Browsing articles tagged with " prayer"
Jul 29, 2012
neil

If you don’t pray I can’t preach

Why a congregation must pray for the preacher from C.H. Spurgeon:

Shall I give you yet another reason why you should pray? I have preached my very heart out. I could not say any more than I have said. Will not your prayers accomplish that which my preaching fails to do? Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer.

Jun 7, 2011
neil

Never underestimate the place and power of godly women!

Check out this fantastic insight from Glen Knecht a pastor who visited the Ukraine after the collapse of communism;

How mistaken the Communists were when they allowed the older women to continue worshipping together! IT was they who were considered no threat to the new order, but it was they whose prayers and faithfulness over all those barren years held the church together and raised up a generation of men and young people to serve the Lord. Yes, the church we attended was crowded with these older women at the very front, for they had been the stalwart defenders and maintainers of Christ’s Gospel, but behind them and alongside them and in the balcony and outside the windows were the fruit of their faithfulness, men, women, young people, and children. We must never underestimate the place and power of our godly women.

May 18, 2011
neil

What does the God who rules the world want from his people?

I had the privilege of preaching from 1 Timothy 2 on Sunday evening. It was a humbling experience because it reminded me of how little time I, and the church I serve, give to prayer and in particular prayer for the world.

Philip Graham Ryken’s Reformed Expository Commentary on 1Timothy had some challenging things to say on Paul’s charge to pray for the nations and their leaders.  Here is Ryken on prayer;

Pastoral prayers ought to be large, expansive, and wide-ranging. They should include the great issues of the day and the vast nations of the world. Intercession should be made for renewal, revival, and reformation in the church. Prayer should be offered for missionaries, evangelists, and church planters. The sufferings of the persecuted church and the desperation of unsaved humanity should be brought weekly before the throne of grace.

The God who rules the world wants his peopel to pray for the world. Therefore, every church should locate itself at the center of something God is doing in the whole world.

What is of special importance in Paul’s instruction to Timothy is that the church should pray for world leaders who are NOT Christians.

Ryken continues;

The early church took this responsibility seriously. Consider how Clement of Rome prayed for the rulers and governors of the earth in the early second century: “Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, harmony and stability, that they may blamelessly adminster the government which you have given them….Lord, direct their plans according to what is good and plasing in your sight, so that by dievoutly administering in peace and gentleness the authority which you have given them they may experience your mercy.’

These world leaders, at the time of Paul’s writing to Timothy were without exception non-Christians and often hostile to Christianity. Calvin notes of the leaders at the time of Paul’s writing that they were all ‘enemies of the Gospel, persecutors of the poor Christians, murderers and wicked men.’

So by praying for the nations and the leaders of the nations we fulfil Christ’s command of Matthew 5:44

I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.’

And when we do pray in this way? We remember that ‘this is good and pleases God our Saviour. Who wants all men to be saved.’ v.3-4.

So why not recommit to prayer for the nations. Prayer in church services, in your small groups, with your family and in your own personal prayer life. Operation World is an obvious resource and now a new resouce called ‘The World Prayer Map’ provides an interactive map of the world with detailed prayer points.

That God should be pleased when we pray is reason enough to pray. That the nations need our prayers is further reason still.

The God who rules the world wants you to pray for the nations of the world.

Feb 17, 2011
neil

How did your day end? Martin Luther on good intentions that come to nothing

It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business in the morning and the last in the evening. Guard yourself against such false and deceitful thoughts that keep whispering: Wait a while. In an hour or so I will pray. I must first finish this or that. Thinking such thoughts we get away from prayer into other things that will hold us and involve us till the prayer of the day comes to naught.

Martin Luther

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