Monday, March 30, 2009
Pray without ceasing
I've just been teaching on prayer this weekend, and thought that I would save myself some blogging work whilst away and post the points of my talk, which will give me 7 posts! (It was a long talk!) Weirdly I read a book by Charles H Spurgeon called "Lectures to my students" there is a chapter called "The private prayer of the preacher" I've borrowed a little inspiration from that chapter.
Pray without ceasing
Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer.
The Christian leader must be in the future what he has always had to be in the past: a man who has to pray and has to pray always, a man of prayer…..
For a man of prayer is in the final analysis the man who is able to recognise in others the face of the messiah and make visible what was hidden, make touchable what was unreachable.
1 Thessalonians 5: 17 Pray without ceasing
Ephesians 6: 18 pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
As christians we need to become distinguished in prayerfulness, it's a big ask but of uttermost importance.
As citizens our country benefits from our prayers, as neighbours to others, those who live nearby should fall under the shadow of our prayers, as a friend our companions should be bathed in our prayers, as a family member we should always have a flame of prayer burning for our relatives and this is just the tip of the iceberg!
A puritan non conformist scholar and pastor called Joseph Alleine, who was imprisoned on a number of occasions in the 1600’s for his faith said this:
“though I am apt to be unsettled and quickly set of the hinges, yet, methinks, I am like a bird out of the nest., I am never quiet till I am in my old way of communion with God; like the needle in the compass, that is restless till it be turned towards the pole. I can say, through grace, with the church, ‘with my soul have I desired thee in the night, and with my spirit within me have I sought thee early’ My heart is early and late with God; ‘tis the business and delight of my life to seek Him.”
‘TIS THE BUSINESS AND DELIGHT OF MY LIFE TO SEEK HIM.
I am striving that it would be the business and delight of my life to seek Him, striving probably not the best word but I hope you get what I mean?
2 Corinthians 5: 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors
An ambassador is a representative
An ambassador is a high ranking diplomat who represents their country, for instance an ambassador for the UK, represents The Court of St James, the official residence of the British monarchy.
If we are to be representatives of Christ here on earth, His ambassadors. We need to spend time in His courts, the courts of heaven, the courts of his presence, we do this in prayer.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said:
“All that a college course can do for a student is coarse and external compared with the spiritual and delicate refinement obtained by communion with God… all our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with our closets. We grow, we wax mighty, we prevail in private prayer”
He wasn’t anti study, just saying knowledge on it’s own knowledge won’t suffice.
I was walking around on our farm repeating this to myself over and over the other day, I love it "We grow, we wax mighty, we prevail in private prayer"
I am serious about my growth and effectiveness as a Christian, therefore my private prayer life must have a special place of significance and become a long term and sustained practice in my life.