“Prayer might be called the very breath of spiritual life. Where saving grace is in exercise there will be prayer. Where there is no prayer, saving grace is absent.” “When we have tasted something of the breadth and length and depth and height of the love that passeth knowledge there is a corresponding enlargement of heart and of mind, there is and establishing of confidence and and communion, there is an exploring of the riches of the covenant of grace and of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that constrains to enlarging, ever-widening, ever-rising prayer and praise. Make every experience of his mercy the reason and ground for increased more abundant prayer.” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 3, pages 168 & 171)
“It is a wonderful blessing to know that our prayers are ‘acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (I Peter 2:5). But that is not all. God also assures us that we can have the Holy Spirit’s help in our prayers, especially when we least know what to say (Rom. 8:26). This gives us tremendous confidence. It helps us to see ‘that if we ask anything according to his will he will hear us’ (I John 5:14). (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, p. 280)
Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.
This evening’s Bible study concludes a lengthy series on prayer. We have recently focused on the Lord’s Prayer.
Looking at 1 Chronicles 29:11 we see that God is eternally God. Kingdom, power, and glory belong to God eternally. He is unchanging, and thus able to hear and answer your prayer. Do not neglect to praise God for who he is. God can and will hear you, for he is your God in Jesus Christ. The kingdom, power, and glory are his forever and ever. Amen.
“This clause . . . teach[es] us, that our prayers, which are here dictated to us, are founded on God alone, that we may not rely on our own merits.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospels).
Salvation cannot be bought. Forgiveness is gracious, unearned. You cannot bargain with God for it. Forgiveness begins with God, not with you.
Yet, God works in you, and as he forgives, he changes you. Salvation is all of God, yet there is no salvation without trust in God. You are to work our your own salvation because God works in you both to will and to do, Philippians 2:12,13. Just as Hebrews has strong warning passages, not to deny the perseverance of the saints, but rather to encourage them in perseverance, so your forgiving is part of your covenantal life before God. Thus, in this prayer, God forgives as you do. There is an inseparable connection between God forgiving you and your forgiving your brothers, Matthew 18:35.
“The purpose and meaning of the gospel is unmistakable. Again and again it represents the relation of man to God as that of a debtor to his creditor. . . . Sin places man in the position of one who must pay, give satisfaction.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 214).
(Continuing our study of the Lord’s Prayer this evening at Trinity Presbyterian Church.)
Do you bow your head and pray before a meal? That is an excellent habit–though it sometimes becomes a mere habit. What does it mean to ask God for daily bread? We are looking at that part of the Lord’s Prayer this evening at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
“[I]n its present context it [the petition, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’] can unmistakably be understood only from the new relation to God given with Christ’s coming. Just like the exhortation not ‘to take thought,’ it is as Christologically determined as the petition for the remission of sins. In both cases the basis of the petition and its answer is found in God’s fatherhood as realized in the coming of Christ. (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 268).
“This petition does not merely express agreement with God’s decree or resignation to his will, but rather the longing that what God requires from man may be done on earth as it is in heaven. At present God’s will as expressed in his commandments is not being done on account of all that opposes God on earth. Both redemption and ethics are implied in this ‘will of God.’” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 247).
“The kingdom-idea is the clearest expression of the principle that . . . everything is subservient to the glory of God. In this respect the kingdom is the most profoundly religious of all biblical conceptions.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Kingdom of God and the Church, p.102).
In this evening’s Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church we continue to look at the Lord’s Prayer. (On the small book from which the quote comes, see Advice from Ned B. Stonehouse.)
“By the ‘name’ of God we mean all those attributes under which He is revealed to us, — His power, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth. By asking that they may be ‘hallowed,’ we mean that they may be made known and glorified. The glory of God is the first thing that God’s children should desire. It is the object of one of our Lord’s own prayers: ‘Father, glorify they name.’ (John xii, 28) It is the purpose for which the world was created. It is the end for which the saints are called and converted. It is the chief thing we should seek, that ‘God in all things may be glorified.’ ( I Peter iv. 11).” (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, at Matthew 6:9).
Ryle might have added, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 1).
“When you come to God, says our Lord, in effect, even though you may be in desperate conditions and circumstances, it may be with some great concern on your mind and in your heart; even then, He says, stop for a moment and just recollect and realize this, that your greatest desire of all should be that this wonderful God, who has become your Father in and through Me, should be honoured, should be worshipped, should be magnified amongst the people ‘Hallowed be thy name.'” (Martin Lloyd Jones, The Sermon on the Mount, Vol. 2, p. 61).
(For tonight’s study on the Lord’s Prayer at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.)