“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).