Bending Low in Prayer

Those who are intimately acquainted with spiritual realities, know that just as there are seasons in the natural world, so there are seasons of the soul. As I write this, here on the North American continent, autumn has officially begun. Even now as I glance up from my keyboard, I can look out my study window and see the early morning sun highlighting varying shades of greens and yellows on the poplars in our back yard. Fall is here; nature is once again entering her cycle of decay, dormancy, and death. While there are inevitable natural cycles of the soul—seasons … Continue reading “Bending Low in Prayer”

Mighty in Faith

And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4 George Müller (1805-1898) was great in faith and prayer, trusting God alone to supply the needs of orphans under his care. His biographer Roger Steer tells the following story about how God faithfully heard the prayers and honored his believing servant. Early one morning Abigail was playing in Müller’s garden on Ashley Down when he took her by the hand. “Come see what our Father will do.” He led her into a long dining-room. “The plates and cups or bowls were on the table. There was nothing on the … Continue reading “Mighty in Faith”

Learning from the Master

“Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1 Years ago I was privileged to develop a relationship with a veteran preacher and Bible scholar who later became a mentor to me in many ways. We first met while serving together on a Bible college faculty. Some years later, when he was serving on a local church board, he contacted me to inquire whether I would consider becoming the church’s pastor, which I later did. When it came to preaching on the major themes of Scripture, there was no one I enjoyed listening to more than S. I. Emery (1895-1977). He would … Continue reading “Learning from the Master”

Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 4)

We now come to Paul’s final words in his passionate pleas for these Ephesian believers. In verses 16-19, the apostle asks God to grant these first century believers a mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit. He prays that this Spirit-enduement would result in Christ abiding in their hearts by faith and establishing them in love. Paul expresses in his prayer an intense desire for these sincere followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to become experientially acquainted with Christ’s very own love, in order that they be “filled up to all the fullness of God.” What a prayer! and what … Continue reading “Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 4)”

Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 3)

Writing a century and a half ago, the saintly Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, wrote: “What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more.”1 Writing almost two millennia ago, a praying apostle was on his knees interceding for a group of followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul’s intense, comprehensive prayer burden for these weak believers was: that they would receive a powerful inner strengthening of the Spirit; that this strengthening would result in Christ Himself making their hearts His home; that such a definitive strengthening would establish these believers in divine love … Continue reading “Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 3)”

Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 2)

As we continue our study of Ephesians 3:14-21, we see that one of the great needs for those who have trusted in Christ is to become established in Christ. This is the apostle’s intense and constant prayer burden for his converts. He frames his intercession in these words: “that He would grant you . . . to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, . . .”1 Believers cannot be established in Christ apart from the inner … Continue reading “Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 2)”

Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 1)

What a person’s prayers consist of is a pretty good indication as to what one considers to be important to God and to us. With this in view, J. I. Packer writes, “I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face.”1 In addressing the great need in the Church for a deeper knowledge of God, evangelical scholar D. A. Carson laments: “When it comes to knowing God, we are a culture of the spiritually stunted. . … Continue reading “Praying for Power & Fullness (Part 1)”