Hello beloved, I have another Spurgeon book to review for today! We can never read too many books from the Prince of Preachers can we?
A while back our brother in Christ, Pastor Jim reviewed this book. I’m in a season, and have been for several months, of learning the whys, when’s, where’s, and how’s of praying. Previous to this book, and one other resource I’ll recommend at the end, I had been praying for help understanding prayer. God is a gracious God, He answers even the weakest believers prayer.
After being saved prayer flowed out of me like an uncontrollable force. As I grow in faith my hearts greatest desire is obedience to God, to love Him with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. This book, The Secret Power in Prayer, has been extremely enlightening. Throughout the book, based on a sermon, Spurgeon uses John 15:7 to explain the power of prayer in the believers life. With this verse he shows that when Gods Word abides in us our will lines up with Gods will. I recommend this book to all believers, young and old. Kayliegh is reading it, she is 7, and she’s enjoying it as much as I have.
As a Christian, aware of Gods sovereignty, I would never want to be outside of Gods will, much less pray to Him about something outside of His will. But then…why pray at all? It’s His will be done, right? Beloved brethren, I couldn’t stop praying even if I wanted to. However, I still want to understand what God’s sovereign purpose in prayer is. Below is a lecture series that was such a tremendous blessing to me, in regards to prayer. As always, dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Beloved brethren, I will freely confess to you that I’ve been struggling. I have these beautiful moments where God has given strength for prayer and it flows from my spirit as deep cries out to deep. It’s not always the case, and at times I struggle to focus or stay awake. This week has been a struggle.
I’ve written before on the importance of study and prayer. Prayer is one of the most gracious gifts God has given His people. We have the opportunity to come before His thrown, knowing He hears us. There’s not a single president, prime minister, king or prince on this earth we could say the same of. The King of kings, Lord of lords, hears a wretch like me? And what do I do? Fall asleep? It’s been discouraging to say the least.
Last night, and this morning, I went before His thrown feeling more like a lost cause then a saved sinner. God, in His kindness, answered the unspoken prayer of my heart. I don’t usually listen to preaching early in the morning, today I did. How beautiful are the feet of the one bringing good news? Below is the sermon which brought hope, instruction, and rebuke. I hope you’ll pray for me, brethren, as I pray for you. I am daily encouraged and edified by your posts.
As always, dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
While I write this the smoke and ash, from the fires in Montana, have made their way to North Dakota. Cars here have a light dusting of soot, and the visibility is poor. It’s supposed to be a sunny day, but it looks cloudy with the thick smokey haze. Hundreds of thousands of acres have been burned, homes have been lost, crops have been ruined. We’ve been focusing on Texas and Florida, and rightly so, but let us not forget the states that are on fire.
There’s much need for us, brethren, to be on our knees praying. Let us pray for or brothers and sister effected by fires, hurricanes, or floods. Let us pray for the lost that they will turn towards the One who saves. And as always, beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I’m going to take a break for a few weeks from our usual Wednesday testimony to encourage the brethren in a different way. Here recently I stumbled into a conflict within the church that was being handled very poorly by some. As a young believer I was greatly discouraged to see men, old enough to know better, treating elders in the church shamefully, and on social media, for all to see. It sent me where discouragement always sends me, to prayer and study.
God once again encouraged me through His Word, and in my times of praying for these men, I was reminded that they are just that…men. Fallible men will discourage where an infallible God will encourage. And so today I want to talk about a verse that particularly encouraged me during my study. John 8: 1-2
Can you imagine what it must have been like to sit and listen to Him teach? And yet, His earthly ministry was short, eternity is everlasting. This verse encouraged me by reminding me that the things of this world are passing away, the discouragement will come to an end, and eternity will be spent in His glorious majesty. I wonder if we’ll have the chance to sit and hear Him teach? Until then let us hang on every word that was written, for in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh!
One more thing, brethren, slander, and gossip are sins. I’m grieved to see it taken so lightly by so many, let that not be said of you and I. We are to seek peace where it is at all possible. And as always, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourself approved!
This is a warning to the beloved bride of Christ. I’ve recently heard this phrase that reminded me what righteous indignation feels like. Perhaps you’ve heard it?
“You look at the dead letter, I search for the living word.”
This is to say that those of us who rely on the Bible are going by the ‘dead letter’ and those who receive extra-biblical ‘words’ supposedly from God are getting living words.
The warning I want to give you all is to run, don’t walk, run from any teacher or preacher who teaches this blasphemous phrase. The reproaches that are falling on Him, fall on me and I’m grieved to hear such falsehoods spoken of Gods Holy Word. As some have spoken, the very dust on the Bible is gold! Friends, understand that we do not worship a book, we worship the living God who inspired the book. However, every false teaching, or cult, has begun by someone supposedly receiving a word from God that should be held above Gods Word.
Beloved, if we are true followers of Jesus Christ we need to look to Him as our example. To what did He look to, point to, refer to while on Earth? The Word of God. How often did he ask is it not written? If the sovereignty of God in His written Word was good enough for our Lord, it should be good enough for us.
That Word specifically tells us that, though in past times God chose to speak to His people in different ways, in these last days He spoke to us through His Son.
We need to test every spirit, we need to be watchful, sober-minded, and spiritually discerning. This is why I exhort you always, friends, study and pray! Be good Bereans, study to show yourselves approved. Grievous wolves have crept in unawares.
As I said last Wednesday I’m taking a short break from testimonies to give a quick perspective on why we testify (which I covered HERE) and what a testimony is.
So what is a testimony? This is important to define if you find yourself testifying to the unsaved, as many other religions and cults have redefined what a testimony is. Your testimony is simply the story of how and when you were saved.
It isn’t the Gospel, once we testify we shouldn’t think the job is done and the person has heard the Good News. What they’ve heard is our reaction to the Good News. This is important, but not as important as going on and sharing the Gospel with them as well.
Two last thoughts on the testimony:
1. If you can’t remember when you were saved, but can remember the general time of it, what happened to you, how things changed, then I wouldn’t let other, more specific testimonies make you feel as though you are unsaved. If, however, you believe you were saved as a child and have no testimony or evidence for a change in your life, then I hope and pray you will work through your salvation with fear and trembling.
2. It will be rare, if ever, that the lost respond to your testimony the way you think they will. Do not be discouraged by this, some plant the seed and others water, while yet others harvest. Also, when you are mocked or persecuted, you will be blessed in heaven. Pray for those who wrongly misuse you.
As always, dear friends, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved!
I’ve been wanted to write about this for a while now, as much as salvation is confused by charlatans and wolves in the church, prayer is as well. It’s all packaged together in the same lie, that to get saved all you have to do is say the sinner’s prayer, then everything in your life will be perfect. You’ll be healthy, wealthy, and full of joy! What a selling pitch, I would suggest these pastors missed their marks as car salesmen but they’re making a bundle already.
This is disturbing, as we see statistics showing as many people leaving charismatic churches as there are coming in. Once the people coming in realize that their financial troubles never went away, their health is still bad, their marriage is still falling apart, they have no peace or joy, they leave. The sad part is that most of those disenfranchised by the lies peddled in modern churches leave the faith altogether, most becoming agnostics.
How can this be, when the truth is so clear in the Word of God? Most of these churches do not push scriptural knowledge, the pastors come in on Sunday with one or two short verses and a bunch of feel-good mush in between. This is why the music is so important, you have to pump the music and get the masses to an emotional state. Then you scratch their itching ears with personal stories, and everyone goes home feeling happy right? That’s not what the statistics show.
When you spend hours each week praying for more money, bigger and better stuff, adoration from your spouse and children, respect from your family and coworkers, and yet nothing changes, you begin to wonder. If anyone is reading this right now and finds themselves in this very discouraging place let me give you one scripture that destroys the ‘name it and claim it’ TV evangelistic philosophy.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
You see, these men are promising things that they have no authority to offer. When they don’t come true, when you stay poor and sick, they tell you it’s because you don’t have enough faith. Thus, they hang heavy burdens on you, burdens they are unwilling to help carry. Christ said His yoke is not heavy.
Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6: 9-13, not once does He suggest to His disciples that they should name it and claim it. He gives another example when He, Himself, is praying to the Father before His crucifixion. He says Your will, not mine. Is this what is being taught? Pray for Gods will, even if it means pain, suffering, or death? What does Paul tell us, that when he prayed for the thorn in his flesh to go away it did? Did he pray for health and wealth? Just the opposite, in fact, he tells us that he thanked God for his many afflictions, and worked with his hands to provide for himself rather then taking money from believers.
Friends, please do not be fooled by the promise of wealth, or health. We are promised in the Bible healing, when our bodies are glofied and we live in a sinless world with no curse. There are those who God chooses to heal, but it’s for His glory not some egomaniac on TV. Pray for the sick, pray for yourself when you are sick, there’s nothing wrong with that, unless you hope to heal someone so you can look spiritual. God searches the heart of man. It always comes back to the heart.
If you’ve been told that saying a quick prayer when you were a teenager was a get out of hell free card, let me implore you…work through your salvation through fear and trembling. Where there is a conversion there is evidence of that conversion. If you have been saved you will bear fruit, you will HATE the sin you use to love. You will LOVE the God you use to ignore. A prayer can not save you. You’re confidence in that prayer can not save you. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.