).

SPIRIT, thank You for putting into words this blog study of Your attributes and works.  I desire to keep this knowledge of You in my thoughts as I begin the next blog study of “Terms of Theology.”

HOLY SPIRIT

BUILDING UP THE CHURCH

“…if a man is regenerate, he is saved….If he should die he would go to heaven.  But though he is saved he is not yet fitted for God’s service” R.A. Torrey (ref#223, p114).

“Spiritual gifts may be given at the moment of regeneration, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time….Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at regeneration, it would appear that they cannot be lost.  The Corinthian church illustrates the fact that believers can be highly gifted but spiritually immature” Kenneth Boa, (The Gifts of the Spirit, http://bible.org/article/gifts-spirit).

“The Corinthians were rich in gifts and poor in fruit.  Our Lord told of some who wrought wonders in His name, but they were none of His. (Matt 7:21-23)” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p138).  “So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Cor 14:12 ESV).

Multi-gifted Christians often discover their combination of gifts through a gradual process…Each multi-gifted Christian has received a combination of spiritual abilities that is perfectly suited to his or her God-given ministry” Kenneth Boa, (The Gifts of the Spirit, http://bible.org/article/gifts-spirit).

“The gifts of the Spirit are for service…Some are permanent.  Others are given for special vocations and exceptional occasions…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p146).

 “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit….God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

wise counsel

clear understanding

simple trust

healing the sick

miraculous acts

proclamation

distinguishing between spirits

tongues

interpretation of tongues.

All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when” (1 Cor 12:4-11 MSG).

FATHER, thank Your for spiritual gifts.  They are correctly called “gifts” for as I learn more and more to abide with You I realize I contribute nothing to their success.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE CHURCH

“It is for the church to explore the resources of the Spirit; the resources of the world are futile” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p19).

“…the Church of God has two Paracletes, or Advocates – one in heaven with the Father, Christ, and the other on earth, in the heart of the believer, even the Holy Spirit” Charles Ross (ref#241, p90).

“The Father gave Him [CHRIST] the gift, and He passes it on to us;…The gift of the Holy Ghost to the Church is also, then, the absolute proof of the sufficiency of the work of Christ and of its acceptance with God….’I accept your work, it is sufficient; You have died for the redeemed, they are Your people.  So I will give you My Spirit to give to them, and then they will know that they are Your people and My people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p138).

“ He [the SPIRIT] has come to reign over each and all.  Jesus Christ had defined His mission and outlined His program.  He was to unify them into one Body, guide them into all truth, and strengthen them for all service.  In the Church He is the supreme executive, but He has His seat in the soul.  He directs all things from the spiritual center of the inner life” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p44).  “His objective is to produce holiness…But His ultimate work is to make us a holy people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 2nd).

FATHER, I know that the HOLY SPIRIT will create in all of us who CHRIST claims as His bride, holiness and purity.  Your perfect will is to bring us a life of prayer and brokenness before Your throne.  I hunger to be secluded with You in the secret closet waiting for You to bring Your remnant church into one mind—living only for You. David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165).