Tag Archive for 'pray'

Please Pray For Louis At Baker Book House

Details can be found on this blog post. Louis has been writing a lot of good posts at that blog that I’ve been enjoying very much and I’ve read many good things about him as a Christian.

Going to church as a measure of genuine faith

I’ve often heard people say that they wish their friend or relative would go to church because then it would show that they are a Christian. I don’t see anything in the Bible about church/assembly attendance as a measuring rod aside from God wanting us to not stop meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). And I know it’s at church where they may hear the gospel.

I would guess that at least 90% of people who go to church aren’t really Christians.

Here are some quotes by J.C. Ryle. I would say the last two quotes are more important to ask than, “Do you go to church?”

Evidences of A Converted Heart

Sense of sin and deep hatred of it, faith in Christ and love to Him, delight in holiness and longing after more of it, love for God’s people and distaste for the things of the world, – these are the signs and evidences which always accompany conversion.

–J.C. Ryle

Do You Pray?

Never be surprised if you hear ministers of the gospel dwelling much on the importance of prayer. This is the point we want to bring you to; we want to know that you pray. Your views of doctrine may be correct. Your love of Protestantism may be warm and unmistakable. But still this may be nothing more than head knowledge and party spirit. We want to know whether you are actually acquainted with the throne of grace, and whether you can speak to God as well as speak about God.

Do you wish to find out whether you are a true Christian? Then rest assured that my question is of the very first importance – Do you pray?

–J.C. Ryle

(Colossians 4:2)

Do You Read Your Bible?

Ah! reader, it is a painful thought that there should be so much profession of love to the Bible among us, and so little proof that the Bible is read! I charge you, I entreat you, to give an honest answer to my question: ‘What art thou doing with the Bible?‘

–J.C. Ryle

Saying or Praying “God Willing”

I would like to repost something I wrote a while ago. Then at the bottom is a link to a post called 7 Reasons to Say ‘God Willing…’ from another blog which complements this very well. Hat Tip to Challies.com.

———

Praying God’s Will

Someone was once saying that a preacher on the radio was saying that we shouldn’t be saying, “If it’s Your will” when we pray because we’re not having confidence in what we’re praying, or something to that effect.

I said that it’s Scriptural to say that because of a couple of passages/verses:

James 4:13-15
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” TNIV

1 John 5:14
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. TNIV

However I’ve rethought my reasoning. The James passage isn’t talking about prayer, it’s talking about plans, predicting the future etc. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” So while I think it’s Scriptural to say, “I’ll be doing … God willing”, the James passage doesn’t support saying, “If it’s Your will” when praying.

The 1 John passage is talking about God answering according to His will, not necessarily how we should pray. Matthew 21:22 says, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” But this needs to be balanced with 1 John 5:14 as mentioned above.

So when is it appropriate to say, “If it’s Your will?” I’m not trying to teach here. I’m just writing what my thinking is at the moment. Please feel free to comment.

If we are praying something that we know is Scriptural, it would almost be disrespectful to to add the if. For example–praying for growth in knowledge, wisdom (James 1:5-8) etc. If we are praying for miraculous healing, a certain material item etc. it may be respectful and reverent to say if it’s Your will. Some would say that shows a lack of confidence. I’m not sure if we could judge right or wrong either way.

As far as asking for something we know might or might not be in His will, it’s fine to ask and to be persistent as the parables of the woman in front of the judge and the man knocking on his neighbor’s door asking for food for a guest. If we should know the answer is no, then should we stop asking.

Paul pleaded with God three times for the thorn in his side to be taken away. God gave him a definitive answer, ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”‘ (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We don’t always know what to pray and the Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26-27). Thomas Schreiner in his commentary on Romans says that since the totality of God’s will is hidden from us, the Spirit fills this lack by interceding for us. The Spirit searches our hearts which long for God’s will, searches even the depths of God (1 Corinthians 2:10) and intercedes for us according to God’s will with groans that our words can’t express.

I think it’s very important when praying for someone to always pray for things that you know are in God’s will according to Scripture along with any requests they may have or things you think they should have that may or may not be a part of God’s plan. For example if you pray only for healing and that isn’t a part of God’s plan, you’re not really doing them any good. But if you pray for comfort, perseverance, hope, strength etc. along with healing, you know you will be participating in glorifying God in their situation whatever the outcome.

———

7 Reasons to Say ‘God Willing…’

Praying Three Times a Day

Psalms 55:16-17
16 But I call to God, and the LORD will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.

Daniel 6:10
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

Acts 10:9
The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.

Matthew Henry says:

David perseveres in his resolution to call upon God, being well assured that he should not seek him in vain (Psalm 55:16)… He resolves to be both fervent and frequent [see below] in this duty…

He will pray frequently, every day, and three times a day – evening, and morning, and at noon. It is probable that this had been his constant practice, and he resolves to continue it now that he is in his distress. Then we may come the more boldly to the throne of grace in trouble when we do not then first begin to seek acquaintance with God, but it is what we have constantly practised, and the trouble finds the wheels of prayer going. Those that think three meals a day little enough for the body ought much more to think three solemn prayers a day little enough for the soul, and to count it a pleasure, not a task. As it is fit that in the morning we should begin the day with God, and in the evening close it with him, so it is fit that in the midst of the day we should retire awhile to converse with him. It was Daniel’s practice to pray three times a day (Daniel 6:10), and noon was one of Peter’s hours of prayer, Acts 10:9. Let not us be weary of praying often, for God is not weary of hearing. “He shall hear my voice, and not blame me for coming too often, but the oftener the better, the more welcome.”

If you would like some models of morning and evening prayers you can find some here:
http://www.eternallifeministries.org/prayers.htm