Tag Archive | Prayer

The Surest Test of Soul-Prospering

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:156:

The savour and relish the soul finds in approaching to the throne of grace, is the surest test of soul-prospering. In this I appeal to the consciences of all that ever knew communion with God. Is it not best with you every way, when you are most with him? Do not your burdens grow light, when you cast them on the Lord? Is not your path plain, when his candle shineth upon you; and doth it not shine when you are much in company? Difficulties vanish, and hard work grows easy, when the Lord is with you, and you with him. See how the apostle joins things together, Jude, ver. 20, 21, But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Your faith, your love, your hope, are all to be acted in prayer: and are cherished by prayer, and strengthened by the answer of prayer.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-surest-test-of-soul-prospering.90883/, Comment 1

Why are our Hearts Shut when His Hand is Open?

Cowboy at Prayer, near Clayton, NM IMG 4952

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 223:

“If we being evil, know how to give good things to our children, how much more shall our heavenly Father give his Spirit to them that ask him?” Alas, that we should want such a gift for not asking it! My beloved, let us enlarge our desires for this Spirit, and seek more earnestly; and no doubt affection and importunity will not be sent away empty. Is it any wonder we receive not, because we ask not, or we ask so coldly, that we teach him in a manner to deny us: qui timide rogat [he who asks timidly], I may say, frigide [coldly], docet negare [teaches to refuse]. Ask frequently, and ask confidently, and his heart cannot deny. O that we could lay this engagement on our own hearts to be more in prayer! Let us press ourselves to this, and we need not press him. Albeit the first grace be wholly a surprisal, yet certainly he keeps this suitable method in the enlargements of grace, that when he gives more, he enlargeth the heart more after it, he openeth the mouth wider to ask and receive, and, according to that capacity, so is his hand open to fill the heart. O, why are our hearts shut when his hand is open!

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/ask-and-his-heart-cannot-deny.89300/, Comment 1

The Judge’s Prayer

Imagine the brouhaha if a judge said this today:


Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Judge%27s_Prayer_%281_MB%29.jpg

Listening to God in Prayer?

Jeri Tanner:

John William Waterhouse - Thisbe, 1909“These and similar phrases in Scripture have, at times, been misunderstood to mean that God’s people should listen for him to speak as they wait in stillness and silence. “For God alone my soul waits in silence…” (Psalm 62:1a) is one such phrase that has been used in that sense. But the very next half of the verse shows that David is not waiting to hear God’s voice inwardly, but is waiting for rescue: “… from Him comes my salvation” (Psalm 62:1b). Psalm 62 is a song about God’s deliverance from the schemes of wicked men. It proclaims that God is the only Savior: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is in him” (verse 5). God has revealed to His prophet David that He has all power, and David proclaims it.

“Similarly, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a) is another text sometimes misused to teach listening for inner guidance from God. In Psalm 46, “be still and know” is a plural command, as God is speaking to the nations among whom he will eventually be exalted, as the context of the Psalm shows. He is reassuring his people that although “the nations rage, and kingdoms totter,” his people can rest, knowing that their God will finally make the kingdom of this world to become his kingdom alone (Revelation 11:15). Psalm 46 speaks of the greatness and of the final exaltation of God among the nations. It is not a text modeling how to get inner guidance for decisions or problem-solving!”

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/87900-Is-it-Biblical-to-be-silent-before-God-in-Prayer, Comment #2

Mind Christ Much In Your Prayers

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:110:

Luxembourgers in England- Evacuees in Surrey, 1942 D11110Whenever you are upon your knees at the footstool, remember who is at the throne above, and what his business is there. Footstool supplications of believers would be all quite lost, if it were not for the Saviour’s intercession at the throne, Heb. 8:1. Our High Priest is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. And he ever liveth to make intercession for us, Heb. 7:25. This is the end of his living in heaven, to make intercession for us. Take heed, and mind Christ much in your prayers; and never fear his forgetting you. Shall Christ live for ever to make intercession for you? and will you live all your days without making use of him as an intercessor? Alas! that Christ in heaven gets so little employment from believers on earth! He seeks your employment, he loves it, and loves them best that give him most of it. He undertakes for every thing put in his hand, and in due time will give you a good account of all you intrust him with, and make you say, He hath done all things well (Mark 7:37).

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90802-Mind-Christ-much-in-your-prayers, Comment 1

No Victories Are To Be Won Easily

On Joshua 7:3:

J.C. Ryle, “Expository Thoughts on Matthew”:

Dresden - Rüstkammer - 1831“…we see in these verses that Satan’s kingdom is not to be pulled down without diligence and pains. This seems to be the lesson of the verse which concludes the passage we are now considering: ‘This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ A gentle rebuke to the disciples appears to be implied in the words. Perhaps they had been too much lifted up by past successes. Perhaps they had been less careful in the use of means in their Master’s absence, than they were under their Master’s eye. At any rate they receive a plain hint from our Lord, that the warfare against Satan must never be lightly carried on. They are warned that no victories are to be won easily over the prince of this world. Without fervent prayer, and diligent self-mortification, they would often meet with failure and defeat.

The lesson here laid down is one of deep importance. ‘I would,’ says Bullinger, ‘that this part of the Gospel pleased us as much as those parts which concede liberty.’ We are all apt to contract a habit of doing religious acts in a thoughtless, perfunctory way. Like Israel, puffed up with the fall of Jericho, we are ready to say to ourselves, ‘The men of Ai are but few;’ (Joshua 7:3;) ‘there is no need to put forth all our strength.’ Like Israel, we often learn by bitter experience, that spiritual battles are not to be won without hard fighting. The ark of the Lord must never be handled irreverently. God’s work must never be carelessly done.

May we all bear in mind our Lord’s words to His disciples, and make a practical use of them. In the pulpit, and on the platform,—in the Sunday school, and in the district,—in our use of family prayers, and in reading our own Bibles,—let us diligently watch our own spirit. Whatever we do, let us ‘do it with our might’ (Ecclesiastes 9:10). It is a fatal mistake to underrate our foes. Greater is He that is for us than he that is against us—but, for all that, he that is against us is not to be despised. He is the prince of this world. He is a strong man armed, keeping his house, who will not ‘go out,’ and part with his goods without a struggle. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. We have need to take the whole armor of God, and not only to take it, but to use it too. We may be very sure that those who win most victories over the world, the flesh, and the devil, are those who pray most in private, and ‘keep under their bodies, and bring them into subjection’ (1 Corinthians 9:27).”

Source: http://matthewpoole.net/joshua-73-the-reconnaissance-of-ai-part-2/#comment-19626

We Get Weird

Charles West Cope - Maiden MeditationPaul E. Miller:

When people call their own thoughts or feelings “God’s voice,” it puts them in control of God and ultimately undermines God’s Word by elevating human intuition to the status of divine revelation.  Unless Scripture guards and directs our intuitions, we can easily run amok and baptize our selfish desires with religious language (“God told me to marry her…”)…

The problem is that the Holy Spirit comes in on the same channel as the world, the flesh, the Devil.  The Lord does lead — we just need to be careful that we aren’t using the Lord as a cover for our own desires.  If we frequently interpret random thoughts and desires as “God speaking,” we get weird.

~A Praying Life, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2009, 244.