Prayer and the Sovereignty of God
"Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests . . . Be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
"God gives us the Spirit as our teacher in prayer, to tell us what is right and to temper our emotions. We should seek such aid of the Spirit."
"Prayer is an art which only the Holy Spirit can teach us. He is the giver of all prayer."
"There is no man, nor church in the world, that can come to God in prayer, but by the assistance of the Holy Spirit."
"It must be acknowledged by the spiritual mind that all true prayer is of the leading of the Spirit; that He is the author of all real approach of the soul to God. All true prayer is put into words by the Spirit. He is the Author of prayer in the soul."
"Pray for prayer - pray till you can pray, pray to be helped to pray and give not up praying because you cannot pray, for it is when you think you cannot pray that you are most praying."
"Pray in the Holy Spirit."
"If the grace of God be in him, it will be as natural for him to groan out his condition as it is for a sucking child to cry for the breast. Prayer is one of the first things that discovers a man to be a Christian."
"He who does not habitually pray to God, cannot be a Christian."
"A prayerless man is, of necessity and thoroughly, irreligious: There can be no life without activity. As the body is dead when it ceases to act, so the soul that goes not forth in its actions toward God, that lives as though there were no God, is spiritually dead."
"You then are not a Christian if you are not a praying person. The promise is that everyone that is righteous will pray. You, then, are a wicked wretch if you do not pray."
"Prayer is a pouring out of the heart to God, through Christ, in the strength of the Spirit, for such things as God has promised. Prayer must be within the compass of God's Word; it is blasphemy or at best babbling, when the petition is beside the Book. David therefore in his prayers kept his eye on the Word of God: 'My soul cleaves to the dust; quicken me according to Your Word.'
"'Remember Your Word to Your servant, on which you have caused me to hope.' Indeed the Holy Spirit does not immediately quicken and stir up the heart of the Christian without, but by, in and through the Word. The Spirit, by the Word, directs the manner as well as the matter of praying."
"What is it to pray according to God's will? When we pray for things which are agreeable to God's will, i.e. His revealed will; we should ask for nothing but what He commands us . . . for those things we have warrant to pray."
In his sermon on Job 23:3-4. C.H. Spurgeon commented:
"The ancient saints were given, with Job, to ordering their cause before God. Not filling the mouth with words nor good phrases, nor pretty expressions, but filling the mouth with arguments . . . When we come to the gate of mercy, forcible arguments are the knocks of the rapper by which the gate is opened . . .When a man searches for arguments for a thing, it is because he attaches importance to that which he is seeking."
Mueller's biographer goes on to point out:
"Of course, God does not need to be convinced; no argument can make any plainer to Him the claims of trusting souls to His intervention, claims based upon His own Word, confirmed by His oath. And yet He will be inquired of and argued with. That is His way of blessing . . . We are to argue our case with God, not indeed to convince Him, but to convince ourselves."
To this Eziekel Hopkins adds:
"Now, although it be true that all the arguments that we can urge and all the reasons we can allege, cannot alter the purposes and determinations of God, as to any event that He has ordained, yet there is this twofold use and necessity of pleading them.
"First, because by considering the reasons we have to pray for such mercies, our desires will be the more earnest and fervent in the obtaining of them.
"Secondly, because reasons in prayer do mightily conduce to the strengthening of our faith and give us great encouragement to believe that we shall certainly obtain what we have so much reason to ask."
Or again, as C.H. Spurgeon put it:
"Why are arguments to be used at all? The reply is, certainly not because God is slow to give, not because we can change the Divine purpose, not because God needs to be informed of any circumstance with regard to ourselves . . .
"The arguments to be used are for our own benefit, not for His. Our use of arguments teaches us the ground upon which we obtain the blessing . . . Besides, the use of arguments is intended to stir up our fervency . . ."
From what shall we construct our arguments? Where can we find weighty reasons to lay before God? Where can we derive arguments from which we can present weighty reasons along with our petitions
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Dr. Peter Hammond
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