If you have come to realize your abject spiritual poverty, you are prepared to pray. Take to your knees and plead as any desperate pauper will do unhesitatingly and unashamedly. If you're not willing to do so, it is because you are not yet convinced of your spiritual pauperdom. Once you are, your pride will no longer prevent you and your spiritual privation will compel you to not only plead until you receive, but also to knock on the door of the storehouse of Heaven until it is opened to you and your spiritual lack supplied.
Who am I to say how life ought to go?
To dare exalt myself, as though
I was some omniscient deity
Knowing full well how things should be.
To bend my knees in such self-exaltation
Is the source of my prayer life's frustration.
It’s not life’s inability to earn my praying nod,
Nor others inciting me to incessantly reach in prayer for the rod,
But the simple fact I often pray as though I am God!
In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the Apostle Paul instructs us to pray for “all men,” but especially for those “that are in authority.” Why does Paul single out “kings and all that are in authority”? Is it because God cares more about the powerful than the populace? Absolutely not! Since God is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), there is no difference in His eyes between potentates and peasants.
The reason the Bible specifically exhorts us to pray for those in authority is because they hold such sway over the quality of life in our society. It is not because they have some special favor with God, but because they have such influence over our way of life.
According to Proverbs 21:1, “The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” If we will clasp our hands in prayer for those in authority, then, God, who holds their hearts in His hand, will sway them to keep our society “quiet and peaceable.” In such a society, Christians can best practice their faith, publicly worship their Lord, and propagate their land with the gospel. As Paul plainly points out, this is the purpose for praying for those in authority; namely, that our society will be open and free so that all within it will have an opportunity “to come to the knowledge of the truth” and “be saved.”
Where is it easier for sinners to learn of Christ and be saved, in a Muslim land where Christianity is prohibited and Christians are persecuted, in a Communist country where the church is outlawed and the preaching of the gospel criminalized, or in a free society where the church is permitted to practice and proclaim its faith? Obviously, it is in a free society. This explains why it is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” for us to pray that God will sway those in authority to keep our society “quiet and peaceable."
Contrary to popular opinion, God is not concerned with politics, but with the preaching of the gospel. Although God cares for political leaders, He cares just as much for their constituency. God wants all men, from the White House to your house, to have an opportunity to hear the gospel and be saved. Therefore, it is for the salvation of lost souls, not for the blessing of bureaucrats, that the church is instructed to pray for government officials.
I praise you O God our Savior, for you hold the hearts of kings in your hand. I pray that you will keep our society free, quiet, and peaceable by turning the hearts of all in authority whithersoever you will. Use those in authority to keep the gospel from being silenced in our land so that all men will have an opportunity to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. Amen.
Most churches spend more time praying sick saints out of Heaven than lost souls out of Hell.
I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time. Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me. (C. S. Lewis)
The strength needed in life's most severe crises is found by those who sit still in prayer.
The firm foundation of true prayer is not human reason, but divine revelation. When we pray, we should kneel on the 4 Gospels, not our 5 senses.
One hundred pianos tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other. Likewise, one hundred prayers tuned to Christ are automatically tuned to each other. Cooperate prayer becomes powerful covenanted prayer in our congregations when each individual prayer is conformed to the will of the Master, not when every prayer is prayed cooperatively in conformity to the will of the majority.
We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. (Oswald Chambers)
The only aid we need in prayer is the Holy Spirit, without whose assistance all other aids are useless. (Romans 8:26-27)
If, as the Psalmist teaches, we enter God's presence with singing, into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise (Psalm 100:2, 4), then, it is our worship that ushers us into God's presence when we pray!
The key that unlocks the storehouse of Heaven is prevailing prayer and to pray prevailingly we must pray for God's will in Heaven to prevail over our will on earth.
Your heart should be your private prayer chapel to which you constantly retire to communion with God.
When it comes to prayer, earnestness is essential and fervency is fundamental.
Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue. (Adam Clarke)
Much of what God whispers to us in prayer is meant to be internalized, not publicized.
When I was a young Christian, I had many seasons of communing with God which cannot be described in words. Not infrequently those seasons would end in an impression on my mind like this: "See that thou tell no man" (Matthew 8:4). I did not understand at the time. Several times I paid no attention to this injunction, but tried to tell my Christian brethren what communications the Lord had made to me, or rather, what seasons of communion I had with Him. But I soon found it would not do to tell my brethren what was passing between the Lord and my soul. They could not understand it. They would look surprised, and sometimes, I thought, incredulous. I soon learned to keep quiet in regard to those divine manifestations, and say but littler about them. (Charles Finney)
When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than your words without heart. (John Bunyan)
After years of studying the subject and practicing the art of prayer, I've come to understand it as partnering with God. Prayer is partnering with God in the carrying out of His plans and purposes in this world and in the fulfilling of His good, acceptable, and perfect will in our lives and the lives of others.
Count Nicholaus Von Zinzindorf once said, “I have one passion: it is He, He alone.” Count Von Zinzindorf founded a small German colony named Herrnhut, which means, “the Lord’s Watch.” Here, on August 13, 1727, the Moravian Prayer Movement, arguably the greatest prayer movement in all of Christian history, began a small twenty-four-hour a day intercessory prayer meeting. It lasted for one hundred years and is credited with the birth of the modern missionary movement, since more than one hundred missionaries were sent out by the praying Moravians of Herrnhut. It was some of these Moravian missionaries, who were sailing to the Georgia colony on a ship with John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who so greatly influenced Wesley’s life.
To come boldly to the throne of grace in prayer means to be honest with God, even about our grievances. After all, what good will it do us not to admit them, when God already knows all about them?
What wonders intercessory prayer has wrought. It has stayed plagues, calmed storms, healed diseases, and even raised the dead. As to how many souls have been saved on the wings of intercessory prayer, Heaven alone can tell and eternity alone shall reveal. (Charles Surgeon)
Prayer is an impossible task without the Holy Spirit. We know nought what we should pray for as ought, but the Spirit helps your infirmities. The Spirit instructs and inspires prayer, gives intelligence and intensity to intercession, and brings reality and joy to communion wth God. Spirit-filled people love to pray, and prayer that is in the Spirit must prevail. (Samuel Chadwick)
Confidence that God will answer our prayers is contingent upon praying our prayers with God-given convictions.
TRAVELING ON MY KNEES
LAST NIGHT I TOOK A JOURNEY
TO A LAND ACROSS THE SEAS
I DIDN'T GO BY SHIP OR PLANE
I TRAVELED ON MY KNEES.
I SAW SO MANY PEOPLE THERE
IN BONDAGE TO THEIR SINS,
AND JESUS TOLD ME I SHOULD GO,
THAT THERE WERE SOULS TO WIN.
BUT I SAID, "JESUS, I CAN'T GO
TO LANDS ACROSS THE SEAS."
HE ANSWERED QUICKLY, "YES, YOU CAN
BY TRAVELING ON YOUR KNEES."
HE SAID, "YOU PRAY, I'LL MEET THE NEED,
YOU CALL, AND I WILL HEAR,
IT'S UP TO YOU TO BE CONCERNED
FOR LOST SOULS FAR AND NEAR."
AND SO I DID, I KNELT IN PRAYER,
GAVE UP SOME HOURS OF EASE,
AND WITH THE SAVIOR BY MY SIDE
I TRAVELED ON MY KNEES.
AS I PRAYED ON, I SAW SOULS SAVED
AND TWISTED PERSONS HEALED,
I SAW GOD'S WORKERS' STRENGTH RENEWED
WHILE LABORING ON THE FIELD.
I SAID, "YES, LORD, I'LL TAKE THE JOB,
YOUR HEART I WANT TO PLEASE,
I'LL HEED YOUR CALL AND SWIFTLY GO
BY TRAVELING ON MY KNEES.
Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers. (J. Sidlow Baxter)
The Christian should never risk shutting the windows of Heaven by his or her shortcomings in prayer.
A praying saint is God's remembrancer, ever reminding Him of His providence and promises.
Prayer pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might. (Charles Spurgeon)
We shouldn't grovel in the earth, but soar above it in our prayers.
It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob, there a Daniel who prayed three times a day, and [elsewhere] a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elijah; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. (Charles Spurgeon)
You can do more than pray after you've prayed, but you can't do more than pray until you've prayed. (John Bunyan)
An instant in the divine presence is more life-changing than a lifetime of human interaction.
Excellent prayers are often prayed in the eloquence of silence.
Bible study is the exploration of God's promises. Prayer is the appropriation of God's promises.
More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. (Alfred Lord Tennyson)
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