February 26: Luther – On earth as it is in heaven

Dr. Martin Luther

Pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Then say: “Dear Lord God, Father, you know that the world, though it cannot wholly blot out your name nor root out your kingdom, still goes about night and day with spiteful pranks and tricks, employing distortion, inventing plots, and practicing intrigues, all directed with evil intent and purpose against your name, your Word, your kingdom, and your children. For that reason, dear Lord God, Father, convert and restrain them. Convert those who shall know your gracious will, that together with us they may obey you and, beyond that, gladly and patiently bear every evil, cross, and adversity, which we recognize as coming from your perfect and gracious good will. Restrain those, however, who will not refrain from doing harm in their anger, their raving, their hate, and their ill will. Bring to nothing their counsel, evil plots, and underhanded practices, to their own shame, as it says in Psalm 7. Amen.”

A Simple Way to Pray, Martin Luther

February 25: Luther – Hallowed be thy name!

Dr. Martin Luther

Dr. Martin Luther’s advice on prayer contains much help for the believer. He shared with his friend Peter how to use the Lord’s Prayer.

Pray: “Hallowed be thy name.”…

Indeed, Lord God, dear Father, hallowed be your name, both within us and throughout the world. Destroy and wipe out the abomination, idolatry, and heresy of the Turks, the pope, and all false teachers and fanatics, who blaspheme your name, erroneously picturing you in a wretched and outrageous manner, while enthusiastically presenting their own ideas as your Word and the church’s law. Actually, under pretense of your name, they deplorably use the devil’s lies and trickery to mislead very many poor souls everywhere. And on top of that, believing that they are doing you a divine service, they kill, shed innocent blood, and persecute.

“Dear Lord God, convert and restrain such people. Convert those who shall be converted, that they with us and we with them may bless and praise your name, both in holding fast to pure doctrine and living respectable, holy lives. But restrain those who are unwilling to be converted from abusing, dishonoring, and profaning your holy name, and from misleading our poor people. Amen.

A Simple Way to Pray, Martin Luther

Yes, let’s pray that all will hallow His name!

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Philippians 2:10

February 24: Luther – Starting with Prayer

Dr. Martin Luther

We’ve been looking at practical advice on prayer from Dr. Martin Luther. How should we start our day?

It is good practice to begin and end the day with prayer. In this connection it is well not to entertain a deceptive idea such as this: “Wait a while, I’ll pray a little later. But first I’ll have to do this or that.” Such thoughts divert us from praying. Instead, all our attention is given to the thing at hand. And nothing comes of praying….

We must see to it that we do not lose the habit of prayer and deceive ourselves into thinking that other kinds of things are more important, when they are not. Then we might become careless and lazy, cold and indifferent when it comes to praying. The devil is neither lazy nor lax in our midst. Besides, our flesh is not too eager and desirous but is disinclined to the spirit of prayer.

A Simple Way to Pray, Martin Luther

The Psalmist also realized this!

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Psalm 55:17

February 23: Luther on Prayer – Using the Hymnal

Dr. Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a man used by God to bring the truth of justification by faith to the world. In seminary, one of the exam questions asked if the Reformation would have happened without Martin Luther. The more I thought about it, the more I realized while there may have been a Reformation, it would have looked totally different. Not just because of Luther, but because of the providential arrangement of circumstances. Wycliffe was burned posthumously. Tyndale was burned at the stake. Hus and Savanarola as well. Luther might have as well – except for Frederick III. Frederick III had one of the largest collections of relics in the world – over 19,000 items able to reduce time in Purgatory by almost 2 million years – and yet risked it all to protect a man who would reject the very idea of Purgatory.

Near the end of Luther’s life, a long-time friend Peter the Barber asked Dr. Luther for advice on how to pray. A drunken Peter tried to disprove his son-in-law’s boast of invincibility, and ended up killing him. Thru Luther’s lobbying, Peter was exiled instead of executed, and lived in constant despair over his foolish actions. Peter asked for help from Dr. Luther, and in particular, how to pray. This is excerpted from the Northwestern Publishing House edition.

First of all, when I realize that because of other duties or thoughts I have grown cold and neglectful when it comes to praying (for our flesh and the devil resist and hinder prayer), I take my little hymnal and hurry to my room.

A Simple Way to Pray, Martin Luther

That’s a great tip from Martin Luther!

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16

February 22: Torrey – Prayer brings Spiritual Growth

R.A. Torrey
Reuben Archer Torrey (1856 – 1928) was an American evangelist and pastor. In 1915 he founded the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles (later pastored by J. Vernon McGee). Torrey was the most famous editor of the 12-volume series, "The Fundamentals," a defense of Christianity against modernism. We'll be sharing some excerpts from his book, "How to Pray."

There is one more reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer, and it is a mighty one: BECAUSE OF WHAT PRAYER ACCOMPLISHES. Much has really been said upon that already, but there is much also that should be added.

Prayer promotes our spiritual growth as almost nothing else, indeed as nothing else but Bible study; and true prayer and true Bible study go hand in hand.

It is through prayer that my sin is brought to light, my most hidden sin. As I kneel before God and pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me,” (Psalm 139:23,24), God shoots the penetrating rays of His light into the innermost recesses of my heart, and the sins I never suspected are brought to view. In answer to prayer, God washes me from mine iniquity and cleanses me from my sin (Psalm 51:2). In answer to prayer my eyes are opened to behold wondrous things out of God’s Word (Psalm 119:18). In answer to prayer I get wisdom to know God’s way (James 1:5) and strength to walk in it. As I meet God in prayer and gaze into His face, I am changed into His own image from glory to glory ( 2 Corinthians 3:18). Each day of true prayer life finds me liker to my glorious Lord.

John Welch, son-in-law to John Knox, was one of the most faithful men of prayer this world ever saw. He counted that day ill-spent in which seven or eight hours were not used alone with God in prayer and the study of His Word. An old man speaking of him after his death said, “He was a type of Christ.”

How came he to be so like his Master?

His prayer life explains the mystery.

February 21: Torrey – Prayer brings Mercy!

R.A. Torrey
Reuben Archer Torrey (1856 – 1928) was an American evangelist and pastor. In 1915 he founded the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles (later pastored by J. Vernon McGee). Torrey was the most famous editor of the 12-volume series, "The Fundamentals," a defense of Christianity against modernism. We'll be sharing some excerpts from his book, "How to Pray."

The sixth reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IS THE MEANS THAT GOD HAS APPOINTED FOR OUR RECEIVING MERCY, AND OBTAINING GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.

Hebrews 4:16 is one of the simplest and sweetest verses in the Bible,—“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” These words make it very plain that God has appointed a way by which we shall seek and obtain mercy and grace. That way is prayer; bold, confident, outspoken approach to the throne of grace, the most holy place of God’s presence, where our sympathizing High Priest, Jesus Christ, has entered in our behalf. (Hebrews 4:14, 15.)

Mercy is what we need, grace is what we must have, or all our life and effort will end in complete failure. Prayer is the way to get them. There is infinite grace at our disposal, and we make it ours experimentally by prayer. Oh, if we only realized the fullness of God’s grace, that is ours for the asking, its height and depth and length and breadth, I am sure that we would spend more time in prayer. The measure of our appropriation of grace is determined by the measure of our prayers.

Who is there that does not feel that he needs more grace? Then ask for it. Be constant and persistent in your asking. Be importunate and untiring in your asking. God delights to have us “shameless” beggars in this direction; for it shows our faith in Him, and He is mightily pleased with faith. Because of our “shamelessness” He will rise and give us as much as we need (Luke 11:8). What little streams of mercy and grace most of us know, when we might know rivers overflowing their banks!

February 20: Torrey – Prayer & the Risen Lord!

R.A. Torrey
Reuben Archer Torrey (1856 – 1928) was an American evangelist and pastor. In 1915 he founded the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles (later pastored by J. Vernon McGee). Torrey was the most famous editor of the 12-volume series, "The Fundamentals," a defense of Christianity against modernism. We'll be sharing some excerpts from his book, "How to Pray."

5. There is another reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer that seems if possible even more forcible than this, namely, PRAYING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PRESENT MINISTRY OF OUR RISEN LORD.

Christ’s ministry did not close with His death. His atoning work was finished then, but when He rose and ascended to the right hand of the Father, He entered upon other work for us just as important in its place as His atoning work. It cannot be divorced from His atoning work; it rests upon that as its basis, but it is necessary to our complete salvation.

What that great present work is, by which He carries our salvation on to completeness, we read in Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM.” This verse tells us that Jesus is able to save us unto the uttermost, not merely FROM the uttermost, but UNTO the uttermost, unto entire completeness, absolute perfection, because He not merely died, but because He also “ever liveth.” The verse also tells us for what purpose He now lives, “TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR US,” to pray. Praying is the principal thing He is doing in these days. It is by His prayers that He is saving us.

The same thought is found in Paul’s remarkable, triumphant challenge in Romans 8:34—“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

If we then are to have fellowship with Jesus Christ in His present work, we must spend much time in prayer; we must give ourselves to earnest, constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer. I know of nothing that has so impressed me with a sense of the importance of praying at all seasons, being much and constantly in prayer, as the thought that that is the principal occupation at present of my risen Lord. I want to have fellowship with Him, and to that end I have asked the Father that whatever else He may make me, to make me at all events an intercessor, to make me a man who knows how to pray, and who spends much time in prayer.

This ministry of intercession is a glorious and a mighty ministry, and we can all have part in it. The man or the woman who is shut away from the public meeting by sickness can have part in it; the busy mother; the woman who has to take in washing for a living can have part—she can mingle prayers for the saints, and for her pastor, and for the unsaved, and for foreign missionaries, with the soap and water as she bends over the washtub, and not do the washing any more poorly on that account; the hard driven man of business can have part in it, praying as he hurries from duty to duty. But of course we must, if we would maintain this spirit of constant prayer, take time—and take plenty of it—when we shall shut ourselves up in the secret place alone with God for nothing but prayer.

February 19: Torrey – Prayer’s Importance to Jesus

R.A. Torrey
Reuben Archer Torrey (1856 – 1928) was an American evangelist and pastor. In 1915 he founded the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles (later pastored by J. Vernon McGee). Torrey was the most famous editor of the 12-volume series, "The Fundamentals," a defense of Christianity against modernism. We'll be sharing some excerpts from his book, "How to Pray."

4. But there is a still weightier reason for this constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer. It is, PRAYER OCCUPIED A VERY PROMINENT PLACE AND PLAYED A VERY IMPORTANT PART IN THE EARTHLY LIFE OF OUR LORD.

Turn, for example, to Mark 1:35. We read, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” The preceding day had been a very busy and exciting one, but Jesus shortened the hours of needed sleep that He might arise early and give Himself to more sorely needed prayer.

Turn again to Luke 6:12, where we read, “And it came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Our Savior found it necessary on occasion to take a whole night for prayer.

The words “pray” and “prayer” are used at least twenty-five times in connection with our Lord in the brief record of His life in the four Gospels, and His praying is mentioned in places where the words are not used. Evidently prayer took much of the time and strength of Jesus, and a man or woman who does not spend much time in prayer, cannot properly be called a follower of Jesus Christ.

February 18: Torrey – Prayer’s importance for the Apostles

Reuben Archer Torrey (1856 – 1928) was an American evangelist and pastor. In 1915 he founded the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles (later pastored by J. Vernon McGee). Torrey was the most famous editor of the 12-volume series, "The Fundamentals," a defense of Christianity against modernism. We'll be sharing some excerpts from his book, "How to Pray."

3. The third reason for this constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that THOSE MEN WHOM GOD SET FORTH AS A PATTERN OF WHAT HE EXPECTED CHRISTIANS TO BE—THE APOSTLES—REGARDED PRAYER AS THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS OF THEIR LIVES.

When the multiplying responsibilities of the early church crowded in upon them, they “called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But WE WILL GIVE OURSELVES CONTINUALLY TO PRAYER and to the ministry of the Word.” It is evident from what Paul wrote to the churches and to individuals about praying for them, that very much of his time and strength and thought was given to prayer. (Rom. 1:9Ephesians 1:15,16Colossians 1:91 Thessalonians 3:102 Tim. 1:3)

All the mighty men of God outside the Bible have been men of prayer. They have differed from one another in many things, but in this they have been alike.

February 17: Torrey: Why Pray? Power!

Reuben Archer Torrey (1856 – 1928) was an American evangelist and pastor. In 1915 he founded the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles (later pastored by J. Vernon McGee). Torrey was the most famous editor of the 12-volume series, "The Fundamentals," a defense of Christianity against modernism. We'll be sharing some excerpts from his book, "How to Pray."

2. A second reason for this constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IS GOD’S APPOINTED WAY FOR OBTAINING THINGS, AND THE GREAT SECRET OF ALL LACK IN OUR EXPERIENCE, IN OUR LIFE AND IN OUR WORK IS NEGLECT OF PRAYER.

James brings this out very forcibly in the 4th chapter and 2nd verse of his epistle: “Ye have not because ye ask not.” These words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian—neglect of prayer.

“Why is it,” many a Christian is asking, “I make so little progress in my Christian life?”

“Neglect of prayer,” God answers. “You have not because you ask not.”

“Why is it,” many a minister is asking, “I see so little fruit from my labors?”

Again God answers, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”

“Why is it,” many a Sunday-School teacher is asking, “that I see so few converted in my Sunday-School class?”

Still God answers, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”

“Why is it,” both ministers and churches are asking, “that the church of Christ makes so little headway against unbelief and error and sin and worldliness?”

Once more we hear God answering, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQkRI_NqtkQ