Monday, 19 March 2012


About Prayer…

“[The Lord’s Prayer] is undoubtedly a pattern prayer. The very way in which our Lord introduces it indicates that…it really covers everything in principle. There is a sense in which you can never really add to the Lord’s Prayer; nothing is left out. That does not mean, of course, that when we pray we are simply to repeat the Lord’s Prayer and stop at that, for that…was not true of the Lord Himself…He spent whole nights in prayer; many times He arose a great while before day and prayed for hours. You will always find in the lives of the saints that they have spent hours in prayer. John Wesley used to say that he had a very poor view of any Christian who did not pray for at least four hours every day…

[The Lord’s Prayer] really does contain all the principles…What we have is a kind of skeleton…The principles are all here and you cannot add to them. You can take the longest prayer that has ever been offered by a saint and you will find that it can reduced to these principles…Take our Lord’s High Priestly prayer [John 17]. If you analyze it in terms of principles, you will find that it can be reduced to the principles of this model prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer covers everything; and all we do is take these principles and employ and expand them and base our every petition upon them…I think you will agree with St Augustine and Martin Luther and many other saints who have said that there is nothing more wonderful in the entire Bible than the Lord’s Prayer. The economy, the way in which He summarizes it all, and has reduced everything to but a few sentences, is something that surely proclaims the fact that the speaker is none other than the very Son of God Himself.”
“Do you know that the essence of true prayer is found in the two words in [Matthew 6] verse 9, ‘Our Father’?...If you can say from your heart, whatever the condition, ‘My Father’, in a sense your prayer is already answered…

There are people who believe it is a good thing to pray because it always does us good. They adduce various psychological reasons. That of course is not prayer as the Bible understands it.  Prayer means speaking to God, forgetting ourselves, and realizing His presence. Then again, there are others…who rather think that…one’s prayer should be very brief and pointed, and that one should just simply make a particular request. That is something which is not true of the teaching of the Bible concerning prayer. Take any of the great [Bible] prayers…None of them is simply what we might call this ‘business-like’ kind of prayer which simply makes a petition known to God and then ends. Every prayer recorded in the Bible starts with invocation…We have a great and wonderful example of this in the ninth chapter of Daniel. There the prophet, in terrible perplexity, prays to God. But he does not start immediately with is petition; he starts by praising God. A perplexed Jeremiah does the same thing…he does not rush into the presence of God for this one matter; he starts by worshipping God. And so you will find it in all the recorded prayers. Indeed, you even get it in the great High-Priestly prayer of our Lord Himself which is recorded in John 17. You remember also how Paul put it in writing to the Philippians. He says, ‘in nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God’ (Philippians 4:6 RV.). That is the order. We must always start with invocation.”
“Our Lord says, ‘Our Father which art in heaven’; and Paul says, ‘The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’…It is vital when we pray to God, and call Him our Father, that we should remind ourselves…of His majesty and of His greatness and of His almighty power…remember that he knows all about you. The Scripture says, ‘all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’…It is not surprising that, when he wrote Psalm 51, David said in the anguish of his heart, ‘Thou desirest truth in the inward parts.’ If you ant to be blessed of God you have to be absolutely honest, you have to realize that he knows everything, and that there is nothing hidden from Him…as the wise man who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes put it, it is vital when we pray to god that we should remember that ‘He is in heaven and we are upon the earth.’

Then remember His holiness and His justice, His utter, absolute righteousness…whenever we approach Him we must do so ‘with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire’ [Hebrews 12:19].
That is the way to pray says Christ…never separate these two truths. Remember that you are approaching the almighty, eternal, ever-blessed holy God. But remember also that that God, in Christ, has become your Father, who not only knows all about you in the sense that he is omniscient, He knows all about you in the sense that a father knows all about his child…Put these two things together. God in His almightiness is looking at you with a holy love and knows your every need…He desires nothing so much as your blessing, your happiness, your joy and your prosperity. Then remember this, that He ‘is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think’. As your ‘Father which is in heaven’ He is much more anxious to bless you than you are to be blessed. There is no limit to His almighty power.”

-From Martyn Lloyd-Jones Works  Complied by Frank Cumbers  Eerdmans Publishing Company  Grand Rapids, MI  1970  Pages 76, 83 and 92

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