Prayer is the mightiest weapon that God has placed in our hands, the best weapon to use in every difficulty, the surest remedy in every trouble, the key that unlocks the treasury of promises, the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need, the silver trumpet that God commands us to sound in all our necessity, the cry He has promised always to listen to, just as a loving mother listens attentively to the cry of her child. Be sure that no time is so well spent, as that which a man spends on his knees. What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter and holier than others? I believe the difference, in nineteen cases out of twenty, arises from different habits in private prayer. I believe that those who are not eminently holy, pray little–and those who are eminently holy, pray much. What is the cause of most backslidings? I believe, as a general rule, one of the chief causes is neglect of private prayer. People are backsliders on their knees, long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world. Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you! “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2. (J.C. Ryle)
Short pithy quotes from John Calvin
- The secret things of God are not to be scrutinized. Those things which He has revealed are not to be overlooked. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29.
- When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers!
- God preordained, for His own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice–a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation; and the other part, in just punishment of their sin, He has preordained to eternal damnation.
- I have given up all for Christ–and what have I found? I have more than all in Christ!
Short Pithy Statements from C. H. Spurgeon
An unholy church! It is useless to the world–and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, Hell’s laughter, and Heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world–have been brought upon her by an unholy church!
There is enough dust on some of your Bibles, to write “Damnation!” with your fingers!
The joys of Heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth.
Does the world satisfy you? Then you have your reward and portion in this life. Make much of it–for you shall know no other happiness.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 7:21. “I will tell them plainly: I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:23.
If a professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord’s will, but does not mean to obey it, then you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified, by going to religious worldlings and telling them that they are saved, while they are still wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so, I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into a license for sin! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. (Charles Spurgeon)
“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28. The Christian does not merely hold this truth as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet. In every event of your life, God has always worked out the most divinely blessed results. Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil–the believer’s heart is comforted, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine! Send me what You will, my Father, so long as it comes from You!” (Spurgeon)
When the believer is smarting under the rod let him not say, “God is now punishing me for my sins!” That can never be. That is most dishonoring to the blood of Christ. God is correcting you in love, not smiting in wrath. Nor should the Christian regard the chastening of the Lord as a sort of necessary evil to which he must bow as submissively as possible. No, it proceeds from God’s goodness and faithfulness, and is one of the greatest blessings for which we have to thank Him. Chastisement evidences our Divine sonship. The father of a family does not concern himself with those on the outside–but those within he guides and disciplines to make them conform to his will. Chastisement is designed for our good, to promote our highest interests. Look beyond the rod, to the all-wise hand that wields it!
“No chastening seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11. (A. W. Pink)
An old writer well said, “A family without prayer is like a house without a roof–open and exposed to all storms.” All our domestic comforts and temporal mercies issue from the loving-kindness of the Lord. The best we can do in return is to gratefully acknowledge His goodness to us as a family. Family worship should be conducted reverently, earnestly and simply. It is then that the little ones will receive their first impressions and form their initial conceptions of the Lord God. Great care needs to be taken lest a false idea be given to them of the Divine Character. For this, the balance must be preserved between dwelling upon His holiness, and His mercy, His power, and His tenderness, His justice, and His grace. Worship should begin with a few words of prayer invoking God’s presence and blessing.
A short passage from His Word should follow, with brief comments thereon. Two or three verses of a Psalm or hymn may be sung.
Close with a prayer of committal into the hands of God. Though we may not be able to pray eloquently, we should pray earnestly. Prevailing prayers are usually brief ones. Beware of wearying the young ones. (Arthur Pink)