July 29, 2018

Prayer: A Holy Occupation


This little book of quotes from Oswald Chambers on prayer was beautiful. It focused on the truth of what prayer really is... "Prayer is getting into perfect communion with God: I tell Him what I know He knows in order that I may get to know it as He does."

Prayer is a gift for us to get to know God's perfect will.

This book is divided into 18 chapters. I thought I'd share a quote or quotes from each here, along side some Scripture.

Hope it encourages you to pray!

 
 BOLDNESS

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

"In prayer have we learned the wonderful power of that phrase 'boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus?' It means that we can talk to God as Jesus Christ did, but only through the right of His Atonement. We must never allow the idea that because we have been obedient, because our need is great, because we long for it, therefore God will hear us. There is only one way into the holiest, and that is by the blood of Jesus."

"It is because our Lord Jesus Christ went through the depths of agony to the last ebb in the Garden of Gethsemane, because He went through Calvary, that we can boldly enter the holy place."


CHILDLIKENESS

"Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4

"By what right do we become 'a royal priesthood?' By the right of the Atonement. Are we prepared to leave ourselves resolutely alone and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual grubbing on the inside to see whether we are what we ought to be generates a self-centered, morbid type of Christianity, not the robust, simple life of the child of God." 

"The nearer Abraham came to God in his intercession the more he recognized his entire unworthiness: 'Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord.' Genuine unworthiness is never shy before God any more than a child is shy before his mother. a child of God is conscious only of his entire dependence upon God." 


COMMUNION

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." 2 Corinthians 13:14

"Our prayers should be in accordance with the nature of God, therefore the answers are not in accordance with our nature but with His. We are apt to forget this and to say without thinking that God does not answer prayer; but He always answers prayer, and when we are in close communion with Him we know that we have not been misled."


CONCENTRATION

"My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD,
and you will gain knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:1-5


"The majority of us are unable to fix our thoughts in prayer. We lie all abroad before God and do not rouse ourselves up to lay hold of Him, consequently we have wandering thoughts continually. God will not bring every thought and imagination into captivity; we have to do it, and that is the test of spiritual concentration."


DESIRE

"Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
 

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26


"The point of asking is that you may get to know God better. 'Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.' Keep praying in order to get a perfect understanding of God Himself." 


DISCIPLINE

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

"If we are struggling in prayer it is because the wiles of the Enemy are getting the upper hand and we must look for the cause of it in the lack of discipline in ourselves."

"We talk about the difficulty of living a holy life; yet we have the absolute simple ease provided by Almighty God for living a holy life because He paid so much to make it possible. Beware of placing the emphasis on what prayer costs us; it cost God everything to make it possible for us to pray."


FAITH

"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

"Do I expect God to answer prayer? The first thing that will stagger faith in God is the false sentiment arising out of a sympathetic apprehension of the difficulties. Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made earnestly of the church unto God for him: the church prayed, and God did the impossible thing, and Peter was delivered. We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."

"If our Father knows what we need before we ask, why ask? The point of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God. If we pray because we want answers, we will get huffed with God. The answers, come every time, but not always in the way we expect, and our spiritual huff shows a refusal to identify ourselves with our Lord in prayer."


HONESTY

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24


"If we have not caught the meaning of the tremendous moral aspect of the Atonement it is because we have never prayed this prayer, 'Search me, O God.' Are we sincere enough to ask God to search us, and sincere enough to abide by what His searching reveals?" 


INTIMACY

"...though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:8-9


"Think of the unfathomable bliss of the revelation that we shall perceive our Father solving our problems, and shall understand Him; it is the reward of the joyous time of prayer. In all the temptations that contend in our hearts, and amid the things that meet us in the providence of God which seem to involve a contradiction of His fatherhood, the secret place convinces us that He is our Father and that He is righteousness and love, and we remain not only unshaken but we receive our reward with an intimacy that is unspeakable and full of glory."


OBEDIENCE

"Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him." Psalm 128:1

"The reason for intercession is not that God answers prayer, but that God tells us to pray."

"'As you, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us.' Prayer is not getting things from God. That is a most initial stage; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God: I tell Him what I know He knows in order that I may get to know it as He does."

 "Don't put prayer and obedience in the place of the Cross of Christ - 'Because I have obeyed, Christ will do this or that.' He won't. The only way we are saved and sanctified is by the free grace of God." 


PATIENCE

"Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ." 2 Thessalonians 3:5 

"Pray because you have a Father, not because it quietens you, and give Him time to answer."

"'Men always ought to pray, and not lose heart.' Jesus also taught the disciples the prayer of patience. If you are right with God and God delays the answer to you prayer, don't misjudge Him. Don't think of Him as an unkind friend, or an unnatural father, or an unjust judge, but keep at it. Your prayer will certainly be answered, for 'everyone who asks receives.' Pray and do not cave in. Your heavenly Father will explain it all one day. He cannot just yet because He is developing your character."


POWER

"And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

"Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint, and the lasting remembrance of our lives is of the Lord, not of us."

"Oh Lord, to You do I come that I might find grace to praise and worship You aright. Lord, shine the light of Your face on us; send power and majestic grace. O Lord, how good it is for me to know You; how essentially necessary it is for me to draw nigh to You. How can I falter when You are my Life!"


PURPOSE

"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers." 1 Peter 4:7

"Intercessory prayer is part of the sovereign purpose of God. If there were no saints praying for us, our lives would be infinitely worse than they are; consequently the responsibility of those who never intercede and who are withholding blessing from our lives is truly appalling. The subject of intercessory prayer is weakened by the neglect of the idea with which we ought to start. We take for granted that prayer is preparation for work, whereas prayer is the work; and we scarcely believe what the Bible reveals - that God's chosen way of working is through intercessory prayer. We lean unto our own understanding or we bank on service and do away with prayer. Consequently, by succeeding in the external we fail in the eternal, because in the eternal we succeed only by prevailing prayer."


SILENCE

"But the LORD is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20


"Watch God's ways in your life, you will find He is developing you as He does the trees and the flowers, a deep silent working of the God of creation."

"After the silence of God, if we are spiritual and can interpret His silence, we always get the trust in God that knows prayers are answered every time, not some times. The manifestation of the answer in place and time is a mere matter of God's sovereignty."


SIMPLICITY

"For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you." 2 Corinthians 1:12

"We have to live depending on Jesus Christ's wisdom, not on our own. He is the Master, and the problem is His, not ours. We have to use the key He gives us, the key of prayer. Our Lord puts the key into our hands, and we have to learn to pray under His direction. That is the simplicity which He says His Father will bless."


WONDER

"...And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6


"Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man's disposition. When you pray, things remain the same, but you begin to be different."


WORK

"Then they said to Him, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

"So many of us put prayer and work and consecration in place of the working of God; we make ourselves the workers. God is the Worker, we work out what He works in. Spirituality is what God is after, not religiosity."

"The 'GREATER works' are done by prayer because prayer is the exercise of the essential character of the life of God in us."


WORSHIP

"Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker." Psalm 95:6


"Prayer is the instrument of the life of worship, it is not worship itself."

"The tendency nowadays is to worship prayer, stress is put on nights of prayer and the difficulty and cost of prayer. It is not prayer that is strenuous, but the overcoming of our own laziness. If we make the basis of prayer our effort and agony and nights of prayer, we mistake the basis of prayer. The basis of prayer is not what it costs us, but what it costs God to enable us to pray."


I often find Oswald Chambers words to have a way of convicting the heart, while at the same time, expressing the love of God. And I love this. : )

I highly recommend this one to those who desire to think rightly about prayer and grow in their relationship with God through prayer.



Buy it HERE on Amazon



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