Tag Archives: prayer

The war goes on and on.

“Some Christians want enough of Christ to be identified with him but not enough to be seriously inconvenienced; they genuinely cling to basic Christian orthodoxy but do not want to engage in serious Bible study; they value moral probity, especially of the public sort, but do not engage in war against inner corruptions; they fret over the quality of the preacher’s sermon but do not worry much over the quality of their own prayer life.  Such Christians are content with mediocrity.” (D. A. Carson, A Call To Spiritual Reformation,121)

“I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth “home.” Before you know it, I am calling luxuries “needs” and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don’t think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached people drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again toward a wartime mind-set.” (John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life)

“Soul Feed”

One must constantly be on the look out for danger signs in their spiritual health. Whether you have a built in meter to help with this, or you have a friend or spouse super willing to bring up stagnancy, which may lead to sin,  spiritual health is critical. Holistically speaking our spiritual health is inexorably tied to our mental and physical health.  So it is vital that we keep all parts of our beings maintained and running healthily.

In an effort to find fresh ways of feeding my soul, I have prayed and decided to audit a class at DenSem called “Reading the Spiritual Masters.”  It is my goal to really stick with it as most MDiv grads who do an audit like this tend to fall off pretty quickly when there is no risk on the line.

One of the reasons I chose this class is the prof.  Howard Baker is a really cool man who has helped shape some of my faith practices.

I have already received the books and begun to meditate on some of the material.  One of the books is a tractate titled “Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life” by John Calvin (I’ll call it GBTCL from now on).  Typically John Calvin is not one of my more favorite reads.  First, they are usually more of a magnum opus and secondly, the interpreters of his French and Latin don’t work for my sophomoric mind. However this small volume is interpreted more palatably for my vocabulary.

A long introduction to a short paragraph about scripture:

The goal of the new life is that God’s children exhibit melody and harmony in their conduct.  What melody?  The song of God’s justice.  What harmony?  The harmony between god’s righteousness and our obedience.

Only if we walk in the beauty of God’s law do we become sure of our adoption as children of the Father.

The law of God contains in itself the dynamic of the new life by which his image is fully restored in us; but by nature we are sluggish, and therefore we need to be simulated, aided in our efforts by a guiding principle.

A sincere repentance from the heart does not guarantee that we shall not wander from the straight path and sometimes become bewildered.

Let us then search scripture to find the root principle for the reformation of our life.

In the words of the most interesting man in the world, “Stay thirsty my friends.”

Impulse Prayer

“Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this – always obey such an impulse. Where does it come from? It is the work of the Holy Spirit (Phil 2:12-13). This often leads to some of the most remarkable experiences in the life of the minister. So never resist, never postpone it, never push it aside because you are busy. Give yourself to it, yield to it; and you will find not only that you have not been wasting time with respect to the matter with which you are dealing but that actually it has helped you greatly in that respect. You will experience an ease and a facility in understanding what you were reading, in thinking, in ordering matter for a sermon, in writing, in everything which is quite astonishing. Such a call to prayer must never be regarded as a distraction; always respond to it immediately, and thank God if it happens to you frequently.”   Martyn Lloyd-Jones  (Preaching & Preachers, 170-171)

It is the Power of God that changes Lives

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  Romans 1:16

There is no difficulty that cannot be defeated.  There is no victory that cannot be achieved, if you believe in the power of God!  Unknown

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  1 Corinthians 1:18

Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God.  AW Tozer

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”  Matt 22:29

Giving into fear alters God’s best plan for your life.  So use the power of God‘s Word to do what He wants you to do…even if you have to do it afraid!  The rewards are great.  Joyce Meyer

Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens.  Psalm 68:34

Never underestimate the power of prayer, faith and love and above all, never underestimate the power of God to see you through!  Unknown

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.  2 Timothy 1:8

I felt the power of God as I’d never felt it before.  James Irwin

in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;   2 Corinthians 6:7

Sooner or later, man has always had to decide whether he worships his own power or the power of God.  Arnold Toynbee

Tertullian on Prayer

Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God. But Christ has willed that it should work no evil, and has given it all power over good.

Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent from their chains. Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travellers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.

All the angels pray. Every creature prays. Cattle and wild beasts pray and bend the knee. As they come from their barns and caves they look out to heaven and call out, lifting up their spirit in their own fashion. The birds too rise and lift themselves up to heaven: they open out their wings, instead of hands, in the form of a cross, and give voice to what seems to be a prayer.

What more need be said on the duty of prayer? Even the Lord himself prayed. To him be honour and power for ever and ever. Amen.