Archive for February, 2010

Power of United Prayer

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Charles Spurgeon makes the following interesting statement about united prayer:

“It has pleased God to make prayer the abounding and rejoicing river through which most of our choice mercies flow to us. It is the golden key which unlocks the well-stored granaries of our heavenly Joseph. As many mercies are conveyed from Heaven in the ship of prayer, so there are many choice and special favors which can only be brought to us by the fleets of united prayer.”

Do you agree? From what I observe at many prayer meetings, I am not so sure many agree! That is sad, for it is true that many of God’s choicest blessings come as we unite praying together.

This statement comes from a wonderful sermon where he speaks to the need for united praying and praising, and points out that praying for pastors is especially called for when we are praying together.

He also strongly believed that all of God’s children could  and should pray:

“We cannot all preach. We cannot all rule. We cannot all give gold and silver-but we can all contribute our prayers. There is no convert, though he is but two or three days old in Divine Grace, but can pray. There is no bedridden Sister in Jesus who cannot pray. There is no sick, aged, imbecile, obscure, illiterate, or penniless Believer who cannot add his supplications to the general stock. This is the Church’s riches. We put boxes at the door that we may receive your offerings to God’s cause-remember there is a spiritual chest within the Church into which we should all drop our loving intercessions, as into the treasury of the Lord. Even the widow without her two mites can give her offering to this treasury. See, then, dear Friends, what union and communion there are among the people of God, since there are certain mercies which are only bestowed while the saints unitedly pray.”

Spurgeon, by the way, is one of my favorite authors when it comes to prayer. He was considered one of the greatest preachers that ever lived, and preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington (London) England.

You can read the rest of his sermon on United Praying and Praising at path2prayer.com.

You can also find a handout to use at your midweek prayer service at path2prayer.com.

Ask of Me…

Monday, February 15th, 2010

“Ask of Me and I will give….” Ps. 8:2

For the praying saints of the past, their faith in prayer was not a passing attitude that changed with the wind or with their own feelings and circumstances, they were confident that God always heard and answered, that His ear was always open to the cry of His children, and that the power to do what was asked of Him was equal to His willingness…. Everything was possible to the men and women who knew how to pray, and it is still possible today. Prayer, indeed, opened a limitless storehouse, and God’s hand withheld nothing. Prayer introduced those who practiced it into a world of privilege, and brought the strength and wealth of heaven down to the aid of finite man. What rich and wonderful power they had who learned the secret of victorious approach to God! With Moses it saved a nation; with Ezra it saved a church.

And yet, strange as it seems when we contemplate the wonders of which God’s people had been witnesses, they became slack in prayer. The mighty hold upon God, which had so often struck awe and terror into the hearts of their enemies, lost its grip. The people, backslidden and apostate, had gone off from their praying-if the bulk of them had ever truly prayed.

In vain had the decree established the divine order, the divine call, ‘Ask of Me.’ From their earnest and fruitful crying to God, the Israelites turned their faces to pagan gods and cried in vain for the answers that could never come. Thus they sank into that godless and pitiful state in which they lost their purpose in life, because the link with the Eternal had been broken. Their favored dispensation of prayer was forgotten; they no longer knew how to pray.

What is the solution in our day? Ask!—E. M. Bounds

Learn more about prayer at path2prayer.com

My Prison Hath Neither Lock Nor Door

Monday, February 8th, 2010

“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.” Hosea 7:8

In the past centuries God often used letters to bring great blessings to His children. Among famous letter writers were John Newton, Fenelon, Gerhard Tersteegen and Samuel Rutherford.

The following comes from a letter by Samuel Rutherford who was a non-conformist Scottish Puritan, who was banished from Edinburgh for refusing to comply with the dictates of the ruling prelates, and forced to live in Aberdeen where he was not allowed to preach. The banishment was not welcomed and hard to endure, but in his difficulties he discovered an understanding of God and His ways that would not have been possible in any other context. In this letter he extolls God’s gracious care and blessing in his “confinement,” concluding that his prison had “neither lock nor door.” This was obviously true since he was free to move about, but he was speaking to the greater reality of God not only bringing blessings no matter what was going on, but also God bringing special blessings. Eventually Rutherford was condemned to death for his non-conformist views, but he was spared the execution, for he died of illness before it was carried out. However, he was looking forward to dying for Jesus. I think we need to adopt Rutherford’s attitude towards our trials and begin viewing them through the lens of God’s love and perfect keeping, for our situations have “neither lock nor door” in our day.

Rutherford’s letter…

Dear Brother:

I never believed, till now, that there was so much to be found in Christ on this side of death and of heaven. Oh, the ravishments of heavenly joy that may be had here, in the small gleanings of comforts that fall from Christ! “What fools are we who know not, and consider not the weight and the telling that is in the very earnest-penny, and the first fruits of our hoped-for harvest! How sweet, how sweet is our infeftment (old Scottish word referring to taking possession of property, in this case of the blessings found in Christ)! Oh, what then must personal possession be!

I find that my Lord Jesus hath not miscooked or spilled this sweet cross; He hath an eye on the fire and the melting gold, to separate the metal and the dross. Oh how much time would it take me to read my obligations to Jesus my Lord, who will neither have the faith of His own to be burnt to ashes, nor yet will have a poor believer in the fire to be half raw, like Ephraim’s unturned cake! This is the wisdom of Him who hath His fire in Zion, and furnace in Jerusalem. I need not either bud or flatter temptations and crosses, nor strive to buy the devil or this malicious world by, or redeem their kindness with half a hairbreadth of truth. He who is surety for His servant for good doth powerfully overrule all that. I see my prison hath neither lock nor door: I am free in my bonds, and my chains are made of rotten straw; they shall not bide one pull of faith…. Therefore we wrong Christ who sigh, and fear, and doubt, and despond in them. Our sufferings are washed in Christ’s blood, as well as our souls; for Christ’s merits brought a blessing to the crosses of the sons of God. And Jesus hath a back-bond of all our temptations, that the free-warders shall come out by law and justice, in respect of the infinite and great sum that the Redeemer paid….

I bless the Lord, that all our troubles come through Christ’s fingers, and that He casteth sugar among them, and casteth in some ounce-weights of heaven, and of the Spirit of glory that resteth on suffering believers, into our cup, in which there is no taste of hell.

My dear brother, ye know all these better than I. I send water to the sea, to speak of these things to you; but it easeth me to desire you to help me to pay my tribute of praise to Jesus. Oh what praises I owe Him! I would I were in my free heritage, that I might begin to pay my debts to Jesus. I entreat for your prayers and praises. I forget not you.

Your brother and fellow-sufferer in and for Christ,
Samuel Rutherford,
Aberdeen, Sept. 17, 1637

Read the rest of Rutherford’s letter and more articles on how to endure trials at path2prayer.com.