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Bible Verse of the Day

25.11.11

7 Occasions When We Need to Pray - Part 3

This is the last post for the When We Need to Pray.  We need to pray when life is unusually busy, before great temptations and at all seasons.

5. Jesus Christ gave a special time to prayer WHEN LIFE WAS UNUSUALLY BUSY. He would withdraw at such a time from the multitudes that thronged about Him, and go into the wilderness and pray. For example, we read in Luke 5:15,16,
“But so much the more went abroad the report concerning Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of their infirmities. But He withdrew Himself in the deserts and prayed.”

Some men are so busy that they find no time for prayer. Apparently the busier Christ’s life was, the more He prayed. Sometimes He had no time to eat (Mark 3:20), sometimes He had no time for needed rest and sleep (Mark 6:31,33,46), but He always took time to pray; and the more the work crowded the more He prayed.

Many a mighty man of God has learned this secret from Christ, and when the work has crowded more than usual they have set an unusual amount of time apart for prayer. Other men of God, once mighty, have lost their power because they did not learn this secret, and allowed increasing work to crowd out prayer.


Years ago it was the writer’s privilege, with other theological students, to ask questions of one of the most useful Christian men of the day. The writer was led to ask,

“Will you tell us something of your prayer life?”

The man was silent a moment, and then, turning his eyes earnestly upon me, replied:

“Well, I must admit that I have been so crowded with work of late that I have not given the time I should to prayer.”

Is it any wonder that that man lost power, and the great work that he was doing was curtailed in a very marked degree? Let us never forget that the more the work presses on us, the more time must we spend in prayer.

6. Jesus Christ prayed BEFORE THE GREAT TEMPTATIONS OF HIS LIFE.

As He drew nearer and nearer to the cross, and realized that upon it was to come the great final test of His life, Jesus went out into the garden to pray. He came “unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder.” (Matt. 26:36) The victory of Calvary was won that night in the garden of Gethsemane. The calm majesty of His bearing in meeting the awful onslaughts of Pilate’s Judgment Hall and of Calvary, was the outcome of the struggle, agony and victory of Gethsemane. While Jesus prayed the disciples slept, so He stood fast while they fell ignominiously.

Many temptations come upon us unawares and unannounced, and all that we can do is to lift a cry to God for help then and there; but many of the temptations of life we can see approaching from the distance, and in such cases the victory should be won before the temptation really reaches us.

7. In 1 Thess. 5:17 we read, “Pray WITHOUT CEASING,” and in Eph. 6:18, “praying AT ALL SEASONS.”

Our whole life should be a life of prayer. We should walk in constant communion with God. There should be a constant upward looking of the soul to God. We should walk so habitually in His presence that even when we awake in the night it would be the most natural thing in the world for us to speak to Him in thanksgiving or in petition.

Dear God, I want to do what Jesus did when it comes to prayer. During busy times, when a temptation is about to come and at all times, teach me to be in constant prayer. Forgive me Lord for the times I have not prayed when I should have. Forgive me Lord for my mediocrity. Help me Lord to always put a high value on prayer and to pay the price that I may be in constant prayer.I know it's worth it. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.


16.11.11

7 Occasions When We Need to Pray - Part 2

To continue the post about When to pray chapter in RA Torrey's book How to Pray, here is the 2nd of 3 posts.

3. Jesus Christ prayed BEFORE ALL THE GREAT CRISES IN HIS EARTHLY LIFE.

He prayed before choosing the twelve disciples; before the sermon on the mount; before starting out on an evangelistic tour; before His anointing with the Holy Spirit and His entrance upon His public ministry; before announcing to the twelve His approaching death; before the great consummation of His life at the cross. (Luke 6:12,13; Luke 9:18,21,22; Luke 3:21,22; Mark 1:35-38; Luke 22:39-46.) He prepared for every important crisis by a protracted season of prayer. So ought we to do also. Whenever any crisis of life is seen to be approaching, we should prepare for it by a season of very definite prayer to God. We should take plenty of time for this prayer.

4. Christ prayed not only before the great events and victories of His life, but He also prayed AFTER ITS GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS AND IMPORTANT CRISES.

When He had fed the five thousand with the five loaves and two fishes, and the multitude desired to take Him and make Him king, having sent them away He went up into the mountain apart to pray, and spent hours there alone in prayer to God (Matt. 14:23; Jn. 6:15). So He went on from victory to victory.

It is more common for most of us to pray before the great events of life than it is to pray after them, but the latter is as important as the former. If we would pray after the great achievements of life, we might go on to still greater; as it is we are often either puffed up or exhausted by the things that we do in the name of the Lord, and so we advance no further.

Many and many a man in answer to prayer has been endued with power and thus has wrought great things in the name of the Lord, and when these great things were accomplished, instead of going alone with God and humbling himself before Him, and giving Him all the glory for what was achieved, he has congratulated himself upon what has been accomplished, has become puffed up, and God has been obliged to lay him aside. The great things done were not followed by humiliation of self, and prayer to God, and so pride has come in and the mighty man has been shorn of his power.

Lord, one of the reasons why Jesus displayed power and victory when He was on earth was not because He is God, but because He always prayed. As Christ's disciple, I know that I should do the same. Teach me Lord to be always humble - praying for your guidance and deliverance when troubles come and praying to give You all the honor and glory for the victories we so enjoy. Sorry, Lord, for every time we fall short. Thank You again for the gentle reminder. This I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen. 

11.11.11

7 Occasions When We Need to Pray - Part 1

Moving on to another chapter in the book How to Pray by R.A. Torrey, the next two posts will be about answering the question "When to pray?"

If we would know the fulness of blessing that there is in the prayer life, it is important not only that we pray in the right way, but also that we pray at the right time. Christ’s own example is full of suggestions as to when is the right time for prayer.

1. In Mark 1:35, we read,
“And IN THE MORNING, rising up A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”

JESUS CHOSE THE EARLY MORNING HOUR FOR PRAYER.
Many of the mightiest men of God have followed the Lord’s example in this. What is great in the morning hour is that the mind is fresh and at its very best. It is free from distraction, and that absolute concentration upon God which is essential to the most effective prayer is most easily possible in the early morning hours.

Furthermore, when the early hours are spent in prayer, the whole day is sanctified, and power is obtained for overcoming its temptations, and for performing its duties. More can be accomplished in prayer in the first hours of the day than at any other time during the day. Every child of God who would make the most out of his life for Christ, should set apart the first part of the day to meeting God in the study of His Word and in prayer.

The first thing we do each day should be to go alone with God and face the duties, the temptations, and the service of that day, and get strength from God for all. We should get victory before the hour of trial, temptation or service comes. The secret place of prayer is the place to fight our battles and gain our victories.

2. In Luke 6:12, we get further light upon the right time to pray. We read,
“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued ALL NIGHT in prayer to God.”
JESUS PRAYED ALL NIGHT.
Here we see Jesus praying in the night, spending the entire night in prayer. Of course, we have no reason to suppose that this was the constant practice of our Lord, nor do we even know how common this practice was, but there were certainly times when the whole night was given up to prayer. Here, too, we do well to follow in the footsteps of the Master.

Of course, there is a way of setting apart nights for prayer in which there is no profit; it is pure legalism. But the abuse of this practice is no reason for neglecting it altogether. One ought not to say, “I am going to spend a whole night in prayer,” with the thought that there is any merit that will win God’s favor in such an exercise; that is legalism.

But we oftentimes do well to say, “I am going to set apart this night for meeting God, and obtaining His blessing and power; and if necessary, and if He so leads me, I will give the whole night to prayer.” Oftentimes, we will have prayed things through long before the night has passed, and we can retire and find more refreshing and invigorating sleep than if we had not spent the time in prayer. At other times God doubtless will keep us in communion with Himself away into the morning, and when He does this in His infinite grace, blessed indeed are these hours of night prayer!

Nights of prayer to God are followed by days of power with men. In the night hours, the world is hushed in slumber, and we can easily be alone with God and have undisturbed communion with Him. If we set apart the whole night for prayer, there will be no hurry, there will be time for our own hearts to become quiet before God, there will be time for the whole mind to be brought under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there will be plenty of time to pray things through.

A night of prayer should be put entirely under God’s control. We should lay down no rules as to how long we will pray, or as to what we shall pray about, but be ready to wait upon God for a short time or a long time as He may lead, and to be led out in one direction or another as He may see fit.

Lord, I still have much to learn about prayer. I know that many people pray in the morning upon waking up and at night before going to sleep. But spending all night for prayer...I haven't done that for a long time. I suddenly remembered when I used to go to overnight prayer meetings in church or at the prayer mountain. Lord, help me as I commit to pray more at the right time to spend time with you. This I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

7.11.11

Hindrance to Prayer - DOUBT

The seventh and last hindrance to prayer that RA Torrey mentioned in the book "How to Pray" is found in James 1:5-7,
“But if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask IN FAITH, NOT DOUBTING: for he that doubts is like the waves of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.”

Prayers are hindered by unbelief. God demands that we shall believe His Word absolutely. To question it is to make Him a liar. Many of us do that when we plead His promises, and is it any wonder that our prayers are not answered? How many prayers are hindered by our wretched unbelief! We go to God and ask Him for something that is positively promised in His Word, and then we do not more than half expect to get it. “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.”

Forgive me, Lord, when at times I doubt You. I believe that You are not a liar. I believe that You are a powerful God and there is nothing impossible with You. Teach me, Lord, to always stand on the promises of Your Word and not waver. Teach me not to doubt when I pray. Teach me to not to look only on what is seen but on what is unseen. Increase my faith in You, Lord. This is my prayer in the Name of Jesus. Amen.






2.11.11

Hindrance to Prayer - WRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH SPOUSE

The sixth hindrance to prayer that RA Torrey mentioned in his book "How to Pray" is found in 1 Peter 3:7.
“Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered.”

Here we are plainly told that A WRONG RELATION BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE IS A HINDRANCE TO PRAYER.

In many and many a case the prayers of husbands are hindered because of their failure of duty toward their wives. On the other hand, it is also doubtless true that the prayers of wives are hindered because of their failure in duty toward their husbands. If husbands and wives should seek diligently to find the cause of their unanswered prayers, they would often find it in their relations to one another.

Many a man who makes great pretention to piety, and is very active in Christian work, shows but little consideration in his treatment of his wife, and is oftentimes unkind, if not brutal; then he wonders why it is that his prayers are not answered. The verse that we have just quoted explains the seeming mystery. On the other hand, many a woman who is very devoted to the church, and very faithful in attendance upon all services, treats her husband with the most unpardonable neglect, is cross and peevish toward him, wounds him by the sharpness of her speech, and by her ungovernable temper; then wonders why it is that she has no power in prayer.

There are other things in the relations of husbands and wives which cannot be spoken of publicly, but which doubtless are oftentimes a hindrance in approaching God in prayer. There is much of sin covered up under the holy name of marriage that is a cause of spiritual deadness, and of powerlessness in prayer. Any man or woman whose prayers seem to bring no answer should spread their whole married life out before God, and ask Him to put His finger upon anything in it that is displeasing in His sight.

Lord, thank you for giving me a wonderful husband. I just pray Lord that I would also be good wife to him. I'm not perfect and have much to learn. Teach me to do my part nurture our marriage in accordance to your Word and purposes. Teach us to nurture our prayer life as a couple well. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.