Thoughts on Prayer Index Site ContentsThe following are thoughts of my own and quotations from others on the subject of prayer.
1. Basically prayer is God's way of allowing us to share in His rule. Since it was man who lost the creation to Satan, it is man who must get it back. So Christ, as Son of Man, conquered and defeated Satan completely on the cross. He did that on our behalf, and holds it (as it were) in escrow for us. But until He returns, Christ will only enforce His victory through us. As John Wesley is quoted as saying, "God will do nothing except in answer to the prayers of His people."
2. Every prayer is, in a sense, an elaboration of the one prayer: "Thy Kingdom Come , Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is in Heaven."
3. "Prayer surely does influence God. It does not influence His purpose. It does influence His action. Everything that ever has been prayed, of course I means every right thing, God has already purposed to do. But He does nothing without our consent. He has been hindered in His purposes by our lack of willingness. When we learn His purposes and make them our prayers, we are giving Him the opportunity to act." S.D. Gordon, Quiet Talks On Prayer.
4. "The promises of God are 'exceeding great and precious,' words which clearly indicate their great value and their broad reach, as grounds upon which to base our expectations in praying. Howsoever exceeding great and precious they are, their realization, the possibility and condition of that realization, are based on prayer. How glorious are these promises to the believing saints and to the whole Church! How the brightness and bloom, the fruitage and cloudless midday glory of the future beam on us through the promises of God! Yet these promises never brought hope to bloom or fruit to a prayerless heart. Neither could these promises, were they a thousandfold increased in number and preciousness, bring millennium glory to a prayerless Church. Prayer makes the promise rich, fruitful and a conscious reality." E.M. Bounds
5. All our hopes and faith in the power and effectiveness of prayer are based on the faithfulness of the One Who has left us the "exceeding great and precious promises." Here is an excerpt from the journal of David Livingstone, January 4, l856: "Evening. Felt much turmoil of spirit in view of having all my plans for the welfare of this great region and teeming population knocked on the head by savages tomorrow. But I read that Jesus came and said: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations... and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the World. It's the word of a Gentleman of the most sacred and strictest honour, so there's an end on it! I will not cross furtively by night as intended." We are expected to claim those promises in prayer; and when we do not, what a loss it is to us and to God!
6. "Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request: 'Do as Thou hast said.' The Creator will not cheat His creature who depends upon His truth; and, far more, the Heavenly Father will not break His word to His own child. 'Remember the word unto Thy servant, on which Thou hast caused me to hope,' is most prevalent pleading. It is a double argument: It is Thy Word, wilt Thou not keep it? Why hast Thou spoken of it if Thou wilt not make it good? Thou hast caused me to hope in it; wilt Thou disappoint the hope which Thou hast Thyself begotten in me?" C. H. Spurgeon
7. "The particular value of private prayer consists in being able to approach God with more freedom, and unbosom ourselves more fully than in any other way. Between us and God there are private and personal interests, sins to confess and wants to be supplied, which it would be improper to disclose to the world. This duty is enforced by the example of good men in all ages." Amos Binney
8. "The neglect of prayer is a grand hindrance to holiness. 'We have not because we ask not.' Oh, how meek and gentle, how lowly in heart, how full of love both to God and to man, might you have been at this day, if you had only asked! If you had continued instant in prayer! Ask, that you may thoroughly experience and perfectly practice the whole of that religion which our Lord has so beautifully described in the Sermon on the Mount." John Wesley
9. "The efficacy of prayer from a Bible standpoint lies solely in the answer to prayer. The benefit of prayer has been well and popularly maximized by the saying, 'It moves the arm which moves the universe.' To get unquestioned answers to prayer is not only important as to the satisfying of our desires, but is the evidence of our abiding in Christ. It becomes more important still. The mere act of praying is no test of our relation to God. The act of praying may be a real dead performance. It may be the routine of habit. But to pray and receive clear answers, not once or twice, but daily, this is the sure test, and is the gracious point of our vital connection with Jesus Christ." E.M. Bounds (My emphasis!)
10. "A young man had been called to the foreign field. He had
not been in the habit of preaching, but he knew one thing, how to
prevail with God; and going one day to a friend he said: 'I don't see how
God can use me on the field. I have no special talent.' His
friend said: 'My brother, God wants men on the field who can pray. There are too many preachers now and too few pray-ers.' He went. In his own room in the early dawn a voice was heard weeping and pleading
for souls. All through the day, the shut door and the hush that prevailed
made you feel like walking softly, for a soul was wrestling with
God. Yet to this home, hungry souls would flock, drawn by some
irresistible power. Ah, the mystery was unlocked. In the secret chamber
lost souls were pleaded for and claimed. The Holy Ghost knew just where
they were and sent them along." J. Hudson Taylor