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Remember that prayer is simply talking to God and listening for his response.  You can talk to him just as you would talk to someone sitting right next to you.  You do not have to use ornate language to talk to him.  You do not even need to worry if your prayer makes sense.  God knows the heart, he knows your thoughts; you do  not need to explain everything clearly for him to understand.  Coming to God is the important thing (32).

Jonathan Graf, The Power of Personal Prayer

Do we know a prayerfulness like that of Luther, who once said, “I have so much business to do today that I shall not be able to get through it with less than three hours’ prayer.” It is John Angel James who said “we are weak in the pulpit because weak in the closet.” Edward Payson thus writes to a brother minister: “Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, and the third thing necessary for a minister, especially if he have revivals. Pray, then, my dear brother, pray, pray, pray.”

And Rev. Wm. Reid, in his admirable “Words to Winners of Souls,” speaks thus to his brethren: “Why is there so little anxiety to get time to pray? Why is there so little forethought in the laying out of time and employments, so as to secure a large portion of each day for prayer? Why is there so much speaking yet so little prayer? Why is there so much running to and fro, yet so little prayer? Why so much bustle and business, yet so little prayer? Why so many meetings with our fellow men, yet so few meetings with God? Why so little being alone, so little thirsting of the soul for the calm, sweet hours of unbroken solitude, when God and his child hold fellowship together, as if they could never part? It is this want that not only injures our own growth in grace, but makes us such unprofitable servants of Christ.”

Henry Fish, Handbook of Revivals, Chapter 19: Are You Revived?

“Study the history of revival. God has always sent revival in the darkest days. Oh, for a mighty, sweeping revival today!”

(Adrian Rogers)

By Adelle M. Banks

Religion News Service

(RNS) — The late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has long been hailed as a civil rights leader, but religious studies professor Lewis Baldwin said one aspect of his life has often been overlooked: the role of prayer.

“In order to understand him, you must begin, I think, with this idea of King as a spiritual leader,” said Baldwin, author of the recent book, Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Dr. King always made it clear that his civil rights and political activities were an extension of his ministry.”

As the nation marks the 25th anniversary of Monday’s (Jan. 17) federal holiday honoring King, the scholar who has spent a quarter century chronicling King’s cultural influences has focused on King’s prayer life.

For King, personal prayer and public prayer were equally significant, the scholar said.

For the rest of the article…

Dr. Tim Keller’s recent posts on revival here and here, which I so appreciate, brought me back to William B. Sprague’s Lectures on Revivals of Religion of 1832.

In his first lecture Sprague proposes four reasons why we need to think about revival, and think correctly.

One, the subject of revival is relevant to the times. Sprague saw Christ being honored through churches growing by conversions. This took place “in the more copious and sudden effusions [outpourings] of the Holy Spirit” in his day. In our own day, clearly, the Lord is newly at work. The Gospel Coalition is evidence of this. In other wonderful ways as well, he seems to be laying a foundation for even greater blessing five and ten and twenty years from now, if we will steward the blessing wisely.

Two, revival matters for the future. Sprague, the clear-eyed pastor, noted that whatever views of revival we have today we will surely pass on to those who come after us. We can, by God’s grace, build a tradition of revival to bless the future, or we will build a tradition of something else, something less.

Three, however we understand revival carries impact. The sovereign God involves us. How we think, preach, write and speak makes a difference for good or ill. It is possible to “grieve away the Holy Spirit, or confirm multitudes in fatal self-deception.” We can both neglect revival and pervert it.

Four, every church member is needed in revival. As more and more people are startled by Christ and see him in a new way, we need churches where all the members know how to help them. Sprague: “One right direction, in certain circumstances, may be the means of saving a soul. One wrong direction, in similar circumstances, of ruining it forever.”

Revival deserves to be a matter of ongoing conversation and prayer among us.

To read this post…

We could always blame it on Satan.

But according to Jonathan Graf, in his book, The Power of Personal Prayer…

But we can’t give Satan all the credit for our anemic prayer lives.  Much of our ineffectiveness, our inconsistency, is our own fault (13).

Therefore, let us just pray.  Let us pray for revival in our lives and churches.  Let storm the gates of heaven with our prayers so that God’s kingdom will advance mightily in our homes, churches, cities and nations!

Dear HOBC Family,

This Sunday, I will preach on the foundation of prayer in our lives. Jesus set the example for us. Luke 5:16 says this about Jesus: “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” In my sermon, I will include this quote by Bruce Ware:

One great and glorious reason God devised prayer was to use it as a mechanism to draw us to himself, to help us to see how much we need him, to set before us constantly the realization that he is everything we are not, and he possesses everything that we lack. We are weak, but he is strong; we are foolish, but he is wise; we are untrustworthy, but he is faithful; we are ignorant, but he is infinitely knowledgeable; we are poor and empty, but he is rich and full.

I am looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday!

Pastor Bryan

And of all the traits of a life LIKE CHRIST there is none higher and more glorious than conformity to Him in the work that now engages Him without ceasing in the Father’s presence—His all-prevailing intercession. The more we abide in Him, and grow unto His likeness, will His priestly high life work in us mightily, and our life become what His is, a life that ever pleads and prevails for men.[1]

[1] Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, 5.

“The most important thing a born again Christian can do is to pray.”

Chuck Smith

That is an answer to prayer for us in Omaha!

However, members of Westboro Baptist Church decided to concentrate their efforts on picketing the six funerals down in Arizona, including the funeral of a nine-year-old girl.

Let us pray that Westboro stops their picketing for good!

January 2011
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