Another wonderful gem from www.gracegems.org. This post is inspired by both the new Prayer Request post, Praying for One Another, and Phil Walker's devotional on Mark 1:35 (scroll down to posts from 02/01/11) ~ "And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed."
The primary goal of the Christian is to be Christ-like, right? So we must follow His example in all things…including prayer.
Thomas Brooks, an English Puritan, said, "The best Christian is he who is the greatest monopolizer of time for private prayer."
(James Smith, "Sunny Subjects for All Seasons" 1858)
"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
How important is a spirit of prayer! It is . . .
the proof of regeneration,
the manifestation of grace in our hearts, and
the evidence our title to mansions in the skies!
Prayer is . . .
the breath of the renewed soul,
the beating of the sanctified heart,
the effect of the life of God within us.
O that I had prayed more!
Prayer should become a habit with us--then everything would furnish us with matter for prayer. Prayer should mingle with our pleasures and our pains, with our labor and our rest. O for more prayer!
We should never do--what we cannot pray God to bless.
We should never go--where we cannot ask God to go with us.
If we would hold fast our profession,
if we would adorn the gospel,
if we would honor Jesus,
if we would enjoy our mercies,
if we would get good by our trials,
if we would see all things working together for good,
if we would conquer Satan,
if we would overcome the world,
if we would crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts
--we must pray!
Prayer, if it is believing prayer . . .
opens Heaven to us,
unveils the glorious face of God, and
brings down foretastes of the joys of paradise,
makes us a match for all our foes,
enables us patiently to carry every cross, and with perseverance to climb and pass over the loftiest hills we meet with on our heaven-bound pilgrimage!
Those who pray, will, by deriving strength from Heaven, by drawing down wisdom from above--withstand every storm, and shout God's praises at last.
Tempted Christian--pray, and you will overcome every temptation.
Troubled Christian--pray, and God will deliver you out of every trouble.
Perplexed Christian--pray, and God will make your way plain before your face.
Doubting Christian--pray, and God will disperse your doubts, and chase your fears away.
Trembling Christian--pray, and God will strengthen you with strength in the soul.
Sick Christian--pray, and God will make all your bed in your affliction.
Dying Christian--pray, and death will lose all its terrors, and you will gently fall asleep in Jesus.
Lost sinner--pray, for God who heard the publican and justified him, will hear you and save you.
O for the grace of prayer, that we may in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present our requests to God.
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2
Zachary, your post inspired a new blog that is probably overdue. As we are building a strong community of like-minded believers here at memverse, it would be great if we could uphold each other in prayer, praying for special needs and events in each other's lives as people feel free to share. The Scriptures we are memorizing are full of promises of God answering our prayers, as well as testimony of a prayer-answering God who did move often in response to the prayers of His people.
Zachary, thanks for sharing about your dog, Ginger. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult trial. I will also petition God for the safe return of Ginger if it is in His all-knowing, all-loving, perfect will. I twice had our family dog (different dogs a few years apart) run away when I was young growing up in Indonesia. One was gone for a couple of weeks and we have strong reason to believe was stolen and tied up, but managed to escape after losing a lot of weight. The other just returned after almost a week and acted like nothing had happened. I know of others whose pet never returned. May God encourage you through this challenge.
I ask the memverse family to pray for me as I am facing a lot of big changes coming soon, as I plan, Lord willing, in the next 6 months to get married to a wonderful girl God sent me to. I also plan, Lord willing, to walk away from a 22-year career as a math teacher to be able to focus more directly and passionately on the spreading of Scripture. There is a lot up in the air as to what exactly that will look like. It is very exciting and a little scary all at the same time.
May we lift each other up in prayer before our all-powerful Father in heaven and watch Him answer and work in our lives. What can we pray for in your life?
Postscript (River La Belle): Thomas Watson has said, "When we pray for those things which are absolutely necessary to the glory of God or to our own salvation, we can pray fervently and persistently. But when we pray for those mercies or comforts upon which our salvation or His glory does not depend, then we must learn to couch our petitions in submissive resignation to His will and wisdom." Excellent. I just thought that we should all keep this in mind as we share our requests.