January 30, 2010

Order and Argument in Prayer

In the third chapter of his book The Power in Prayer, Charles Spurgeon explains two aspects of prayer which seem to me to be lacking in many Christians' prayer life, including my own. He suggests first that we, as Christians should order ourselves before prayer and secondly, that we should have proper arguments for our cause.

Order in Prayer

First and foremost, when we approach God we must realize that we are coming before an infinitely holy, powerful, and just King of all Creation. By all rights, we should never be permitted to come before God at all. It is only by sheer grace that God would allow us to come before Him. It is only because He has taken us (wretched, arrogant, sinners dead to all that is holy) and made us alive through the blood of His perfect Son.

This is the very same God who made the universe with the breath of His mouth and holds in being at all times. He ordains the sun to rise and fall and rains to fall. This is the God whom we approach when we pray.

Because of this, we need to prepare our hearts -to humble ourselves and consider just how unworthy we are and, more importantly, how merciful God is in letting us come before Him. And not only does God allow us to come before Him, but He invites us to approach the throne of grace confidently (Hebrews 4:16) and with the expectation that our prayers will be heard. With this in mind, we prepare our hearts before God -reverent of His great power, and gratefully awed by His grace.

Arguments in Prayer

Once our hearts are in order, we then may approach God with arguments, not against God, but for what we are presenting before Him in prayer. Argument must not be mistaken for complaints, for complaints are made unaware of the true nature of God and not out of a grateful and trusting heart. In particular, he outlines six arguments in prayer that one can use:

1. God's Attributes: We must use what we know about God to be true from Scripture. We know that God is just and merciful. If you cannot lay hold on God's justice rightly, lay hold on his mercy. We also know that God is faithful and holy and that He will do what is right in all circumstances. It is with who God is that we begin to for our arguments.

2. God's Promises: Whether it's Romans 8:28 or Philippians 4:19, the Bible is filled with the promises of what God will do for His children. What God has said He will never go back on.

3. The Great Name of God: God will not be dishonored for long. He will always vindicate His name. We can trust that if what we ask is for God's glory then it is a worthy argument to bring before Him.

4. The Sufferings of His People: "Nothing is more eloquent with a father than his child's cry. Yes, there is one thing more mighty still, and that is a moan -when the child is so sick that he is past crying a lies moaning with the kind of moan that indicates extreme suffering and immense weakness. Who can resist that moan? Ah, and when God's Israel will be brought very low so that they can scarcely cry but only their moans are heard, then comes the Lord's time of deliverance, and He is sure to show that He loves His people."

5. The Past: If God has begun a work, He will complete it. He is faithful to us and will not grow weary or tired of what He has set out to do. God is unchanging and will do in the future what He has done in the past.

6. The Sufferings of Christ: God will not deny His own Son's name. "When you plead the name of Christ, you plead that which shakes the gates of hell and that which the hosts of heaven obey, and God Himself feels the sacred power of that divine plea."




© 2009Mind in Renewal | by TNB