Friday, August 31, 2012

The When and How of Prayer...

Luke 18:1 ought always to pray, and not to faint.

This week I received the Fall 2012 issue of Free Grace Broadcaster and the subject for this quarter is titled "Vital Prayer." If you are unfamiliar with these quarterly booklets I highly recommend getting on the mail list to receive them. They are real gems!

This verse is a favorite of mine on prayer because it provides so much instruction and insight on when and how to pray in such a short little verse.

We see in Luke 18:1 that men ought always to pray. God's people are a praying people and we should offer up prayers to God at all times and in all seasons. We should go to the throne of grace at every opportunity whether it be for repenting, offering thanks and praise, for prayer requests, or any combination thereof. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul writes to pray without ceasing. Even if our prayers to God appear to go through long droughts without an apparent answer we see in Luke 18:1 that we are not to faint and grow weary from praying, but instead we are to persevere and continue. Though we may be heavily afflicted and suffering mightily we are not to become discouraged, but we should remain steadfast in offering up our prayers to God.

The first article in the "Vital Prayer" Free Grace Broadcaster this quarter is titled "The Most Important Subject" by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900). As I read over this article earlier in the week there were several passages on prayer that I highlighted that are worth writing here. It is my understanding that the excerpts that follow were originally included in Ryle's book "Practical Religion."

  • To be prayerless is to be without God -- without Christ -- without grace -- without hope  -- and without heaven.
  • Just as the first sign of life in an infant when born into the world is the act of breathing, so the first act of men and women when they are born again is praying.
  • Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to life. How a man can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a man can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.

As I look inward and analyze my Christian walk one of the areas I know I need to improve upon is my prayerlife. How about you? Do you find yourself praying without ceasing? If not let us work to cultivate this area of our life. We are dependent upon God for our every good and without him we can do nothing - let us offer up prayers always and without growing weary.

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