Tag Archives: prayer

Morning Needs

O GOD, THE AUTHOR OF ALL GOOD,
I come to thee for the grace another day
will require for its duties and events.
I step out into a wicked world,
I carry about with me an evil heart,
I know that without thee I can do nothing,
that everything with which I shall
be concerned,
however harmless in itself,
may prove an occasion of sin or folly,
unless I am kept by thy power.
Hold thou me up and I shall be safe.
Preserve my understanding from subtlety of error,
my affections from love of idols,
my character from stain of vice,
my profession from every form of evil.
May I engage in nothing in which I cannot
implore thy blessing,
and in which I cannot invite thy inspection.
Prosper me in all lawful undertakings,
or prepare me for disappointments;
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with food convenient for me,
lest I be full and deny thee
and say, Who is the Lord?
or be poor, and steal, and take thy name
in vain.
May every creature be made good to me
by prayer and thy will;
Teach me how to use the world, and not abuse it,
to improve my talents,
to redeem my time,
to walk in wisdom toward those without,
and in kindness to those within,
to do good to all men,
and especially to my fellow Christians.
And to thee be the glory.

The Valley of Vision

An Epitome of the Christian Religion

In keeping with Friday’s review of J.C. Ryle’s A Call to Prayer:

“If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word – prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Book Review: A Call to Prayer

Much like his other book How Readest Thou?, J.C. Ryle’s A Call to Prayer is short but incredibly powerful, and not to be missed. Throughout a meaty 46 pages, Ryle exhorts the believer to consider the power and (above all) the absolute necessity of prayer.

Written with the great Bishop’s winning
combination of candor and warmth, and firmly
rooted in Holy Scripture, A Call to Prayer is one of those solid Christian books which I cannot recommend highly enough. It’s a trumpet blast – and a loud one – charging God’s children to shake off spiritual apathy and give prayer its due priority. For prayer is one of the chief things by which man may measure his status before God. “Tell me what a man’s prayers are,” Ryle writes, “and I will soon tell you the state of his soul. Prayer is the spiritual pulse.”

According to Ryle, there is no duty in the Christian religion so neglected as prayer. Cutting to the heart of the issue, he tolerates no excuses, no pretense, no question dodging. He simply asks, “Do you pray?”

[Men] eat. They drink. They sleep. They rise. They go forth to their labour. They return to their homes. They breathe God’s air. They see God’s sun. They walk on God’s earth. They enjoy God’s mercies. They have dying bodies. They have judgment and eternity before them. But they never speak to God. They live like beasts that perish. They behave like creatures without souls. They have not one word to say to Him in whose hand are their life and breath, and all things, and from Whose mouth they must one day receive their everlasting sentence. How dreadful this seems; but if the secrets of men were only known, how common.

Yet Ryle doesn’t stop at condemning such neglect; he also gives attention to how a person ought to pray. In particular, he commends to us the importance of praying with reverence (Eccles. 5:2) and humility (Gen. 18:22), spiritually (Jude 1:20), as a regular part of the business of life (Dan. 6:10), with perseverance (1 Thess. 5:17), in earnestness (Jas. 5:16), with faith (Mark 11:24), with boldness (Exod. 32:12), with fullness (Ps. 81:10), on behalf of others (2 Thess. 1:11), and with thankfulness (Phil. 4:6).

In conclusion, I’ll simply get out of the way and let Ryle speak for himself:

Oh, let us keep an eye continually upon our private devotions. Here is the pith and marrow of practical Christianity. Sermons and books and tracts, and comittee-meetings and the company of good men, are all good in their way, but they will never make up for the neglect of private prayer…

I want the times we live in to be praying times. I want the Christians of our day to be praying Christians. I want the Church to be a praying church. My heart’s desire and prayer in sending forth this tract is to promote a spirit of prayerfulness. I want those who never prayed yet, to arise and call upon God, and I want those who do pray, to see that they are not praying amiss.