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“Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.” 

~ Richard Baxter

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“Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayer chamber.”

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“Your preaching can’t possibly triumph without prayer”

~ David Eby, Power Preaching for Church Growth41.

Several months ago there was a kerfuffle over an advertisement in which the Lord’s Prayer is prayed by various people across the UK. It was banned because it could offend or upset people of other faiths or none.

The response was fairly predictable: secularists cheering because they think the Lord’s Prayer is offensive, and Christians lamenting because they don’t. Personally, I think the advertisement was great.

But as to whether it was offensive, I have to come out and say it: the secularists were right.

The Lord’s Prayer is not mild, inoffensive, vanilla, listless, nominal, wishy-washy, or wallpapery. If you don’t worship the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is deeply subversive, upsetting, and offensive—from the first phrase to the last.

‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name’

Not Allah’s, or anyone else’s: the Father’s. There is only one who is holy, and he is our heavenly Father. May your name be recognized as great by all the nations, including those (like ours) who dismiss, blaspheme, patronize, or ignore it.

‘May Your Kingdom Come’

One day, all the kingdoms of the earth will become the kingdom of God and his Messiah. In the meantime, as we wait for you to gather up all your enemies and turn them into your footstool, we cry to you: Let your reign be shown here as well. Dethrone the powers. Overturn empires. Destroy everything that opposes you. Rule everywhere.

‘Let Your Will Be Done, on Earth as It Is in Heaven’

May the content shown on our screens, and the civilization they represent, be subjected to your will, so only things that honor you are done—just like currently happens in heaven.

‘Give Us Today Our Daily Bread’

We depend on you—not the markets, the government, our security services, or our own ingenuity and talent—for every good gift. Please keep providing them all, because if you don’t, we’re in big trouble.

‘Forgive Us Our Sins’

We have all sinned against you, offended you, transgressed your law, and trespassed against our fellow humans. We desperately need forgiveness. None of us is righteous. Please, in your mercy, wipe out our sins.

‘As We Forgive Those Who Sin Against Us’

Including abusers, manipulators, jihadists, and the rest, since we deserve judgment just as they do.

For the rest of the post…

“The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with ministers will be the sure harbinger of blessing.”

 

by Brian Jones

pray before meals

That’s how many days I estimate our family prayed together at the dinner table when I was a kid.

Calculating that number was surprisingly easy.

I took out Friday nights because that was pizza night. Everyone was responsible for praying his or her own prayer on the way to sacking dad as he walked through the door with the warm Massey’s Pizza box under his arm.

Then I removed Saturdays and Sundays from the tally. Weekends were survival of the fittest. We ate between games, trips to the grandparents, etc. We prayed for sure, but it wasn’t routine. So no prayers counted for those days.

That left Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. On those days we prayed before dinner every night, without fail. Except for the time when I was 14 and tried to back the car down the driveway to shoot basketball and accidentally ran over the mailbox. We didn’t pray that night. But that was it.

Usually dad prayed, but we’d all take turns.

That means that all together we prayed:

4 days a week
x 52 weeks a year
x 18 years
= 3744 days
– the day I killed the mailbox
= 3743 total times we prayed as a family before dinner

Some Christians don’t place a high value on praying before a meal. That’s a mistake. I believe that praying before dinnertime ranks second only behind going to church as the most important thing parents can do to impact their children spiritually.

5 Things That Happen When You Pray Before Meals As A Family

1. Praying Before Meals Gives Parents The Chance To Model That God Is Important.

In his book Blue Like Jazz Donald Miller wrote, “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.” I agree. For 3,743 days I had the privilege of watching my parents close their eyes, bow their heads, and say, “Let’s pray.”

2. Praying Before Meals Marks Your Meal Together As A Sacred Pause In Your Family’s Day.

Flip through the gospels and it becomes apparent rather quickly that sharing a meal together entailed more than the consumption of food. Stories were shared. The day was recounted. Prayer simply invites God to be a part of the conversation that follows.

3. Praying Before Meals Prompts Lively Discussions About God And The Bible.

After praying I remember my sisters and I asking questions like, “How do you know God can even hear us? How do we know there is a God? If God answers prayer, what about the people who _______ (insert tragic accident that happened that day)?” No question was out of bounds.

For the rest of the post…

“The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with ministers will be the sure harbinger of blessing.”

“Believers keep up and maintain their walk with God by secret prayer. The spirit of grace is always accompanied with the spirit of supplication. It is the very breath of the new creature, the fan of the divine life, whereby the spark of holy fire, kindled in the soul by God, is not only kept in, but raised into a flame.”

“At a time like this there are two things that Christians ought to be doing. First, we should be studying our Bibles to find out what God has to say on the subject of revival and, second, we should be searching into our history to discover what God has done in the past. I believe the result of those two things must drive us to prayer.”

~ Brian H. EdwardsRevival! A People Saturated With God, 17-18. 

“There is need of a great revival of spiritual life, of truly fervent devotion to our Lord Jesus, of entire consecration to His service. It is only in a church in which this spirit of revival has at least begun, that there is any hope of radical change in the relation of the majority of our Christian people to mission work.”

~ Andrew Murray

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May 2017
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