June 10: Daniel W. Whittle on Prayer

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel W. Whittle is the author of many hymns that we know and love:

A contemporary of D.L. Moody, he also published a book in 1885, The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer, available FREE from Google Books. From the introduction to his book:

To recognize God’s existence is to necessitate prayer to Him, by all intelligent creatures… It would be horrible to admit the existence of a Supreme Being, with power and wisdom to create, and believe that the creatures he thought of consequence and importance enough to bring into existence, are not of enough consequence for him to pay any attention to in the troubles and trials consequent upon that existence.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, saying, “Our Father which art in Heaven.” As Christians, this is our authority for prayer. In the words, “Our Father,” our Blessed Lord has given us the substance of all that can be said, as to the privilege of prayer, what to pray for, and how to pray. There can be no loftier exercise of soul ever given to created intelligence than to come into conscious contact with the living God, and be able to say “My Father.”

And surely, as my Father, with a loving father’s heart, it must be his desire that I should tell him all my needs, all my sorrows, all my desires. And, so his word commands, “Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6) Under this verse there is positively no exception of any request that may not be made known unto God. So there is true faith and right Christian philosophy in the remark, “if a pin was needful ot my happiness and I could not find one I would pray to God for it.”

The mistake of Christians is in not praying over little things. “The hairs of your head are all numbered.” Consult God about everything. Expect His counsel His guidance, His care, His provision, His deliverance, His blessing, in everything. Does not the expression, “Our daily bread,” mean just this? Can there be any true life of faith that does not include this? Whatever will serve to help God’s children to a better understanding of the blessed privileges of prayer, and prove to them the reality of God’s answering prayer in the cares, trials, and troubles of daily life, will approve itself to all thoughtful minds as a blessing to them and an honor to God.

June 9: Lancelot Andrewes on the Lord’s Prayer

Lancelot Andrewes
Lancelot Andrewes

Lancelot Andrewes was leader of one of the companies that translated the King James Bible. Here’s some insights from him on prayer:

Hallowed be Thy Name

This is the first of the seven petitions, and it is the only one that is concerned with God. Hence before seeking our own and our brethren’s needs, we pray that God’s name will be sanctified as He alone is holy, and the Saviour. As we ponder on the holiness of God there should come to us other manifestations of holiness such as His day, the Church, His undershepherds, His ordinances, creation and our fellow brothers and sisters.

sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.  This petition also reminds us that we must not curse the Holy name, and that we must pray for those who do. We must also not give any glory to ourselves but only to God as everything we have comes from Him. When we reverence God’s name it also helps us to fight the sin of pride, so much rooted in us. Above all the petition tells us of our true vocation:

If while we remain on earth our whole desire be to sanctify God’s name, we shall at length come to the place where we shall say and might sing as the Cherubims do, and with the heavenly host of Angels sing, ‘Glory to God on high;’ we shall fall down before His throne, saying always, ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour and praise for ever.’

June 8: Lancelot Andrewes Prayer of Confession

Lancelot Andrewes
Lancelot Andrewes

We’ve been observing some lessons on prayer from Lancelot Andrewes, one of the company captains that translated the King James Bible.

Perhaps you’ve heard people say that we don’t take sin as serious today as we used to take sin. Here’s a prayer of confession from Lancelot Andrewes’ private prayer journal (notice the references to Scripture!)

Lord,
as we add day to day, so sin to sin. 
The just falleth seven times a day; and I, an exceeding sinner, 
seventy times seven; a wonderful, a horrible thing, O Lord. 
But I turn with groans from my evil ways, 
and I return into my heart, and with all my heart I turn to Thee,
O God of penitents and Saviour of sinners; 
and evening by evening I will return 
in the innermost marrow of my soul;
and my soul out of the deep crieth unto Thee. 
I have sinned, O Lord, against Thee, 
heavily against Thee; alas, alas, woe is me! 
for my misery. I repent, O me! 
I repent, spare me, O Lord, I repent, O me, I repent,
help Thou my impenitence. 
Be appeased, spare me, O Lord; 
be appeased, have mercy on me ; 
I said, Lord, have mercy upon me, 
heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee. 
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, after Thy great goodness, 
according to the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences. 
Remit the guilt, heal the wound, blot out the stains, 
clear away the shame, rescue from the tyranny, 
and make me not a public example. 
O bring Thou me out of my trouble, cleanse Thou me from secret faults,
keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins.
My wanderings of mind and idle talking lay not to my charge.
Remove the dark and muddy flood of foul and wicked thoughts.
O Lord, I have destroyed myself; 
whatever I have done amiss, pardon mercifully.
Deal not with us after our sins, 
neither reward us after our iniquities. 
Look mercifully upon our infirmities; 
and for the glory of Thy All-holy Name, 
turn from us all those ills and miseries, 
which by our sins, and by us through them,
are most righteously and worthily deserved

June 7: Prayer Advice from Lancelot Andrewes

Lancelot Andrewes was one of the most learned men of his time, and was appointed to lead one of the translation teams of the King James Bible. Here is some of his advice on prayer:

When thou awakest in the morning, shut and close up the entrance to thy heart, from all unclean, profane, and evil thoughts, and let the consideration of God and goodness enter in.

When thou art arisen and art ready, return thyself to thy closet, or other private place, and offer to God, the first fruits of the day, and in praying to him and praising him, remember,

1.      To give him thanks, for thy quiet rest received, for delivering thee from all dangers, ghostly and bodily, and for all other his benefits to thee

2.      Offer unto him thyself, and all things that thou dost possess, and desire him to dispose of thee and them, according to his good pleasure.

3.      Crave his grace to guide thee, and to strengthen thee from, and against all temptations, that so thou mayest do nothing the day following contrary to his will.

4.      And lastly, beg of him, (according to how we should pray) all things needful for the soul and body.

From his private prayer journal:

Glory be to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.

Glory to Thee who hast given me sleep

to recruit my weakness,

and to remit the labours of this toil-worn flesh.

https://books.google.com/books?id=-vECAAAAQAAJ&dq=lancelot%20andrewes&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q=glory%20be&f=false

June 6: Prayer Warriors – Lancelot Andrewes

Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) was an Anglican bishop who was appointed to lead the translation of the English Authorized (King James) Bible. While he was known for his work on the Bible, it was an overflow of his prayer life.

He was a gifted child, who began studying at 4 AM! He loved studying Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He enrolled in Cambridge, where he earned several degrees, and became a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth. He was considered to be the secondmost learned churchman of his day, next to Archbishop James Ussher (of the Ussher’s Chronologies).

As the Reformation came to England, the Anglican church was split between the Catholics and the Puritans. Andrewes was instrumental in guiding the church to a theology based on Scripture.

After preaching the funeral sermon for Queen Elizabeth, he continued in service to the next royal, King James.

King James appointed him to lead the Westminster company of scholars, entrusted with the translation of Genesis thru II Kings.

But his effectiveness was powered by his prayer life. In fact, he had a prayer that he opened his prayer time with!

O Almighty and everliving God, Heavenly Father to whom it is manifestly known, how inconstant, and wandring, the minds of men are, in any good actions; and how easily we suffer ourselves to be carried away, from the contemplation of thee, by diversity of distractions, and unreasonable thoughts, which take hold of us, in the time of our Devotions and Prayers unto thee; who also, by thine only begotten Son Christ Jesus, didst prescribe unto his Disciples a form of prayer to be offered up to thee, and hast derived the same from them to us. Behold me, most wretched Sinner, wholly depraved and corrupt, intreating thee by the same Son, that for his sake thou wouldest infuse thy Holy Spirit into me, which may adopt me into the number of thine Elect: that it may teach me how I ought to pray, according to thy Holy Will: that it may allay all troublesome and wandring thoughts in me, while I offer up my prayers and priases unto thee: Suffer me not to serve thee with my Lips, and be absent in Heart from thee: but create a right Spirit within me, that I being sensible of all thy graves, and comforts, may with joyful and holy zeal, perform my duty to thee: that so, my prayers and desires may appear before thee, and in thy Son’s Name, I may effectually be heard, and my petitions may be granted to the glory and honour of thy most holy Name, and the endless comfort of mine own Soul, through the same our only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Holy Devotions

Today as you pray to the Lord, perhaps take some time before you pray, to ask for help preparing your heart for prayer!

June 5: Praying 15 minutes a day – Yield!

We’re continuing to glean some highlights from Evangelist Steve Pettit’s free booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day, based on an easy-to-remember acrostic:

So much of prayer is pursuing the will of God. If God has a purpose, He must have a plan. That truth should be foremost in our minds, so when we pray, we’re not trying to get our will done in heaven but God’s will done on earth. Jesus said to pray in the following way: “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9– 10). We need to direct our prayers toward God’s will. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14). Jesus declared, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matt. 7:7).

God expects us to pursue Him, and He reveals His will to those who are looking for it. Consequently, a great deal of prayer is yielding to God’s sovereign plan for our lives. We must be willing to yield at least two areas of our lives to God through prayer.

We Yield to God When We Don’t Know What to Do

A seventeen-year-old young man is about to graduate from high school. What will he do next year? His decision will affect 32 the direction of his entire life. He must pursue and seek God’s direction and will. A few years later, the same fellow wants to get married. Next to getting saved, marriage is the most important decision of your life. You’ll live with Jesus for eternity, but you’ll live with your spouse for the rest of your life. So what must he do? He seeks God’s direction to find His will in marriage. We have to yield to God to find out what to do. This truth is particularly true when we face struggles and burdens. We have a desperate need for relief, yet we can’t just give up and quit.

Continue to read this chapter in the free booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day!

June 4: Praying 15 Minutes a day – Ask!

We’re continuing to glean some highlights from Evangelist Steve Pettit’s free booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day:

Learning to play the guitar can be a lot of fun. One of the first things you learn is how to finger three chords—G, C, and D. These are fundamental chords. After learning these chords, you can experience hours of music enjoyment. Are you struggling with prayer because you’ve never learned the basics of making requests to God? Matthew 21:22 establishes the three foundational chords of prayer.

Chord #1—Pray with Desire

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer” (Matt. 21:22). The word ask means to crave or desire something. You’re asking for something, which presupposes a desire. Never underestimate the importance of your desires when you pray. “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of 23 him” (1 John 5:14–15). “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Ps. 37:4).

Continue to read this chapter in the free booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day!

June 3: Praying 15 minutes a day: Repent!

We’re on day 2 of highlighting Evangelist Steve Pettit’s free booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day. He uses the acrostic PRAY: Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield as a way to help believers learn how to pray.

Of the seven local churches to whom the apostle John wrote in the book of Revelation, five he condemned and called to repentance because they had committed sins that grieved God and quenched the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, the two churches commended by the Lord were either persecuted or poor—descriptions that are certainly not distinguishing characteristics of most American churches today.

What is the real struggle among God’s people today? I believe it’s our failure to deal thoroughly with sin. The fundamental problem is not lack of evangelism (though we need more of that), but lack of holy living. Christians need spiritual revival, which is always preceded by repentance. David wrote in Psalm 51:9–10, “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Neglect of confession leads to broken fellowship with God, eventual chastisement, and the possibility of a ruined testimony or a loss of one’s life. If bills are not paid immediately, the interest may kill you! Don’t let your sin account go unconfessed. How do we confess sin?

Forgive as Often as You Want to Be Forgiven!

This is continued in his free booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day.

June 2: Struggling with the Hour of Prayer? Start with 15 min

We’ve been looking at the Hour of Prayer as a way to pray intently – realizing our focus is God. We’ll return to the hour of prayer, but before we do – instead of encouraging, the concept of an hour of prayer may be discouraging. Often times we get discouraged because while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

Our Father wants to hear from us – while He would love to spend an hour with us, 15 minutes is better than nothing, and is a great way to begin building your prayer time.

Evangelist Steve Pettit has put together a book available for free download, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day.

He uses a simple to remember acrostic, PRAY:

  • Praise
  • Repent
  • Ask
  • Yield

Let’s look at what he says about prayer:

Praise is a commandment. Psalm 150:6 says, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” Of all commandments in the Bible, the one most frequently mentioned is to praise the Lord. Psalm 100:4 commands us to “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.” If you are not habitually praising God, you are living in disobedience.

Praise is also one of the ways you can offer sacrifices to God. In Old Testament days, the priesthood was comprised of males from Israel’s tribe of Levi. Their responsibilities revolved around the temple and its worship structure. While most of the men of Israel were busy farming the land, the Levites studied in preparation for their service in the temple of God. A considerable part of their education was learning how to make offerings to God. The first nine chapters of Leviticus deal with the various types of offerings: burnt, meal, peace, sin, and trespass.

The New Testament lists three spiritual sacrifices….Third is the sacrifice of one’s mouth. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Heb. 13:15). Prayer is one of the means by which we offer this sacrifice unto God.

Steve Pettit, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day

Read more in the free e-booklet, How to Pray 15 Minutes a Day.

June 1: Effective Praying: Take Every Opportunity

For the next seven days we’ll look at some prayer thoughts from John Fallahee. John has appeared on Crosstalk and WVCY-TV30 with Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel. He’s the author of a new book, Reflect the Glory of God in Prayer, and has graciously allowed us to share some excerpts from his new book:

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Do you remember the first time you read this command? As a new believer, encountering this truth, I thought to myself, “How in the world is that even possible? Sure, Jesus and Paul could pray unceasingly, but I am a mere babe in Christ.” But in reading the Scriptures and talking to knowledgeable believers, it became clearer that there is a multitude of ways to pray. There is a formal prayer where you set aside time to pray in your “prayer closet”; there are prayers at meals, prayers at church and in Bible study with other believers. But then I discovered that sharing your thoughts iwth God throughout the day can be a type of praying as well. My prayer life was revolutionized.

At any moment, you and I can pray to God the Father on His throne, through God the Son, Jesus Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the only mediator between God and men, and as the only High Priest to God, is the only person who can hear and pass prayers directly to God the Father. God the Spirit or Holy Spirit, who permanently lives in true believers, assists us in our weakness because we do not always know how to pray as we should. The whole Trinity is involved in prayer! May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer! (Psalm 19:14).

Read the rest of this chapter in Reflect the Glory of God in Prayer.