THOUGHTS ON PRAYER - COMPILED BY JOHN F. MORGAN
Oh, help me, Lord, to take the time
To set all else aside,
That in the secret place of prayer
I may with You abide.
Praying means shutting off or putting down something else to make time for it.
-Joyce Landorf in Tough and Tender
The church has many organizers, but few agonizers; many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few who are interceding. People who are not praying are playing.
Two prerequisites of dynamic Christian living are vision and passion, and both of these are generated in the prayer closet. The ministry of preaching is open to a few. The ministry of praying is open to every child of God. Don't mistake action for unction, commotion for creation, and rattles for revivals. The secret of praying is praying in secret. A worldly Christian will stop praying and a praying Christian will stop worldliness.
When we pray, God listens to our heartbeat. Hannah's "lips" moved, but her voice was not heard (1 Samuel 1:12-13 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.) When we pray in the Spirit, there are groanings which cannot be uttered (Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.)
Tithes may build a church, but tears will give it life. That is the difference between our church and the early church. Our emphasis is on paying; theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken. When they had prayed the place was shaken. (Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.)
In the matter of effective praying, never have so many left so much to so few. Brethren, let us pray. If you rise from prayer forgiven and clean inside, prayer has been answered. If you rise more conscious of God's greatness, goodness, mercy, love, and nearness, prayer has been answered. If you rise with greater love and compassion for other people, answered prayer is transforming your selfish nature.
-Leonard Ravenhill in No Christian is Greater Than His Prayer Life
The Secret of the Bended Knee
Have you ever watched a bird sleeping on its perch and never falling off? How does it manage to do this? The secret is the tendons of the bird's legs. They are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws contract and grip like a steep trap. The claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold on to his perch so tightly.
Isn't this also the secret of the holding power of the Christian? Daniel found this to be true. Surrounded by a pagan environment, tempted to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, he refused to let go. He held firm when others faltered because he was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bended knee.
From sleeping birds we can learn the secret of holding things which are most precious to us - honesty, purity, thoughtfulness, honor, character. The secret is the knee bent in prayer, seeking to get a firmer grip on those values which make life worth living. When we hold firmly to God in prayer, we can rest assured he will hold tightly to us.
-Rollins S. Burhans
Most folks nowadays don't fast and pray, they just pray fast!
God's plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God's method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. He does not anoint plans, but men of prayer. God's man is made in the closet. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. Perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce and a delusion. God does not bestow His gifts on the casual or hasty comers and goers. To be little with God is to be little for God.
-E. M. Bounds in Power Through Prayer