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Practical Religion 4b Prayer

Part 2 of Chapter 4 of J.C. Ryle's book, "Practical Religion"

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Practical Religion 4b Prayer

  1. 1. Practical Religion Prayer (Part 2) J.C. Ryle
  2. 2. Prayer Prayer is the most important subject in practical religion. All other subjects are second to it.
  3. 3. Prayer - Review 1. Prayer is absolutely needful to salvation 2. A habit of prayer is a sure mark of a true Christian 3. Private prayer is the most neglected duty in religion 4. Prayer is the most greatly encouraged act in religion
  4. 4. Prayer - Review 5. Diligent prayer is the secret of eminent holiness 6. Neglect of praying is a great cause of backsliding 7. Prayer is one of the best recipes for happiness and contentment
  5. 5. Prayer - Application For those who do not pray Be warned that your eternal state is in question It is useless to say you do not know how to pray It is useless to say you have no time to pray It is useless to say you must wait until you are converted
  6. 6. Prayer - Application For those who desire salvation In every journey there must be a first step The Spirit begins to work in your heart when you first pray with your heart Go in private and entreat Jesus to save you Just as you would tell a doctor where you feel pain in your body, tell Christ where you feel pain in your soul
  7. 7. Prayer - Application The Spirit begins to work in your heart when you first pray with your heart Do not doubt his willingness to save sinners – it is the reason he came Do not wait because you feel unworthy – none are worthy, yet he calls you to himself Do not fear because your prayer is uncertain or uncomfortable Do not despair if the answer doesn't come quickly
  8. 8. Prayer - Application For those who pray There are wrong ways to pray There are challenges and interference with prayer
  9. 9. For Those Who Pray Maintain reverence and humility in prayer You are on holy ground Labor to have the help of the Spirit in your prayer Although you may pray over the same areas, strive to make the content different Do not use a crutch (such as a prepared prayer) if you can walk
  10. 10. For Those Who Pray Make prayer a regular business of life There is value in having regular prayer times At the very least, speak with God in the morning Persevere in prayer Do not allow excuses to keep you from prayer Never think time is wasted in prayer
  11. 11. For Those Who Pray Be earnest in prayer Let us knock loudly at the door of grace, like Mercy in ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ as if we must perish unless heard. Cold prayers are a sacrifice without fire. It is not necessary that a man should shout, or scream, or be very loud, in order to prove he is in earnest. But it is desirable that we should be hearty, and fervent, and warm, and ask as if we were really interested in what we are doing.
  12. 12. For Those Who Pray Pray with faith We should endeavor to believe that our prayers are always heard, and that if we ask things according to God’s will, we shall always be answered. We should cultivate the habit of pleading promises in our prayers. Above all, we should cultivate the habit of expecting answers to our prayers. We should do like the merchant who sends his ships to sea. We should not be satisfied unless we see some return. We should cultivate the habit of pleading promises in our prayers. We should take with us some promise, and say, ‘Lord, here is thine own word pledged. Do for us as thou hast said’
  13. 13. For Those Who Pray Cultivate boldness in prayer Boldness is not familiarity Ask God to fulfill his promises We do not plead as often as we might, ‘Lord, are we not thine own people? Is it not for thy glory that we should be sanctified? Is it not for thine honour that thy gospel should increase?’
  14. 14. For Those Who Pray Consider the importance of fulness in prayer Few believers pray too much The Lord says, ‘Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ (Ps. 81:10) But we are like the king of Israel who smote on the ground thrice and stayed, when he ought to have smitten five or six times (2 Kings 13:18-19) Nothing is more common that to hear believers complaining that they do not grow in grace, as they could desire. Is it not rather to be suspected that many have quite as much grace as they ask for? Is it not the true account of many that they have little because they ask little?
  15. 15. For Those Who Pray Ask with particularity in prayer We ought not to be content with great general petitions. We ought to specify our wants before the throne of grace. It should not be enough to confess we are sinners. We should name the sins of which our conscience tells us we are most guilty. What should we think of the patient who told his doctor he was ill, but never went into particulars? What should we think of the wife who told her husband she was unhappy, but did not specify the cause?
  16. 16. For Those Who Pray Intercede for others in your prayers We often think only of our own souls, our own progress in faith, and to forget others. We should stir ourselves up to name other names beside our own before the throne of grace.
  17. 17. For Those Who Pray Be thankful in prayer I know well that asking God is one thing, and praising God is another. But I see so close a connection between prayer and praise in the Bible, that I dare not call that true prayer in which thankfulness has no part. Surely, we should never open our lips in prayer without blessing God for that free grace by which we live, and for that loving kindness which endures for ever.
  18. 18. For Those Who Pray Be watchful over your prayers Prayer is the spiritual weather glass: by this we may always know whether it is fair or foul with our hearts. Notice the people and activities that keep your mind from God and make your prayers heavy. Be on guard against them. Notice the friends and activities that leave you in a spiritual frame, and most ready to speak with God. Cleave and stick fast to them.
  19. 19. For next week: Chapter 5: Bible Reading (Part 1) Please read: The first portion of Chapter 5, up to the paragraph beginning, “I have now given the reasons why I press on every reader the duty and importance of reading the Bible.” Prov 2:1-5 Psalm 119: 9; John 17: 17

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Part 2 of Chapter 4 of J.C. Ryle's book, "Practical Religion"

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