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Prayer Archives ~ Aletheia Baptist Ministries Skip to main content

Grandparenting with a Purpose

Grandparenting with a Purpose

by Rick Shrader

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Of a growing number of books on grandparenting, this is a 2019 book by Lillian Penner which is an update of a 2010 book. This book majors on how to pray for grandchildren. It is more a book of methodology rather than exposition. Penner gives numerous examples of how you might pray for this characteristic or that having to do with your grandchild and contains long lists of suggestions for wording your prayer. Mostly for those who have trouble praying specifically.

 

Alone with God

Alone with God

by Rick Shrader

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This is a 1995 reprint by Victor Books of an earlier study by MacArthur on prayer.  I was taken by the title and was not disappointed.  Prayer must be our primary way of fellowship with God and our first weapon in our fight for truth.  The bulk of the book is a study on the Lord’s Prayer, part by part.  MacArthur also brings in many valuable quotes and observations form a variety of authors.  At the end of the book he interacts from his very Calvinistic position on how we are to reconcile God’s sovereignty with man’s free will in prayer.  In the last section on praying for men’s salvation, he has an extended discussion on sovereignty explaining, from his perspective, the difference between God’s “desire” for man’s salvation, and God’s “purpose” for his election.  Still he admits, “If God did not act in response to prayer, Jesus’ teaching about prayer would be futile and meaningless and all commands to pray pointless.  Our task is not to solve the dilemma of how God’s sovereignty works with human responsibility but to believe and act on what God commands us about prayer.”  The book is full of good thoughts on various kinds of prayer.  “Impotence in prayer leads us, however unwillingly, to strike a truce with evil.  When you accept what is, you abandon a Christian view of God and His plan for redemptive history.”

 

The Autobiography of George Muller

The Autobiography of George Muller

by Rick Shrader

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George Müller (1805-1898) was a British preacher and director of Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England.  He is known for his prayer life and utter dependence on God alone for the financial support of his ministry.  In all, Müller supported over 1000 children in his orphanage and established over a hundred schools for educating children.  Müller began his ministry connected to the Plymouth Brethren but found himself at odds with many teachings on doctrine and separation.  In this book he shows his premillennial and dispensational background (p. 56), but also defends the current pietistic and mystic movements, “as true believers were contemptuously called in Germany” (p. 137).  This autobiography is mostly a collection of entries into Müller’s diary and almost all of them are instances of how God supplied his financial needs through prayer alone, but these are also paralleled to the founding and running of the orphanage.  Müller challenges the reader to follow the same path as his own but the reader will have to assess his own convictions in this manner.

 

Spurgeon’s Prayers

Spurgeon’s Prayers

by Rick Shrader

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 C.H. Spurgeon was probably the most quoted preacher of the last two hundred years.  It is no wonder that many of his very prayers, prayed during the services of Metropolitan Tabernacle in London (1854-1892) would be transcribed and printed as well.  And I must admit, after reading twenty six pulpit prayers recorded in this book, they still are moving and uplifting.  There is a short message on prayer (by Spurgeon) at the beginning of the book, and a good message on the purpose of church prayer meetings at the back of the book.  My favorite advice from that message is to let believers of all ages have their part in the prayers, “The cries of the lambs must mingle with the bleating of the sheep, or the flock will lack much of its natural music.”  The prayers of Spurgeon themselves probably took about 10 to 12 minutes.  That may not sound like much in numbers but it can seem like an eternity in a service.  Even at the Tabernacle today the pulpit prayers are much longer than Americans are used to.  But we could all learn a little about approaching God by listening again to the prince of preachers.

 

In Jesus’ Name

In Jesus’ Name

by Rick Shrader

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

John 14:12-16

 

Jesus has admonished us to bring our petitions before God in His name.  The pronouncing of the words “in Jesus’ name” at the end of our prayers has become a proper and common ending.  Though I want us to rethink what these beautiful words mean, I will not at all argue for the removal of them from our prayers.  There is no doubt that they are used carelessly, maybe even most of the time.  But that is a matter of inattentiveness, not profanity.  I love to hear my young grandchildren pray their prayers as they rise to the final crescendo, “In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

The words, no doubt, are sometimes used as a sort of “abracadabra” as if, in just repeating the sacred line, our prayers must be answered in just the way we want.  Others may look at it as a blank check from the Savior Who, evidently, was asking us to fill in the blank because He had already signed the bottom line.  Even though we often pronounce the words without thinking, we are aware that such is not the meaning of our Lord.

I believe all of our prayers are answered because they are always heard (1 Jn. 5:15).  However, few of them are answered in the way we ask because our prayers are usually selfish.  “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (Jas. 4:3).  I believe God even hears the profanity of the lost as they ask God to “damn” this or that because Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).  Yet Peter reminds us from the Psalms that “the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” (1 Pet. 3:12); and James also says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jas. 5:16).  A lost man cannot pray in Jesus’ name because the Holy Spirit is not his Advocate, but any believer can and should.

Jesus reminded His disciples of the great miracles which He had done (vs. 12).  These apostles would also do miracles, albeit lesser than those of their Lord.  What were the “greater works” (lit. “things”) they would do specifically “because” Jesus would return to the Father?  These must be related to the Holy Spirit Who would come to the believers (at Pentecost) in exchange for Jesus returning to heaven and His place at the Father’s right hand.  That is why the subject in the remaining of this chapter is the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in believers.  When Jesus is gone, He cannot do works on earth except through others.  The vine does not bear fruit but the branch.  The head does not do work but the body.  The disciples are left to do Jesus’ work on the earth in His absence.  But, oh, what a daunting task!  How can they do such a thing?  They will do it by asking the Father to do it through them for Jesus “that the Father may be glorified in the Son” though He will be in heaven.  And, in addition, Jesus will leave the believers with a double Advocacy:  Jesus in heaven, at the right hand of God, and the Holy Spirit (“another Comforter”) on earth, actually indwelling the believer.  A “near” and a “far” Advocate.  The gospel era would see souls saved that could not have happened unless Jesus ascended back to heaven to intercede with His blood and the Holy Spirit descended to earth to convict the world of sin and judgment.  And in addition, these souls would not be saved without a preacher who will work with both Advocates.

Greater Works?  “What St. Peter did at Pentecost, and St. Paul did throughout the world,—what a simple preacher, a simple believer effects in causing the Spirit to descend into a heart—Jesus could not do during His sojourn on earth.”1 Yet these greater things are precipitated on the possessor of the Holy Spirit asking them to be done “in Jesus’ name.”  If this is not a simple polite closing on a prayer, then what is it?  The answer may have many facets.

 

 

In His Place

The first way in which we ask in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is that we simply ask from earth where Jesus no longer dwells.  We ask in His place.  But Jesus is also where we cannot yet be—in heaven.  “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us . . . Come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14, 16).  In the same way, Paul said that “we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).

We are now the ones doing the work of Christ on the earth.  God still intends this work to go on even in Christ’s absence and He is eager to help us since we are doing it in the place of Christ.  I once attended a meeting for my father-in-law and introduced myself as coming in his place.  I was welcomed by all and was accepted as if my father-in-law had been there himself.  I would not say I did as good a job as he would have, but that was my lack of expertise, not his.

 

By His Merits

The second way in which we ask in Jesus’ name is to ask that the merit or moral authority of Jesus be applied to our prayers.  When Jesus gave the disciples the great commission, He said that “all power” (lit. “authority”) had been given to Him (Matt. 28:18-20).  He then instructed them to disciple, baptize, and teach under that authority.  Baptism was to be done, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  This authority to baptize was carried on in the name of Jesus throughout the book of Acts.2

Answered prayer isn’t my reward for proper living.  Prayer is the proper appeal that the righteousness of Jesus Christ be allowed to work through me.  Yes, He lives forever to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25), but this is so that His holy work will continue. “For such an high priest became us (was becoming of us, magnified to us) who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26).  As in my justification where God looks beyond me and sees the righteousness of Christ, and on THAT basis treats me as “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), so when I pray in Jesus’ name, God looks beyond me and my faults and hears me by the merits of Christ’s own righteousness.  How sad, then, to pray by my own merits rather than by His glorious grace and peace.

For His Benefit

The third way in which we pray in Jesus’ name is what Jesus emphasized in verse 13, “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  How can prayers be answered that are prayed for the glory or recognition of the one praying?  Why pray at all if that is the motive?  But notice that God will be glorified through the Son when we pray in the Son’s name.  These kinds of prayers are done for the glory of God alone.  God is glorified through  the continued testimony of Jesus Christ, which is carried on in this age through the believer possessed by the Holy Spirit.  Every work that we do ought to be designed as part of Christ’s work.  If it is, God will be glorified because the Son is magnified.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He began and ended the model prayer with glory to God.  “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. . . . And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen” (Matt. 6:9, 13).    In Paul’s appeal to the Philippians to pray for his release, he reminded them, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Phil. 1:19-20).  How often we pray for our own benefit without thinking of what would glorify God if He answered our prayer the way we prayed it.

Not what I wish, but what I want,

O let Thy grace supply;

The good unasked, in mercy grant,

The ill, though asked, deny.

William Cowper

 

With His Knowledge

The fourth way in which we can pray in Jesus’ name is to pray as one who loves to keep His commandments.  Doesn’t it seem odd that Jesus would include that 15th verse at that point?  It is almost as if the verse was lost from some other context.  But a moment’s thought may restore it properly in our minds (which is the only place verses can get lost).  We are to be the mouth and feet and hands of Jesus while we live on this earth.  His work must be done through us.  And how can this be done except by obedience?

We have two great motivations in keeping His commandments.  The first is that we love Him.  “If ye love me,” Jesus offers, then you will keep his commandments. “He acknowledges no love which does not find its expression in the observance of His laws.  These cannot be separated from the person.”3 The second motivation is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who is “the Spirit of truth” (vs 17).  “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance” (vs. 26).

How could we petition the Father to answer our prayers in Jesus’ name and disobey the same Lord Jesus Christ?  John repeats this same imperative in his epistle, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 Jn. 3:22).  “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 Jn. 5:14-15).

The Word of God will tell us what pleases the Lord and what is in His will.  Knowledge always follows purity in the Scripture (2 Pet. 1:5; Jas. 3:17).  When we love the Lord we will want to know what pleases Him.  We add to our virtue, knowledge, and to our knowledge, perseverance.  Even our meals are “sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:5) because the Scripture has informed us that we can eat without condemnation and therefore we give thanks.

And So . . .

We ought to keep saying “in Jesus’ name” when we pray, but we ought to really mean it!  We rush in and out of our prayers without thinking of the great work we are doing.  Whether in a great Christian gathering or at a simple meal, let us invoke that name which is above every name and come boldly before the throne of grace!

Approach my soul, the mercy seat,

Where Jesus answers prayer;

There humbly fall before His feet,

For none can perish there.

Thy promise is my only plea;

With this I venture nigh;

Thou callest burdened souls to thee,

And such, O Lord, am I!

Bowed down beneath a load of sin,

By Satan sorely pressed,

By war without and fears within,

I come to Thee for rest.

Be Thou my shield and hiding place,

That, sheltered near Thy side,

I may my fierce accuser face,

And tell him Thou hast died.

O wondrous love! To bleed and die,

To bear the cross and shame,

That guilty sinners, such as I,

Might plead Thy gracious Name!

John Newton

Notes:
1. F. Godet, Commentary on the Gospel of John , vol. II (New York:  Funk & Wagnalls, 1886) 276.
2. The formula for triune immersion remained the same, the authority to carry it out was done by the merits of Jesus Christ.
3. E.W. Hengstenberg, Commentary on the Gospel of John , vol. II (Edinburgh:  T&T Clark, 1865) 209-210.

 

 

The Practice of Prayer

The Practice of Prayer

by Rick Shrader

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While browsing in a used book section of a store, I found this 1906 edition printed in the second year of Morgan’s 39 year ministry at the Westminster Chapel in London (not to be confused with either the Abbey or the Cathedral).  Morgan was followed there by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who retired in 1968.  One never tires of reading words from men like G. Campbell Morgan.  It seems that the concepts are so old and solid that they appear new to our own generation.  The reader has to put himself in the pew and realize the detail and length that Morgan’s sermons took in those days to appreciate this book.

 

The Believer and Prayer

The Believer and Prayer

by Rick Shrader

Prayer is the most neglected power on earth.  God has given us two wonderful tools with which to get things done:  work and prayer.  C.S. Lewis called these the dignity of causality which God has given to His creatures.  A.W. Tozer wrote that there are three legitimate ways a desire may be obtained,  “one is to work for it, another is to pray for it and a third is to work and pray for it.  These are clear methods by which God gives His good gifts to His people.”1 There is no doubt which of these two methods is the most powerful and safest.  Yet most believers spend 95% of their energy in work and 5% (if that!) in prayer.

Bible reading is also an unused blessing, but most believers probably spend more time in Bible reading than in prayer.  H.A. Ironside wrote, “Prayerless Bible-reading becomes dry and unprofitable, leaving the student heady and cold-hearted.  But prayerful meditation on the inspired pages will nourish the soul in divine affections.”2 In Bible reading one can sail along, not thinking about the words being read without too much effort.  Though prayer can also be full of distractions and straying thoughts, it still takes more effort to remain in an extended time of prayer than in reading.  Invite some friends over for a “Bible Study” (which is often a spiritual excuse for fellowship) and you might get a houseful.  Invite some friends over for a time of evening prayer and you may be fortunate to have anyone.  The pastor is discouraged to see only 25% attendance at a choir practice, but is elated to see 25% attendance at prayer meeting!

The disciples were correct in their request of the Lord about prayer.  They did not ask Him to teach them how to pray.  They said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk. 11:1).  So Jesus, in answering their request, said, “When you pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven” (Lk. 11:2).  A child does not wait until he goes to school to learn to talk to his father, he merely begins talking, at first on a very rudimentary level, but soon in broader vocabulary.  A father is never so pleased as when he hears those first words.  No long treatise is necessary to translate the love and affection that comes in those first baby syllables.  It would be but a stunted natural growth for a youth not to talk, but it would be an insult and a travesty for a youth to be able to talk and yet not talk to his own father.  Prayer comes from both ability and love.  We are able at any time because we possess the Holy Spirit; we must desire communication with our Father if we are to start.

It is helpful for us to remember a few things about prayer as we begin.  The Scriptures are overwhelmingly encouraging to the believer when it comes to the details of prayer.  The more we learn about the subject, the more we will be encouraged to pray.  In reality, no subject in the Bible is so deep and yet so easily done.  Nothing else calls all of heaven into action and moves every power on earth more easily and efficiently than a believer’s simple prayer.

The Purpose of Prayer

I believe the old saying that hung above my grandfather’s rocking chair, “Prayer Changes Things.”  But it also should be understood that a godly believer will only want what God wants because he knows that only His ways are just and righteous altogether.  The apostle John twice repeated the need to align our prayers with God’s perfect will.  “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 Jn. 3:20-21).  Also, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 Jn. 5:14-15).

If we desire for God’s will to be done, even when we can’t see all of the implications of our prayers, we will be satisfied with a different answer or with no answer at all, which, of course, is enough of an answer for us.  Our prayers should be disinterested enough with our own desires that our true joy is to see His will accomplished.  Didn’t James warn us, “ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts: (Jas. 4:3)?

The Persons of Prayer

The prayers of the saints truly engage the thrice-holy Godhead.  God the Father has invited us to come to Him and call Him Father.  Peter quoted the Psalmist when he wrote, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” (1 Pet. 3:12).  Literally, His ears are bent down toward His child to hear his faint cry!  God the Son has opened the way into the holy place in heaven that we might come into the Divine Presence.  “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).  God the Spirit comes with us as our Divine Interpreter.  “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26).

There are two other important persons involved in prayer: ourselves,  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16); and also others, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask; and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death” (1 Jn. 5:16).

The Procedure of Prayer

Some may find it difficult to actually start praying.  This may be due to misconceptions about what must happen before or during our prayers.  We will deal with some physical difficulties below, but for now a few Biblical thoughts might make praying easier.  Prayer does not have to be long.  In fact, the Lord warned us not to make long prayers especially with vain repetition (Matt. 6:5-8).  Let your prayers be as long as your desire to pray.  We are to “always” pray but realize that this means to always be ready, willing, and in a constant state of awareness.  Our prayers may actually be short “ejaculatory” prayers such as, “Lord, help me now with this situation.  Amen.”

The Bible often uses the word “mention” when speaking of the apostles’ prayers.  Paul made “mention” of the churches in his prayers (see 1 Thes. 1:2, Rom. 1:9).  This word “mention” means a memorial like a marker such as a tombstone.  Sometimes our prayers are simple mentions of things before God.  On the other hand, remember that Jesus prayed often and sometimes all night.  As we adjust our schedules by priority, our prayers will fit where they should.

The Position of Prayer

Homer Kent wrote, “The bodily posture of bowing the knees is a common one in Scripture, although not the only one (see 1 Ki 8:54; Lk 22:41; Ac 7:60; 9:40; 20:36; 21:5).  It is a posture which reflects the attitude of heart in acknowledging the greatness of God, and is especially appropriate at this point.  The wonder of God’s plan as seen in the church should drive any Christian to his knees.”3 Kneeling, with our eyes closed and our head bowed is to place ourselves in the most vulnerable position a human being can be in.  This is a good reminder for the Christian as he prays.

Kneeling in prayer is perhaps the best position but it is not necessary to pray nor is it the only position we find in the Bible.  Jesus fell on His face to pray in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39); the thief on the cross cried out to God hanging on the cross (Lk. 23:42); a group of women prayed while meeting by a river side (Acts 16:13).

The Place of Prayer

Just as the position of prayer often varies, so does the place of prayer.  Our daily routine finds us in many places where we call out to God for help.   We will all pray sitting at the dinner table, perhaps in a restaurant, to thank God for our food (1 Tim. 4:3-5).  We will pray standing in church or at a public gathering, or perhaps with our spouse at the close of day.

Still, the place, as with the position, does have some Biblical direction.  We are to pray both in private and in public.  Jesus instructed us, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:6).  Private prayer is absolutely vital to the believer.  Maybe this is an actual closet, or maybe this is just a quiet room by oneself, or a favorite spot where one can be alone.  God delights in the humble heart that needs no audience to pray.

Also, we are to pray in public, that is, with other brethren.  Jesus said that where two or three were gathered in His name, He would be there (Matt. 18:20).  The size of the group makes no difference.  God doesn’t turn up the power relative to the number of people.  Rather, to gather “in my name” is the important thing.  There is no sweeter time of my week than on Wednesday night and Saturday night when I kneel or bow in prayer with fellow saints of God.

The Pitfalls of Prayer

The first pitfall is not to pray at all!  Only a prosaic barbarian never bows his head to his Maker.  But when we do there are warnings all around:  “vain repetition” (Matt. 6:7); “to be seen of men” (Matt. 6:5); our prayers “hindered” by quarreling with our spouse (1 Pet. 3:7); sleeping and falling “into temptation” (Lk. 22:46); “fainting” in our Christian walk because we do not pray (Lk. 18:1); selfishly asking “amiss” (Jas. 4:3).

Pitfalls like these happen more to people who rush into God’s throne room with little thought or reverence for what is about to take place.  The overly cautious soul should not let his backwardness deter him, but rather let it be a good and natural governor to proceed on and learn what holy boldness is all about.

The Possibilities of Prayer

Yes, prayer changes things!  No one can explain exactly how Almighty God can be Sovereign over His whole creation and yet heed the prayers of His children.  But, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (Jas. 5:16).  “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” (1 Pet. 3:12).  “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Lk. 11:9-10).

We do not have to understand everything about prayer in order to do it.  We are praying to the God of the universe!  If He has asked us to ask, then we should ask!

G. Campbell Morgan gave this English story of church prayer:

One day in a Yorkshire prayer-meeting there came a stranger who did what many men are in the habit of doing—God forgive them—he made a prayer.  When he had been talking twenty minutes, and no living man ought to pray in a prayer-meeting above five, and had been giving the Almighty information of which He had been in possession long before the man was born, at last he said, ‘And now, O Lord God, what more shall we say unto Thee?’  An old man who knew how to pray audibly replied, ‘Call Him Feyther, mon, and ax for summat.’4

And So . . . .

We must put away our fears and inhibitions and find our way back to our knees.  Whether we understand how God saw our prayers before the foundation of the world and took our requests into consideration or not, we dare not be disobedient to the Creator and Father by neglecting to come to Him in confession, praise, and request.  We have never needed it so much as now and He has never been any more willing to hear and answer than He is today.

Notes:
1. A.W. Tozer, The Next Chapter After The Last  (Camp Hill: Christian Pub., 1987) 120.
2. H.A. Ironside, Holiness, The False And The True (New York:  Loizeaux Brothers, nd.) 136.
3. Homer Kent, Ephesians:  The Glory of the Church (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1971) 57.
4. G. Campbell Morgan, The Practice of Prayer (London:  Fleming H. Revell, 1906) 118.
 

 

God’s Provision for Normal Christian Liv

God’s Provision for Normal Christian Living

by Rick Shrader

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This is a 1990 edition of Ketcham’s book which Regular Baptist Press is still offering.  Ketcham was one of the fathers of the GARBC movement and an outspoken fundamentalist.  This book emphasized three truths especially:  The Lord Jesus Christ in the believer’s life; the Bible as God’s inspired Word equal to the very words of Christ as God’s incarnate Word; and the Holy Spirit as the believer’s guide and power.  Ketcham has a unique explanation of the armor of God being the putting on of Christ Himself.  He also  presents the Holy Spirit as the possessor of the believer’s body even from death until resurrection.  His explanation of the Bible and Christ being equal revelations of God is very good and I have only seen it similarly presented in a couple other places (one being in The Fundamentals).

 

I Just Wanted More Land

I Just Wanted More Land

by Rick Shrader

I met Gary Gilley recently and became acquainted with his writings.  He also wrote, This Little Church Went To Market: The church in the age of entertainmentI Just Wanted More Land is a critique of The Prayer Of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson (see my short review on our web site).  Gilley is right in noting that Wilkinson’s book is nothing more than a wealth and prosperity gospel and helps in showing the hermeneutical problems with such an approach to an obscure Old Testament passage.  Gilley notes, for example, that it is shaky business to base one’s whole life (or prayer life) on something that is never mentioned by any other Bible writer or Bible character, good or bad.  This only shows America’s insatiable desire to win life’s lottery, even if it means prostituting our very approach to God in prayer.

 

The God Who Hears

The God Who Hears

by Admin

Reviewed by Don Shrader

If ever I teach a class on prayer, this would be my textbook.  Of all the books I have read or perused on prayer, this was the most practical.  Hunter forthrightly addresses those issues surrounding prayer that all of us have that inhibits our prayers and our prayer time.  While his answers may not be equivalent to an advanced seminary level exegesis, they are practical yet theologically sound.  So, if you are looking for a basic book on prayer, I recommend this one over something like The Prayer of Jabez.