Andrew Murray on Prayer

In true worship the Father must be first, must be all.

andrew.murray“While we ordinarily first bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think of what belongs to God and his interests, the Master reverses the order. First Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will; then give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us… In true worship the Father must be first, must be all.”

~ Andrew Murray

 

John Wesley on The Lord’s Prayer

wesley-preachingIn his notes on the Bible, John Wesley gives voice to prayers based on the Lord’s own pattern in Matthew 6:9-13. The prayers are rich and fuel our own hearts with expressions of prayer.

“Thus therefore pray ye”  – He who best knew what we ought to pray for, and how we ought to pray, what matter of desire, what manner of address would most please himself, would best become us, has here dictated to us a most perfect and universal form of prayer, comprehending all our real wants, expressing all our lawful desires; a complete directory and full exercise of all our devotions. Thus – For these things; sometimes in these words, at least in this manner, short, close, full. This prayer consists of three parts, the preface, the petitions, and the conclusion. The preface, Our Father, who art in heaven, lays a general foundation for prayer, comprising what we must first know of God, before we can pray in confidence of being heard. It likewise points out to us our that faith, humility, love, of God and man, with which we are to approach God in prayer.

Our Father – Who art good and gracious to all, our Creator, our Preserver; the Father of our Lord, and of us in him, thy children by adoption and grace: not my Father only, who now cry unto thee, but the Father of the universe, of angels and men: who art in heaven – Beholding all things, both in heaven and earth; knowing every creature, and all the works of every creature, and every possible event from everlasting to everlasting: the almighty Lord and Ruler of all, superintending and disposing all things; in heaven – Eminently there, but not there alone, seeing thou fillest heaven and earth.

Hallowed be thy name – May thou, O Father, he truly known by all intelligent beings, and with affections suitable to that knowledge: may thou be duly honored, loved, feared, by all in heaven and in earth, by all angels and all men.

Thy kingdom come – May thy kingdom of grace come quickly, and swallow up all the kingdoms of the earth: may all mankind, receiving thee, O Christ, for their king, truly believing in thy name, be filled with righteousness, and peace, and joy; with holiness and happiness, till they are removed hence into thy kingdom of glory, to reign with thee for ever and ever.

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven – May all the inhabitants of the earth do thy will as willingly as the holy angels: may these do it continually even as they, without any interruption of their willing service; yea, and perfectly as they: mayest thou, O Spirit of grace, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make them perfect in every good work to do thy will, and work in them all that is well pleasing in thy sight.

 Give us – O Father (for we claim nothing of right, but only of thy free mercy) this day(for we take no thought for the morrow) our daily bread – All things needful for our souls and bodies: not only the meat that perisheth, but the sacramental bread, and thy grace, the food which endureth to everlasting life.

And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors – Give us, O Lord, redemption in thy blood, even the forgiveness of sins: as thou enablest us freely and fully to forgive every man, so do thou forgive all our trespasses.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil – Whenever we are tempted, O thou that helpest our infirmities, suffer us not to enter into temptation; to be overcome or suffer loss thereby; but make a way for us to escape, so that we may be more than conquerors, through thy love, over sin and all the consequences of it.

Now the principal desire of a Christian’s heart being the glory of God, (ver. 9, 10, ) and all he wants for himself or his brethren being the daily bread of soul and body, (or the support of life, animal and spiritual, ) pardon of sin, and deliverance from the power of it and of the devil, (ver. 11, 12, 13, ) there is nothing beside that a Christian can wish for; therefore this prayer comprehends all his desires. Eternal life is the certain consequence, or rather completion of holiness.

For thine is the kingdom – The sovereign right of all things that are or ever were created: The power – the executive power, whereby thou governest all things in thy everlasting kingdom: And the glory – The praise due from every creature, for thy power, and all thy wondrous works, and the mightiness of thy kingdom, which endureth through all ages, even for ever and ever.

Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar…

homeless_700Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: ‘I want to see the king.’

Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, ‘Jesus, I come in the name of Jesus.’ At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.

The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. ‘Asking in Jesus’ name’ isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.

– Paul Miller, A Praying Life

A Spiritual View of the Prepared Kingdom for Prepared Hearts

Colossians-3-2Bob Yarbrough is a retired pastor, a dear friend and a man of prayer who seeks the Father’s company. This is the first of many of his articles that will be reproduced on this blog. 

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Matthew 25:34

Perhaps you will remember the recorded story of Jesus that is introduced with the caption: “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” He pictured a prepared banquet and an invitation that read: “Come, for everything is ready.” Jesus proceeded to speak of the preoccupations of would-be guests that caused them to miss the feast. The first invitee says: “I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.” [Lk. 14:15-18].

Strange, that a man would buy something he had not seen! Perhaps Jesus was using his wit to accentuate the irrationality of the secular mind! Let me pivot on that to the Spiritual mind. Let us not think it strange that those who are told by “Good News” messengers that they are blessed by the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with the inheritance of a long-prepared Spiritual kingdom should have a strong desire to go and see it! The really strange thing is to treat that reality as unworthy of serious investigation! A “so what?” indifference belies our confession!

In these meditations, I call you to “prepare your minds for action” [1 Pet. 1:13] in pursuit of the vision of what is given us in Christ! If you, in your resurrection union with Christ in the Spirit, will take the time to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” [Col. 3:2], you will surely find what you seek, for the Lord declared it! [This promise of Jesus recorded in Matthew 7:7,8 is for us…and all whom He calls!]

By grace you have been placed at “the right hand” of the King of Heaven, who is set there by the Eternal Father to reign until every enemy is put under His rule. Hear now your King as He speaks to your heart: ‘Come, blessed ones…take your inheritance!” Paul comes alongside and entreats you, “Fight the good fight of the faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession…”

Your confession is that “ In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you. Wouldn’t you like to see it? Is that possible?

If we believe the testimony of Paul to the Corinthians, he indeed, as “…a man in Christ…was caught up into Paradise…” There he “heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell” [2 Cor. 12:2-5]. This capacity in Christ to receive “revelations” by the Spirit beyond what natural eye can see, ear hear, or mind entertain is undoubtedly what he prayed the believers at Ephesus would experience: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Down through the ages, some have entered into the answer to this prayer. The secular closed mind tends to label these as “mystics,” not to be believed. For those willing to bear that reproach – “outside the camp” of cultural religion – for the surpassing joy of entering “the mystery” of the kingdom, I tell you who “knock at that door,” you will not be turned away.

Because of your birthright as a New Creation being you are invited to both “see” and “enter” the Kingdom of God! [Jn. 3:3,5] Will you receive my witness? Will you press on to “take hold of that for which Christ took hold of you”?[Phil 3:12] By this witness, Jesus is asking you, “What seek you?” If your heart says, “Master, where do you dwell?” Wait then in faith; He will say to you: “Come and see!” [Jn. 1:38,39] .

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Bob Yarbrough is a retired pastor, a dear friend and a man of prayer who seeks the Father’s company. This is the first of many of his articles that will be reproduced on this blog. 

A Prayer of St Columba

st-columba-1-sizedAlmighty God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
to me the least of saints,
to me allow that I may keep even the smallest door,
the farthest, darkest, coldest door,
the door that is least used, the stiffest door.
If only it be in Your house, O God,
that I can see Your glory even afar,
and hear Your voice,
and know that I am with You, O God.