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O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!

~ Joseph Scriven


“All effective prayer is generated by God the Holy Spirit and leads us to a fresh encounter with God.”

~ Fred A. Hartley IIIPrayer on Fire21.

The power of prayer is not in the one who is praying but in the one who hears and answers our prayers.


“The Love of Christ is my prayer book”

~ Gerhard Tersteegen (quoted in The Hidden Life of Prayerby D.M. M’Intyre


“Church revitalization will only happen in answer to faith-filled, prevailing prayer.”

~ Andrew M. DavisRevitalize: Biblical Keys to Helping Your Church Come Alive Again94.


For the Spirit we have received is the Spirit of the Son of God, and we possessing it are God’s sons too, and “that of God in us” leaps out towards the God who is the source of it. The Spirit of Jesus within us moves us to prayer: indeed, prayer is just the moving of God’s Son in us towards the Father. Though we are burdened with the greatness of our need, so that our prayers are not even articulate, yet in such “inarticulate sighs” the Spirit “intercedes for us.”

~ C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today

The Meaning of Paul for To-day by [Dodd, C. H. (Charles Harold)]


“Christians in revival are accordingly found living in God’s presence (Coram Deo), attending to His Word, feeling acute concern about sin and righteousness, rejoicing in the assurance of Christ’s love and their own salvation, spontaneously constant in worship, and tirelessly active in witness and service, fueling these activities by praise and prayer.”

~ J.I. Packer


“The truth of the matter is that the devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credential. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we lift up our hearts to God.”

~ Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, 56.


The Place of Prayer


What is the goal of the Christian life? Godliness born of obedience to Christ. Obedience unlocks the riches of the Christian experience. Prayer is what prompts and nurtures obedience, putting the heart into the proper “frame of mind” to desire obedience.

Of course, knowledge is also important because without it, we cannot know what God requires. However, knowledge and truth will remain abstract unless we commune with God in prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches, inspires, and illumines God’s Word to us. He mediates the Word of God and assists us in responding to the Father in prayer.

Prayer has a vital place in the life of the Christian. First, it is an absolute prerequisite for salvation. Some people cannot hear; yet though deaf, they can be saved. Some may not be able to see; yet though blind, they can be saved. Knowledge of the Good News—salvation through the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—will come from one source or another, but in the final analysis, a person must humbly ask God for salvation. The prayer of salvation is the one prayer of the wicked God has said he will hear.

What do those in heaven have in common? Several things. They have all been justified, having put their faith in the atonement of Christ. They are all praising God. And they have all prayed for salvation. To be without prayer is to be without God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the hope and reality of heaven.

Second, one of the surest marks of the Christian is his prayer life. One might pray and not be a Christian, but one could not possibly be a Christian and not pray. Romans 8:15 tells us that the spiritual adoption that has made us sons of God causes us to cry out in verbal expressions: “Abba! Father.” Prayer is to the Christian what breath is to life, yet no duty of the Christian is so neglected.

Prayer, at least private prayer, is difficult to do out of a false motive. One might preach out of a false motive, as do the false prophets; one might be involved in Christian activities out of false motives. Many of the externals of religion might be done from false motives, but it is highly unlikely that anyone would commune with God out of some improper motive. Matthew 7 tells us that in the “last day,” many will stand at the Judgment and tell Christ of their great and noble deeds done in his name, but his response will be that he does not know them.

So, we are invited, even commanded, to pray. Prayer is both a privilege and a duty, and any duty can become laborious. Prayer, like any means of growth for the Christian, requires work. In a sense, prayer is unnatural to us. Though we were created for fellowship and communion with God, the effects of the Fall have left most of us lazy and indifferent toward something as important as prayer. Rebirth quickens a new desire for communion with God, but sin resists the Spirit.

We can take comfort from the fact that God knows our hearts and hears our unspoken petitions more than the words that emanate from our lips. Whenever we are unable to express the deep feelings and emotions of our souls or when we are completely unclear about what it is for which we ought to be praying, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Romans 8:26-27 says, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” When we don’t know how to pray or what to pray for in a given situation, the Holy Spirit assists us. There is reason to believe froFor the m the text that if we pray incorrectly, the Holy Spirit corrects the error in our prayers before he takes them before the Father, for verse 27 tells us that he “intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Prayer is the secret of holiness—if holiness, indeed, has anything secretive about it. If we examine the lives of the great saints of the church, we find that they were great people of prayer. John Wesley once remarked that he didn’t think much of ministers who didn’t spend at least four hours per day in prayer. Luther said that he prayed regularly for an hour every day except when he experienced a particularly busy day. Then he prayed for two hours.

The neglect of prayer is a major cause of stagnation in the Christian life.

For the rest of the post…


“I was enabled to lie at Jesus’ feet and to wash them with the tears of contrition. No pleasure I have ever found in the Christian life is superior to this.”

~ Edward Payson

March 2018
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