GOD'S METHOD OF ANSWERING PRAYER
Now there is sometimes in men's minds a kind of confusion in this matter. They are in a certain path, from which they want to be extricated; they are under a trial, from which they want to be delivered; they call upon the Lord to deliver them; and they ask some manifestation of Himself; some going forth of His hand, some divine leading which they are to follow. But the Lord may be working in a very different way from what they think; and they may really be inattentive to the internal voice of God in their conscience, because they are expecting the voice to come in some other way. It was just so with myself.
When I was in the Establishment, burdened with all the things I had to go through, and troubled and distressed in my mind, I was calling upon the Lord to deliver me, to lead me out, to show me what to do, to make the path plain and clear. Now that was my sincere cry; but I expected some miraculous interposition-to hear some voice, to have some wonderful leading; and in waiting for that, I was waiting for what the Lord never meant to bestow. And I was brought at last to this internal conviction: suppose I were living in drunkenness, suppose I were living in adultery, suppose I were walking in known sin, should I want a voice from God to say to me, "Leave this drunkenness, come out from this adultery, give up this sin?"
Should I want some divine manifestation to bring me out of a sin, when my conscience bore its solemn witness, and I was miserable under the weight and burden of it? No; the very conviction is the answer of God to the prayer; the very burden which the Lord lays on us is meant to press us out of that in which we are walking. So I reasoned with myself: "If I am living in sin, if it be a sin to be where I am, if I must do things which my conscience tells me are sins, and by which my conscience is burdened as sins, the very conviction, the very distress, the very burden, is the answer.
It is the voice of God in the conscience, not the voice of God in the air, not the appearance of God in the sky, but the voice of God in the conscience, and the appearance of the frown of God in the heart." And on this simple conviction I was enabled to act, and never to this day have repented it. I have, therefore, been led to see by experience, that we are often expecting wonderful answers, mysterious answers, and the Lord does not mean to give those answers. — J. C. Philpot
Great Messages on Prayer
Prayer by Thomas Watson
Prayer includes confession of sin, petitions for the supply of our needs, and the homage of our hearts unto the Giver Himself. Principal branches are-humiliation, supplication, and adoration.
A House of Prayer For All People by T. Austin-Sparks
The sixth chapter of the second book of Chronicles is a magnificent example and illustration of these words of the Prophet. In the dedication of the House by Solomon, prayer of a universal kind inaugurated the ministry of the House, introducing its function. The characteristic words of that chapter are: "This house" and "thy name". "When they shall pray toward THIS HOUSE, because of THY NAME which is upon it...".
Prayer and Revival by J. Edwin Orr
There was a Scottish Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh named John Erskine, who published a Memorial (as he called it) pleading with the people of Scotland and elsewhere to unite in prayer for the revival of religion. He sent one copy of this little book to Jonathan Edwards in New England. The great theologian was so moved he wrote a response which grew longer than a letter, so that finally he published it is a book.
Prayer the Forerunner of Mercy by Charles H. Spurgeon
Prayer is the FORERUNNER OF MERCIES. Many despise prayer: they despise it, because they do not understand it. He who knoweth how to use that sacred art of prayer will obtain so much thereby, that from its very profitableness he will be led to speak of it with the highest reverence.
Prayer is the greatest force that we can wield. It is the greatest talent which God has granted us. He has given it to every Christian. We may differ among ourselves as to wealth, social position, educational equipment, natural ability, inherited characteristics; but in this matter of exercising the greatest force that is at work in the world today, we are on the same footing. It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions. — John R. Mott
How the Spirit Enables Us to Pray by Thomas Boston
It is by the help of the Holy Spirit that we are able to pray, Gal 4:6, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'" Rom 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
A Discourse of Delight In Prayer by Stephen Charnock
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4 The beginning of this psalm is a heap of instructions: The great lesson intended in it is placed in verse 1. "Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity." It is resumed, verses 7, 8, where many reasons are asserted to enforce it.
Praying in the Name of Christ by Thomas Boston
It is not a bare faithless mentioning of his name in our prayers, nor finishing our prayers with them, Matthew 7:21. The saints use the words, "through Jesus Christ our Lord," 1 Corinthians 15:57, but often is that scabbard produced, while the sword of the Spirit is not in it. The words are said, but the faith is not exercised.
Prayer and Devotion by E. M. Bounds
DEVOTION has a religious signification. The root of devotion is to devote to a sacred use. So that devotion in its true sense has to do with religious worship. It stands intimately connected with true prayer. Devotion is the particular frame of mind found in one entirely devoted to God. It is the spirit of reverence, of awe, of godly fear.
Praying in the Spirit by John Bunyan
Prayer is a command of God, and is to be practiced both in public and in private; yes, such a command brings those that have the spirit of prayer, into great intimacy with God; and the prevailing prayer, will receive great things from God, both for the person that prayed, and for those that are prayed for. Prayer opens the heart of God, and is a means by which the empty soul is filled.
When is Prayer Heard? by Christopher Love
God does not accept the person for the prayer's sake, but the prayer for the person's sake. We read in Genesis 4:4: "God had respect unto Abel, and unto his offering." It was first to Abel and then his sacrifice. God accepted his service because his person was in a state of favor with Him.
Watching Unto Prayer by Robert Murray M'Cheyne
From the cradle to the grave is but a few steps. "The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow, for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." The half of men die before the age of twenty. Even when men lived many hundred years, it was but a span-a moment, compared to eternity.
A Pattern For Prayer by Alexander Maclaren
"Bow down shine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86: 1-5
Prayer Takes In the Whole Man by E. M. Bounds
PRAYER has to do with the entire man. Prayer takes in man in his whole being, mind, soul and body. It takes the whole man to pray, and prayer affects the entire man in its gracious results. As the whole nature of man enters into prayer, so also all that belongs to man is the beneficiary of prayer. All of man receives benefits in prayer. The whole man must be given to God in praying.
The Holy Spirit of Prayer by James Buchanan
IN the Scriptures a special operation of the Spirit is mentioned, by which he aids his people in the exercise of prayer; and it is spoken of as one that is common to all believers, and permanent through all ages of the Church. The most emphatic testimony on the subject is contained in the words of the apostle (Rom. viii. 26), "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered."
Public Prayer By John Newton
Several books have been written to assist in the gift and exercise of prayer, and many useful hints may be borrowed from them. But a too close attention to the method therein recommended, gives an air of study and formality, and offends against that simplicity which is so essentially necessary to a good prayer, that no degree of acquired abilities can compensate for the want of it. It is possible to learn to pray mechanically, and by rule; but it is hardly possible to do so with acceptance and benefit to others.
Large Works on Prayer
The Life of Prayer by A. B. Simpson
"And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." Luke 11:2-4
The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray
To a greater extent than almost any other religious writer of our age Mr. Murray possessed the insight and the authority of one of the prophets of olden time. At critical moments in the history of the church he never failed to raise his voice and to direct attention to the real issues. Those who are intimate with his career in South Africa will agree that there was no man who could rise to a great occasion like Andrew Murray.
The Kneeling Christian by Unknown Author
Is it not a fact that the majority of Christian men and women who pray to a Living God know very little about real prevailing prayer? Yet prayer is the key which unlocks the door of God's treasure-house. It is not too much to say that all real growth in the spiritual life-all victory over temptation, all confidence and peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers, all repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss, all habitual communion with God-depend upon the practice of secret prayer.
With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
Of all the promises connected with the command, 'ABIDE IN ME,' there is none higher, and none that sooner brings the confession, 'Not that I have already attained, or am already made perfect,' than this: 'If ye abide in me, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.' Power with God is the highest attainment of the life of full abiding.
Five conditions of prevailing prayer
By George Mueller
1. Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only ground of any claim for blessing.
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." John 15:16
2. Separation from all known sin.
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Psalm 66:18
3. Faith in God's Word of promise as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him a liar and a perjurer.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6
4. Asking in accordance with His will. Our motives must be Godly
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" 1 John 5:14
5. Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God.
"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." James 5:7